4/1/21 - It is an emotional day for me
I started Trams back in 1987, Wide eyed and full of energy – and a few rough edges. I set out to help evolve and improve the travel distribution world. “There are lots of ways to make a living, I want to help make the world a better place” was and still is my personal mantra.
I am proud of what we did with Trams’ first 20 years. Built strong systems for the times, connected many pieces, and had a role in the industry moving forward – including during some rough times. Also, built a lot of relationships based upon communications, mutual support, and trust. We worked together and made a lot of progress.
I sold Trams and left in 2009. For me personally it was an opportunity to shift priorities to my family. Also, a time of personal exploration and growth. But the itch was still there. The job not finished. Still more to do and opportunity to “make things better.”
The travel distribution industry has changed a lot over the years I was on hiatus. And so has technology. In fact, in my opinion, the two have come together perfectly creating the best opportunity yet to maximize benefits. Even back in 1987 my goal was not to just provide a back office and CRM system to Travel agencies and agents. My goal was to connect these pieces to other allies. Consortia for marketing, commission reconciling, booking engines, credit card processing, reporting systems, etc.
I like the way Aristotle expressed it: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” For example: A cruise promotion is sent to a customer of an agency that booked last February and traveled in July. Opens and clicks tracked and brought to the agent’s attention for follow thru. The sales process is tracked and managed and a new trip is electronically booked with data integrated to Trams from the reservation system. That reservation is rolled up to the consortium that promotes the insurance sale and provides pre and post trip communications. Details of the cruise itinerary are also rolled up, enabling promotion of shore excursions, which are sold and automated (increasing net profit on the trip by 100% with no additional work whatsoever.) Reporting and management provided all along and all data stored and available and used professionally for targeted, effective promotions for the next trip.
So, I jumped back in. Started Tres. Got my team back together – with hundreds of years of experience and knowledge to fast track our personal “knowledge-base”. We learned a lot along the way. Tres is not the 3rd version of Trams products, but rather a new creation of a new product with approaches learned from the experiences of the past and input from our allies and customers. A much better product with unlimited growth. And the way we do business today makes us so much more effective and impactful.
(When I started Trams I signed a lease for $14K a month, paid $110 per person for parking, bought desks for everyone, installed a network, got a phone system, and paid $30,000 for a copier!) Today there are efficiencies I only dreamed. We can do better.
Our initial focus has been on building the Tres foundation. Love our people and systems. We have our “originators” or product owners with the ideas. Committee to review and discuss. UX experts to design screens, Project Managers to document and track everything, Database and rules development team, user view development team and testers. And support/training is gearing up with an operating team that I have worked with for decades. My first day post re-acquiring Trams will be spent with my agency
advisory board. Feeling great, making progress, and getting there.
I still have friends at Sabre. And many Trams employees still feel like family and have done a great job with Trams. Given the shifting strategies at Sabre, I learned that while the Trams portfolio is important to them, Trams is a peripheral set of products not at the center of their core product strategy. I approached them, told them what we are doing, asked if there was a way we could work together. They agreed and while it took some effort to work thru the details, we got it done.
Today Trams becomes part of Tres.
I feel great about the announcement, opportunity, and future. Working together we can do so much. I have been in touch with our allies: consortia, reporting companies, commission reconciliations, marketing allies, website providers, credit card processors and more and we all want to work together to make things better. Exciting times.
So, what comes next and when?
Tres is progressing well; but has a way to go. Our initial release will be in April. For agencies wanting to convert to Tres there are two things we need to consider:
- System functionality needed. (For example, Sabre interface will be released first, the rest in future
- Integrations: We need to make sure both sides of needed integrations are in place. Some integrations will be included in our initial release – such as Live Connects. Others, such as consortia rollups, client itinerary handoffs, etc., require work on the allies’ side and will be release with later versions.
Our goal at Tres is to make Tres so good that everyone will want to convert. With that said, “when” will be a function of when we are ready function wise, integrated programs are ready, and the agency is ready. For those on ClientBase Windows and Trams Back Office, there are no target shut down nor must be off dates. Move when and if right for you.
Tres has a full development team and will continue to work hard to progress our product. We will also maintain full Trams development and support teams. Trams product development will be focused on system maintenance and any issues. It is our goal and desire to keep and maintain the entire US based support staff as Tres employees to continue to assist Trams users, as well as evolve to Tres support. We think another 200 + years of support experience is a nice thing to have at Tres.
On a personal note, I hope you are excited about working together as we are. I do ask for your understanding, and patience. We are working hard to get the pieces together and will continue to improve and move forward at a rapid pace. I expect that by summer we will be “jamming” and ready for real numbers of migrations. For us, it’s back to working together to make the whole as best as possible for those involved. Thanks for reading.