Company Also Promotes Sravana Kumar Karnati to CTO to Drive Its Global Technology Innovation, Bringing the Consumer Experience to the Managed Corporate Travel Industry Faster
BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwired - June 27, 2013) - Egencia®, the business travel division of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), continues on its mission to revolutionize corporate travel by launching consumer-friendly products that bring easy, non-intrusive control to managed travel programs and improve business traveler productivity.
New feature releases in the second quarter of 2013 include Egencia Autobook, an online solution to streamline the trip 'approval to purchasing' process for travelers, and Southwest Flight Exchange, giving travelers the option to exchange Southwest Airline tickets online and via mobile devices -- a complement to Egencia's Mobile Flight Exchange feature that launched in March.
Streamlining the Trip "Approval to Purchasing" Process for Business Travelers, Reducing Costs
Launching June 28 in the United States and Canada, Egencia Autobook makes planning and managing business travel easier and more productive. Using Egencia's online booking tool, ticketing and reservations will automatically occur for a traveler or travel arranger following approval, reducing the risk of price increases as well as the loss of available seats, cars or rooms.
Autobook was piloted by more than 40 Egencia customers including Gambro, a global medical technology company and a leader in developing, manufacturing and supplying products and therapies for kidney and liver dialysis, Myeloma Kidney Therapy, and other extracorporeal therapies for chronic and acute patients, and Micro Focus, an international software products company that provides innovative software to allow companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications.
"We were pleased to participate in the pilot of Egencia Autobook -- and immediately realized a savings," says Kobie Whisenant, travel manager at Gambro. "The transition for Gambro travelers was smooth; they saved time and our travel program saved money as we avoided price increases that can occur if tickets are not booked in a timely manner."
Steve Anderson, manager of facilities and administration at Micro Focus, adds that ability to have trips automatically booked is a big convenience for employees. "Some of our travel approvers are based in the United Kingdom while many of our travelers are based in the United States. Often, it is an added inconvenience for our travelers to go back online to finish their travel booking, especially when they are already on the road. Egencia's online Autobook feature can save time that Micro Focus employees can use to be more productive." In the long-run, Egencia has committed that Autobook will bring cost-savings to Micro Focus' travel program too, says Anderson.
More Corporate Travel Options with Southwest Airlines
As of April 26, customers that subscribe to Egencia's Southwest Suite option not only benefit from fully-integrated access to Southwest Airlines inventory and fares (Wanna Get Away, Anytime, Business Select, and negotiated), but also from online and mobile ticket exchanges. Both Gambro and Micro Focus subscribe to Egencia's Southwest Suite and report that their travelers are delighted.
With Egencia, business travelers can accumulate Southwest points and benefits using their Rapid Reward member numbers and now can exchange Southwest Airline tickets via Egencia's online booking tool and mobile app. Companies benefit with important travel management functionality including Egencia's TripController™, an on-demand trip approval and auditing solution, and reporting which is applied directly to Southwest bookings.
Travel managers gain actionable intelligence into travel spend, compliance and missed savings over lowest logical fare using Egencia's Dataminder, an intuitive user-friendly solution that helps companies meet their travel performance goals. Customers can proactively track their travel program's performance including online adoption and can set up instant notifications and specify relevant parameters for air, hotel and car.
This new Southwest Flight Exchange feature is easily accessible from an Egencia Itinerary page that includes a Southwest flight. If a traveler wants to cancel or void a Southwest flight, s/he will need to contact Egencia Customer Service for assistance.
Exchanging Flights from Mobile Devices, Easier for Business Travelers
Launched on March 14 in the United States, Egencia's Mobile Flight Exchange gives business travelers the ability to quickly exchange flights, pay and go. Today, it features 27 airline partners -- with the addition of Southwest Airlines in April. Travelers can easily exchange flights directly from smartphones and tablets.
With Egencia Mobile Flight Exchange, travelers can exchange their tickets prior to check-in from a mobile device of choice by simply clicking on the flight exchange icon, selecting a flight to change, and performing a search based on several options: departing from, date of departure, or destination. Additionally, Mobile Flight Exchange has the same features and functions as Egencia's Online Flight Exchange so there is nothing new to learn.
Egencia customer Laurie Miyake, travel administrator for Amada America, Inc., says, "Amada America's service engineers are on the road traveling from one customer to the next, 5 days a week, and they regularly book hotel accommodations at the last minute -- sometimes from the parking lot of a hotel."
Egencia's mobile solutions have assisted Amada's travelers by saving them time. "Our service engineers no longer have to look for and log into a WiFi network -- it's one less thing to worry about," adds Miyake. "They can concentrate on the job at hand and not where they will put their heads at night. Egencia has been a very positive upgrade for us and saved Amada money because engineers can make their own reservations without calling into an agent."
Egencia Mobile Flight Exchange is accessible from Egencia apps on the iOS and Android platform as well as via mobile web for all devices.
Driving Global Technology Innovation, Karnati Promoted to CTO
Egencia also announces the promotion of Sravana Kumar Karnati from vice president worldwide technology and development to Chief Technology Officer, Egencia Worldwide today. Karnati has been driving technology innovation at Egencia since 2011 leveraging 20 years of experience and his agile software development expertise, which relies on iterative development, rapid and flexible response to change, and collaboration between cross-functional teams.
"Sravana is a natural leader and his technology vision is awe-inspiring for all of us," says Rob Greyber, president of Egencia. "Sravana's ability to build strong worldwide teams that deliver innovative and beautiful consumer-centric products is exactly what the corporate travel industry requires in order to modernize the business travel experience and make it more productive for people around the world."
Prior to Egencia, Karnati held senior technology roles at Oracle, Amazon and Disney Interactive Media.
Karnati earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University, specializing in Artificial Intelligence applications. He holds a Master in Chemical Engineering, with specialization in Computer Aided Design, from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Chennai) and a Bachelor degree from Anna University in India.
About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. company
Egencia is a leading full-service travel management company delivering innovative corporate travel solutions and expert local service to more than 10,000 clients in nearly 60 countries around the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., the world's largest travel company, Egencia provides forward-looking companies with the ability to drive compliance and cost savings in their travel programs, while meeting the needs and requirements of the modern business traveler. For more information, please visit www.egencia.com or follow us on Twitter @Egencia.
Egencia and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Egencia, LLC. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50; CST # 2083922-50.
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