Carlson Wagonlit Travel Partners with Rearden CommerceNew CWT Traveler Assistant offering increases company control over costs and enhances traveler experience
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a global leader specializing in business travel management, has signed a reseller agreement with Rearden Commerce to offer clients the CWT Traveler Assistant powered by the Rearden Commerce™ Platform, an end-to-end solution for booking and managing travel and related business services.
"Our Rearden Commerce partnership gives CWT clients another option and a best-in-market solution for meeting the needs of both their travelers and their corporations, particularly as we integrate the platform with CWT tools for travelers and travel managers," explained Brian Hace, vice president, Client Services, CWT North America. "The agreement aligns with and further enables CWT's broader objectives around optimizing clients' travel programs while providing exceptional service and assistance to travelers."
The CWT Traveler Assistant incorporates personal and company preferences and is delivered via a single online destination. It is completely integrated with users' calendar, Microsoft Outlook®, or Lotus Notes®. Additionally, the CWT Traveler Assistant will be integrated with a variety of proprietary CWT products, such as portal sites, profile management systems, messaging tools, and unused ticket tracking for travelers, and reporting capabilities for travel buyers.
Hace emphasized the platform's traveler-centric user interface and highly personalized trip planning experience. He also highlighted the increased corporate visibility and control over total T&E costs it delivers by enabling booking of expanded and traditionally unmanaged travel categories such as airport parking, dining, and entertainment.
"Certainly, we recognize CWT's leading position in travel management, and we're excited about this partnership to make the Rearden Commerce Platform available to CWT's client base," said Patrick Grady, founder and CEO of Rearden Commerce. "We consider CWT's partnership further demonstration that the travel industry is moving toward offering a more consumer-like experience for travelers."
"Innovation is a guiding force at CWT and we like to integrate the most creative solutions in the marketplace," shared Andrew Winterton, president, suppliers, products & technology for CWT. "We believe in Rearden Commerce's vision in delivering the best user experience to travelers while advancing online booking beyond the traditional travel components of air, hotel, and ground transportation."
CWT also announces it will phase out CWT Horizon, its proprietary North American online booking tool, in 2011. "Over the years, CWT Horizon has been a leader in the corporate travel booking space, and perhaps offered some inspiration to the tools that will best serve corporate travelers in the coming years," Hace reflected.
CWT Horizon has served nearly 15 million travelers based in the United States and Canada over the years. It was officially launched in 2002 as part of the CWT Symphonie suite, though early versions of the tool date back to the mid-1990s with CWT's SoloAct booking software, one of the industry's first technology solutions for corporate online booking.
"CWT makes ongoing decisions to buy, partially buy, or build technology based on client interest and demand for certain features and functionality, as well as a tool's ability to be nimble in addressing changing industry and customer requirements," Winterton explained. He added that Rearden Commerce joins CWT North America's existing lineup of online booking reseller relationships with Concur's Cliqbook and Sabre's GetThere.
As always, CWT clients will be able to select the corporate booking tool that best meets the priorities and requirements for their travel programs. CWT client-specific transition plans are under discussion, with the first client transition expected to take place this fall.
About Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is a global leader specializing in business travel management. Present in more than 150 countries, CWT serves companies of all sizes, as well as government institutions and non-governmental organizations. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. CWT services and solutions comprise four lines of business: Traveler & Transaction Services, Program Optimization, Safety & Security, and Meetings & Events. In 2009, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$21.4 billion. For more information, please visit our global Website at carlsonwagonlit.com.