For Andrew Jordan, Chief Product and Technology Officer at travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel, digital transformation demands not only the adoption of a completely different approach to product development but also culture change.
In 2017 he hit the cultural bullseye with his implementation of the Jive social collaboration platform. Deployed in six weeks from concept to live, it has one of the highest levels of adoption (around 90% of the company regularly and actively use it) of any such product in any industry.
On the traditional product development front, his team built entirely from scratch a new price tracker platform that automates the price-checking process and rebooks for less whenever possible. Since its deployment, the system has made substantial savings for clients and improved customer satisfaction.
CWT's core traveller portal was redeveloped in 2017, with new services, functionality, look and feel, and a new and proprietary identity management system. It has delivered faster response times, better usability and a higher attachment rate (hotels booked at the same time as the flight ticket).
Data science has been a big theme in the past 12 months, with two new products launched. One uses ETL tools to ingest large volumes of unstructured data across a wide number of travel and non-travel sources to answer questions such as the ROI on travel. The other uses AI-driven free-text inquiry to place sophisticated analytical tools in the hands of non-data scientists. Jordan also implemented robotic process automation in several use-cases, notably for email, where a machine learning engine has taken over non-productive, low-value work.