AWS for Industries

AWS Travel and Hospitality Partner Conversations: mParticle

Michael Katz the cofounder and CEO of mParticle, joins Florian Tinus, WW Partner Leader 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 mParticle as a launch member of the brand-new AWS Travel and Hospitality Partner Competency.

Florian Tinnus: Describe your company, the types of travel and hospitality work you do, and key travel and hospitality clients.

Michael Katz: mParticle is a customer data platform that simplifies the flow of customer data between systems and applications, breaking down data silos and improving customer experience.

mParticle supports travel and hospitality brands by ensuring teams have access to high quality customer data to improve customer experiences and accelerate growth. Airbnb, Hyatt, Lyft, and JetBlue are just a few of our travel and hospitality clients; each company uses mParticle as customer data infrastructure to solve for key challenges around improving data quality, governance, and connectivity across the various systems and applications that they use across the business.

FT: 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 managed through them?

MK: They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, no other vertical has been so severely impacted quite like travel and hospitality. Across many companies, the mandate became clear: do more with less. Less budget, less people, and less resources, but produce the same or better results. As a strategic partner to our customers, our primary job became to help them focus on execution. We often helped them formulate and implement a data strategy that could be easily executed within mParticle and across the customer engagement and measurement vendor ecosystem.

FT: 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?

MK: Quite simply, we’re playing the long game and helping our customers do the same. While it would have been easy to shy away from the space, we made a conscious decision to invest in travel and hospitality, as we believe that the category can and will bounce back accordingly. Our belief is that great companies are able to innovate at every phase of their evolution. Right now, companies across the travel and hospitality industry are making the necessary investments in innovation in order to evolve, and we want to be there to support it. What we heard was that investing in customer data infrastructure provides teams with mission critical capabilities to not only survive, but also thrive in these environments.

FT: 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?

MK: In times of disruption, it’s important to focus on the core value their business brings to cusotmers, and reinvest resources into strengthening the core as much as possible. Our goal is to help our customers better utilize their data to drive better customer experiences, leading to stronger customer preference and loyalty relative to alternatives. That said, innovation can take many forms; from product innovation to marketing innovation, and process innovation, among many others. The innovation we have been primarily focused on is product innovation to better meet the demands of our customers; focused on improving data quality, governance, and connectivity.

FT: 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?

MK: As a software company, technology’s role is always a critical one, but never more so than now. As we look towards recovery, we see our platform enabling a lot of much-needed innovation in terms of the digital travel and hospitality experience. Many companies that had not yet considered the benefits of going all-in on their digital properties have been pushed to reconsider as their customer base moved online; mParticle provides an easy way to not only have a centralized source of clean data, but it also enables faster, easier onboarding of additional tools necessary for truly great digital experiences.

FT: 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?

MK: AWS has a proven track record for helping companies like mParticle deploy its software in a secure, reliable, and scalable way.

Our job is to drive innovation, no matter what “normal” we’re all operating in on behalf of our customers. For mParticle, achieving the AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency differentiates us as an AWS Partner with deep domain expertise in customer data infrastructure, data integration, digital customer engagement, and professional services providing strategic guidance and deployment services.

FT: What makes you excited for the future of travel and hospitality? As a traveler or guest, where are you looking forward to visiting next?

MK: Simply being able to once again share experiences with people I haven’t seen in almost a year. I’m looking forward to being able to see our employees around the world, including our newly formed team in Sydney Australia.

Michael Katz is a co-founder and CEO of mParticle. He drives the company’s vision and strategy as it provides industry-leading customer data solutions to multi-channel marketers.Michael was formerly founder and CEO of Interclick, which was a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ prior to its $270 million acquisition by Yahoo in 2011. While at Yahoo, he served as Vice President of Optimization & Analytics.He is a sought-after angel investor and advisor and sits on the Board of Directors of BrightlineTV, the leader in connected TV ad solutions. He has also served as a mentor to startups for Techstars since 2015. Michael is a passionate advocate for animal rights, serving as a volunteer for the Southampton Animal Shelter since 2013 and on the board of Humane Generation, a committee of the Humane Society focused on animal rescue. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, and lives with his wife and son in New York City.

Learn more and team up with AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency Partners.

See more Partner Conversations and industry insights on the AWS Travel and Hospitality Blog.

Florian Tinnus

Florian Tinnus

Florian Tinnus brings 20+ years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry with leading commercial roles for IT solutions and strategic partner management at Fortune 500 companies and technology players. Based in Boston, MA, he is responsible to lead the AWS Partner Ecosystem for Travel & Hospitality globally. Florian holds a degree in business economics and is a certified airline commercial manager. He lived and worked in Germany, France and the United States with a passion for all things travel and technology.