Sabre joins forces with Microsoft

Accelerating its strategy to re-imagine the business of travel, Sabre Corporation announced a long-term strategic agreement with Microsoft. As part of this new agreement, Microsoft will empower the migration of Sabre’s commercial applications to Microsoft Azure by investing cloud development expertise and services in support of Sabre’s vision to lead an industry evolution in retailing, distribution and fulfillment.

“The cloud presents an opportunity to rapidly innovate, create and deliver new business value for Sabre and our customers,” said Joe DiFonzo, Sabre CIO. “Microsoft is more than a technology provider for us. Their team will be a key asset in our transformation, through proven leadership in the cloud space along with industry expertise and best practice methodology to help us realize our vision.”

Together the two companies will work to help Sabre better harness the power of its data and apply artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to create new services for hotel, agency and airline customers. Sabre technology processes over $120 billion of estimated travel spend each year, and every minute Sabre systems serve thousands of travel agents, board thousands of passengers, and process hundreds of bookings. As Sabre continues to evolve its cloud strategy, the company’s customers will be able to offer travelers more personalized and integrated experiences – especially important for Sabre’s strategy to innovate Beyond NDC and deliver next-generation retailing and distribution solutions.

“Cloud technology is critical to our development of a microservices architecture, which will offer our customers bite-sized functionality that can be used independently or combined to build large, complex applications with accelerated speed to market,” said Vish Saoji, Sabre CTO.

Microsoft Azure also provides Sabre a global footprint with trusted infrastructure and advanced platform capabilities. Through this agreement, Sabre’s cloud transition will enhance the stability and security of its products, and a multi-faceted cloud approach will allow Sabre products to intelligently distribute workload across geographies, resulting in better performance and ensuring continuous service availability.

“Sabre is an established leader in the travel technology space, and we are excited to work closely with them to draw out data-driven insights that can reimagine the business of travel,” said Kate Johnson, president, Microsoft U.S.  “Microsoft’s cloud services will bring a range of new capabilities to Sabre that unlock even more value for their customers and will help them to succeed in transforming their industry with intelligent technologies.”

Sabre and Microsoft partnered earlier this year on the pilot launch of an A.I.-powered chatbot, “Ella,” that explores how artificial intelligence can help travel agencies better serve travelers by fulfilling their most common service and support requests with smart technology. In developing the chatbot, Sabre leveraged Microsoft Bot Framework and a selection of Microsoft Cognitive Services, including Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) which provides simple tools to build language models, allowing any application or bot to understand natural language commands and react accordingly.

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