Amadeus has partnered to embed its Cytric booking and expense platform into the Microsoft 365 suite of tools.
With the integration, available now, users can search and book travel within Microsoft Teams and also share trip information in Teams, with colleagues giving them the option to book the same trip. Amadeus already had the capability in Outlook to configure a “book travel” option, which would trigger a pop-up window with the standard Cytric experience, said Ken Pfaffmann, Amadeus VP of business development for corporations in the Americas. With the initial integration with Teams, users can add Cytric as an app, which lets them book within Teams and have a button within chat to share all or portions of itineraries with colleagues, he said.
“The ability to book plane tickets or manage travel expenses without leaving everyday collaborative applications will help make the process smoother for users, making travel easier and eliminating some of the usual booking challenges,” Microsoft global travel director Eric Bailey said in a statement.”
Within the next few months, the integration will deepen to make it “natively a Teams experience” for booking, expense management and sharing travel information, Pfaffmann said. Microsoft and Amadeus are working together on the architecture of the solutions, which will have a slightly different user experience.
From there, the companies will work together on a variety of new capabilities, Pfaffmann said. For example, a calendar invite in Outlook for a location outside of an employee’s home office could pre-populate searches with travel recommendations based on price, convenience, traveler history and environmental impact, and it also could provide a list of connections in the destination to help the employee set up meetings. Tools to help employees across different offices plan collaborative meetings also will be a focus, he said.
The relationship with Microsoft is exclusive for Amadeus “for a period,” according to Pfaffmann.
The integration also will help Amadeus in its push for increased U.S. adoption of Cytric, which it launched in 2016 to replace its e-Travel Management tool. Pfaffmann said initial growth in the United States for the tool was slow, but in the last few years the company has invested more for U.S. expansion, including beefing up the team behind the tool. “A good number of global accounts” using the tool out of Europe are expanding use to the United States, and “two large global U.S. companies” will be moving to Cytric this year, he said.