What is CBT
Corporate booking tool aka known as CBT is mainly created to facilitate a hasslefree business relationship between the travel house and its corporate clients. The corporate profile data can be efficiently created, based on divisions such as departments, designations, user roles, and accordingly internal travel guidelines and booking workflow can be managed. The system is able to provide various reports for corporate and supplier reconciliation.
There are numerous options out there in the digital ether, so it’s obvious to get lost searching for the right fit.
What are the CBTs available in the Market?
- Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense
Bridging travel booking with expense management Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense (AcTE) is Amadeus’s new online booking tool, launched in early 2016, working on Microsoft outlook plugin integration.
Efficient and generating transparent expense reports Concur is an online expense-based management service that consolidates and organizes travel-related expenses, also provides SAP integration which will reduce overhead for customers for consuming services from SAP.
Egencia is a mobile-based travel management system that is run by the customer data and funding from its parent company, Expedia. At backend it uses SOAP-based XML services for Booking.
GetThere, another product from Sabre Travel Network, is an online travel management system configured mainly to help companies and deal with multiple vendor agreements and complicated travel policies.
An on-demand mobile-based platform that connects travelers directly to a team of travel managers, Lola helps both business and leisure travelers to find things like hotels, flights, and everything in between.
HelloGbye is an online platform that uses artificial intelligence to have a travel bot along your side all throughout the booking process. You just have to create a profile, set your city of origin, and you’re all set.
Like GetThere, Sabre has launched one more tool ‘TripCase’. The moment a trip is booked, the flight, car and hotel reservation information is automatically added to a traveler’s TripCase account. The traveler does not have to do anything, other than login to its registered TripCase account, to see its latest trip information. Any additional plans can easily be added by forwarding confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or manual addition to account. After TripCase account creation accessing key travel documents and information is very easy.
CARLA is one more CBT (travel bot) available, which offers advice for planning your business trip. You can fire travel policy questions to it, such as if you’re allowed to fly in business class, and it will let you know right away because it’s “memorized” your company’s travel policy. It gives you advice on packing, advising do you need a business visa or types of adapters you should carry for international travel. While booking, Carla can give you excellent price-saving recommendations because it can combine flights with trains, for example. It helps you choose the nearest hotel to/from the airport or office and tells you the local weather of where you are traveling to.
Working of CBT
Let’s take a look at GetThere CBT tool, and understand its working.
GetThere after login looks like this
If you are going to the Airport or coming back from Airport, GetThere is wise enough to auto calculate pick up/drop of time and distance.
In the background, GetThere connect with Sabre GDS (using exposed REST API) to process the further things like fetching service provider who serves in this area with their rates
Based on provider selection, users can proceed with remaining things like providing user-specific details like name. mail id and phone number. This information can be fetched from the profile too.
Payment options like credit cards supported by providers/cash/account transfer etc.
Users can edit the existing booking details/choose different service providers or can choose different payment options. Deletion of itinerary can also be possible.
Targeting the right tool for your company
As you can imagine, the options for CBTs in the business travel world are plentiful and diverse. Picking the right tool for you or your company is an important decision and based on various company-specific factors including time, money, manpower, and flexibility. Specifically SMEs may find that CBTs are useful because they already provide some existing functions and infrastructure, which is critical especially with smaller companies or startups where the business travel process has not yet been fully established.
Whether your company uses mobile-based apps, AI travel assistants, or a fully digital booking service, it is important to have updates of the latest trends in CBTs and adjust your business travel solutions as your company grows. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as new developments occur.
Advantages of CBT
- CBT like GetThere is able to talk directly to GDS like Sabre, so it’s fast and secure, and option oriented.
- Center driven processes– Some of the available CBTs offer business travel planning, travel management, and support all under one roof. Services and information such as booking price, itinerary info, travel expenses, and emergency information (e.g., forecast weather delays) are all accessible in a single digital platform, making business trips a very smooth experience for the traveler.
- Saving Directly The booking autonomy of CBTs reduces workloads from travel agencies.
- Indirect savings. Early booking allows travelers to take advantage of lower fares/rates, while still following with company travel policy.
Compliance of Travel policy
CBTs always take care of increased travel policy compliance by making only policy-compliant options available to employees. Up to date compliance means increased savings because of in-policy booking with the company’s preferred rates.
Expense handling tools like Travog, DCSplus, ExpenseMate, OnFly will integration with CBT can perform a better job. Saving money is earning it, these tools at the backend connect with respective backend engines, to provide the best possible suggestions based on the traveler, company policy, preferences, and the past buying behavior. This will certainly make it time and money efficient for travelers to buy a trip.
Drawbacks of Corporate Booking Tools
Distributed processes– Couple of CBTs are not “all-inclusive” and won’t offer a number of services that corporate travelers need to use. To keep costs low and trips optimized is difficult now.
Installation costs: CBTs can have high initial implementation costs, depending on the specific CBT’s rates and the size of the business. However, the positive side is these rates can still be lower than those of many TMCs.
Start-up complexity: CBTs are usually compound to set up, requiring expert teams to install and manage the required tool(s). This can lead to an increase in HR costs for SMEs.
Here at Neova we possess the development and testing knowledge with expertise in travel domain for various GDS system integrations. We provide solutions for Automation for web portals, SOAP-based web services, and RestAPIs. We have been working on integrating CBT like GetThere and SABRE GDS. We can help you to establish an initial setup and make you Ninja from Novice.