2017 | Year in Review

As we close another year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the work we accomplished across our platforms.

This year we processed more than 256 million transactions for 65 million unique PNRs. These include checking the booking against corporate policy, monitoring seat requests, and waitlist checks. This work is what catches a missed connection from a schedule change. The workflow automation processes ensure that travel for our clients and their customers is as smooth and easy as possible.

We consolidated 90 million separate transactions into 36 million individual trips for clients. Without a single consolidated data set, it’s nearly impossible to manage travelers or understand the breadth of a travel program. Without consolidated data, you can’t monitor contracts or supplier agreements. With this data, we ran almost 5 million reports during 12,000 unique analytics sessions.

 

iBank® Platform

The iBank platform transformed in 2017. We updated 45 iBank reports with efficiency and data improvements, which represent the majority of reports created within iBank. Our updated iBank infrastructure enabled us to deliver new capabilities to you, faster and with more flexibility, throughout the year. Some of the biggest improvements were made in our Air Activity, Rail Activity, Arrivals, Departures, and Upcoming Plans reports. We were 90% more efficient in updating our reports in 2017.

We focused heavily on our ability to gather data more quickly and efficiently, ensuring we have the data you need when you need it. We have also made the way you share data easier. You no longer need to be in the same database to share data with another agency. You can now modify individual reports for sharing.

We enhanced broadcast reporting with additional options. We know that each one of our clients has their own unique needs for broadcast and we wanted to make sure you could receive the reports in the frequency you needed. We add a bi-weekly option (every two weeks) and a bi-monthly option (every two months) for both back office and reservation schedules. We also added the ability to receive a notification in case delivery of a broadcast report fails to a recipient. This ensures that you can make additional arrangements to get the report to that person – and no one is missing the critical information they need to do their job.

While we recognize the need for standard reporting that automatically broadcasts to employees remains critical for most of our client – and we have also seen a need for greater on demand analysis and data visualization. This year, we built a deeper integration with our TravelOptix® Platform, enabling the back-office data to be accessed through the TravelOptix Spend Analysis App™ and reservations data to be seen with the brand-new TravelOptix Reservations Analysis App™.

Finally, we spent much of the year working on a new set of capabilities that will launch early next year as Cornerstone Data Services™. These next-generation capabilities will not only upgrade but also revolutionize current data acquisition, data cleansing, and data normalization processes in the travel industry. In addition, this new functionality makes it easier to bring in additional business-critical data such as expense data, credit card data, and other reservations.

 

iQCX® Platform

Throughout the year, we focused on two major projects. First, we enhanced our support for our GDS partners. We upgraded our systems to meet the new Web Services standards for Amadeus, and migrated individual customers to these new services. We engaged with Amadeus, Apollo, and Galileo customers to gather additional technical information needed to support data parsing and data capture requirements for Ancillary Services and EMDs. we have released several data capture enhancements for Ancillary Services and EMDs for both Sabre and Amadeus. We completed the development of the new iQCX Ticketing Module for Amadeus Web Services, which includes the issuance of EMDs. We also developed updates for iQCX Ticketing around services fees and EMDs, and our teams have released to the new functionality to a select group of customers. These new capabilities enable the automatic ticketing for bookings that include additional services fees and EMDs.

Second, we released a new version of our ResRules Composer, which provides ResRules writers with more flexibility and efficiency when creating new business rules. The new ResRules Composer was released to all customers, and we continued to release enhancements throughout the rest of the year. Of particular importance, we updated the rules around Sample PNR timeouts for our ResRule writers who are working hard to create and update rules for their businesses. We are also seeing the improvements in security, stability, and performance that we expected.

Finally, we remained committed to enhancing our workflow automation solutions to meet your need. We released more than 100 enhancements to our iQCX platform. These improvements ranged from processing power improvements and logging details to better Sample PNR and PNR search functionality.

We added a new tab for “Ancillary Services,” enabling search queries around PNRs with ancillary services. We enhanced our air segment searches and added search capabilities around segment type for car and hotel.

 

TravelOptix® Platform

The TravelOptix team started 2017 with a technology stack upgrade that improved platform performance, with faster loading of data and faster recalculations when filtering. Clients are working more efficiently and see the data visualizations change in real time without loading delays. Charts are now “time-aware,” providing continuous scaling for date fields when drilling into additional emails. The upgrade also provides security enhancements. We also completed an underlying platform upgrade to continue to provide new features and faster processing. With this upgrade, we were able to double the hardware and resources available, driving more redundancy and greater capacity across the platform. We also separated our maintenance services so that we can ensure our real-time analytics engines maintain an extremely fast and consistent level of performance.

The TravelOptix platform exploded in Apps in 2017. We now have six Standard Apps – TicketTRAK App™, Farechecker App™, Seatchecker App™, Spend Analysis App™, Reservations Analysis App™ and Schedule Change Manager App – as well as  more than 40 custom Apps for individual clients.

Standard Apps are available with pre-defined analytics and filters – together these are called “Sheets.” Standard Apps are a great way to for customers who are new to TravelOptix to gain access to the platform and learn what the platform can do. For example, Spend Analysis App has been refined throughout Q3 and now offers more than 300 dimensions, 150 measures, and 75 visualizations across 19 sheets. Learn more here and watch the video.

Client-specific can either be built off a standard App, with modifications to data sources or data fields, or a brand-new App. Our professional services team designs and builds the right App, or set of Apps, for your unique business needs. With each engagement, we work with the customer to address their specific use cases, craft visualizations meant for their individualized needs, and provide training across the organization. In doing this, we can help you create a more strategic outlook for your travel program.

Finally, we refined our App deployment process so that your Apps and any updates to them can be updated as efficiently and seamlessly as possible.

 

4site® Platform

This past year marked the launch of our 4site platform in the marketplace. With the feedback we received from a select group of early adopters, we enhanced the 4site Corporate Dashboard, notification capabilities and dashboard renderings. We are currently processing a quarter million flight events every month for more than 15,000 travelers per month. We are managing more than 100K unique bookings per month and more 5,000 segments every day.

We also released enhancements to the notification systems, allowing users to set their preferences. Individual users can now select the types of notifications they would like to receive based on the customers and travelers they support.

We also enhanced our traveler mapping to group travelers by location, from continent down to the city level. Users can seamlessly zoom in and out, switch continents, and access traveler data from a single window. We built this customization option because we understand that some agents may want to focus on areas in distress. The need for this functionality was never greater than in 2017. We experienced Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Ophelia, the earthquake in Mexico, the fires in California, and the volcano in Bali.

While this functionality is critical in a time of distress, we recognize that some agents are dealing with a select group of VIP travelers and working to ensure their every step along the way is completely seamless. We ensured that our enhanced dashboard supported this VIP level of service and monitoring

Cornerstone Information Systems exhibiting and speaking at Travel Technology Europe 2017

BLOOMINGTON, IN (February 2, 2017)  – Cornerstone™ Information Systems (CIS), a global leader in innovative technology solutions for travel companies, will be speaking and exhibiting at The Travel Technology Europe Show 2017 (TTE 2017). The event takes place February 22nd-23rd, at Olympia in London, UK and is expected to attract more than 6000 Travel & Tourism professionals and suppliers from around the globe.  Cornerstone will also be hosting a Cocktails and Canapés reception at a nearby upscale gastropub.

The company’s CEO, Mat Orrego, will be presenting at a session titled, ‘Using the Cloud in Travel’ designed to help organizations explore how to build cost-effective architecture in the cloud including the licensing and delivery models that can optimize savings. The interactive session, which begins at 10 AM on Thursday, February 23rd, will be moderated by Glenn Watson, Business Solutions Manager of the Advantage Focus Partnership. Other expert panelists include Brian Mebourne, Senior VP of Technology, Open Destinations and Alex Bainbridge, founder, and CEO, The Spontaneous Travel Company.

At the event, Cornerstone plans to showcase TravelOptix™ – a next-level analytics platform that allows TMCs to customize their own visualizations, data sources, and viewing device to uncover insights that help drive value internally and externally. The intuitive platform enables TMCs to optimize their business as well as regulate their policies and spend using rich dashboards, simple menus, and interactive analytics. Cornerstone will also be demonstrating its entire award-winning enterprise suite of business automation solutions that enhance travel from every touch point at booth #T81.

Said Mat Orrego, “TTE comes at a time when TMCs are thinking about how best to invest their resources to remain competitive and profitable. With the focus for 2017 likely to remain firmly on leveraging technology to optimize travel experiences and the bottom line, we are looking forward to sharing how our innovative solutions can help them drive customer engagement, productivity, and performance.”

To pre-book a demonstration with a Cornerstone expert contact ask@ciswired.com or call +1 812 330-4361 in USA/North America and +44 33 0808-0139 in UK/Europe.

For more details on the Cocktails and Canapés reception and to register, click here.

 

About Cornerstone Information Systems

Cornerstone™ Information Systems is a global technology and services provider that has a unique domain knowledge in the travel industry, from how travel is operationalized to how information is managed. With a foundation in automation, we design, build, and deliver technology for travel companies and corporate buyers. We help our partners manage their process and information, to drive better decision making. Cornerstone has a single focus on travel data from the management of the reservation to the creation and presentation of information. The result is higher quality customer service and more nimble operational responsiveness at a lower cost with fewer resources yielding higher profit. We are people-centric, service-focused, and technology driven.

Companies managing more than $25 billion in travel spend annually trust Cornerstone to help them proactively lower the costs of travel management and drive revenues through travel optimization. Founded in 1992, Cornerstone Information Systems is a privately held company headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana with customers in more than 50 countries. To learn more, visit ciswired.com 

Unless indicated otherwise, all trademarks and service marks herein are trademarks of Cornerstone Information Systems Inc. or an affiliate thereof.

 

 

Real-Time Strategies Chip Away at Travel Costs

Business tools with data visualizations have the ability to offer sweeping insights that can influence all aspects of operations, from marketing to client services and everything in between. Data tools like the TravelOptix™ platform offer real-time information for more-nimble and therefore more competitive strategies. If you’re wondering how important speed is when it comes to data, a McKinsey study shows that high-performing companies are five times more likely to have the tools to work with real-time data.[1]

The ability to monitor trends as they are happening gives TravelOptix users an edge in making cost-saving shifts. Travel managers can observe a change in traveler behaviors and immediately locate the pattern, study the details, and determine if cost-saving measures are possible. For instance, if flights between two company office locations increase in volume, travel managers can offer insight to employees on ideal days of the week to book this route or preferred travel times for the best fares.

Travel managers also understand trends in best practices for booking but require real-time data to ensure compliance with those best practices. With real-time tools on hand, managers can identify if travelers are suddenly booking an unusual amount of short-lead travel and can then take up the exploratory work necessary to ensure compliance or suggest alternatives. And, most importantly, this can happen as soon as a potential problem is spotted; therefore, avoiding future unnecessary expenditures.

In both cases, immediate cost-savings are the result of real-time business insight presented in a visual format that is simple to understand because it is tailored by and to the organization.

Travel and expense management can be of the most challenging operational costs to control, and is a significant budget item for many companies. Thinking holistically about how to increase the efficiency around travel operations is essential to overall business performance. While there are many ways to improve travel management, among the first and most productive is to stop using the unreliable, outdated data on which companies have been relying for so long (if you’re holding a spreadsheet right now, we’re giving you a friendly nod) and embrace real-time decision making.

TravelOptix provides you the flexibility to load data from virtually any data source including spreadsheets, databases, operational systems, ERP, and web sources. Additionally, TravelOptix gives you the control to cleanse, transform, and unify multiple disparate data sources without requiring external tools. Current Cornerstone customers will start with data being loaded from the iBank® and iQCX® platforms and can integrate other sources from there.

TravelOptix allows you to choose your own visualizations, data sources, and viewing device so you can tell the story you want, in the way that you choose. Pick your sources, then use the intuitive drag-and-drop visualization tools to discover insights that were previously hidden. Mobile integration and robust story telling tools allow you to present your findings anytime, anywhere so that you can delight customers and internal shareholders alike. Whether you are looking to improve internal efficiencies or drive greater value to your customers, TravelOptix gives you the tools you need to have a comprehensive picture of your data and real-time strategies to help reduce your costs.

To learn about our TravelOptix platform and how we can drive insights for your business, please contact your account manager or Rodrigo Cotelo.

 

[1] The Need to Lead in Data and Analytics. McKinsey. April 2016.

Where We’re Investing in 2017

As we finished 2016, we took time to look across our solutions and take stock of where we stood. Our goal is to make strong investments in our core platforms, adding new capabilities to enable you to make better business decisions, and listening to feedback from you, our customers and our partners.

2016: A Year Of Change

Last year was a year of swapping out and upgrading the old with the new at Cornerstone. We focused on making architectural changes to our iBank® software platform – changing the entire report production and distribution code base.  These efforts will allow you to create the reports and analyses that you need faster and with more flexibility. Requests that used to require engineering development can now be managed through configuration.

We also ensured our existing redundant and robust systems are ready for future growth. We increased the capacity of our server cluster and moved to all-flash memory solution. Our investment into the all-flash memory technology provides the foundation for next-generation business applications as well as bolstering support of real-time analytics. This new structure gives us eight times the input/output per second that we had previously as well as sub-millisecond latency.

We also released our TravelOptix™ software platform in 2016, as well as our new AutoPay™ product. TravelOptix provides you the flexibility to load data from virtually any data source, including spreadsheets, databases, operational systems, ERP, and web sources. Additionally, TravelOptix gives you the control to cleanse, transform, and unify multiple disparate data sources without requiring external tools. TravelOptix allows you to tell your own story on a responsive platform. The self-service data visualization enables you to answer your own questions on the fly, from any device, with data governance for your back office and reservation data built in.

AutoPay enables you to request virtual cards from within your desktop workflow, automates the generation of the virtual card numbers with the financial institution, provides that information back into the booking and passes enriched data to your back-office systems for 100% reconciliation. We partnered with two leading payment aggregators this year – eNett and Conferma. This ensures we can provide you full range of capabilities and options that best fit your individual needs.

2017: Where We Are Going

We remain committed to our mission in 2017. This year we plan to enhance our unique domain knowledge around travel data – from how travel is operationalized to how information is managed.

We remain committed to helping our customers manage their process and information, to drive better decision making. Our focus continues to be on travel data, from the management of the reservation to the creation and presentation of information.

As we enter 2017, we want to build on the progress we made in 2016 with three main areas of investment.

1) Investing in system infrastructure

We will focus on enhancing and upgrading our access to our partners, especially our GDS partners. This includes updating some of our APIs and web service calls, as well as capturing reservation data in new ways. Much of this work happens in the background – you will see the benefits in faster access to data, quicker processing times, and greater continuity of data.

We know that process times and system reliability are critically important for your business. We maintained our 99.99% uptime in 2016, and our goal is to continue provide that exceptional level of performance.

2) Expanding data capture capabilities

One of the most valuable capabilities of our TravelOptix platform is its ability to load and analyze data from any source. A critical area of focus for us in 2017 is to expand the data connections we have.

This includes building new partnerships to add data sources, and building custom links for our customers. We are evaluating the best methods of bringing data into our unified environment, so that you can view everything from reservation data to expense and human resources data in one place. This also benefits our Policy Compliance Manager™ product as well as AutoPay.

Expanding our data capture capabilities ensures that we can continue to uncover insights for your business, helping you make data-driven decisions.

3) Launching 4site™ platform

One of the areas we are most excited about is the market release of 4site. You may have seen glimpses of this Innovation Team project over the last year and a half. We have iterated our 4site platform a few times and the result is a data-driven platform designed to manage travelers before and during travel, anticipating disruptions before they happen.

We are developing 4site to use predictive intelligence to calculate the most likely scenario at any given moment, allowing the traveler, corporate travel manager, and travel management company to respond in real time.

We think that 4site will be one of the most exciting set of capabilities we bring to market in 2017.

 

Questions? Feel free to contact your Cornerstone account manager or email ask@ciswired.com.

 

 

How Much Data Is Too Much Data?

“Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway.”

– Geoffrey Moore, author and strategy consultant

While there is truth to Moore’s bold assertion about the modern risk of doing business without the benefit of big data, it is equally true that the data itself will not save you from traffic while standing in oncoming traffic. It doesn’t, by virtue of its existence, offer sight and hearing. Gary King, Harvard’s Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science notes that “big data is ‘a massively important development’ but… the data itself isn’t what’s most important. It’s the algorithm” (Harvard Gazette). At the simplest level, King’s assertion lends itself to the adage: It is what you do with it (the data) that matters.

Never before have so many not known what to do with the excess of information. Rarely does a topic elicit so many catastrophic metaphors: blizzards and avalanches of data, the data lake (a term for a large repository of information with the ability to handle infinite tasks simultaneously) has become the data flood. The data burms have collapsed, threatening to wash away those who don’t have a hold on it—or so it seems sometimes.

It is time to shift the conversation. Big data is just big data. It doesn’t signify anything nor predict calamity. What big data does represent is an opportunity: an opportunity for actionable insight, an opportunity to create value, an opportunity to effect relevant and profitable organizational change. The opportunity lies in which information is integrated, how it is visualized, and where actionable insight is extracted.

In travel circles, the big data conversation often involves demographics, behavioral information, and social or psychographic data—and the new aim of big data is in the personalization of the travel experience, from marketing to booking to the stay. Perhaps surprisingly, the same holds true for travel management companies. Leveraging big data to personalize service for your clients adds value, and in doing so, allows you to not only influence your clients’ bottom lines but also your own as you differentiate from your competition.

As EyeforTravel notes in a 2015 data recap, “Increasingly companies are recognizing [sic] that it’s not necessarily about ‘big’ data, but instead using all the ‘right’ available data streams to produce results in good time.” Where travel management companies must begin in the murky waters of big data is to isolate useful information. When reviewing annual travel spend, for instance, what matters are the areas of spend that are substantial, those that affect your client’s P&L at the end of the day. An individual room night does not matter unless you know that executives will be booking suites in New York on a recurring basis this fall. What matters more than the average of all first class and economy flights is the ability to look at flight class against organizational hierarchy alongside booking patterns (last-minute or advanced) across airlines and destinations. There are two levels of value: one is in the ability to correlate different data sets as in the aforementioned example; the other is in understanding trends, averages, and the top 10 and bottom 10 of any major category of travel (flights, hotels, ground transportation, business, leisure, and so forth).

However, this only truly matters if the information is then used to guide the corporate travel compliance standards, ideally creating substantial savings. For travel management companies, providing this level of actionable business intelligence takes your role as a third-party from useful to indispensable.

In 2014, Starwood began optimizing revenue based on big data by reviewing guest preferences, inventory, and property location (i.e., particular data streams) followed by creating highly tailored incentives (i.e. action). They reported to the Wall Street Journal a hefty increase in revenue between Q4 2013 and Q4 2014—from $128 million to $238 million and an increase of 4.4% in revenue per available room. This example is relevant for two reasons. First, it highlights the relatively recent adoption of actionable big data initiatives by some of the world’s most influential travel brands. Second, it demonstrates that the process of identifying critical data then leveraging it to achieve a specific goal can be extraordinarily effective not only by creating immediate revenue increases but also by generating long-term revenue through loyalty. While travel management companies are just beginning to harness the power of big data, it is clear that when managed well, the potential is vast.

So, to the question “How much data is too much data?” we reply “data is not about quantity but about the quality of the data streams toward a relevant and actionable goal.”

Cornerstone Information Systems Debuts New Travel Data Analytics and Visualization Solution, TravelOptix™ at Travel Technology Europe

 

traveloptix_logo

Elegant platform enables travel companies and corporations to connect, prepare, visualize, engage and optimize their business around actionable data

BLOOMINGTON, IN February 18, 2016, Cornerstone Information Systems (CIS), a leading provider of innovative technology solutions for travel companies, today announced the official launch of TravelOptix™, its new user-friendly data analytics platform that delivers actionable insights for travel management companies and corporate travel managers on any device.

The new technology was developed by CIS last year to support the increasingly multifaceted travel management process and analyze complex data with complete agility.  Now out of beta, several clients are successfully leveraging TravelOptix™ to optimize their business and regulate their travel spend. From easy data preparation to beautiful dashboards and interactive analytics, the solution combines the best of visual BI and analytics in one platform. The platform has the ability to drill down, and across, multi-dimensional data. The user-friendly solution uses simple menu selections to view trend lines and visualize actionable insights from disparate data sets to support better business decisions, cost savings and policy enforcement.

For agencies and corporations, TravelOptix™ offers a fully configurable, self-service platform that enables companies to create and design their own custom reports, highlighting information and insights critical to their own unique business. Components are plug-and-play, and companies can easily create their own presentations from directly within the platform.

“Data is the key to helping TMC’s and their clients understand how well their travel initiatives are producing and performing,” explains Mat Orrego, Cornerstone’s CEO. “The aggregation of travel specific information through visually rich data empowers travel companies and corporations to optimize their travel and drive continual improvement. TravelOptix™ delivers a single solution to explore virtually all your data from any angle and at any granularity to reach real insights, fast. Even with little or no prior experience in data crunching – any data, from any data source, is quickly accessible and actionable and available on any device.”

Cornerstone, recognized for developing intelligent automation technology and innovative solutions for travelers, companies, and their clients,  will be exhibiting at Travel Technology Europe 2016 in London, February 24-25th. Attendees are invited to visit booth T81 to meet with the CIS executive team, and view live demos of the CIS suite of products.

ABOUT CORNERSTONE INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Cornerstone Information Systems delivers innovative solutions for travel companies and their clients to maximize opportunities for higher performance, greater efficiency, and ultimately, higher profitability. Our unique core offerings provide clients and their respective travelers with data insights that enable them to make better business decisions and manage their trips more effectively to be more productive and cost conscious. Companies managing more than $25 billion in travel spend annually trust Cornerstone to help them proactively lower the costs of travel management and drive revenues through travel optimization. Founded in 1992, Cornerstone Information Systems is a privately held company headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana with customers in more than 50 countries. To learn more, visit ciswired.com

Unless indicated otherwise, all trademarks and service marks herein are trademarks of Cornerstone Information Systems Inc. or an affiliate thereof.

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If you would like more information about this topic, or to arrange an interview with the executive team at Cornerstone, please contact Lauren Wolters at lwolters@ciswired.com.

 

How Today’s TMCs Optimize Corporate Travel

The complexity of managing a travel program today requires a team approach. Gone are the days that a corporate travel manager can monitor everything from seat assignments to supplier negotiations and everything else in between. Corporate alliances with TMCs have continually grown based on their expertise, knowledge and guidance to optimize a company’s travel program effectively. According to The Global Business Travel Association, a properly managed program can see a 10-12% savings in overall costs to the enterprise. TMCs can build a successful and profitable business intelligence strategy based on four core principles; Foundation of service automation, subject matter experts, communication and most significantly, cost savings.

Foundation of Service and Automation

TMCs have cultivated solid relationships with technology providers who have developed the latest technical programs designed for travel. This has become imperative with the growth of mobile applications in travel.  The amount of time and money saved by working with a TMC who has already vetted out the appropriate players have produced proven systems to support business policies and procedures that drive value to the bottom line. Through their partnerships, TMCs bring to the corporate environment an infrastructure to support such elements in a travel program as:

  • Negotiating and optimizing supplier agreements
  • Managing trip disruption – Both the Traveler and TMC are usually aware of trip disruption at the same time, however solving the problem in stress- free, real-time actionable way is best suited for the use of technology that a TMC brings to the relationship
  • Implement policies and procedures – they help implement more than just develop
  • The ability to slice, dice, customize and proactively use the analysis of big data
  • Use of current technology including mobile apps

Subject Matter Experts

TMCs have extensive access to both human and technical resources. When it comes to travel, expecting the unexpected has become the norm. Trips are in a constant state of change affected by various contributing factors. Weather, updates in bookings, cancellations, and delays are a common mantra for today’s road warriors. The ability to have access to 24/7 support that also serves up viable solutions is an advantage TMCs have in their role in travel management.

Throughout a traveler’s journey, a TMC knows the itinerary, can reach out in real-time and can often predict what may happen before it happens. This access and expertise can be used to administer practical solutions promptly. An individual Corporate Manager with hundreds of travelers on the road at any given time cannot possibly monitor and assist with each trip.

With smart phones and tablets in nearly every consumer’s hands today, travel company’s  need to think strategically about developing a highly effective omni-channel strategy. Mobile devices are ideal companions for travelers, allowing them to access information, services, and booking while en route and mobile technology has quickly become a standard resource for travel assistance. The new event-driven Cornerstone 4site™ provides real-time and contextual trip data directly to the corporate traveler’s mobile device. 4Site™ assists travelers with such challenges as trip disruption and provides direct real-time communication with their TMC. 

Communication

Make a plan and work the plan! Every company wants to be in control, but it can be challenging with today’s complex travel arrangements. Travelers also want control and sometimes feel they can do a better job by self-managing their trips. Communication is the key.

Compliance is one of the toughest parts of a travel program to handle, and the recent consensus is that the one size fits all policy does not work in today’s environment. What does work, be able to capture data booked outside of the expected order of business and use technology to examine the impact noncompliance.

A solution like TravelOptix™ solves that problem by incorporating travel statistics into a rich visualization that highlights actionable data that can be used by the TMC or company travel manager. Through data management, a TMC can eliminate productivity drain, invigorate travel confidence and oversee policy control while balancing flexibility that may be better for the traveler or the company.

Savings

Cost savings is the number one priority for most any company. TMCs have access through supplier agreements to the right tools to help make this a reality. Organizations using a TMC to obtain useful technology benefit from considerable savings from the start, with the ability to negotiate volume discounts.

A TMC can benchmark successful tactics and programs that reduce expenses through measurement across similar companies in their management. Simply put, the ability to see what works and what does not is clearer for a TMC than and individual company. Working in partnership with a TMC, solutions such as Cornerstone’s Fare Checker modules optimize trip costs by monitoring best available fares as they open up.

It takes a village to raise a child and a team to manage and optimize a corporate travel program.  The modern TMC can create a foundation of service, expertise, communication and savings that benefit both the traveler and the corporation.

CIS Showcases Travel Solutions at the ACTE Global Corporate Travel Conference in Paris

TravelOptix™ and 4site™ enable Travel Management Companies to be more proactive by delivering actionable data to their corporate clients and corporate travelers

Attendees at this year’s ACTE Global Corporate Travel Conference in Paris will be introduced to TravelOptix™ and 4site™, two new pioneering solutions for travel management companies, corporations, and travelers. Cornerstone Information Systems, a leader in the development of software applications for travel, announced today they will offer the first European preview of these products at their InterACTE booth from October 14-16, 2015.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives Conference is one of the best-attended and thought provoking travel events in France and Europe and brings together leaders to share ideas on innovation taking place in the corporate travel industry. Cornerstone will be will be on hand to meet with attendees and demonstrate the company’s multi-channel services and solutions.

“Each time we attend an ACTE conference, it provides us with a unique opportunity to share the exciting and innovative things we’re doing in the travel management technology space,” said Mat Orrego, CEO of Cornerstone. “We are setting out to solve two of the most significant problems in the travel industry; trip disruption and data consolidation, and are thrilled to showcase both TravelOptix™ and 4site™ to the European travel community during the event.”

TravelOptix™ provides dynamic and actionable visualizations of a companies’ travel data ensuring that they have broad visibility into their travel trends.  Bringing insights through analytics, TravelOptix assists TMC’s and their clients in making informed decisions based on a consumable business intelligence. TravelOptix enables information clarity on:

  • Savings metrics
  • Program gaps
  • Policy compliance
  • Budget enforcement
  • Future strategy

4site™ is an event driven mobile application that provides accurate, timely and relevant travel data directly to the corporate traveler’s mobile device. Registration is enabled through their current travel services provider, making access to the data and benefits of 4site™ a seamless, hassle-free process. Through traveler messaging and insightful business intelligence, 4site™ administers and delivers real-time data on:

  • Itineraries and travel options
  • Trip disruption – both detecting and managing
  • Re-accommodation services

Cornerstone provides travel management professionals and organizations with a holistic view of the swiftly changing travel market. It provides a seamless way to integrate and visualize disparate sets of data to enable more effective decision making. Cornerstone developed these solutions to enhance their ongoing commitment to providing better analytic visualization and actionable data for TMC’s and their clients.

Interested parties can visit the Cornerstone’s exhibit at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in Paris or schedule a demo by visiting www.ciswired.com.

Making Data Count – Metrics that Matter

Identifying a strong set of KPI’s is a critical component of any company’s travel policy. Key performance indicators are a measurement of how well the company’s travel program is operating in tandem with the overall strategic objectives of the business. Access to data has been growing each and every year, to the point of having too much data to evaluate and accurately analyze. Having this chaotic amount of data, knowing what data to focus on is of paramount importance.

Both TMCs and travel managers understand that leveraging good data is crucial for their work, but what data do they need? Are they combining the appropriate measurements for real performance management, building a full and actionable picture of what is going on in their travel program?

The introduction of our TravelOptix solution solves that problem by incorporating travel statistics into a rich visualization that highlights actionable data that can be used by the TMC or company travel manager. Let’s take a look at an example.

Measuring the total cost of a particular travel segment (air, car, hotel, and rail), as it relates to budget is traditionally one of the standards for a critical performance measurement. A total dollar expense is an easy metric to evaluate. However, most large companies have hundreds of thousands of trips in any given year that include a high volume of changes and cancelations. Until now, the capability to slice and dice this information in an easy and understandable way has been out of reach. Cornerstone’s launch of TravelOptix solves that problem.

Imagine taking one metric like airline ticket travel cost and be able to view that data by such categories as a class of service, regions, city pairs or advance purchases. Also, TravelOptix will integrate any external data and incorporate it into the existing information to maximize overall relevant visibility of the data the user wants to see and understand.

Now the data starts to take shape, especially when it is leveraged to paint a more accurate picture of a company’s performance. This is a paradigm shift in the way we look at identifying KPIs.

Imagine analyzing such new performance indicators as the effect of advance purchase, not just compared to budget but compared to regions or individual travelers. This changes the question from looking at total spend to; is buying flights in advance always the smartest move? How many were canceled or paid a high change fee? What was the leakage created by making the purchase ahead of time? Is this pattern indicative of particular city pairs?

The questions are endless, and finally there is a solution to locating the answers right at your fingertips. The ability to interrupt data quickly and efficiently shifts the focus from looking for the answer to displaying the solution!

Travel Managers have claimed that analyzing data is the most time-consuming part of their job, and many have said they do not possess the necessary skills. TravelOptix solves both of those problems. Actionable Intelligence translates into cost savings, better travel management and redefines the definition of KPIs!

Note: I will be at the ACTE Conference in Paris October 14-16, please stop by the booth for a demo or contact Cornerstone at www.ciswired.com to find out more about TravelOptix 

 

Cornerstone Information Systems Will Unveil 4site™ and TravelOptix™ at GBTA – Innovation that Helps Solve Industry’s Biggest Challenges

Attendees at this year’s GBTA Convention in Orlando will be introduced to Cornerstone’s 4site™ and TravelOptix™, two new game-changing solutions for travel management companies, corporations, and travelers. Cornerstone, a leading developer of software applications for the travel industry, is a featured exhibitor at the event and will be offering a special preview of the cutting-edge advancements at their booth #827.

The new event-driven app 4site™ provides real-time and contextual trip data directly to the corporate traveler’s mobile device. Registration is enabled through their current agency and travel services provider, making traveler access to the benefits of the 4site mobile app a seamless, hassle-free process. Through traveler messaging and insightful business intelligence, 4site™ administers real-time information including:

  • Itineraries and travel options
  • Trip disruption – both detecting and managing
  • Re-accommodation and agency services

By delivering insights through analytics, TravelOptix™ assists enterprises and their agencies in making informed decisions based on consumable business intelligence. Distributed through designated TMC’s, the solution provides relevant, dynamic and actionable visualizations of an organization’s travel data – and much more. TravelOptix™ enables insights on:

  • Predefined and DYO (Design Your Own) Analytics
  • Incorporate your own Data Sources (e.g. credit card, expense, and HR)
  • Publish Analytics and Story Telling to Stakeholders
  • KPI Monitoring and Trending

“We are setting out to solve two of the most significant problems in the travel industry; trip information, travel disruption and data consolidation,” stated Mat Orrego, CEO of Cornerstone. “We are setting out to solve these challenges with solutions that scale and are thrilled to reveal both 4site™ and TravelOptix™ at the GBTA Convention.”

GBTA is the largest annual gathering of business travel and meetings managers, meeting planners, procurement professionals and suppliers in the world with nearly 7,000 attendees participating in education, professional development, and networking opportunities. Cornerstone designed these new solutions to deliver better analytic visualization and actionable data for their clients.

Interested parties can schedule an appointment at the Global Business Travel Conference (GBTA) in Orlando, July 25-29, 2015 by visit https://www.ciswired.com or can stop by booth #827 to see Cornerstone’s newest innovations.