25 June 2011
What Cloud Computing Means To Open Airline Distribution
This is a modification of a response to a discussion going on in the Beat.
I have just returned from 2 days of the SITA IT Summit. I believe that it has finally dawned on the airlines that they need to do something about the control of their content. And voila... along comes the very essence of the tools to do this. Apps and the Cloud. What has been missing is a viable product and content delivery mechanism that enables the airlines to easily connect and the users also. The structured nature of the industry is artificially constrained by older and now increasingly irrelevant mechanisms. The reality of today's world is that NO ONE has any right to impose ANY STRUCTURES on any user community. I am not preaching anarchy, just acknowledging what the consumers are expecting of us in the industry to deliver.
The open web has enabled us to enjoy almost unlimited access to content. However that content has been constrained by the structures of those who believed that they are the gatekeepers. And they still believe that they can control that and impose the relevant taxes for the privilege. Cloud Computing, Open Systems and low cost app development with rapid deployment and mass consumer adoption all conspire to blow away these archaic legacy structures.
What has been missing is the delivery mechanism. Clearly Cloud Computing does that - but the airlines need a common delivery infrastructure to do so. One that enables the distribution of product and content in any way shape or form. SITA is stepping up to that plate with an Airline Community Cloud. This is but one of many potential options - but for the first time we will have such an Open Delivery platform that can enable true freedom of distribution.
Then next generation companies such as LUTE Technologies who provide aggregated and common services can compete fairly with the legacy players such as the GDSs.
LUTE does not impose rules and restrictions on either side. We provide splintered or common content. We enable unique bilateral dialogues without restriction. All via the Cloud. The owner of the content decides what he wants to sell. The consumer decides what he will use. This is a balanced and logical way to do things.
So rather than moaning about how the lack of ubiquity (aka the lowest common denominator of content) which is the gripe from the intermediary community - they should now embrace the fact that they can TRULY differentiate their services and provide value both up and down stream. Most importantly they can provide really valuable services to the community that they are (and hope to continue to) service.
Idealistic? Unreasonable? Unachievable? Hardly. This is real folks. The incoming Gen Y and Millenials who are replacing the Baby Boomers EXPECT - actually - DEMAND this level of service. if we don't do it now - then someone smarter and faster will.
So stop whining and embrace the real world. Now can we stop debating whose control is better? Let’s devote our energies to servicing the customer. GDSs need to either embrace or go away. But I don’t worry about that any more – the Technorati have spoken. Now the airlines realize that in 3 year’s time, 58% of their distribution will come from non-GDS channels. Actually I think that number is way too low. Open Clouds with deployment of new functionality in minutes rather than years will crush the structured legacy models.