NBTA 2009 Summary By PASS Consulting

PASS Consulting Corporation successfully presented their Travel Technology Solutions for the fifth year at the 2009 NBTA Convention in San Diego.

With more than 400 exhibiting companies and over 5,600 corporate travel professionals attending, the NBTA Convention is the most recognized trade show in Business Travel.

Global industry leaders from many countries came together to discuss not only industry related subjects and trends but more importantly global issues such as the volatile economy and climate change and its impact on wealthy as well as 3rd world countries. Despite the global finance crisis and economic uncertainty, many experts had a positive outlook for the future, encouraging companies to be more optimistic: Captain Sullivan presented how lifelong training and the constant desire to learn and improve will pay back at some point of time. Dara Torres explained how she trained hard during her pregnancy and went on to become an Olympic medalist at the age of 41. Jay Leno impressed the audience with a performance packed with jokes. In a speech about humanity and help for the poor, Bill Clinton pointed out how the GDS will enable people to voluntarily spend one Dollar on each trip to help pay for affordable medicine in 3rd world countries.

“It was a great show for us – much better than we expected.” summarized Michael Strauss CEO and Head of Business Unit Travel “We feel that we are recognized as a serious part of the industry. Many people stopped by our booth and told us that they have heard of PASS being behind a lot of well known applications and wanted to understand what we really do. At first glance the word ‘Consulting’ might mislead many because although we do consulting as well in the travel industry, our focus is primarily on solutions.”

By impressively demonstrating its technological expertise in live product presentations of its newly launched VTO 2G Agent Desktop (Virtual Travel Organizer 2nd Generation), PASS captured consumer interest and was able to distinguish itself from the 400 participants at the trade show. Several companies were very interested and informed themselves of the advantages of the highly sophisticated booking framework.

“We have been out with an agent desktop solutions since 2003” Michael continuous “and although it might have been a little too early back then it has definitely paid off today: We realize that many are trying to copy us now and are building similar reputable systems – sometimes even on top of our backend technology XX/1. However from the feedback I received from people who have seen the other solutions, I’m quite confident that we are still far ahead.

With our experience over the years we have successfully overcome the restrictions of flexibility, usability and maintainability. Currently we are watching others run into the same troubles that we faced years ago. But not just on the technology side also on the business side we are the better option. So called ‘patent-pending’ features have been in our portfolio for years which shows me that we are one of the major innovators in the industry.”

Innovations by PASS

These innovations are made possible by the PASS Software Factory, a modular system, which facilitates fast and cost-effective development of Travel Technology applications, while guaranteeing highest quality standards at the same time. With the Software Factory, modules come “off the shelf” and have proven performance, dependability and scalability through deployment in many other applications and industries such as banking or insurance or even the ARC Corporation. The Software Factory with its model and service-oriented approach (MDA, SOA) enables any company to have travel technology products that are produced faster with greater ease at a lower cost.

In times of open source technology products emerging into the market, PASS could further consolidate its position within the competitive marketplace by absorbing its customer’s professional experience and their product requirements and implement those into their latest Travel Technology Solutions.

“I realize that a major point is that some of these competitive solutions might be for free. The obvious downside is that you are locked into something. Nothing in life is really for free. Nevertheless we decided to also publish a community edition of our successful existing VTO version which is used by over 20,000 agents in almost 60 countries. So stay tuned for further announcements. In the long run I believe there will be no way you can get around PASS if you want a great and flexible, customized and independent solution for your agent workforce – the obvious backbone of any TMC’s operation.

I can only suggest not to take chances in this regard. You may want to have a look on the leisure side: Who owns the Online Travel Agencies (OTA) that have taken over a significant share? With us you have the option to own source code and IP rights as well. We can demo our solution live today. In the end there is no doubt that independency will pay back multiple times because you are well prepared for future negotiations.”

Asked for his comments about NBTA increasing its efforts to go global, Michael responded “if you want to be successful you have to look beyond the horizon – otherwise America would have never been discovered. Thus NBTA has to become a global organization. As well agencies need to think beyond single GDS and cryptic commands – and they will – sooner or later! And we will be there!”

Image by arzawen

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