Looking Back at Year One of the Biggest Partnership in Corporate TravelBy Mike Baker
Lola.com and American Express Global Business Travel celebrate the first year of their partnership and discuss what's in store for 2020 and beyond
Just over a year ago, Lola.com and American Express Global Business Travel forged an industry-shaking commercial partnership designed to provide a lightweight, user-friendly way for growing businesses to manage corporate travel. In that time, the two organizations have brought on hundreds and hundreds of customers, bolstered the product with new features and negotiated inventory, and helped thousands of business travelers navigate travel disruptions.
But that’s just the beginning.
With the first year in the books, Lola.com and American Express GBT are looking ahead — to 2020 and beyond. Lola is already the highest-rated corporate travel management platform on the market, but the two organizations know that there is a lot they can do to make the app even more powerful and user-friendly, as well as develop more integrations and industry partnerships to help businesses save time and money on corporate travel.
Recently, GBT’s VP of Product Strategy and Marketing, Evan Konwiser, and Lola.com’s SVP of Business Development, Krista Pappas, sat down to talk about the partnership’s past, present and future.
The conversation, which took place at Lola’s first annual Agile Operations Summit, was wide-ranging and touched on many aspects of the partnership and its results. We broke the conversation into three parts — origins of the deal, a look back at Year One, and predictions for 2020 — to make it easy to jump to the part you’re most interested in.
Origins of the Deal
Well before the deal was ever inked, the two organizations started discussing the possibility of a partnership. The corporate travel management space was rapidly changing, and Lola and GBT both knew that business travelers and travel managers were looking for simpler, more lightweight ways to manage their travel programs. With GBT’s industry expertise and deep supplier relationships, and Lola’s world-class development team and software experience, it was clear that an official collaboration could best help transform the outdated TMC landscape.
Looking Back at Year One
With the partnership signed, sealed and delivered, both organizations approached the first year with a lot of excitement. It didn’t take long for the two to start seeing that their vision for a super simple travel management platform was being embraced with open arms. Customers immediately started signing up the platform, excited to take the pain out of managing their corporate travel programs.
What’s in store for 2020?
With one year in the books, Evan and Krista turned their attention to 2020. How will the two teams work together to make Lola even better? What challenges lie ahead? What are the most pressing priorities.