Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk with Steven Bloom from SkyGate a Danish travel technology company. SkyGate has developed an agency POS platform called NewPort. The conversation and demonstration provided further evidence that the need for an enhanced point of sale platform for travel agents is a universal requirement throughout the global. For European travel agents, there has always been a requirement to deliver so called “backroom functionality” to the desktop due to the multi-source nature of European travel inventory and the need to drive invoices from the agent desktop. NewPort uses both cryptic formats and Web-based CRM techniques to deliver a platform that is easier to implement while significantly enhancing the call center reservation process. SkyGate has created a limited set of cryptic commands that are seamlessly integrated into an Amadeus booking window. This includes an innovative command which checks to see if two one-way fares are cheaper than a roundtrip fare. The NewPort off GDS profile system synchronizes with both the GDS profile as well as Self-booking tools such as iFAO’s Cytric. The POS system was designed with the corporate travel agent in mind with the goal of both simplifying the transaction and enhancing the CRM aspect of the call by allowing the agent to reference prior trip activity as part of the reservation conversation. This may sound somewhat basic, but due to nature of traditional GDS only POS systems rarely will a corporate agent use past history as a way to enhance the reservation process (e.g. “Mr. Jones I see that for your last trip to London you stayed at the Park Plaza Victoria, shall I confirm you at the same hotel for this trip?). It my belief that all travel agents both leisure and corporate need a more open, robust point of sale tool that not only incorporates GDS information but seamlessly blends Web content and CRM capabilities into the reservation flow. SkyGate’s NewPort product addresses this need in a practical and innovative way.