Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, has launched a new online community site to share prototypes and some of its latest innovations with the travel industry. The Sabre Innovation Hub, accessible on Sabre.com, highlights new and innovative prototypes and gives customers, developers and other travel industry stakeholders a forum to provide feedback on the concepts presented.
“Our investment in the Sabre Innovation Hub is driven by our commitment to create an open dialogue and transparent collaboration with customers, developers and other stakeholders,” said Ben Vinod, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at Sabre. “The Sabre Innovation Hub is a way for people to experience the next wave of travel technology concepts as they are happening and before they are even fully developed. Because it is an open community, we hope to give potential partners and customers greater insights into what Sabre is developing for the future.”
To make these new ideas available to the public in real-time, the Sabre Innovation Hub showcases some of the solutions Sabre is exploring to improve travel through advanced decision support and leveraging the latest technologies. It includes a survey on each interaction to gather visitor feedback. Sabre expects to add new concepts and prototypes to the Sabre Innovation Hub on a frequent basis.
The creation of this hub is part of an increased focus on providing insight into how technology is evolving in ways that helps the travel industry transform from today’s operations to tomorrow’s industry needs. Key areas of advancements include data and analytics, retailing capabilities, the importance of operating in a mobile world, and a focus on enhancing the traveler experience. The site currently features these exciting concepts, among others:
Preference Based Shopping – Shopping for air travel can be a daunting, time consuming task, and can be especially frustrating when you feel pressure to buy quickly because fares are going up in real time. Most travel websites return a long list of itineraries and leave it to travelers to select which one is best – considering departure and arrival time, layovers and connections, and fare. Live travel agents provide a more personalized shopping experience by considering these trade-offs and selecting an itinerary they feel is best for the traveler based on their knowledge of their preferences and past behavior.
Sabre’s new Preference Driven Air Shopping prototype provides a similar experience by using a trade-off algorithm that determines the best itinerary for the customer. This application uses intelligence from past shopping patterns and customer preferences to deliver a more refined, personalized set of search results. The traveler can then compare the itineraries and make new selections, and the application will yield new results that continue to grow in relevance over time.
Hotel Insta-Search – Shopping for a hotel can be tedious. Travelers must select a hotel property before they can see prices beyond the standard room rate. To address this problem, Sabre created a hotel shopping prototype that allows users to search both property amenities and room type all in an easy-to-read, searchable map. The application supports calendar shopping. While still conceptual, this application could allow travelers to zoom in and out of the map while automatically identifying properties that meet their pre-selected preferences such as specific neighborhood, proximity to a landmark, room rate and type, free wireless in rooms, free parking, free breakfast and more.
Strategic Fare Optimizer – Have you ever wondered how airlines come up with the different fares for different flights? Most airlines today have rules-based, tactical pricing tools to monitor airfares for changes and implement their responses – an approach that Sabre introduced with AirVision Fares Manager in the early 1990s. Now we are exploring a different approach to introduce proactive pricing for airlines. Our latest prototype, Strategic Fare Optimizer, is a new advanced decision support tool that helps airlines evaluate fare structures in markets based on stated goals and a range of scenarios. The end result is a pricing solution that is more in tune with the changing marketplace as well as consumer buying patterns.
Registered visitors can interact with these concepts and provide feedback on their usefulness. Like open-source developing, this type of open-feedback relationship encourages creativity and efficiency that benefits both Sabre and its customers.