Editorial Board   

Dr. Medepalli

Anand Medepalli

Vice President of Industry Strategy, JDA Software

Dr. Anand Medepalli serves as vice president of industry strategy for JDA Software's Pricing and Revenue Management business. Dr. Medepalli has more than 20 years of experience as a trusted advisor with leading companies in pricing and product strategies, commercial account strategies and asset planning decisions in such diverse industries as airlines, freight, hospitality, rail, retail, banking, insurance and manufacturing. At JDA, he is responsible for advising companies and spearheading JDA's go-to-market strategy for the passenger travel, leisure travel, hospitality and freight transportation industries and defining innovative solutions to drive growth. Dr. Medepalli began his career at American Airlines Decision Technologies (later acquired by Sabre) as an operational research consultant. There, he was responsible for delivering innovative optimization solutions to solve airline capacity planning problems. In 1997, he joined Talus Solutions, later acquired by Manugistics. During his tenure, Dr. Medepalli advised leading travel and transportation companies on pricing and revenue management strategies and led their business process transformations. As part of the executive leadership team, Dr. Medepalli led the pricing and revenue management business unit, where his responsibilities encompassed sales, delivery and client support activities for strategic accounts. In 2005, Dr. Medepalli left Manugistics to evangelize the application of price optimization strategies in the banking, insurance and manufacturing industries. He joined JDA in 2009 where he has held various roles, including overseeing the overall market strategy for travel, transportation and hospitality industries, Dr. Medepalli holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Iowa State University. He currently resides in London with his wife and three children.

Dr. Medepalli can be contacted at anand.medepalli@jda.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.