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Amadeus East Africa has launched the Amadeus Champions programme to drive operational efficiencies in travel agencies.

Moses Nyagah, Amadeus East Africa’s Regional Manager, Sales and Marketing, says that there is a ‘champion’ or super user in each agency – a person who has the most knowledge about the Amadeus GDS and the in-market solutions that Amadeus offers.

Amadeus will use these Amadeus Champions to drive operational efficiencies in their agencies – the objective being to have a focused group of experts who are highly skilled in the workings of Amadeus’ products solutions.

“Amadeus Champions can be viewed as a ‘train the trainer’ programme, which seeks to increase the number of highly skilled Amadeus trained personnel in East African travel agencies. The idea is to offer these Amadeus Champions regular training on Amadeus products so that they can in turn teach others in their agencies, thereby increasing Amadeus’s product knowledge footprint in East African agencies,” commented Moses.

Through their exposure to further training on the Amadeus GDS and Amadeus solutions, Amadeus Champions will have the opportunity to improve their Amadeus certification credentials moving from basic certification, through to certificate level and on to diploma level.

The Amadeus Champions programme aims to reduce and manage instances where there are knowledge gaps; share best practices; have a ‘go to’ person within each agency who can resolve issues faster due to their skills level; bring Amadeus closer to customers; and have a focal point in each agency for solution pilots, evaluations and adoption.

The selected Amadeus Champions will be required to identify weaknesses in the team and provide support or notify the Amadeus training manager of any training needs. They will help to monitor the knowledge gaps in the agency in terms staff and new products and identify the need for refresher courses. They will provide on-site training and support for new staff with the assistance of Amadeus’s training department, and also be required to regularly submit a product knowledge index card for Amadeus to monitor product awareness.

In turn, Amadeus will support the Amadeus Champions through an incentive programme and give them an opportunity to volunteer and provide support training at schools and colleges through participation in Amadeus’s CSR initiatives.

Amadeus East Africa is currently engaged in getting buy-in from agency management highlighting the benefits the programme can have to an agency’s bottom line. They have also started identifying Amadeus Champions in targeted agencies to engage them in the programme.

“Through the programme we hoped to see increased product awareness in our East African agencies, increased bookings due to greater product knowledge, efficient utilisation of Amadeus’s training resources and a reduction in the number of calls to our Helpdesk. We also see the programme as an opportunity to expand Amadeus GDS training – both in agencies and in schools and colleges, where we offer free training through our CSR programme,” he said.