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INFORM


WORDS MOLLY DYSON


Q&A: KIRSTIE VAN OERLE EVOLVI RAIL SYSTEMS


INT E R VIEW


Matthew Parsons talks to Kirstie Van Oerle, new managing director at Evolvi Rail Systems, which owns a B2B self-booking rail tool and is a division of Capita Group


Where were you working before?


I was at Capita Intelligent Communications, responsible for the transformation of multiple business units. This is now a great opportunity to run a business, as I understand the rail and transport space, so it’s a perfect fit.


What are your priorities?


Looking at where we take Evolvi into the future, and understanding what’s happening in the customer’s world. From my perspective, also understanding the marketplace, the competition and potential growth areas.


What makes Evolvi unique?


Our USP is we help TMCs manage complex fare systems for their clients through sophisticated in-platform tools. We are B2B; we don’t own the end customer. At this stage, I don’t see us going down the B2C route. We’re effectively a technology platform to help drive our customers’ businesses.


Who do you work with?


We work with the majority of TMCs. Some may work with us and Trainline, although some TMCs may view Trainline as a competitor because it deals direct with corporates. We’re also working with Ctrip on its TrainPal app for the leisure sector.


The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) Consultation has ended. What are you expecting?


The RDG has set out a vision for improving the customer experience so we’re hoping for an easier-to-use range of fares that takes account of changing buying behaviour, modern working practices and the move to online booking and e-ticketing. Currently, some 55 million different fares exist and around 46 per cent of tickets are bought at station ticket offices or self-service machines.


And how will it affect what you do?


The RDG consultation won’t change our business model, but it will simplify the number of fare types.


What challenges does the rail sector face?


We have a fragmented industry, with all of the rail franchises, a growing number of travellers and an ageing infrastructure. There’s a strategy to move from paper tickets to digital, but there are challenges associated with this. The technology exists. In Germany, it’s tap in, tap out at national level.


24 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019


CTM GOES LIVE ON QANTAS NDC PLATFORM


CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT (CTM) has become the first TMC to enable a selection of its customers to access live content from the Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP). QDP utilises IATA’s NDC technology standard for connections between airlines, travel agencies and travel technology providers, which enables carriers to provide offers and products that have not always been available through the traditional distribution channels. Select customers using CTM’s Lightning online booking tool can access Qantas content from the QDP, which is integrated into the tool’s fare display. In addition, those who are Qantas frequent flyers will be able to access reward and recognition offers when booking eligible domestic flights.


Meetingsbooker.com launches Preferred Meetings Program


MEETINGS MANAGEMENT platform Meetingsbooker.com has launched its new Preferred Meetings Program functionality. The tool allows companies to develop


a preferred programme for meetings via a fully automated system. It also enables hotels and venues to load company-specific negotiated rates, which Meetingsbooker.com says delivers savings for meetings and events. The platform also includes a dynamic


tracking tool that monitors meeting venues and automatically requests them to load preferred rates.


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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