In the past several days, e-commerce software developer BroadVision has had both good news and bad news.
Last Friday, BroadVision released new Java-based software that is expected to be a major force in online sales transactions. On Monday, the BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce product was announced. Then, on Tuesday Broadvision was downgraded by Wall Street analysts after the company said it would have a quarterly loss instead of an anticipated profit, and in another market avalanche, BroadVision’s stock was among the worst performers of the day as it lost more than a third of its value.
As Broadvision’s stock was falling, the company announced that 325 employees, or 15% of the workforce, would be laid off. Additionally, BroadVision restated fourth-quarter accounting to show $4 million in additional expenses. The company’s announcement caught financial analysts completely by surprise, and this led to a stampede of downgrade warnings.
But, assuming that the downward slide of the stock market has to turn around some day, BroadVision certainly has the potential to become an even bigger player in the online travel business. The BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce package was jointly produced by BroadVision Inc. and Amadeus Global Travel Distribution SA. It is an integrated e-commerce travel application that combines BroadVision’s One-To-One personalization technology with the Amadeus global travel distribution and travel industry technology.
“BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce represents a first in the travel and e-commerce markets,” said Pehong Chen, president and CEO of BroadVision. “In partnership with Amadeus we`re providing a quick time-to-market e-commerce solution designed specifically for the demands of the travel industry.” Chen added that current customers in the travel sector have conducted studies showing that “personalization attracts and retains more customers while increasing transaction volumes, reducing retention costs, and providing rewarding experiences to consumers and employees alike.”
The companies said BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce will allow travel providers (such as airlines, hotels and car rental agencies) and travel distributors (such as online travel agencies and corporations with extensive travel needs) “to quickly and cost-efficiently deploy next-generation B2C and B2E Internet travel solutions.” The One-To-One personalization features let travel providers meet the needs of individual end users with support for dynamic user profiles and the ability to deliver personalized travel alerts, services, information and promotional offers.
BroadVision’s One-to-One Enterprise 6.0 was described in the availability announcement as adding much-anticipated Java support to its product line with Sun Microsystems` J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) technology and support for JavaBeans, Java Server Pages, and Java Servlet APIs (application programming interfaces). Sun’s J2EE is considered a standard technology for developing and launching enterprise applications.
Going beyond the Web, BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce provides providing access to services on WAP-enabled wireless devices. In addition to providing access to 500 airlines, 54,000 hotels, and 48 car rental companies, the open application also fosters cross-sell and up-sell opportunities through an integrated shopping cart coupled with an external inventory system, as well as a unified logon and payment process. BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce can display information in 18 different languages.
“BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce is the only sustainable solution for online reservation customers who want to take their solutions to the next level by offering unique personalization features,” said Philippe Chérèque, senior vice president for Amadeus. “With the launch of BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce, Amadeus and BroadVision are well positioned to take a leading share in the growing worldwide travel services market.”
Hakan Alvgren, CIO of Travellink, a Nordic online travel service provider, had praise for the BroadVision-Amadeus software. “Whether our customers are looking for the best available fares, rebooking a flight at the last minute via a mobile phone, or planning a vacation, BroadVision-Amadeus Travel Commerce will help us meet traveler needs with an unprecedented degree of personalization,” he said. “By delivering compelling, individualized content, we expect to bring visitors back, serve them more efficiently, and realize increased revenue per visitor.”
Two months ago, BroadVision announced that Groupe Air France had selected its suite of e-business applications to build and power its next generation Web sites. Air France has 40 distinct Internet Web sites, and it was expected that the BroadVision software will allow Air France to unite these separate sites, use personalization to enhance customer relationships and offer new services.
Air France has a goal of delivering the first live release of the BroadVision-powered site during the first half of 2001. A complete overhaul of the system is scheduled in a subsequent phase, with the goal of maximizing customer and visitor satisfaction by leveraging BroadVision’s personalization capabilities. In order to deliver a “one-click shopping” experience, BroadVision will be integrated with the Amadeus online booking system and with Air France`s Fréquence Plus loyalty system.