Meet the team - Robert Schimmel
Robert Schimmel is the Director of Product Management at Cendyn. We sat down with this coder turned executive to see how he innovates daily with his team.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Professionally, I live by the following philosophy that I believe I just coined, “Want to know about it? Code about it.” I studied Marketing in college and found software development and coding by accident during the Internet boom. My passions for software intensified and I made a career out of it. Thus far, writing software has led me into management and executive roles at each of the companies that I have worked for, allowing me to learn the business from the inside out. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two young sons. I also enjoy reading, golfing and traveling.
2. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I enjoy building things. It’s a wonderful feeling to conceptualize a new feature (with the team), story board it out, get it built and see it succeed in the marketplace. It just doesn’t get old.
3. What’s the most challenging element of your job?
Balancing our innovation schedule in the right way so we can successfully and consistently create the next generation of products for Cendyn.
4. How is Cendyn improving its products?
Our teams are committed to research and development –we’re constantly trying out new ideas. We’re focused on innovation at our core in everything we do. Cendyn is always looking for opportunities to innovate, and we’re constantly improving our solutions in the areas of usability, scalability and maintainability to name a few.
5. How often are product updates made at Cendyn?
Right now, we’re pushing an update out about once a month and we’re looking to go bi-weekly soon.
6. What is the product development process like?
First, I write the requirements for each of the product features. Next, I work with the UI and UX team to build out the wireframes. Then I meet with development to size the effort to complete the feature. After that, it goes to a review group to determine whether we’re going to build it out.
My favorite part of the job is UI/UX. This is where we vet out the features we’re going to build out. Typically, I go over what I have in my mind about what the feature will do and we go back and forth from a user interface perspective. Ultimately, if we vet it properly during the design phase, it leads to quicker speed to market on the feature.
7. How is Cendyn still structured like a start-up?
It’s still easy to get a meeting on the fly and white board out a solution to a problem or brainstorm a feature, enhancement or process with pretty much anybody about anything at any time. We can turn on a dime to focus on a feature that is important to our customers. And our collaborations go back and forth on an hourly basis to get feedback and enhancements done.
8. What’s your favorite Cendyn product feature?
My favorite feature is eInsight’s Audience Builder. The Audience Builder enables a user to target an audience based on the needs of the email campaign that they are crafting. The filters are entirely configurable to the type of data that is housed in their data warehouse. When new data comes in from our various integration points, we have a DevOps team at the ready to make the data actionable in the Audience Builder.
9. What’s next for your products?
The future is exciting and my roadmap certainly reflects that. First, we’re re-designing our eInsight product, which includes the ability to use it on mobile devices. We also have exciting new partnerships on the horizon to keep an eye out for, and intend on leveraging our Audience Builder in numerous areas of our CRM Suite.
10. Who are some of your clients?
AM Resorts, The Biltmore, The Breakers, The Fountainbleau, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Red Lion Hotels and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to name a few.