SilverRail CEO, Aaron Gowell, is featured in Business Travel News Top 25 Most Influential Executives of 2011.
It is not an easy task to put together a list of the most influential people in an industry. Influence may not be obvious right away to everyone. With so much happening in 2011 there were plenty of people to choose from and these 25 deserve to be recognized. Decisions are often made to benefit one’s own organization but in such a trying time for this industry their decisions had an expansive reach. In 2011 the travel industry saw acquisitions, innovation, lawsuits, among a few other challenges but ended the year optimistic. The travel industry is finally beginning to bounce back from a turbulent period and Business Travel News Group editors have compiled this list spotlighting the people who are making that happen. One person on that list is Aaron Gowell.
Aaron Gowell is the co-founder and CEO of SilverRail Technologies, which has partnered with Orbitz for Business, GetThere, and Rearden Commerce during the last 18 months. Particularly throughout Europe, where demand for rail travel exceeds available booking channels, corporations now have new ways to search, book, and manage rail content through SilverRail and its partners. According to Gowell, in 2009, when SilverRail started, the challenge was “to make rail as easy to book as air” knowing that national European rail line systems were not designed to operate together.
Enter SilverRail. “We built a middleware system that reinterprets all the components of a normal rail transaction: search, ticketing, booking, fulfillment,” says Gowell. He then explains how in the past the European rail system, unlike airlines, used different codes and was completely unstandardized preventing people from linking transactions together. Gowell goes on to say, “We essentially built a master code database for every station in the world. That allows us to do searches and link some rail providers together.”
SilverRail’s inventory includes operators in Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Company is discussing solutions with travel management companies and, possibly, global distribution systems. “The biggest goal is to have the rest of Europe on this platform by the end of 2013,” Gowell said. “It will take us two years to get every single rail line in Europe done, and then we’ll focus on Asia.”
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