Fergus Boyd

Hospitality Consultant

Fergus Boyd

Fergus is the former VP/Director of IT at Red Carnation Hotels (UK). Prior to Red Carnation Hotels, Boyd was VP/Director of Digital & IT in YOTEL, the innovative hotel start-up in the new “affordable luxury” sector. He has 20 years of experience in the airline world and the digital media sector. Fergus has been nominated into the CIO 100 list for 2016 and 2017.

Prior to YOTEL, Fergus headed up eBusiness for Virgin Atlantic, and was responsible for sales optimisation on the market leading and award winning web site which generated over £300m pa, and for the mobile channel, live chat, web analytics, voice of the customer and the global affiliate programme.

Fergus held senior roles in British Airways and headed up projects in BA’s Brands & Product Development department who created the market changing flat beds in business class. He also was one of the founding members of “eBA”, BA’s dotcom startup in 2000 which later transformed into which now turns over £2B pa.

Insights by Fergus Boyd (5)

Is 'data scientist' the next hot position in hotels/hospitality?

In short, yes, but the problem hotels will have is the quality of the data and getting it into a repository in a meaningful, normalized, standardized way. Many legacy hotel systems are hell-bent on not allowing hotel staff to get at their own data, at least not at a reasonable cost.

Are there any quick-fix IT solutions for hotels in the post-COVID new normal?

I believe there are three immediate action steps hoteliers, especially independents, can implement in a relatively fast and inexpensive fashion: 1. Develop a “Here is how we make your stay with us safer than ever” program with sanitation and safety protocols at the property, including: Infrared fever detection for each guest arrival (devices on Amazon start at $299)Contactless guest servicing technology applications such as mobile-check-in and virtual concierge as well as mobile assistants in the guest rooms, etc.

Should hoteliers develop in-house or outsource IT applications and solutions?

I am a firm believer that hoteliers should stay focused on their core competencies to prosper in today's complex, hyper-dynamic environment. Unfortunately, technology is not and has never been one of hotelier's core competencies.

Artificial Intelligence… Where could and should AI be adopted in our industry?

Even though still in the Buzz word stage, AI will play a massive role in our industry. Most will state that it will be a customer facing technology. From concierge robots who can interact with guests to chatbots and messaging.

The Death of Yesterday’s PMS: Embracing the New Normal

Does anyone remember the NCR 4200. Used as the front desk and night audit posting machine? That dinosaur was replaced by what we thoughtlessly named the “PMS” (which would have been better named 'PMIS” for “information system.