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OpenTravel CRM Integrates Facebook

Travel Sciences announced that it has integrated Facebook with its customer relationship management (CRM) solution known as OpenTravel CRM.

OpenTravel CRM is the first free, all-inclusive CRM and back office software for travel agents and travel businesses.

Featuring Web 2.0 capabilities and tools that are built into its core, OpenTravel CRM extends conventional CRM functions to include social network relationship management (”SRM”) capabilities.

The addition of Facebook is a further step in its CRM 2.0 strategy with the release of the public beta version scheduled for November 23rd.

The integration of Facebook with OpenTravel CRM will provide travel professionals with the ability to automatically download and include Facebook Friends profiles into OpenTravel CRM’s customer profiles.

It also will enable OpenTravel CRM users to maintain and link to their own profiles directly from the application. Additionally, OpenTravel CRM, will enable agents to set-up Facebook groups for travelers who can view itineraries, post comments and share photos.

According to Joseph Mazzarella, President and CEO of Travel Sciences, “the explosive and continuing growth of social networks clearly indicates that they are emerging as powerful forces in modern human social interaction. In terms of CRM, it is essential for businesses to participate as members in these communities and to leverage their innate networking power.

We believe businesses can and should actively participate in social networks and, in doing so, will foster and cultivate customer relationships that will allow more meaningful long term interaction.”

According to available Facebook information, they have over 25 Million users and are growing approximately 3% per week. Fifty percent of Facebook users visit the site every day, and there are over 60 billion page views per month.

“We have added meaningful, deep Facebook integration into our CRM because it is the leading social network site. OpenTravel CRM users should be able to expand their own network of customers contacts through the community by making Facebook friends, and having their friends refer other friends. It also provides a unique insight into a customer’s personal lifestyle preferences, and provides great information about what customer’s really like. That is the essence of a strong CRM solution – one that provides real insight about customers with the tools to act on that knowledge in a meaningful way, said Mazzarella.”

OTC breaks new ground with the first Web 2.0 based business management tool for the travel professional community. OpenTravel CRM is super-scalable. It was built from the ground up with the newest web technologies available. Commercial paid license versions of the software with no advertising are available for larger travel agencies, tour operators and other organizations.

In addition to Facebook, the core functions complimented by advanced Web 2.0 features include an integrated RSS reader, instant messaging and online presence monitoring, Skype and interactive mapping. Also, online community networking technologies, such as integrated blogging and publishing, and online forums, are meshed into and part of the business solution.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.