First Published on 6th March, 2018
Ai Editorial: The option of going “off-PSS” is being explored as airlines gear up for data-driven retailing plus servicing via all of their touchpoints. How are technology companies responding, probes Ai’s Ritesh Gupta
Over a period of time certain processes were created for running airlines and as a result, the industry today is run by complex processes.
For example, order and payment processes don’t tend to feature in the same systems. Carriers have two distinct ways for identifying the same transaction: the PNR (the order, used for operations and fulfilment) and the electronic ticket, a confirmation of the payment mechanism. As Triometric also explained in one of their blog postings, different legacy systems – an operation’s (reservations) system and a financial (payments) system – are still being separately maintained. Today much of the data in PNRs and ETs is replicated, as there are two distinct processes, airlines end up performing a reconciliation process in the back office. And what if an ancillary offering is bought direct whereas the air ticket was purchased through an intermediary! Hopefully these processes are going to be simplified in the future.
One area that is being looked at is refining of the order management process, through the concept of a single customer order record. According to the IATA, this would capture all data elements obtained and required for order fulfillment of air travel. The plan is to do away with multiple reservation records as well as e-ticket/EMD concepts to be replaced by a single reference travel document. So the plan is to work out one simplified and standardized order management process.
So how do the emerging One Order Management and Offer Management systems/ platforms work with the existing technology?
“As technology specialists craft new offerings, it is being witnessed that these emerging systems are going to work along with the PSS. “This integration is a big point of discussion in the industry today. Today most of the new solutions around Order and Offer Management are working alongside the traditional PSS (so that the operational aspects of managing the airline such as managing check-ins, notifications to the government, security etc. remain undisturbed). The new solution does the bundling, packaging, personalization etc.,” said a source. “But most of the “newer” generation PSSs, the likes of Radixx, Navitaire, IBS…are indicating that One Order Management and Offer Management can be done along with the PSS. And this is going to be interesting, how this shapes up over the next few years.” The source further added, “In general, technology companies that are working out One Order Management and Offer Management within the PSS are the ones that have been “largely” associated with the LCC set up.”
Those technology companies that don’t own the PSS have been working on a platform that’s a blend of both offer and order management, standing out for business intelligence, passenger identification module etc. for a seamless journey (being aware of the current flight, current order, servicing needs etc.). It would also mean that the platform, running in parallel to an airline’s PSS, would feature complete PSS booking connectivity and document process capability, converting PNR into “orders”. So PSS would pass on information to the NDC platform, where master record would be stored. The blend counts on historical details provided by the order management system and this vital, real-time business intelligence is leveraged in personalisation of offers.
But what about converting PNR into “orders” within the PSS, is it possible? “In case of a PNR-based system that has been around for three decades or more, it is going be very hard to do the same within the system. In case relatively new architectures are involved, then the same can be streamlined much faster,” mentioned a source.
New offerings are being planned. The recent launch of TravelSky Technology’s QUICK Passenger Retailing System (PRS), a hybrid system that encompasses features from a traditional Passenger Service Solution (PSS) and blends them with e-commerce tools is a tactic to capitalize on the emerging opportunity of retailing. This system has been created from the beginning, and at a time when NDC and OneOrder are gaining prominence, according to Lars Gaebler, Director - Marketing and Sales QUICK PRS, TravelSky Technology. The new launch, one that has been in making for two years, has been worked out for medium- and small-sized carriers. The QUICK PRS is ready to move away from traditional passenger name records, electronic tickets etc. and similarly, it features XML API based on NDC. “Our system considers orders rather than e-tickets,” says Gaebler.
How are the likes of Amadeus, Sabre, Travelport, TravelSky, Farelogix, Datalex, JR Technologies, OpenJaw Technologies, IBS Software etc. gearing up for new processes and accordingly shaping up their offerings? Hear from experts at the upcoming Ancillary Merchandising Conference, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland this year (9-11 April, 2018).
More details on that here: www.AncillaryMerchandising.com
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