12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
KDS, a provider of business travel management software, is to increase its sales force in the US, UK and Germany after signing an investment deal with two venture capital companies. Yves Weisselberger, ceo of the French company, part of the €11m invested by Accel Partners and Atlas Venture would be used to build up sales teams in countries where KDS wants a greater presence.The company was “very strong” and France and “quite strong” in the Benelux countries but wanted to develop business in other parts of Europe.The rest of the investment money would be used for researching and developing new products.
Meetings spend still out of control
Meetings management is “really the wild, wild west” and the last area of travel spend out of control, Karen Penney, vp account development for American Express Commercial Card, told an educational session at the ACTE London conference.“IT is where T&E management was in the dim and distant past with no policy. But the message that is coming across is that senior management is interested,” she said.Referring to the American Express Meetings and Events Best Practice Study released earlier this year, Ms Penney said that 82% of management recognised meetings management as important with 22% of them saying it was “extremely important.”Ms Penney said that the study showed that in an industry worth $100bn, only 20% of companies had a meetings policy and that was often ignored.Companies still worked on an “event by event basis” with MI fragmented across cost centres and various methods of payments, she said.
Rapid advance of travel management in Eastern Europe
Business travel management has expanded “extremely rapidly” in Eastern Europe since 1989 but there are still limitations in the market, Marko Vidic, director of sales and account management for TQ3 in the Czech Republic, said.Speaking at an ACTE educational session, Mr Vidic said IT which was non-existent before 1989 was still a problem but the size of the market also imposed limitations.“If you look at the number of transactions, the Czech Republic did just a little bit more than Siemens in Germany,” he said.Mr Vidic also pointed to the fragmentation of the market in Eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic alone there are 176 agencies and in Hungary 270 travel agency offices.Jolan Babarczi, managing director of BTI Hungary, said big companies had a spend of about €1m a year and airlines still paid commission.The bigger companies wanted good reports and analysis from their agencies on their spend, possible savings and best strategy while the SME market was looking for self booking tools.
Visa signs agreement with Oracle
A new agreement has been signed between Visa International, the international card company, and Oracle, the software company, to provide joint clients with streamlined expense management and reporting processes.Under the deal, the two companies will combine Visa's payment data with the Oracle E-Business Suite.Aliza Knox, senior vp Visa Commercial, said the new partnership would bring “measurable cost savings, providing a significant opportunity for companies to increase their bottom line.”
“Prepare not panic” on avian influenza - Koch
Greeley Koch, president of ACTE, told travel executives that “preparation not panic” and “education not speculation” was the best way to deal with any threat of an avian influenza pandemic. He urged business leaders to work with their governments and international health organisations to minimise the impact of an outbreak.“There's a lot of speculation right now as to the potential economic impact and long-term health effects of an avian influenza pandemic,” he said.“There are more questions than answers. ACTE can best protect the business travel industry by educating our members, raising public awareness, and working with government agencies and international health organisations.”