Progress Software Corporation, a leading software provider that enables enterprises to be operationally responsive, announced today the launch of the air travel industry’s first real-time, location-based social networking solution for frequent flyers. Launched by Lufthansa, the leading European airline, MemberScout enables its users to instantly swap, share or exchange knowledge and ideas. The application, available as an iPhone and soon also BlackBerry app, was developed by match2blue, the mobile application specialist, using the Progress® Apama® Business Event Processing (BEP) platform.
MemberScout harnesses the power of real-time technology to deliver a next-generation mobile social networking tool to the travel industry. Launched in November 2009 to Lufthansa’s Miles & More members in a beta version, it is an instant information exchange through which participants offer each other help and advice, asking questions and providing information related to destinations and travel.
Match2Blue created the mobile application to support Lufthansa’s customer relationship strategy, though rather than using the social network to push out information about flights, it has been designed as a ‘member-helps-member’ service.
“Our vision is to help frequent flyers connect with each other to benefit from peer group advice,” said Dr. Torsten Wingenter at Lufthansa. “Ultimately, it will support engagement with the Lufthansa and Miles & More brand, but is not a sales tool – we are helping the business community that flies with us to gain the benefits of being in that community, wherever and whenever they need to.”
Stephanie Renda, Managing Director at match2blue, highlighted other opportunities. “Lufthansa has been incredibly focused and strategic with this real-time meta social networking application for its Miles & More members,” she said. “The key for Lufthansa was to provide Miles & More members with additional benefits when abroad or anywhere in the world to help them find, engage or simply communicate desires or issues.”
She continued: “The magic wand of real-time information opens doors to a number of similar solutions for the enterprise and travel industry. CRM tools, such as quality of service at the point of sale and staff appraisal provided back to the enterprise in real-time, can provide a magnificent instant way of bolstering the fight against customer churn.”
“Location and interest-based social networks are the next-generation for social networking,” said Dr. Giles Nelson, Chief Technology Strategist at Progress Software. “They are able to cut through the noise in social networking platforms and provide instant, relevant content to specific communities. Enabled by Business Event Processing technology, it is great to see the vision become a reality at Lufthansa.”
Nelson continued, “Imagine how essential the service could become to MemberScout members. For instance, you land in Heathrow and see updates on the quickest way into London that morning – so ensuring you make your meeting – as reported by other MemberScout members. The possibilities are limitless.”