Amadeus and Concur, vendors of competing corporate self-booking tools, entered into a global strategic partnership which finds Amadeus lending a third-party -- in this case, a rival turned ally -- some of Amadeus' close-to-the vest distribution technology for the first time.
The basics of the deal are this:
1) Amadeus eTravel Management, a corporate self-booking tool, integrates its travel bookings into Concur Expense.
2) Amadeus integrates some of its heretofore Amadeus-only distribution technologies, including low-fare search tool Master Pricer and Ticket Changer, into Concur's corporate self-booking tool, Cliqbook Travel.
It's a marriage defined by geography and product strength.
Stewart Alvarez, vice president of strategic planning and business development at Amadeus, says the companies' respective strengths are complementary: Concur is strong in travel in North America and in expense globally, while Amadeus flexes its travel muscles in Europe and Asia.
Amadeus eTravel Management doesn't have a home-grown expense solution, and previously integrated those of several other vendors.
So, the partnership is a land-grab move for both companies and a way to extend their respective footprints.
Alvarez says the reason Amadeus opted to make Master Pricer and Ticket Changer available for the first time to a third-party, Concur, is because of the strategic nature of the new global partnership.
So, what will the absorption of Amadeus distribution technology by Cliqbook mean for corporate travelers?
Mike Hilton, a co-founder of Concur and its executive vice president of worldwide marketing, answers that Cliqbook will become more robust, with improved pricing results and ticket-change functionality.
Both companies say that the mash-up of the two companies' corporate-travel solutions will give customers more choice in end-to-end travel and expense solutions.
Both companies were tight-lipped about terms of the agreement other than to say its duration is "several years."