As EPAM entered the list of 20 Most Promising Solution Providers in Travel and Hospitality 2014, CIOReview interviewed Elaina Shekhter, Global Head of Travel and Consumer Industry Business Unit at EPAM, on systems personalizing the digital physical space, customer engagement, and EPAM’s future as a technology integrator.
Introducing innovative offers to attract and retain consumers to the brand is a constant struggle in the travel and hospitality industry. EPAM Systems, a technology integration services company headquartered in Newtown, PA, works with global travel and hospitality clients to drive innovation, agility and transformation through technology. The company has deep vertical technology-stack expertise that covers everything from optimizing traditional operations to enabling omni-channel strategies across digital, commerce, mobile and technology sectors.
EPAM Systems focuses on providing high quality delivery of products, consumer engagement, and loyalty and CRM solutions. "Consumer engagement is the over-arching umbrella that includes loyalty, customer relationship management, Big Data and analytics," says Elaina Shekhter, Global Head of EPAM's Travel and Consumer industry business unit. In the travel sector, the company works with hotels, airlines, and online travel agencies, and concentrates on systems that 'personalize' the digital space. "From a digital standpoint, it is the idea of creating highly personalized channel independence; building opportunities across mobile, web, and property, and development of distribution products that work for travel companies," adds Shekhter, who takes a special interest in artificial intelligence applications. From technologies that provide customer engagement to enhanced service applications, deep marketing analytics and Business Intelligence solutions, the company's integrated services and capabilities help simplify CRM initiatives and drive customer value. A connected CRM system would enable the clients to recognize their customers and provide relevant valuable offers.
The company has a number of focus areas including sales and distribution of inventory in the digital space including web, mobile and social. In an interesting example, one of EPAM Systems' clients wanted the company to redesign a loyalty rewards program that had 40 million active members. "We rearchitected platforms to move it off the legacy mainframes," explains Shekhter. Today, the platform has expanded to encompass whole range of marketing and CRM programs. EPAM Systems helped the client to extend marketing to an entire segment of customers who were not part of the loyalty program. The client was able to match users with profile data from the loyalty program in order to identify people who could join the loyalty program. There was also a membership clean-up activity that was enabled through analysis and data cleansing. The numbers increased significantly as a result of these extensions. From a business perspective, the client was able to further leverage the core program and launch a number of white label programs that gain additional membership.
So, what does the future hold for EPAM Systems? In the words of Elaina Shekhter, "Our plan is to provide a truly global footprint from a services standpoint. We would further drive practical tools and methodologies to deliver services that are much more productized. The root of our DNA is software engineering through excellence."
Original publication is here.