2010 Advisory Forum Agenda and Presentations

Note: Session titles or participant names are hyper-linked to presentation files.  Some sessions were facilitated discussions so did not have presentations, and some presenters did not make their presentations available.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting Started with OpenTravel

Targeted at application developers, analysts and partnership managers that are new to or interested in OpenTravel, this breakfast session will visually present the OpenTravel body of work and associated processes, OpenTravel schema basics (from namespaces to common payload attributes), and how you can get involved in OpenTravel.

Chairman's Welcome and Opening Remarks

John Lambe, Chair, OpenTravel Board of Directors and CTO, OpenJaw Technologies


Cloud Thinking Powers Merchandising in The New Decade

Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, Managing Partner, T2Impact Ltd.

The challenge for the industry is to take advantage of real time information and content services combining it with the smooth unimpeded performance that users have come to expect from sellers and intermediaries alike. Cloud computing is changing our approach to travel services provision, moving the travel industry away from the traditional monolithic model and replacing it with mashup merchandising content generated from multiple sources.

Chairman's Panel

Moderated by Timothy O'Neil-Dunne


  • John Lambe, CTO OpenJaw Technologies
  • John Turato, VP Technology, Avis Budget Group
  • Jim Young, Airline Distribution Expert

Led by Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, a panel of current and past members of the OpenTravel Board of Directors will discuss the future of travel distribution, including the value of standards and standards bodies to the travel industry.  Do changing business models and shifting distribution strategies make standards more or less useful?  Is the need greater for emerging strategies and regions than for the more mature segments and regions?   Will newer and cheaper technologies make standards irrelevant?

The Impact of Structured Data on Search Results

Moderated by Robert Cole, Founder, RockCheetah Consulting


  • Stephane Donze, VP Technology, Exalead
  • Dan Pritchett, Chief Platform Architect, Rearden Commerce

As both the web and search continue to evolve – local, real-time, personalized, semantic, image, video and universal search have emerged as distinct entities that have complicated traditional organic and paid search results. Structured data is transforming the internet from the current document-centric model to the data-centric model envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web. The travel industry needs to prepare for exciting, but potentially disruptive changes in the way individuals seek, access and consume information to make trip planning and destination experience decisions.

Distribution in the Long Tail

Moderated by Dennis Schaal, North American Editor Tnooz

  • Stephen Joyce, CEO RezGo
  • Aaron Nissen, Director e-strategies, TravelAlberta
  • Ted Miller, COO Instant Software

Some of the hottest segments in distribution include tours and activities, vacation/holiday/villa rentals and destination management organizations.  Characterized by extensive online shopping but substantial offline booking, how can the transaction-oriented GDS' and OTAs support these segments?  What would ideal distribution channels for these segments look like and how can standards enable the electronic distribution of appropriate travel information for these segments?

OpenTravel 2.0 - SPEAK-CODE-THINK OpenTravel

  • David Morley, Systems Architect, Marriott International
  • Dave Hollander, SOA Architect, Sabre Holdings

Within the Architecture Work Group, a discussion has been ongoing about shifting the focus of OpenTravel from XML messages to a language for business that can be shared by both technical and non-technical individuals.  This could be accomplished through well defined namespaces to identify the OpenTravel intellectual property, a data dictionary to rationalize the content and a new mechanism for creating types from business concepts.

Members of the work group will present these initiatives so everyone can SPEAK-CODE-THINK OpenTravel!

Ideas Market

Moderated by Lisa Fues, Director of Reservations, Inventory and Distribution, Marriott International 

Do you ever feel that the best part of a conference happens between sessions in casual discussions? Attend this Idea Market where Conversation Leaders and Facilitators stir up lively discourse with attendees on a variety of topics in a highly interactive, fluid session. Share your experiences, or just listen in.

Click here for the notes from this session.

Wednesday April 28, 2010

Using OpenTravel Tools

  • Ken Kuhn, Senior Business Analyst, Marriott International
  • Bonnie Lowell, Specification Manager, OpenTravel

The best way to realize the value of an OpenTravel membership is to understand the variety of resources OpenTravel has to offer.  See a demonstration of each of these tools at this breakfast meeting and see how they can assist you with your implementations.

Work Group Updates and New Projects Discussion

This session will review all projects across all verticals which were published in recent releases, and projects underway. In addition, future potential projects will be discussed and evaluated.

Attacking High Look-to-Book Ratios

Moderated by Timothy O'Neil-Dunne


Analysts and distributors are all reporting a spike in the look-to-book ratio for travel search and buy as consumers look for deals in the current economic downturn. The increased number of lookers puts a burden on every link in the electronic distribution supply chain, but smart companies are figuring out ways manage the burden without knocking over inventory control applications or negatively affecting customer service.

Integrating OpenTravel into Your SDLC

Presented by Bonnie Lowell, Specification Manager, OpenTravel

Targeted at application developers, analysts and partnership managers, this session will discuss how OpenTravel can be integrated into the common stages of a company’s software development lifecycle (SDLC), including planning, requirements definition, development, integration, and test and maintenance and support.

Innovation in Consumer-Facing Travel Sites and Apps

Presented by Scott Gillespie, Author of Gillespie's Guide to Travel Procurement

Has there really been much innovation in the travel industry recently? What should the proliferation of mobile travel apps tell us? What travel-related tasks are begging for innovative solutions? Delivered by Scott Gillespie, a travel industry veteran and patented inventor, this provocative session will cause you to question your answers and change the way you look at innovation.

Modernizing the IT Enterprise Without Sacrificing Competitive Advantage 

Presented by Sean Parker, Executive IT Architect, IBM

The travel industry is pressured to provide today's sophisticated travelers the pace of innovation that they expect – however, maintaining existing applications absorbs a significant amount of the available IT investment budget. See and discuss examples of how leading companies address the biggest challenges inherent in this difficult endeavor: quantifying investment decisions, managing risk, decomposing existing applications, appropriately leveraging standards such as OpenTravel, and finally some key considerations for new applications to maximize maintainability.

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