Sabre is ready for the global rollout of its Red Workspace agent desktop after an extensive testing phase since its introduction in 2016.

Red Workspace enables agents to work via a new consumer-grade user interface; they can also choose the more traditional "blue screen" workspace.

During Sabre's fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, president and CEO Sean Menke said "several large, global customers" are using Red Workspace, including American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services.

"We have set the stage to continue the rollout to all customers worldwide for 2018," he said.

According to a Sabre spokesperson, since its 2016 introduction, Red Workspace has undergone an "extensive pilot and testing phase with some of our largest customers."

The version rolling out now delivers on the benefits originally announced, including merchandizing and personalization capabilities with rich media and content. Regional language versions are expected to be available in April and June.

Customer data has proven training time for agents is "significantly reduced" with Red Workspace, according to Menke.

Using Sabre Red Workspace, he said an agent with less than one year of experience becomes as productive as an agent with one to two years of experience in the space of two to four months. In six to eight months, that agent shows the same productivity levels as agents with two to four years of experience.

Menke also announced that Sabre has become New Distribution Capability (NDC) Level 3 certified as an IT provider, and is on track to get Level 3 certified as an aggregator in 2018 (Sabre is currently Level 1 certified as an aggregator).

NDC offers three levels of certification -- Level 3 is the most advanced -- in several categories. Amadeus holds Level 1 certification as an aggregator and Level 3 certification as an IT provider. Travelport is Level 2 certified as an IT provider and Level 3 certified as an aggregator.

Additionally, Menke said the company is searching for a new CFO. Earlier this year, Sabre announced Rick Simonson would step down from the role to retire once a replacement was found.

According to Menke, the company is reviewing a list of internal and external candidates. He called senior vice president and treasurer Chris Nester, who was also on the call, a "very viable" internal candidate for the post.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Sabre's revenue increased 6.3%, to $881.9 million. Net income was $82.1 million, a 234% year-over-year increase. Sabre said the increase was "partially driven by a favorable comparison due to $31.8 million of litigation costs accrued in the year-ago period related to the U.S. Airways litigation." http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Travel-Technology/American-Airlines-wins-5-million-in-lawsuit-against-Sabre

For the full year of 2017, Sabre's revenue increased 6.7% to $3.598 billion. Net income was relatively flat at $242.5 million (it was $242.6 million in 2016).

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