• 2016
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The role of technology

Technology, innovation and the modern day travel management company

Niall White, Group Strategy Director, Orbit World Travel

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said "innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower". I like this quote as a way to describe the importance of technology and innovation as a key part of the Orbit World Travel business. 

The difference with Orbit however is that as a business we are striving to create a culture of innovation leadership. Innovative ideas are encouraged from anywhere in the business, from our customers, and from our partnership with Amadeus. 

We are continuing to invest in smarter ways to help our clients get ahead. One of the Orbit Groups business values is ‘One step ahead. Think today for tomorrow. Think differently and create our future’. This thinking is something we really strive for as an Orbit group across NZ, as leaders rather than followers, and is in line with Amadeus and their own thinking in Managed Travel 3.0.

Part of the Orbit ownership model includes House of Travel – where we see the parallels of business travel and leisure travel heading down the same path of personalisation.

Some travellers – be it for leisure or business - will plan and book every detail of their trip well in advance where as others prefer a more relaxed experience leaving some aspects of the trip to be booked nearer the time of departure. 

In business travel we are seeing a growing trend of customers wanting to book point to point travel online, but engaging with a consultant for more complicated itineraries or more of an experience. Regardless of the travellers’ preference they want a unique and personal experience. Offering a one-sized-fits all solution for meeting business travel needs will not support this, and is certainly not the Orbit way. But how do we do this?

Orbit Travel App
There are many travel apps in the market however the reason we chose to develop one was driven around our desire to provide innovative meaningful solutions.  We couldn’t find an app that provided a personalised customer solution so we developed one. The Orbit Travel App is now one of our flagship innovative solutions we offer clients.

Fully secure (available in IOS and Android), the App is packed with rich and personalised functionality. When a booking is made, the app’s itinerary is automatically updated (everything from your taxi, through to flights, and accommodation) and includes check-in barcodes with Air New Zealand and online via Jetstar. One of the great enhancements recently added to the App is the ability to add your own events (not booked through Orbit) to your itinerary - business meetings, dinner, or a catch up with friends.

Online booking tool
For many of our clients as much as 80% of their domestic bookings are booked online.  Our online booking tool, AeTM (Amadeus e-Travel Management ) not only ensures bookings are made within travel policy but also satisfies traveller needs to book their travel when and where they like, allowing more flexibility. 

Innovation is part of our DNA
We are continually developing products, services, and partnerships to benefit our clients – it is part of our DNA - with Amadeus being an instrumental part of that to help shape Orbit’s technology strategy.

In addition to the App and our Online Booking tool there are a raft of other ways we provide solutions to make business travel as hassle free as it can be. From our unused ticket tracker, to our own Orbit developed consolidated invoicing system ORCA, to the reporting we offer, to our barcoded itineraries – the Orbit focus is on being one step ahead.

The Orbit and Amadeus partnership ensures we can deliver the smartest innovations and solutions, and we really value this partnership

We recognise the growing trends and have more value added features planned – what do you think we should be focused on for 2016?