Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:00

RPA firm Troovo makes gains in travel industry

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The head of Australian robotic process automation company Troovo says it is gaining traction in the travel industry and other high-volume transaction industries.

Kurt Knackstedt told iTWire that the focus on RPA was with the intention of making Troovo the "global expert in robotic processing services for highly transactional industries, using configurable, SaaS technology instead of bespoke solutions".

Troovo was originally developed for Voyager Travel in Melbourne; this firm was later acquired by the UK-based ATPI Group in 2014.

The technology company that developed the software was launched to the market as Troovo in May 2015.

Knackstedt (seen below, right), who was involved in the original development of Troovo, became chief executive in 2015 to take the company global.

Assisting him since August 2015 is Tarik Sedlarevic, the chief solutions officer. Troovo now has 10 staff based in Sydney and Melbourne.

iTWire: Since it is a software-based company, what is the language preferred?

Kurt Knackstedt: Troovo is a complete Microsoft shop, using .NET and SQL and Azure cloud services and hosting.

How does interaction take place with the likes of Saber, Amadeus and Galileo?

The interaction with global distributions systems (GDSs) takes place through their public-facing APIs. One of Troovo’s unique and differentiating factors is our own content connection API, which seamlessly integrates all the major GDSs (Sabre, Amadeus and Galileo) as well as non-GDS content sources (such as Expedia and Booking.com) to allow us to process any type of booking transaction.

Our API is flexible enough to connect to any additional content sources such as Uber or AirBnB which gives Troovo unparalleled connectivity to provide robotic processing of transactions from any source.

knackstedt bigYou mention handling back-office processes at costs below those of offshore companies. Some examples? Any clients in this category yet?

Our largest client, HRG Australia (a division of Hogg Robinson Group, based in the UK) is using Troovo to eliminate tasks which were being done by a team of nine people in Australia rather than having to offshore them. These processes were time-consuming, prone to error and were not adding value to the customer.

HRG was able to re-deploy those staff back into customer-facing roles and not only saved on resource costs, but also allowed for revenue recovery through fees that were not being charged to customers. HRG’s operating margin is projected to increase four-fold after the first full year of running Troovo and after only four months of using Troovo, the software has paid for itself.

How does your software do the checking at each stage of a transaction it is handling?

Data is checked on input and output based on the rules that are defined for each customer for each module. There is no additional data-checking process that would sit on top of all other modules. This is why it is critical to correctly define all of the rules at the outset - and that is why we carefully work with each customer's operations team to correctly define these.

Details of how the software works: cloud? server on user's premises? server at your end?

Troovo offers both an on-premise solution hosted and maintained by the client, or our customers can choose one or several or all of Troovo’s modules running via Azure in the cloud. This flexibility is also a unique selling point for Troovo, in that most other RPA services are either "all or nothing" (ie – you must implement the entire platform to get robotics) or built bespoke and at significant cost.

Why did you pick travel as the first industry to build software for?

As Voyager was our first client, the focus on travel was a natural starting point. Travel is one of the most complex transactional industries anywhere, given the numerous systems, intermediaries, suppliers and truly global operations that embody the travel sector.

Proving that Troovo provides robust, scalable and efficient RPA services to the travel industry gives us credibility when looking to other industries.

Do you plan to extend to other industries?

Absolutely – we already provide processing support for credit card payments and we have plans to expand our capabilities into B2B payment RPA servicing later this year. Following that, we have plans to address the huge inefficiencies in the procurement/purchasing space as well, again using RPA intelligently and effectively to help automate all types of complex and simple transactions.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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