Travel technology provider Multicom says its move towards a less product-focused approach is part of an ambitious expansion plan.
The Bristol-based company used this week’s World Travel Market to launch FaB3, its first end-to-end travel trade solution for both agents and tour operators.
The move signals a strategic change of direction for Multicom, which has built web booking management toolkits for business such as Thomas Cook and Flight Centre.
FaB3 refers to the entire suite of Multicom products, incorporating its core FindandBook search and booking tool, new site management system FaBrix and the new Travel Itinerary Processing System (TRIPS), which offers invoicing, itinerary and booking management functionality.
Multicom managing director John Howell said: “Over the years Multicom has grown very carefully and we now provide nearly everyone with flights but not had an end to end solution.
“One of the changes we have made is to be more market-led rather than product-driven.”
A change of head office in Bristol is expected to see staff numbers grow from 60 to 80 by next June, and Multicom said it is already ahead of a “very ambitious” three year plan.
Non-executive director Andy Tidy said: “This is a technical company.
“People are passionate about technology. What they have not done in the past is massively expand the business. They have been very customer focused but not necessarily market led.”
Tidy joined Multicom 14 months ago from Thomas Cook, where he set up Flexibletrips.
Multicom believes FaB3 will fill a hole in the market between highly bespoke services at the top end and cheaper off-the-shelf, white label products at the other.
“We will be in the middle ground between massively bespoke and expensive and everything looking the same,” Howell said.
“We have a lot of smaller customers and a lot of big customers and some in the middle, but I think that’s the way the market is at the moment – the middle ground is sparse.”
Tidy said Multicom’s product was ideally suited to new entrants as it was inexpensive, configurable and allows customers to decide their level of involvement in updating their sites.
“Customers can pick and choose from the portfolio the elements that they require to provide the perfect fit for any business.
“We are confident the FaB3 suite of products will provide the flexibility and choice our customers want to enable them to access the best online solution for their business needs.”
Multicom said it has already had plenty of interest in the product from new and existing customers. It is currently nearing the end of a pilot with Advantage Travel Centres.
The consortium is using FaB3 to provide B2B bookable websites for its members, and is offering them the opportunity to adapt it for a B2C offering for an additional cost.
- More from World Travel Market at travelweekly.co.uk/wtm2010
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