AWS for Industries

Travel and Hospitality at AWS re:Invent 2021 – Top Announcements

There were 85+ new service and feature releases over the course of AWS re:Invent 2021, alongside opportunities to hear directly from leading Travel and Hospitality organizations. AWS has the longest experience, and offers the deepest and broadest set of services among cloud providers with over 200 services and features – and re:Invent 2021 did not disappoint with new services announcements. Here’s a list of the top announcements most relevant for travel and hospitality customers.

1. Amazon Personalize: Personalization and retailing is key in Travel and Hospitality. Launched in 2018, Amazon Personalize is the same service that is used by Amazon.com to power recommendations and customer engagement. New service features include:

  • User segmentation Amazon Personalize now offers intelligent user segmentation that allows you to run more effective prospecting campaigns through your marketing channels. Amazon Personalize segments users based on their preferences for different products, categories, brands, and more. This can help you drive higher engagement with marketing campaigns, increases retention through targeted messaging, and improves the return on investment for your marketing spend.
  • Use case optimized recommenderAmazon Personalize now offers recommenders that are optimized to deliver personalized experiences for common use cases in retail, as well as media and entertainment. Personalized recommendations like “Top Picks” for users on the welcome screen and “More Like This” on the detail pages where the context of what a user has purchased is critical to discover what to purchase next.

2. Amazon Connect: Travel and Hospitality companies use Amazon Connect to provide exceptional customer service solutions for contact center, IT help desk, HR support lines, and more. Amazon Connect supports customers such as Delta, Priceline, Hilton, Subway, and more. New service features and capabilities include:

  • Automated call summarizationCall summarization (generally available) is a new capability in Contact Lens for Amazon Connect that uses machine learning (ML) to automatically generate a summary of customer service conversations, improving the productivity of agents and managers so they can focus on providing excellent customer experiences. Contact center agents typically spend between five and 10 minutes after each call summarizing notes, and managers spend a significant amount of time listening to call recordings or reading transcripts when they’re investigating customer issues. Contact Lens for Amazon Connect with call summarization helps agents and managers become more efficient by automatically generating a summary after customer calls.
  • Amazon Lex automated chatbot designerThe automated chatbot designer in Amazon Lex (available in Preview) is a new capability that uses ML to reduce chatbot design times from weeks to hours. Amazon Lex helps customers build, test, and deploy voice and text bots (also known as chatbots) for services like Amazon Connect. Many customer service organizations use chatbots to answer customer questions, provide information, and complete tasks like paying a bill.

3. Amazon Sagemaker Canvas: ML/AI is key to improve customer engagement, improve resource utilization, and optimize inventory and pricing. Travel and Hospitality companies manage heavy assets (running 24/7) such as planes, trains, ships, and buildings. Amazon SageMaker Canvas is a visual, point-and-click interface that expands machine learning (ML) access to business analysts, allowing them to generate accurate predictions without writing code or requiring ML expertise. Amazon SageMaker Canvas helps operations analysts generate predictions for two key areas, forecasting and predictive maintenance. For example, for forecasting operations, analysts can forecast demand metrics faster and more accurately for timely decision making to help meet customer expectations and reduce inventory carrying costs and waste. They can also forecast the arrival time of inventory. For predictive maintenance, operations analysts can predict when equipment will fail in order take preventive actions such as part replacement and servicing at the most optimal time. As a result, they can extend the remaining useful life of your machinery at the lowest cost and improving operational efficiency.

4. AWS DMS Fleet Advisor: Travel and Hospitality companies manage and host commercial relational databases in their on-premise data centers to support a wide range of critical applications — reservation, property management, point-of-sale, passenger, and financial systems. AWS DMS Fleet Advisor is a fully managed capability of AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) that automates migration planning and helps you migrate database and analytics fleets to the cloud at scale with minimal effort. To accelerate migrations, AWS DMS Fleet Advisor automatically inventories and assesses your on-premises database and analytics server fleet and identifies potential migration paths. AWS DMS helps you confidently migrate your Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, IBM Db2 LUW, and more databases to AWS with virtually no downtime. Save on costs associated with planning and migrating workloads with this free capability of AWS DMS.

5. AWS Mainframe Modernization: Many companies in Travel and Hospitality still use mainframes to replatform and automate refactoring on a managed runtime for mainframe applications such as a reservation system, inventory system, day of operations, crew scheduling, or maintenance planning. AWS Mainframe Modernization is a unique platform for mainframe migration and modernization. It allows you to migrate and modernize your on-premises mainframe workloads to a managed execution environment on AWS. AWS Mainframe Modernization offers two popular migration patterns: re-platforming and automated refactoring. Assess and analyze migration readiness and plan projects. AWS Mainframe Modernization provides the development, build, and test tools for modernization projects. Once implemented and tested, deploy your mainframe workloads into the service’s managed runtime environment.

Other services and features you might be interested in:

1. AWS Local Zones: At re:Invent 2021, AWS announced 30 new Local Zones that will be launched in major cities around the world. These new Local Zones will be made available starting in 2022 in over 21 countries—including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, and South Africa—and will join 16 Local Zones across the US, allowing you to serve your end users around the world with even lower latency. This will help run low-latency applications at the edge, simplify hybrid cloud migration, and address stringent data residency requirements with state and local government.

2. AWS IoT Twin Maker: Simplify deployment of a connected airport, airline, restaurant, and hotel at scale, as shown in the United Airlines leadership session on Building What’s Next in Travel, or accelerate deployment of the Smart Kitchen for restaurant, catering, and food services providers. AWS IoT TwinMaker makes it faster and easier for you to create and use digital twins to optimize industrial operations, increase production output, and improve equipment performance. Digital twins are virtual representations of physical systems that are regularly updated with real- world data to mimic the structure, state, and behavior of the systems they represent to drive business outcomes. With AWS IoT TwinMaker, you can use built-in connectors or create your own connectors to easily access and use data from a variety of data sources, such as equipment sensors, video feeds, and business applications.

3. AWS Data Exchange for API: Alongside first party, third party data is the lifeblood of Travel and Hospitality companies. AWS Data Exchange is a secure managed service that makes it easy to find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud. Once you’re subscribed to a data product, you can use the AWS Data Exchange API to load data directly into Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and then analyze it with AWS analytics and machine learning (ML) services. For data providers, it’s easy to reach the millions of AWS customers migrating to the cloud by removing the need to build and maintain infrastructure for data storage, delivery, billing, and entitling. Examples of available datasets include financial market, anonymized healthcare, media insights, sustainability and ESG, and aggregated consumer preferences data.

Given the challenge to find trainings, expertise, and guidance across all AWS services, AWS has launched:

  • AWS Skill Builder – Find more than 500 free, on-demand courses, offered in up to 16 languages, and learning plans aligned to job roles and technology areas.
  • AWS re:Post – AWS re:Post is a community-driven Q&A service that provides expert technical guidance and best practices for AWS customers.

Visit the Travel and Hospitality industry recap to learn more about news from AWS re:Invent 2021, and see the full recap of top announcements on AWS.

SriHari Thotapalli

SriHari Thotapalli

SriHari is the Worldwide Technology Leader for Hospitality at AWS with the charter to support and help travel and hospitality customers innovate using AWS cloud to enhance customer experience and improve operational efficiency. SriHari leads the technical field community for Travel & Hospitality that enables internal AWS teams, ISVs, and GSIs creating technical assets, reference architectures, and solutions. Prior to joining AWS, he spent over 20 years in Hospitality, CPG, Retail and Healthcare industries leading digital strategy, data & analytics strategy, and enterprise architecture roles and built products for bookings, hotel operations management, revenue management & distribution, customer master data management, Healthcare AI and supply chain optimization. He holds a M.S. in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University.

Massimo Morin

Massimo Morin

Massimo Morin brings 20+ years of experience in the airline and hospitality industry as a developer, analyst, product designer, and business development. His core expertise is in airline pricing, distribution, revenue management, and ecommerce. Based in Boston, MA, he is now responsible for AWS engagements globally in the travel/airlines space for AWS. He graduated in Software Engineering from the University of Venice and acquired a MS of Transportation / Airline Business and Management from MIT. He is Italian by birth with a passion for cooking and has traveled the world extensively.

Steven M. Elinson

Steven M. Elinson

Steven M. Elinson is the Head of Worldwide Restaurants and Food Service, the global industry practice for Amazon Web Services (AWS), with a charter to support customers as they accelerate cloud adoption. Today’s restaurant must deliver a personalized and seamlessly connected guest experience while being operationally efficient with optimized assets, high utilization, predictive analytics and quality, health and safety standard compliance. As a trusted advisor, Steven utilizes his broad knowledge and 30 years of experience to drive these guest experiences (top-line) and to increase operational efficiency (bottom- line.) Before joining AWS, Steven held various leadership roles in restaurant and restaurant technology businesses. His experience ranges from operations, training, supply chain, technology and new concept creation having created and sold a restaurant concept. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from Purdue University, and a Master of Business Administration from Florida International University.