PLANSOFT CORP. and seeUthere Technologies announced in September the merger of the two companies to create OnVantage Inc. The new company combines PlanSoft's searchable database of hotels and meeting suppliers with a technology leader in corporate spend management solutions for meetings.
While both companies offer an online registration product, John Chang, chief executive officer and president of seeUthere and now CEO of OnVantage, explains the fit between them. “There is actually very little overlap,” he says. “PlanSoft had done more than 90 percent of its business from its marketing suppliers, mostly hotel partners, through its public search function, whereas seeUthere had 95 percent of its business coming from corporations.”
Using PlanSoft's mpoint.com site, planners can search a directory of more than 70,000 meeting facilities and suppliers and send online RFPs at no cost.
SeeUthere's strengths lie in its technology, which allows enterprisewide visibility into all meeting-related activities and costs; end-to-end tools for sourcing, planning, and managing meetings; and standardized procurement tools and policy enforcement systems.
OnVantage consolidates the buying power of many of the Fortune 500 companies, according to Chang, and those companies “want better access to suppliers, a single capacity that includes Internet pricing, preferred pricing, and negotiated pricing, all internally. Because mpoint is such a heavily trafficked public site, hotels offer special deals,” he explains. “We will now be able to offer those special deals to the corporate client, and take the public search and tailor it to the corporate client.”
In August, seeUthere announced the integration of the seeUthere MeetingView software with Web-based travel booking tools — GetThere from Sabre Travel Network and Cliqbook from Outtask Inc. — to help corporations identify meeting-related travel expenses, negotiate group discounts, and ensure attendees use those discounts.
David Hunt, chairman and CEO of PlanSoft, will continue as chairman of OnVantage. Ed Tromczynski, founder, president, and COO of PlanSoft, will serve as president of the OnVantage supplier division. Stanley Chin, COO of seeUthere, will become president of the OnVantage corporate division.
OnVantage will maintain the Santa Clara, Calif., office of seeUthere, which will focus on the corporate market and serve as the OnVantage headquarters; and the PlanSoft headquarters in Twinsburg, Ohio, which will concentrate on the supplier market.