“The Sabre (Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment) central reservation system, which was originally a part of American Airlines, pioneered online transactions. For the first time, computers were connected together through a network that allowed people around the world to enter data, process requests for information and conduct business. This system revolutionized the entire travel industry and formed the beginnings of the comprehensive and established system used today to buy and sell travel services. Moreover, it was the precursor for the entire universe of electronic commerce that exploded in the mid-1990s and that we all enjoy today.”
I absolutely love the story described in the link above, which was shared by a great friend of mine.
The chance meeting of R. Blair Smith (of IBM) with C.R. Smith (the president of American Airlines) on a flight in 1953 revolutionised travel bookings due to Blair Smith’s vision. It also led to decades of revenues and market dominance for IBM, not to mention being a precursor to the future explosion of e-commerce and digital disruption.
Am I alone in thinking that for all its advancements to date, OSS is still waiting for just such a click moment that changes our industry and beyond?
With the rapidly increasing convergence of compute, storage, network, security, sensors and service orchestration, the next generations of OSS (if they’re even called that by then) could help change the world.