Businesses within the travel industry need every advantage to compete in 2013. One of the latest trends in technology, cloud computing, can be just the ticket, provided that travel agencies and travel management companies know how to choose technology that best matches their needs. According to a recent webinar by PhoCusWright a small percentage of the travel industry is using the cloud today; however momentum is expected to increase in the next 12-18 months. UNIT4 Business Software, the North American subsidiary of UNIT4 (NYSE Euronext: UNIT4), the global enterprise software provider for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC)™, offers the following questions TMCs should ask to help travel businesses navigate the world of cloud computing.
- What is cloud computing? Since cloud computing means different things to different vendors, a good grounding in the basics is important. What’s the difference between a public cloud and a private one? What are the benefits of a hybrid approach? Software-as-a-Service or Platform-as-a-Service? Travel businesses should familiarize themselves with the various deployment options and service delivery methods of cloud computing and the types of applications that work best in the cloud. They can then use that frame of reference to build a short-list of cloud vendors that can address their specific needs. These definitions are becoming so prevalent that our partner, Sabre Travel Network has been discussing their history in their recent blog.
- How can cloud computing help travel businesses in the face of change? Cloud computing is not just a passing fad. It is already a proven technology, enabling users to optimize resources, reduce costs, increase speed and flexibility, and enhance business competitiveness in response to change. Cloud computing is just gathering steam in the travel management industry, and the two big questions for travel businesses are: a) How little or how much should they use it b) How does it help businesses be responsive to internal and external market shifts? The most flexible cloud solutions, such as Sabre® CentralCommand with Agresso, allow travel businesses not only to deploy solutions in the cloud or on-premise, but also to move apps back and forth without compromising functionality. This feature allows them the flexibility to change their configurations in response to internal changes and market opportunities as they arise.
- Why now? The cloud computing train is just leaving the station but there is still time to get aboard. Whether travel businesses are ready for a full-scale implementation or have a project or two they want to conduct, it is imperative to begin today so that they can experience first-hand the benefits of cloud computing. A recent PhoCusWright webinar hosted by UNIT4 Business Software contains useful information on cloud computing and its competitive advantages for travel businesses.
For more information on cloud computing and the travel industry, please download PhoCusWright’s whitepaper, Cloud Computing: A Mandate for Travel Companies. For information on UNIT4 Business Software and its solutions for the travel management industry, please visit our website.