A Travel Strategy for Semantic Technology<br />Buddy Altus – Avis Budget Group<br />Robert Kost – THEMATIX<br />
Agenda<br />Avis Budget Group and the road to Semantics<br />Avis Car Rental Ontology<br />Use Cases<br />Close<br />
Avis Budget Group and the road to Semantics<br />
The Road to Semantics<br />Customers tell us how they want to engage<br />“Where can I rent a Camaro?<br />“Can I rent a c...
The Road to Semantics<br />Car Rental Industry Challenges<br />Purely transactional interactions<br />Competitive differen...
The Road to Semantics<br />Overcoming the Challenge<br />Better Industry Partner Integration<br />Better Product / Service...
The Road to Semantics<br />Why Semantic Technology?<br />Flexibility<br />Power<br />Association<br />Marketing and Mercha...
The Road to Semantics<br />Why a Car Rental Ontology?<br />Top-line revenue<br />marketing driven requirements<br />Indust...
The Road to Semantics<br />What We Did<br />Create an ontology for specific use cases<br />Establish a ‘proprietary standa...
The Road to Semantics<br />Ontology project, driven by interest in <br />better governance, <br />better search optimizati...
The Avis Ontology<br />
Ontology Components<br />offering<br />CarRental<br />Agent<br />Vehicles<br />ISO 1087<br />AvisCarRental<br />Facility<b...
Preliminary Ontology Architecture<br />Avis Vehicle Description<br />Avis Vehicle Classification<br />Avis Specific Termin...
What is the Ontology Ultimately Good For?<br />Responding to customers the way a person might<br />Natural language with s...
Semantic Use Cases<br />Synthetic Merchandising<br />Search Engine Enhancement<br />Smart Search<br />Ancillary / Cross-se...
Attribute 1<br />Attribute 2<br />Leg Room<br />Attribute 4<br />Attribute 5<br />Attribute 5<br />On-Off Access<br />Attr...
Search Enhancement<br />Enrich search results, adding ratings, video, prices, avails, amenities, locality etc.<br />Search...
Smart Search<br /><ul><li>Search of Avis produces user intent, leading directly to a booking.
For Example:
Search term “performance cars” maps to ontology class PerformanceCars.
PerformanceCars is defined by factors including gross horsepower and power to weight ratio
PerformanceCarsclass contains many car classes: CamaroSS, CadillacCTS, FordMustang, BMW328i
Return list of PerformanceCars car classes available at Avis
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Semtech a travel strategy for semantic technology 060611

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Semantic Technology and the Travel Industry, with specific reference to Avis Budget Group's pioneering efforts.

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  • Buddy here’s what will we cover.
  • Buddy:Purely transactional interactions‘The best you can say is: it was uneventful’Competitive differentiationIn product, in serviceLack of granular marketingInability to search &amp; book specific product“tail on the dog”After air, hotel Search for a rental from Avis or Budget via a partner site like Priceline or Orbitz or American AirlinesAll we know is you when, where and for how long you need a carThat’s like trying to recommend a book only knowing where, when and for how long you want to read
  • Buddy:Better Industry Partner Integrationjoint, coordinated, intelligent customer servicingBetter Product / Service Differentiationopening “facets” of the productBetter Merchandising &amp; Distributionsearch engine &amp; other relevant forumsFinding rather than searchinggoal-base, requirements-based, profile-based presentationWe can recommend a bookIf it is known you like non-fiction, history, &amp; politicsIn the same way we can FIND you a rental vehicle if we knowThe nature of the tripWho and how many are goingThe budgetHow much luggage
  • Buddy:Why Semantic Technology?Flexibilityin classification of assets and featuresin interoperability between partnersPowermeaning-based search as opposed to static workflow; meet customer intent, rather than merely criteriaAssociationunify and associate disparate data, such as mashups, customer data, fleet datafederate information from across heterogeneous sourcessell ancillary services based on knowledge of core purchaseMarketing and Merchandisinguse search engines as a reservation “front door”present product based on what we know about the customerturn the rental “incident” into an “experience”Semantics provides the mechanism to provide better resultsIt provides flexibility for Avis and Budget to change the recommendation without requiring partners to make code changes. Important when the install base is large and changes are infrequent.
  • Rob – Thematix built ….Offering ? And cap O
  • Rob:Can we add specific language examples:Did you want a sports car or a camaro specifically?Would you rather go to a different location or dates if the rates are lower, or stick with date/location
  • Rob:Suppliers can merchandise offerings in innovative ways, unique to the brand, that better fit customer needs and desires and differentiate from the competition. Take for example an airline wishing to allow the customer to search for “comfort oriented flights” that use certain attributes of the flight to create “synthetic categories” of availability. Here, key attributes such as leg room, media options, and other facts create a class of availabilities that offer greater comfort.One can imagine other ‘synthetic search’ scenarios, such as “disability friendly,” “commuter friendly,” “easiest connections” and the like.
  • Rob:Two primary factors in Search Engine IndexingRelevance – how many relevant searches will match your pagePage ranking – where in the ranking order does your page appearIf your page does not appear in the results of a relevant search, the page rank does not matterPage ranking scores have little to do with the language and meaning content of the pageConventional SEO is needed in addition to increased relevanceEnhance search across many search engines at once. Control the quality and criteria for relevance. Avoid the expense, upkeep and currency issues of intermediaries. As search engine functionality extends, take advantage of transactional as well as descriptive aspects of search results.Hilton could provide same as Pegasus. One point of leverage is semantics disintermediates aggregators.Ability to produce many more meaningful description tags – synonyms – that enhance relevance.-- provide results from Bing, Yahoo and Google as illustration-- not as good as it can be: we need to mock-up something even better.
  • Rob:
  • Buddy:Partners might be able to pass meaningful metadata, allowing partners to make decisions on the fly concerning the offers, based on what is learned about the customer in one stage of the process. Here, for example, Continental may be able to provide Avis with information about the travelers that allows Avis to determine that it is a family, with one spouse probably on business, that is relatively affluent and in need of a car rental with lots of storage and accommodations for children.Ancillary partners of either Avis or Continental might also be “activated” on that basis – allowing for offers related to events, meals, accommodations and even baby sitters.This kind of reasoning is possible without a need for “pre-packaging” or a static infrastructure for doing so – the “smarts” are in the data that is being passed between partners, rather than in intermediary systems.
  • Rob:Remove not the human kind:Industry-wide ontologies, starting with Car‘publishing’ availabilities in RDFa / microformatsFacilitate federated search and agents; publishing against criteriaLinked data mashupsSemantic SOA  atypical non-sequential searches“atomic” information about car models
  • Semtech a travel strategy for semantic technology 060611

    1. 1. A Travel Strategy for Semantic Technology<br />Buddy Altus – Avis Budget Group<br />Robert Kost – THEMATIX<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />Avis Budget Group and the road to Semantics<br />Avis Car Rental Ontology<br />Use Cases<br />Close<br />
    3. 3. Avis Budget Group and the road to Semantics<br />
    4. 4. The Road to Semantics<br />Customers tell us how they want to engage<br />“Where can I rent a Camaro?<br />“Can I rent a car with an MP3 jack?”<br />“What do you have that fits a big man on a tight budget?”<br />“Can I add a friend to the reservation?”<br />“You’re sold out; now what?”<br />
    5. 5. The Road to Semantics<br />Car Rental Industry Challenges<br />Purely transactional interactions<br />Competitive differentiation<br />Lack of granular marketing<br />“tail on the dog”<br />
    6. 6. The Road to Semantics<br />Overcoming the Challenge<br />Better Industry Partner Integration<br />Better Product / Service Differentiation<br />Better Merchandising & Distribution<br />Finding rather than searching<br />
    7. 7. The Road to Semantics<br />Why Semantic Technology?<br />Flexibility<br />Power<br />Association<br />Marketing and Merchandising<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/3448804778/<br />
    8. 8. The Road to Semantics<br />Why a Car Rental Ontology?<br />Top-line revenue<br />marketing driven requirements<br />Industry leadership and standardization<br />OpenTravel Alliance responsible for SOA standards; ontology “a natural”<br />Expansion to air, hotel, rail and other suppliers possible and desirable, driven by interoperability concerns<br />Occurring in context of the growing importance of data strategy<br />
    9. 9. The Road to Semantics<br />What We Did<br />Create an ontology for specific use cases<br />Establish a ‘proprietary standard”<br />Begin to execute the use cases<br />But a proprietary-standard does not scale<br />Help build an industry standard<br />Travel is a deeply interrelated industry value chain<br />Travel distribution is a highly automated and realtime system: arguably, the largest eCommerce category on the internet<br />The Industry need standards for interoperability<br />The Open Travel Alliance: XML web services standards<br />Others:  ATPCO, IATA, Open Axis…<br />
    10. 10. The Road to Semantics<br />Ontology project, driven by interest in <br />better governance, <br />better search optimization and leverage, <br />better marketing, merchandising, <br />CRM and analytics<br />Improved intra-domain and cross-domain search functionality<br />Use OTA to drive adoption of car rental ontology, and thereafter other travel ontologies<br />
    11. 11. The Avis Ontology<br />
    12. 12. Ontology Components<br />offering<br />CarRental<br />Agent<br />Vehicles<br />ISO 1087<br />AvisCarRental<br />Facility<br />CarRentalFacility<br />The ontology intends to model the Avis line of business, and from the perspective of sales and marketing, but not from the perspective of operations. Thus, functions that are not of interest to the consumer, sales staff or marketing staff are not included in the model.<br />
    13. 13. Preliminary Ontology Architecture<br />Avis Vehicle Description<br />Avis Vehicle Classification<br />Avis Specific Terminology<br />Avis Wizard Profile<br />Avis Facilities<br />Avis Contracts & Offers<br />Avis Eligibility Requirements<br />Vehicle Description<br />ACRISS / OTA Vehicle Codes<br />Common Domain Terminology<br />General Renter Profile<br />Rental Car Facilities<br />Rental Contracts & Offers<br />Rental Eligibility <br />Agents/People<br />Facilities<br />Contracts & Offers<br />Basic CRM<br />Business Capability Concepts<br />Language<br />Countries<br />Geospatial & Addressing<br />Time & UoM<br />Standard Utility<br />Concepts<br />Basic Terminology & Ontology Metadata<br />Metadata<br />
    14. 14. What is the Ontology Ultimately Good For?<br />Responding to customers the way a person might<br />Natural language with semantic interpretation<br />Making differential offers<br />Determining or suggesting customer rates, cars<br />Inferring and responding to customer intent<br />“are you in town for …?” “may we suggest …”<br />Providing powerful business analytics<br />Heterogeneous facts in unique, ad hoc combination<br />
    15. 15. Semantic Use Cases<br />Synthetic Merchandising<br />Search Engine Enhancement<br />Smart Search<br />Ancillary / Cross-sell<br />
    16. 16. Attribute 1<br />Attribute 2<br />Leg Room<br />Attribute 4<br />Attribute 5<br />Attribute 5<br />On-Off Access<br />Attribute 7<br />Attribute 8<br />Attribute 9<br />Media Options<br />Attribute 11<br />Attribute 12<br />Meal Options<br />Attribute 14<br />Attribute 15<br />Time of Day<br />Attribute 17<br />Attribute 18<br />Distance to Gate<br />Attribute 20<br />Attribute 21<br />Flight Characteristics<br />Attribute N<br />…<br />“Comfort-Oriented” Flight<br />Semantic Merchandising<br />
    17. 17. Search Enhancement<br />Enrich search results, adding ratings, video, prices, avails, amenities, locality etc.<br />Search engines as a “front door”<br />dramatically increase relevance by inclusion of more meaningful, synonymic tags<br />
    18. 18. Smart Search<br /><ul><li>Search of Avis produces user intent, leading directly to a booking.
    19. 19. For Example:
    20. 20. Search term “performance cars” maps to ontology class PerformanceCars.
    21. 21. PerformanceCars is defined by factors including gross horsepower and power to weight ratio
    22. 22. PerformanceCarsclass contains many car classes: CamaroSS, CadillacCTS, FordMustang, BMW328i
    23. 23. Return list of PerformanceCars car classes available at Avis
    24. 24. If search terms do not map to ontology, default to existing text search</li></li></ul><li>Smart SearchSame“Outside and Inside” of Avis.com<br />
    25. 25. Ancillary and Cross-Partner Sale<br />“Business Trip w/ Family”<br /><ul><li> 2 adults
    26. 26. 2 children < 10 yrs
    27. 27. 1st class
    28. 28. Member OnePass + Avis Premier
    29. 29. 3rd time to Orlando
    30. 30. Residence Zip Code 10011
    31. 31. 3 bags</li></li></ul><li>More use cases … <br />Location and Event related services<br />Data mash-ups providing valuable customer packages or advisories<br />Social media applications that “wrap” conventional bookings in different workflows<br />Itinerary advisors, accommodating changes, warning of events, providing alternatives<br />Smart Itineraries (TripIt?)<br />…<br />
    32. 32. Vision<br /><ul><li>Travel agents to return!
    33. 33. Standardized, shared meaning facilitates common operations to be performed across many suppliers
    34. 34. Fulfilling on the SOA vision
    35. 35. The Customer Experience is both real and virtual
    36. 36. Use semantics to provide services not heretofore possible
    37. 37. Provide tools for finding, rather than searching
    38. 38. The customer is a search term
    39. 39. Reach through all available media
    40. 40. Distributed customer entry points for bookings</li></li></ul><li>Thank you<br />

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