Friday, July 07, 2006

Never mind the blogocks

This blogging really is a fascinating medium. With the shackles of complying with a corporate message removed I can tell you what I really think!

And you can tell me if you think I'm typing complete blogocks!

I read recently a news release from a travel technology supplier claiming that its flight-engine was about to revolutionise relationships between low-cost carriers and agents, when clearly several suppliers have supported search, cost and book services with these airlines for years.

Similar claims are sometimes made about "unique" dynamic packaging services when seamless search across multiple suppliers is widely available and bolting-on new suppliers is essentially a question of allocating development-days in response to customer demand.

Buyers should beware companies making claims about unique technologies. Innovation is of course a great thing, but it has to be real.

It also extends beyond just clever technology - into commercial models, ongoing R&D investment and support and account management.

My advice would be to challenge such claims and shop around. You might be surprised to find that that “unique” is a very hard position to sustain in the travel technology sector.

Ed Whiting, product director, Comtec (Europe)

[Ed's column in Travolution - How much would you pay for eSP]

1 comment:

Steve E said...

Good post! Travel companies/suppliers appear to be particularly guilty of claims of innovation and first-to-market launches when in reality much has been done before (only with older technologies).

Another example of these claims would be the whole web 2.0 miracle; which is in reality an extension of practices long since used online. For instance social tagging was something I personally implemented on a portal 7 years ago (a system where by users could tag articles with categories which could then be used to filter searches by other users), the concept of blogging has existed online in forums and personal websites for many years, tools to share info and content have all existed for years.

Wikipedia defines 2.0 as services that let people collaborate and share information online. Now many online companies (travel included) and constantly shouting about their 'new' approach using collaboration/community and info sharing online.

It's great that 2.0 is the current buzz as it's what the web was designed for and I am a huge fan. Ajax has opened the door to so many possibilities as well. But in reality 2.0 is not that new, just the implementation has got easier/better presented and technology allows us to more these days...