Amadeus introduced a "holistic" solution for corporate travel agencies that aims to provide a complete "start-to-finish" system. Called Amadeus One, the Web-based, multisource solution includes profile integration, mid-office functions, agency administration tools and new productivity tools. Mary Keagul, senior vice president of product development for Amadeus North America, provided an early look at some of Amadeus One's features. Corporate policy can be configured using the system's rules engine, she said.

In addition, Amadeus One provides the ability to incorporate mid-office functions into the trip finalization step, as opposed to a post-booking quality-control review. The desktop home page includes a "context-sensitive" calendar that moves to and highlights the dates of a trip on which the agent is working. It also includes a section for company bulletins, a list of co-workers who are currently available for various tasks, a to-do list and room for RSS feeds and third-party widgets, such as airline delay indicators.

The session management page provides icons that depict traveler levels and preferences, as well as an unused ticket indicator. Agents can choose whether to use the more traditional GDS view of search results or the "detailed view," which more closely resembles graphical interfaces found on consumer sites. "Our intention is to get everyone over to the graphical interface," Keagul said. "We won't be inventing any new cryptic features."

Nevertheless, one of the more intriguing features of Amadeus One is "Cryptic Magic," which allows an agent to enter cryptic commands in whatever GDS format is most comfortable. The request is then translated into a form, and the booking is directed for processing and fulfillment to whatever system meets the associated business policies. The booking data is stored "off-GDS," Keagul said.

The new Amadeus One system is part of Amadeus' new focus on how it would like its relationship with North American travel agencies to develop. Rather than simply acting as a GDS provider, the company wants to be travel agencies' IT partner. Vic Pynn, executive vice president of Amadeus Americas, said the goal of the new approach is to determine "what we can do today to benefit us not just tomorrow, but to truly have an impact 20 years out."

That vision is linked to Amadeus' move off legacy technology to open systems and service-oriented architecture, he said. "We are taking a collaborative approach: flexible, scalable and modular," he said. Pynn compared the standard connectors, which will encourage third-party development, to Lego blocks, whose genius was in their simplicity. "We want to be seen as a true business partner to the agency," Pynn said. "We understand the end-to-end process."