Airlines are faced with a unique challenge when it comes to data: Most of their crucial data exists in a system that they do not own - the Global Distribution System, or GDS that they selected to manage their Reservations and Ticketing. Their data will exist in a partition within that GDS, but the data will not reside within their own data centers.
While this creates great efficiencies for selling tickets through agencies and consolidators, and enables code-sharing between airlines, it is a challenge for those within the airline that need access that data for analysis, transaction-related processes, and providing data-dependent services such as notifications.
Another challenge facing the airline is the nature of this data - it is built from a combination of structured and unstructured data. Due to the restrictive nature of the PNR, much of the critical information must be stored in remarks and comments - both of which are unstructured.
What airlines need is a proven, high performance Integration Hub and supporting software that can pull the data from the GDS, rapidly parse out the unstructured data and re-build the data using a hierarchical schema, then route the data based on rules for the systems that need that data. Among those destinations for the now structured data are:
Ideally, the same system will be able to act directly on the GDS, using the GDS's command syntax, to update, add to, or cancel the PNRs and Tickets, and to manage processes within the GDS using the GDS Queues.
Finally, the system should be able to combine the GDS data with data from other systems to create a richer data set to be used by those downstream systems and to add criteria to use on the rules that route the data within the integration system. The systems that can contribure to the rich data set include:
At Sourcespeed, we have built a system that can manage all of these tasks, in a lightweight package that requires only modest server hardware. The Sourcespeed Integrations System (SIS) using the Velocity Integration Hub is that system. It not only satisfies all of the requirements of the ideal GDS integration system, but it can do it for any GDS that your airline uses, Sabre, SHARES, Galileo, Abacus, Navitaire, Amadeus, etc.
The following diagram provides the highest level representation of the typical SIS with Velocity Integration Hub implementation.
Choices in routing travel and hospitality payments to your chosen payment methods are limited. For each new payment method comes the decision to custom build a connection to the new payment processor (or contract to have one built), or see if one of your existing PSPs can add that method to your account, and charge the fees connected with those transactions.
What if there were an independent provider who provided a system with the interfaces built in? A system that allows you to route some transactions from your GDS and others through your own stand-alone payment capture page?
The Sourcespeed Payment Orchestration system provides all of those benefits, along with all of the technical and security features that your IT and Audit departments demand.
Among the functions available to from the SPO are:
Travel reservations sites are stuck in an inflexible, outdated paradigm. Airlines, hotels and consolidators approach the construction of their reservations sites as a choice of two inferior options: the GDS provided “canned” solution or a completely custom solution built by their IT staffs or by a large multi-market consulting organization.
Canned solutions, often sold by the GDSs, claim to be customizable, but in truth have minimal options such as colors, fonts and logo’s that can be changed within the booking path.
Custom, proprietary solutions provide for a great deal of customizability, but suffer from the issues of “reinventing the wheel”, such as higher costs, reliance on a core team and knowledge transfer to keep upgrade and modifications capability in-house.
While reservations sites continue to rely on these two approaches, the GDSs themselves have advanced their technology to enable the creation of an advanced, standardized platform that allow a site to integrate to any web-services enabled GDS or, if desired, multiple GDSs simultaneously.
Sourcespeed has seen the future of reservations sites and has created the first Reservations Integration Platform. Our challenge was to combine high performance, advanced technology, simple customizability, and multi-GDS compatibility in an easy to implement platform. We succeeded with the 2008 release of Velocity™.
Our history in constructing reservations sites on various GDS back-ends illustrated the some basic needs that airlines, hotels and consolidators all share:
The answer is to separate the front end of the site, in which you’ve invested countless hours perfecting images, text, tracking code and other elements, from the GDS booking calls by using an integration platform that is optimized for booking engines.
Velocity™ by Sourcespeed was designed and built to provide this flexibility – to speed your initial site deployment, and to preserve your investment in your current web site.
Velocity™ by Sourcespeed is a multi-tier solution that can be hosted either in-house, externally or purchased in a software-as-a-service model from Sourcespeed. Developed on a new-generation platform for now and the future, Velocity™ is built upon a multi-layer plat form designed to promote reuse and provide easy extensibility. The platform architecture incorporates Java, J2EE, XML, ORM and other best of breed technology to deliver a robust integration platform. Velocity™ provides maximum flexibility, scalability and security.
Ease of integration is at the heart of Velocity’s™ design. The design is so robust that the same booking flow can be switched between GDSs in minutes with a simple server restart.
The strength of the Velocity™ architecture includes:
Velocity™ by Sourcespeed inherently supports third party integration to increase your revenue opportunities: Trip insurance, car rentals, car rental CDW coverage and other third party products can all be placed within your booking path, where you will greatly increase your conversion rates for those products and enjoy the high margins they bring. Our team can work with your vendors or even recommend products that work well in the booking path.
Integration to your customer information database, loyalty program, promotion and advertising databases or servers are also simplified within the booking path by using the Velocity™ implementation, allowing your site to have industry-leading levels of functionality.