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I’m here where it all began at the Newmarket Customer Conference 2015 in the beautiful, historic town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Over 200 hospitality customers have gathered this week to hear about the technology that will enable a whole new era of guest and brand experience for our industry.
This is where each year more and more customers come together to share best practices, to tap into fantastic educational opportunities and to give their input to Newmarket’s technology roadmap. This year is more exciting than ever, as the enabling possibilities for technology have been blown wide open with Amadeus’ investment and commitment to shaping the future of hotels and hospitality.
The general sessions opened this morning and after a wicked* fun New Hampshire welcome, Jeff Hiscox , President and CEO of Newmarket, took the audience through the top ten reasons why he loves the company. This went from his love of the hospitality industry to the joys of working with a 500+ global team to being a part of the Amadeus group. If you’re familiar with Newmarket, then you won’t be surprised to hear that customers topped Jeff’s list. Together with Paco Pérez Lozao , SVP of New Businesses at Amadeus, he shared first-hand our deep commitment to the hospitality industry and to helping our customers leverage their technology investment to the maximum.
Helen connects with the robot
And there was certainly some impressive technology on show. Working with customer groups that range from meeting planners and event delivery teams to guest service attendants and hospitality sales professionals, Newmarket’s collaborative development approach ensures that each and every new feature or user interface improvement are resolving real problems. Or they anticipate new efficiencies not even envisaged before: for example imagine a mobile app that sends a room service robot to your room with extra towels: enter Newmarket’s service optimization application HotSOS which integrates with Savioke’s Relay. Watch out for numerous selfies with the robot!
CTO Lee Horgan and his team shared further innovations e.g. event space visualization tools that accelerate meeting sales; intelligent RFP management tools to help hoteliers get into the buying process earlier or gamification features in room attendant apps to motivate staff to even higher productivity levels. New this year are specialized migration programs to help hoteliers move the cloud faster via Delphi.fdc (the leading sales and catering management solution which runs on the force.com platform). Finally, we heard about the company’s web services strategy: ultimately it’s about connecting all hotelier solutions – Newmarket and third-party - in a simple, logical and meaningful way. These and other exciting new product releases will be on show at HITEC in Austin, Texas next month.
The sessions closed with an inspiring talk from Jeff Bauman , who received standing ovations as he shared his moving story of the terrifying Boston marathon bombing in 2013 in which he lost both legs. His grueling rehabilitation and the challenges and joys he experienced as he rebuilt his life serve as a remarkable testament to the meaning of ‘Boston Strong’. Later in the evening all delegates took part in the traditional NICC ‘Newmarket Gives Back’ program in support of Bauman’s chosen charity.
And so the event will continue over the next two days with in-depth educational sessions and a lot of fun. Newmarket, an Amadeus company, may be 30 this year but it’s looking younger than ever with a fresh new look and feel unveiled this week. 30 years later it’s humbling to be here where it all began and to meet with some of the customers whose businesses have been earned through decades of inspired technology, hard work and an unwavering focus on their needs. Don’t miss next year’s event…I certainly won’t.
*When in New Hampshire ’wicked’ means ‘really’ – as we learnt in the welcome session.