Amadeus has again maintained its top sector ranking as one of the leading companies in Europe for investment in Research & Development, according to the European Commission.
The 2012 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, an annual report published by the EC, examines the largest 1,000 European companies investing in R&D during 2011 and ranks them according to the total amount invested.
Amadeus invested €347.5 million during 2011, an increase of 6.7% on 2010, to research and develop technologies for use in the travel sector. This investment represented 12.7% of revenues and helped the company maintain its number one position in Europe by total R&D investment in the area of travel and tourism.
Hervé Couturier, Executive Vice President, R&D at Amadeus, said: “Naturally we are very pleased to see that our investment in R&D has been highlighted again by this important European Commission study. Equally we are very proud to be ranked again as a leader in the travel and tourism area. This further emphasises our reputation for innovation, with many years of experience in pioneering travel industry products and initiatives such as Altéa and, more recently, Amadeus Featured Results. Nonetheless, our desire for innovation has not yet been satisfied and R&D will continue to inspire our evolution as a large-scale technology pioneer.”
This news follows the European Investment Bank, the EU’s long-term financing institution, in May granting a €200 million loan to Amadeus to finance the research & development of a variety of projects in the area of IT for airlines, airports, hotels, and rail between 2012 and 2014.
Innovation is one of the drivers behind Amadeus’s progress and growth, which has allowed the company’s technology to achieve an outstandingly competitive position within the market. Total investment between the years 2004 and 2011 was more than €2 billion.
Amadeus has 16 R&D centres around the world (Nice, London, Sydney, Antwerp, Aachen, Frankfurt, Boston, Miami, Toronto, Strasbourg, Tucson, Bangalore, Bogota, Warsaw, Istanbul and Bangkok), which currently house a team of over 4,500 people.
In recent years Amadeus’s R&D efforts have been particularly focused on:
– Extremely high performance transaction processing under stringent system availability and dependability requirements
– Information mining from very large databases
– Super-responsive travel search engines
– Multi-channel customer servicing applications (agent desktop, web, kiosk, mobile, tablets)
– Pioneering the use of open systems
Examples of the impact this has had on innovation in Amadeus products and services in recent years include:
– At the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit in Arizona in November last year, Amadeus previewed its patent-pending Amadeus Featured Results solution, which is a search solution that revolutionises the way that flight options are presented. Vayama, a leading online travel agency uniquely focused on international travel, is the first pilot customer to implement the solution in beta form on its website, including 100 origin and destination combinations. Full global market availability for Featured Results is scheduled for early 2013.
– In September last year Amadeus published ‘Open for business’, which was authored by technology expert Professor Jim Norton. The report makes the case for the travel industry to embrace open source software in order to benefit from greater innovation, respond faster to industry change and reduce costs, while freeing the industry from its reliance on proprietary software to provide greater competitive advantage. Amadeus has pioneered the use of open systems within its business, and at the operating system level Amadeus is successfully transitioning from proprietary systems to Linux to run its leading Altéa suite for airlines.
Leading innovations online, including Amadeus e-Retail, Amadeus Dynamic Website Manager and Amadeus Extreme Search have been built with extensive use of open source components in a way that would not be possible using legacy components. Amadeus ARIA Templates – the framework upon which Amadeus IT Group’s web solutions are based – has recently been made open source, allowing third-party developers to use it without charge.
– Continued development of the Amadeus Altéa Suite, a community-based airline IT platform that consists of three solutions covering reservation, inventory management and departure control. The Altéa portfolio has marked a technological and functional breakthrough in the airline industry – with 122 airlines already contracted to use both Altéa Reservation and Inventory. Based upon these contracts, Amadeus estimates that by 2014 the number of Passengers Boarded will be more than 760 million.
– Creation of Amadeus Total Rail, which enables railways to manage operations and sell seats across multiple sales channels, by allowing travel sellers access to book rail and air services side-by-side within the same solution. The offering includes Amadeus Global Rail Sales Platform, which is the first rail GDS on offer, and Amadeus Rail Operations Engine, which allows railway companies to manage schedules, inventory, fares and pricing. Amadeus Rail works with over 100 railway companies around the world and employs over 200 rail experts.
– Development of the Amadeus Hotel Platform, a solution for hotel chains that combines central reservation, property management and global distribution systems into one fully integrated platform. This recently-launched platform is designed to support hotels in the current age of globalisation and expansion, enabling them to respond to changing traveller demands.
– Development of ancillary services solutions as part of the company’s commitment to helping airlines adapt and evolve their ancillary services strategy so that customers can move their focus from pure revenue to delivering profitability. Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services is an end-to-end solution that enables airlines to distribute (display, book, price and pay) services across all channels in full compliance with industry standards. Amadeus has developed a unique interactive catalogue that clearly displays the range of additional airline services available allowing travel agencies to view, book and up-sell ancillary services quickly and efficiently. At the end of September last year, 46 airlines had signed up for Amadeus Ancillary Services for the direct and/or indirect channel, 21 of which had signed up to sell ancillary services using the Amadeus solution in the indirect channel. Ancillary services are being sold through travel agencies in 16 countries for nine of these airlines, including airberlin, Air Caraïbes, Air France, Corsair, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, Niki and Qantas.