Get on the mobile track before it's too late

Simon Gidlöf is responsible for driving business development for Amadeus Mobile Services in Amadeus Scandinavia. He explains why mobile technology will revolutionize the travel industry’s way of working.

Mobile will make companies rethink the way they reach out to customers and do business. In what way will Mobile radically change the travel industry?
- It’s a huge growth area; half of the world’s population already has a mobile subscription and there will be six billion mobile users worldwide by 2020. Mobile is going to be the future channel for ‘search & booking’ and the whole travel lifecycle.

Things are moving really quickly, bringing lots of exciting new possibilities. Look how fast the development of smartphones has gone; installing and downloading apps is now something we take for granted. In the future, we might run all our applications in the Cloud, accessing them through Apple, Google, Facebook, WeChat etc. - and Amadeus wants to be part of this development.

What is the biggest challenge for customers when they want to ‘Go Mobile’?
- Mobile is something that is on everyone’s mind these days. The biggest challenge is how to approach mobile as a channel and how to monetise on it. There are many questions, and many different ways to go when it comes to mobile.

Travel agencies ask themselves: ‘How can I differentiate myself; what will make me unique from all the other apps out there?’, ‘Should I develop or buy an app?’ ‘Should I create a travelbot and communicate with my travellers via Facebook, WeChat etc?’

What is Amadeus doing within Mobile and how can you help your customer´s that are thinking about going mobile?
- We help our customers by discussing their current needs and strategy around mobile, and we offer anything from ready-made app solutions such as CheckMyTrip to white labels or bespoke solutions. We are also offering APIs tailored for mobile under the name Mobile Services, these APIs are suitable when developing your app.


You mentioned that Amadeus offer APIs tailored for mobile. So, why should a customer choose you instead of a competitor? - There are three good reasons why! Firstly, we offer global coverage so we can ‘crunch’ data in many unique ways depending on market demands. Secondly, we have GDS agnostic – or ‘neutral’ - design for our non-booking mobile APIs which means you don’t need to be 100% an Amadeus customer, you can work with other software providers too.

Finally, we are not a mobile actor trying to break into the travel market. We are travel experts who know the industry and its expectations going into mobile.

We are moving into an era of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things etc. Some customers might want all of this in their mobile strategy but may be restricted by budgets and resources. What advice would you give them about where to start?
First: Develop an action plan for your mobile strategy. Second: Have a ‘mobile-first’ mind, and build your products on a platform that allows you to integrate with APIs, which can also be integrated with different media/channels, web, mobile, chatbots etc.

All the above mentioned technologies have APIs as a common denominator, so they will be accessible through the ‘API Economy’:  Take advantage of this!

And finally - how about yourself, what is your inspiration in this area?
- My dad worked for a telecom company, so I've been interested in technology - learning about the Internet, creating homepages etc. - from a very early age. Then I studied applied physics which covered control systems - something that is very interesting to combine with Internet of Things (IoT).  

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