Wednesday 7 February 2018

GUEST INTERVIEW: Technology should be top of your list when choosing a TMC

For today's post we have interviewed Francesco Deluca, Director, Sales and Client Services EMEA, Omega about technology and TMCs. Omega is the official TMC of Business Travel Show's hosted buyer programme. Don't forget to register for your free pass at
After price, technology is the second most important reason why organisations choose a TMC. Why is this?
In my experience price is not always the most important reason, particularly when an organisation is reviewing their travel contract after a disappointing experience. Companies with an effective procurement methodology tend to factor in TMC’S experience and integrity. Technology is certainly top of any organisation's wish list as, if well deployed, will reduce transaction fee costs and optimise user booking experience.
Has this changed over the years?
It certainly has. Organisations demand intuitive travel technology which internal stakeholders are comfortable using as part of their day to day job. High on-line adoption rates and the ability to deploy effective employee tracking technology have become critical key performance indicators while evaluating the success of a TMC travel programme.  
What can TMCs offer companies when it comes to technology - what added value can they offer through this technology?
Whether deploying proprietary or third-party technology, TMC’s act as impartial consultants assisting clients in choosing the best technology solution in line with specific needs and strategic goals.  TMC’s are subject matter experts whose knowledge of the intricacies of deploying fit for purpose travel solutions is key for the success of any programme. In these instances, the TMC’s own IT Implementation team provides unmeasurable added value to all stakeholders.
How is the technology TMCs offer changing?In the past 10 years TMC’s have been continuously investing in ensuring their technology is aligned with B2C consumer technology, yet providing organisations with control over internal policy and vendor management programmes. The phase of change and ‘evolution’ have dramatically increased in our market space over the past 18 months with game changers such NDC and artificial intelligence to mention a few. TMC’s have a duty to ensure all new developments and entries to the travel technology arena are positively influencing client’s travel management programmes.   
How will it continue to change over the next year or two?
With clients pro-actively demanding ways in which they can incorporate the ‘best and newest’ tech in their programmes it will continue to change very rapidly. Predictive data analytics & what if scenarios are already an integral part of our own management reporting kit. As an example, Omega World Travel is ready to launch Duty of Care products to assist travel managers accessing traveller location information via chatbot for smartphones and an Alexa-based voice chat. Such tools will go live once Amazon approves the Alexa functionality, which we expect to occur this month.
Why is data so important for corporates/buyers?
Data underpins corporate buyer’s procurement methodology when going to market. It allows them to engage effectively with TMC’s, who in turn will be able to scope and deliver a mutually rewarding travel management solution.
What can they do/should they do with it? At entry level, data in the form of travel spend and travellers’ behaviour are vitally important for corporate buyers, whether optimising preferred vendor programmes or scoping dedicated service configurations and IT infrastructure with TMC’s.
What are the benefits to collating and analysing data well?As an example, Omega World Travel’s proprietary management information tool, ‘Omegalytics’, increases productivity by providing Microsoft office integration within the tool.  Most importantly, it’s executive dashboard benefits its clients with the use of predictive technology enabling clients to intuitively benchmark, forecast and plan. 
How can TMCs help? TMC’s can help organisations navigate a fragmented and complex supply chain with its customer focused approach, best practise and expertise.

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