BCD Travel extends its trip management platform to voice-enabled devices
UTRECHT, The Netherlands, July 31, 2018 – Business travelers serviced by global travel management company BCD Travel are seeing some of the most advanced digital technologies from consumer retail extended to corporate travelers to enhance the business trip.
BCD is extending its powerful trip management platform, TripSource®, into cloud-based voice services. The move offers business travelers the convenience of a voice-activated trip management experience on any Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot—as well as any smart phone with the Alexa app loaded.
TripSource and Alexa-enabled devices can use the new Alexa skill to request specific details about upcoming trips, including arrival and departure dates and times, hotel confirmation information and even the address for rental car pick up.
“We want to offer business travelers access to trip information using their favorite tools and devices wherever they are—the office, at home or on the go,” said Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of Product Planning and Development. “Virtual voice technology gives us the opportunity to seamlessly integrate natural-language technologies into our TripSource platform and expand our self-service capabilities.”
BCD utilized a team of voice user-experience designers and engineers to humanize the experience. BCD’s TripSource Alexa skill expands intelligent communications beyond email by introducing the ability to add “nicknames” to the virtual personal assistant — so family members can stay updated too. For example, the kids might say: “Alexa, ask TripSource when mom’s flight is arriving,” and the system recognizes the identity of mom.
Recent research suggests that human interaction with voice-recognition technologies is on the verge of exploding. By 2020, over 200 billion searches per month will be voice based, according to a July 2018 Phocuswright report, “The State of Voice in Travel.” Sixty percent of U.S. travelers already use voice to access personal information.
As the service evolves, BCD will extend voice capabilities to planning and booking—not only on Alexa, but other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. The company will continue to deliver on those throughout the remainder of this year and into next.