Sabre Holdings

Sabre processes more than 350 million travel reservations annually. Data associated with these travel reservations - including three years of trend data and up to 331 days of future bookings - is captured and stored within Sabre's Enterprise Travel Data Warehouse (ETDW), which runs on the Teradata platform.  

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Customer Background

Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions, sister companies serving the world's largest industry, are the leading providers of high-performance travel solutions.

By combining its unique expertise and leading technology, Sabre powers business performance across the travel industry. Sabre’s multi-channel merchandising and procurement solutions enable airlines, corporate and leisure agencies, corporate travel programs, hotels and other travel suppliers around the world to make money, save money and provide better customer service.  

Sabre processes more than 350 million travel reservations annually. Data associated with these travel reservations - including three years of trend data and up to 331 days of future bookings - is captured and stored within Sabre's Enterprise Travel Data Warehouse (ETDW), which runs on the Teradata platform. 

From building the first computer reservations system in the 1960s, to blazing the trail for online travel in the 1990s and delivering the sophisticated, cutting-edge travel solutions of today, Sabre Holdings has always truly been an innovative industry leader. Today, Sabre Holdings supports travelers, travel agents, corporations, and travel suppliers worldwide through its three companies: 

  • Travelocity - a leading online travel service
  • Sabre Travel Network - includes the world's largest global distribution system (GDS), connecting travel agents and travel suppliers with travelers
  • Sabre Airline Solutions - the leading provider of decision-support tools, reservations systems, and consulting services for airlines

Customer Challenge

As one of the largest travel technology solution providers, Sabre's challenges include the capture and storage of large transactional datasets as well as creating business intelligence solutions for Sabre customers and Sabre's own business. While many data warehouse and business intelligence (BI) efforts industry-wide are initiated to support internal corporate business initiatives, Sabre must also deliver business intelligence solutions designed for external customers, in addition to key solutions for better managing Sabre's internal business.

Solution

Sabre began by transforming data and technology platforms the company created for its internal business information purposes into solutions that delivered meaningful value for the company's various customer groups.  

Utilizing the Teradata Enterprise Travel Data Warehouse and the IBM Cognos BI platform, Sabre has created a powerful enterprise DW/BI platform that is the foundation for four powerful products:

  • Sabre Hotel Vision - provides hoteliers with a consolidated, interactive, analytical view of hotel sales across all Sabre distribution channels and 24/7 access to near-real time information stored in the ETDW. Now available to more than 90 global hotel companies representing 340 hotel chains and 80,000 hotel properties, Sabre Hotel Vision consolidates this information and delivers it to hoteliers and Sabre customer account executives in one integrated business intelligence solution.
  • Travel Security and Data Suite (TSDS) - a web-based application that provides travel agencies and corporations the ability to track travel plans of their customers and employees before, during, and after they travel. TSDS provides business-critical information that allows users to quickly identify and assist travelers that may be affected by unanticipated global events – such as natural disaster, health threat, weather, travel supplier disruption, or terrorist acts. TSDS users have seen monthly cost savings of $300-$1,200, thanks to the streamlined process for generating information and less reliance on reports generated through back office systems.
  • SabreSonic Business Intelligence (SSBI) - an interactive web-based analytical and reporting solution that offers airlines flexible analysis capabilities so they can incorporate valuable performance insights into their business strategies. Currently, more than 13 global airlines use SSBI, and that number is expected to double by the end of 2009. Future planned development includes an airline executive dashboard with revenue analytics that will provide an automated solution to aggregate critical data in an "at a glance" view of key airline performance metrics for executives. Through leverage of Sabre's existing Enterprise Travel Data Warehouse and IBM Cognos Business Intelligence tools, Sabre's DW/BI teams developed and launched SSBI in August 2008 – within 12 months of project funding.
  • AIRSTAT (Airline Information Reporting for the Statistical and Tactical Analysis of Travel) - a one-stop data shop for the customer-facing Sabre sales team and for managing the business relationship with airlines. Before AIRSTAT, sales team members had to source data from three different complex and learning-intensive databases, each using different nomenclature for the same data elements. A survey showed that AIRSTAT is used weekly/monthly greater than 90% of the time to track customer data and more than 95% of users are completely satisfied with the performance. AIRSTAT was rated better than the legacy systems by 90% or more on most metrics, and to date, 50% of the sales team has used AIRSTAT to build a business plan used to communicate the trends, performance and value of all pertinent airline and GDS information to airline customers and Sabre management.

Sabre's Enterprise Data Warehouse consolidates data from approximately 24 sources with a significant portion of the data being captured and stored through replication or mini-batch processing which in turn provides up-to-date information within the BI applications. The BI applications are browser-based and accessed via the Internet through a single sign-in within Sabre portals, providing easy activation with no client software installation.  

With these platforms, Sabre has been able to develop user-friendly applications that leverage the vast store of data available within the ETDW for the benefit of the company and its key customers and suppliers. New applications, including an airline executive dashboard, are currently in development and will continue to maximize the value of the ETDW/BI platforms. 

To successfully develop and launch these product solutions and support other data and analytic initiatives, Sabre introduced a disciplined data governance and prioritization process. Each quarter, business and technical stakeholders across Sabre Holdings meet to review status on key initiatives and align on key future initiatives and resource changes required.  

Results

These solutions provide value-added offerings beyond Sabre's traditional reservations products, allowing Sabre to retain and grow its customer base and enable customers to improve the services they offer to customers. In this way, the ETDW has far exceeded all original expectations.

Because the data warehouse allows Sabre to automatically capture and store data, it reduces the cost of data acquisition and improves the quality and efficiency of data over competitive products. The ETDW also serves as a foundation for future BI applications. This additional leverage by new applications of a common data warehouse/BI environment effectively reduces the average cost per application over time. 

By offering these products in a cost effective, hosted platform, Sabre can offer best-in-class data warehousing and BI to meet diverse customer needs. Sabre is currently working with Teradata on an introduction of flexible dashboard technology that integrates drilldowns with the current BI applications. The dashboard capability is expected to provide significant additional flexibility at the user GUI layer, while leveraging the existing reporting tools and maintaining a single version of the truth throughout all existing applications and BI layers.

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