Posted on 25 January 2009 by Norm Rose
I have been working in the travel industry since 1982. It never ceases to amaze me how in such a huge industry, the largest in the world, people are so interconnected. This really hit home recently while I was working in Kuwait.
During the reception after this year’s PhoCusWright in Hollywood, my friend and colleague Philip Wolf commented that I was the person he had known the longest at the conference with the exception of one individual. A few weeks later I was back in Kuwait assisting my client and interviewing a candidate for the CFO position. It turned out this candidate was on the board of PhoCusWright and was that other individual Philip mentioned. Talk about a small world.
Tomorrow evening I leave Kuwait for Amsterdam to attend the IFITT’s ENTER 09. I have not attended ENTER since 2002, but I do see some familiar names. When I first attended the ENTER 2002 back in Finland I felt both a feeling that I was with my peers and that I was somewhat a “fish out of water”. The conference is normally attended by academics and government tourism officials. The research from the PHD candidates is always fascinating and the discussions are on topics that are very close to my heart such as mobile travel technology and personalization. This is what makes me feel comfortable. What was a bit unerving back in 2002, was that I just did not know anyone at the conference and I was one of a handful of US attendees. With all the work I have done in Europe, Asia and recently the Middle East, I certainly feel more globally connected. I am looking to learning the latest in travel research and interacting with my peers in Amsterdam this week.
Posted on 15 October 2007 by Norm Rose
The BEAT recently covered my NBTA presentation on Web 2.0 and the release of my new study “Corporate Travel Technologies: Today and Tomorrow“. In the article Jay projects a somewhat skeptical view on whether social networking apps will ever appear in the corporate travel industry. I understand Jay’s skepticism. Throughout my 25 years in the corporate travel industry, I have seen many so-called revolutionary apps announced at trade shows, but never implemented. When it comes to social networking, this trend transcends any specific industry, and thus is a phenomenon that will impact all travel industry segments, even corporate travel! I was talking this morning with the CEO of a new European based social networking platform, Dopplr, that allows individuals to identify other people in their network who are traveling to the same destination. Dopplr’s focus is primarily on business travel. With recent PhoCusWright research that shows that 1/2 of all business trips include an extension for leisure activity, identifying other social networking contacts who are at the destination becomes important. Even from a pure business enterprise perspective, identifying other corporate employees who are at the same destination could have additional value for the traveler. Social Networking is here to stay. Still not convinced? Then perhaps it’s an age thing! PhoCusWright research also shows that people under 35 are much more familiar with social networking apps than those over 35. This generational gap will be most prominent when the current college age Facebook users enter the workforce.
Posted on 20 August 2007 by Norm Rose
Over the last 20 years I have been involved with a number projects involving point of sale UIs for call center agents. Going back to my days with United Airlines when Casto Travel was the first installation on the West Coast for the, at that time new Apollo Focalpoint UI, to recent projects with Alaska.org, Vegas.com and Vail Resorts, I have continued to be disappointed that call center travel technology still lags behind both online UIs and non-travel call center apps. Too often, common wisdom has pushed any call center development effort to the back burner in favor of direct consumer online efforts. The problem with this approach, is a lack of understanding of off-line’s role in support of complex online transactions. Another inhibiting factor is the traditional limitations of Web-based interfaces verses robust Windows-based desktop tools. Now that we’ve seen the formal introduction of AJAX or FLASH in the consumer online travel arena, let’s hope similar use of these Web 2.0 tools makes it way to the agent’s desktop.
Posted on 20 July 2007 by Norm Rose
I am pleased to announce that my most recent corporate travel study: Corporate Travel Technology: Today and Tomorrow is now available for a pre-published order with a discount of $100 (purchase price is normally $600, pre-publication price of $499). In addition if you are attending the NBTA show next week you can receive an additional $100 discount if you order the study by August 31, 2007. The study will be released in mid- late August 2007. This research is the result of intensive review of products and services offered in the corporate travel space. You can check out the table of contents here and purchase the study through the TTCI or PhoCusWright stores.
Here is a link to the flyer we are distributing at next week’s NBTA conference.