This month we meet Tim Wesley, Senior Product Manager in Nice. After a four-year absence working for Amadeus Airport IT business unit, Tim came back to work in the rail team at the beginning of the year. He tells us about the exciting projects he will be working on and shares some of the interesting encounters he had while working in rail.
Tell us about your role at Amadeus Rail.
I recently rejoined the Amadeus rail team after nearly a four-year absence in order to take over the product management role for Direct Sales Channels in our efforts to enhance our Rail Reservation Management offer. Initially I will be working quite intensively on preparing a strategy leading to a collective product road map for the full product portfolio. Then as we establish new contracts, a team of product managers will be set-up to carry that business forward. We hope to kick-off this new business by developing a station ticket office and call centre solution and already have some interest for this type of solution.
How does your role help make rail booking easier?
One of the key drivers for railways in terms of direct sales is to establish an omnipresence across all channels in pursuit of a more customer-centric view of the rail traveler. Our goal is to deliver a one stop shopping platform for all the rail traveller’s needs, ensuring that customers receive only relevant proposals from the railway and can seamlessly service their bookings using the touch point of their choice. We firmly believe that Amadeus can help to drive down distribution costs for the railway, remove legacy technology that limits railway’s opportunities today, aid them to better challenge their competitors, and ensure their revenues are maximized by offering cross selling of other travel products and unbundled ancillary products such as value added onboard services.
What has been your most rewarding moment working for Amadeus Rail so far?
Taking into account my early days in rail I think being part of the team that kicked off the whole concept of the generic rail sales platform was probably the most rewarding aspect. This of course ultimately leads to the partnership with BeNe, which is really just a starting point, so a big challenge remains ahead to ensure that we capitalize fully on this opportunity.
Also, it is amazing who you can meet while working for rail. During my first stint I had the “dubious” honour of meeting Jacques Chirac at the TGV Mediterranee inauguration in Avignon. He was campaigning for president at the time so was shaking as many hands as possible. I sat in a seminar presided over by the King of Spain at a high speed rail conference in Madrid and sat next to super model Kate Moss on a plane during a rail business trip.
What excites you about working in the rail industry?
I think the challenge of delivering the rail sales platform and bringing that to maturity is the most motivating aspect of working on rail for Amadeus, and this at a time when the rail industry, which is going through some big changes, can benefit significantly from our operations and distribution technology. Believe it or not the Airport industry, where I spent the last 4 years or so, also has similar issues to rail with legacy technology hampering efficiency, high cost of operations, and the need to become profitable in the face of competition. I am sure the Amadeus rail team can contribute to changing the industry landscape in order to give the railways greater opportunities in the face of further deregulation.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
I love the contrast of the extreme cold winter climate of Boston (USA) and the warm temperate climate of the Caribbean. Boston is a city with soul. It is an educated city but also has edge, which gives it great character. I am also a big Boston Bruins ice hockey fan, one of the major teams in this big sporting city.
The Caribbean is a great place to unwind, with warm sun and cooling trade winds, and each island offers something different. It is also where I ran away to get married secretly nearly 17 years ago on the beautiful island of Nevis. Sadly that was the last time I was in the Caribbean.
What’s your favorite app?
I don’t really have too much time for apps. That is really my kids playground, but if you push me to name one I would say “FlightRadar24” (also at www.FlightRadar24.com), which enables you to track the commercial aircraft passing overhead. A legacy from my days working in Airport IT.