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The Next Generation of OBTs

In June we advised that Orbit World Travel would be partnering with leading tech company, Serko Limited, to offer our clients their next generation online booking platform, Zeno.  In this article we talk about some of the key features of the platform, which Orbit will be implementing later this year.

It’s old news that technology has and will continue to rapidly and fundamentally change how we not only do business, but also how we go about our daily lives - and the travel management industry is no exception.  All large corporate travel management companies offer various technology solutions as part of their core services – with the most central being the Online Booking Tool (OBT).  The OBT helps organisations to book and manage their travel, apply company travel policy and monitor and control their travel spend. 

So, what’s going to change and what will be new with the next generation of Orbit’s OBT?

As we mention above, the key benefits for clients in using an OBT is to help control cost and manage compliance.  For cost control, the new Orbit OBT will streamline travel planning and ‘right to travel’ approval workflow.  This includes eliminating the need for email approvals which significantly reduces the travel related administration overhead and ensures every trip is in line with budget.  In terms of managing compliance, integrated approval workflows, intelligent shortlist options, and access to negotiated rates will encourage best rate buying and policy adherence. 

Of course, the user experience is the core focus of any new technology and considerable investment has been directed towards simplifying the user experience with the new OBT.  An intuitive interface will make it easier to use and eliminates the need for extensive user training – ensuring travel arrangers hit the ground running.  Making a booking will also become as simple as saying or typing “book my trip”.

Serko has achieved many of these enhancements by incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into the new OBT.  Machine learning is utilised to facilitate a more personalised traveller experience, remembering preferences and recommending tailored itineraries based on traveller’s previous selections. 

Artificial intelligence is deployed via chatbot technology– making it so much simpler to select travel, all within an organisation’s travel policy.  A global travel market place also brings together preferred suppliers across the complete travel experience, not just flights and hotels, making the OBT more comprehensive than ever.

While providing access to a state of the art booking tool, like Zeno, is an important aspect to Orbit’s service offering, it’s only a part of what we do for our clients.  Specialised advice from experienced consultants (particularly around more complex bookings), 24/7 customer support, expense management and reporting, and a comprehensive duty of care programme are also essential services for an organisation’s travel programme.  You can find out more about these services on our website.

If you would like to know more please contact your account manager or check out the introduction video for Zeno here.

Why Zeno by Serko?

Our mission was to find a solution that is simple to use and understand, works for our clients and in our markets, incorporates the latest innovations and can evolve alongside future technology developments.  We also wanted to work with a technology partner that can provide support that is second to none. Serko is one of New Zealand's most successful technology companies. Today, over 6,000 corporate businesses in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe trust Zeno to help them manage their corporate travel programs.