iRiS, Multicom, ResponseTap, FCm, HRG, Portman Travel, KDS, Conferma and Concur are mentioned in our special round-up of news and briefs you may have missed from the Travel Technology and Business Travel Shows last week.
iRiS has unveiled its Lobby application enabling guests to view hotel information via a kiosk. The same app is also available via tablets from hotel rooms and it integrates with all a hotel's systems enabling guests to order room service or access information while managers can access productivity data. The company, which specialises in guest services apps, also plans to release a delegate app for the meetings industry and a spa app. All the services are managed from cloud-based iRiS Manager which oversees content, languages and reporting.
Multicom has extended its range of products to include a payment processing system called MultiCommerce. The service aims to facilitate the customer and supplier payment process by using individual virtual cards for transactions. Multicom is working with a number of card providers so that it can support a range of commercial options with all cards 3-D secure. MultiCommerce is also integrated into the company's FindandBook reservation system. Multicom says it has now also gone live with a first customer for its Omnicache fast search service. Managing director John Howell says the technology is currently producing results in under two seconds:
"If travel is going to get to the same position as everyone else with sub-zero search results - Google is already doing it - we need intelligent caching systems and that's what we have developed. It's quite complicated to do and there are lots of different data sets, varying yields and prices management tools involved to get a cache that's fast and accurate. We have a proof of concept system that does it in under a second but there is still some work to be done on it."
ResponseTap (formerly AdInsight), the web analytics and call tracking firm, has unveiled rTap Performance to track visitors on a website for their entire journey including how well they convert offline on the phone. The system highlights which channels, campaigns, advertisement and search phrases generate call, where customers came from and what pages they looked at before, during and after the call. The technology works by putting a code on each webpage while each visitor is given a unique phone number.
FCm Travel Solutions has launched FCm Mobile via a partnership with mobile specialist Mantic Point. The application enables travellers to access itinearies, receive flight status notifications and check-in for flights. The service also provides information including airport guides, currency conversion and weather forecasts. The service can integrate with external databases and global distribution systems and provides multi-language capability. The plan is to launch the app across most major regions once final testing has been completed. It is also being integrated with the FCm portal so travellers can use the same login and in time access the same information.
HRG has enhanced its online booking tool to enable access from additional international markets and offer content from multiple global distribution systems. New features include open-jaw booking and unused ticket re-use targeting business travellers in diverse international markets. HRG Online will also soon offer multi-destination booking. The travel management company believes its technology can take advantage of the trend towards global and international programmes.
Travel and expense tech specialist KDS is offering a virtual payment platform to its customers following a partnership with payment reconciliation firm Conferma. The deal aims to provide travellers with greater payment flexibility but with better security and management control in terms of policy compliance. By working with existing banking providers Conferma will create a virtual card to settle travel bills as and when needed. Conferma then provides a matching process to the booking and invoicing data.
Portman Travel has unveiled a new website designed to make access to information quicker and easier. Traveller support information is also provided via real-time alerts from the company's Twitter feed as well as from Portman Travel INsite which aggregates useful links, guides and advice for travellers. A new navigation tool has also been added enabling users to browse the travel management company's various services.
A YouGov survey of 1,200 works commissioned by Concur shows 41% still rely on manual paper processes, 26% use a spreadsheet and 27% use an automated system. The study also shows more than one in 10 exaggerated expense claims in the past year. Of those that admitted exaggerating claims, more than two-thirds say the reason was to make up for 'times when I forgot'. Almost a third blamed the decision on money being tight. Only 7% say they have had a claim queried or rejected for being out of policy.