ATTP modules can be implemented as either a web service using SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), or via more traditional methods such as dynamic HTML. TravelServer's technology is unique in that is built around a "web-based" data repository versus mainframe- or host-centric approach used by other products.
Users interact with TravelServer's software from four distinct modules and interfaces. Travelers use the Online Booking Module to maintain their user profiles and research and book travel. Travel Agents use the TARPS (Transaction Analysis and Request Processing Subsystem) Module to access traveler profiles and history, and book travel for travelers seeking agent assistance. Travel Managers use the Administrative Module to configure the software to support company travel policies and customize the look and feel. Travel Managers use the Online Reporting Module to track travel history and analyze future travel activity. They also use it to measure adoption levels and analyze trends. Travel Agency Managers can also use the Online Reporting Module to track agent productivity and analyze transaction-processing costs.
Online Booking Module
The Online Booking Module automates the research and booking of air, car, and hotel reservations. All user activity is subject to the travel policy rules configured into the software by the company's Travel Manager. The Online Booking Module also addresses many of the limitations of the first generation booking systems such as weak traveler profile management, lack of customization options and primitive search capabilities.
Unlike the first generation systems, which stored limited user profile information in a text format in the host system, TravelServer's Online Booking module interacts with extensive user profile data that is stored in the web-based ProfileServer module. ProfileServer stores information about each traveler's air, hotel, rental car and lifestyle preferences. For companies wishing to convert from a host-based profile management system or maintain a subset of the user's profile on the host system, ProfileServer can synchronize the user data that it maintains with the profiles stored in host systems such as Galileo, Sabre, WorldSpan and Amadeus.
The Online Booking Module interface can be customized via the Administrative Module to match the look and feel of any web site. This can be accomplished via dynamic html or with a web services request. Under the dynamic HTML approach, the customer can modify the look and feel by cutting and pasting code from their site into the Administrative Module. Under the web services approach, customers with the technical resources and know how can simply make a SOAP request for data and the TravelServer Online Booking module will return structured data to the customer who can chose to display it as they see fit.
Unlike the host-centric, first generation systems that limit the travelers' destination choices to 4,000 airport codes or airport names worldwide, TravelServer's Online Booking module uses a cartographic approach based on the longitude and latitude of 65,000 distinct locations worldwide. These destinations are stored in TravelServer's proprietary cartography database.
Instead of having to enter the correct three-character airport code or name, the traveler can simply enter any country, state or city worldwide. The software compares the information entered by the traveler against the cartography database, and if it finds more than one match it presents the traveler with a list of items to select from.
This approach makes it much easier for travelers to plan trips, improves the overall user experience, increases customer satisfaction and helps drive adoption of online systems.
TravelServer's Online Booking module can access flight, hotel and rental car information from any of the traditional reservations networks and/or directly from the airlines' host systems or any other back-end data provider. Since the presentation layer of TravelServer's product architecture is distinct from the business logic, database and transaction processing layers, the Online Booking module maintains a consistent and intuitive user experience regardless of which, or how many, back-end data sources it is interacting with.
The Online Booking module includes integrated travel policy management features to ensure that business travelers' comply with corporate travel policy by highlighting preferred providers and capturing exception data.
All transactions passing through the TravelServer platform are recorded and tracked in the TARPS module. TARPS is a key component of the TravelServer platform and provides businesses with a unique view of customer activity.
Each user request regardless of whether it was booked online by the traveler or booked by a travel agent, is logged into the TARPS database and is available for review, reporting and analysis in real-time. By capturing all transactions - those booked online by the traveler and those booked via an agent - TARPS is the first system that allows businesses to track and analyze online booking system adoption levels.
TARPS tracks a wide variety of workflow data associated with each transaction including status and milestones and allows you to schedule and track future events. TARPS also includes integrated direct marketing tools which can be used to present the appropriate products to end-users based on their purchase patterns and demographic and psychographic preferences.
Inquiries with enough information to be processed are automatically passed to the appropriate gateway server for final processing. Transactions requiring additional information can be stored by the end-user in a "shopping cart" for completion at a future date, or accessed by an authorized TravelServer customer who can add the additional required information and forward the request to the gateway server for final processing.
By having real-time access to both pending and completed transactions, TARPS provides businesses with a unique view of customer activity and provides them with a pro-active way to manage transactions enhance customer relationships.
The Administration Module is used to configure the software to support the needs of each individual client. Via this module, the look and feel of the software can be configured and direct marketing programs can be set up and managed. Deals and targeted promotions can be set to run for specific time periods or configured with a set of rules that determine when they should be run based on a travelers search activity or and/or profile settings.
The Administration Module is also used by the Travel Manager to set travel policy and update the settings to reflect any negotiated rates the company has with suppliers. Other Administration Module features include the ability to broadcast messages to travelers or groups of travelers e-mail addresses or personal wireless devices.
Online Reporting Module
The Online Reporting module is used by both the Travel Manager, and Travel Agency Manager, to review travel history, measure adoption levels and track transaction processing costs. With first generation systems, reports about travel activity were usually available only after the travel agency closed its books for the previous month and ran the reports it needed to get paid from ARC (Airline Reporting Corporation). While these reports were often shared with the agencies corporate clients, they seldom captured the data in a format needed to effectively manage travel.
TravelServer's Online Reporting module provides real-time access to data that was previously unavailable. Travel Managers can use this module to see not only trip history and details about how each trip was booked but also can use it to see future trips that have been booked but not yet traveled. This allows the companies to track actual travel dollars spent against travel budgets and manage expenses more effectively. By understanding the reasons why a traveler called a travel agent instead of booking online, the company will gain insights into issues affection the adoption of online systems and take steps to support more online bookings.
Travel Agency Managers can use the Online Reporting module to track agent productivity and capture the costs of processing agent-assisted transactions. By having instant access to each corporate travelers travel history, agents can focus their attention to the more profitable clients. The Travel Agency Manager can also run reports on the information captured by TARPS to measure the cost of processing each transaction. This information can then be used to set pricing and service level expectations for each client.