By John Morhous - CIO, Global Technology Leader, FCm Travel Solutions
As the Global Technology Leader for FCm Travel Solutions, it is important to keep a pulse on technologies and trends happening in the world. In the mobile space, one of the premier events for the industry is the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona which happened this past February.
What caught my eye at this event was Samsung’s introduction of its new Wallet app which aims to consolidate tickets, membership cards, coupons, and most importantly for us - travel information - into a single place. This is Samsung’s bid to provide its own functionality similar to Apple’s Passbook and Google’s Now.
The news is timely, given FCm’s plans to introduce mobile apps in several countries over the next few months. Samsung’s announcement signals a potential trend of more travel content being stored natively on devices as opposed to within travel-specific smartphone apps. Any frequent traveller who has to install and shuffle through several airline apps on their device for boarding passes will welcome this.
It’s amazing how fast the mobile market moves! Just when we thought the world was going down the route of having just two major players in the market (Apple and Google), new platforms start to emerge such as the new Windows 8 Phone, Blackberry version 10, Samsung’s Tizen (built in conjunction with Intel), and Mozilla’s Firefox OS phone.
But does that mean FCm is releasing something that is already outdated? Heck no!
While our focus today with mobile app is itinerary data, we’ve chosen our vendor and platforms carefully to allow for deeper integration in later phases. This means you’ll see traveller notifications, risk management alerting, pre-trip approval and other functionality all built into the app and consistently across traveller platforms (like the Portal product used in our FCm brand globally). Integration with the Portal is already built into phase 1 of the release of our mobile app and several countries are already testing it out.
So while Google Now may be able to tell you that your flight is cancelled and give you the airline’s phone number to call, the smarter traveller will be getting a notification on the Corporate Traveller Mobile app from their travel consultant that they’ve been automatically rebooked on the last available seat on the other flight. That will be the real technology you rave about to your friends.
Stay tuned for more information on our mobile apps.