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Expedia Corporate Travel Europe uses KDS for its online corporate travel services

"Expedia Corporate Travel aims to be the number 1 worldwide in the Corporate Travel market. Thus, we need to use number 1 technology partners to match our customers’ needs for high-quality robust online solutions. This is why we have renewed our trust in KDS and its technology, for our Europe corporate online booking solutions."

Jean Pierre Remy, President, Expedia Corporate Travel Europe.

Expedia, the online travel agency is the world’s leading company for B2C and leisure online travel solutions, and develops solutions for three major markets worldwide:
The "unmanaged" travel customers - either individuals for leisure or one person solo companies that call for the cheapest solution - with web sites and local instances in major countries;
The SMEs that need managed (apply a travel policy) online travel solutions and have yearly T&E budgets ranging from €50K to several million € - with Expedia Corporate Travel (ECT) solution;
The high-end large accounts - e.g. Fortune 500 - which is a longer-term target for Expedia Corporate Travel.

When Expedia Corporate Travel (ECT) - after having launched its offer in the United States in 2003 - decided to enter the European market in early 2004, they rapidly identified the specificities of this market, which is multiple and localized, and thus very different from the US one.

In order to provide a quicker time-to-market and best market-fit solution for Europe, the Expedia management team turned their sights on the key European online travel agencies, and ultimately selected Egencia, Europe’s leading largest independent online corporate travel agency.

Egencia's advanced technology in B2B online booking, its clear market positioning, its company culture so similar to Expedia's, and a high quality top management team, as well as their global travel management expertise were all musts in ECT's decision to buy Egencia. At end of Q1 2004, Egencia became Expedia Corporate Travel Europe.

For Egencia, this merge decision offers to its customers a long-term robust solution for online corporate travel with a worldwide leading recognized provider who aims to be number one.

Since 2000 and the creation of Egencia, KDS has been its key technological partner, and Expedia Corporate Travel Europe has renewed in 2004 its trust in KDS for coming years.

End 2003 & early 2004 - after three years of successful partnership - ECT decided to challenge KDS and benchmarked it against other online travel management solutions.

KDS proved again to be the number 1 and ECT decided to renew its trust in KDS for the coming years.

KDS leadership has been confirmed by two parallel and independent studies, released by Topaz in 2004, which found KDS to be “Best air fare search engine” both in North America and Europe.

KDS Quality Check by ECT

J.P. Rémy mentions three key criteria for the KDS renewal decision:

The various & rich functionalities of the KDS Solution (access to GDSs, web fares and Web Links to LCC's, Direct Links, etc.) and its fare search engine - the best in the market;
The performance (speed and reliability) of the KDS technology;
The quality of the KDS technical architecture: open, robust, evolutive and integrable.
In addition the quality of KDS Services has been another important choice component.

ECT uses the powerful KDS Airfare Search Engine as the cornerstone of its technology solution, which combines various components either from Egencia’s own technological know-how or from ECT.

ECT = be N°1 in Corporate Travel
How? By giving back control to the client over its corporate travel buying process.
ECT, with KDS technology, can offer the largest choice in the booking process, help managers to optimize and save costs on business travel, and integrate the best technology & services in all travel segments (air, car, hotel…).
Another aspect to ECT's mission is educational - to help business travelers optimize their trips, and increase online booking adoption rate.

ECT Europe = a rapid growth

By the end of 2003, Egencia had more than 500 clients. Since, within ECT, the total has grown to more than 1500 clients in the US and 900 in Europe.

Between 2003 and 2004, ECT Europe doubled its corporate portfolio; that is the best proof of a successful merge strategy.

As J. P. Rémy testifies: “There was a mutual trust, a good connectivity among top management. Goals and strategy were aligned to succeed”.

KDS & ECT Europe: a bright future with shared challenges

As ECT Europe’s key partner, KDS permanently improves its high-level quality offer as well as its high-level services.

From a technology standpoint, KDS:
Keeps on improving its fare search engine, already the best in the market;
Keeps on increasing its solution flexibility (integrating more LCC's and direct links, constantly adapting to new business rules, opening to more integration possibilities, and more).

KDS and ECT Europe, working together hand in hand, will maintain technological lead on the market for offering the best services to corporations.

source : KDS






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