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American Express Global Business Travel Announces New Mobile CapabilityEnhanced MOBILEXTEND Solution Provides Real Time Traveler Data Feed, Dynamic Mapping, Situation Assessment and Interactive Two-Way Communications Capability
NEW YORK,  August 22, 2011 -- 

American Express Global Business Travel today announced the launch of Mobile Communications Management (MCM), a dynamic, visual traveler tracking and integrated two-way messaging solution. This new capability can assist companies in promptly locating employee travelers and communicating to them on the spot to offer direct assistance in times of travel disruption. MCM also offers the added benefit of continuously monitoring and mapping major travel disruptions such as weather systems, strikes or other events to help with contingency planning before events take place. American Express Global Business Travel selected technology provider Charter Solutions to provide their patent-pending dynamic mapping functionality with our solution.

Companies that use MCM can create a roadmap view of the world and visually pinpoint traveler locations through color-coded markers on a map as well as through a list view of traveler names by location. The two-way communications feature then allows for custom messages and sending of pertinent information, such as location requests and status updates, to be sent to travelers mobile devices. The dynamic mapping feature is integrated into the messaging tool enabling group situation management by clustering travelers based on their responses.

"Travel disruptions are an unavoidable part of business travel and it is important that companies and travelers are prepared with strategies and tools to effectively navigate these issues," said Michel LaBianca, Vice President of Technology, American Express Global Business Travel. "Our Mobile Communication Manager solution has been developed around our experience supporting clients through crisis situations. It is uniquely comprehensive, enterprise-wide and provides the location and two-way communication features that are absolutely necessary in managing travel holistically."

Powered by American Express Global Business Travel's patent-pending, travel data infrastructure, MCM receives key traveler trip information which populates the visual map and is continuously updated when itineraries are created, changed, or added. Currently, when travel managers, company security officers or other teams need to locate their travelers the process can be a cumbersome effort stemming across multiple teams, sometimes located in different places around the world, to pull reports. The reports then require analysis, resulting in a significant amount of time passing between the original request and the achieved result leaving travel managers with a point-in-time view of their travelers' locations. Intuitive, interactive and easy to use, MCM fits the natural actions of travel managers and eliminates the time consuming and potentially inaccurate task of pulling manual reports with its dynamic, visual map.

How Mobile Communications Management works:

  • MCM is a dynamic, visual traveler on-trip mapping service that travel managers can view which continuously updates with proprietary travel data from American Express Global Business Travel's patent-pending data infrastructure.
  • MCM enables easy travel disruption assessment through precise mapping and geographic visualization of impact zones. The American Express Global Business Travel MCM administration service continuously monitors and maps major travel disruptions such as strikes or weather systems.
  • MCM is designed to manage group communications intelligently, sending messages to travelers' mobile devices in the most compatible format (SMS text or otherwise) based on its own detection of the type of device each traveler uses. The end user will be able to receive and view pertinent information needed at time of disruption or otherwise will successfully make it to the end user in readable format.
  • Traveler responses to the MCM communications are color coded and enable rapid prioritization of traveler needs to facilitate assignment to travel counselors for hands-on follow up.
  • MCM enables targeted grouping and management of travelers to support mass travel communications and updates, as well as 1:1 communications with specific travelers in need of immediate assistance. Groups can be created for geographic areas or other filters based on traveler information.
  • MCM manages current and future travel plan oversight and enables advance warnings or alerts to travelers whose plans will take them into a disrupted area.

"Travelers are increasingly reliant on mobile technology to improve their experiences on the road by providing pertinent information in real time and guidance through challenges," continued LaBianca. "Through MOBILEXTEND and now Mobile Communications Management, companies can improve efficiency in their travel management programs while addressing their travelers' needs."

MOBILEXTEND, launched by American Express Global Business Travel last year, provides travelers support and relevant information based on a traveler's destination while on-trip including maps, currency conversions, tips on preferred ground transportation and negotiated hotel amenities and other useful information. Importantly, all of this information can be pushed directly to the traveler's mobile device by a travel manager so that travelers have what they need when they need it. Proprietary technology developed by American Express Global Business Travel makes enterprise deployment seamless and automates the delivery of travel reservations directly to the mobile device. With MOBILEXTEND, travelers aren't required to complete extra steps such as forwarding their reservations and itineraries, and can seamlessly begin using MOBILEXTEND on trip. The global solution is compatible with leading devices such as BlackBerry® smartphones and iPhones® and can work with any mobile phone that is SMS text message enabled.

About American Express Global Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel, a division of American Express Company, is a global industry leader in business travel and meetings management committed to helping businesses succeed through cost-effective program management, world-class customer service, and enhanced traveler productivity and support worldwide. Through leading online, offline and on-the-go solutions, consulting services, business insights and research, supplier negotiation expertise, and meetings and events capabilities, innovative services are delivered to clients to maximize their return on investment. Learn more at americanexpress.com/businesstravel interact with peers on businesstravelconnexion.com and follow us on facebook.com/businesstraveconneXion and twitter.com/btconnexion.

American Express operates one of the world's largest travel agency networks with locations in over 140 countries worldwide. Total travel sales volume processed in 2010 was $25.7 billion, including consolidated volume and non-consolidated volume processed through joint ventures and partner network.

American Express Company is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights, and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.