Name: Mikael Fries
Title: Senior Director, Business Solutions
Describe your role: As part of the Business Solutions group, I support our Sales teams and take care of the technical side of the sales cycle. The key is to fully understand the customer’s needs and to translate those requirements into a solution that we can deliver with our current product portfolio. In my role, I also get the chance to work with the Product and Development teams when we need to create new integrations or customize our features to satisfy a client’s needs. At the end of the day, we want to ensure that our customers can achieve their business goals using Cendyn products and services.
Where are you located? I am based in Munich, Germany.
Tell us an unknown fact about where you are based: Most people know about Munich — it’s the home of Octoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival. Octoberfest begins in September and lasts 16-18 days, during which more than six million visitors drink more than seven million liters of beer. Even when it isn’t Octoberfest, Munich boasts more than 60 beer gardens, and beer is even considered a food here in Bavaria. There are a lot of green areas in the city, especially around the Eisbach River, where a stationary wave makes it possible to surf all year long.
What attracted you to Cendyn? I came to Cendyn through the NextGuest merger that happened earlier this year. Prior to joining Cendyn, I have always found the company to be a respected expert in the hospitality technology space. I think Cendyn shares much of the same history and corporate values as NextGuest, so the merger has been a great match. The biggest bonus is the fact that we’re now the largest hospitality vendor of CRM and digital services!
How do your strengths play into the work you do? I’ve worked in many different roles throughout my career — from sales, consulting, and project management to technical sales and product management — but something all these roles have had in common was the customer contact. One of my biggest strengths is combining customer interaction with my own technical expertise, which is key in understanding the customer’s challenges and their needs (even if they don’t fully understand those needs themselves!). I then translate this into a solution based on our offerings.
What do you like most about working at Cendyn? I really like the positive attitude and how welcome I’ve felt since joining the Cendyn family two months ago. There are a lot of talented people here, and I’m very excited about what we can accomplish by combining the products and knowhow from Cendyn and NextGuest together.
Favorite Cendyn moment: The current COVID pandemic has not really made it possible to meet my new colleagues in person yet, but I really appreciate the collaborative atmosphere and the openness of everyone I’ve worked with so far.
Define hospitality in your own words: Hospitality is all about delivering emotions and memorable, personalized guest experiences. In my opinion, you’ll have the guest hooked if you can deliver on both those elements and you’ll be sure to exceed their expectations.
Most memorable moment at a hotel: One of my favorite memories was a time I arrived at a hotel in the San Francisco Bay Area after a very long and delayed flight. It was late in the evening, and I mentioned something about the long journey when checking in. Shortly after I arrived in my room, room service brought a fantastic fruit-and-cheese plate with a handwritten note from the manager saying that they heard I had a long flight and wishing me a relaxing evening and a great stay with them. Needless to say, this became my favorite hotel in the area.
What do you like to do for fun? I love watching movies and TV, listening to music, learning about photography, and just spending time with my wife and three teenage kids.
Parting words of wisdom: Play fair and be mindful of others, as you will always meet twice in life.