Join Us At Travel Technology Europe

We are so excited for Travel Technology Europe, which kicks off in one week!

We have two keynote sessions happening at the Innovation Theatre, and we’ve shared all the details below. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment to meet the Cornerstone team, and be sure to register for our Cocktails and Canapés reception at the Hand & Flower.

 

Operationalizing NDC

Wednesday, February 20, 13:00-13:45, Innovation Theatre

This session will explore the challenges of operationalizing NDC (New Distribution Capability) in your environment. NDC is here, and we all need to find ways to manage the evolving distribution model and the increases in data. This moderated panel will discuss strategies to manage increased content within your program, critical technology decisions to track data, and the evolution of reporting and analytics within your business. This panel will be moderated by Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, with panelists from different parts of the travel industry.

Panelists:

  • Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, Panel Moderator
  • Tye Radcliffe, Director of Distribution, United Airlines
  • Moshe Rafiah, CEO, Travelfusion
  • Karen Janssen, Chief Information Officer, EMEA, Corporate Travel Management UK

 

A Look At The Future Of Travel

Thursday, February 21, 11:00-11:45, Innovation Theatre

Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, will interview Philippe Chereque, President, American Express Global Business Travel. Their lively discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing business travel today, from new technologies and infrastructure to the changing demographics of travelers.

Participants:

  • Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, Panel Moderator
  • Philippe Chereque, President, American Express Global Business Travel

 

 

Five Things Not to Miss at Travel Technology Europe Next Month

Travel Technology Europe (TTE) is the leading event in Europe in the travel technology space. Held annually in London, this year’s show is set to be another valuable opportunity for travel industry professionals to network, discover tech solutions to unlock the full potential of your business, and learn more about the latest innovations, products and suppliers to support your business objectives.

With over 6,000 attendees and two days packed full of education sessions and networking opportunities, perusing the agenda can seem a bit daunting for even a veteran attendee. To help, we’ve put together a list of the top five things not to miss during this year’s event:

  1. Attend the TTE Disrupt Awards – Innovation Pitch Live
    Always one of the most entertaining and informative sessions at TTE, the 2019 Disrupt Awards features a Dragons’ Den/Shark Tank style pitch session where finalists will have an opportunity to present their innovation on stage at the show in front of a panel of judges. Held in the Innovation Theatre, the session will take place on Wednesday, 20 February at 16:00 – 17:00. Check out the 2019 Shortlist here.
  2. Meet with TTE Exhibitors
    Scheduling appointments with TTE exhibitors gives attendees a unique, one-on-one opportunity to meet with over 120 travel technology suppliers offering potential solutions for your organisation. View the full list of TTE exhibitors here and make sure to schedule a time to meet with the Cornerstone team at stand T95.
  3. Take Advantage of Expert-Led Education Sessions
    TTE education sessions are crafted to not only provide inspiring content from industry experts but provide attendees with actionable solutions to everyday challenges. From ways to navigate changes due to NDC to utilising voice recognition technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the conference programme provides a wide range of topics coupled with a depth of speaker knowledge that make the sessions a “can’t miss” for any driven industry professional. Mark your calendars for Monday, 20 February from 13:00 – 13:45 for a session on Operationalising NDC and Tuesday, 21 February from 11:15 – 12:00 for A Look into the Future of Travel, both in the Innovation Theatre, featuring Cornerstone CEO Mat Orrego. Plan out all of the sessions you want to attend in advance by viewing the full conference programme here
  4. Stop by the Business Travel Show
    TTE is co-located in Olympia London with the Business Travel Show, and when you register for TTE, your pass will include free entry to the Business Travel Show. The Business Travel Show is the largest event in Europe for corporate travel buyers, and is aimed at those who book, buy or manage business travel. For more information on the Business Travel Show, visit their website here.
  5. Make the Most of Networking Opportunities
    Networking opportunities abound at TTE. It’s not only a great event to catch up with industry friends but connect with speakers and welcome new entrants as well. Not everyone is a natural networker, so if you’re at a loss for topics to discuss, try asking one of the following questions to break the ice:

    • What’s the most interesting thing you saw on the floor today?
    • What drew you to this session this morning/afternoon?
    • What are you most looking forward to at TTE? 

In general, making the most out of TTE comes down to being organized. Make sure to review the conference programme, set appointments with exhibitors you want to meet, and plan any additional meetings well in advance. The time to start preparing for TTE is now – so make a note of the five opportunities above and you’ll be sure to hit the ground running later this month in London.

Cornerstone Acquires Topaz International

 

January 17, 2019 – We are excited to share that we have acquired the auditing and benchmarking business of Topaz International. Topaz is a leading provider of travel audits and the analysis of travel programs and policies for corporate buyers.

Since 1978, Topaz has delivered quality services to over 500 of the Fortune 1000 companies around the world. The exceptional Topaz team is joining Cornerstone, along with Bradley Seitz, President, Topaz, who will remain in a leadership role to provide continuity and advice, and strategic direction on future initiatives.

Topaz is an ideal complement to our growing work with corporate travel buyers and an opportunity to enhance the Topaz offerings with our workflow automation and reporting & analytics solutions. With the addition of Topaz benchmarking and fare auditing capabilities, we are expanding and deepening our core capabilities in helping companies both manage and measure the effectiveness of their travel programs.

In the next few months, Topaz and Cornerstone will work to build the foundation for a broader, more tech integrated offering of our services that advance our reporting and analytical abilities. Topaz will continue to run under its brand and leadership to maintain impartiality in its consulting services to corporate buyers.

Over the last 18 months, we have been hiring and have plans to double our workforce in the coming years. We remain focused on building our business by offering enhanced services that help buyers manage their programs and relationships with suppliers, distributors, and services partners. The Topaz acquisition creates a stronger prospect for Cornerstone and allows us to expand the range of services we provide to all our customers.

Cornerstone Information Systems grows, hires to tame travel tech’s next frontier

 

Indiana University, Luddy Hall, Location: Bloomington IN, Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli

Earlier this month, Mat Orrego, CEO, sat down the team at TechPoint to talk about Cornerstone’s growth plans. Mat discussed the plans to add 40 new hires by 2021, the new company headquarters, and a focus more on building more automated services. Read the article here.

TechPoint is the growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem. Indiana currently boasts a $7 billion in tech company acquisitions and IPOs, the most affordable housing market in the country, and a high production of software jobs.

Getting Ready for GBTA Convention

We can’t believe it’s time for another GBTA Convention! Are you ready?

We are hard at work getting ready for GBTA Convention in San Diego, August 11-15, 2018.

GBTA Convention is always one of the busiest, best, and most interesting conferences of the year – and this year will be no exception.

This year we continued to actively support GBTA as the Volunteer Leadership Sponsor. We are committed to supporting the volunteer leaders because our own team gives their time, energy, and effort to GBTA chapters and committees.

Bobbi Huber, Board Member, Ohio Valley BTA

Lauren Wolters, Co-Leader, GBTA Ladders

This year we will sponsor a Volunteer Lounge for all of the hard working GBTA volunteers. The lounge provides a quiet place for volunteers to catch-up on work, grab a bite to eat, or take a moment to rest. We know the hours are long at GBTA Convention, but the days fly by.

We are also working hard on the two sessions we’re participating in.

Lauren Wolters and Christine Dohmen are leading a session titled “Overcoming the Challenges with Data Aggregation.” This session will explore the challenges of data aggregation, discuss how users get trapped in the fog of data, and why it’s important for every company to create their data philosophy. The session is on Monday, August 13 at 9:30am. Click here to add it to your Convention planner.

On Tuesday, Mat Orrego is participating on a panel on “Data Analytics & Trends.” This session brings together a panel of industry experts and thought leaders to discuss the latest trends in data and the role of analytics in corporate travel and procurement practices. This highly interactive session will allow plenty of time for audience questions and discuss the results of a pre-event survey conducted by Advito. The session is Tuesday, August 14 at 9:45am. Click here to add it to your Convention planner.

Don’t miss Cornerstone booth at the Expo! We’re located at Booth 841. Be sure to set up an appointment so that you have with our team to talk about your unique business and our expertise in Data Services, Workflow Automation, and Reporting & Analytics. Just add us to your Convention Planner and pick a time that works for your schedule.

Wondering who will be at GBTA Convention from Cornerstone?

Here’s the team heading to San Diego:

Mat Orrego, Chief Executive Office and Founder

Shaun McDermott, CFO

Tom Lacny, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing, & Advisory Services

Christine Dohmen, Platform Manager, Reporting & Analytics

Michael Doyle, Director, Busienss Development

Pat Hochstein, Director, Business Development and Global Account Management

Bobbi Huber, Global Account Manager

Michael Kell, Director, Business Development

Lauren Wolters, Director, Marketing

Interested in setting up a meeting with our team? Use the My Convention Planner app to schedule an appointment or contact our team directly.

See you in San Diego!

Stop by and say hello!

We will be attending a number of events in the next few months. We would love for you to stop by and say hello.

Interested in setting up a time to connect? Feel free to email us at ask@ciswired.com to schedule an appointment or email any of the attendees directly.

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

 

Sabre STX

April 9-12, 2018

Dallas, TX

Mat Orrego, CEO

Email Mat

Lauren Wolters, Director, Marketing

Email Lauren

Mark Abdoo, Director, Product

Email Mark

Jacob Wheeler, Director, Engineering

Email Jacob

 

BCD Travel Affiliates Spring Meeting

April 9-11, 2018

Cancun, Mexico

Michael Kell, Director, Business Development

Email Michael

 

GBTA Ladders Summit

May 14-16, 2018

Miami, FL

Lauren Wolters, Director, Marketing

Email Lauren

 

Phocuswright Europe Conference

May 15-17, 2018

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mat Orrego, CEO

Email Mat

 

Travel Leaders National Meeting

June 12-16, 2018

Las Vegas, NV

Staci Harris, Global Account Manager

Email Staci

 

GBTA Convention

August 11-15, 2018

San Diego, CA

We’re getting ready for GBTA Convention! Email Lauren Wolters to connect with the Cornerstone team.

Get The Most From Our Products

Education is an essential component of our platform’s offerings. Our technology continues to evolve, with new functionality and capabilities released regularly. To that end, we have expanded our team to evolve our services to serve our customers better.

One of our primary goals is to provide constructive, initial and ongoing education and training for our software solutions. While most of our clients work with our team as part of their delivery and implementation process, they might not be aware of the opportunities for continuing education and training. Currently we offer more than 15 classes for our clients.

 

In-Person Training

Our onsite training covers the most commonly requested training for our solutions. The training goes across iQCX®, iBank®, and TravelOptix®. We recognize that not only do our clients hire new staff that needs training but with recent consolidation, there is larger scale training needs as well.

We also find it critical that current and long-time users refresh their training. With our regular updates and enhancements to the solutions, many users find that there are better and more productive ways to get what they need from the software. We also introduce new features – many of which that have been requested through the years by clients. Without proper training, most users do not take advantage of these features leaving their companies without the newest and best tools to manage their business.

Much of our training has historically focused on the end user since they are the ones who truly work with every button and screen in the software. However, we have worked to expand the audience for training.

Many of the new capabilities, especially in the TravelOptix platform, have advanced configuration options and functionality. In the case of TravelOptix, this means that the business team, who might be involved during the initial setup and then turn over operations to an operations center or technology team, need to be engaged again. Discussions regarding new data feed(s) available, new report types, and broadcast capabilities need to engage this distinct audience.

In addition to the classes available, we also offer custom education for you. Our trainers will work with your account manager to develop a training curriculum based on your unique blend of solutions and specific company needs. These services enable us to provide the class – or series of classes – best suited for your team.

We find that onsite training allows for not only more attendees but also for different mixes of attendees, ensuring that the business, operations, and technology teams are working together with the solutions to achieve their company objectives.

 

Online Training

We recognize that in-person training may not be an option for all our clients, and we are expanding our online training sessions with more than 10 classes available. These classes, all under two hours, are designed for one person who needs to brush up on their skills or learn a new part of the tools. It is great for those who need a refresher or wants to know how to best leverage a new capability.

Online training is available on your schedule. We recognize that it is not possible for everyone to visit our team in Bloomington, Indiana or host our team at your office. Online training lets you and your organization access the education you need when you need it.

To learn more about our Education Services Department and schedule your training, please contact your Account Manager or Jim Ehinger.

Blockchain – A Technological Paradox

block·chain

ˈbläkˌCHān/

noun

a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

 

Blockchain has emerged into more conversations last year and has become synonymous with Bitcoin in the mainstream media. Don’t believe us? Watch actor Michael Keaton get asked about bitcoin by the paparazzi as he left a restaurant in December.

We’re seeing conversations about blockchain pick up more speed in 2018. But outside of technology teams and gurus, what does it mean for the bigger picture?

Let’s start with answering a key question. What is blockchain?

Blockchain is not a new technology. Blockchain is a new way of leveraging existing technology. It’s taking a Lego playset and building something new with it. When we look at the speed at which our industry will adopt this new structure, we need to look back.

In 2000, almost twenty years ago, we had similar conversations cross our industry regarding APIs and web services. While blockchain is promising, it’s important to remember that changing core technological infrastructure takes time.

 

What makes blockchain so promising?

The paradox of blockchain is that it makes data more secure while making it more accessible. Usually people trade security for increased access. Think about everything Facebook quiz someone takes. People hand over a large amount of personal information to find out what type of cheese they are. They trade security for information they want. Blockchain flips this process.

With blockchain, data is decentralized and distributed across a structure. Data is secured in each block, and the blocks are connected. Blockchain allows for access to a single general ledger – think of the world’s largest Google sheet – available to all parties at all times. This single, shared general ledger is why blockchain has gained traction in cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin.

The shared, single ledger streamlines communications and workflows, driving greater efficiency and accuracy. In practical application, blockchain reduces errors and discrepancies because the source contract is singular and shared.

When we look closely at our industry, there is a clear analogous example with travel bookings. The general ledger becomes the master trip record, with all parties able to see and access the latest information regarding a booking or set of bookings. The unicorn of travel challenges.

The general ledger as a master trip record means access to more data. The entire concept of Big Data shifts. It’s not the act of storing all the data in single data lake and accessing the data that’s the challenge any more – the challenge is understand that the data analysis occurs in the lake as more data is fed into it.

With blockchain, we could access a single set of flight information. We’ve all experienced discrepancies between what the airline is saying about a flight, what the airport says, whatever travel app you might use, and even the agent at the gate. A single source for all flight information, used by all parties, would eliminate this problem. Completely. We would all see the same information. SITA Lab, the research arm of SITA, recently published a white paper on FlightChain, a blockchain process they’re testing to create “a single source of truth for flight data.”

 

Where’s the catch?

The challenge with blockchain is this – how do you control distributed systems when all regulations were created to function in a regulated system?

We have long worked together as an industry to protect data, followed protocols set forth by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council and the EU General Data Protection Regulation. These are protocols designed to keep information secure and protect individuals.

We think that there’s an exciting future with blockchain. It’s the first time that a technology can move our industry closer to the single, global traveler PNR.

There is an opportunity, and there needs to be an expectation, that IATA and SITA will work together on blockchain standards across travel from flight information to traveler details in order to create a future where data is both more accessible and more secure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Technology Europe | 2018

Heading to the Business Travel Show or Travel Technology Show? We would love to see you!

Stop by Stand No. TT72

Ready to do more with your data? Stop by our spot at Stand No. TT72 and learn from our experts. We have the most comprehensive data acquisition and aggregation capabilities in the market today, and we deliver improved productivity and derive transformative analytical insights.

We deliver the right information to decision makers when they need it and providing a consistent version of data for decision makers, so they can more effectively work together.  We transform business processes to maximize revenue with every transaction by reducing costs and improving productivity. Our leading workflow automation solution simplifies service management and reduces complexity by solving issues before they occur and providing necessary visibility into and control over resources.

We maintain a system of accurate and real-time travel information resources and transactional services to serve our customers. With more than 600 years’ experience, we support our technology with Advisory Services, from consulting to delivery and implementation. We are committed to Governance and Security, from our privately hosted environment to our Tier X data center.

Grab A Drink With Us

On Wednesday, February 21 join us for beers, wine, and canapés at The Hand & Flower.

Wednesday, February 21

18:00-20:00

No. One Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8XJ

 

Meet With Our Team

Want to make sure you get time with the Cornerstone team? Reach out to our team to make sure you connect at the TTE Show.

 

Hope to see you there!

Where We are Focused in 2018

As we embark on 2018, we wanted to share some of our areas of focus for the year. Much of our focus will be on continuing our commitments and investments from 2017, focusing enhancements on the outcomes our technology drives, and creating a more deeply integrated solution set.

 

Data Services

This year we are excited to bring new capabilities to you that transform Data Services. Data Services is a collection of services focused on data acquisition, data cleansing, data normalization, warehousing, extract, and export capabilities. We are developing a cutting edge way to more securely protect your data while making it more accessible to you. This year we plan to replace any remaining deployed technology with state-of-the-art privately hosted, on-demand technology.

This year we will launch new data cleanser technology that produces higher quality outcomes, faster. We are developing a visible, transparent process that you can interact with. You can manage your data cleansing in real-time – no more loading data in a black hole, and waiting for an output file. We believe this revolutionary approach will transform the way you interact with your data and we are thrilled to bring it to market this year.

 

Reporting and Analytics

We are also focused on new data modeling functionality. These capabilities will be designed to provide more support for our clients’ non-traditional travel data, such as shared ride services like Uber and alternate accommodations like Airbnb. We are investigating ways to access data feeds more efficiently and then create Apps within our reporting and data visualization platform to provide insight and analytics, merging with traditional travel data to provide a complete single data set.

 

Governance and Security

At Cornerstone, we have and will continue to take security and data protection very seriously. One of the keys focuses in 2018 will be ensuring we are compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can read more about the GDPR here. TrustARC has completed a thorough review of our processes, procedures, and security protocols. We are working with them to ensure we are in full compliance with the GDPR by May 25, 2018.

Finally, we focused on our ongoing efforts to further integrate our solutions. We are investigating ways we can provide a more seamless and common user experience across all our technologies, while maintain the highest levels of security protocols.

 

We are excited about the work we’re focused on in 2018, and we hope you are too!

If you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager or Mark Abdoo, Director of Product (mabdoo@ciswired.com).