Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions
Open for Business is a series of conversations about corporate travel and expenses. We are speaking to the big-picture thinkers and the front-line decision-makers, the circles and squares charting the future of travel, technology, and corporate T&E management.
To introduce the suite of product features of TripActions Liquid and illustrate how the technology will revolutionize everything from payments to reconciliation for everyone from employees to CFOs, we’re sitting down with Robin Gandhi, TripActions VP of Product Management, Payments, and Omar Ghani, TripActions Director of Strategic Sourcing.
Companies that had long pushed their travel & expense programs down the list of priorities were forced into a rude awakening in March 2020. Suddenly getting travelers home safely, tracking unused tickets and waivers, adjusting policy to new travel restrictions, and fulfilling duty of care was put to the ultimate test.
In the six months since, we’ve seen a huge appetite for modern T&E management from TripActions among enterprises who found themselves ill equipped with their antiquated, legacy TMC when COVID-19 hit. They are now looking for a more innovative solution that can meet the challenges ahead. T&E is such an integral part of business growth that it is critical that enterprises use this time to arm themselves with a tech-forward T&E solution and partner that their employees actually want to use.
Today we’re sitting down with Jonny Bryan, Chief of Staff at Unit4 to talk through their decision to make the move to modern T&E management in the midst of the global pandemic, and how the situation awakened them to what was needed to really protect their travelers and control costs through their T&E program.
TripActions Enterprise Edition marks the start of a new era of modern enterprise T&E management. Two years in the making, TripActions Enterprise Edition gives enterprise leaders a comprehensive, unified T&E solution combining the best online booking experience, robust global inventory, expert 24/7 365 TMC travel agents, and modern payments and expense tech — all from a single, trusted partner.
We're sitting down with TripActions CRO Carlos Delatorre and Chief Travel Officer Danny Finkel to explore the who, what, and why of TripActions Enterprise Edition.
TripActions has always believed in the power of data. Now we need data to restore business travel and ensure the industry remains as innovative and disruptive as it was before COVID hit. TripActions is taking an active role in advocating for testing, contact tracing, and an open data program that helps our customers and industry colleagues get back to business safely. We sit down with Noah Kowalski, Principal at Invariant, and Sai Jahann, General Counsel at TripActions, to discuss the importance of advocating for public policy that gives our business travelers the confidence needed to safely resume their work travel.
Our podcast episode covers:
The role of policy in rebuilding our industry after the pandemic
How policy that favors antiquated legacy players hurts consumers and the market at large
How TripActions engages with the government and embodies its value of “putting the user first”
Why national testing, contact tracing, and open data are critical to restarting business travel, reopening borders, and getting the economy moving again
The COVID-19 global health pandemic has greatly impacted the business travel and expense industry, along with those responsible for managing T&E within their organizations. So we recently sat down with Michael Levie, COO at CitizenM, and Amber Simonsen, Director of Guest Product Delivery at Alaska Airlines, to talk through how airlines and hotels are handling hygiene and safety so business travelers can return to work travel with confidence.
The role of corporate negotiated rates has significantly shifted in the past six months. We’re sitting down with Elaine Kennedy, Vice President of Hotel Market Planning at Pegasus, Calvin Anderson, Chief Commercial Officer at Domio, and Tara Stangel, Head of Lodging Supply at TripActions, to talk through these changes, what to expect from the future of corporate negotiated rates and hotel RFPs, and what you need to do to properly prepare for this new reality.
Although we are already seeing signs of travel rebounding, with booking activity recovering steadily week over week, most frequent flyers are uncertain what business travel actually looks like today. We sit down with Louise Miller, Managing Partner of Areka Consulting, and Mark Goldberger, Director of Enterprise Travel Management at TripActions, to hear about their travel experiences on the ground and in the skies since the onset of COVID-19 to get a glimpse of what other travelers can expect when they head back out on the road.
TripActions co-founder and CTO Ilan Twig led his team to quickly develop business-critical solutions that helped customers manage through COVID-19. These new products, sometimes built and released in days and over weekends, fundamentally changed how customers were able to respond to the crisis. New products and enhanced functionality released in the days and weeks following the virus outbreak include the coronavirus dashboard, regional blacklisting, automated unused tickets and waivers, and policy setting options with deeper customization and more granular control.
In this episode of Open for Business, we sit down with Ilan Twig, co-founder and CTO at TripActions, and Rob Winters, Director of Data at TripActions, to learn how their teams tapped into the power of publicly-available data along with data proprietary to TripActions to build the product features and functionality that the industry needs to get back to business and travel safely and cost effectively, when ready.
Corporate travel by train has grown in popularity amongst business travelers in the UK and around Europe for more than two decades. With advancements in technology, changes in network competition, and shifting consumer expectation, it is poised to become a preferred mode of transportation for millions of business travelers, and not just in Europe.
As business travel picks back up, the numbers are clear: Not only are 74%+ of frequent business travelers comfortable or somewhat comfortable traveling by train right now, but business travelers are now more frequently booking rail over air travel. There is also legislation in the pipeline that would make rail transportation even better for consumers in the future.
Today we sit down with William Phillipson, longtime travel technology executive and leader, veteran of ITA Software and founder of SilverRail, along with Stephanie Weaver, Transport Supply Director for Rail at TripActions, to discuss the future of train travel in Europe and beyond.
In a world in which remote work replaces traditional offices, corporate travel is positioned to play an even more important role in the lives of professionals than before. The value and importance of in-person connections and conversations haven’t gone away -- and organizations with remote employees will need to navigate this. In-person connections will be what makes remote work -- and all of its benefits -- possible for millions of more people. Business travel should be something that we look forward to -- we have the technology available today to make booking, check-in, and changes easier than organizing a daily commute.
We’re not on our own in figuring this out. There are enterprises and leaders who’ve long understood the benefits of remote work complemented by regular business travel who can help guide us on this new path.
We sit down with Darren Murph, Head of Remote at GitLab, and Job van der Voort, Founder and CEO of Remote, to talk through the elevated role of business travel in remote-first companies, and how distributed workforces will come together to fuel the in-person connections that enable employees to build relationships, close deals and drive growth in the future.
Cities are the ultimate knowledge hubs. From Dallas to Dubai, we travel to metropolitan centers to congregate, sign deals over coffee and learn insights in auditoriums. Cities have also been the hardest hit in recent months and our adoration with these complex, crowded but stimulating and vibrant centers has been put on pause.
Cities will be where we reconnect with clients and colleagues, where we go to hear big ideas on big stages, and forge personal relationships on restaurant patios. Cities’ importance must be celebrated and embraced as business travel returns, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be changes to the business travel destinations.
We sat down with Greg Oates, SVP Innovation at MMGY NextFactor and Tom Hall, VP of Experiences at Lonely Planet, to talk through cities’ role as business travel destinations and why embracing them to forge in-person connections is the future of business.
One of the perks of frequent business travel is the ability to rack up airline and hotel points that can be used for upgrades and free hotel stays and tickets. The loyalty game has changed dramatically over the past few years and especially in recent months.
As business travel resumes, business travelers are going to rethink their loyalty strategies and travel managers will want to consider their importance in rethinking policies that drive adoption.
We sat down with Ron Davis, Director of Loyalty at Radisson Hotel Group, Dave Canty, Partner, New World Loyalty, and Grant Martin, Director of Product Marketing at TripActions, to talk through recent loyalty changes and how business travelers and travel managers should think about loyalty moving forward.
Finance, operations, HR, risk and travel managers are starting to think through how they best support their organizations when business travel inevitably resumes -- from ensuring the health and safety of traveling employees to helping their organizations control costs.
COVID-19 forced many organizations around the world to halt travel and cancel nearly all future flight bookings. The vast majority of these tickets were non-refundable, which typically would result in lost value. However, given the unprecedented times, most airlines adjusted their policies to offer waivers so the value of these tickets could be used towards future bookings.
Now, imagine the challenge of keeping track of unused tickets and waivers across thousands or hundreds of thousands of travelers in any given company. In some cases, organizations have millions and millions of dollars in what now amounts to prepaid travel credits.
How can they track and manage these to ensure no company money is left on the table? How can they effectively help their organizations control costs and save money as business travel resumes?
In this episode of Open for Business, we sit down with Paul Huang, Global Director of Travel Operations at TripActions, to look at the unused ticket and waiver dilemma facing many organizations and their travel managers today.
Air travel is forever changed, which may be good news for business travelers. Everything from airport security to seat width is up for innovation as industry leaders diligently think through how to make air travel safer for business travelers around the world. We’re already seeing signs of change with mask mandates and new kinds of security checks.
As business travel resumes, business travelers will want to prepare for a new way of moving through the skies, and travel managers are tasked with preparing them as much as possible. There is also a potential for radical shifts in security, boarding, and in-flight operations that could ultimately position the air travel experience to become better than ever before.
We sit down with Scott Mayerowitz, Executive Editorial Director at The Points Guy, and Skift Aviation Business Editor Brian Sumers to understand how airports and the air travel experience will change for business travelers and those responsible for corporate travel management.
This episode of Open for Business explores the new responsibilities that HR and People teams have as organizations prepare to resume business travel. COVID-19 has shifted the workplace in many ways -- and highlighted the importance of culture in fortifying and supporting employees during unexpected interruptions. As traveling employees return to the road and office, HR and people teams will play an even more important role in caring for their employees. They must continue to create a purposeful culture, provide support as employees shift from WFH schedules, and establish health and safety practices.
We sat down with Leslie Kurkjian Crowe, Chief People Officer at TripActions, to understand where and how HR and business travel now intersect more than ever moving forward.
What happens when business travel stops? And more importantly, how do we prepare for when it resumes?
This episode looks at how travel managers continue driving value with business travel on pause. While it might seem that the travel manager role becomes redundant when business travel stops, companies need their travel managers now more than ever. Travel managers are preparing their organizations and travelers for when business travel inevitably resumes. They are ensuring that their programs and policies prioritize traveler health and safety while controlling costs and saving money.
Our guests this week are Caroline Strachan, managing partner at Festive Road, and Mira Rosenzweig, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at TripActions and previous director of travel services at KBB Partners. Together, they’ll help us understand how travel managers can prepare their organizations to get back to business and business travel safely.
The corporate travel and expense community has a unique opportunity -- a universal pause on travel -- to reassess our relationship to wellness on an individual and organizational level. Our community of executive leaders, travel managers and road warriors are eager to get back out on the road, but want to do so in a way that supports their health, safety, well-being and productivity so they can leverage those critical in-person connections to build relationships, close deals, and drive growth.
Joining us this week is Marcey Rader, productivity coach and founder of Work Well. Play More!, Reiner Halbertsma, co-founder of travel wellness brand Local Time, and Matthew Holmann, founder of Simpila and the Business Travel Wellbeing Community.