• en
  • de

Category: Customer Stories

Interview with Magnatech

Our conversation with Paul Gioia (CEO) and Scott Millar (Director, Sales & Strategic Partnerships) revealed a great deal about the awesome TravelTech company from Montreal.

Magnatech is mostly known for its unused tickets solution. The topic is widespread in North America, but almost unknown in Europe. Why is that?

Unused tickets usually have value in both Europe and North America. In Europe, there is the possibility of a ticket refund – so the traveller receives a refund. Whereas in the US and Canada, a credit is issued for the value of the ticket minus a “penalty” when purchasing a new ticket.

Paul Gioia

With our “Ontrackplus” solution, TMCs and corporates can manage and keep track of these unused tickets ensuring they are used before expiration.

How do you achieve that exactly?

We track all of our customers’ booked tickets by scanning the corresponding GDS queues several times a day.

If a profile tool like Umbrella is used, then all unused tickets will be attached to the corresponding profile. In the case of an OBE booking, the booker will automatically be informed in the event that an appropriate balance is available.

How do you deal with non-GDS bookings?

If a corresponding ghost segment exists, we can also record, manage and report non-GDS bookings.

Scott Millar

Do you see business opportunities for Ontrackplus in Europe as well?

With our technology, the often-complicated refund process in Europe can be completely automated. This is something we are pursuing with interested parties.

What other products do you offer at Magnatech?

In addition to our flagship product for unused tickets, we also offer solutions in the following areas:

  • Duty of Care
  • Quality Control
  • Itinerary Delivery
  • Compliance Control
  • Pre-Trip Approval

Which customers are you primarily addressing with your solutions?

Magnatech is of interest to anyone using a GDS or a direct connect solution whose booking data we can read at any time.

We now work with over 30 of the 50 largest corporate travel agencies in the US and Canada.

Tell us about the company history and your participation.

Magnatech was founded in 1990. Paul joined in 2002 and Scott followed 3 years later. In 2016, we jointly acquired the company as part of a corporate restructuring. Paul is the President & CEO as well as majority shareholder.

Currently Magnatech employs 14 dynamic individuals and make up a wonderful multicultural team, which is typical of Montreal’s fast-growing software industry.

Like almost everyone in this industry, you enjoy travel. Which travel experiences have left the biggest impression on you so far?

Scott: It was actually a business trip, on the way back from Atlanta. An ice storm had paralysed all air traffic. For some reason, my flight was the very last one to be cancelled, and I didn’t realise until it was too late. As a result, I was literally the only passenger in that huge airport.

Paul: My family and I recently visited Portugal and became instant fans of the country.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Portugal, its food, its culture and its welcoming people. Albufeira is definitely one of my favourite destinations.

Thank you for the wonderful interview and your hospitality!



Interview with Nicole Wilcock, Radius Travel

Umbrella is proud to announce its profile management partnership with Radius Travel, probably the best-known global mega-network in travel management.

In this interview, Nicole Wilcock, Senior Director of Global Service Delivery, tells us why the concept of a network of local TMC champions is so successful. Plus, she fills us in on her exciting journey via Royal Air Force plane to her husband’s most unusual birthplace.

 

What is Radius’ motivation and objective of partnering with Umbrella?

Umbrella is certainly the market leading solution for profiles. Your technical and functional approach is better and more mature than other solutions, which will be of great help for our multinational customers and local partners.

The other aspect is, of course, Umbrella’s expertise in many different global markets.

 

Radius has an impressive history and track record. But how big is Radius really? Can you share facts & figures?

Of course. Radius is currently active with 123 global agencies in 72 markets on 6 continents. Together, these partners have over 37,000 employees and over $30 billion in revenue.

 

When, why and by whom was Radius founded?

More than 40 years ago, several American TMCs joined together to develop a joint hotel programme named the Woodside Travel Trust (WTT). For 20 years, it developed very successfully and is still a core element of our services. We took the next step forward in the mid-90s when we re-branded as RADIUS (which became Radius Travel in 2013) and began to service multinational clients.

We are very proud that many customers and partner agencies have been with us since that time.

 

What is Radius’ USP for corporations?

Radius speaks to customers that appreciate both local and highly personalised service. Small, owner-managed agencies naturally have a very close relationship with their customers.

From the network, we complement this customer contact and very high level of service with consolidated data, uniform travel policies, and best practices for their travel programme.

 

What’s the biggest challenge for business travel distribution in 2019?

There is a huge gap between the myth and reality regarding new ways of content distribution. This needs to be balanced with new customer expectations, which come from the very handy and mature leisure booking experience.

It’s definitely not trivial to make this look seamless. But our powerful network combined with local best practices helps our members and customers master this challenge.

 

What’s the biggest opportunity for TMCs?

We must make the customer experience as convenient and attractive as the experience for leisure travellers. I am convinced that this is a great opportunity for our partners, as their service is both highly personalized and of the quality that our customers demand.

 

What do you like best about Switzerland?

I worked for a Swiss company for a number of years and spent a lot of time in this wonderful country. I love the landscape and nature. It is so picturesque and breathtaking no matter the season.

 

What is your most inspiring/impressive personal travel experience?

Definitely a trip to Ascension Island, a small island in the middle of the South Atlantic, used by the British and Americans as a military base. My husband is one of the few people actually born on Ascension. His father was employed by the British government at that time and was stationed there for two years.

Access to the island is limited because of its military use. That’s unfortunate since the nature on Ascension is absolutely unique. You will find a lush green and practically untouched forest belt, as well as sprawling lava fields and beautiful beaches.

 

Nicole, thank you so much for your time and the interview!

Interview with Alon Meisels, CEO of Atriis

When we talk to TMCs about NDC, the name Atriis is on everyone’s lips. These travel tech pros from the Israeli city of Tiberias seem to be doing a lot right. And now there is also a bidirectional profile data interface between Umbrella and Atriis. 

We spoke to the company’s CEO Alon Meisels to find out more about the technology and vision that drive Atriis’ impressive growth.

Continue reading

GlobalStar and Umbrella

GlobalStar Travel Management operates in more than 3,500 locations in over 85 countries. Its combined turnover is more than US $14 billion.

Umbrella is pleased to announce that GlobalStar has chosen us as their global partner for profile management!

Please find below our insightful interview with GlobalStar’s president, Steve Hartwell and Benjamin Christen, Implementation & Operational Development Manager!

Continue reading

Umbrella’s Profiles On Demand

With the Profiles On Demand API, Umbrella solves a complex problem. Customers can access their profile data at any time. But they don’t need to develop and maintain their own database with traveller information. Plus, storing the data in Umbrella fulfils all requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 

Individual traveller profiles are imported from Umbrella directly into external applications. Practical examples of this include:

Continue reading

Uniglobe and Umbrella

Uniglobe is a strong, renowned consortium of travel agencies with partners in over 60 countries.

We have asked Richard Moore, Director of Operations for Uniglobe British Isles and EMEA, why he chose Umbrella for Profile Management and which travel destination he has found most impressive. The answer is surprising.

Continue reading

Umbrella in Newcastle

Only in Newcastle can you go into a pub alone and leave with 10 friends. Friendliness is a well-known and quite wonderful trademark of the residents of north-east England.

I can only second this sentiment and would like to once again thank Helen Thielmann and Barry Higgott from Horncastle Travel for their great hospitality.

Horncastle was one of the very first Umbrella clients in the UK. I wanted to find out from Helen and Barry what they really appreciate about our tool, and what surprises Newcastle and its surroundings has in store for travellers.

Continue reading

Umbrella Organisation AG
Binzstrasse 33
CH - 8620 Wetzikon

Phone: +41 44 933 53 90
E-Mail: info@umbrella.ch