What is an IT Hub and How to Choose the Right One for You
The TV show "The Americans" was a drama about a married Russian couple who worked for the KGB and were sent to the USA as spies. The show takes place in the 1980´s and their cover story is that they own a successful travel agency. Many times throughout the show you get a glimpse of how travel used to be sold via brochures and pamphlets. Well, not anymore. The online transition of travel and the abundance of suppliers makes it crucial to connect to an IT Hub and source your inventory from multiple suppliers. In this article, I would like to discuss what is an IT hub and how to choose the right one for you.
What is an IT Hub?
An IT Hub (also known as an IT platform, switch and centralized API ) allows you to connect via 1 centralized API to multiple travel suppliers. In other words, it is a global marketplace for B2B travel trade. Thus, IT Hubs are crucial both for buyers and sellers. In this article, we will focus more on the buyer's side of using an IT Hub.
There are a few alternatives to using an IT Hub, whether it be connecting via API to eachsupplier individually, or developing your own centralized API. However, these solutions require you to have an in-house IT team with advanced development capacities. This will incur heavy costs and a lot of time, not only to develop, but to also connect to multiple suppliers. Even then, you will most likely be limited only to a handful of suppliers, while connecting via an IT hub will grant you access to tens or even hundreds of suppliers of multiple travel products.
How to choose the right IT Hub for you?
Now that we are clear on what is an IT Hub, it´s time to learn how to choose the right one for you. There are hundreds of IT Hubs worldwide, and choosing the right IT platform for you can be overwhelming. So, here are a few important factors you want to take into consideration upon choosing the right centralized API for your business.
1. Variety of Suppliers
When evaluating IT platforms, optimally you would like to connect to as many different travel product suppliers as possible. So even if flights and hotels are the bread and butter of your business, search for switches that connect you to suppliers of cruises, transfers, car rentals, alternative transportation methods, tours and activities and package rates.
2. Dynamic packaging capabilities
In today´s world, itinerary building must be dynamic and customizable. Allowing each customer to create their own travel package is crucial to increasing conversions and sales volume. Verify that the IT hub offers this capability as well.
3. Profit increasing features
Technology is not only used to simplify and streamline businesses, but also to increase profitability. Make sure the IT hub you hook up to offers a hotel repricing service which can help increase your hotel booking profits by 36% for reservations you ALREADY sold.
4. Fixed fees versus cost per booking
Some IT hubs offer a fixed monthly fee while others offer a cost per booking made via their platform. Make sure to assess your current booking volume along with your projected future volume in order to make the right choice regarding the payment structure.
5. White label B2C booking engine
Building a great booking engine so your customers can reserve online can be an expensive endeavor. Some IT platforms offer a white label solution so that you can have a fantastic customer interface which is also connected via the centralized API to all the suppliers.
6. Data Analysis
With hundreds if not thousands of bookings going through the IT hub per month, you want to be able to analyze periodically the data in order to tweak things and make better decisions. Some IT companies offer add-on products that analyze your data and show you how you can improve.
7. Back Office
In case you don´t have your own back office, make sure to inquire if your desired IT platform also has a back office where you can administrate all of your reservations.
With hundreds of IT hubs that offer many of the same features, searching for the right platform for you can be time consuming and overwhelming. However, for now, very few platforms offer features to help you increase your profitability dramatically. Pruvo Revenue Maker has partnered with the IT Hubs, TravelgateX, Parsec and IT4T Solutions in order to provide Pruvo´s hotel repricing service for all of these IT Hub´s customers directly within their platform. Pruvo Revenue Maker is an AI-driven solution that automatically tracks hotel bookings you made on any provider, monitors their price 24/7 and helps you increase your profitability by rebooking those reservations when their net price drops.