No matter how adaptive we are, change is scary and disruptive. Yet as the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates reminds us: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Recently we made some big changes across the Amadeus organization in the way we deliver our products and services to customers. Our new Travel Channels model aligns Amadeus resources globally, rather than by geographic regions like before. This new structure places our customers at the center of our business, and aligns our offering with our customers’ specific business requirements. Today, all Amadeus Travel Channels activities are organized around four key customer segments: Retail, Online, Business Travel and Corporations.
Changes in Retail
Recently my group in North America experienced a huge change to our Retail Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) structure. Like any change, it was unnerving at first. Yet over time, my team members and I have come to understand that change brings eventual clarity, and positive results are just around the corner if we “lean in” to the process.
Several weeks ago, our newly-formed team and leadership met for the first time in our Miami office. Here is how the new Travel Channels model will benefit our organization and our customers:
- Better processes. We identified new processes and practices to help us work more effectively and efficiently as a team.
- Better internal support. We met with internal service, support and operations teams who are also improving their processes to help us, their “internal customers,” do our jobs better.
- Better problem-solving. We identified ongoing challenges and initiated a plan to make improvements moving forward.
- Better customer support. The inception of Travel Channels will allow us to focus on the specific needs of our small and medium-size retail travel agency customers. We were reminded that all customers are NOT created equal, and personalization is key. For example, what is important to a huge Online Travel Agency (OTA) is probably not relevant to the day-to-day operations of a small or medium-size travel agency.
- Better leverage. As a group, we are poised to leverage Amadeus’ many strengths as a global travel technology leader. By maximizing these opportunities, our customers benefit as well.
Change is a mindset
The changes we are introducing in Travel Channels will make Amadeus more agile as we evolve our business platform and embrace new technologies and industry standards like NDC. The new model is more structured yet simple, and enables us to build and innovate more solutions with a faster time to market. All of these changes are designed to help our small and mid-sized retail travel agency customers serve their travelers better – no matter who or where those travelers are, or how they like to buy and experience travel.
The @Dalai Lama recently tweeted, “We need to be determined to achieve positive change, and also be able to take a long view of what needs to be done. What is important is not to become demoralized. Optimism leads to success; pessimism leads to defeat. One person can be the source of inspiration for many others.”
Looking ahead, the Travel Channels model will continue to evolve as Amadeus groups like ours continue to tweak our day-to-day operations. I’d be lying if I said the process will be seamless and stress-free. Yet I can also say this to our customers: The new changes in Travel Channels, although scary and disruptive, may just be the best thing to happen to us all!