Skift Take

Egencia is moving ahead with the understanding that travel management companies need to operate globally, with a focus on developing the technology tools that business travelers actually want to use. This approach makes sense in a space where mobile booking is likely to become ubiquitous in the next decade.

Egencia, the corporate travel division of Expedia Inc., will restructure internally as it gears up to focus on its next five to 10 years of growth and disruption in the competitive field of travel management, Skift has learned.

The reorganization will move away from the geographic segmentation between Egencia’s Americas, Asia Pacific, and EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] divisions and divide the company into two globally aligned divisions.

Overall, the goal of the changes is to allow all departments of Egencia’s business to move as quickly as its product development teams, which are one of the most innovative groups in corporate travel.

Expedia sees itself as an acquirer in a corporate travel ecosystem rife with consolidation, as evinced by its integration of Orbitz, and a global approach to business operations makes sense in the context of future growth.

“It doesn’t change a lot for individuals on an execution basis; we wanted to line up teams on a worldwide basis,” Rob Greyber, president of Egencia, told Skift. “Our product teams have reached the point where they’re moving so quickly that we wanted to organize the business teams, when it comes to thinking about the future. Now we’ll be able to have more visibility on a global basis. Anybody can write a three-year plan, the hard part is executing it tomorrow…. I saw an opportunity for us to organize our teams around these things. Now, we’re on to the next phase of what we think companies [in corporate and business travel] are going to go through.”

Egencia is currently in the process of sharing the changes with its clients and travel partners, while the internal changes took place today and are expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2016.

Two longtime Egencia executives will oversee the company’s new structure. Christophe Peymirat, current senior vice president of Egencia EMEA, will become chief commercial officer, handling sales, account management, and client growth. Current senior vice president of Egencia Americas Mark Hollyhead will be chief operating officer, handling the supply and operations side of the company.

Compared to its competitors among travel management companies, Egencia is known as being particularly technology-focused. Many travel management companies rely heavily on call centers and travel agents, but Egencia instead has focused on providing digital tools to travelers themselves.

Egencia is Expedia’s corporate travel platform with a presence in 65 countries,” reads an excerpt from Skift’s trend report The 2016 Deep Dive Into Expedia’s Competitive Position In Travel. “It is disrupting corporate travel and growing much faster than incumbents, relying on a lower touch technology-driven platform while still offering expert consultants when needed. Its core clients are smaller companies without an existing travel management company in place.”

Egencia, however, is a full-service travel management company. It has a presence in 65 countries in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Along with its self-booking tools and technology services, Egencia offers offline support through its travel agent staff. Offline intervention produces higher fees.

Looking ahead, Greyber expects more innovations related to traveler experience using Egencia’s mobile booking tool. He noted a middle-aged client playing Pokemon Go on his visit to Egencia headquarters as evidence that adoption of cutting-edge mobile technology is no longer just the purview of millennials.

“We feel like the traveler themselves are increasingly empowered, this is something you’ve really seen as one of the real changes that’s happened with the advent of the Internet,” said Greyber. “The way we articulate that from the operation perspective is that we’re delivering business travel to the Expedia generation. People initially asked, isn’t this just a millennial story? But the Expedia generation is all of us who are enjoying tech-enabled experiences into our lives in a way it was impossible for us to imagine even two years ago. We see the next 10 years being much more dynamic.”


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Tags: egencia, expedia

Photo credit: Egencia is making changes to its corporate structure to better position itself in the global corporate travel marketplace. In this November 29, 2015 file photo, travelers walk to their gates at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

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