View from IBM

IBM maintains stringent controls on its travel. Low-touch domestic protocols are combined with more rigorous international protocols and approvals for compliance, relating to issues such as visas. It also takes account of the security of the proposed destination from a health and geopolitical perspective. Once the employee is authorised to travel, they are in a continuous monitoring mode. All travel goes through a single travel platform, which tracks the traveller’s time and location when they are travelling. This is for safety and security, as well as tax purposes. If an employee stays in a particular jurisdiction for a period of time, it is important to understand the tax implications. IBM has taken steps to digitise the employee travel experience. John Szatkowski, Global Leader, Travel and Transportation at IBM, says: “Digitising passenger service with greater personalisation has yielded positive results. This has created an ability to do things without necessarily having to interact with an employee, creating a better experience for the traveller." But ground transportation complexity remains a challenge. John Nevin, Associate Partner at IBM, says: “Having a single platform for all of ground transportation would be both useful and efficient. On the one side we’re blessed with a wealth of ground transportation options. That's a good thing. However, I think that also makes it more difficult. If you're thinking about optimising budgets or even optimising your own personal travel plan, it becomes complicated.”

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