I recently had an opportunity to participate on a panel with three other travel industry executives at The Beat Live in Washington D.C. The panel topic was “We Want Mobile And We Want It Yesterday.”
Participating on this panel caused me to reflect upon how mobile travel services have evolved quickly over the past few years, and how Christopherson Business Travel has participated in the overall digital revolution, which essentially started about 15 short years ago.
As the Internet, smart phones, and tablets have evolved, we asked ourselves these questions over time:
- Should we build a website for people to learn about us and contact us?
- Should we offer an online booking tool so our clients can book their own travel with us?
- Should we enhance our website to enable our clients to login and do business with us?
- Should we offer a mobile app to our travelers so they can access their travel plans and alert them about flight delays, gate changes and more?
- Should we expand our software development team to build a comprehensive proprietary travel management platform?
- Should we build our own iOS and Android mobile apps so our travel managers can do their job remotely?
- Should we make our entire technology platform “mobile responsive” so our clients can interact with us digitally anywhere, anytime, using any device?
Our answer was “yes” to each of these questions as we evolved and adapted to the digital revolution.
We have delivered mobile solutions with a combination of buying, building, and partnering, for example:
- We bought the Concur Mobile App. We offer this booking app and Concur’s related expense app to our clients.
- We built AirPortal 360 Mobile™. This mobile app was built specifically for the Travel Manager.
- We partnered with TripIt. This app provides our travelers with a mobile app that gives them access to their itineraries. We were the first TMC to partner with TripIt in 2010.
AirPortal 360 Mobile delivers all the essential tools travel managers need to maintain their duty of care responsibilities, keep track of travelers and itineraries, approve travel, access and manage traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more—anywhere, anytime.
Mobile access to your travel management program is an essential part of the relationship you have with your travel management company.