Alternatives to SAP Online Booking – an overview
SAP has been offering its fully integrated online booking connecting to GDS for quite a while now, being originally one of the first Online Booking Engines (OBEs) in the market ever.
Unfortunately, this solution is already in maintenance mode and will not be continued after end of mantenance.
this part only valid for Germany. Maybe different in other markets, or to come later there.
Additionally, we have the situation – at least in Germany – that there are some rumors about discontinuing the existing eBridge access to GDS by one of the leading providers at the end of the year. Customers say they have received a notice of termination for eBridge service, forcing them to think on alternative solutions.
For that reason, I want to give you a little overview of available solutions known as working.
Travel market has always been dynamic, and it continues being so. You may have noticed that SAP has acquired Concur, which is bundled with an own OBE. Amadeus has acquired i:FAO, offering the Cytric OBE. So concentration is already in place, which might continue, ending up maybe in some other products leaving market.
But this is not my part to comment. I simply want to show you some options. This is not a recommendation for one or the other tool. You have to discuss this with your customer from functional view.
Let’s have a look at SAP On Premise, which is offering the integrated GDS connection to Amadeus and Sabre, but also web services to connect to OBEs.To implement OBE, TMC or manufacturer will help. They will also help in telling you the functions, which are restricted for all OBEs by GDS capabilities.
Here we have:
– Amadeus eTravel Management (AeTM): known as a good product for global use. AeTM is supported by SAP standard and can be implemented with some adjustments and BADIs.
– GetThere: same applies as for AeTM
– i:FAO cytric: a very popular OBE in Germany and Europe due to its flexible framework for multi-GDS and vendor direct access connection. This one also has a nice travel request control, deciding whether you have to do an online booking or an offline request to agency. Not supported by SAP standard, but connected in many customer projects for large and mid-size companies unsing web services and some middleware. Integration package offered by consulting partner for +/- 20K (EUR).
– KDS: french solution. I tried to connect them to SAP Expenses several times, which was always rejected by their organization who did not want to support this. Attitude may have changed in the meantime, so it’s worth asking for, as I somehow like the OBE. I know one large customer who has integration to SAP up and running, so it is possible.
– Onesto: german solution. Integration possible as individual solution.
– Traveldoo: not that common, but a good product. Integration possible with web services as individual solution.
Generally, you can connect any OBE if
– they have a suitable interface, ideally based on web services
– provider is willing to support this also from maintenance perspective. You need a support channel, access to their dev landscape, early information on upcoming changes, …
– YOU are able to offer maintenance and support during operation. Implementing is not the issue – but, remember: travel market is dynamic. Any airline introducing a new pricing model may crash your setup.
Don’t hesitate to contact me for any questions regarding fully integrated travel management.