Amber Road is, in the best sense, an unusual name for a corporate travel agency. In this interview, Enterprise Director Matt Lambert explains what’s behind the rebranding of this renowned agency.
Matt, I think Amber Road’s new corporate identity is very well done. What was the motivation behind this name change?
Amber Road was an acknowledgment of the modern contemporary travel partnership company that we have created over the last 3 years. It was also a nod to the 35 years heritage of CTI. In a crowded market place full of
acronyms, Amber Road sets us apart as the travel partner of choice for the next generation of business
, through brand association and our partnership approach.
Did the change of owners play a role in that?
In July 2017 Private Equity firm Endless became the majority shareholder of Amber Road. With their investment in technology and our people we are realising our vision to put the heart and soul back into business travel, creating inspired, positive and rewarding experiences. Endless recognised that to stand out from competition and reflect the investment the rebrand was important and were fully supportive of this.
What exactly is behind the name Amber Road?
The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. As an important commodity, sometimes dubbed "the gold of the north", amber was transported from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italy, Greece, the Black Sea, Syria and Egypt over a period of thousands of years.
Amber Road has historic travel connotations, but equally today, modern trading still travels along various Amber Roads across the globe. Whilst the name has a great heritage, it exudes quality, passion, belief and it has entrepreneurial spirit all of which is what we are striving to achieve.
Infrastructure also includes your travel technology. Why did you choose Umbrella Faces?
Automatisation and seamless technology are essential for us. Our investors aim for growth and so all software must be flexible and scalable.
Profile data is the foundation of delivering exceptional customer service to our clients. It holds the entire configuration of travel technology together. Umbrella was first recommended to us by several of our partners like Travelport, Evolvi, Atriis and eGlobalfares.
It is simply hands-down the best profile system on the market and future-proof technology.
You then used Umbrella for a complete GDS migration!
That was a great opportunity. With Umbrella, GDS migration is extremely fast and easy to do.
The greater effort is then to clean up all the content of the data. That is a lot of work but it is absolutely worth it.
Do you have one suggestion/good idea for Umbrella that you want to share here?
The user interface of client-facing parts of Umbrella could benefit from an upgrade. And we would like to attach pictures of visas and passports to profiles.
Matt Lambert outside of work: Where do you live and what do you particularly like about this place?
I live in a small town named Brough in East Yorkshire. It’s about 8 miles from Hull, the UK’s City of Culture in 2017. This put Hull on the map for visitors and artists and we keep seeing great events here.
What was your most remarkable travel experience?
That was my first long haul trip, where I joined a group of clients on a trip to Los Angeles. We were treated like royalty everywhere and it was truly remarkable. I remember the Santa Monica Boathouse and the Halloween decorations all over the city.
Football: Manchester City or Manchester United?
As a Hull City fan, I have had the privilege to watch them at the Etihad. Manchester football is like politics, a subject I avoid! It is one of the things, however, that makes Manchester a great place to have our Head Office and of course brings travellers to the city for both business and pleasure, or a combination of both if you manage to take in a match.