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Monday, 21 June 2010

Conferma and the BBC

There is a company who never fails to innovate in the UK, the BBC. Since its founding in 1922 the company has brought us technological media innovations matched by no other in its industry, from Radio to TV, Ceefax to NICAM, Freeview to iPlayer. I actually found myself watching the world cup on the iPlayer yesterday and it's amazing how much the BBC have developed that product over the past 30 months. Since the iPlayer launched the product has exploded with functionality; seven days catch-up, HD streaming, live streaming, subtitles, expansion to consoles and mobile platforms, series stacking, enhanced UI, favourites and social media integration - which is probably why in May 2010 they hit a whopping 130 million media requests. This is an example of a company who ceases to innovate work hard for its clients, the general public.

Conferma, like the BBC believes in driving innovation. Over the past year the team has broken new ground in the travel and expense industry and improved service to our customers.

To reflect on our achievements, here's just a few; we have...

- expanded our card partner line-up to include support for American Express and AirPlus, taking place next to Barclaycard Commercial!
- launched a range of innovative payment tools built on our award winning CSP platform; Event Trustee, CSP On-Demand API and CSP On-Demand Low Cost Air!
- saved our clients thousands of pounds worth of expense using our insightful Rate Analyser, offering in-depth market insight into hotel rates and their fluctuations!
- partnered with more agencies than any previous year!
- reached a great milestone of CSP usage in over 80 countries!
- migrated our entire data centre to the most advanced hosting technologies available, all without any customer impact!

Oh, and we completely rewrote our Self Booking Tool, named Hotel Booker V4! It's sporting a rather slick new design backed-up with powerful technology and innovation including; PNR integration, corporate travel policies, improved self-booking features including online client amendments, advanced additional information data capture, 80'000 hotel photographs, greater configuration options, etc.

Our clients have also enjoyed a good year with the updates to our Booking API and the launch of new CSP On-Demand API, which opens up our CSP Platform to allow clients to integrate into their established applications. It's really good to see clients integrating our services in new and exciting ways. For instance, earlier this year Micros Fidelio won the Travel Technology Innovation Award at the Travel Technology Show for their SABS Corporate tool, which is connected to our Booking API. Innovation backed up with our technology continues and there will be exciting announcements in this area soon.

As we are some 85 years younger than the BBC we have some way to go in matching their “institution” like status but like the BBC we are driving the innovation in our industry and watching others follow.

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