Innovation breakthrough for SERKO(r) Online
18 October 2004
Innovation breakthrough for SERKO(r) Online
SERKO(r) Online cuts time and streamlines travel booking process with world first SERKO(r) Clone Booking(tm) and SERKO(r) Integrator
SERKO(r), developed by Interactive Technologies, has taken a leap ahead in travel management systems with Clone Booking(tm), a world first which promises substantially faster travel booking times for corporate managers and travel administrators.
Clone Booking(tm) follows hard on the heels of full production implementation of SERKO(r) Integrator, the first up and running system worldwide to allow self-booking across both GDS and web-based ticketing systems and seamless integration of charges into the back office. Web-based fares from Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Blue are already available via SERKO(r) Integrator.
"SERKO(r) Integrator allows booking across multiple channels and seamless integration into the back office, thus removing duplication of data entry and saving users time and money. Already a number of our clients are benefiting from the advantages SERKO(r) Integrator delivers," says Interactive Technologies technical director Darrin Grafton.
Clients already using SERKO(r) Integrator, include one major Australian corporate with well over 10,000 users. "This is a world first - a fully integrated Travel Management solution which has proven scalability for larger Corporate requirements," says Grafton.
Clone Booking(tm) is an innovation that allows corporate managers and travel administrators to cut the time to make a new booking down from as much as 30 minutes to just a few seconds, says Grafton.
"With Clone Booking(tm), repeats of regular trips, rescheduling of entire trips, multiple bookings - even of very large groups -across both web-fares and GDS fares, and covering air, hotel and car bookings, can all be accomplished in half a minute or less," he says.
Atlantic Pacific RADIUS (APR) CIO Andrew Barnard says that this innovation brings both time and usability benefits to the manager or travel administrator doing self-booking online.
In terms of time, Clone Booking(tm) allows for considerable savings because customers are not having to start each booking from scratch each time, says Barnard.
While the standard method for copying repeating travel arrangements is through a booking template, SERKO(r)'s Clone Booking(tm) concept takes this process to another level, he says. "Once customers start using SERKO(r)'s Clone Booking(tm) facility they'll find the benefits huge in terms of time savings."
In terms of ease of use, now the customer can directly make changes to travel arrangements right up to the point of ticketing (and beyond even that, for changes to car rental and hotels), says Barnard. "As well as this increased flexibility for the customer, the travel agent's workload is reduced because previously the customer would contact us - by fax, email or phone - and we had to make last-minute changes manually. Now, as long as it's within their corporate travel policy, we don't have to know about it."
"Another new feature in SERKO(r) Online that customers will find useful is the ability to add one-off contractors that they're booking on behalf of," says Barnard.
"Now, instead of having to set up an entire traveler profile form - which was a real bugbear - they can simply input a free-format name and contact details, while all procedures and policy rules are still followed. Adding free-format names is not unique, but ensuring that bookings are policy compliant and follow the correct approval process is exclusive to SERKO(r) Online"
Also the travel authorisation process has been streamlined so that, no matter whether the booking has come through online or by phone or fax, the appropriate customer manager can be alerted to authorise the travel with one click, via email.
"With shortcuts and benefits like this we can see that managers and administrators will want to use the system more, and with greater use of SERKO(r) Online they'll incur fewer transaction fees from us, so everybody wins."
Barnard says he's looked at other online booking systems - including offerings from the biggest players worldwide - and found that SERKO(r) is on par, and better in some areas, than the competition. "In Australasia SERKO(r) is very tailored to our market, and SERKO is much more affordable as well."
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The SERKO(r) suite of advanced booking and travel management solutions supports travel agents and corporate travel administrators. In less than five years SERKO(r) has shaken up the New Zealand travel industry to achieve 60% corporate market take-up. Major users include leading travel management companies such as Atlantic Pacific Radius, Synergi Travel, Signature Travel, Business World Travel and Cavalier Travel, in New Zealand and Australia.
Interactive Technologies continues to expand the SERKO(r) suite and its most recently released product, SERKO(r) Online, for the first time puts real-time online travel management in the hands of corporate travel administrators - while remaining fully integrated with SERKO(r) corporate, used by travel agents.
With the SERKO(r) suite already well received in the Australian and Asian markets Interactive Technologies is now set to launch SERKO(r) into new markets worldwide.
SERKO(r) was recently honoured with a Technology Commendation Award from Technology New Zealand and is the sole Australasian winner of the prestigious Microsoft US E-Commerce product for the Asia-Pacific region
About Atlantic Pacific RADIUS
APR is one of Australasia's largest travel management companies with offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Sydney. APR is focused on bringing value to a growing list of clients and is a leading provider of travel management services to global corporations operating in the Australasian region.
APR is part of the global Radius network, the world's third largest travel management company with combined annual sales of over $16 billion (USD). RADIUS comprises 85+ shareholder agencies in 70+ countries around the world with over 4,600 travel agency locations and is headquartered in the United States with regional offices servicing the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. Press releases are available at www.radiustravel.com.