Big organisations should have an easier time managing their travel arrangements with two software developments.
As part of a worldwide agreement between SAP and travel management giant Sabre, companies using SAP’s portal software mySAP will be able to connect to Sabre and incorporate travel expenses into their ERP system.
Meanwhile, Interactive Technologies, a subsidiary of travel company Gullivers, has released Serko Online, a travel reservation and management package for big companies. Engineering giant ABB has been testing the system.
The managing director of the local Sabre subsidiary Sabre Pacific New Zealand, David Allen, is talking to SAP Australia and New Zealand to identify customers who would be suited to the mySAP service. It integrates Sabre’s global distribution system with the mySAP travel management solution, Financials TMS. SAP customers will be able to access Sabre’s business travel services to streamline travel-management business processes by linking pre-trip approval, travel booking, expense reporting, reimbursement and management reporting, tailored to fit a customer’s travel policies and budgets.
In the case of Serko, Interactive Technologies says development on the product started in September 2000. The company is aiming to hook into Microsoft’s .Net strategy by using Visual Basic 6.0, Com +, 2000 Advanced Server, Exchange Server 2000 and Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000.
Agents host Serko on their server and customers subscribe to it, with authorised users able to make bookings directly in the system in real time. Gullivers director of operations Kathy O’Connor says Serko has basic content management functionality, links to Microsoft Outlook and allows for preferred airlines and hotels. It includes its own general ledger and financials, though these may be unbundled in future. Gullivers has also been touting the software in Australia.
Allen says travel is the third largest expense of any company after salaries and technology.