Travel Technology for Dummies: What Is Direct vs. Indirect Distribution?

Travel topics explained in a simple way: Today we take a look at the difference between direct and indirect airline distribution. Also, we talk about the topic “GDS bypass vs. GDS passthrough”.

In many cases NDC is mistakenly used for direct distribution. NDC is a data standard. NDC is explained in details in the following Blogs: “What is NDC?”,The reality behind NDC” and “NDC – the next curtain”. Continue reading 

Travel Technology for Dummies: What Is Continuous Pricing?

If airlines only had one single price, in order to cover operating costs, the price needs to be high. Which would lead to that no one could actually fly. We explore the question of how continuous pricing – enabled by NDC – compares to static dynamic pricing.

Even if airlines only had a single price for each cabin (first, business and economy), the price per cabin would still be high. Continue reading 

Travel Technology for Dummies: What Is NDC?

Travel Topics explained in a simple way: Let’s talk about the data standard New Distribution Capability (NDC).

Dear Readers, during a tough year with a global pandemic which cost the travel industry according to IATA in excess of $118 billion, I was under the impression, no-one would be interested in educational stories about travel technology. Hopefully, we have better times ahead of us. Hence, I decided to continue my series with focus on necessary technology improvements such as NDC and ONE Order.

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The increased importance of Travel Risk Management

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is redefining business travel. One of the changes is the increased importance on Travel Risk Management. This is reflected in studies but also in the work of the International Standards Organization (ISO), which is currently working on a new ISO 31030 (Travel Risk Management – Guidance for Organization).

TMCs and risk management companies can be a great support for the organizations. PASS provides the booking data for preventive and active risk identification.

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Time to Production: DevSecOps – the deployment pipeline for secure software

Many companies today align their software development with the DevOps model. But saving time alone is not enough, security aspects must be included from the very beginning – keyword: DevSecOps.

The second article in my series “Time to Production” has shown the optimization potential that system operation and administration can achieve through close cooperation with development, QA and product managers as well as consistent use of tools. However, it is too short-sighted to use a deployment pipeline to make new code available to users in real time: the pipeline should also deliver a secure application in a secure and monitored system environment.

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Time to Production: DevOps – agility in systems operation

The DevOps model brings developers and administrators closer together and enables agile methods in both areas.

In the first article of my “Time to Production” series, I highlighted best practices for optimizing the time it takes for a new feature from a product owner’s request to the completion of development. With the completion of software development, however, the feature is not yet available to users in the production system. The idea of also speeding up the second part of the supply chain after a change has been handed over to the operator – without any compromise in availability, security or other quality features – is obvious. Here too, the application of agile principles is promising. DevOps – the composition of the terms development and operations – is a model and not a role. It is neither meant that developers take over the task of operators and administrators, nor vice versa. Content of the DevOps model is the interdepartmental cooperation between development, quality assurance and operation as well as the implementation of best practices in software development in the field of service management and system administration.

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Time to Production: How much agility is good for software development?

Time to Production: How much agility is good for software development?

Agile methods can help to increase the productivity and quality of processes as well as of the developed software. A consideration of the success criteria.

Productivity is an important key figure in software development. It determines which software volume an organization can create with a certain amount of effort while adhering to certain quality criteria. We have already published several articles about our experiences with its measurement and optimization. However, high productivity in software development alone does not say anything about how quickly a new feature of an application can be used in production by users – the so-called Time to Production. My new series of articles deals with this topic.

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Productive insight: Monitoring in software development

Productive Insight: Monitoring in Software Development

In software development, a selective measurement of productivity can be very deceptive. Valid statements require consideration over a longer period of time.

In one of my previous contributions, I described how the management model used at PASS for several years works. In brief: It is based on three key performance indicators (productivity, costs and quality) and the corresponding measurement methods. Continue reading 

Software Development: Every Error Is an Opportunity

Through the cyclical repetition of measurements, evaluations and optimizations a targeted improvement of productivity and quality can be achieved in software development. Thereby error analysis is an essential part of this process.

When processing an error, the focus is naturally on correcting it in order to eliminate the user’s restrictions on the use of the system. In many cases, agreed response or troubleshooting times require a quick focus on a solution, even if it is only a workaround solution that does not prevent the error from occurring in the long term. Continue reading 

Next Generation Online Booking Tools for Business Travel

Many times I am asked: “What are the characteristics of a good, flexible, modern Online Booking Tool (OBT) for travel?” Some of the existing ones carry a lot of baggage, which makes them less flexible. They are and in constant competition with rapidly changing consumer applications. But those ‘legacy’ OBTs provide stability, even though they may not look nice. Manufacturers try to facelift or re-develop them, but I ask the question: Does a business travel online booking tool really need to be fancy and compete with all the consumer apps out there? Continue reading 

Productive software development requires a management model

Productive Software Development Requires a Management Model

How can productivity and quality in software development be managed effectively and sustainably controlled? A KPI-based management model as response.

In my last articleThree levers for higher productivity in software development, I used empirical values to show how industrial methods, such as standardization and automation, affect productivity. Thus, software development by industrial means does not aim at mass production of similar products; on the contrary, it enables a high degree of individualization by a small-scale standardization of business-related and technical components. Continue reading 

NDC the next curtain: NDC will come, the GDS monopoly (or oligopoly) will stay

In October 2017, I wrote a blog about the technical and commercial challenges of NDC. The title was “The reality behind NDC: Why NDC won’t break down the GDS oligopoly – yet”; A year later, I guess one can say for sure that the last word “yet” of the title can be erased. The New Distribution Capability – or in short NDC – will come that’s for sure, but primarily through the GDSs! Continue reading 

Three levers for higher productivity in software development

Three Levers for Higher Productivity in Software Development

Costs down – quality up: productivity in software development is a triad of development standards, automation and reuse.

In my article “Individual Standard: Mass Customization in Software Development” I pointed out how optimization potentials can be exploited by reusing fine-granular business and technical components. Here, the development of a travel management system served as an example with a total of 2,286 man days saved. Considering this impressive figure, the question arises: To what extent can the productivity in the development of individual systems be increased?

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The reality behind NDC: Why NDC won't break down the GDS oligopoly – yet

The reality behind NDC: Why NDC won’t break down the GDS oligopoly – yet

It sounds so easy to use NDC, but the reality is: Not too many bookings are being made. Why?

Airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways, Iberia and American have announced direct connect initiatives via NDC. They either introduced charges to book through a GDS or will be offering additional capabilities if booked directly through their NDC interface. When it comes to costs (or certain fares not being available in preferred channels) it affects everybody. It sounds so easy to use NDC, but the reality is: Not too many bookings are being made – especially for business travel. Why is that? Continue reading 

New book: Increasing Productivity of Software Development

Increasing Productivity of Software Development – Part 2

Developed from practice to practice: Today I present the second book of my series “Increasing Productivity of Software Development”. Topics are the application, evaluation and optimization of the KPIs productivity, costs and quality.

While the first book figured out experiences with different measuring methods, my second book entitled “Management Model, Cost Estimation and KPI Improvement” describes a management model based on key performance indicators. Continue reading 

What is the Difference Between Fares, Rates and Tariffs?

Travel Technology for Dummies: What Is the Difference Between Fares, Rates and Tariffs?

Travel topics explained in a simple way: Today let us understand the difference between fares, rates and tariffs.

As a definition, a fare is usually referenced to in air travel while rates are used with hotels. According to ATPCO (Airline Tariff Publishing Company), a fare is not only the amount a passenger pays, it also contains the conditions for travel at this amount – that are the rules and/or restrictions that must be satisfied in order to qualify for a specific fare. Continue reading 

Increasing Productivity of Software Development – a book presentation

Increasing Productivity of Software Development – a Book Launch

Complex requirements, ever shorter development periods and increasing cost pressure – productivity is an issue of increasing importance in software development. This is the starting point for my book project “Productivity and Performance Measurement – Measurability and Methods”.

As Head of the Competence Center Project Governance, I am responsible for the process engineering for software development at PASS. For several years we have been using key performance indicators as a major information source of our IT management – in more than ten different application environments with more than 500 customers and approx. 250,000 users. In some areas our regularly measured KPIs show significantly higher delivery productivity. Continue reading 


The Difference Between CRS and GDS in the Travel Industry

Earlier I talked about the structure of the travel industry. We saw how the industry can be divided into five parts: Suppliers, inventory management, distribution, sales and market.

Today I would like to just focus on the distribution and the inventory management and therefore on the differences between CRS (central reservation systems) and GDS (global distribution systems).

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Individual Standard: Mass Customization in Software Development

Individual Standard: Mass Customization in Software Development

Industrialization vs. individualization = mass vs. individual production – an equation which has largely lost its validity today. In the industrial sector as well as in software development the future belongs to customized mass production (mass customization).

For a long time, mass production allowed an optimum utilization of operating assets and thus higher quantities, shorter delivery times and lower product prices than individual production which is rather characterized by more attractive and usable products. Continue reading