IBM’s New Partnership With Travelport Will Bring Major Changes To Blockchain Technology And Travel

IBM Technology- “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Following the famous words by Back to the Future’s Doc Brown, the future of the travel industry, will never be the same, thanks to IBM and leading travel commerce platform, Travelport’s latest announcement.

In its major announcement in August, Travelport and its strategic technology partner, IBM, have announced an industry-first artificial intelligence (A.I.) platform designed to help businesses manage corporate travel spend.

The A.I. platform, combined with Travelport data, intelligently tracks, manages, predicts, and analyzes travel costs in one place, fundamentally changing how companies manage and optimize their travel programs. Now, this week in a further collaboration, using the Blockchain, Travelport and IBM are also disrupting the distribution landscape.

I spoke with both IBM’s Travel & Transportation Industry Client Lead, Elizabeth Pollock, and Travelport’s Chief Architect, Mike Croucher, ahead of their official blockchain announcement.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Change Our Destinations 

There’s no question that traveling can be extremely overwhelming to the average consumer. In today’s digital age, it’s time to start using this technology to help streamline efficiency, rather than just to make a quick buck.

If you look at our relationship with IBM, it’s one that has been in existence since the beginning of the global distribution system (GDS),” said Croucher.

Both Pollock and Croucher told me that IBM has always been heavily invested in travel, and a major supporter of innovation for Travelport for 30+ years.

“In this instance, we are looking at new ways of innovation. IBM brings their R&D, while we bring our experience and knowledge of the industry. Because of our history, we are now able to combine resources, breaking into A.I. and blockchain technology.”

For the consumer’s benefit, Travelport’s major goal with this partnership is to really understand blockchain technology and its vast potentials. “This is done by looking to specific use cases in the industry,” Croucher added. “With IBM, we are now executing our first use case.”

On the other hand, Pollock, explained to me that IBM’s opportunity to expand and disrupt the industry together, provides for a very exciting collaboration outside of Travelport’s core business model.