Daniel, welcome. You’re the first genuine IT profile in this seat
Am I? Well, from my experience, that makes it even harder to explain to people what we do at Amadeus exactly. (smiles) I focus mainly on the customer-side of IT, just a relatively small part on the Amadeus-side here. Whenever our helpdesk is asked a technical question about one of our front-office products that needs further investigating, we take care of it – unless it goes straight to our engineers at Central.
How unpredictable does that make your days?
My days are as stressful as I make them. (laughs) No, seriously, it depends. On the rare occasions a customer’s system is down, things can get pretty hectic. We have to work until it’s up again, which could mean evening work, or even an all-nighter. But, most of the time, my days are fine, really.
That’s quite the responsibility, it seems
Our data centre is located in Germany: there are, correct me if I’m wrong, 900 people there in charge of it, 24/7. That is not our responsibility, so to say. On our level, Benelux, I mean, we have to make sure our customers can use our tools and book at all times.
Is there a reason why you chose to work in travel IT?
I can’t say I chose for travel IT per se; it just followed from my previous position, as a fine opportunity. Then again, it’s pretty neat to know we’re helping all those airplanes getting passengers, and all those airports are relying on our systems.
Everybody talks about Facebook and Google, you know. Nobody knows Amadeus. But if you look at our amount processing power, the number of transactions we’re handling on a daily basis, we’re up there with them.
You’re a devoted traveller yourself, though.
Very much so. I love hiking – of the challenging kind. Nature. Just give me a car and a tent and I’ll see where I end up. The Tour Mont Blanc was one of my favourites so far, we hiked around the mountain for a couple of days. Very impressive and tough.
Then again, my wife prefers a sunny holiday beside the pool, with a hotel room. So I go for those too. That is just the compromise you make. We split up our holidays fifty-fifty. Good fun. That does not mean I won’t look for a place to go hiking, even on Tenerife.
What is it that attracts you to hiking?
I guess I enjoy not seeing too much tourists. That may sound a bit weird, but when I go away, I prefer not to hear people speak Dutch. I enjoy the space. That, and the physical effort, I really love that kind of challenge.
If you could dream of something for the world of the travel, what would it be?
Difficult question. Depends on how mainstream it would have become by then. But I would consider taking the scramjet to New York, now I come to think of it. If I’d be able to get there in half an hour for a reasonable price, yes, I would. But aren’t they working on that now?
That went well for someone who confessed not liking interviews
(laughs) Oh, never mind, it’s me, not you. But that does not mean I don’t like reading other people’s interviews. So I am looking forward to hearing from Kurt Van der biesen, who’s a Sales Manager.
Care to link up?Find Daniel Bleeker on LinkedIn here.