American Express Business Travel, a global industry leader in business travel management, today reported more than $1 billion in new business won globally in the first 100 days of 2007. The sales success signals strong demand for the Company’s innovations in global servicing, data management and online technology, as well as business travel procurement and process management expertise.
The Company also announced an organizational investment that globalizes and expands its internal field effectiveness unit. The enhanced infrastructure will enable American Express to more readily cultivate and share its best practice disciplines for client relationship management across geographies and within localities, thereby delivering a more consistent program management experience to clients. The newly global field effectiveness team, headed by David Herrick, General Manager, Business Travel Europe, Middle East and Africa, follows recent moves to form global Account Sales and Advisory Services units.
Further, the Company revealed continuing strong demand for its Web-based commerce platform, AXIOM, with 350 clients signed since its U.S. launch in November 2006.
“As decision-making moves to C-level finance and purchasing executives, companies worldwide have become more sophisticated in their approach to travel; to maximize ROI, ensure traveler care, strengthen corporate controls and capitalize on business growth. And they are looking to accomplish these aims with a global partner,” said Charles Petruccelli, President of American Express Global Travel Services.
“Some years ago we ‘globalized’ our service delivery and supplier relations units to enhance the traveler’s experience and augment American Express’ travel procurement expertise. More recently, we introduced the global Advisory Services consultancy to help companies rationalize and exert greater control over traditional travel purchasing (air, hotel, car rental, meetings). And with AXIOM we now enable companies to more effectively purchase across a host of additional business services. The global field effectiveness team further ensures we deliver on our value-creation promise as corporate travel purchasing appetites go global,” added Petruccelli.
Regarding AXIOM (The American Express Intelligent Online Marketplace)
Powered by Foster City, Calif.-based, Rearden Commerce, Inc., AXIOM helps employees purchase standard travel services (air, hotel, car rental) in addition to business services such as ground transportation, dining, entertainment, and package shipping from a Web-based commerce network of more than 135,000 suppliers based on personal preferences and corporate policies. Since AXIOM’s U.S. introduction, all AXIOM adopters have enabled their employees to purchase from the multiple ancillary services providers as well as the standard travel options.
Newly signed to the AXIOM solution, Christopher Staal, Vice President, Global Sourcing Strategies for Thomson Corporation, offered the following perspective: “At Thomson, we have always considered the ‘online booking tool’ to be a quintessential part of a managed travel program. When we were introduced to AXIOM, it was a ‘Wow’ moment for us. AXIOM expands the scope of our program to include services spend which was previously unmanaged. Plus, because it is built using Web 2.0 technology, AXIOM makes it easy for our employees to find, book and manage their travel and other business service needs based on their preferences, while staying within the confines of a managed travel program.”
In further news, the Company recently enhanced AXIOM to provide a novel dining reservation experience that simplifies booking logistics and helps corporations control costs. Leveraging AXIOM’s Web-based personal assistant, travelers can use the new dining reservations service to find and compare restaurants by cuisine, cost, location and quality ratings; book reservations; invite guests to meals; and send confirmations to their Outlook or Lotus Notes calendar. The new dining service also presents content and functionality from dining industry leaders such as OpenTable, Gayot, Wcities, along with geographic information from Google Maps and Maponics.
Mr. Staal continued, “American Express Business Travel is now our partner in a specialized area of expense management beyond the traditional paradigm of air, car and hotel, giving us the ability to control a broader scope of the business travel experience – the cost of doing business.”
The American Express Intelligent Online Marketplace (AXIOM) is a Web-based commerce network for travel and related services. Business services inventory from more than 135,000 suppliers is brought together in a single online destination where employees can find, purchase and manage traditional travel reservations (flights, hotel stays and car rentals), as well as ancillary services such as airport parking, dining reservations, ground transportation, event tickets, package shipping and audio/web conferencing. For further information concerning AXIOM please visit www.americanexpress.com/axiom.
About American Express Business Travel
American Express Business Travel (www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel), a division of the American Express Company, is dedicated to helping its clients realize the greatest possible value from their investment in travel through increased cost savings, outstanding customer service and greater spend control. For small businesses, medium-sized enterprises and multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading booking technology, travel management consulting expertise, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support, and customer service available online and offline, around the world.
American Express operates one of the world's largest travel agency networks with over 2,200 travel service locations in over 140 countries and territories worldwide. The Company processed $21.8 billion in global travel sales in 2006.
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, business services and international banking.