The renowned business guru Stephen Covey said, “Trust is the glue of life, the foundational principle that holds all relationships together.” Similarly, true and open collaboration is the essential ingredient that will ensure successful adoption of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) across the entire travel ecosystem.
Here are four ways collaboration sits at the heart of it all.
- Collaboration breaks down barriers. NDC’s XML-based data transmission standard aims to create a new and enhanced communication protocol for all air content, available across channels, in real time. As a universal messaging standard, NDC can facilitate how rich, enhanced travel data gets distributed between airlines, travel sellers, corporations and technology providers. NDC works with any business model, and runs parallel to current GDS platforms and other industry infrastructures. Pulling in all industry stakeholders at the onset is an inclusive strategy that clears “tunnel vision” and encourages a 360-degree view for all parties involved.
- Collaboration fosters communication. Clearly articulating the business issues and challenges drives better understanding of the varied stakeholder perspectives, builds trust and encourages buy-in of shared objectives. A great example is the way our entire industry got on board to move the travel business from paper tickets to e-tickets – and we all survived to tell the story!
- Collaboration builds consensus. NDC is a new and enhanced protocol with the potential to deliver richer content and value-added feature and benefits to enhance the travel experience. Equally important, all stakeholders must have their needs met in order to secure buy-in and encourage adoption. Therefore, achieving consensus around shared objectives and outcomes is critical to the collaborative process. Put simply, if we solve one side of a business challenge at the expense of another, we miss the opportunity to achieve “win-win” results, impacting stakeholder buy-in and ultimately adoption.
- Collaboration ushers understanding. More than a shared messaging standard, NDC requires that all players use it the same way, ensuring that today’s high performance levels are not only maintained but improved. Open, transparent, frequent collaboration creates this shared understanding. As with any business challenge, stakeholders will naturally have different perspectives. Therefore, “getting to yes” through common understanding and shared views is essential. Covey’s Habit 5 in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” reminds us that as an industry, we must “seek first to understand, and then be understood.”
To facilitate collaboration, Amadeus has created NDC-X, a dedicated program designed to evolve the standards so all stakeholders needs are addressed, drive adoption, and enable industry-wide success. NDC-X focuses on practical use cases of the NDC standard, and adopts a test-and-learn approach to improve industry-wide capabilities.
We’ve been working on NDC since 2014, when Amadeus was the first in the industry to deploy NDC XML v1.0 in production with United Airlines. Since then, we’ve been working closely with our airline and agency customers and IATA to evolve the NDC standard, and consulting with the entire industry to find best practices that deliver effective and efficient solutions for all.
Fueled by collaboration, the Amadeus NDC-X program is helping industry players advance toward shared adoption of a single NDC standard. As we move forward as an industry, collaboration remains the critical component. As our shared NDC journey unfolds, we may know the destination, yet we might not always know the precise path. Let’s find it through collaboration, because when our industry pulls together, we can go further and get there much faster.
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