TRAV­EL­LING IN THE DIG­I­TAL AGE

The Pullman Magazine - - Contents - GLOBAL BUSI­NESS STRATE­GIST AT MI­CROSOFT

How do you see the trav­eller of the fu­ture ? We are more and more re­liant on our dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment to run our lives and to re­mind us to carry out daily tasks. An ever-in­creas­ing amount of de­vices are avail­able to help us do this: smart­phones, ter­mi­nals, loy­alty cards… Ev­ery­one wants to make the most of what’s on of­fer by choos­ing what works best for them. So we are now see­ing a hy­per-frag­men­ta­tion of in­di­vid­u­als’ ex­pec­ta­tions. We are shift­ing from a pre­dictable, or­ga­nized, hi­er­ar­chi­cal model where cus­tomers pas­sively ac­cept what the brand of­fers them, to a model that sees cus­tomers take the reins while the brand adapts to them with­out los­ing its iden­tity. The trav­eller of the fu­ture wants to be sur­prised by a brand that lis­tens to him, and adapts to his needs, while also en­joy­ing all the ba­sics.

What kind of ser­vices will these trav­ellers be look­ing for ?

Trans­ac­tion, in­for­ma­tion and emo­tion are the ba­sis of ev­ery busi­ness re­la­tion­ship. Trans­ac­tions (I book, I pay, I get in­for­ma­tion about the weather, park­ing fa­cil­i­ties) must all be

dig­i­tally ac­ces­si­ble. Emo­tion is dic­tated by the wel­come the guest re­ceives, and the en­vi­ron­ment in which he is stay­ing. The en­vi­ron­ment will have to play an in­te­gral role in the trav­eller’s dig­i­tal world, al­low­ing him to open doors with his smart­phone, con­nect his PC to big screens, or­ga­nize Skypes or man­age the wel­come he re­ceives at the ho­tel. Hu­man be­ings will play a key role in or­ga­niz­ing this wel­come: trav­ellers ex­pect to be greeted in a ho­tel by some­one who does far more than just check them in. The per­son on re­cep­tion should put the guest in touch with other trav­ellers, for ex­am­ple, or of­fer help­ful advice on apps the guest might find use­ful when vis­it­ing the re­gion.

What is your re­la­tion­ship with Pull­man ho­tels ?

We share the same chal­lenges as com­pa­nies from the in­dus­trial age. We need to adapt to a chang­ing world. We must re­main re­li­able and con­tinue to de­liver a high qual­ity of ser­vice whilst be­ing in­creas­ingly flex­i­ble to meet their chang­ing needs. We have to be in­no­va­tive – both sur­prise our clients and ex­plore the fu­ture with them. Our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pull­man there­fore in­volves work­ing at a very early stage on changes in society so that we can de­liver the ser­vices of to­mor­row, har­ness new op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­main a trusted part­ner for our clients in this con­nected world.

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