AWS Travel and Hospitality Partner Conversations: Amperity
Barry Padgett, President of Field Operations & COO, Amperity joins David Solomito, Global Head of Marketing for AWS Travel and Hospitality, for a broad-ranging discussion around how AWS Partners are helping customers build resilience and prepare for what’s next in travel and hospitality.
During this unprecedented time for the industry, we have been inspired by the innovations that have been born out of disruption and will impact and improve the way we fly, eat, stay, and experience our world for years to come. Now more than ever, AWS wants to help customers succeed by connecting them to AWS Partners with deep AWS technical expertise and proven customer success to help travel and hospitality organizations build a resilient business and accelerate innovation. That’s why we’re honored to have Amperity as a launch member of the brand-new AWS Travel and Hospitality Partner Competency.
David Solomito: Describe your company, the types of travel and hospitality work you do, and key travel and hospitality clients.
Barry Padgett: Amperity is an enterprise customer data platform (CDP) that helps companies transform raw data from multiple sources into consistent and persistent customer profiles that improve marketing performance, fuel accurate customer insights, and enable world-class customer experiences.
Since our founding in 2016, we’ve had the privilege to work with some of the largest companies in the travel and hospitality sector, including Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Alaska Airlines.
DS: Many companies across travel and hospitality have been managing through a period of unprecedented disruption. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced during this recent period and how have you helped clients manage through them?
BP: Amperity’s mission is to help brands use data to serve their customers. In many respects, all of the disruption caused by COVID-19 has presented travel and hospitality brands with a historic opportunity to do just that. Challenging moments like these are where customer-centricity can really shine – where the right message or offer to the right customer in the right time and place can make a huge difference.
So, in that respect I’d frame the challenge as an opportunity. That’s not to discount the real, structural impact that COVID-19 has had on the sector, of course. Things have been rough. But we’ve seen time and again that our travel and hospitality partners have been forward-thinking and aggressive when it comes to seizing every opportunity to do right by their customers. If there has been a challenge for us in all of this, it has been to handle the volume of interest.
DS: It’s been an incredibly difficult time for travel and hospitality companies, but we’ve seen many companies investing for the long run. With all the uncertainty, why has your company chosen to invest in travel and hospitality at this time?
BP: Many companies, including travel and hospitality brands, have chosen to embark on strategic plans for digital transformation that have been in the works for a long time.
Amperity plays a role in those plans because we work at the foundation, ingesting raw data and performing the core identity resolution that sets their data up for maximum success when distributed to external systems.
Amperity prides itself on completing that process quickly, transforming a process that normally takes years into something that can be up and running within weeks. Companies don’t have to decide between making the big investment in their future and realizing it in the present.
We suspect that this is one of the big reasons why we’ve seen a notable uptick in new business during the pandemic, and why we continue to field calls from travel and hospitality brands looking to accelerate their digital transformations.
Right now is the perfect time to be doing this work: it helps travel and hospitality brands better accommodate their customers in the current extraordinary circumstances and sets them up to come roaring out of the gates when things get back to normal.
DS: In the face of the current disruption to the travel and hospitality industry, we’ve observed incredible innovations coming from across the industry. How has your company innovated through these challenging times on behalf of your customers and what are you most proud of?
BP: In addition to the ongoing support for our clients, Amperity recently launched the latest version of our platform, which we believe is the first customer data platform purpose-built for enterprise scale consumer brands (a scale of company that would include any major travel or hospitality company).
One of the distinct features of the platform is that it is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Our 3.0 platform offers distinct products that conform to the different ways brands use data to improve their customer experience, from raw identity resolution to comprehensive profiles and analytics. Our customers can pick one and layer on the others as the need arises.
We think this structure really benefits clients, including those in the travel and hospitality sector. Many of them have historically looked at CDPs as a tool to optimize marketing spend; the enterprise CDP is really designed to tackle customer data at a more fundamental level.
The travel and hospitality brands we work with are implementing our technology to establish an anchor in customer data that can improve decisions across every part of their business.
DS: The travel and hospitality industry is incredibly resilient. As you look toward recovery, what role does technology play for your company moving forward? How do you see technology enhancing the customer experience and improving operational efficiency?
BP: Accurate customer data is at the core of both innovations to the customer experience and the operational efficiency behind delivering those experiences.
The same data that can help travel and hospitality companies tailor a personalized offer is the same data that can reduce call center times, prioritize marketing investments, route planning, or real estate selection.
Whether your priority is to operate more efficiency with fewer resources, or to dazzle the customer with lavish experiences, having a comprehensive and current view of the customer is essential either way.
DS: How does building on AWS allow you to prepare for whatever the “new normal” in travel and hospitality will look like? How does the new AWS Travel and Hospitality Partner Competency help companies do the same?
BP: AWS is critical infrastructure for many of the brands we work with. For companies like Amperity, we can help our clients succeed by working closely and interoperating with the AWS products they are already relying upon to run their business.
Having the AWS Travel and Hospitality Partner Competency helps companies identify us as a partner with AWS technical expertise, best practices, and proven customer success in their vertical.
DS: What makes you excited for the future of travel and hospitality. As a traveler or guest, where are you looking forward to visiting next?
BP: Had you asked me this question nine months ago, I might have answered that I was excited to go to some exotic location to surf. These days, I’m just looking forward to going home to Indiana to see my mom.
The pandemic has really put things into focus. Travel is not just about the awesome, Instagram-worthy vacation spots. It’s really a critical industry that brings us closer to the ones that matter most.
In that respect, I have a lot of optimism for the sector. The companies we have the privilege to work with give me that confidence, too. They play a big role in our lives, and they are making bold investments in getting back online safely.
Barry has been growing and leading companies for the last 25 years with more than half of that time spent living and building businesses in Europe and Asia. He spent nearly 20 years at Concur Technologies in a variety of roles across engineering, sales & marketing, product & strategy and, eventually, as President of the company. Post-acquisition of Concur by SAP, he was President of global procurement leader Ariba as well as President of Chicago based contingent labor platform FieldGlass. Barry then moved to FinTech leader Stripe to help build the distribution engine as Chief Revenue Officer. He has a deep passion for customer engagement informed by intelligent data.
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See more Partner Conversations and industry insights on the AWS Travel and Hospitality Blog.