Posts filed under ‘Mobile’

So what should we make of this………………

I read an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal about the growing trend of in-flight incidents involving people not shutting off their electronic devices.   There were quite a few nuggets of information in the article including:

– most passenger misconduct cases now deal with non compliance of electronic devices (no surprises there),

-there’s no firm scientific data that having a device on will cause an issue, just that there is the potential for it to cause an issue (again not surprising),

-In a study published in 2006, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University who rode 37 airline flights with a radio-frequency measuring device found emissions from cell phones that could interfere with global-positioning satellite systems (mildly interesting, and while I’m sure the Carnegie Mellon guys are smart, there’s still nothing too urgent about this factoid),

-Crews have anecdotally reported numerous issues linked to computers or devices on board, such as erroneous warnings on collision-avoidance systems, heavy static on radio frequencies and false readings on instrument landing systems, according to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ok you now have my attention, but seeing the word anecdotal probably means I’m still not that worried about some guy sneaking in a few more emails after takeoff),

-RTCA Inc., the non-profit which advises the FAA on technical issues, said in a lengthy study in 2008 that emissions from transmitting personal electronic devices, or T-PEDS, could interfere with critical aircraft systems (the evidence seems to be mounting),

-In some instances where crews caught passengers talking on a phone or using a computer, they were able to end interference by shutting down the device.  Turning it back on recreated the problem, suggesting a possible link (ok now I’m really paying attention, and by the way isn’t Nasa going away soon, and if so, who will check this stuff going forward?).

Given this compilation of information, CarryingOn has a couple of recommendation for its followers.   First, let’s all shut our devices off when asked, period.    Unless you’re giving someone instructions on how to disarm a nuclear weapon about to detonate, that phone call or email can probably wait don’t you think?   Second, if you see somebody who’s not in compliance feel free to educate them about the dangers of their playing another round of “Words with Friends”, or posting those photos of themselves eating a burrito in the airport on Facebook.   Perhaps something along the lines of “hey chief (or sister, if the offender is a woman), you know there’s data that shows that having that on can interfere with the collision-avoidance systems, so why don’t you do us all a favor and shut it down.   Otherwise, I’ll ring my call button and you know how that will turn out.”

If they give you the dirty look and shut it down, it’s all good.   You probably didn’t want to talk with anyone who just had an airport burrito anyway :-).

March 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm 5 comments

Gartner Predicts Continued Consumerization of IT … CarryingOn Asks “What took them so long?”

by Tony

Research organization Gartner, Inc. made some very interesting predictions relative to IT for 2012 and beyond. Check out the complete list of prophecies here. But what struck a chord with me was the overall tone of the report — which suggested the continuing influence of the consumer/end user, and the power that impact will have on influencing IT Managers. This pull-out gives you the gist:

The continued trends toward consumerization and cloud computing highlight the movement of certain former IT responsibilities into the hands of others … As users take more control of the devices they will use, business managers are taking more control of the budgets IT organizations have watched shift over the last few years. As the world of IT moves forward, CIOs are finding that they must coordinate their activities in a much wider scope than they once controlled. While this might be a difficult prospect for IT departments, they must now adapt or be swept aside.”

CarryingOn has talked about this trend towards consumerization in business travel in the past, and if we extrapolate some of the predictions Gartner is making, it sounds like the days of corporate mandates could be ending. Ponder for a minute: just a couple years ago, would you have envisioned your company not only supporting multiple operating systems, but allowing employees to select which devices and applications they use at work, or to store their data in “the cloud”? (Your 2009 self would likely be confused by the “cloud” and you would also have no idea the impact that Apple would soon have on your life.) It used to be: you started at a company and they provisioned you a desktop or PC, in some cases a smart phone, and in just about 100% of the cases, provided you access to the company’s “network,” a highly guarded environment that was vetted by security, sourced by procurement, maintained by operations, and used by 100% of the employees. Today, it’s becoming an entirely different ballgame.

The New York Times recently reported on the consumerization of IT: “[Corporate IT departments] are now in retreat. Employees are bringing in the technology they use at home and demanding the IT department accommodate them. The IT department often complies.” The Times reports that Forrester Research found that 48 percent of information workers buy smartphones for work “without considering what their IT department supports.” Apparently, flexibility = productivity. So, let’s extrapolate these trends to travel.

The fact is, the Managed Travel program has always been “challenged” by the end user. In the good old days before the web, it was fairly common to hear an employee say (and many times that employee was a “C”-Level type), that they had a friend “in the business”, aka, a local Travel Agent that they had dealt with for years, and they often avoided the company mandated TMC. Today, it’s “I found a better deal on the web,” but the point is that when it came to Travel, there has always seemed to be more of a willingness to challenge the company program in some way.

Today, technology innovation has created a more informed and demanding end user whose experience in their personal life shapes their expectations at work. They proudly suggest they can find something better, because they feel only they know what they want, need, like, or all of the above. And, on some levels, they are probably right. We’ve heard of entire Travel programs where the end user is given great latitude in making decisions, and in general there seems to be a trend towards accommodation that cannot be ignored.

The trends all point to a need to re-think some of the basics of your program to ensure the decisions you are making, especially those related to the technology you put in a users hands (think online tool and mobile travel application), need to be informed by what the end user thinks is best for them. Ignore the trend and face the potential wrath of a more informed and empowered employee. Remember, Business Travel is not their end game; it’s a means to a greater end. How they do it matters. How you build your program to accommodate for that matters as well.

December 5, 2011 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

Hotel Peeves: A Charged iPhone or a Quiet Night? Gimme Power

by Becky

I don’t claim to be any more authoritative on hotel quality than any of my fellow weary business travellers, but I do know this:  My number one hotel complaint is about power.  Specifically, iPhone power.

It’s such a simple, easy thing, and yet my unscientific personal study of hundreds of hotels suggests that only 1 in 10 or so gets it right.  Put an outlet next to the bed.  Preferably at table level, close to the headboard.  Not at the unseen end of a melange of lamp and clock cords that lead to a mystery spot somewhere deep behind the bed along the floor.  Not on the other side of the room.  Put it near my pillow, so my woefully short iPhone charger can reach it while I drift off to sleep playing Sudoku and so I can check my email first thing in the morning after I wake up to the sound of iPhone crickets on the only alarm I trust to be set correctly when I travel.  This, hotels, is not hard to do.

Now, I admit, perhaps I am alone in this demand.  Earlier this week USA Today reported that noise is the number one complaint from hotel guests, beating out even smelly rooms and rude staff.  Crowne Plaza has snore patrols in some of its British properties now! (Good thing my Dad is prone to domestic travel only.) Sure, I’ve heard a snore or two, but man, do I love a charged iPhone.

So fess up, Carrying On readers.  What’s your biggest hotel pet peeve? (And remember, if you’re the one who never hears your hotel neighbor snoring, well, consider the old joke, “My mom tells me there’s an idiot on every bus…. but I ride busses all the time and I never see one…”)

October 7, 2011 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Angry Birds and Overworked Travel Managers

by Tony

These days, everyone is looking to save some dough, even more than usual – and travel managers are no exception. We wanted to pin down exactly how critical cutting spending is to these guys, so at the recent GBTA conference in Denver – while I was enjoying the delights of the Mile-High City – Rearden took to the people with a survey to get to the bottom of this. And guess what? We found that 60 percent of travel managers said trimming costs for their companies is priority Numero Uno.

The challenge for these folks, however, is what to put on the chopping block. And they’re facing a tough choice – 42 percent of those surveyed believe the best strategy is to reduce non-essential travel. But when that’s not an option, others are focused on cutting specific travel categories like meals, entertainment or ground transportation. So now we’ve got fewer business travelers taking to the golf course (or in my case, the bowling alley), more that are eating less and many who are apparently walking to their business meetings.  But we’re all still in a crunch to save.

With the pressure to make the most out of the minimal, travel managers are taking on more and more responsibilities. More than 65 percent surveyed said their roles have expanded this year; nearly 30 percent said they’re now managing other procurement categories – like shipping, office supplies or relocation; and 24 percent reported having the added responsibility of expense management. Talk about taking the romance out of travel.

“But Tony D.!,” you say. “With more work and less money, what’s a travel manager to do?!?”

I am glad you asked, as we at Carrying On love to speak our minds.  We have an answer for you – and it’s in the palm of your hand. That’s right folks – it’s time to go mobile. Mobile technology is a cost effective way to navigate the complex business of managing travel in today’s world. The most effective applications for managers will integrate with a company’s managed travel platform, make compliance with travel policies a priority, and will also serve the needs of the traveler – while curing many-a-headache for the weary travel manager!

So what’s the wait, people? Sixty-three percent of folks we surveyed believe that mobile tech would help their organizations reach their managed travel goals – like improving compliance and reducing spend. But they also said that they haven’t fully implemented mobile platforms in their organizations yet. In fact, only 25 percent of travel managers said that smart phones and travel apps were actively improving the travel functions of their organizations.  Seriously folks, let’s get on the stick. It’s time to go mobile.

Managers need to take a hard look at the tools they are already using, and consider implementing ones that allow them to take advantage of their companies’ hard earned travel rewards and discounts, while matching the personal preferences and needs of employees on the road. Smart phones are for more than just Angry Birds, they are also for Overworked Travel Managers.

This Thursday, October 6th, my colleague Song Huang and I will be leading a GBTA webinar that will help travel managers understand the many benefits of mobile technology for travel. As with anything new there is a learning curve to embracing mobile technology – but investing energy into making employees believers in mobile’s benefits will ultimately pay off big time. It’s time to wake up and smell the mojo, I mean mobile.

Hope you can join us on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ET.

For more information on the GBTA webinar, please visit: http://www.gbta.org/usa/ProfessionalDevelopment/Pages/MobilityforBusinessTravelers.aspx

October 5, 2011 at 7:19 am Leave a comment

GBTA Preview

by Bev

Remember when I predicted we’d be hearing a lot more about the changing world of air travel search at GBTA? I wasn’t kidding. I am heading out to the conference on Sunday with the entire Carrying On crew, (and many others from Rearden Commerce), ready to talk with people about how companies can gain control and manage travel costs, while helping to improve employee productivity. I’m excited for GBTA, and look forward to the panels we’re participating in at the event.  Outside of booth 413, here’s where you can find us:

I and the other members of the GBTA Technology Committee will be sharing our air search insights during the Travel Technology 101 panel on August 22. Our panel will look at core technology functions, and how they fit together to help travelers shop, book, pay, change reservations, and get reimbursed. It’s interesting stuff, and I’ll be joined by some very interesting people from Deltek, Inc, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Tokyo Electron.

Also on Monday, my colleague Mike Uomoto will participate in the panel Mobile Travel Apps: What Works Now, What’s Coming Next, which will look at what types of travel apps work well with corporate programs and how these apps can be leveraged for better travel management.

Tony D. will re-emerge at GBTA, where he will moderate a panel on August 23: Best End-to-End Strategy: Evolution or Revolution.  He’s looking for some healthy debate among panelists from Concur, Data Basics, IBM and TRX.

And finally, for Tuesday, I’m truly excited to moderate the panel Travel Managers: Broader Influence, Higher Visibility.  Here we’ll discuss career pathing for travel managers. Come get inspired as panelists talk about how they’ve expanded their roles, and get inspired to progress your career.  I am especially excited to host Jocelyn Kung, CEO and Founder of The Kung Group who will lead us through her exclusive KOPI assessment which helps individuals measure their personal power and potential.  For those attending this session, Ms. Kung will also make her online assessment tool available free of charge (this is very cool)!

I look forward to meeting and reconnecting with you all at GBTA this weekend! You can find me at booth 413. And stay tuned because soon we’ll be giving you yet another reason to come visit our booth this year…

August 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm 1 comment

While the Cat’s Away…

by Mike

You may have noticed that Tony has dropped out of sight as of late.  Well, you may not have noticed, but those of us around here certainly have.  It’s been a whole lot quieter in the office and the leftover Entenmann’s last a lot longer in the kitchen.

No, Tony hasn’t left for Oxford or gone home to test his P90X prowess on Forearms Toretta.  He’s taking a well-deserved vacation, going all Grizzly Adams on himself.  That’s right, for the next 21 days, Tony has vowed not only to throw off all shackles of travel, he is actually following Carrying On New Year’s Resolution #2: to avoid taking a bath whenever possible.  So brace yourselves folks for the myriad of posts about living life off the grid from Tony when he returns.  (And let’s just hope he picks up a razor before he steps up to moderate his end-to-end panel at GBTA.  As I see it, at GBTA, personal hygiene is Job One.)

With Tony off the grid for a bit, you wouldn’t believe the number of people who want to step up to fill in for him in his job blog. For me personally, this is a tough call.  It’s a lot like trying to find a (temporary) replacement for Regis to my Kelly.  Or like trying to find a substitute for Tony Danza as host of the Miss America Pageant.  Basically, if we added anyone else to the mix, we wanted to make sure it was a true industry vet with tons of relevant experience.

Fortunately, we found three to join our blogging journey.

  • First, Bev Heinritz. For those of you who don’t know Bev, she has more than 20 years of experience in the travel and service industries.  Bev spends a whole lot of time on the road overseeing Rearden Commerce’s entire post sales customer lifecycle.  You can be sure she’ll bring her perspectives, as well as insights from customers and partners, while she is Getting Around.
  • Gregg Tuccillo (aka “The Governor of Ground”), President of Global Ground Automation (GGA), is a fellow New Yorker and die-hard Giants fan.  He’s been around the ground transport block for more than 20 years as well — and will cover the long-tail aspect of travel.
  • Becky Waller — @BeckyontheRoad to all you Twitter fans — is as opinionated as Tony and I are (really).  Becky recently joined Rearden Commerce from CarlsonWagonlit.  She spent years on the other side of the wall, as they say, and offers an entirely fresh perspective to our conversation.

Since launching Carrying On, Tony and I have had a blast, or in my case, an “Eruption.” We’ve told some bad jokes, and hopefully some good ones as well. More importantly, we’ve been able to share our thoughts on the corporate travel industry and the everyday developments that make this such a fascinating space. From ash clouds to mobile travel technology, the developments have never been so rapid and game changing.

We are excited to invite these new voices into Carrying On.  Clearly they don’t know what they are in for…

… Countdown to Tony’s return: 21 days …

July 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

Does Charlie Sheen travel with his mobile?

Intro by Tony, Content by Mike (not Mike D, Mike Uomoto, SVP Product for Rearden Commerce)

What do Charlie Sheen and Carrying On have in common? Consistency. Just as the “Wild Thing” has been relentless in his journey for constant PR attention (apparently movie stars playing baseball players even use steroids), Carrying On has similarly been persistent in pushing the discussion on the importance of mobile (in fact more than 26% of our posts highlight this topic). In case you are sick of hearing what I have to say, here is a recent posting from one of my esteemed colleagues and an authority on mobile technology, Mike Uomoto. Just click on the title below.

Ten reasons why consumer mobile apps are useless for business travelers (originally posted on Tnooz)

June 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

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