Business travel going mobile with new innovations
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Many executives yearn for technology in the business travel sector to match the pace of innovation in the recreational tourism market. While individuals heading out on vacation can book their flights, hotels and vehicle rentals through apps available on their smartphone, corporate travelers often do not have this luxury. However, according to Skift, a new software application aims to help business travelers get the most out of their trip by enabling them to reserve ground transportation on the go.
Planes, trains and automobiles
Many companies used travel management systems to reserve rooms in corporate suites, secure business-class airfare and rent cars. In addition, many service providers in the travel sector offer customers their own proprietary applications, but until now, a unified solution has been lacking. The news source reports that Rearden Commerce aims to change all that with the release of its new ground transportation reservation app aimed at users of its Saturn Reservations system.
After checking into their serviced apartments or corporate lodging, business travelers will be able to use the app to browse livery services from thousands of vendors using the app. Travel managers in corporate offices will be pleased to learn that in addition to providing executives with a comprehensive list of ground transportation service providers, the app also features spending tracking functionality and corporate travel policies for preferred suppliers.
The primary aim of the app is to reduce the multichannel communication necessary to secure suitable ground transportation for business travelers. Now, rather than multiple phone calls between travel managers, service providers and executives, users will be able to browse, book and track transportation solutions in one step.
While apps such as the one developed by Rearden are a step in the right direction, technology can be just as much of a hindrance as a blessing for business travelers. As technology becomes increasingly indispensable for executives on the road, the chance of problems arising becomes greater, according to the Chicago Business Journal.
"My iPhone died at the airport the other day and I realized I'm a prisoner," Vivian Marciano, a sales manager who travels more than 50,000 miles per year, told the news source. "I had to rely on the kindness of another business traveler. He loaned me his phone."
Technology problems are not limited to individual travelers. According to the news source, as airlines, hotels and other service providers become increasingly reliant on automated systems to process high numbers of travelers, there are more opportunities for things to go wrong.