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Friday, February 3, 2012

KDS Now 2012

Yesterday, KDS organised in Paris their annual event dubbed "KDS Now 2012" to introduce their strategy and new products.
The show began by an introduction made by Yves Weisselberger (Executive Chairman).

Followed by a talk from Pascal Boniface the funding director of IRIS. During its talk he stated that the world changed and that we should be ready to evolve in a multipolar world (an not a world only dominated by the USA). We will also have to consume differently, since water and energy will not be available for all.
Then, the KDS CEO made his speech. It was a great year for KDS, and especially for one product driving 80% of the sales: KDS travel & Expense (all in one offer). KDS invested also a lot in R&D and product innovations.
The KDS strategy was introduced by Oliver Quayle: Simple, Mobile, Smart
1. Simple
Simplicity is always redefined by innovations and especially in the travel 2.0 world. KDS said that companies need to rethink the user experience of their products regularly.
Some examples were given:
  • Before Booking: provide a summarised fare notes to clients  before he/she pushes the "buy" button.
  • Mileage via mapping.
  • Easy Payment.
New product, to be considered as the first implementing the "simple" strategy part is  the KDS Admin Tool and is available Now (previous one to be deprecated end of this year)

2. Mobile

KDS presented a new mobile app, enabling policy compliant booking and two new features: "get me to my hotel" and "book on mobile".
KDS claims that ""no integrated mobile apps exists today for travel and expense (end to end)". We can says that what KDS build is clearly leading edge in term of User Experience.
  • Hybrid mobile application (like Rearden and Getthere). Available on Android, and BB (with OS sup. to V6). IoS to be done soon (and I hope IPAD).
  • When you book three options: best, cheapest, earliest to simplify the UX. Then every segment outside policy is in another colour (visual guilt to show on and out policy). The UX is real great and innovative.

3. Smart
The capability to offer timely and accurate reports using online, offline, credit card, and clients data. The tool is able to provide slice and dice reporting, more than 100's KPI and some forecasting features.
The new product exemplifying the "smart" strategy is the KDS Travel Manager Suite and is available Now.
Innovation: Project NEO
Being able to book your end to end trip in 3 clicks, 2 screens, and 1 minute. KDS, like Rearden with DEEM Storyboard or Facebook with Timeline, is adopting a timeline approach. Only relevent offers based on the traveler type and user policy is shown. 
For KDS: user experience is the best driver to policy compliance
Neo is not a product... Not yet.
Scott Gillepsie Keynote

Tranquility is the enemy of innovation. Scott predicts "best value" for traveler is the next step for creating traveler centric pgm. Cost transparency (what's my budget?) more than travel Policy compliance (what is my policy?). Deeper data relationship and smarter socializing will change travel policy. 

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