Automation can be an opportunity for companies to boost efficiency and reliability, but it can be a threat if it isn’t used correctly.
Covid-19 and Automation
Using the Covid-19 pandemic as an example, many people were out of work for obvious reasons. Although many companies were ready in terms of telecommuting, there wasn’t any back up to automation, which left many systems without supervision or any updates.
Sabre GDS Automation
Take the travel industry for instance, more specifically, Sabre GDS. Many agencies that shut their doors due to the fact that they weren’t considered “essential”, were closed for months. By June, some agencies reopened and by that time, password resets were needed in order to utilize Sabre Redbook software. But, Sabre had automated their entire GDS department leaving agencies to their own devices. You see, in order for an agent to reset their password, an Admin at the agency is left in charge; however, the admin, as any other agent must reset their password every three months. If the admin is unable to reset a password because their password had also expired, then what?
Sabre, like many other companies, weren’t prepared for such a crisis. But was there really an excuse for not having a fail-safe of some kind. Not only aren’t agents able to log into Sabre, but agencies were also paying the monthly dues! If you were to contact Sabre right now, you would receive a message stating, “if you wish to contact a Sabre Support Specialist, you need to login to central.sabre.com”.
Sabre GDS System Password Resets
How many agents set up the security questions required by Sabre in order to set up a temporary password? If it were mandatory, you would not be allowed to finish your registration, right? But Sabre requires the security Q&A to set up the temporary password. It’s like, “Mandatory or Not Mandatory, That is the Question”. For automation to be successful, there must be a strict follow thru or what’s the point? You can’t be lax about not needing to set up security questions if security questions are required.
Travel consortia such as Signature Travel Network, work alongside agencies in order to provide travel products at great prices. Signature utilizes Sabre’s GDS technology to provide agencies access to their specialized list of hotels and cruise products. What if they’re unable to log-in to Sabre, this places smaller agencies in a precarious non-competitive situation.
The misuse of automation is what poses a threat to businesses, especially those that rely on others for support. In the case of Sabre, their misuse of automation is what’s posing a threat to smaller agencies. Allowing an agent to fully register without having to complete the appropriate security questions is a fail. Why? Because you cannot be fully automated without first making sure registrants have everything they need in place to succeed!
I’ve taken the liberty of contacting Sabre at four different phone numbers. All four require me to sign into their support portal or to leave a message. I’ve been waiting almost a week for someone to return my call.
When used correctly, automation can be reliable and efficient; however, when used feebly, it can threaten a business’s life force.