Sabre¬†is getting ready to open its Sabre Red App Centre within several weeks, offering developers a 70-30 split on paid apps, an official says.
The idea behind the app centre is that Sabre wants developers to build innovative apps for its travel agency customers and the apps would be integrated deeply into the¬†Sabre Red Workspace¬†point of sale tool.
Sabre announced its intent to build the app centre¬†in September and in mid-October it began making its developer toolkit available to developers who have been vetted by Sabre.
The toolkit contains sample code, wizards, documentation and testing tools so developers can build a variety of apps geared for the classic-green screen or graphical view in the Sabre Red Workspace, which has been deployed to some 165,000 installation in 116 countries, says Pravin Muthukumar, business development manager for the desktop tool.
While a 70-30 split is the baseline model for paid apps made available through the app centre, transaction-based apps will have a more complicated model, Muthukumar says, without offering details.
Sabre already has some 130 developers who previously signed developers agreements with Sabre, and the hope is that the app centre will attract a bevy of new ones and that agencies will chime in with suggestions about what kind of apps they would like to see, Muthukumar says.
Sabre hopes the apps written specificially for the Sabre Red Workspace will be consistent with agents’ workflow needs.
Whereas today agents might have to navigate outside their desktop environment to send a hotel review to clients, perhaps someone will create a review app which could be tightly integrated into the platform, Muthukumar says.
Other types of apps envisioned might facilitate restaurant reservations, servicing clients according to their preferences or relate to quality control, Muthukumar says.
One key question to be answered is what kind of response Sabre will get from developers.
Will agents really take up some of these new, nontraditional apps or will most ignore them like they did when cruise booking apps were introduced years ago?
And, will developers find enough of a market in the app centre when they are building apps for a single GDS platform — i.e. the Sabre Red Workspace?
Sabre is putting the finishing touches on the app centre and then some of those questions will begin to be answered.
In other Sabre news, three additional airlines have signed up to tap into Sabre’s merchandising solutions for ancillary services.
And, South African Airways will also offer ancillary services and also has agreed to make its branded fares available through the Sabre GDS.
Note: Dennis Schaal took part in a Sabre-sponsored media event at Sabre headquarters.