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Interview with Riaz Pisani - The vision of a fully integrated and seamless agency desktop

Helmut Pilz
Mar 17, 2021 3:03:24 PM

20210126 Snowstorm logoUmbrella is happy to announce the interface connection for travel profiles with Snowstorm Technologies. Their cutting edge collaborative NDC booking solution is currently being rolled out to over 60.000 agents.

Riaz Pisani Snowstorm

One can easily imagine that Vancouver-based founder and mastermind Riaz Pisani and his team have been super busy in 2020. Here’s the interview!

Riaz, you’ve recently announced several breakthroughs with Snowstorm. What are those?

The global pandemic has allowed us to focus on the business, not in the business. We have used the time to complete a simple yet powerful SME focused OBT for corporate agents and their customers.

Our oneCORPORATE corporate booking tool offers

  • a multi-level approval process
  • a full suite of canned and bespoke reports
  • traveler- or agent initiated itinerary in our patent pending collaborative booking environment
  • bi-directional uploads and updates using Umbrella Profile management

umbrella onion snowstorm

We have also developed and deployed a viral marketing and lead generation platform (fully integrated into our booking flows) that allows suppliers to post relevant products to end customers via their agents’ social media accounts. This is a cost effective, relevant and inspiring way to generate great engagement and conversion to bookings.

Who did you build Snowstorm for? Who are your target clients and how do they benefit from using your system?

We built the platform for our agency partners. We offer B2B and B2B2C solutions. My vision was to build a fully integrated and seamless agency desktop with the broadest range of content with all the travel booking and management functionality a Network, Agency, Agent and Traveler would need to create the perfect leisure or business trip in any language using any currency.

All of our booking tools are built from common technology, so they interact and integrate seamlessly and the agent- and customer experience is collaborative. We call it Simple. Smart. Seamless.

Who is already using Snowstorm?

We have agreements in place and are deploying to some of the largest and best-known Networks across 90+ countries around the world. We have a highly effective team that is rolling out our technology to 60,000+ agents worldwide.

What is your relationship with traditional GDS?

We have very good relationships and agreements with all the GDS and we are able to integrate agency credentials simply and quickly allowing them access to their own content and rates. We also have our own global hotel program with our own rate code delivered via the GDS.

What will you have achieved by the end of 2021?

The platform as it stands is the most comprehensive in terms of content and booking capabilities anywhere in the world. Our focus right now is getting it deployed to all our agency partners and helping them to use its many features to grow their businesses and deliver the best possible experience to their customers.

We continue to enhance and fine tune everything that we do – we never stand still. Key new developments over the next 3-12 months include rail and transfer booking integrations, finalizing our MICE booking platform, delivering expense management and duty of care for our corporate agency’s customers a. We will also deploy blockchain technologies into our payment flows to expedite transfer of funds and reduce costs of transactions.  

Who are the key people in your organization?

My role as founder and Chief Strategy Officer is to continually envision and build to where I think the industry will be in 2-5 years’ time. It’s critical for me to build and deliver something valuable now that people may not even have dreamed possible.

Other key people include Neil Armorgie our UK based Chief Executive Officer who came to us from his role as CEO at WIN. Greg Dixon, who worked for Flight Centre Travel Group for over 30 years in many senior roles, is our Chief Execution Officer.

What has been your most remarkable travel experience so far?

One of my fondest travel memories is attending the Global Star Conference in South Africa last year and riding on a scooter with a group of attendees (including you Helmut) to the Cape of Good Hope.

Yes, this was such a fun trip, Riaz! Thank you for bringing back those memories!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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