Dave Reeves has joined Umbrella in March 2020 as our manager for North America and UK. In this interview, he shares his ideas for the evolution of Profile Management, his best advice for TMCs and his most remarkable travel experiences. Having worked for a North American TMC for over 13 years, he is an outstanding expert on travel profiles and TMC operations. But even more importantly, Dave is a great person and wonderful to work with. We’re both proud and very happy that he is now part of the Umbrella family.
Dave, you started on March 1st and are responsible for Umbrella’s US and UK partners. Please tell us a bit about your background!
I’ve worked in the travel industry since starting with P&O Business Travel back in the late 90’s, initially as a Business Travel Consultant but eventually moving my focus over to software development. This allowed me to marry my knowledge of coding with my industry knowledge to develop many different bespoke GDS solutions for travel agencies and TMCs including ALTOUR where I worked for the past 13 years.
You are very familiar with TMC processes in Europe and North America. What are the most obvious differences between those markets from a “profiles” point of view?
It’s more the similarities that stand out. So many times, I encountered offices using profiles that lack structure or that contain so much information that it’s almost impossible for the agents, or their automation tools, to consume that data efficiently.
What are your top priorities for the evolution of Umbrella Faces?
This is my favorite question as my head is full of ideas as to how we can evolve our product.
Current priorities from my side include
the addition of our interface into Worldspan
enhancing our user interface to allow our clients greater control of the look and feel
enhancing our reporting functionalities
a revamp of the user interface for our custom field creation and mapping.
What are Umbrella’s two most relevant benefits for TMCs?
That’s not fair as I could list way more than two but, as you asked for two, I’d have to go with
The ability to real-time interface into 20+ system partners
giving our clients control over the customization of their profile structure
What’s your best advice for TMCs that consider implementing a profile management platform?
nominate a project leader with extensive GDS- and OBE-experience
make sure your project leader can focus on the implementation for several months
spend quality time analyzing profile data and systems you want to interface with
and, based on that, decide how you want your perfect profile setup to look like
What was your most remarkable travel experience so far?
Experiencing an earthquake whilst on top of St. Peter's Basilica with my wife was certainly a moment which sticks in my mind during a fabulous Mediterranean cruise one year.
Another which will never be replicated happened way back on my 11th birthday during a surprise family holiday to Lanzarote. As the plane sat on the tarmac before leaving the gate, I was invited by the stewardess and captain to sit in the cockpit for the entire flight, take-off, landing and all!