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FCM invests in next-generation technology

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FCM Travel Solutions is taking its technology offering to new levels with the launch of FCM Connect, an innovative, next-generation suite of interconnected business travel tools.
The global travel management company has invested significantly in research and development of new and enhanced proprietary and best-in-class solutions to create a complete travel resource that transforms the user’s experience, whether booker, traveller or manager.
“We believe technology should move our customers forward, and the next generation release of our technology offering, FCM Connect, is designed to do just that,” says Euan McNeil, GM of FCM Travel Solutions South Africa.
“After extensive client consultation, we have channelled the results into product development and refined our end-to-end solutions to give travellers, bookers and managers the optimum framework that addresses their respective desires to be more connected to the entire booking, travel and management process,” explains Marcus Eklund, global GM of FCM Travel Solutions.
“However, FCM Connect also supports our clients across the spectrum of their travel programme priorities, from cost reduction strategies and data compliance to duty of care responsibilities and global, regional or national fulfillment.”
The gateway to FCM Connect is ‘HUB’, a single sign-on connection point to multiple tools and resources, from pre-trip approval and booking, to traveller tracking and reporting. The new HUB interface is designed for easy interaction and can be accessed via PC, tablet or mobile device. HUB’s dashboard can be personalised in design and configuration for use by travel bookers, managers or travellers, giving each user visibility of the information that is relevant to them.
HUB connects the user to the following eight integrated new or evolutionary FCM-owned technology tools and superior third-party solutions. These can be tailored globally, regionally or locally to suit an organisation’s exact travel programme requirements:
* Approve — a new automated pre-trip approval suite giving the traveller easy access to clear and simple processes for seeking authorisation to travel — depending on the level of complexity of a corporate’s travel programme, clients can opt for one of three tiers: Approve Start, Approve Online or Approve Plus.
* Booking — Connect’s powerful new online booking tool is Seeqa, a business travel ‘eco-system’ that can be tailored to suit the needs of the traveller and booker, to plan, book and purchase complete air, hotel, car, rail and other ancillary services within company policy. Seeqa delivers direct access to the widest range of travel options around the globe, 24/7 in a single interface. Navigation is easy and fast with only a few clicks to complete a booking. Preferred travel options on flights, hotels, trains, low-cost suppliers or direct providers are available at a glance with no need to open multiple windows. Travellers can ‘speed book’ recurring flights and hotels in less than 30 seconds. Over 900 settings enable integration of a corporate’s preferred suppliers, special rates and travel policies. As an end-to-end solution, Seeqa will provide clients with tangible savings via improved cost control, better insight into travel costs and budgets, plus analysis of travel policies.
* Secure — a dashboard-based comprehensive travel risk management solution customized to each client’s requirements. Secure provides itinerary based traveller tracking, flight monitor reporting and real-time alerts to support managers with duty of care responsibilities, provide bookers with accurate information, and travellers with the confidence of knowing that they will be looked after if their safety is at risk. In addition, it features a ‘report my location’ opt-in feature displaying the whereabouts of anyone in the organization who is travelling and has reported in via Connect’s mobile app. Monthly reports also allow managers to evaluate the impact on their company’s travel, plan for the future, refine risk management policy and develop traveller preparedness.
* Mobile — gives travellers on the move quick access to flight and hotel bookings, online check-in, flight status and trip tools such as maps, weather and destination guides. Mobile helps travellers feel more in control during their trip. Flight and hotel bookings are all stored in one place and the user can download e-ticket boarding passes to their travel wallet. Mobile is integrated with Secure enabling the user to share trip details and report their location.
* Expense — a tool to enable travellers to use their downtime to stay on top of expense claims and ensure out-of-pocket expenses are processed at the earliest opportunity.
* Analytics — for the travel manager, FCM’s big data technology provides benchmarking and forecasting, advanced data management, and extensive dashboard analysis. Our analytics tool is also integrated with third party data sources to enable cross platform analytics.
* Reporting — a self-service business intelligence solution that gives clients increased capability to slice and dice data to build their own reports and dashboards. This central platform gathers and stores reservation and financial data, giving travel managers better visibility of key expenditure area. Managers can choose how to interact with the tool, using it personally, or nominating authorised users. Implementation is available on a national and multi-national basis.
* Profile — customised profiles can be configured to suit the client’s organisation and synchronised with GDS and online booking tool. Access levels for profile updates are set by the client and a regular HR feed.
FCM Connect’s interface can be configured via HUB for each user, so that the traveller, booker or manager accesses those components that are relevant to their needs via their personalised dashboard. For example:
* Traveller – Connect configuration includes Mobile, Approve, Booking, Expense, and Secure.
* Travel Booker — Connect configuration includes Booking, Secure, Profile.
* Travel Manager — Connect configuration includes Analytics, Secure, Reporting and Approve.