Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Edwards

Jeff Edwards

Head of Global Hotel Business, Amadeus

Jeff Edwards is a hotel industry veteran whose experience spans the hotelier, hotel distribution and hotel IT sectors. His role at Amadeus focuses on expanding the fast-growing hotel IT and distribution division, and his background is ideally suited for the job: Mr. Edwards's experiences give him a unique insight into both the hotel world and the customer world, having worked for a major global hotel chain and as an industry consultant. Before joining Amadeus as Head of Global Hotel Business, in February 2012, Mr. Edwards was CIO and Executive Vice President of the Wyndham Hotel Group for more than 5 years. Mr. Edwards was responsible for the Information Technology organization (Central Systems, Property Based Systems and Corporate Systems) as well as all reservation distribution channels; including reservation platforms, property based systems, enterprise-wide data warehouse, brand websites, global distribution systems and third party reservation providers. Before joining Wyndham, Mr. Edwards was CEO of Open Table, the online restaurant reservation website. Over 20,000 restaurants use the management software designed by Open Table to manage reservations, tables, guests and marketing activities. Mr. Edwards previously spent more than five years as president and CEO of Micros Systems, the global provider of enterprise applications for the hospitality and retail industries. Micros provides property management systems, central reservation and customer information solutions to more than 26,000 hotels. Mr. Edwards began his career as a hotel industry consultant, running his own hotel and hospitality consulting business - Edwards Consulting. The firm provided consultancy services to CEOs of travel services and hotel companies, where his clients included Travelport, TravelCLICK and SoftHotel. With a strong background in corporate business strategy, CRS, PMS and corporate systems, and sales and distribution networks, Mr. Edwards is an expert on hotel IT and distribution systems, with a strong understanding of what travel buyers need and look for.

Mr. Edwards can be contacted at 34-91582-1227 or jeff.edwards@amadeus.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.