Welcome to the fifth episode of Explore The Future of Corporate Travel, a video series that dives into the main challenges business travel consultants are facing today and how TMC technology can address them.
While there is little doubt about the ongoing recovery of corporate travel, the industry has become more dynamic and complex than ever. To stay relevant and grow, Travel Management Companies (TMCs) need to think differently, embrace change, and innovate with new solutions and strategies. Sabre’s Robbie Thomas, Senior Director of Product Strategy, and Sarah Sheppard, Senior Director of Product Management, explore the future of corporate travel with Andrew Clarke, Commercial Director of the Business Travel Association.
In this episode, the conversation goes deeper into Sabre’s partnership with Google and what the digital transformation at play means for Sabre and more importantly for our TMC customers.
Watch the video below to hear their conversation or read on for the highlights.
Andrew Clarke: What benefits is your long-term deal with Google delivering to Sabre and what ultimately does that mean to TMCs and business travelers?
Robbie Thomas: Sabre is on a multi-year journey to transform our technology and solutions, and that begins with re-architecting our infrastructure with the goal of becoming fully cloud native. Our 10-year partnership with Google is going to help accelerate this transformation and also includes innovation.
For the TMCs, I see a couple of primary benefits. The partnership creates greater security, reliability and scalability for our TMC customers as we modernize the IT infrastructure and are migrating products, systems and clients to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Secondly, we have an innovation framework in place with Google and that’s where I’m going to call it fun! With Sabre Labs and even myself in my strategy role, we spend a lot of time with our Google partners looking at next-generation capabilities and how we can better leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) and some of the tools that Google has to offer as well.
Probably the coolest proof point there is Sabre Travel AI™. We’re working on new agency services that our customers will begin to see such as dynamic pricing. We’re already exploring how to help agencies dynamically price and create their own offers using ML models.
Andrew Clarke: I just want to pick up something you said. You mentioned Sabre Labs. What is Sabre Labs and what role is it playing behind the scenes at Sabre?
Robbie Thomas: Sabre Labs is our travel and technology innovation lab. It’s got a great history. It’s been around since 1996 as the world’s first travel focused innovation lab. As a product incubator for Sabre, they’ve created many products and solutions available today, including TripCase, Location Locator, Sabre Web Services, Intellisell… It’s a long list. Over time, of course, how they work and what they work on has changed.
They currently focus on accelerating next-gen capabilities enabled with Sabre Travel AI™ and are working in partnership with Google for that. One more example of something that’s coming out of that is the experimentation engine. Leveraging ML and AI capabilities, our customers and we ourselves can try different configurations of our services, and measure performance against each of those and against a baseline, so we can much more rapidly get feedback, learn and improve.
Many thanks to Andrew Clarke and the Business Travel Association for this exciting conversation. The full video podcast can be viewed on BTA website.
If your TMC is looking to grow in these areas, contact us today so we can discuss how our solutions can best serve you. Learn how Sabre is creating new paths to profitability in corporate travel here.