When booking travel in Teams becomes a reality

You are no doubt familiar with Amadeus Cytric Travel & Expense, the online tool for booking business travel and cost management. Either “SBT” from the European technology group, competitor to KDS and other Concur. “Cytric is now implemented with thousands of customers around the world,” said Jean-Christophe Carette, commercial director of Amadeus. Among them are Renault and Egis. »

Melia adopts Cytric Easy

A new step has been taken with the integration of Cytric into Microsoft Teams, a project called Cytric Easy, which was unveiled in March 2022. A very first customer has just adopted this solution, the Meliá Hotels International * chain. Without leaving the video conferencing tool integrated with Microsoft 365, the employee can book a business trip: a flight, a hotel or a car (see screenshot below). With Cytric in the classic version, he has to go for the application, available in SaaS mode on his work environment.

Why was Cytric Easy born? “Since the pandemic, we have observed a very big change in companies and professional organizations,” recalls Jean-Christophe Carette. According to an Accenture survey of 1,000 frequent business travelers, 80% of employees want to work externally. Meetings via Teams, in the company, will replace some travel, a remark that of course also applies to Zoom.

“With Cytric Easy, the employee remains in their environment. Microsoft’s vision is that Teams will gradually take over Outlook as a collaboration tool. »With simplified sharing of travel between employees e.g. A Sol Meliá employee can send an itinerary to a colleague via Microsoft Teams, who can then book a similar trip with a single click.

The Cytric interface integrates directly with Teams. It is up to the traveler to book alone.

What is the role of the travel agency?

What about the mission of the big TMC type Amex GBT or the local agency Selectour, TourCom or Havas Voyages? This is the question that many business travel specialists regularly ask themselves regarding the rise in SBTs.

The first element of response, the company uses Cytric for 70% to 80% of transactions on average, estimates Jean-Christophe Carette. In other words, 20% to 30% of the files still go through the agency. Complex files, especially multi-destination and multi-travelers, always go through the expertise of a specialized advisor. Ditto when it comes to changes, frequent in business trip. “If a business partner is on the go and wants to make a simple change, he can do so via the tool. But he will of course call his agency who can take care of it for him. TMC or the local agency retrieves the file via its GDS (Amadeus, Saber, Travelport). The Amadeus solution is therefore connected to the tools it uses with a single profile database.

The board can also intervene upstream. Either Cytric is marketed by him. “CWT, Amex GBT, FCM, BCD Travel resell our solution. The TMC then configures the solution, implements it and assigns an operations team to its customers. Either the solution is sold directly by Amadeus … who then (pretty much) does the job instead of the agency.

Last information to remember: Cytric is based on a transaction model, which is “slightly more expensive” in Easy mode, as it offers “more services” and improves employee productivity. We do not know more during our interview.

It is still unknown whether Amadeus and Microsoft will get closer tomorrow, at the capital level. A smart question asked by our colleagues from DéplacementsPros.

* in addition to the natural customer represented by Microsoft …

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