March 30, 2016 – As CEO of Cornerstone, Mat Orrego is passionate about helping clients solve the complex travel-technology issues of today’s operations and fulfillment processes. Here is a peek inside Mat’s mind as he talks about market-changing trends and the shifting travel industry with Cornerstone’s Director of Marketing, Lauren Wolters.
Lauren: What trends are you seeing with Cornerstone customers?
Mat: Organizationally, many of our customers are running lean, and the traditional “top-down” way of managing operations and spend is being challenged. Decision-making is happening across a broader range of users and stakeholders than ever before. Everyone is becoming an analyst and demanding access to tools that help them stay informed and productive. The key is to help manage the many “micro-moments” of decision making people have everyday. Our technology needs to be accessible when people are inspired to make decisions and not only when a report or data is available to them via their supplier.
Lauren: How Is Cornerstone responding to these organizational changes?
Mat: We want to be enablers of success. Our main goal is to be a partner, helping our customers solve problems. Part of this is our availability and presence with our customers, but we also have launched products to support these industry shifts.
The TravelOptix™ platform, for instance, allows for the design and delivery of user specific interactive reports and dashboards with interactive charts and graphs. TravelOptix helps our customers deliver precise data analysis that is customized to the user and helps stakeholder make informed business decisions faster, without having to dig through a ton of useless data.
To the end of helping our customers gain control and compliance in business travel (as well as automated reconciliation and fraud reduction), we are also working diligently on integrating payment—especially virtual cards—to our iQCX® mid-office platform. The buying process is entirely different today, and payment needs to change, as well. We have already integrated our virtual card solution AutoPay™ for a variety of use cases and mostly for e-commerce and leisure travel. We’re looking to make a bigger splash in Q2. We are targeted to process over $400 million in v-card payments in 2016.
Lauren: What are you most excited about in the travel industry right now?
Mat: I really like where we are heading in the travel industry with socializing our decisions on a “per traveler” basis. This all started with self-booking tools that made travel agents out of travelers. Now we have travel data that can be made highly accessible with analytic- and mobile-enabled platforms. The challenge is to capture these “per-person” interactions to help drive organizational learning across the enterprise. These are exciting opportunities for our customers.
Lauren: What are you most concerned about in our industry right now?
Mat: The travel industry needs to become much more accessible and operationally affordable. I worry about scale and how we drive solid returns from this consolidation phase we are currently experiencing. I see a lot of our TMC customers merging operations, and I’m concerned about the slow pace of standardizing operational processes. Our OTA customers have this wired down and the traditional TMC can learn from them.
Lauren: What’s the “next big thing” that Cornerstone is working on?
Mat: Our first mobile applications will come to the market in 2016. The 4site™ journey management platform is all about enabling well-informed decision making for travelers and their TMCs. The process is currently broken, especially when it comes to changes, disruption and re-accommodation. Travelers or TMCs book a trip, and once travelers receive a ticketed itinerary, they are on their own. The 4site Platform is a mobile-enabled information platform that keeps the TMC and the traveler on the same page. This means the TMC can be both predictive and prescriptive in helping their travelers stay on time and productive.
Lauren: Where can customers see the Cornerstone team this year?
Mat: We thrive on quality time with our customers. If you’re at GBTA, ACTE, or PhoCusWright, please let us know so we can make time together. We also have plans for a regional customer conference. Stay tuned.