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Business travel steering toward mobile with new ground transportation app

@denschaal

Feb 05, 2013 11:28 am

Skift Take

Deem Ground doesn’t represent your arriving car’s location by a red pin on a map, but it is still an improvement over merely using your phone — the voice-calling part — or a website to book or change your transportation. Nothing moves fast in managed business travel, but this looks like a step forward.

— Dennis Schaal

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Managed travel is getting more mobile as Rearden Commerce announced the pending launch of a Deem Ground mobile app for corporate users of its Saturn Reservations system.

Business travel has been slow to join the mobile party, but major providers such as Rearden Commerce, with $340 million in funding from the likes of American Express, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, and a handful of venture capital companies, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, which recently acquired WorldMate, have been edging into the mobile arena.

Using the app, which is expected to be available for iOS and Android platforms later this month, road warriors can book and change ground transportation reservations, and the app will also store payment information and recall the user’s previous 10 locations, the company says.

Some ground transportation providers have their own mobile apps, but Deem Ground offers service from thousands of companies, and a disparate menu of transportation modes, from buses to black cars and limousines.

The mobile app actually comes from Deem Ground, a Rearden Commerce division formerly called Global Ground Automation, and the business unit states that there is no incremental cost to use the app for clients of its Saturn Reservations system.

The Deem client base includes a wide swath of major corporations and the app will enable them to capture, track and report the ground transportation spend of their roaving employees as they use some 33,500 ground transportation companies, including Carey, Boston Coach, and Empire/CLS, the company states.

The app comes preloaded with all of a corporation’s preferred ground-transporation providers, along with negotiated rates and corporate travel policies.

If it works as advertised, the app would save the hassle of lots of phone calls back and forth between travel management companies, ground-transportation providers, and road warriors, and hopefully makes for more efficient delivery of services — and the traveler.

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