Travelport and IBM Launch AI Travel Platform
Travelport and its strategic technology partner IBM, introduced IBM Travel Manager, an industry-first AI platform designed to help businesses manage corporate travel spend. The platform uses IBM Watson capabilities to intelligently track, manage, predict and analyze travel costs in one place to fundamentally change how companies manage and optimize their travel programs.
With annual global business travel spend estimated to reach a record $1.2 trillion this year, corporate travel managers continue to look for new ways to reduce costs. Currently for businesses to get a full picture of travel patterns a travel manager might have to sift through data silos from travel agencies, cards, expense systems and suppliers for end-to-end visibility of spend and compliance across all travel subcategories but this is usually undertaken in a historical view rather than in real time.
The new platform features advanced AI, and provides cognitive computing, predictive data analytics using “what-if” type scenarios, and integrated travel and expense data to help travel management teams, procurement category managers, business units, finance and human resource departments optimize their travel program, control spend and enhance the end-traveler experience. IBM Travel Manager gives users complete, unified access to previous siloed information, which, when combined with travel data from the Travelport global distribution system (GDS), is then used to create real-time predictive analytics recommending how adjustments in travel booking behavior patterns can positively impact a company’s travel budget.
IBM Travel Manager features an interactive and intuitive dashboard that offers end-to-end visibility of travel spending, the ability to create alerts and notifications, predictive and pre-defined spending trend analysis, and natural language understanding to analyze text and uncover insights from structured and unstructured data. The product is expected to be commercially available to customers, through both IBM and Travelport.