2021 was a big year for NDC, from content launches to new capabilities. So how can we keep up the momentum in 2022?

In our December 2021 webinar–NDC is NOW–Rolando Philps, Senior Director of NDC Product Management, shared tips for how you and your organization can get NDC-ready.

1. Know your new need

The supplier market and demands from travelers have changed in the past 18 months. The “re-set” gives you a great opportunity to truly define your new need.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time looking at travelers’ behaviors, now is a great time to do some analysis. You may find patterns that can help you define priorities and traveler personas.

In addition to looking at historical data, survey travelers now to get a feel for their current attitudes and thoughts about getting back on the road.

Enrich the survey results with some in-depth conversations with a smaller group of travelers to understand “the whys” behind their responses.

How people work is changing. Spend some time reading up on “future of work” reports. Hybrid or dispersed workforces will create new needs.

Spend time understanding your business’ current priorities:

  • How are leaders thinking about budgets?
  • What is HR thinking in terms of duty of care responsibilities?
  • What is leadership’s current attitude toward corporate travel?

Ultimately, how will you balance traveler experience with budget considerations? Does sustainability factor into your priorities? What content is most relevant now? How might that change over the next 12-24 months?

This sort of research – understanding travelers and business context — will add clarity to your objectives and goals. It will help you understand your new need.

2. Put your data to work

As you’re looking inward to understand your new need, think about your data, too. Data is the fuel of retailing intelligence.

Think through permissions, practice and people.

  • Permissions: Make friends with your legal and compliance departments. What data can you share and not share?
  • Practice: What data do you collect today? How is it collected and when? In what format is it stored? Is it structured or unstructured? Is anyone analyzing it? Are there new types of data – both hard data and soft insights – that may be helpful in the future?
  • People: Who has expertise within your organization to help you answer data-related questions? Or will you need to look for external help to get answers?

3. Really question your partners

Be proactive in raising NDC as a topic when you’re meeting with different partners – be they airlines, agencies, online booking tools (OBTs) or aggregators, like Sabre.

Here are some topics to ask about:

  • What are their objectives regarding NDC and how does NDC fit into their larger strategies?
  • What is their NDC roadmap?
  • What markets and capabilities are they activating and when?
  • What data will be shared, and how does message size impact performance?
  • How are they influencing industry thinking? Have they engaged in the IATA NDC working groups?
  • What pilot programs are they participating in and with whom?
  • What are they doing to encourage adoption?
  • How will contracts and SLAs be impacted?

If you’re talking to an airline, ask them about:

  • What distinctive offers they plan to make available through NDC connections.
  • How do those offers differ from existing EDIFACT content?
  • How willing is an airline to create corporation-specific offers?
  • How will airlines show you that you’re getting great fares, because the benchmarks for measurement will change?
  • How will business reporting change?

If you’re sitting down with an OBT partner, ask them how they’re thinking about integrating corporate policies and NDC.

4. Supercharge negotiations

NDC puts the responsibility of offer creation on the airlines’ shoulders. The information you use to shop will influence the offer you get. This means that the dynamics of your negotiations will change.

As you engage with partners:

  1. Understand what offers and bundles are in the pipeline.
  2. Be ready to talk about some needs you have and see if there’s room for some tailored offers for your organization or the types of travelers you support.
  3. Discuss how you will monitor and measure the success of your relationship – a once-a-year RFP likely won’t cut it anymore. You need to be thinking about the structure of your quarterly business reviews and really use data and traveler sentiment to guide those conversations.
  4. Think beyond dollars and cents. What can suppliers do to support health & wellbeing, sustainability and accessibility and how can NDC bring products to life along these lines?

NDC continues to be an evolving topic. Even if someone doesn’t have complete answers, it’s important to indicate that you’re doing your homework; that the topic of NDC is important to you; and that you want to continue the conversation.

Lean on us. Sabre is well-placed to see the solutions as well as the challenges, so we can help to create alignment between partners.

NDC is a corporate priority for Sabre as an enabler of our vision to create a new marketplace for personalized travel. We continue to invest in NDC to bring more content and capabilities to market.

  • Today, over 3,000 PCCs are making NDC bookings through Sabre.
  • We are live in 47 markets and counting
  • Over 25 airlines are actively engaged with us about distributing their NDC content through the Sabre marketplace

However you want to connect with us—through Offer/Order APIs, Sabre Red 360, or GetThere– we’re ready to support your retailing goals.

Visit Sabre Central Marketplace to start using NDC today.