Nobody gets more excited about innovation than I do. At GetThere, we pride ourselves as inventors and leaders in travel management systems. But there is a certain level of pragmatism that must be applied to manage innovation.
Let me illustrate. Last year, Wired magazine had an article about how to make the perfect, clear ice cube. It was somewhat complicated and required an insulated cooler, an ice pick and screwdriver - and a lot of effort. It occurred to me that while a perfectly transparent ice cube was an interesting objective, it would be far easier to keep using an old fashioned ice cube tray and have an opaque cube than to go through all of that trouble to make a drink cold.
Cool technology sometimes doesn’t really solve a problem. It’s just cool.
Within the travel industry, we have no shortage of “cool” ideas – and potential customers who might like them. But with limited resources, customer sensitivity to price increases, and the need to prioritize, it makes sense to cautious when embracing coolness as the end-all-be-all. There are lots of cool technology ideas that in the end can cost far more than using a standard, accepted approach within our travel ecosystem today. Local and global choices have important roles to play in taking a pragmatic approach to opportunities across our industry – and prioritizing those opportunities most effectively.
GetThere is committed to a pragmatic approach to innovation. For TMC’s, we give a best-in-class online solution that “gets” the complexity of a TMC mid- and back-office system. For corporations, we give the optimal travel and collaboration management tools to take travel program owners into the office of the CFO or CIO to prove the value of managed travel programs. For technology partners, we are just that: partners in every sense of the word. And that partnership carries through to customers who choose both us and our partners together.
As we work together to automate and self-service-enable even more in the travel and collaboration continuum, GetThere's product and services factory is working hard for you. We try to bring the right mix of product and service, innovation and pragmatism to your programs, whether you’re a corporation or a TMC. Because of our DNA, we know that our mutual success comes about when there’s the right mix of corporation goals, GetThere product and service capabilities, and TMC certification.
Wondering if your latest innovation wish is too cool to be pragmatically feasible? Send me a note and let’s discuss it.