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Rail sales utopia? Journey planning and rail booking system

November 25, 2015
Author: Eve-Marie Morgo

Thorsten Zimmermann, Head of Product Management at Amadeus Rail and Michael Frankenberg, Managing Director and Partner at HaCon,  tell us more about combining solutions and services to make it easier for travel agencies to book rail and provide an efficient service for their customer. Keep on reading to watch the interview and discover which solutions are helping travel agencies to book rail globally, to increase rail profitability and to generate more reveneues. 


Thorsten, what can you tell us about the new amaDEUS RAIL PARTNERSHIP WITH HACON? 

HaCon is an industry leader in journey planning in Europe, with ambitions to extend into other regions. For Amadeus, we are on the lookout for best in class solutions in the industry to complement our offer to railways, and of course to our travel seller community by using innovation in technology. To have rail journey planning including the right information about the service provided by the railways in a compact and end-to-end way is very important for us. It’s a key moment in moving further into the future so we can focus on our core competencies, the reservation system, inventory and seat reservation modules, including ticketing. With HaCon and Michael’s team as a partner, I believe we are going to have a great end-to-end solution that will make a big difference to the industry.


What does this new relationship mean to HaCon Michael?

An integrated connection between the journey planner and a booking system is a key factor to be successful. We have customers that have increased revenue by 7% when they have switched to our journey planner engine. This means a combination of the journey planning part and the sales part, is something that can be definitely done more efficiently than it is today by railways. We believe that with this partnership we can build together better industry standard solutions for the railway industry.


Thorsten, what does this mean for the customer?

Our ambition is to offer everything in one solution, which means multi-channel and multi-provider with the goal to have the timetables and the planning services in Amadeus Rail Display. Having this information in one single product is not the case today as the travel agent has to leave the booking tool and go to other products. Here they can stay on one single product and save time by not switching around to find information and make the booking. The challenge for us is now we have the timetable information and services, we also have to make it bookable, we want to take it to the next level. I believe we can make it happen, that’s why the partnership is so important because we can get a big piece done with HaCon and focus on our core competence which is a reservation. 


Michael, could you sum up the importance of this partnership to the customer experience?

Before you sell a ticket, there needs to be a certain amount of information necessary so that the travel agency can offer the best price and schedule for the traveller. Therefore you have to be able to access the timetable and journey planner necessary for that transaction, and of course, tickets can only be sold for trains which are existing in the inventory system. The importance here is that an up-to-date database of trains and services is crucial for third parties, so they can service their customers efficiently. Nobody is living at a railway station, which is why door-to-door solutions are becoming more important. Real-time information will help during situations of disruption, you don’t want to buy a ticket for a train that is cancelled, so door to door integration becomes essential for the railway operators and we can help to bring that breadth of content into the booking systems. 


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