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Capgemini’s Insights and Data team presents the Cloud Analytics Champion Awards

Goutham Belliappa

After significant deliberation and review of nominations spanning #Data and #AI leaders from Capgemini and other partners, Capgemini Insights and Data (I&D) and Microsoft are pleased to present the Cloud Analytic Champion awards to three transformational leaders from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL). Carlos Merida (director – Customer Data), Carl Marrelli (director – Artificial Intelligence) and Juan Bengochea (lead architect – Enterprise Data). They are being recognized for their transformational vision and execution on #Data and #AI initiatives as part of RCCL’s customer-centric digital transformation journey. Their work in combining the right industry-leading solutions on the Azure platform with complementary solutions and accelerators from Capgemini to build the CerebroTM Data platform and experience defining, customer-focused AI solutions (venue, occupancy analytics using computer vision, AI-based customer data mastering, etc.) is helping RCCL redefine how the enterprise can access and use customer data to enable better customer experience.

  • Carlos Merida leads the Guest Unification and Cerebro initiative as the product director. Combining his wealth of knowledge about RCCL’s guest data journey with a strong technology and product acumen, Carlos was the visionary behind the Cerebro program and the guest unification objectives. His unrelenting leadership was critical to establishing strategic partnerships with Capgemini and Microsoft and was exemplary in building and driving the team to enable Cerebro. Carlos is being recognized for driving the “data transformation” journey for RCCL through the Cerebro program and for his continued efforts to increase business adoption of data-driven decisions enabled through Cerebro.
  • Carl Marrelli, director of Artificial Intelligence at RCCL, has pioneered product thinking while driving the adoption of core AI capabilities and data science platforms at RCCL. Carl envisioned products such as Recommendation-as-a Service, venue analytics using computer vision, virtual concierge leveraging various Cerebro and other enterprise data sources, and leveraging solutions across native Azure ML capabilities and custom AI/ML frameworks to deliver value straight to the customer. Carl has delivered immense leadership and discipline in applying product thinking to the program to ensure that all initiatives drive towards business defining or transformation outcomes.
  • As the lead solution architect across enterprise data, Juan Bengochea has driven the end-to-end solution definition and technology choices for most components of the RCCL data transformation journey. Juan has been a strong guardian of the original guiding principles of the program and has consistently ensured that the architecture choices are not tarnished by tactical forces of a typical large-scale implementation. He has consistently driven innovation and out of the box, thinking to ensure that RCCL’s data transformation journey avoids the typical pitfalls of such engagements. One such critical decision championed by Juan was the choice of an Azure-based platform, despite a pre-existing enterprise bias toward a different platform, as it offered the right fit for RCCL’s needs and the most exciting, bleeding edge product roadmap for our objectives.
    I am proud and honored to know these individuals. Scott Sweet, North America Head of Insights and Data presented the awards to these deserving pioneers on December 3 at a private ceremony in Miami.

From Left to Right: Manvendra Singh, Scott Sweet, Carlos Merida, Juan Bengochea, Carl Marrelli, Goutham Belliappa, Nikhil Suri.

“We are excited to see the velocity, business engagement, and results that RCCL has delivered on the Azure data platform. Carlos, Carl, and Juan have all demonstrated leadership focusing on execution moving the business toward a data-driven culture, embracing AI, Analytics and innovating on modern cloud-native platforms.” – Scott Sweet, Head of Insights of Data North America while presenting the award

Please join me in congratulating these to these very deserving pioneers.