Electronic RFP Tool Delivered to Business Travellers

StarCite and Outtask are combining to create a tool that allows corporate meeting managers to send electronic requests for proposals for group fares and enables attendees to book group air fares on line.

The tool is a custom version of Cliqbook, Outtask`s online booking tool for corporations.
Tom DePasquale, chief executive officer of Alexandria, Va.-based Outtask, said the group-air functionality, which is being tested by three customers in the next 60 days, will allow corporations to better manage meeting expenditures.

“Companies will be able to merge all fares - group, corporate negotiated, CRS and Web - and determine what is the best one, based on corporate rules, to use for a meeting,” DePasquale said.

The RFP part of the process, powered by StarCite, provides an electronic RFP for meeting managers to complete.

Once finished, the manager sends the RFP to StarCite, which forwards the RFP to an airline`s group travel desk via e-mail or fax, said Mark Phillips, vice president of products at Philadelphia-based StarCite.


StarCite said attendees may register for meetings on line using RegWeb, a product developed by Cardinal Communications in Berkeley, Calif.

Outtask said RegWeb is integrated with the booking tool. When an attendee registers, he is asked if he wants to book transportation, and if he decides to do so, the Cliqbook application is launched.

DePasquale said providing corporations the ability to compare group fares with other fares available to the corporation will give Outtask an edge in the marketplace.

Cliqbook customers may search for fares on the Web because FareChase`s shopping engine is integrated with the booking tool, said DePasquale.

FareChase is a New-York based company that allows travelers to compare fares at several Web sites with one search.
DePasquale said the integration with the booking tool enables travelers to see those Web fares side-by-side with CRS and negotiated fares.

Outtask is a relative newcomer in the corporate online booking market. DePasquale said the company launched in Aug. 1999, and that 52 companies are using Cliqbook.

In comparison, 800 large corporations are GetThere customers. Some of Outtask`s customers are former GetThere clients.
“We`ve had success replacing GetThere and ResAssist [TRX`s online booking tool],” DePasquale said.