How IT can improve security on business trips

How IT can Improve Security on Business Trips

The last few months made more and more aware of an important topic for travelers – the safety while traveling. IT can be of great support here.

I do not know about you, but when I am at the station and I suddenly hear the announcement “The owner of the suitcase on track 23 is asked to return to his luggage immediately”, my pulse shoots up involuntarily. This increased need for security is confirmed by the recently published Business Travel Report of the German Business Travel Association, VDR (Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V.) – and not only in the private context. Also on the company side this issue is getting more and more attention. Continue reading 

How German Start-ups care about Quality

Software Engineering by start-ups – chaos and bugs instead of structure and quality? This was the title of a conference by the German federal association for the ITC industry BITKOM in mid-April. Its purpose was an exchange between established ITC companies and start-ups.

In particular, the key questions were: how chaotic are the conditions under which start-ups actually develop software – and of which importance is quality management to them. The location was suited to address these issues: the Hasso-Plattner-Institute for software systems engineering (HPI) in Potsdam, which already has supported numerous start-ups in the IT business. Continue reading 

Safe Harbor 2.0: Relaunch of a Compromise

After Safe Harbor: A “Privacy Shield” shall protect the data of European citizens in the US.

In my last post I asked: “After Safe Harbor: Where is the legal certainty promised by the EC?“. Now the follow-up agreement for the regulation of transatlantic data transfers which has been expected for end of January at least is in sight. Yesterday the USA agreed at political level with the EC regarding a new framework with the promising name “EU-US Privacy Shield”. Continue reading 

After Safe Harbor: Where is the legal certainty promised by the EC?

The Safe Harbor vacuum: the legal certainty promised by the EC for end of January is still pending; thereby the future of transatlantic data transfers still remains unclear. Does the politics really leave the IT industry in the lurch?

In the European Community the handling of individual-related data is regulated by the Directive 95/46/EC, which is deemed as one of the safest data protection standards in the world. It prohibits the transfer of individual-related data from the EC to countries without a comparable level of protection. Continue reading 

PASS’ Online Booking Tool – featured on The Company Dime

A recent article in ‘The Company Dime’ highlights our company’s built-to-order Online Booking Tool (OBT) which was rolled out globally with a major financial institution in 2014, replacing Concur’s Cliqbook . We want to thank Jay Campbell for the feature which you can read in full length on our website: The Company Dime – PASS’ Online Booking Tool

Continue reading 

let-me-stop-you-right-there-lufthansa-defends-dcc-decision-against-vdr-criticism

Let Me Stop You Right There: Lufthansa Defends DCC Decision Against VDR Criticism

After the VDR criticized Lufthansa’s GDS fee in an open letter on the 9th of July, the company replied politely but firmly and explained why the DCC (Distribution Cost Charge) might be important for the future of the travel industry.

“German companies and their business travelers (…) are opposed to the sales strategy you have announced”, the VDR reproachfully started its letter to Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board.  “The introduction of your DCC involves a fundamental unilateral change to the system – those that fail to comply pay a high price, with a surcharge of 16 Euros per ticket.”  Continue reading 

Corporate-Travel-Gamification-Nonsense-Or-Genius

Corporate Travel Gamification: Nonsense or Genius?

The concept of Gamification is simple: Play by the rules of your company and you will be rewarded. But what’s behind this modern way of encouraging employees to comply with corporate travel policies?

If you had a look at my article about Expense Management, you should be aware of my position regarding travel policies. I hold the opinion that the best option for the company and the most efficient option for the traveler can be reached through clever policies paired with a good corporate booking toolContinue reading 

GDS-fee-is-Lufthansa-serious-or-just-negotiating

Is Lufthansa Serious Or Just Negotiating? Why a Few Direct Connect Bookings Will Save Millions

If you were following the travel news last week, you have probably already heard about the big Lufthansa news. Starting on the 1st of September, all airlines of the Lufthansa group are going to add a 16€ fee to every booking made via GDS.

The “Distribution Cost Charge” affects Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Airlines, but will not be added to tickets purchased through their own website, airline ticket counters or service centers. Continue reading 

oil-prices-experiencing-record-lows-why-flying-still-doesnt-get-cheaper

Oil Prices Experiencing Record Lows: Why Flying Still Doesn’t Get Cheaper

After my last article I’m starting to debate using cabs, but it was the easiest option on my corporate trip last week. When I sat down something else suddenly hit me: A big yellow fuel surcharge sign on the car’s window.

We are all aware of the fact that Kerosene hasn’t been this inexpensive in years. So why is it that we have to pay surcharges on cab rides and flying hasn’t gotten any cheaper, too? Continue reading 

will-uber-soon-deliver-amazon-packages

Will Uber Soon Deliver Amazon Packages – Replacing UPS?

I heard some interesting theories today which made me think. Will Uber eventually deliver Amazon packages? Uber definitely revolutionized ground transportation. Challenges were mastered easily and instead of fighting back, fines were paid leaving the competition win in court but not on the street.

Sounds familiar? Correct – Amazon and Uber share some common tactics. So why not join forces and let private people deliver packages to your home? Maybe deliveries with drones were a bit futuristic, but cut down delivery times to hours with private drivers seems pretty realistic. Do you think UPS is nervous? Continue reading 

Corporate Travel

How to Make the Most Out Of Corporate Travel

Did you know that for every dollar invested in corporate travel, companies can increase their revenue by an average of $9.50 and $2.90 in new profits? No wonder that Americans went on more than 452 million corporate trips in 2014, with almost 40% going to meetings and events.

Even though corporate travel is not about the employee’s pleasure and serves a greater purpose, there are still some easy ways to make the most out of your trip and even save your company some money. Continue reading 

ipos-and-fierce-competition-force-gdss-to-withdraw-from-the-battlefield-of-online-travel-booking-sales

IPOs and Fierce Competition Force GDSs to Withdraw From the Battlefield

The historical development of travel is based on human mobility. In the beginning this travel was done for practical reasons, such as the search for places with food and water and escaping from natural catastrophes, but it quickly grew to include travels for cultural reasons.

In the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks, excursions to particular events, such as the Olympic Games and all manner of competitions, was a routine ritual of the rich upper class. Continue reading 

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The Apple Watch: Between Revolution and Exaggerated Expectations

Even though the Apple Watch won’t be available until April 24, it is already being celebrated as a huge game changer. But what can wearables provide smartphones can’t? How can a simple watch revolutionize the way people travel?

When Apple announced the release date for the Apple watch, many people around the world were either joyfully gasping for breath or shaking their heads in disbelief. The competition is fierce, yet the consumers don’t seem to be completely ready for the concept of an all-round watch. Continue reading 

2010-vs-2015-is-6-the-magic-number-for-corporate-travel-growth

2010 vs. 2015: Is 6% The Magic Number For Corporate Travel Growth?

Last week we were talking about corporate travel expenses and how to manage them in the most effective way without spending thousands of dollars on pricey software. Since the corporate travel volume is constantly growing, it is time to have a closer look at some facts about U.S. travel spending in the past, as well as projections for 2015.

When I published my book about the developments in travel distribution back in 2010, I took a closer look at the U.S. travel market in one of the first chapters.
Continue reading 

why-expense-management-is-overrated

Having A Closer Look: Why Expense Management Is Overrated

About four months ago SAP announced its agreement to buy Concur for 8.3 Billion Dollars. Many industry professionals –including myself- were intensely debating about the reasons and consequences of this acquisition.

Since SAP already had its own expense management tool and Concur hasn’t made profit in years, the question we all had in mind was obvious: What were they thinking?! Continue reading 

the-day-uber-introduced-the-panic-button-in-india-and-annoyed-taxi-drivers-all-around-the-world

The Day Uber Introduced the Panic Button In India and Annoyed Taxi Drivers All Around the World

It almost seems like Uber’s risk management department read my previous article about the missing safety arrangements for travelers using the controversial transportation service.

That’s why I was more than surprised when I checked my Twitter timeline last week and saw the big news: Uber is launching two new security features, the “panic button” and the “safety net”, which allow riders to immediately call for help and inform up to five people in case of an emergency. Continue reading 

uber-why-a-drivers-license-and-4-doors-cant-guarantee-safety-for-leisure-and-corporate-travelers

Uber: Why a Driver’s License and 4 Doors Can’t Guarantee Safety for Travelers

“Do you take a cab sometimes?” I randomly asked one of my employees this morning. “Actually not”, she replied, slightly confused. “It is too expensive!”.

Interesting, I thought to myself, while I walked back into my office and tried to make a list in my head of all the things I do expect from a good transportation service. It should be safe, reliable and bring me from point A to point B for a reasonable price, that much was clear. Continue reading