Egencia today revealed a new package of solutions that addresses global businesses' need for increased program and cost management of corporate travel programs. These solutions focus on two critical components of any successful program: the need to empower travelers with tools and information to increase efficiency and compliance through the booking and travel process; and the need for policy controls and business intelligence to help corporations manage spend.

Tools that empower travelers, or that are "traveler-centric" include: Trip Collaboration and Multi-Passenger Booking, a redesigned Hotel Shopping path and Egencia On the Go(TM) mobile portal. Program enforcement and management tools include: Dynamic Messaging, Trip Controller and Custom Report Builder. Combined with Egencia's first-class customer service and leading account management team, these tools deliver a strong solution for program and spend control.

Traveler-Centric Tools

"Consumer shopping habits and growing acceptance of social media and mobile tools has informed the way business travelers expect to book travel," said Simon Tam, Egencia Senior Vice President of Product and Technology. "By making the traveler a key consideration when enhancing our offering, Egencia helps companies simplify the traveler experience, drive compliance and ultimately increase savings."

- Egencia Trip Collaboration tools simplify coordination with fellow travelers on complex or small group trips. Travel arrangers and travelers can share and edit trip notes and links, invite other employees to collaborate on a trip and view flight seat location of fellow travelers via Seat Pinpointer. While in the past travelers might book overlapping rental cars or ground transportation due to lack of visibility, they can now coordinate and share resources to increase efficiency and decrease cost. In addition, Trip Collaboration encourages "peer guilt." When other travelers see a colleague's lower-priced itinerary, they are encouraged to book a trip at a similar or lower cost.

- Multi-Passenger Booking support allows travel managers or arrangers to duplicate an itinerary or book multiple passenger flights and hotels simultaneously. Forty-percent of trips include multiple travelers so allowing them to shop and compare multiple flights helps uncover cost savings. Trip arrangers can shop for up to six travelers at a time, while efficient technology creates reservations using individual passenger records so traveler preferences and frequent flyer details are maintained. Policy enforcement is maintained for each individual, allowing support of multiple policy groups at once and closing loopholes that exist in other products. Bookings with more than six travelers can be accommodated through Egencia's Meetings & Incentives division, which provides full-service meetings management to larger groups .

- Egencia's newly redesigned Hotel Shopping path combines greater ease-of-use and interactive Google mapping to help travelers efficiently shop and book hotels. Easy-to-use search forms help travelers and travel arrangers quickly evaluate hotels worldwide by city, airport, partial address or company custom destinations. Interactive Google maps pinpoint the search address or landmark, which speeds up the process of finding the right hotel in the right location. Policy indicators visually identify program-compliant choices including negotiated rates and hotels from Egencia's Preferred Program. Travelers can choose from 4,000 Egencia Preferred hotels with exclusive discounts and value added amenities, such as loyalty points, free high speed internet, early check-in and breakfast included.

- The Egencia On the Go Mobile Portal works to provide travelers with tools necessary for their trip and demonstrates continued investment in a global mobile platform for North America and Europe. In addition to proactive trip alerts, Egencia clients are now able to view their complete itineraries for flights, hotel and car from their mobile device, both at a summary and detail level. Travelers can also check into flights, check flight status, email itineraries, leverage Google maps for addresses included within itineraries and click to call a travel consultant for assistance.

Travel Program Enforcement & Cost Control

"As one of the largest expenses for companies, T&E spend has become a key consideration for business leaders throughout corporations," said Pam Keenan Fritz, Senior Vice President, Egencia North America. "Egencia has designed these tools to make it easier for companies to promote cost-cutting travel programs, mine data for further savings opportunities and communicate more effectively to employees about policy."

- Dynamic Messaging allows travel managers to communicate important information to travelers at the most crucial part of the booking process. Messages can be strategically targeted based on departure and destination parameters, specific to flights, hotels or car rental. Travel buyers can promote preferred vendors, enforce travel policies, provide important security alerts or communicate destination-specific transportation information.

- Egencia's updated Trip Controller tools will be available by the end of 2009, providing an enhanced solution to parallel company workflow processes. The tools offer single-click trip approval from mobile devices and backup scenarios in which requests can be automatically forwarded to other approvers. A link from an email enables managers to approve requests without signing in and automatically routes approval to another approver if the trip has not been addressed within specific time parameters. Additionally, approval requests can be immediately sent to backup approvers if a manager is out of the office. This tool makes it easy for approvers to view all outstanding trip requests for anyone the approver oversees.

- Custom Report Builder is a new addition to Egencia's global dynamic reporting platform. Also available by end of 2009, this new feature will allow clients or Egencia's experienced account management team to create customized reports by either modifying the most popular of Egencia's hundreds of existing reports or developing a report from scratch in order to best fit unique company processes and needs. The five-step custom report builder allows clients to combine air, hotel, car and train data, group and filter data as desired, view global detail, consolidate meetings and corporate data, and save templates for future use.

To drive a successful program, it's important that companies adequately address traveler empowerment, program enforcement and cost control. Egencia's product innovations are a continued investment of the company's efforts to bring greater savings and efficiencies to the travel management space.
Egencia Meetings & Incentives is also announcing new tools for their strong meetings platform at NBTA. With Egencia Meetings & Incentives, companies benefit from end-to-end meetings management, including expertise in procurement services and event planning (design, production and logistics) to program optimization and analysis.