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NDC for corporations: Key takeaways from our latest Travel Tech Talk webinar

Arlene Coyle

Senior Vice President Commercial for Corporations, Travel Channels, Amadeus

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Recently, we held a webinar on the topic of NDC (New Distribution Capability) for our corporate customers. It was great to share my views on the topic. I was particularly happy to see all your questions which confirms the interest in the topic and the need for more information. 

If you did not have a chance to join us, keep reading and find out the key takeaways on how NDC will change the game of business travel for corporations:

1) Let’s remember that NDC is not a solution in itself. 

NDC is a messaging protocol, part of the journey that the entire travel technology industry (airlines and travel sellers) is on, towards greater digitalization.

We believe that NDC has the potential to change how travel is bought and sold in the future. NDC will allow airlines to act as true retailers ensuring that booking feels like a shopping experience for travelers – where one gets to choose, based on what is relevant, within policy and negotiated for them at any point. 

We also believe in the advantages NDC could bring for corporations and their travelers. For business travelers, NDC could offer more personalized, richer, and more visual content. For corporations, it could present the possibility to define more granular corporate travel policies, a clearer control of costs and a more seamless reimbursement process.

2) Is NDC here for corporations…. Or not yet?

We are getting there. NDC can unlock new value for travelers and corporations when the following elements are also in place:

  1. Truly new and exciting content: If we succeed in taking airline retailing to the next level with innovative and exciting content, satisfaction and loyalty will be the reward.
  2. Comparability and transparency: In the interest of optimized spend and policy compliance, business travelers need to be able to compare content, whether it is NDC-sourced or not. 
  3. Scalability and performance: It is important that NDC API’s will be able to support large amounts of transactions per second as the personalized nature of NDC means more transactions will need to be done in real time.
  4. Servicing: In corporate travel, a business traveler changes plans frequently. Sometimes these changes happen even in trip. Cancellations, changes, refunds – those all happen. We need to be able to support all of that in NDC
  5. The right economics for the right investment: For NDC to succeed, there have to be benefits for all parties involved. Only then will true adoption happen.

3) When is the right time for corporations to get NDC-ready?

Corporations should have a clear vision of what they want from NDC and discuss with providers how they will deliver on this promise. To get ready today, Corporations can already think about the type of content bundles that would work for their travelers. For example, lounge access negotiations for certain routes, Wi-Fi bundles, buying pre-assigned seats, extra carry-on luggage, fast-track or semi-flexible tickets.

It is important that all the departments within the corporation are on the same page. For example, getting the data from the accounting department to understand what kind of ancillaries are reimbursed separately, or consulting the HR on how a more granular policy can support the achievement of HR goals, is equally important.

4) Accessing NDC content today via cytric travel and expense

At Amadeus, we are committed to bringing NDC to corporations in a way that allows them to truly enjoy all the potential benefits this new messaging protocol can open up for them. To address the short term needs of certain corporations, we have already integrated NDC content via a third party aggregator.

Our priority however, is to enable corporations to access content via NDC connectivity through cytric via the Amadeus Travel Platform addressing these elements: 

  1. Maintaining the flows: ensuring NDC content is no different to any other content from a booking flow perspective in cytric.  
  2. Enabling comparability: we know that for the corporation, it is paramount to be able to compare offer across suppliers in order to comply with spend, policy and budget limitations, and these need to be presented in a transparent way
  3. Servicing: Corporate travelers expect the same servicing post-booking that they are used to today, so we are working to integrate NDC-sourced content with the travel agency processes.

To find out more about NDC, check out www.amadeus.com/ndc or register and watch the full recording of the webinar here.

To see our a prototype covering a basic, prime booking flow with a pilot corporation, airline and agency, check it out here.

In a nutshell, this technology can help us power smarter business travel, enabling the creation of truly unique and personalized trips for travelers worldwide. 


Tags

Business Travel, Travel Platform, NDC