Celebrating One Year of Etta

April 12, 2022

At Deem, we’re celebrating a very special anniversary — one year since we launched Etta, our business travel management platform. In this short time, Etta has won the hearts of corporate travelers worldwide as well as the awards to prove it. Etta isn't just leading the way in user design and safety features, it’s also prioritizing a human-centric approach to travel. We are so proud of all that Etta has accomplished in this last year and we’re just as excited to move forward into the future.

The inspiration behind Etta was simple. We wanted to take the friction out of booking and managing travel because — let’s face it — traveling is stressful, no matter when you do it. We wanted to lessen the hassle for our users, and we needed a better, more human-centric platform to do that. After a year and a half of research and planning, we introduced Etta, designed for humans, by humans, with the goal of making it “easier to travel anywhere”. That phrase was so central to our mission that its acronym became our namesake: Etta.

How does Etta work?

Etta enables an easy experience for travelers by offering an intuitive app to book their trips. Etta also simplifies how any business can create a comprehensive travel program. Companies love the infrastructure Etta provides to their travel managers — they can set up rules and regulations that guide employees to in-policy options that help control costs and keep travelers safe. Travelers using Etta likely have fewer policy violations, fewer denied expense approvals, and fewer unapproved  trip requests. And employees love how easy the app is to use, and the unique features it provides. Many may not even realize how much ease the app grants them, providing the personalized recommendations that help them stay in policy..

What's more, by partnering with other suppliers and solution providers like travel management companies and expense solutions, Etta allows business travelers to manage all parts of their trips seamlessly, safely and cost-effectively — from booking to submitting their receipts upon return.

Features that shine

Having a full-service platform for business travel is just one aspect of what sets Etta apart from the competition. Users are quick to emphasize their love of the app experience, its safety features, and its accessibility. 

Mobile-first design: Well designed platforms make life easier. For that reason, the team behind Etta invested in human centered design from its inception. One of the ways that Etta stands out in this area? We designed Etta for mobile first. While many companies first create a desktop version of their software solution, we prioritized the experience on the small screen because users always have their phones with them, especially when they’re on the road.. Etta is easy to use, beautiful to look at, and has an intuitive user flow all in the palm of your hand.

Traveler safety: Etta launched one year into the Covid-19 pandemic. From the beginning, we knew we would have to make our users’ safety a top priority. That meant  delivering constant and up-to-date safety information. With that in mind, we designed, and built our award-winning Travel SafetyCheck in just 90 days. 

Travel SafetyCheck provides dynamic, contextually-relevant information based on where travelers are going and the user’s specific needs. By providing users with information, they can make informed decisions about their travel and tailor plans to their preferences and needs. 

Travel SafetyCheck provides Covid-19 health information, like specific airlines' protocols and local coronavirus cases, and hyperlocal neighborhood safety scores. Travelers can access assessments in seven categories: nighttime safety, physical safety, theft, basic freedoms, health and medical, LGBTQIA+ safety, and women’s safety. We have been continually iterating and enhancing this feature over the last year, and it will continue to become even more comprehensive as we adapt to the world around us. 

Accessibility: At Deem, we believe that designing for accessibility doesn’t just benefit users with disabilities; it benefits everyone. Accessibility is a core feature of Etta; we designed the app to be AA-level compliant with web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) through the W3C. This translates to a platform with specific enhancements for vision, hearing, motor, and cognitive impairments. We’re committed to this level of inclusion to make travel easier for people of any ability.

In the pursuit of the perfect user experience, we continue to find new innovations for Etta. Innovations like Ask Etta, an in-app knowledge base, or Uber for Business with Etta, our newest way to get to and from an airport. Our aim is to continuously create additions like these to decrease friction and enhance the travel experience. 

An award-winning platform

Etta was created and launched in the midst of a global pandemic that flipped the travel industry on its head. This time of hardship and turmoil illuminated the need to create a product like Etta, and exposed the beating heart of our company and mission — the people.  Both our incredible users and our team members push us to keep moving forward while keeping humans at the front and center of every decision.

We are incredibly proud that the hard work behind Etta has been recognized across the industry before even reaching a year on the market. Our silver Best Corporate Response (Covid-19) from the American Business Awards in October was followed by five Muse Awards (Including Platinum for Diversity & Inclusion) and three G2 awards for Best Relationship, Best Usability, and Easiest Admin. Just looking at the categories we’ve won showcases our values and highlights Etta’s best-loved features. Most recently, we were thrilled and honored to be chosen as #3 in the top 10 of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Travel Companies of 2022.

We are also extremely honored by the Comparably awards we won for our company culture at Deem. We were included on their 2021 lists for best companies for diversity, for women, and for leadership. To us, these accolades emphasize our mission — that in order to create an award-winning product like Etta, we first must value the relationships and facilitate seamless collaboration for our teams building it. If we take good care of our people, they will in turn take good care of the platform.

The future of Etta

Already, we have started to see a global return to business travel. As more Etta travelers book trips, we are getting to see the benefits of face-to-face connections firsthand. Etta not only provides users with a full-service platform, it arms them with the knowledge to make safe and informed decisions. Because of that, Etta is able to facilitate people getting together in the same room again — a moment we have all been waiting for since the beginning of 2020.

We have an ambitious vision for Etta’s future. There are big plans on the horizon, including our new integration with Uber for Business, launching at the end of summer 2022. This feature will make Etta a true one-stop shop for every leg of travel, closing the loop on what we refer to as the “final mile” — making your flight on time by getting you to the airport reliably. 

There will always be challenges when you travel, and at Deem, we want to take all of the stress and anxiety — the friction — out of business travel. As we look down the runway, we see Etta continuing to do all of the amazing things it’s already done for business travel, but in even better and faster ways.

After a first year like the one we had, the possibilities for the future of Etta are boundless.  We know that as long as we continue to keep people at the center of our decision-making, even the sky isn’t the limit for Etta.

Author

Tahnee Perry
VP, Marketing

Tahnee Perry is a marketing executive with 15+ years of travel industry experience. She fosters a passion for excellence in execution and builds high-performance teams. Previously, Tahnee drove creative and marketing strategy for B2B information solutions company, Northstar Travel Group, and for travel research authority Phocuswright. She's a frequent industry speaker and guest lecturer at Stanford University.

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