This question was hotly debated by a group of us over coffee in Atlanta last week. Clearly, technology, lifestyles and customer expectations are forcing rapid change on airlines - but is this innovation bypassing core functions such as reservations and DCS? Are they becoming a commodity?
Consumers now expect personalized, consistent service everywhere, however they choose to access it - web, mobile, social media, etc. Airlines face ever-growing volumes of direct interactions on all these channels. And other changes are coming down the track, including IATA's NDC.
With all this activity, airlines need systems that can respond to individual situations, so they can fully exploit customer opportunities happening in real time. So, can existing PSSs based on legacy designs handle all this?
The simple answer is no. We have worked wonders by building around the legacy core, but these niche solutions add complexity and cost without delivering true service consistency and agility.
For genuine consumer-centricity and maximum profitability, the PSS itself must be driven by holistic data so it can be context-sensitive at all touch points, consistently. It must be easy to deploy through any channels - current and future - and scalable to handle huge volumes of tailored requests. Valuable commercial and operational data, currently trapped inside legacy PSSs, should be easily available for more effective business decisions. Finally, all this must be made manageable by the PSS consistently applying business rules defined by the airline.
A PSS that truly delivered this would certainly not be a commodity. It would be a strategic business enabler.
This ambitious vision has led SITA to develop a completely new PSS, designed from the ground up, with the latest technology and an agile, service-oriented architecture. A new generation of PSS, such as SITA's Horizon, will deliver against this vision -- so airlines can stay ahead in our fast-evolving world.
Join us at the Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels, 18-20 June, for a discussion with airline leaders on the next generation passenger and how it's getting personal.