business travelers and new tech: optimizing travel

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Business travelers are tough customers: they want their trips to go as scheduled, with no hiccups. Busy, demanding and organized, they are also generally better informed and better equipped than other travelers.

They have specific needs and value connectivity, comfort and flexibility above all else. For instance, they want access to any service in just one click (business applications), wherever they happen to be. They also want to be treated like tourists and to feel at home in hotels.

connectivity on public transit: a must-have for business travelers

High-quality Internet access is a basic service that needs to include extras in order to satisfy business people. This demand should be met in 2013 with the further development of 4G networks and the range of services it can offer.

Technology is changing the way we travel. With tools such as device managers and business applications, customers can securely access company data anytime, anywhere.

The services available to business people enable them to organize trips from start to finish using their smartphones, tablets and apps.

Let’s look at the typical day of Mr Superbusy:

  • job: export manager at EXTRA
  • personality: nomadic corporate exec who understands security issues
  • equipment: a personal smartphone for work and personal use (bring your own device – BYOD): iPhone 5, plus a  tablet
  • he arrives at the airport and pays his driver using his smartphone, thanks to near field communication technology
  • he shows his e-ticket and scans his passport to get through the security checkpoint
  • he heads to the VIP lounge and swipes in with his smartphone (which functions like a frequent flyer card)
  • he then checks his work/personal email and calls his daughter (BYOD)
  • he consults his business apps on the plane using Wi-Fi and prepares for his meeting on his tablet

constant connectivity: a challenge for the transportation and telecom industries

To provide business travelers with the services they want, industries need to develop new business models and include companies in this process. Users are neither purchasers nor decision-makers, though they do have an influence on the purchasing process.

The challenges of constant connectivity and profile management will lead the transportation, telecom and IT industries to work together to develop new travel offers. Tomorrow’s services require knowledge and skills specific to each of these industries.

The development of connected TV in hotels will be encouraged by a partnership between telecom operators and the hotel industry. The same goes for Wi-Fi on public transit, where a partnership between telecom operators and transportation companies seems inevitable. The model could range from a telecom bill with an air travel option to a plane ticket with a Wi-Fi option… or simply a travel service that includes the cost, rendering it invisible to the end user.

The next post in this series will cover Generation Y, tourism and technology.

For more information, download the white paper, “A fully digital tourist’s journey”.

Claire

This post was originally published in French here.

Claire Premont

Je suis consultante en marketing des NTIC dans le département transport, tourisme et média d'Orange Consulting, entité conseil d'Orange Business Services.