The way we work is changing as companies pursue flexible or hybrid working that’s specifically designed to improve the employee experience.
The role of digital collaboration has grown as employees harness a mix of both digital and physical meetings to achieve their objectives.
Yet these two worlds remain separate, with employees forced to search, book and pay for business travel through proprietary self-booking tools - complicating how they manage and balance digital and in-real-life interactions.
It’s against this backdrop that Meliá Hotels International has become the first company to begin rolling-out Cytric Easy from Amadeus, so that employees will be able to search, book and pay for business travel in Cytric Travel within the Microsoft 365 productivity tools they use every day, like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook.
With the new approach, employees are empowered to focus on the objectives of a trip, rather than being bogged down planning complex travel logistics.
Today, the hotel-chain’s employees can already collaborate more easily by sharing travel itineraries with colleagues over Microsoft Teams, who can then book a ‘copycat’ trip with a single click.
This feature works even when teams are based in different locations.
As the first company in the world to deploy the new innovation, Meliá Hotels International will play an important role in shaping the ongoing development direction of Cytric Easy.
“We have a deep understanding of the business traveller, with over 180 city hotels worldwide and a specific program addressed to this segment, Business Travellers Benefits & Rewards.
“As a global company, many of our employees travel across the world, so organising travel is key consideration for us.
“Being able to find and book a flight, hotel or car without leaving Microsoft applications is a game-changer and we’re excited to be helping Amadeus further define new features for Cytric Easy,” said José María Dalmau, vice president, business development at Meliá Hotels International.
With Cytric by Amadeus now embedded in Microsoft 365, toggling between applications will become a thing of the past, leading to improved productivity, a better employee experience and easier compliance with travel policies.
As Rudy Daniello, executive vice president, Amadeus Cytric Solutions, explained: “Meliá employees travel frequently but they also have a deep understanding of the hotel industry, they’re the perfect initial partner as we make business travel simple with Cytric Easy.
“In the near future we will harness more Microsoft assets so the system automatically recommends other people to connect with during a trip to a given location, enhancing the overall value of business travel. We believe it’s a step-change in how companies do travel.”
In the near future, Meliá employees will benefit from Microsoft Outlook calendar invites that populate relevant data before starting the search process, such as preferred departure location, destination based on meeting location and dates.
Flight search results will show recommended options based on convenience, price, users’ preferences (for example, stop-over airports to avoid), corporate policy and the greenest options.
Amadeus and Microsoft first announced Cytric Easy in March this year, with the collaboration representing one of the first public milestones since the tech giants entered a strategic partnership to drive future innovation in travel during 2021.