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Tech Talk

Tech Talk


JANUARY 11, 1999

Applying some of the latest technology to the age-old problems of recruiting and data collection, two travel industry veterans have launched the TravelManagement.com Website.

President and CEO Charles Brossman and CFO Steven Falk co-founded the site to provide resources specific to the needs of travel industry professionals--including benchmarking data, job placement, sample RFPs and travel law resources. A search engine for travel-related content is coming soon.

As part of a strategic alliance with Headhunter.net, one of the Web's leading job placement sites, all travel industry jobs will be cross-posted, though TravelManagement.com will screen all applications for travel positions, Brossman said. The site is recruiting for travel managers, agents, agency executives and even travel technology companies.

A demo of the site's benchmarking database will be available this month, after which a pilot group will submit actual data that participating corporate travel managers deem relevant. Brossman hopes to have at least 40 companies participating in the pilot by February. Once it's operational, the site owners expect to charge for access to the database. Travel law resources and assistance are provided by the law offices of Alexander Anolik of San Francisco.

Trying to give travel managers and agencies immediate, accurate travel reports, Galileo International Inc. is tapping the expertise of Apex Solutions, a San Ramon, Calif.-based software firm that will soon change its name to QuixData Systems Inc. As part of a strategic sales and marketing agreement with Apex, Galileo and Apollo users will be able to instantly access travel management reports in electronic format. Currently, reports are available from 30 to 90 days after the reporting period ends and ad hoc reports usually take more than a week to run, Galileo executives said. Either the travel agency or corporation will install the Apex software suite onsite to run the reports, said Apex president Roger Hunt. Galileo executives will set the pricing for the software, but intend to follow Apex's typical pricing schedule, a spokesman said. The software can consolidate data from multiple, mass-marketed back-office accounting systems in use in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, Hunt said.

This is the third time in recent months that Galileo has turned to a third-party expert to provide value-added data to its clientele. Late last year, Galileo acquired Shepherd Systems, a provider of marketing information data to airlines, and invested in VIN.net, an expense reporting software and outsourcing firm, which bought its Travelmaster expense product in return. Galileo's deal with Apex is not an investment, but strictly a "value-added reseller," said Hunt, adding that the company plans to announce other such deals in coming months.

Internet Travel Network late last year began using Aqua Software Product's Aqua 2000 quality control software to detect fraud and duplicate tickets, and to automate the generation tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "Due to ITN's rapid growth, and a large increase in our customer base, we needed to find a way to enhance the speed of service, as well as to drive down the cost of our fulfillment operations," said ITN's CFO, Matt Ackerman. "The Aqua 2000 Automated Ticketing system promises to meet both needs and help us reduce the overall cost of transactions." For Aqua, the deal marks the first time a Web-based booking engine has tapped its expertise.

In its latest moves to give customers more options in lowering distribution costs, WizCom International Ltd. completed the interfaces between its Wizdom global distribution system gateway and the REZsolutions Inc. RezView central reservation system used by more than 7,700 hotels. The linkage gives "REZsolutions' hotel customers a choice in switching that can maximize their distribution channels at a lower cost per transaction," said WizCom president Flo Lugli.

A new Web-based version of Ballou Internet Services' NetSelect expense reporting offering now allows up to five expense account approvers, supports multiple accounting centers and allows users to more specifically define the scope of projects and project billing criteria, according to Gordon Frohloff, newly appointed vice president of U.S. sales and marketing.