Corporate Travel Management, typically called CTM, is a refreshingly innovative global player in travel management. CTM’s European headquarters in London has been rolling out Umbrella Faces since August 2017. We at Umbrella especially appreciate CTM’s very well thought out and accurate – in other words typically Swiss – approach to data management.
We were honored to sit down with Alex Cousins (Director of Global Client Services) and Scott Alboni (Director of Marketing) for our Christmas edition of the Umbrella Blog. In this interview, read about why they work with us and what makes CTM so successful in the highly competitive TMC market.
Alex, Scott, why did you choose Umbrella as your profile management solution?
Profile management is a fundamental part of our service but one which should be simple, intuitive and integrated. It must be able to integrate across multiple internal and 3rd party solutions and we have found that this is possible with Umbrella. Our old, in-house system was not designed for the large number of new requirements such as GDPR compliance and various new data interfaces.
Actually, all corporate clients expect profile management to be simple and work smoothly. Of course, they have no idea how complex the topic is in reality. Umbrella as a highly specialized provider do this very well.
It quickly became apparent that both companies have a similar approach and a similar standard of quality. Therefore, the partnership really works exceptionally well.
We think so, too. We are really impressed by your way of working and our very efficient cooperation.
How far along is the roll out of Umbrella?
We started with a key customer and rolled out Umbrella across Europe and into Asia. It quickly became clear that the solution worked smoothly everywhere. On a side note, it works with a silent login or single sign on through the CTM portal.
The intention is to migrate all clients across to the new solution. Umbrella is the primary profile solution for all new business.
What is the biggest challenge for you in profile management?
The technical and functional area works perfectly with Umbrella. The difficult part is elsewhere: Getting a good HR feed or extract as the very minimum from companies! Larger companies generally have a lot of different HR databases. Only a few corporations manage to consolidate this information with a master data management solution before sending it to us. However, this is always the foundation for keeping employee information under control – such as new hires, those who are leaving and those who are changing jobs,
Tell us a little about CTM!
CTM is a publicly listed travel management company globally headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Global turnover is currently just under 3 billion Euros, which is generated in more than 70 countries.
CTM Europe headquarters in London are very central, right next to St. Paul’s Cathedral. We were created three years ago as a result of the acquisition of the long-established company Chambers Travel. At the end of 2016, we made a further strategic acquisition of Redfern Travel in Bradford
The four regional CTM headquarters in Brisbane, London, Denver and Hong Kong are responsible for perfectly adapting the entire business to local circumstances.
What makes CTM stand out amid the intense TMC competition?
We have a very clear profile as a global player that provides excellent local service and adapts flexibly to clients’ needs. When talking to new customers, the same patterns and the same reasons why they switch to CTM come up over and over:
For international customers, CTM’s very personal, extensive and local service is a significant and decisive improvement over the usual anonymous call centers. We do this differently to the very large TMCs. CTM can maintain the high standard of quality of a “boutique TMC” around the world and according to the follow-the-sun principle. This is what we do better than small providers.
Contrary to other online TMCs, we add expert, high-quality and personal service. This makes CTM a very attractive partner for the more cost-conscious, online-savvy customer segment.
We always like to introduce our business partners personally. Please tell us something about yourselves – where you grew up, how you started working at CTM and what you enjoy doing outside of work?
Alex: I grew up in the country; in North Yorkshire to be exact. Later I studied design and specialized in stained glass. My biggest project was Euro Disney – where I was lucky enough to be involved in making many of the stained-glass windows for the park. Then at some point, I had enough of casual clothes and workshops far out in the country. After stops at British Midland, Britannic/FCM I finally landed at Chambers in 2012. Working my way through Customer Services, into Account Management, Consultancy and now E-Commerce and Client engagement.
Of course, my family and two children are the most important part of my life and my biggest success, but my job does play a very central role. Many here say I am a workaholic and I wouldn’t disagree. I don’t really have time for too many other hobbies by the time I get home from work.
Scott: I am from the south-west of London originally, but have also lived in Australia for a few years. Interestingly, I studied design like Alex, but graphics. Since then I have tried a few different industries and developed more and more towards marketing. I was hired by CTM to implement the rebranding of Chambers to CTM nearly 3 years ago. Meanwhile I have also taken on many business development activities, which is a lot of fun.
My big passion is travelling, this includes a series of challenging adventures during which I raise money for a children’s cancer charity. Last year I was on Mount Everest, and before that we cycled from Bangkok to Saigon. The most incredible experience so far was a six-week kayak trip through the Amazon jungle from Ecuador to Peru.
Thank you so much for your time and the great interview!