Sabre introduced a new enterprise level social networking application today. American Express was named as an initial distributor of the application expected out later this year. The announcement is important for a number of reasons. This is the first significant social networking application created by a travel organization targeted at the internal corporate community. The Cubeless application is a brand new platform developed by Sabre Studios designed to facilitate communication to and between travelers, travel arrangers and other key corporate stakeholders. Though the precise ROI may be difficult to calculate, one should not underestimate the value of this application. Frequent travelers by their nature often feel isolated from the internal corporate community. At the same time these travelers are generally willing, and in some case anxious, to share their travel knowledge. The Cubeless application builds upon this need by allowing the employee to voice their opinions. In addition, the new Cubeless application can be used to exchange knowledge among the internal TMC staff as well. Corporate buyers should view this application as an opportunity to create more of a two-way dialogue with their best clients, the frequent travelers. A common concern about implementing a social networking application for the internal travel community is the fear that only very unhappy or very happy users will take the time to comment. This concern ignores the fact that the unhappy employee already is communicating their dissatisfaction to fellow employees. By allowing a forum to share information, the internal travel department can gain insight into employee opinions and expertise. Also it is important to note that from a generational perspective, younger employees have already embraced social networking as their preferred platform for all personal communication and thus will likely find this platform useful for internal corporate networking. Expect other social networking announcements by TMC and 3rd party software developers over the next six months.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Posted by Norm Rose at 9:03 AM