TRX, Inc. , an independent provider of transaction processing and data integration solutions to the global travel industry, hosted its Client Forum at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta in early October, bringing together travel industry players to discuss the industry's changing business processes and top-of-mind issues and trends.

Some of the industry's leading companies were in attendance and contributed to the discussion, including representatives from American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Delta Air Lines, Expedia, MasterCard International, Travel & Transport, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Nationwide Hospitality.

"From start to finish, the TRX Client Forum reinforced the dynamic nature and increasing complexity of the travel industry. Now it is clearer than ever that to succeed one needs control and command of their data, allowing them to drive value to their organization and its travelers," said Mark A. Williams, VP, Global Business Development, BCD Travel Consulting. Added Kelly S. Jackson, Director, Automation & On-Line Services, Travizon, Inc., "The event was a good balance of presentations on current industry events and trends as well as overviews of TRX's various travel technology solutions."

Discussions at the TRX Client Forum quickly focused on the complexities of data consolidation and reporting for corporate travel. Survey results and analysis identified corporate travel managers' top objectives as reducing and controlling travel costs, reporting comprehensive and timely data, and leveraging supplier contracts. Attendees from all sectors of the travel industry agreed that GDS deregulation and supplier-direct sales have increased inventory fragmentation as well as the difficulty of managing travel data sources.

The group examined the challenge of presenting aggregated data in a predictive and interpretive way. With a better global view of their data, corporate travel buyers are able to focus on travel analytics - what does the data show about policy compliance, supplier contract compliance, savings targets, and traveler behavior - and, ultimately, drive stronger policies, negotiate more effectively, play a more proactive role in increasing compliance, and better manage total travel costs.

"Corporate travel buyers are increasingly frustrated with incomplete or inaccurate data reporting," said Trip Davis, TRX President & CEO. "Corporate travel data is getting more complicated, not less. Travel suppliers are negotiating new GDS deals, and the suppliers are asking corporate accounts to move from booking on one GDS to multiple inventory systems. The corporate buyers want one view of their travel spend, and that view includes agency data, supplier data, card data, hotel folio data, profile data, and more - all from different sources."

"The complexity takes the challenges of traveler profile management, traveler tracking, traveler security, supplier contract management, credit card data integration, and real-time reporting to an all time high," Davis added. "We are tooling our software and deploying programmers to offer better reporting and visual dashboards for the travel agencies, payment providers, suppliers, and corporate travel managers. We are ready to tame the complexity with Web-based, cost-effective data reporting technologies."

"It was fantastic to have such a smart group with a broad range of perspectives come together for open and honest dialogue about the industry. One key learning for us is how important it is for TRX to remain attentive to the needs of the corporate buyer as we innovate and improve our offerings," said Shane Hammond, Executive Vice President, Sales & Client Services. "We are hearing consistent themes from our clients and are committed to developing reservation processing and data reporting technologies to meet our clients' needs and stay current with changes in the market."