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 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.