Cornerstone’s Shaun McDermott Talks Travel & Trends

Shaun Banner

 

June 27, 2016 – As CFO and CCO of Cornerstone, Shaun McDermott is excited about Cornerstone’s innovative offerings and upcoming events. Here is a peek inside Shaun’s mind as he talks about those offerings and events in light of a growing travel data industry with Cornerstone’s Marketing Intern, Jo Velazquez.

 

Jo:       What is one Cornerstone project that you are personally excited about?

Shaun: I am personally excited about Cornerstone’s TravelOptix™ and our effective ongoing launch of the TravelOptix platform. TravelOptix is a hosted software platform that enables visualization and analytics on Cornerstone data, from both iQCX® and iBank®, alongside other data sources. It is very powerful and I am excited about its early configurations for specific client purposes. What we are finding is that TravelOptix™ really can make a difference for our TMC clients to advance and retain business because of its analysis and visualization capabilities. The other aspect of TravelOptix that is exciting to me is the application of TravelOptix capabilities for internal management purposes for TMCs. TMCs have to manage themselves using MIS; what we are seeing is that TravelOptix is very well suited to presenting data that helps TMCs manage themselves, for their own internal operating purposes.

 

Jo:       Where do you see mobile integration fitting in to the travel data industry?

Shaun: Everything we are doing with 4site™. The 4site platform takes Cornerstone in a new direction and enables us to provide capabilities that we previously did not have in our suite. 4site™, the product set, will have a mobile application, for the traveler’s mobile device, and a complementary servicing application that will enable TMCs and corporations to better support and service their travelers. With parity of information, we enable the traveler and the servicing entity to have the same information at the same time – that is very exciting to me. Looking on to the horizon, we are working on automation of chat to help service the traveler, as well. The industry is in early days in terms of these types of functionalities, yet we are well on our way to providing them.

 

Jo:       How has Cornerstone led the travel data industry this past year?

Shaun: Both with TravelOptix and with 4site. Again with TravelOptix, we are looking at the ability to mash in data from sources other than the GDS and the TMC back office system; we can combine in any other data set, which is as new and as contemporary a capability as any other offerings in our space. 4site™ is a data offering because its value proposition is enabling the same level of information between the traveler and the service TMC – that’s a data play. As we go along, of course, we continue to make enhancements to our iBank and iQCX platforms that advance their ability to handle data. We are better handling EMDs and other ancillary fee types, increasing our capabilities to handle segments outside air, car and hotel – rail for example. We remain at the cutting edge in the ability to handle all kinds of travel data.

 

Jo:       Where can customers see the Cornerstone team this summer?

Shaun: We will be at Sabre TTX, the developer’s conference, at the end of June. Of course, our showcase event is at the GBTA meeting in mid-July in Denver, Colorado. We have a number of events planned for the fall, but the big summer event for us is GBTA.

 

Jo:       What will customers get to see at Sabre TTX and at the GBTA conference?

Shaun: They will get to see our three new offerings. We will be showcasing our 4site suite, the mobile application plus servicing capabilities, TravelOptix, our extremely powerful data analytics and BI tool, and finally, AutoPay™, which enables virtual payment to pay for travel segments. We have been working primarily with our partner eNett on AutoPay. We are also excited to be in the works with other partners that we may announce at GBTA.