Martin Bachmann is an “old hand” in the travel trade. He has owned several travel agencies, successfully sold them, and with these experiences established a successful travel tech company.
In the following interview, he shares with us his thoughts about Umbrella’s new ideas and projects:
With the profile management tool Faces, Umbrella has had quite a hit. What are the reasons for this success?
That is both speed and know-how.
Speed: We always try to be as fast as possible. With everything. This starts with the response to inquiries and continues with the implementation of new ideas. At any time – sometimes even a few times per day - we can put new features into production.
Of course, this requires us to constantly review and improve our internal processes. For example, we have automated our testing. Such things are often very challenging but also a lot of fun.
Know-how: Every single employee at Umbrella has extensive industry know-how. We use this when we listen carefully to our customers’ requirements or problems. We often become consultants. I think our customers appreciate this very much.
What vision and ideas do you have for the further development of Umbrella Faces? Here we are quite immodest. We want to become the clear world market leader for profile solutions in travel management. This means, of course, that we aim to connect even more GDS systems and SBTs. We look to automate each step in the implementation of Faces. This makes “getting started” even easier for our customers.
Umbrella Faces can be used wherever personal data must be kept up-to-date across different systems. These can be B2C booking systems from airlines or mileage programmes, or internally at large companies. So there are many ways to grow.
What comes after Umbrella Faces? What ideas do you find exciting, interesting and implementable for Umbrella? We are working diligently on two future projects. You will surely hear about these in this blog when the time is right. Both of them also work towards the goal of supporting changing traditional travel tech. And with both solutions the following still applies: speed and know-how!
You founded Umbrella almost twenty years ago. If you could go back in time, what would you tell a 20-years-younger Martin Bachmann? I would tell him, first, that his decision on travel tech was just right. And secondly, I would advise him that he needs to learn quickly how to say “no” at the right times. Umbrella shouldn’t expend energy trying to implement things that we are not fully convinced about. Even if the customer insists. Often, there are simpler, more straightforward solutions.
Martin Bachmann, the individual: what things outside of travel tech inspire you? They are: the great outdoors, my dog, and the sport of Reining horses. I spend many hours each day outdoors with my Australian Cattle Dog “Stoney”. We both enjoy the wonderful surroundings of the Zurich Oberland. Reining is a challenging form of Western dressage riding. One rides small, powerful Quarter Horses at a full gallop and does manoeuvres that even the most talented cowboys must practise. These are mainly fast, tight turns and quick stops.