By 2023, Sabre will complete its migration to open cloud systems, retiring mainframe technology, said chief information officer Joe DiFonzo.

Speaking during Sabre Investor Day this week, DiFonzo said mainframe technology has become expensive to operate, leading many companies to move away from it. Sabre is among those.

The move will give the company both "operational agility" and "scalability," he said.

Amadeus fully migrated off the mainframe to cloud systems last June. Travelport is in the process of migrating off the mainframe and plans to continue to do so.

Migrating to cloud systems -- Sabre will use a combination of public clouds and a private cloud -- will reduce operating expenses by more than $100 million annually, according to DiFonzo.

Several Sabre products across its Travel Network, Airline Solutions and Hospitality Solutions businesses already operate independently of the mainframe, he said, listing Sabre Red Workspace, GetThere, TripCase, AirCentre, AirVision, Airline Inventory, SynXis Property Management and SynXis Central Reservations.

"All of our shopping capability -- across air and hotel, we're talking about systems that process over 20 billion shopping transactions a month -- none of it is on the mainframe," DiFonzo said. "A lot of stuff that's happening around Sabre really has nothing to do with the mainframe."

For over a decade, Sabre has been working to route transactions through interfaces on open systems that surround the mainframe, DiFonzo said.

"Over this time, that mainframe footprint has been shrinking and shrinking and shrinking as more functions have been moved off the mainframe," he said. Customers don't see the transition happening, DiFonzo added.

Sabre has made cost reductions to fund the investment, citing specifically its business realignment plan announced over the summer that included a 9% reduction of its workforce. 

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