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DataArt’s Travel & Hospitality team helps navigate the complicated, domain-specific systems and inner workings of the travel industry... read more

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Recent Marketplaces & Integrators Articles

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Tech Partners Show Off Innovation in the Hapi Marketplace Booth at HITEC 2019

by
Jonathan Reynolds

Being a tech startup in hospitality can be tough. Working through the early days of development can be daunting as entrepreneurs understand the challenges of integrating their new ideas in a highly fragmented market. Hapi, the data streaming and integration platform, aims to make this easier with simple to digest APIs and connectivity to the industry-leading solutions. This week at HITEC Hapi is doing more to aid in their commercial success. For the first time at HITEC, Hapi is hosting its marketplace booth for tech partners. Here partners will have the opportunity to meet hoteliers and other partners to accelerate innovation and their businesses. Hapi has a strong following among hotel companies. "As they visit us at HITEC, they will have the time to walk around the partner tables to see how they can further benefit from their investment in Hapi," said Luis Segredo, CEO of Data Travel. Data Travel, its booth partners, and Zingle are sponsoring the Hapi buses again this year. The number of parties, like the number of vendors, is growing every year. The aim is to integrate the parties with limo buses stocked with drinks and music. "Even having a good time at HITEC can be hard given all of the places to be. We are just trying to make HITEC easier and a little more fun," said Segredo. To hop on the buses, follow us on Twitter at @hapicloud and text +1 (619) 577-4498 for bus times and stops. While on the bus use #hapibus to share the fun. Hapi aims to accelerate innovation, and it seems to be working. This year half of the finalists in the HFTP E20x startup competition are working with Hapi. "Hapi enables us to focus on creating value for our customers rather than having to spend countless cycles on integrations," said Steven Hopkinson for Idem Hospitality. "The Hapi Connect for Salesforce solution is greatly accelerating our ability to build integrated Salesforce.com based apps for hospitality. We look forward to sharing our progress at HITEC as a partner in the Hapi booth," said Andrew Pirret of Alliants. Visit the Hapi Marketplace Booth #3338.

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Boost Your Hotel Revenue with Top Ranked Hotel Technology Apps - 1-Click-Connect and No Activation Costs with protel

by
Tobias Dicke

Three vendors have teamed up with protel to offer an amazing deal that will help boost hotels’ revenue. Market demand for enhanced connectivity within the fragmented hospitality industry has been on the rise recently. Much of the problem boils down to hoteliers’ dependence on data and other tech silos, and different departments’ historic reluctance to move away from them. But attitudes are changing. There have been some ambitious initiatives by some early PMS startups trying to meet this new demand. But to make a true market shift, one or more of the bigger and more established PMS technology vendors would need to move in this direction. With its powerful client base of 14,000 hotels, protel has listened to the market and is set to become the first well-established tech player to act. It will provide access to the hottest and most appreciated technology vendors in its Marketplace through “1-Click-Connect” – with no activation cost. For hotels of all sizes, the future recently arrived in the shape of a new data-sharing platform. This technological breakthrough will enable long-awaited collaboration between #HotelTechnology vendors. Freed from traditional vendor lock-in, the PMS will put the hotel back on the right track. Let’s explore the idea behind increasing hotel revenue, based on examples from three vendors who have joined forces to provide a greater experience to all protel PMS users (via the protel.io Hospitality Platform). With all three, users will enjoy zero integration costs (for a limited time only), with simplified “one-click-connect” technology that should allow any protel-powered hotel to up their game instantly.     Data intelligence - why it matters If we let computers make decisions that affect our profitability, accurate data is of the highest importance. But with so many applications in the hotel running off their own data silos, who can say which set of data holds the most up-to-date and useful information? And how can it be intelligently accessed? By design, all tools on the protel Marketplace, irrespective of vendor brand, have constant access to the complete, live data-stream in the hotel (even across the hotel group). Beyond the data that they themselves enrich and pass back, each app can call on, process and react to hotel-wide events in real-time. Take OTA Insight, one of our featured vendors. Renowned for its commitment to data quality, the market-leading cloud-based data intelligence platform can now easily deliver actionable insights back to the hotelier. Launched last year, the versatile tool maximises every revenue decision with lightning-fast, actionable insights so you can confidently make better revenue decisions based on the most relevant, granular data from your PMS. Other vendors subscribing to this fresh data-stream, such as our featured vendor Oaky, the “upselling rockstars”, can fine-tune their system, knowing they are basing their predictive calculations on the best data available in the hotel at that very moment, not on what happened at close-of-day yesterday. Another example is top-rated revenue management software, Atomize, which considers real-time, dynamic data 24/7 from hotels’ data-streams and gives you optimal price suggestions per room type. For revenue boosters, timing is everything. And a big component of timing is personalisation.   Personalisation at scale The better the data, the clearer the picture we can make of it. Manually running through thousands of guest profiles to see who repeat-books which rooms is not an ideal job for your trainee salespeople. These are tasks made for computers - and as the programs sift the records looking for patterns, they become very good at spotting nuggets of information that the human eye - even a well-trained one - would not readily see. Tools like Oaky, with their inbuilt segmentation options, allow the hotel to automate personalised upselling. By combining data around guest behaviour with data around the property, hotels are able to create hyper-personalised communication even for guests that have never stayed at their property before. This individualised upselling is very powerful, as the program crunches through swathes of data, deciding who gets what offer - and when the best time for that individual offer would be. On one side, the guest receives such a personalised notification that they really feel cared for. On the other, thousands of these messages are sent automatically, freeing up staff to care for their guests, all while extra revenue is being happily generated as if by magic. It’s a win-win.   Data-driven revenue management Getting closer to the core of many hotel businesses, which still seem heavily focused on inventory sales, let’s look at how accurate and readily available data can help in setting optimised room rates. This powerful, automated strategy ensures that inventory is always offered at the best possible price in order to secure business. In the past, the revenue manager herself would track competitors’ pricing, scan historical records, monitor pick-up rates and try to match them up to the seasonal demand curve, all within her home-made, macro-enhanced Excel sheet of RevPAR possibilities. And there was plenty of room for error. How much valuable insight was being lost?   Strategic revenue business intelligence OTA Insight’s next-generation business intelligence platform, Revenue Insight, helps unlock the potential of a hotel’s PMS data, delivering lightning-fast, actionable insights so that revenue managers can confidently make better business decisions at the click of a button on one simple dashboard. Put simply, with better, more accurate business intelligence, hoteliers are better placed to make better, more reliable business decisions that improve their bottom-line.   How optimal pricing helps hotels Additionally, thanks to apps like Atomize, our featured vendor for automatic revenue management, hotels are continuously offered optimal rates, down per room type, set for 365 days into the future. Atomize considers historical and future reservation data, real-time pick-up pacing, cancellation data, competitor rates and more. With a mobile-first design, all data is processed with the latest technology, and the system outputs automatic pricing strategy on-the-fly. Hoteliers can review the data behind the price recommendations, including override price recommendations if needed, before they trust it to run on autopilot. As an added bonus, connected booking engines can be scanned for booking abandonment data, thus surfacing possible future demand. With the as-yet untapped possibilities within the protel.io Hospitality Platform - the key to providing all this accurate information to all connected services - sales cancellations from POS and other revenue channels could also soon benefit from similar insights, allowing a yielding mindset (and toolset) to spread to all areas of the business.   Does context-sensitive selling boost revenue? An awareness of the old marketing “Four Ps” adage - Product, Place, Promotion and Price - facilitates many sales that might otherwise not happen. Offering an ice-cold beverage to a thirsty traveler who still has many hot, slow miles to go is a good way to sell a product at a premium. So now we just need to teach the machines to recognise thirst, hunger and other needs... Making hotel offers context-sensitive turbo-charges their immediate appeal, and done correctly, makes the offer seem almost irresistible. Again, access to a live-stream of intelligent data would be a good thing to take advantage of. Sorting through historical data, identifying up-ticks in consumption and the elements that led to this behaviour, is all very valuable insight. Not only do clever upselling apps like Oaky predict when best to push a personalised offer to a certain guest - or group or “lookalike audience” - but they can help enormously in the construction of these offers too. The ability to harness data-driven content and its delivery proves that machines are being trained well. It also does wonders for a hotel’s bottom-line. All of which brings us back to data-silos.   Data-silos? No thank you Are we in the future yet? Well, we could be. It all depends on the unrestricted and economic to and fro of an endlessly enriching, real-time data-stream. Data belonging to the hotel, or the hotel brand, is harnessed and simultaneously shared within all the vendor technologies the hotel is operating on. Is it really? Well, actually, yes - this is what we at protel believe in, and what we have built with the protel.io Hospitality Platform. Traditionally, where every technology vendor used a proprietary system to deliver the hotel “their” solution, there were multiple vendors, with multiple systems, all variously needing multiple upgrades and expending multiple costs. To add insult to injury, the hotel could not really usefully access the data - multiple CSV exports at midnight won’t be far from most people’s minds. These independent and disconnected silos of data caused many problems, as the data from one part of the stack would be manually transferred to the next process that depended on it. When the export finally worked, we’d traipse on to the import. But wait - there were also “interfaces” which allowed, for a fee (small, or otherwise), certain vendors’ systems to talk to each other. Generally, the more the hotel paid, the more the systems talked. Perhaps the old “Four P’s” were in use here too...   So what have we learned? The future of #HotelTechnology is definitely here, but the enabling platform itself is only as strong as the vendors within it. Vendors such as OTA Insight, Oaky and Atomize have stepped up, embracing the protel.io Hospitality Platform, and thus enabling a whole new section of hotels from across the board free access to shaping better revenue. The shared data, accessible for all, and running on a robust infrastructure, is the lifeblood not only of the hotel but also of the whole ecosystem of connected technologies. Together, the industry is finally moving towards a common goal: enabling any hotel to immediately benefit from cutting-edge technology, without risking non-compatibility or vendor lock-in issues. But don’t just take our word for it. Take protel up on its generous offer: zero integration costs to connect to any of these featured three vendors by clicking on the link below. We saved the best until last: all three of these solutions ship with the brand-new one-click-connect feature, and are already configured to work right out of the box. How? Simply log in to your protel system, navigate to the chosen vendor app in the Marketplace, and press the one-click-connect button. Enjoy your new world of boosted revenue opportunities immediately here!   For more information, protel will organise a red ribbon ceremony at HITEC Minneapolis, on June 18 at 2:30pm at booth 2746.

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Former Accor CIO: Hapi is the platform I was looking for

by
Hotel Tech Report

It’s no secret that hotel technology (and technology in general) changes quickly.  Computing power generally doubles every two years as a result of increases in the number of transistors a microchip can contain - this is what is referred to in the technology world as Moore’s Law.  As processing power increases, innovations that were previously unthinkable quickly become mainstream. This trend impacts hotel tech and our personal tech usage just the same.  3G wireless enabled the smartphone era and without it the iPhone would have never been possible.  4G and LTE enabled us to seamlessly stream content to our mobile devices without WiFi in the same way that battery advancements have helped our devices run more powerful applications.  Snapchat, for example, quite literally couldn’t have existed 10 years ago. 5G will put even LTE to shame. A 5G-enabled smartphone can download the content of an entire DVD (~5GB) in as little as four seconds.  5G will enable services and technologies that are unimaginable to present day consumers. "Stone Age. Bronze Age. Iron Age. We define entire epics of humanity by the technology they use." Reid Hastings, Netflix CEO Given the speed of technological change, it’s important for hoteliers to be on the cutting edge.  Being on the cutting edge doesn’t necessarily mean always being the first to try that shiny new guest experience startup.  To be on the cutting edge, hotels need a foundational infrastructure to adapt quickly as new trends develop. Each individual technology has the power to be transformative but what matters most is setting up your underlying hotel business to quickly disrupt itself before someone else does. "After many years working in technology as a hotelier, I believe that what matters most is a proper open architecture to remain relevant and agile." Laurent Idrac, former Accor CIO Nobody knows this better than Laurent Idrac, the former Accor CIO who was at the helm when the company invested $250M into digital transformation initiatives. Laurent believes that in order to succeed in hospitality, owners and operators need to embrace two simple principles: (1) Stay connected to every facet of your operation (2) Make sure that you can quickly adapt to new trends as they arise Corporate hoteliers often lose their connection to on property operations and even managers can get removed from how their employees live and work on a day-to-day basis.  During his time as CIO at Accor, Laurent made it a priority to work on property for at least 1-week per year shadowing every role within his hotels. This helped him stay in touch with what was happening on the ground and then develop a technology strategy to solve real world business problems that his team was experiencing. During his tenure as Accor's CIO, Laurent became frustrated with the lack of interoperability between systems.  He’d want to try a new technology platform only to learn that it didn’t properly integrate with the core hospitality ecosystem.  This integration problem was such a huge pain point for Laurent as a CIO that when he heard about a company successfully solving the problem - he knew he had to be a part of their journey. "Hapi is the platform I was looking for when I was a hotelier. It allows hoteliers to innovate faster and improve security and data compliance (GDPR, etc.) by centralizing the flows of hospitality data needed to deliver great guest experience.  Rather than following a pattern of point to point integrations, hotel companies can integrate their systems to the Hapi cloud and connect their internal or partner systems to a normalized stream of data, be it reservations, profiles or more." Laurent Idrac, former Accor CIO Laurent left the comfort of his successful c-suite career to join rocketship integrations startup Hapi founded by Luis Segredo and Nikolai Balba. Segredo was previously the founder of Mtech, the creator of HotSOS that was acquired by Newmarket and is now owned by Amadeus.  Balba had similarly founded Libra on Demand which he sold to Newmarket and Libra is now part of Amadeus sales and catering. The combination of these three dynamic leaders has formed the hotel tech dream team.   Laurent has lead technology at one of the largest hotel companies in the world and needless to say there are few people better equipped to solve this problem.  Hapi is poised to change the way hoteliers use and adopt technology. The team has made great strides since Laurent joined on board so we were fortunate to catch him on a boat cruise outside Hapi’s Miami headquarters where we discussed everything from CIO war stories to his vision for the future of the industry.   Tell us about your hospitality career before joining Hapi. I have held many positions during my tenure at Accor in France and in the US: operations, marketing, finance, reservations, F&B, and IT. Even as Group CIO of Accor, I continued to spend time in hotels.  For instance, in July 2017, I spent a full week at the Ibis Paris Bercy Village going through different shifts each day in the restaurant, front desk, engineering, and finally in housekeeping. It is very important to remain connected to the business you are serving. In 1983, I started as an intern in a restaurant during my college years and held many positions in an Argentinian Steakhouse. Once I graduated, I worked as a controller for almost 5 years. I managed reservation call centers worldwide, worked on the new Accor Central Reservation System implementation and finally spent many years in IT in the US and in France. My last position was Accor Group CIO from 2012 to early 2018, and we ran a major digital transformation (~$250M) that transformed the entire company. It’s hard to dislike anything in this industry, but hotels and restaurants are historically very hierarchical organizations with close to military standard operating processes. This does not favor employee initiative to deliver the best guest experience on the spot. Luckily, this is changing. On the technology front, the employees have been neglected: poorly designed applications, too many applications to deal with… To me, the most rewarding part of working in hotels is interacting with customers, ensuring their satisfaction, and anticipating their needs. Sharing this passion with colleagues is even more satisfying.   What was one technology that you couldn't live without in your former role in hospitality? PMS, Fax machine, 56k modem, Palm Pilot, Blackberry, Email, Chat, iPhone, cloud… It’s changing every few years. And every time, it’s impressive how we can become dependent so quickly on a specific tool or device. After many years working in technology as a hotelier, I believe that what matters most is a proper open architecture to remain relevant and agile.   When did you first become interested in hotel tech? Anything that can simplify work and improve quality interests me, and technology is the most obvious place to look at for productivity improvement. I have always been interested in technology. Before joining the hospitality industry, I interned at a computer dealer and enjoyed it a great deal. It was the early age of the IBM PC, Apple 2c & Lisa (Mac’s older sister). During my time in the Army, I was also involved in computer programming. Once I joined the hospitality industry, I had already contracted the technology “virus”.   As a hotelier what was your biggest frustration with technology vendors? Too many vendors have no real knowledge of the hospitality business. Some are great speakers but poor listeners. Some vendors should spend more time reading about our industry to make sure they are relevant. I recommend any vendor to be involved in HTNG and participate in workgroups. Regarding the solutions they are promoting, many are just creating another silo of data without integration into the hospitality ecosystem. Some may have great solutions but with poor design or performance that kills the experience.  It’s really a matter of relevance. Does the vendor really understand what it takes to deliver value to the guest or associate in hospitality? Finally, hospitality is a people’s business, it’s a matter of building trust and delivering upon. Given the aforementioned issues, vendors need to show their understanding of the industry and ultimately deliver new insights. With this comes the trust of decision makers.   What is the most widely held misconception that hoteliers have about technology today? Hoteliers and hotel owners have had trouble embracing the concept that technology needs to be changed to be fresh and relevant, and that it also needs to be used to its utmost.  On one hand, there may be a new shiny solution, but that does not mean that it should be deployed before making the most of what’s already in place. On the other hand, I remember discussing with hotel owners not convinced of the need to upgrade their wi-fi solution that was “only” six years old. Having an open mind, pragmatism and common sense are the best way to approach technology -and this is not only true for technology-   As a hotelier, when did you first become interested in technology? I have always been interested in technology because I have viewed technology as a means to offer a better service to the client and to improve the lives of employees. In all my jobs at Accor, I ended up being involved in every technology project that was around me.  At the beginning, it was in addition to my day job and then it became a full-time position. When I left Accor, I wanted to broaden my attention to industry-wide technology challenges.   What was the most challenging part of moving from hotels into technology? Having hoteliers reply to your emails or returning your calls! Seriously, the most important challenge is to remain true to your values.  My experience tells me what the industry needs and how to deliver it. I have built a reputation over the years that I am not willing to jeopardize to make a buck. Joining Hapi was not an accident. I joined Hapi because I believe it is the best answer to a critical need in our industry with the best approach to move hospitality forward.   What made you want to take the leap as CIO of Accor and want to work on a startup like Hapi? Hapi is the platform I was looking for when I was a hotelier. It allows hoteliers to innovate faster and improve security and data compliance (GDPR…) by centralizing the flows of hospitality data needed to deliver great guest experience.  Rather than following a pattern of point to point integrations, hotel companies can integrate their systems to the Hapi cloud and connect their internal or partner systems to a normalized stream of data, be it reservations, profiles or more.   Hapi offers technology partners, through its marketplace, a way to integrate multiple PMSs (as well as various other hotel systems) with a single development effort. Hapi’s marketplace enables partners to gain exposure to hotels on the platform and enables hotels to tap into other available systems that are connected to Hapi. With already 35 partners, its connectivity to multiple solutions from companies like Oracle, Infor, and Salesforce creates a great deal of potential.   Imagine that you're going to open the hotel of your dreams tomorrow. What kind of hotel would it be? ”Zappy Hotel” will be a midscale boutique hotel, sleek and modern, 100-150 rooms. Fully integrated in its community with large common spaces for locals and travelers, local food, local art. Rooms will have great lighting but also curtains that ensure full night, presence detector to optimize energy and housekeeping. Maybe I will add a small hotel nearby, “the L’Otech hotel”, with 50 rooms without any technology, all rooms will have a Faraday cage to protect guests from electronic waves, it will target electromagnetic hypersensitive guests or serve as a retreat for technology dependents who need to reconnect with real life.   What technology would you leverage at your hotel? Hapi, of course, to be able to seamlessly integrate the various systems and deliver a truly personalized experience thanks to innovative companies -just browse Hotel Tech Report to see how many great solutions are out there.  The PMS will have to be truly intuitive and focus on welcoming the guests not fulfilling administrative tasks. Apple TVs will be in the room and a solid engagement platform like Monscierge to allow a seamless experience. I must specify that Wi-Fi will be outstanding: no password to re-enter, thanks to integration with the hotel CRM, casting capabilities with huge bandwidth. Only technology that is intuitive will be implemented.   What advice do you have for hoteliers who want to work in technology? If your dream is technology, go for it but do not forget where you are coming from.  Capitalize on your experience and keep your service “can-do” attitude. I had IT team members who were night auditors, cook, pastry chef. It took them a long time to feel legitimate in their IT role. My advice is do not doubt yourself and be proud!   What’s one book that changed the way you think about hospitality technology? “Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down”. We are still lacking tech solutions that serve the needs of our employees. Many hotel companies have invested a lot of money to improve “digital” customer experience but not much in helping the employee to deliver a better customer experience. Hotel companies initially fought on the same battlefield as the OTA instead of focusing on the area they have the advantage on, the in-house experience.   What is your favorite hotel in the world and why? I love the architecture and the design of the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, but my favorite hotel is probably the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec city that is a major Canadian Landmark. The service is outstanding, and the place carries its 125+ years of history.   What is the most exciting technology you've seen in the hotel tech space that is not built by your own company? Why? I’m a big fan of STAYmyway, a mobile key solution that does need not to replace the old mag-stripe locks and embeds a guest recognition solution with ID matching to increase security and avoid any chargeback dispute. It has a hotel version and a private rental offering. I like them so much I have invested in the company.   What is one thing that most people don't know about you? My wife and I love remodeling houses, from the design to the final product. We are quite proud to present the results to our friends and family and get excited when people think there is no way we did it ourselves!

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This is the biggest trend in hotel tech that you’ve never heard of

by
Hotel Tech Report

Creating revolutionary technology for hotels has historically been a slog but lately we’re seeing a change in fate for hotel software companies due to increased investment in the space.  One of the biggest investors in hospitality tech is Menlo Park based TCV, the growth equity firm that has invested in breakout companies like Sojern and SiteMinder within hotel tech.  TCV has also made major investments in the broader hospitality and travel space such as: Airbnb, TripAdvisor, HomeAway, Expedia, Orbitz, SeatGeek and Toast. TCV is one of the largest names in the world of technology investing with a successful track record in the massive hospitality and travel vertical.  Vertical market software is an extremely hot investment theme right now. “The easy opportunities for disrupting old-line industries are drying up. Now, many of the up-and-coming start-ups that may become the next unicorns have names like Benchling and Blend. And they largely focus on software for specific industries.” ~New York Times Long time TCV investor and former SiteMinder CFO John Burke is excited about the opportunities within the vertical market software. John and his team have identified a trend within a sub investment theme that they've coined: ”SaaS as a Network”.  Here’s how they describe the concept. “When a SaaS provider starts serving a high enough density of merchants, they can leverage that strength to build two-sided marketplaces with the merchant's customers, suppliers, and employees.” ~David Yuan, TCV General Partner The general hypothesis is that once vertical market software companies achieve scale with regards to their core products they can always bolt on new point solution functionality but would be wise to focus on a much bigger opportunity.  Specifically, TCV believes that these software companies can create two-sided marketplaces that connect their users to new channels of customers, suppliers and employees. Back in February, Hotel Tech Report identified the explosion of marketplaces as one of the 5 biggest tech trends at ITB Berlin, a trend that mirror’s TCV’s investment thesis.  Of all the software companies creating marketplaces in hospitality, TCV’s portfolio company SiteMinder has the largest scale to date. Image from David Yuan's article SaaS as a Platform, SaaS as a Network   Last year SiteMinder threw its hat in the ring with the launch of SiteMinder Exchange aimed at “breaking down the industry’s notorious integration barriers, connecting hotel systems and applications through smart and simple connectivity.” “The reality is that few industries are as fragmented as hospitality particularly at the PMS level. There has always been demand for many of the new applications, but innovation has been stifled by lack of connectivity and the sales model makes the economics challenging. Some of these barriers are starting to be broken down by SiteMinder and others which I think can unlock a lot of innovation for the industry.  But this is a hard problem and it’s a complicated space with lots of moving pieces so that makes it challenging.” ~John Burke, TCV Executive Vice President SiteMinder’s Exchange marketplace is aimed at allowing other applications to access the firm’s broad user base consisting of more than 30,000 hotels worldwide.  Most of those hotels are using SiteMinder’s highly popular channel manager which connects hotel inventory to 3rd party distribution channels as well as other products within the firm's broader guest acquisition platform such as a rate intelligence tool and an online booking engine. The firm is betting that it can add value for users by allowing them to try more hotel tech applications with ease and in turn create new business opportunities for those suppliers. We sat down with Burke to discuss his views on hotel tech, the future for platforms like SiteMinder Exchange and highlight the most cutting edge developments happening right now within the hotel space.   How did you get into venture investing? I’ve been in and around venture since 2011. I started my career with EY in their audit and transaction advisory teams. Getting into venture was a bit of good timing and persistence. The TCV team were looking for an immediate hire and decided to take a chance. I was with TCV from 2011 to 2014 as part of the B2B software team. As I thought about what was next for me, I was drawn to the experiences and mentorship of the TCV Venture Partners (e.g. former senior operating executives such as Erik Blachford). The tech market at that time had been heating up with a few high-profile IPOs. It was my belief that the next wave of great investors was not going to be able to rely on multiple expansion or financial engineering. I believed the best investors over the next 10 years would need to be partners driving actual business growth. That brought me to SiteMinder down in Sydney, Australia. TCV had just led the Series B investment in the company, and the fundamentals of the business were remarkable.  On top of that, they were ramping up for aggressive growth across Europe, SE Asia and were about to launch in the U.S. which I thought would be great experience. I was also excited to work with Mike Ford and the entire SiteMinder team. Mike is a special entrepreneur who is not only very smart and a product visionary, but also authentic and humble. I joined SiteMinder initially in an analytics role and then for the next 3.5 years as CFO. For family reasons, we decided to move back to the U.S. last year, where I reconnected with TCV and rejoined the team. I continue to spend a lot of time in the hospitality and vertical software space and TCV just led an investment in Toast, an exciting next-generation restaurant platform.   Tell us about TCV. TCV was founded in 1995 as a $100M venture fund and today has raised over $15 billion across 10 funds, focusing exclusively on technology companies. We recently began investing out of TCV X, a $3 billion fund. TCV looks to partner with companies that have potential for a sustained category leadership position and are looking to succeed at an even greater scale. This typically means that a company has been growing for several years – with a history of customer trust and engagement and a business model that is reflective of the value they provide. We are flexible on transaction type with experience in public and private markets and are comfortable in minority or majority positions. Over the past 24 years, we’ve had more than 60 IPOs in our portfolio and have worked with some of the largest franchises in technology including ExactTarget, Facebook, Netflix, GoDaddy and Spotify.   At this point, I’ve talked with many investors in the space which helps me appreciate how the various funds are different. For TCV, I think it’s the depth of industry knowledge and a growth mindset. We have close to 100 team members now and our investment team focuses every day on technology and goes deep in verticals and sub-verticals. When we identify a compelling technology trend, we take the time to thoroughly understand the underlying drivers, business model, and competitive environment. Having a developed perspective means we can have much more meaningful conversations about a company’s business and growth opportunities and are positioned to be a better thought partner for the executive teams as they drive towards expansion and category leadership. We’re not afraid to make bold bets especially when we have conviction on category leadership and to do whatever it takes to help companies reshape industries.     Can you talk about TCV’s view on hotel tech and its SiteMinder investment? Travel and Hospitality has been a core focus of TCV for well over a decade. In addition to SiteMinder, the active portfolio companies we are working with include Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Sojern, Tour Radar, and Klook.  Previously we were investors in Expedia, HomeAway, Orbitz, and Travelport, among others. For SiteMinder, TCV led the Series B round and we have continued to stay active with the company as the lead director since then. Two of my partners David Yuan (General Partner) and Erik Blachford (Venture Partner) continue to serve on the Board of Directors. SiteMinder has an incredible history, where is the company today? SiteMinder is a hotel guest acquisition platform that connects hotels to future guests, so hoteliers can go back to doing what they love.  It’s trusted by more than 30,000 hotels of all sizes, across 160 countries and has helped generate more than 87 million reservations worth over US$28 billion in revenue for hotels each year. SiteMinder is based in Australia, how did you come across the investment? It was a team effort. Back in 2011 to 2013 we spent a bunch of time mapping out the ecosystem for online travel and hospitality attending industry shows like HITEC and Phocuswright. Ultimately, we identified the channel management sector as promising albeit a lesser known segment in the category. Our view at the time was that online travel was increasingly complicated and in flux with new players vying for hotel distribution. Independent hotels were harder to aggregate but would also allow these same middlemen an ability to offer differentiated supply that was higher margin. Channel management became interesting because it aggregated and provided connectivity to this supply. We thought this was a hard problem particularly to do in a cost-effective way but when executed it could be highly strategic given the long-tail nature of both hotel supply and PMS. From there we focused on the best product and category leader which led us to SiteMinder. One of my colleagues got us an introduction to Mike Ford through an employee. We then got on the 14-hour flight over to Sydney and created a deal. What's one piece of advice you have for hotel tech entrepreneurs when raising capital? Test the investors. Anyone can look at metrics, but make sure you push them on the nuances of your positioning and make sure they understand the depth of your industry and strategic implications of the various alternatives. Mike did this to us in a big way when we pursued SiteMinder and it always stuck with me.   One pitfall I’ve seen is entrepreneurs who get ahead of themselves with regards to the amount of capital raised or valuation and focus on those items vs. choosing the right partner. This can have implications down the road. I would say to raise what you need and what strategically makes sense given your market and opportunity. And focus as much time and energy as you can on the partner. In addition to the strategic perspective which is table stakes, I tend to think entrepreneurs should focus on investors with candor (to drive constructive feedback delivered in the right way) and humility (it’s all about the team and this also makes it more fun). How do you think the hotel technology space will change over the next 5-years? It’s a great time to be in hotel technology given how dynamic this market is. I think we are still early in the growth journey for hotel software. In my mind, there is no doubt that software will continue to play a larger and larger role in the next 5 years and continue to reshape the industry and guest and operator experience.  We have also been spending a bunch of time on a thesis we are excited about, called “SaaS as a Platform and SaaS as a Network,” which is around the continued extension of the SaaS business model and platform companies leveraging their position in creating marketplaces with employees, suppliers, or customers. I think this trend has many opportunities in travel.   For hotels specifically, I think data, connectivity, and personalization will only increase in importance. Tools like SiteMinder Exchange, which is a data layer connecting PMS with applications and demand channels, can be a big part of this and drive innovation. I also think there will continue to be more dominant global players with companies like Ctrip continuing global expansion and Google, Facebook/Instagram, and TripAdvisor starting to see momentum on their new models. The lines in the accommodation industry will continue to blur as Airbnb ramps up their investment and focus on hotels as well. I also feel labor management will matter more, and there will be new innovative ways to tackle this challenge. This is something we’ve seen in the retail vertical which I think will also make its way to the travel industry.    People often say that the hotel industry is a bit slow to adopt technology. Do you agree? I agree. But I don’t think it’s been driven by the lack of interest or desire.  Hoteliers care deeply about guest experiences and the ones that I’ve spent time with often always go above and beyond what’s expected. The reality is that few industries are as fragmented as hospitality particularly at the PMS level. There has always been demand for many of the new applications, but innovation has been stifled by lack of connectivity and the sales model makes the economics challenging. Some of these barriers are starting to be broken down by SiteMinder and others which I think can unlock a lot of innovation for the industry.  But this is a hard problem and it’s a complicated space with lots of moving pieces so that makes it challenging. Related article: Everything hoteliers need to know about APIs in plain english If you were leaving venture capital tomorrow and forced to start a hotel technology company - what would it be? That’s a tough one. Part of working in an operator role at SiteMinder helped me realize how hard it is to be an entrepreneur and scale a company. This only deepened my respect for what they do. I’m a big believer that you need to follow your heart, so I’d want to align it to something I am passionate about. Maybe I’d do something connecting hotels/travel and yoga which is something I’ve come to enjoy. And being a CFO and travelling a lot, I also think the opportunities in corporate travel remain significant. What is the most interesting or surprising thing that you've learned from investing in hotel tech? Not too much is surprising me at this point. It feels like there is never a dull day in hotel tech! One thing I did notice about some of the larger players in the space is that they serve hospitality, but at their core they are surprisingly not hospitable. One of my partners recently did a podcast with the former CMO at Airbnb and Coca-Cola and he talked about authenticity as an enduring and compounding competitive advantage. I think this is something that will matter more and more. I think it will eventually catch up with those companies who forget that, especially in hospitality tech. What is the best book you've read lately and why? “The Outsiders” by Will Thorndike. I read it a couple of years ago and it continues to stand out to me. The book profiles eight understated CEOs who took a different approach to corporate management.  These “outsider” CEOs often didn’t have the charisma that society has conditioned us to expect and were often in their position for the first time. Humble, unassuming and often frugal, they shied away from advisors and the hottest new management trends, instead focusing on a pragmatic and a disciplined approach to capital allocation which drove extraordinary returns. I found myself getting lost in each of their stories and admiring their independent thinking and patience to wait for the right opportunity. “Shoe Dog” and “Limping on Water” are two others I enjoyed.   What is your favorite podcast? The top 3 for me right now are Farnam Street, Invest Like the Best, and Acquired. All the them have caused me to think differently and continually expand my curiosity. What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I love yoga and meditation. For all the startups that might want to pitch in TCV's office, what can you tell them about your investment criteria? We recently began investing out of TCV X, a $3 billion fund, so the opportunities we pursue are typically between $30-300M. We tend to be flexible on all other aspects of a transaction type and focus on category leadership potential and growth. I really enjoy spending time with entrepreneurs and would love for folks to reach out even if they are a bit early. Companies can scale quickly so we would love to start a relationship well in advance.

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Everything hoteliers need to know about APIs in plain english

by
Hotel Tech Report

The acronym API stands for application programming interface although for most hoteliers it might as well be gibberish. Don’t stress though, because the concept is actually quite system. In the early days of software, systems were server based which meant that they rarely (if ever) spoke with each other.  Think about that first Mac in your house before the internet - it was very much a lonely island. As processing power advanced and internet speeds increased exponentially software became easier to develop and more accessible.  As the world shifted from a myriad of lonely server based systems to an ecosystem of hyper connected platforms there grew a need to enable seamless communications amongst those systems - enter the API. Ok, let’s use a hotel analogy to better understand the concept.  Imagine you’re sitting at a table in your hotel’s restaurant. The kitchen is the part of the “system” that will prepare your order. What’s missing is the critical link to communicate your order to the kitchen and deliver your food back to your table. That’s where the waiter (or API) comes in. The waiter is the messenger – or API – that takes your request and tells the kitchen – the system – what to do. Then the waiter delivers the response back to you; in this case, it’s your food. APIs are effectively messengers of data between applications.  Every time you book a flight on Expedia you are using an API that delivers pricing and availability from the respective airline’s database onto Expedia’s website.  That same dynamic now happens between hotel software and hardware systems. Hotel Tech Report recently published a story about Volara’s Alexa for hotels voice activated tech and its ability to turn off room lights via Honeywell Inncom control systems and control guest entertainment solutions on platforms like Sonifi - that all happens via API. Given the widespread use of APIs in almost every industry one would think that hotels can easily connect software systems like business intelligence software, revenue management systems and staff task management software to any property management system - but in reality that’s far from the truth. Major property management system companies like Oracle Micros and Agilysys have literally hundreds of integration requests each month from software companies.  Each of those integrations must be vetted for security and reliability which takes time and resources.  Those same PMS companies have hundreds of feature requests from enterprise clients that are prioritized ahead of those integrations partners.  Adding to the headache, when an integration breaks down (which they inevitably do) the PMS companies are generally held responsible for client support.  Further, when one of those PMS companies updates a feature that impacts their APIs - they need each and every integration partner to make necessary adjustments to the connection. This integrations dilemma is a messy problem and London based Impala has come up with a simple and elegant solution - a universal hotel PMS API. Impala has built a universal API that both property management system providers and their software partners can build onto which saves the PMS companies time and money while allowing their partners to scale more quickly.   Hoteliers benefit by being able to connect their systems and from the ability to try more technology products that optimize their businesses - often products that wouldn’t have already been connected to their property management system and therefore would have been unusable.  Last year Impala raised $1.75M to serve more vendors and continue executing on its vision for a more innovative hospitality industry. We sat down with Impala co-founder Ben Stephenson to chat about the future of the hotel industry with a specific focus on how connected systems can turn the industry from a laggard into a technology pioneer. What was your background prior to starting Impala? Prior to starting Impala I was a Software Engineer working on a number of really interesting projects. One of the later projects that I worked on was managing a team responsible for delivering integration with GDS web-services. Impala initially came about as I met people when working in travel technology and started to understand how out-dated and ill-fitting the technology stack in travel was from almost every angle. I met my Co-Founder Charlie Cowley through a very old friend and since we have very complementary skill sets (myself in engineering, Charlie in sales) and Charlie being one of the few people that can put up with me for more than a few hours, we decided to start Impala. Who was your first customer? This is actually a really fantastic story. In the very, very early days before we really dug into building a secure integration platform, we were building a Property Management System. I was glued to a laptop for days on end building the thing (literally a never-ending job) and Charlie's job was to go out and drum up some pilots. We were based in London and the first guy that Charlie even managed to get on the phone is a chap called John who runs a 10 bedroom guest-house in West Wales. He somehow convinces him to take a look at the software - but it has to be in person. For anyone unfamiliar with the UK, West Wales might be one of the most painful places to get to from London. All you can really do is drive and if you catch the traffic on a bad day it can take about seven hours. Neither of us have a car because we're Londoners and so Charlie hops in some Zipcar and sets off to Wales. He gets there and gives me a call to say that he has no reception on his phone and he'll call me in an hour when he's done. Anyway, fast forward four hours and absolute radio silence. I try to call Charlie. Nothing. I try a few more times. Zip. At this point I'm pretty sure that Charlie has been lured across country to be murdered in a 10 bedroom dungeon and I'm trying to figure out how to call the Welsh police. Finally, I get a call from Charlie to say that he'd been grilled for the entire afternoon about a product he - to be honest - didn't really at the time completely understand but he'd somehow got them signed up. That’s incredible and I didn’t even realize Impala started as a PMS.  You guys have come a long way since then - tell us about the business today. With every interface, you're currently paying your PMS an extraordinary amount for insecure, slow access for data *that you own*. Impala is an extremely secure, rapid data layer that sits on top of your PMS and lets you work with great software and hardware ten times faster and cheaper. Who is one mentor that has really helped you scale the business? There are so many people that have helped us get to where we are so I'm going to have to pick out two. Adriaan Coppens, the ex-CEO of OTA Insight has been exceptionally helpful. He's always one or two steps ahead of where my thinking is and it really pushes me to be better. I'm almost certain every time we've disagreed, he's ended up being correct eventually. Jens Lapinski, the CEO of Angel Invest Ventures as well has been massively influential. He's completely no-nonsense and happily contrarian. I once wrote Jens a wonderfully lengthy strategy email about where we should go that spanned about four pages of A4 and I just got a single line reply that dismantled my entire argument. What's the biggest mistake that you see hoteliers making on a day-to-day basis? Hoteliers think that getting access to your own data has to take months. One of the golden rules we have when we consider whether to work with PMS or whether to implement our secure reader is "Can this PMS switch on an interface in less than 24 hours". If the answer is no then we use the reader rather than web-services. Our goal is to get Impala switched on in a hotel inside 24 hours. What's the most surprising thing you've learned about scaling technology into hotels? How unique every hotel is. We work with hotels in California, Kazakhstan and the Caribbean and every single one has different needs, processes and requirements. Luckily these days Impala is a very flexible product but I do feel for anyone coming into this industry thinking every hotel is entirely homogeneous because it's a tough learning curve. Are there 1 or 2 companies that have been a particularly good partners for Impala? We work with so many companies that I can't possibly shout out all of the great partners that we have. I love companies that move quickly however, people like Triptease and Customer Alliance that have really big visions and executive teams that are willing to really push the boat out to achieve them. If you could partner with any vendor in hotel tech, who would it be and why? I'm really excited at the moment about a lot of the work we're doing with hardware vendors. The demands are very different, a lot smaller data footprint but very low latency requirements in how fast they need data. Other than that, we'll be launching the Impala Distribution API later on in the year which will allow us to work with some very innovative companies in the distribution space. Where do you see Impala in 5-years? If you look at most hotels, because of integrations and interface problems and the fact they have a very specific domain that mass market tools don't cater for, they're comparatively very light users of technology. I hope that with tools like Impala we can change that and that in five years, hotels are going to see healthier margins because of it. In five years Impala will be the default way that hoteliers manage and share their data with partners, whether that be distributors, software or hardware vendors or governments. Hoteliers will have super fine-grained control and auditing of exactly who has access to what data and how frequently. What's one piece of advice that you have for any entrepreneurs looking to get into the hotel tech space? Hire well. Technology is hard, hospitality is hard. We wouldn't be anywhere near where we are right now if Charlie and I didn't have a genuinely incredible team of hospitality professionals and technologists. It's so easy to hire badly and hotel tech is quite an unsexy space so you have to be very careful and do it very well. What is the best book you've read lately and why? The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa. Brand is so important to any business and it should inform absolutely everything you do. Jiwa demonstrates this through some great case studies. What is your favorite podcast Business - 20 Minute VC. Comedy - The Worst Idea of All Time. What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I'm a huge fan of cricket. Every few months I start to try and organise a charity cricket match for the hospitality industry. I just have to nail down Erik Muñoz on his availability this summer since he's the Australian Captain.

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Tech Partners Show Off Innovation in the Hapi Marketplace Booth at HITEC 2019

Hapi

Being a tech startup in hospitality can be tough. Working through the early days of development can be daunting as entrepreneurs understand the challenges of integrating their new ideas in a highly fragmented market. Hapi, the data streaming and integration platform, aims to make this easier with simple to digest APIs and connectivity to the industry-leading solutions. This week at HITEC Hapi is doing more to aid in their commercial success. For the first time at HITEC, Hapi is hosting its marketplace booth for tech partners. Here partners will have the opportunity to meet hoteliers and other partners to accelerate innovation and their businesses. Hapi has a strong following among hotel companies. "As they visit us at HITEC, they will have the time to walk around the partner tables to see how they can further benefit from their investment in Hapi," said Luis Segredo, CEO of Data Travel. Data Travel, its booth partners, and Zingle are sponsoring the Hapi buses again this year. The number of parties, like the number of vendors, is growing every year. The aim is to integrate the parties with limo buses stocked with drinks and music. "Even having a good time at HITEC can be hard given all of the places to be. We are just trying to make HITEC easier and a little more fun," said Segredo. To hop on the buses, follow us on Twitter at @hapicloud and text +1 (619) 577-4498 for bus times and stops. While on the bus use #hapibus to share the fun. Hapi aims to accelerate innovation, and it seems to be working. This year half of the finalists in the HFTP E20x startup competition are working with Hapi. "Hapi enables us to focus on creating value for our customers rather than having to spend countless cycles on integrations," said Steven Hopkinson for Idem Hospitality. "The Hapi Connect for Salesforce solution is greatly accelerating our ability to build integrated Salesforce.com based apps for hospitality. We look forward to sharing our progress at HITEC as a partner in the Hapi booth," said Andrew Pirret of Alliants. Visit the Hapi Marketplace Booth #3338.

Boost Your Hotel Revenue with Top Ranked Hotel Technology Apps - 1-Click-Connect and No Activation Costs with protel

Protel

Three vendors have teamed up with protel to offer an amazing deal that will help boost hotels’ revenue. Market demand for enhanced connectivity within the fragmented hospitality industry has been on the rise recently. Much of the problem boils down to hoteliers’ dependence on data and other tech silos, and different departments’ historic reluctance to move away from them. But attitudes are changing. There have been some ambitious initiatives by some early PMS startups trying to meet this new demand. But to make a true market shift, one or more of the bigger and more established PMS technology vendors would need to move in this direction. With its powerful client base of 14,000 hotels, protel has listened to the market and is set to become the first well-established tech player to act. It will provide access to the hottest and most appreciated technology vendors in its Marketplace through “1-Click-Connect” – with no activation cost. For hotels of all sizes, the future recently arrived in the shape of a new data-sharing platform. This technological breakthrough will enable long-awaited collaboration between #HotelTechnology vendors. Freed from traditional vendor lock-in, the PMS will put the hotel back on the right track. Let’s explore the idea behind increasing hotel revenue, based on examples from three vendors who have joined forces to provide a greater experience to all protel PMS users (via the protel.io Hospitality Platform). With all three, users will enjoy zero integration costs (for a limited time only), with simplified “one-click-connect” technology that should allow any protel-powered hotel to up their game instantly.     Data intelligence - why it matters If we let computers make decisions that affect our profitability, accurate data is of the highest importance. But with so many applications in the hotel running off their own data silos, who can say which set of data holds the most up-to-date and useful information? And how can it be intelligently accessed? By design, all tools on the protel Marketplace, irrespective of vendor brand, have constant access to the complete, live data-stream in the hotel (even across the hotel group). Beyond the data that they themselves enrich and pass back, each app can call on, process and react to hotel-wide events in real-time. Take OTA Insight, one of our featured vendors. Renowned for its commitment to data quality, the market-leading cloud-based data intelligence platform can now easily deliver actionable insights back to the hotelier. Launched last year, the versatile tool maximises every revenue decision with lightning-fast, actionable insights so you can confidently make better revenue decisions based on the most relevant, granular data from your PMS. Other vendors subscribing to this fresh data-stream, such as our featured vendor Oaky, the “upselling rockstars”, can fine-tune their system, knowing they are basing their predictive calculations on the best data available in the hotel at that very moment, not on what happened at close-of-day yesterday. Another example is top-rated revenue management software, Atomize, which considers real-time, dynamic data 24/7 from hotels’ data-streams and gives you optimal price suggestions per room type. For revenue boosters, timing is everything. And a big component of timing is personalisation.   Personalisation at scale The better the data, the clearer the picture we can make of it. Manually running through thousands of guest profiles to see who repeat-books which rooms is not an ideal job for your trainee salespeople. These are tasks made for computers - and as the programs sift the records looking for patterns, they become very good at spotting nuggets of information that the human eye - even a well-trained one - would not readily see. Tools like Oaky, with their inbuilt segmentation options, allow the hotel to automate personalised upselling. By combining data around guest behaviour with data around the property, hotels are able to create hyper-personalised communication even for guests that have never stayed at their property before. This individualised upselling is very powerful, as the program crunches through swathes of data, deciding who gets what offer - and when the best time for that individual offer would be. On one side, the guest receives such a personalised notification that they really feel cared for. On the other, thousands of these messages are sent automatically, freeing up staff to care for their guests, all while extra revenue is being happily generated as if by magic. It’s a win-win.   Data-driven revenue management Getting closer to the core of many hotel businesses, which still seem heavily focused on inventory sales, let’s look at how accurate and readily available data can help in setting optimised room rates. This powerful, automated strategy ensures that inventory is always offered at the best possible price in order to secure business. In the past, the revenue manager herself would track competitors’ pricing, scan historical records, monitor pick-up rates and try to match them up to the seasonal demand curve, all within her home-made, macro-enhanced Excel sheet of RevPAR possibilities. And there was plenty of room for error. How much valuable insight was being lost?   Strategic revenue business intelligence OTA Insight’s next-generation business intelligence platform, Revenue Insight, helps unlock the potential of a hotel’s PMS data, delivering lightning-fast, actionable insights so that revenue managers can confidently make better business decisions at the click of a button on one simple dashboard. Put simply, with better, more accurate business intelligence, hoteliers are better placed to make better, more reliable business decisions that improve their bottom-line.   How optimal pricing helps hotels Additionally, thanks to apps like Atomize, our featured vendor for automatic revenue management, hotels are continuously offered optimal rates, down per room type, set for 365 days into the future. Atomize considers historical and future reservation data, real-time pick-up pacing, cancellation data, competitor rates and more. With a mobile-first design, all data is processed with the latest technology, and the system outputs automatic pricing strategy on-the-fly. Hoteliers can review the data behind the price recommendations, including override price recommendations if needed, before they trust it to run on autopilot. As an added bonus, connected booking engines can be scanned for booking abandonment data, thus surfacing possible future demand. With the as-yet untapped possibilities within the protel.io Hospitality Platform - the key to providing all this accurate information to all connected services - sales cancellations from POS and other revenue channels could also soon benefit from similar insights, allowing a yielding mindset (and toolset) to spread to all areas of the business.   Does context-sensitive selling boost revenue? An awareness of the old marketing “Four Ps” adage - Product, Place, Promotion and Price - facilitates many sales that might otherwise not happen. Offering an ice-cold beverage to a thirsty traveler who still has many hot, slow miles to go is a good way to sell a product at a premium. So now we just need to teach the machines to recognise thirst, hunger and other needs... Making hotel offers context-sensitive turbo-charges their immediate appeal, and done correctly, makes the offer seem almost irresistible. Again, access to a live-stream of intelligent data would be a good thing to take advantage of. Sorting through historical data, identifying up-ticks in consumption and the elements that led to this behaviour, is all very valuable insight. Not only do clever upselling apps like Oaky predict when best to push a personalised offer to a certain guest - or group or “lookalike audience” - but they can help enormously in the construction of these offers too. The ability to harness data-driven content and its delivery proves that machines are being trained well. It also does wonders for a hotel’s bottom-line. All of which brings us back to data-silos.   Data-silos? No thank you Are we in the future yet? Well, we could be. It all depends on the unrestricted and economic to and fro of an endlessly enriching, real-time data-stream. Data belonging to the hotel, or the hotel brand, is harnessed and simultaneously shared within all the vendor technologies the hotel is operating on. Is it really? Well, actually, yes - this is what we at protel believe in, and what we have built with the protel.io Hospitality Platform. Traditionally, where every technology vendor used a proprietary system to deliver the hotel “their” solution, there were multiple vendors, with multiple systems, all variously needing multiple upgrades and expending multiple costs. To add insult to injury, the hotel could not really usefully access the data - multiple CSV exports at midnight won’t be far from most people’s minds. These independent and disconnected silos of data caused many problems, as the data from one part of the stack would be manually transferred to the next process that depended on it. When the export finally worked, we’d traipse on to the import. But wait - there were also “interfaces” which allowed, for a fee (small, or otherwise), certain vendors’ systems to talk to each other. Generally, the more the hotel paid, the more the systems talked. Perhaps the old “Four P’s” were in use here too...   So what have we learned? The future of #HotelTechnology is definitely here, but the enabling platform itself is only as strong as the vendors within it. Vendors such as OTA Insight, Oaky and Atomize have stepped up, embracing the protel.io Hospitality Platform, and thus enabling a whole new section of hotels from across the board free access to shaping better revenue. The shared data, accessible for all, and running on a robust infrastructure, is the lifeblood not only of the hotel but also of the whole ecosystem of connected technologies. Together, the industry is finally moving towards a common goal: enabling any hotel to immediately benefit from cutting-edge technology, without risking non-compatibility or vendor lock-in issues. But don’t just take our word for it. Take protel up on its generous offer: zero integration costs to connect to any of these featured three vendors by clicking on the link below. We saved the best until last: all three of these solutions ship with the brand-new one-click-connect feature, and are already configured to work right out of the box. How? Simply log in to your protel system, navigate to the chosen vendor app in the Marketplace, and press the one-click-connect button. Enjoy your new world of boosted revenue opportunities immediately here!   For more information, protel will organise a red ribbon ceremony at HITEC Minneapolis, on June 18 at 2:30pm at booth 2746.