The Face Behind the Solutions: An Interview with Mike Spencer, Director, Infor HMS Global Deployment
Extensive preparation, planning, and collaboration go into the deployment of Infor HMS. It’s no surprise that Director of HMS global deployment Mike Spencer brings his passionate perseverance to everything he does.
After attending Northern Arizona University’s Hospitality bachelors program, I began working directly within operations of hotels. As I progressed down that career path, I realized my true passion was providing solutions to meet hotel needs; so I made the switch to the other end of the spectrum—to deployment and training. I enjoy interacting with our customers, gaining an understanding of their business processes, and working with them to address their challenges. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge by presenting at user groups and customer events. This love of customer relationships and education is the reason I transitioned from hotel operations to product deployment.
What do you see as the biggest challenges in today’s marketplace for deployment in hospitality?
One of the biggest challenges is training staff to use the ever-changing technology in their day-to-day roles. The hotel industry has so many different pieces of software that all need to work together seamlessly for a hotel to function effectively. Hotels don’t want to deal with the difficulties technology can bring and just want to focus on their service and bottom line.
How do you and your team help address these challenges?
We help facilitate training and technology integration by offering very intuitive and flexible software solutions that allow customers to design a product around their operations, while at the same time lowering the stress of implementing and learning the new software. Every hotel is different and each implementation provides multiple challenges that sometimes need to be approached from different angles. Our team has the innate ability to transform themselves and adapt to the challenges they face, while still providing consistency and world-class professionalism during the implementation phase.
We’ve talked about challenges. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?
The number one change I have noticed specifically in the last few years is the use of the Internet—it’s everywhere in today’s hotel. From mobility to the cloud, hotels and consumers are now wired globally in real time. Both the consumer and the hotel want access to information that’s accurate and they seamlessly want to be able to act on that information quickly with little interference. The name of the game today is speed and ease of use.
What are your goals for your team and what do you think makes them successful?
Our goal is to listen to the customer and provide the best solution possible for their day-to-day operations. Feedback and communication are essential for success in our game. I like to think that we’re successful because we can take complex issues and make them simple by working together. We know that we can’t do it all alone and we work as a team to accomplish our goals.
On a personal note, what don’t we know about your younger self that would surprise us?
During my high school summers, I used to travel with the fair in Michigan, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia as a food concessionaire. This is where I developed my love of travel and people. The time I spent doing this during my summers was invaluable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
If you weren’t doing deployment, what would you enjoy?
I would enjoy working directly within my community full time and helping underprivileged and abused kids. Kids need better role models today.
Are there any conferences you’ll be attending soon where customers could meet with you in person?
In addition to the event below, I will be presenting HMS updates to the global hospitality space periodically. I hope that customers will contact me to arrange a meeting or share questions and feedback. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- EQUIP'HOTEL trade show 2012 in Paris, France, in November 2012