American Express Business Travel today announced that its Intelligent Online Marketplace (AXIOM) for travel and related business services will be launched in the UK later this year. This follows the successful release of the service in the US in early 2007.
Powered by Rearden Commerce, Inc., the Web-based marketplace for business services brings together inventory from more than 135,000 suppliers to provide an industry leading one-stop-shop, where employees can find, purchase and manage both traditional travel, flights, hotel stays and car rentals, and other services, such as airport parking, dining, ground transportation, package shipping and audio/web conferencing.
Charles Petruccelli, President, American Express Global Travel Services commented, “Web 2.0 technology has opened up the opportunity of “mashup” solutions - two or more diverse sources culminating in an integrated experience. An example of this is our AXIOM solution which we are pleased to bring to the UK after a successful US implementation. AXIOM has changed the playing field. Through AXIOM, we are putting on the corporate desktop of travelers, full-access to content and T&E services well beyond air, hotel, and car in a dynamic way.”
Petruccelli continued, “Web 2.0 technology corporate software is built on service-oriented architecture which provides a more flexible way to add new services without the need to rewrite entire applications. It is a formidable enabler for fast to market innovation giving us the springboard to offer corporations the ultimate desktop solution. The best gauge of technology adoption is customer reaction and currently we have in the US more than 1,300 corporate customers using AXIOM which was launched in January 2007.”
David Herrick, Senior Vice President and General Manager, American Express Business Travel EMEA and Global Foreign Exchange Services commented, “As European companies continue to keep their finger on the pulse of the current economic climate, many are seeking the savings they can make now and in the future. AXIOM is an important innovation and best in class service in the travel management industry, and we are delighted to be launching it in the UK marketplace. It will bring a new level of servicing and vital visibility of the broader costs of travel and its associated expense to UK clients.”
Herrick continues, “We are confident that clients and travelers alike in the UK will be as keen to take advantage of the savings and simplicity offered by the solution as our US clients have been. AXIOM not only offers greater control for companies, but with its unique online personal assistant, schedule management is simplified and employees have peace of mind while being able to remain productive while on the road.”
Benefits of the American Express Intelligent Online Marketplace (AXIOM)
AXIOM helps companies gain visibility and control over unmanaged expenses which, according to American Express, can account for nearly half (49 percent) of all travel and entertainment costs, the other half being from managed expenses such as air, hotel and car. By aggregating thousands of suppliers in one simple, online shopping environment, the marketplace helps travel managers and procurement managers strategically source secondary corporate services in addition to the traditional sourcing of fares, room nights and rentals.
Further, the platform helps companies set policies and provision services to employees based on their roles, location and business needs. The marketplace also makes it possible for managers to guide employees to preferred business service suppliers and maximize negotiated savings from participating merchants.
AXIOM client Christopher Staal, Vice President, Real Estate of the Americas for Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals offered the following perspective: “At Thomson Reuters, 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.”
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 marketplace provides a convenient, one-stop online destination where travelers can find, purchase and manage approved corporate travel and related business services.
Acting as an online personal assistant, the marketplace recognizes the traveler’s identity (booking profile), context (itinerary details), and presence (physical location). This enables a personalized trip-planning experience, where the booking application automatically recommends user-relevant goods and services for purchase.
Booked itineraries are then loaded into the traveler’s Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes Calendar – simplifying administrative tasks. In addition, the marketplace automates invitations to colleagues for activities such as web or audio conferences and automatically provides alerts via voice, email or text in the event of a change to any booked reservation.
Business services suppliers will have access to a unique online marketplace where they can directly offer their services to clients of American Express Business Travel.
Suppliers will also have opportunities to make specific and relevant offers to corporations and their employees based on traveler location, preference and context, as well as the company’s vendor policies.
Along with all major airlines, hotel chains and rental car firms, notable brands that already participate in the marketplace include OpenTable.com for dining reservations, WebEx for Web Conferencing and Purple Parking Network for off-airport parking.
For further information concerning the American Express Intelligent Online Marketplace 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. The Company processed $26.4 billion1 in total travel volume in 2007.
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, and business services.
1 $ 26.4B represents 2007 American Express total travel volume including volume processed though non-consolidated JVs and partner network