Rearden Commerce and American Express Business Travel are taking the Rearden Mobile Personal Assistant beyond the confines of Amex’s corporate-booking tool, aXiom, and are offering it to corporate customers who use other booking tools, including Sabre’s GetThere and Concur Cliqbook Travel.
The Mobile Personal Assistant is geared to plug into any corporate booking tool and enables business travelers to access their latest itinerary information because it syncs with their passenger name records (PNRs).
The tool also faciliates mobile check-in, and provides travel alerts, dining search and reservations, flight search and weather information.
Rearden, based in Foster City, Calif., offers business travel solutions to several dozen travel management companies, including American Express, which has a minority stake in Rearden.
While Amex is first TMC offering the independent mobile solution to its client base, ¬†Rearden Mobile Rearden hopes that other TMCs will take it to their customer bases, as well.
Whether that actually happens remains to be seen.
Tony D’Astolfo, Rearden’s vice president of worldwide sales, says the Mobile Personal Assistant is designed to be booking-tool agnostic.
“We suggest that clients or resellers shouldn’t be locked into one path,” D’Astolfo says.
The genesis of this move is tied into Amex’s mobile strategy as it seeks to compete with other mobile solutions.
Rearden officials say Amex approached the company in the second quarter of 2009, seeking to provide a singular mobile solution to its entire customer base, and Rearden accommodated the request.
Rearden says one client, with thousands of users, is using independent mobile solution.
Amex has not publicized how it intends to brand the Mobile Personal Assistant for its customers.
D’Astolfo says other TMCs — if they begin to use the tool — would be able to establish their own branding.
He says the mobile tool is a money saver for corporations because adoption leads to a 40% reduction in nuisance calls to TMCs and corporate travel departments.