Written By; Brad Buice, Vice President, Software Development, Trisept Solutions
It has been an exciting time for the travel industry, as we have seen huge advancements in the way we sell and even experience travel. Most importantly, we can thank travel agents, as they are the trendsetters influencing the way travel technology companies like Trisept Solutions are changing the industry.
With recent technology trends, travel agents are getting smarter in the way they sell travel to their clients and manage their business. That is why Trisept Solutions is continuously providing new and innovative products to empower the next generation of travel professionals. So, how has the growth of travel technologies evolved, and what’s to come in 2018 for modern day travel professionals? We asked Brad Buice, an expert travel technologist and the vice president of Trisept Solutions, to discuss his experience in the travel industry and provide insight on the new possibilities that Trisept’s technology will bring to the industry.
As the vice president of Trisept Solutions, Brad Buice is responsible for the development, delivery and support of Xcelerator, an online tool exclusive for travel agents to help them manage their day-to-day business activities and client relationships, along with providing advanced vacation search options through leading-edge artificial intelligence. He is responsible for leading a team that is focused on creating the best agency management platform in the industry.
How did you get started in the travel technology realm?
I started in the industry in 1996 in the online corporate travel space and then with an online travel agency (OTA). About 13 years ago, the opportunity to move into the leisure travel space presented itself and I quickly grew a deep appreciation for the agents and the work that they do. I have spent time leading the technology for a host agency and consortia and have spent the last ten years focusing on building technology to help leisure travel agencies and agents succeed.
What has been the biggest change in how travel businesses run today compared to when you first started in the industry?
For me, the biggest change has been the number of new business models that have been created in the leisure travel space. When I first started, the industry was heavily dominated by large retail agencies and was still heavily focused on airline bookings and the GDS. Throughout my career, I have been able to witness the creation of many new models; from the growth of large host agencies, smaller retail agencies bringing on independent contractors, specialization, you name it. Agents have become entrepreneurs, doing what it takes for them to be successful. They have transitioned from order takers to marketers and sales professionals. We are seeing new people join our industry from all different walks of life and experiences and many of them being very successful. At one point early in my career, it was believed the travel agency may fade away, being replaced by the OTAs. Instead, our industry showed its resiliency and is flourishing. I am proud to work for a company like Trisept that is dedicated to helping make travel agents successful.
Is there a gap in the travel agent marketplace and how is your team addressing that gap?
While many of the products used today are well-suited for the traditional retail agency, they are not flexible enough to support many of the agents today, especially independent contractors and those agencies that have independent contractors working with them. Since the beginning, Xcelerator has strived to provide a solution that can transform as the industry continues to change. While starting with a new technology to help manage your business can be difficult and overwhelming, you will find that the results lead to higher efficiency and productivity. With time, you’ll get acquainted to using new technologies and seeing the results they can bring to your business will be exciting! If you are worried about getting started, Xcelerator, Trisept’s business management platform, has features to help guide any agent to get started quickly, with the capabilities allowing you to upload an existing client list or even automatically import your VAX booking history directly onto the platform, creating customizable client and trip records automatically.
Xcelerator was also designed to manage key tasks, such as tracking when scheduled, alerting you when your clients are returning from their vacation, even tracking business sales and performance and goal setting. Xcelerator makes it easy for you as an agent to keep track of all your daily tasks.
Once you get comfortable with managing your clients and tasks, you can start leveraging Xcelerator’s advanced features, such as payment and commission tracking, generating day to day itineraries for your clients, tracking sales goals, and even researching to find the right vacation option for your clients.
At Trisept, we see the demand for agents wanting to incorporate technology into their businesses. That is why we are continuously innovating and providing leading-edge products like Xcelerator that are simple and easy to use. In the end, we strive to provide simple and straight forward solutions to help agents manage their business and deliver memories for their clients that they will not forget.
Seasoned travel agents are often confident about how they have been successfully running their business for many years without new technology. What is your response to that?
The first question I ask is: How much time do you spend doing work that prevents you from growing your business? Maybe you spend a lot of time manually creating itineraries from what you receive from suppliers. Maybe it is keeping track of key tasks and payments. It may be researching to find the perfect vacation for your clients. Then, I ask: What would you do if you had a tool that would help minimize the time it takes to do daily business tasks? Would you spend more time working to attract new clients? Learning more about suppliers and destinations so you can be a better expert for your clients? Spending more time with family? Traveling more? There are affordable products, like Xcelerator, that can save you a significant amount of time, easily paying for itself. The question then presents itself: How much is that saved time worth to you? Many agents are very successful in their profession, and the time saved by using innovative technology solutions like Xcelerator is priceless.
What are some changes we can expect from Xcelerator in 2018?
It will be an exciting year for Xcelerator. In the first half of 2018, we plan on providing our users with new and improved invoice and itinerary capabilities, which will provide a more professional looking design to send to their client. We are also projected to be supporting more than 25 different cruise lines in Discover, covering both ocean and river cruises. We also plan on adding even more suppliers so agents can import their reservations by using only their agent confirmations.
And coming very soon, an agent will be able to better manage independent contractors that work with them, helping in tracking and managing their business relationships. With the start of the new year, we strive to provide the easiest and most powerful management solution for the next generation of travel agents.
This is just the start of what’s to come at Trisept Solutions in 2018, as they pave the way in providing leading-edge products and solutions for travel agents and the industry as a whole. With the vision in place for Brad and the rest of the Trisept team, the future of travel will continue to look bright.
Are you ready to join the next generation of travel professionals and simplify your workflow with Xcelerator? Sign up today for a 30-day free trial*. Xcelerator.triseptsolutions.com