Amadeus sets out digital stall, hooks up with Adobe to drive experiences for airlines

Amadeus has partnered with Adobe to help airlines improve the experience they deliver to customer via digital channels.

Through the tie-up carriers can tap into the combined might of Amadeus solutions and the Adobe Experience Cloud to serve up experiences to customers across devices and at various touch points in the journey.

John Lonergan, director digital, airlines at Amadeus, and formerly the boss of Qantas Direct, says the partnership will provide opportunities for airlines to personalise their content for customers.

“It enables airlines to customise, tailor and personalise in real time in milliseconds and where it takes you is pretty much limited by your own dreams and aspirations.”

Digital upgrade

He was speaking during the Airline Executive Summit last week and adds that the tie-up is recognition from Amadeus that it can’t do everything in the digital world and that it’s better for it to stick to its core competencies.

Lonergan also says the partnership makes sense because some of its existing large airline partners, including Lufthansa and Qantas, already use Adobe.

While there’s not more to say at this stage on how the airlines will bring experiences to life through the partnership, it’s part of a wider plan from Amadeus to help airlines with their digital strategies.

The distribution giant has unveiled an open platform for its airline community which enables carriers to build their own applications and provide them with access to data from multiple sources.

Amadeus SVP R&D airlines Christophe Bousquet says the platform, which draws from existing Amadeus solutions and intelligence, is a response to the drive from carriers to have more control of inventory, be more innovative and move faster.

One example provided for the Amadeus Airline platform is that it could be used to build a disruption application around a carrier’s frequent flyer program which detects that a passenger may miss a connection and automatically proposes an alternative available flight.

The platform is also part of a new approach to digital from Amadeus which Lonergan heads up.

He talks about the platform as an “ecosystem of partners” and says the technology has not been there before to do something like this.

Lonergan adds that while the platform is shared, it also has a private space enabling airlines to create products and services just for themselves.

He also says there’s a recognition from airlines now of what they need to work on themselves and what they can have someone else handle.

“Every airline thinks it has some sort of secret sauce that it will guard. There are other components that are so common to the industry that there is very little value in doing them yourself. It’s far better doing a community model.”

The approach is about offering open solutions as well as digital skills and a new way of working internally as well as between Amadeus and airlines.

This involves the development of a tribe bringing together all the relevant employees internally so that projects move faster. A tribe could also bring together Amadeus and airline employees.

Lonergan says:

“Most airlines are risk adverse and have a safety first culture. They are not agile organisations culturally so we need to develop different streams within an airline. Amadeus is not dissimilar. We don’t want to use agile for big systems.

“The culture follows the practices and the processes. You have to set up a different way of working, you can’t just walk in and say we’re going to do things differently.”

Amadeus Accenture update

The Adobe partnership follows an announcement last year of a tie-up between Amadeus and Accenture which established an innovation centre in Dublin.

About 25 airlines have already gone through the centre, some just to see how it works while others including SAS and Finnair have carried out projects. Further centres are now being set up in India, Singapore and the US.

Reporter’s attendance at the Airline Executive Summit was supported by Amadeus *

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