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Customer-centricity and finance’s role in reaching the third horizon

Taking the stage at IATA’s World Financial Symposium (WFS) in Doha, Philip Fernandes, Accelya’s SVP of Product Strategy (Settle Group), explained that the ambition of the third horizon is to allow airlines to move into an era of high-performance retailing. To do that, Philip proposed that finance teams put the customer at the center of their operations. If you couldn’t attend the event and want to learn more, don’t worry. We have summarized Philip’s position below. Read on to discover more and watch a video recording of his panel session at the event called “How to make it work? The providers’ point of view”.

“We must go from being process-driven to being continuously customer-centric. You start putting your passengers in the center and see what benefits them, how you can make their life easy,” said Philip.  

Achieving this goal requires a different view of system architecture. Instead of looking at offer, order, payment, fulfillment, and settlement  as separate steps, they should be regarded as one big integrated work capable of supporting new and dynamic products. 

“It’s about tying up all of these together, working together to get one big collaborative end-to-end process, so that what was the intention in the front-end, is being delivered at the back-end.”

End-to-end retailing enables airlines to make the most of real-time data. The key to unlocking real-time reporting lies in improving data acquisition from the front end. The capabilities required for processing are already in place and access to real-time data is no longer a limitation.   

“If front-end systems can provide the data that is required, it is easy to do the entire real-time processing and posting to ERP… It’s about being able to take control of your revenues and liability in real-time.”

With an Order Management System capable of bringing together accurate data into downstream systems, airlines can benefit from faster settlement, improved cash flow processes, and potentially new opportunities such as inter-modal and third-party services.

Accelya’s experience of operating such systems in live environments has been encouraging. According to Philip, the new standards necessary to implement simplified unified systems, work.

Philip left delegates with a strong message about the potential for the future of order accounting.

“In short, it is not just revenue accounting getting evolved to order accounting. It is the entire ecosystem that is changing. And as part of the ecosystem, we need to think about how the world will look without tickets, without EMDs, and even without PNRs. A lot of things are built around PNRs (not only in full-service airlines but even in the LCCs) but you need to think of a world outside of all of these things.”  

To hear more from Philip Fernandes and watch the whole panel, click  on the video below:

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