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
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
"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
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
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).