ITB 2023: Amadeus promises speed and agility from partnership with Microsoft

ITB 2023: Amadeus promises speed and agility from partnership with Microsoft

The GDS and European travel tech giant gave an update on its strategic partnership with Microsoft at the annual trade show in Berlin this week

Amadeus has promised a much quicker approach to innovation thanks to its cloud migration project with global IT partner Microsoft.

The firms gave an update on its partnership at this week’s ITB trade show in Berlin where it launched a new report on the benefits for travellers that their collaboration will bring

Amadeus has described the project as the biggest technological change in its history as the GDS and European travel tech giant decommissions its data centre in Erding, Germany.

Fredrik Odéen, Amadeus program director, corporate strategy, said speed and agility will be the key benefits from the partnership.

“What we see is that by working with Microsoft we are able to accelerate innovation, both as Amadeus and as an industry.

“Cloud technology will allow us to accelerate our time to market with innovations. Moving one the biggest data centres in Europe to the cloud is a long and big process.

“But we chose Microsoft to move to the cloud not just because of their cloud technology but because of their innovative approach with partners and customers.

“That innovation programme is moving much quicker than the overall cloud migration and we are now reporting on milestones we are hitting.

Odéen highlighted three projects that have gone live that illustrate this new, more agile approach to product development.

The first was the integration of Amadeus’s Cytric travel and expense tool for corporate travellers into Microsoft’s 365 suite of business applications.

Cytric Easy gives users the ability to manage, book and share their travel plans with colleagues in Microsoft programmes like Teams and Outlook.

Amadeus has also started a travel servicing solutions project in partnership with its first customer, the global insurance giant Alliantz.

This aims to provide more personalised and contextualised results and recommendations by connecting different data sources and opted in customer data.

The third development has been Amadeus’s Creation Platform, which was unveiled in Dubai last year at its Airlines Executive Summit. Pilot users are working on a first version today.

Odéen said by being built in the Azure cloud this platform will facilitate better data analysis and automation to provide better outcomes for users. 

The Journey To Cloud Planet report outlines all the potential advantages of the transformation, including speed as well as operating more sustainably.

It also sets out how Amadeus will be able to use and share more data but to do so in a secure way to reinvent both corporate and leisure travel.

“One of the key things we need to consider is the security and safety of the systems that underly this.

“Amadeus and Microsoft have a similar ideology and culture around this to ensure that it’s very, very safe to keep the trust that people have invested in our brands.

“Building on the Microsoft infrastructures and frameworks makes it fast to market, but we are not compromising on safety aspects.”

Julie Shainock, global leader, travel and transportation, for Microsoft, said this open approach to data sharing will also be extended to travel partners.

She added, as seen with the recent launch of ChatGPT conversational AI bot and integration with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Microsoft is focussing on “speed and agility”.

“If you look at our partnership with Amadeus we have relationships at the very top, CEO to CEO and strategic senior board level and innovation relationships.

“We have got 12 to 15 different opportunities in the innovation funnel which we will run through and see what comes out.

“If you look at the whole structure and governance between the two companies it works really well and enables us to have speed and agility to bring products to market.”