Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Braum

Roberta Braum

Director of Product Management, Payments, Agilysys

Roberta Braum is the director of product management for payments at Agilysys, a leading technology company that provides innovative point-of-sale, property management, inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management and mobile and wireless solutions and services to the hospitality industry.

Ms. Braum began her career at Apple, where she served as a technical lead designing file server systems. She also has also held management positions at IMDb, where she oversaw subscription services for entertainment professionals, and at Amazon, where she helped develop a payment plan service for the company's ordering systems.

Prior to joining Agilysys, Ms. Braum served as director of product management at Array Health, where she designed a purchasing decision support system, developed a product and sales roadmap and supervised program and product management teams.

At Agilysys, Ms. Braum manages the product strategy and roadmap for the company's payments products, including the groundbreaking rGuest® Pay solution, the Agilysys payment gateway that enables complete and secure payment processing. She also addresses the challenges that new payment technologies pose to the hospitality industry and develops strategic solutions that enable a seamless guest experience for Agilysys' next-generation point-of-sale and property management customers.

Ms. Braum serves as a thought leader in the areas of payment technologies, data security and EMV readiness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in engineering and computer science from Dartmouth College, a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Master of Business Administration degree from MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Please visit http://www.agilysys.com/ for more information.

Ms. Braum can be contacted at 770-822-0794 or roberta.braum@agilysys.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.