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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.