Big Interview: ‘Pay as you grow’ model switch paying dividends, says wbe.travel founder
Travolution’s leading editor, Mr. Lee Hayhurst has had an open discussion with wbe.travel’s CEO about the continuous challenges that travel technology providers have had during the last pandemic year and what will go on in this bright new one.
In the interview listed below the two talked about the “Pay as you grow” plan as a new subscription-style model for suffering travel companies, the cloud-native tech providers, new clients that invested in travel technology during a low season, automation and many more. Take 5 minutes to discover some of the latest tips and tricks from a tech professional perspective and if needed, ask us for more information.
Posted by Lee Hayhurst on Feb 2nd, 2021 on Travolution Media
As the travel technology sector continues to face challenges to its traditional model, Lee Hayhurst caught up with wbe.travel’s founder George Dumitru to hear how it has adapted.
Travel technology developer wbe.travel has hailed the success of its COVID pivot to a ‘pay as you grow’ offering having signed up more new clients last year for a decade.
The Bucharest-based software specialist says it had to react to the most challenging year in the history of travel technology to bring a new model to the sector.
George Dumitru, founder and chief executive, told Travolution in May last year that the COVID pandemic would change the way tech suppliers and clients work together.
A cloud-native technology supplier, wbe.travel has been able to exploit the flexibility of the cloud to introduce its new ‘pay as you grow’ program for existing and new clients.
This dispenses with expensive set-up costs and monthly support fees and bases the charging structure on subscriptions and transaction fees.
Dumitru said success so far can be measured in new clients – more in a year compared to every one of the previous 10 – if not in revenue, yet as travel awaits the recovery.
“Before we had a classic business model for selling technology that implies license fees for technology hosted on our platform, set-up fees and maintenance and support,” he said.
“Then 2020 came along and the pandemic and we realized if we wanted to retain our existing clients and get new clients, we had to have a change in approach to selling software.”
Dumitru said being cloud-based was key to this new subscription-style model as well as operating more efficiently when it comes to integrating third-party feeds.
wbe.travel says it spent lockdown introducing more automated processes to speed up integrations and to bring new clients onboard more quickly.
Dumitru said working in partnership with its clients, has simplified the sign-up process so that it takes a matter of days to get up and running.
Offering Software as a Service (SaaS) has enabled web.travel to support users as they switched to remote online working a readied themselves for the comeback.
“It was quite easy for us to move to a subscription-only model and we signed off more clients in 2020 than ever before because they want to be prepared,” Dumitru said.
“In the middle of the year, there was a lot of confusion around what firms should do next. When things started to clear up a bit we signed up most people in the final quarter.
“They were saying we are confident it will come back next year, so let’s be prepared and we came up with this no setup costs pay as you grow model which was very appealing especially when there is not much business around.
“They are prepared to pay more when their business has actually resumed, so the negative for us is we have more clients but the money they pay to us is not at the same level as before.”
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