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Ranked 1st (out of 32)
94 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Certificate of Excellence
Ranked 1st (out of 32)
94 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Certificate of Excellence

Reviews Summary

94%
Recommend
Ratings Summary
94 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More

Ranked #1 out of 32 in Ancillary Upsell Software

Ease of Use
4.8/5
ROI
4.6/5
Implementation
4.5/5
Customer support
4.8/5
Verified Customer Support

Oaky’s customer support processes haven’t yet been verified by Hotel Tech Report.

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Oaky Overview

Let Oaky work for you – Become an expert at modern Upselling. With a high conversion, Oaky puts your arriving guests in control of taking offers that both drive revenue and enhance their experience. Using the online dashboard, Hoteliers add new guest-facing deals in just one minute. Real-time revenue reports help Revenue Managers maximize profit. Use Oaky to: ✓ Increase TRevPar ✓ Sell more room upgrades ✓ Enhance your guest experience ✓ Safely remove upsell from the booking engine Read more Less

About Oaky View website

Founded in 2013 | Headquarters in Amsterdam, NH | 31 employees

Integrates with

  • Ancillary Upsell Software
  • Property Management Systems
  • Channel Managers
  • Business Intelligence
  • Marketplaces & Integrators
  • Hotel Management System
  • Browse integrations (12 verified)

What Customers Love About Oaky

94% recommend

- Oaky is a new and small company providing a leading software that has nearly doubled our current up-selling revenue. They are approachable and constantly taking feedback to improve the product. - At the core is improving conversion on the emails they send out which is key to delivering revenue to hotels. It's significantly cheaper than any other system we've seen or used and to set it up is fast and users find it intuitive to use so there is very little need for training.

Commercial Director from City Center in London (United Kingdom)

It helps in an easy way to sell extra products/services to our guests pre-arrival. Definite worth it!

Revenue Manager from Boutique in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

After a short introduction and an initial setup it's time to see the upgrade request flowing in. I am still very surprised about the amount of requests and addistional revenue it generates for the hotels.

Revenue Manager from Branded in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

The tool is very user-friendly for both the hoteliers and the hotel guests. Besides the very handy revenue increasing side, is there also an added value for guest-relation. Oaky is an affordable app that has created a worthy ROI for our property as promised. In short, the app is a good asset for our hotel!

Revenue Manager from Other in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

The fact that it tackles pre-arrival upseling which is often still virgin territory for hoteliers.

Commercial Development Manager from Branded in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

We love the concept of the software. We love the people behind it always available for help and giving advice. OAKY is also a fantastic tool helping us improving the guest experience before arrival, during the stay and also collecting feedback when guests have left the hotel.

General Manager from Boutique in Basel (Switzerland)

It was the most pleasant and smooth collaboration that we could have ever imagined! The app is very intuitive, even without any advance training you can find and understand how to set up and manage it. Anyway though when we had any questions - customer support team was just brilliant. They knew all answers to ur questions and they were reacting very very fast. Overall pleasure and congrats to each and everybody working on this product! Absolutely recommended!

E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager from Boutique in Gran Tarajal (Spain)

Is is easy to work with, the account managers are friendly and always looking for opportunities for your hotel.

Revenue Coordinator in Rotterdam (Netherlands)

It works super good with the guests and they really enjoy it as well! It increases revenue and it is easy to use for both the guest and the hotel.

Management Trainee from Branded in Utrecht (Netherlands)

Oaky is an easy system to work with, easy to understand for everyone. Communication with the Oaky team is amazing as always, and if there is a problem, they usually resolve this within one day. The great thing about Oaky is that guests can give feedback during their stay. It makes it possible for hotels to resolve any complaints during the guest's stay. We make a lot of extra upselling revenue by using Oaky, revenue that we previously did not have.

Reservations Supervisor from Branded in Noordwijk (Netherlands)

Oaky is simple to use, great cooperation, employees are willing to help. Good overview of individual reservations including the booked extra's.

Meetings & Events Executive in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Oaky is easy to use and the team is very helpful. They're eager to improve which creates a very pleasant client relationship and cooperation.

Senior Meetings & Events Manager in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

It is an easy website to use and increase revenue for our hotel! The team is very friendly and helpfull and are always willing to assist with any questions. Also they're open to new ideas and collaborations.

Reservations Manager in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

- We love being able to surprise guests before and during their stay - The upsell tool works great - Guest satisfaction went up after using Oaky

Commercial Manager in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

The software works really well for us, it has increased our revenue and created richer guest experiences. The Oaky team listens to clients and consistently come up with new products and possibilities.

Director in Santa Monica (United States)

I love having the ability to let guests book extra on their reservation giving them easy (and convenient) access to amenities, needless to say the upsell is also good for our hotel - so it's a win-win. The system is really easy to use and their staff are always their to help if needed.

Front Office Manager in Noordwijk (Netherlands)

Oaky has increased the revenue of my hotel in very short time period. Also, the Oaky team is incredibly helpful and available.

Customer Experience Manager from Vacation Rental in Madrid (Spain)

Oaky is an amazing tool to optimize the (online) guest journey and increase the guest satisfaction. With this online platform we are able to send our guest pre arrival information, increase our incredemental revenue (by offering upgrades and extra services) and receive realtime feedback from our guests throughout there stay!

General Manager from Boutique in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

- Oaky is a tool which contributes to Rooms Revenue and Food and Beverage Revenues - The platform offers added values to customers - The design is user friendly - Oaky allows for our team to anticipate customer needs - The product is complemented by a great support team

Ecommerce Manager from Branded in Saint Julian's (Malta)

The software is very userfriendly. Whenever you have a question, the support team is very quickly to respond. The lay out is nice.

Revenue Manager from Resort in Tielt-Winge (Belgium)

I like being able to get in touch with the guests before they arrive in the hotel. Leaves a nice impression to be interested in what the guests needs and what the reason for there stay is.

Revenue Coordinator in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

It's easy to use (for guests and staff) It saves us a lot of time It generates revenue through upgrades and service offerings It helps us to monitor and improve guest satisfaction It is just great....we now couldn't imagine a life without Oaky!

Sales Manager from Boutique in (United Kingdom)

Easy to add or delete an extra service/room upgrade. Also a great overview to oversee the results in booked upgrades / services and the revenue generated with the extra sales.

Manager Front Office from Branded in Koudekerke (Netherlands)

Easy connection with them. Great services and customers services. Easy to set up and really profitable for small hotels who want to increase their revenue.

Digital marketing and communication from City Center in (Czechia)

Nice app, very user-friendly. Nice design with pictures. Easy to update. Automatic emailing well interfaced. The strongest selling point will be the team, very helpfull and proactive. Nice return on investement x10 as a minimum

Revenue & E-Commerce Manager from Other in Bruxelles (Belgium)

Great tool to make complaining guests happy guest before they leave the hotel and convert them into positive ambassadors of the hotel. Oaky is also a great tool to sell upgrades at the right moment in the guest journey before guests arrive on property.

from Other in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

It generates feedback and increases revenue and is very easily customizable. A great tool to make a stay very personalized. I love it that Oaky is always listening to our feedback and thinks along with its customers.

Front Office Manager from Other in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Easy to use, focused on the key features of the tool. Great look and feel.

General Manager from Other in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

- The various, customized possiblities for upselling, outside of the standard "room-upgrade" - Easy and simple to change and adapt according to your ideas - Very friendly and motivated Oaky staff

General Manager from Boutique

* Easy to adjust to own company design. * Possibility to make offers for different segments, length of stay or day of arrival. * Great helpdesk that come with nice suggestions for deals. * Easy accessible reports about sales. * Deals can be easily switched on and off.

Manager Revenue & Channels from Hostel

The platform is very easy to use. You get the chance to personalize every deal. The tool really generates additional revenue.

Assistant General Manager from Boutique

Our guests get a better hotel experience and they really love using Oaky. Frontdesk who handles the requests find it super easy. Back-end is super easy and intuitive as well. Oaky delivers fantastic ROI and provides our guests with a better experience.

Revenue & eCommerce Manager from Boutique

The Oaky Web App is incredibly easy to use both for the property when setting up and for the guests when their choosing services and/or upgrades. This translates into great results and a good increase in revenue. Besides, it's great to talk with the Oaky Family, they're very helpful and professional.

Revenue Manager & Marketing Coordinator from Hostel

Easy to use, little manual work and does not distract departments form their tasks. Time effective and can be completely tailot made to your individual hotels

Director of Hotels from Resort

(translated from Dutch) 1. The program is very easy to use. 2. Innovations and specifically targeting your target group is ideal. 3. Support thinks with you. 4. 2-way integration with PMS is growing better and better. Hopefully the 2-way option will be available soon for the upsells, not just the upgrades. 5. We have tested 3 months to do the upselling via Revinate, but this was a very expensive mistake. (average Revenue via Oaky is € 5000/month, with Revinate in 3 months € 6000 or €2000/month). In short, about € 9,000 less with Revinate upselling than Oaky. (Original) 1. Het programma is zeer makkelijk om te gebruiken. 2. Vernieuwingen en specifiek kunnen targetten op je doelgroep is ideaal. 3. Support denkt geweldig met je mee. 4. 2 way- integration met PMS groeit steeds beter. Hopelijk snel de 2 way- optie beschikbaar voor ook de upsells, niet alleen de upgrades. 5. Wij hebben 3 maanden getest om de upsell te doen via Revinate, maar dit was een zeer dure fout. ( gemiddelde Revenue via Oaky is €5000 per maand, met Revinate over 3 maanden €6000). Kortom ongeveer €9000 verlies.

Revenue manager/ Sales & Marketing manager from Boutique

- super easy to use software - very good support - quick and always friendly - easy and fast setup

Ecommerce Manager from Airport/ conference

Amazing product ready for today and tomorrow The set up is super easy and the communication between the software and any PMS is just incredible. We sell more services and upgrades than ever before. Just impressive! The team of Oaky is efficient and very professional.

Assistant Hotel Manager from Boutique

- Easy implementation. - Full control over offering, content and target audience you want to reach. - Helpful team that will develop additional app functions to meet business needs.

Revenue Distribution Co-ordinator from Extended Stay

Very easy set up You can change anything quickly Simple to the point reporting and always helpful when necessary

Revenue Manager from Other

- very user friendly - easy set-up - great customer service and follow-up support - planned 2-way connection with MEWS PMS - automatic Room Upgrades - practical ideas for improvements - great features for upselling products

Hotel Manager from Vacation Rental

This software is great! Once the setup is complete it's super easy to use. Our Front Desk easily handles all the requests coming in within minutes. Since we started to use Oaky, our ROI has been very good each month.

Booking Agent

Oaky is an easy to use tool for both, the hotelier nad the customer. The setup is really quick and the support is hands on about action that needs to be done. It´s fun to setup your own crazy upselling ideas and to reward guests by selecting services updfront. The reporting is simple and easy and provides the neccessary KPIs you need.

Cluster E-Commerce & Distribution Manager from City Center

Great tool to help improve on the up-selling front. Makes it really easy to set up deals, services and upgrades. The software is very flexible and easy to work with. Super helpful team all the way through from the first contact to getting set up and started. Support is fast and efficient.

Webcontent & E-Commerce from City Center

Oaky is clearly a system built for this decade. It is modern and extremely easy to navigate and to understand! During my years as Senior Revenue Manager I have been in contact with many suppliers and Oaky is without a doubt the best one I have tried. Return on investment? That was a done deal after week 1... What Oaky brings to the table is that they help you show all the things you offer. Guests wants to buy things and with Oaky they get the possibility.

Commercial Manager from Boutique

We save valuable time at the reception and do not miss contacting any guest for the purpose of extra sales. Very simple system to work with and it is quick to add and remove offers. The support from the staff is absolutely fantastic, quick and pleasant response. Our contact person Maria is amazing!

Front desk manager from City Center

-Great tool, really helpful in generating additional revenue -Quick and easy set up -Very easy to use -The team of Oaky is very professional and efficient

Revenue Manager from Branded

- They offered a free trial. In which we could really test the effect. And it works! :) - Easy dashboard - Good templates for mails

Front Office from Boutique

Screenshots

Features

  • Gift Vouchers
  • Segmentation
  • Upsell at booking
  • Pre-arrival emails
  • On property upsells
  • Future stay offers
  • Automated A/B Testing
  • Check-in upselling

Want to go behind the scenes and see how Oaky works?

Featured Clients

References

Enhance the guest experience and create extra revenue at the same time. The feedback we get from guests is always very positive. Gaby Maaswinkel Commercial Development Manager at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam
Oaky is the best sales person of my team. Jesper Lauersen General Manager at the Amrath Amsterdam
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  • Connect with real users to help answer your questions
beta

Active Markets

Pricing

Freemium (hotel can trial for free)
30 day trial
One time upfront purchase (per room)
Less than $500/room
Implementation fee
Less than $1000

Recent Ancillary Upsell Software articles

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9 CEO predictions about the future of the hotel business

by
Hotel Tech Report

IDeaS CEO Ravi Mehrotra: Revenue management will be the glue that connects siloed departments “I’m no Nostradamus, but there are quite a few areas ripe for disruption. In my opinion, there are two main areas we will see a major category shift in the next five years. First, I believe automation in day-to-day revenue management will become standard, resulting in a higher-order shift of the revenue manager and leaders’ roles. This is especially true when we deal with inevitable market upturns, and most importantly, downturns. The sheer number and complexity of the daily decisions a revenue leader must make will exceed their capacity, driving them to rely on intelligent automation to ensure they remain competitive in a fast-paced market. Second, revenue management concepts will continue to spread across more segments in the guest’s total trip compilation, from the time they start searching online to the time they are reflecting on their memories and preparing to plan the next trip. All of this layers together to show that revenue management will be a major hub, if not the major driver, between marketing, distribution and sales systems. I think we will see players in complementary areas start to link themselves together to drive a more direct connection to revenue, while delivering the right price to the right person at the right time.”   Cendyn CEO Charles Deyo: CRM will be seen as an operational tool and not just as a marketing platform. “We will see more intelligent use of data with AI and bots to further leverage the guest experience. Because of more integrations between technology systems and a higher flow of data between platforms, bots and AI will increase in learned automation and intelligence that can deliver more of the right messages, at the right time through the right channel. We’re in the process of breaking new ground with CRM technology as the core with bots and AI serving based off centralized intelligence. In five years, it will all evolve around the model of a central global profile for guests that references a sophisticated rolodex of data to help serve the customer’s desire for personalization at every touchpoint. Bots will make recommendations, personalize communications and adjust service algorithms in real-time based on data points. CRM will no longer be seen as a marketing function, but rather an operational tool that intelligently orchestrates how everyone interacts with a guest.”   SiteMinder CEO Sankar Narayan: Data will make it possible for hotels to understand their guests like never before. “The emergence of new players in the market has been great for competition and I think it’s forced innovation that ultimately hotels have been the beneficiaries of. However, I think the breadth of choice now available to hotels, coupled with the level of complexity that now exists to keep up with today’s traveler, has indirectly created further disparity that means, as a hotel, it is more overwhelming than ever to know which technological solutions are best and if they will work together to make the day-to-day easier, not harder. I think the disparity and complexity will continue to grow over the next five years, but it will be met with tech innovators that rise to that challenge and provide a way for hotels to benefit from a single, holistic, reliable solution that unlocks a world of potential guests and personalizes every relationship. That will be the pinnacle of data democratization and I think it’s coming.  There is a huge opportunity to ace the guest journey end-to-end. I think the in-stay experience has traditionally been the sole focus for hotels, as it’s what they’ve always had immediate visibility and control over, but of course we know that the journey began long before the guest arrived and continues long thereafter – if it ends at all. The explosion of data and technology has made it possible for hotels to understand their guests in a way they’ve never been able to before, and it’s an opportunity I think most hotels are missing.”   Travel Tripper President Gautam Lulla: Winning hotels will be powered by technology platforms not products. “Traditionally, the companies in the hotel tech space have focused on being very good at one “category” of product. Sure, a PMS company could offer a booking engine, but ultimately it was more known for being a PMS company. The new startups in the space have amplified this trend. But now that companies are starting to mature and consolidate (ourselves included), the lines are going to start blurring and it’s going to be difficult to pigeonhole a company into a product type or category. The industry is moving quickly in the direction of a “platformization” model, where the breadth and interconnectedness of solutions will trump—or at least bring together—smaller niche solutions.”   Revinate COO Dan Hang: Antiquated systems will go extinct and secure cloud based systems with open architectures will be the status quo “There’s a big opportunity for hotel tech to become more guest-centric by bringing together all of the industry’s raw and disparate data and turning it into actionable insights. Unfortunately today, a lot of the tech in this space is antiquated, unnecessarily complex, inflexible, and not really optimized around the guest. For example, the property management system, even by name, is designed to manage an inventory of rooms in a building as opposed to optimizing guest experience or driving revenue.  Future systems need to close the gap I just mentioned. They need to harvest all the guest data, make sense of it all, and provide the hotelier with actionable insights or automated campaigns that drive revenue. With this year’s launch of the GDPR and all the news surrounding data breaches, I think we’ll also see increased efforts in security and data privacy protection over time.”   INTELITY CEO Robert Stevenson: Front and back of house tech will become unified. “Digital technologies for the guest and the back office will be very integrated and standard at hotels. There may be different usages from property to property, but automated processes, streamlined connections, and seamless messaging between guests and staff will be standard across the board. It will feel like a near frictionless experience for guests who opt-in to being entirely digital. Guests, vendors and hoteliers alike will look back and wonder how we ever dealt with the mishmash of technologies and implementations we do today.”   Oaky CEO Erik Tengen: Guests will truly experience hotels before they even book. “I think in 5-years upselling will be embedded in native platforms in our phones, offered on all communication channels, automated, hyper-personalised, integrated with the total revenue management strategy and gamified for the full (in destination) guest experience. I imagine guests booking and playing VR games pre-stay to experience the hotel, and adding activities to the stay after testing them out from their couch at home.”   Atomize Chairman Leif Jaggerbrand: Revenue management systems will specialize in tactical revenue management or strategic but not both. “I think we will see a clear split between strategic & tactical revenue management systems. Building a strategic revenue management system, and building a tactical revenue management system, are two VERY different skill sets. I deem it pretty close to impossible for any company to be #1 in both of those categories, the people that have the right skillset to build a tactical revenue management system won't be attracted to building a strategic revenue management system. As both strategic and tactical revenue management is utterly important hotels will have both type of systems.”   Hotelogix CEO Aditya Sanghi Small and mid-sized hotel businesses will flourish like never before with access to technology that was previously reserved only for large enterprises. “We are highly passionate about small to mid-sized hotel businesses. For a very long time, this segment didn’t have access to great technology as service providers across the globe concentrated on the five starred community, like Opera and Travelclick. Things are changing now. Tech providers are focusing on this segment as adoption of technology lagged in this sector. The popularity of this segment has also been purely driven by market dynamics, where travelers are now choosing to stay in independents and smaller properties. So, it’s time to focus on enhancing the guest experience for such properties. The community should look at creating more services/products that are geared towards the guest. Treating them like 5-star guests by leveraging AI driven technology can be used to serve and monetize better.”  

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10 pieces of advice for innovative hotels according to top tech executives

by
Hotel Tech Report

1. Don't overestimate the difficulty of delivering a personalized experience “Hoteliers believe delivering personalized experiences is hard. I have always looked at technology as an enabler for innovation. With the right enablers, hoteliers can take advantage of technology to make personalization easy, which is one of the cornerstones of our eInsight CRM product.  I think either hotels don’t know where to start with their data, or they haven’t democratized access to the right people who can leverage it to drive home personalization. Hotels that standardize 2-way communication among systems and make data integrations a priority are the ones able to break through and outperform in personalization. Information is more relevant, robust and customized when all the systems are speaking to the touchpoints guests have in the journey.” ~Charles Deyo from Cendyn eInsight CRM “Many hoteliers believe that personalisation is not important enough to spend time on. But in reality, the cost of standardised digital communication, and generic upsell offers and promotions is enormous. Hotels are literally losing money with every guest that is walking through the front door.” ~Erik Tengen from Oaky Upsell Software   2. Place importance on vendor quality rather than size “Unfortunately, in this industry, the size of a hotel tech vendor sometimes is overplayed or overemphasized, while the quality of product and engineering teams is underemphasized. People often assume that large companies have better products simply because they can afford better engineers relative to smaller companies. This is far from the truth—I've seen very large companies struggle with their platforms and engineering initiatives. And I’ve seen smaller companies blow away the industry with their solutions. The important thing for hotels to remember is not to judge tech vendors by the size of the company, but by the quality and capabilities of their product and their dedication to customer service. It seems obvious, but happens more often than you think.” ~Gautam Lulla from Travel Tripper RezTrip CRS   3. Understand that artificial intelligence will not take your job “Hoteliers believe that revenue managers will lose their jobs when artificial intelligence gets good enough. I believe that artificial intelligence is going to make revenue management an even more valuable skill because it will take more insight and analytical rigor to stand out from the competition set in a data-driven world. Hoteliers are used to looking at PMS as a cost centre of the hotel. With the maturity of Cloud PMS, the paradigm has changed. A PMS should not be considered as cost, but as a system that will help them grow revenues and business. Also, for most hoteliers, deciding on PMS is an operational decision whereas I feel it should be more of a strategic decision.” ~Aditya Sanghi from Hotelogix PMS   4. Stop running your operations with pen and paper “Perhaps the most common belief I used to hear was that the Concierge didn’t need an application because they could use Excel or their logbooks. We obviously felt differently especially after spending time behind the desk and seeing the amount of work done manually and the importance of providing a tool to enable the team to be more efficient. We believe the role of the Concierge should be in the center of the hotel operation since their work touches so many departments and has such a significant impact on the overall guest experience. A good Concierge team does the job so well that they make it look easy. What is often not recognized or seen is the volume of work being done behind the scenes to deliver such a great guest experience. Investing in a tool allows the team to be more efficient and spend more time and attention on the guests. I believe the reason guests come back now is mostly because of the way the Concierge and other team members make the guests feel when they leave, more so than just having a beautiful hotel. Without a tool such as ALICE, it is very difficult to be efficient and create that great guest experience.” ~Adam Isrow from ALICE Hotel Operations Platform   5. Leverage technology to decrease staff churn “I think the single biggest misconception is that hoteliers think the solution to their traveler personalization problems is to invest in traveler facing technology and create an omni-channel experience.  The biggest problem hoteliers face is actually their staff turnover. What is the point of having traveler facing technology, without experienced staff that have the right technology to empower them to deliver on the brand experience?  Your staff must always come first if you want to truly personalize and fulfill your brand promise. This means hoteliers need to balance their traveler facing and staff facing investments more effectively.” ~Kevin Brown from Amadeus Hospitality   6. Place less emphasis on meeting budget in volatile markets “Hoteliers are not comfortable making changes to prices without knowing the effect it has on their ability to reach budget. In a volatile market, too much emphasis is placed on meeting budget and making safe pricing decisions that ultimately limit a hotel’s revenue achievement. Placing an emphasis instead on demand-based pricing will help secure the highest possible revenue from the marketplace. "Some hoteliers believe it is prudent to wait until business is strong and making more profit before they invest in “nice to have” tools such as revenue management software. That is like saying an athlete should wait until they can run faster before they buy good running shoes. It is the revenue management system that will enable them to maximize their yield and create the bigger profits." ~Ravi Mehotra from IDeaS Revenue Solutions   7. Embrace technology, software is cheap and extremely easy to use today “Most hoteliers are skeptical about technology - for good reason.  Tech companies have a long history of over promising and under-delivering.  As a result, new technologies are not often eagerly adopted by experienced hotel people.  They would rather "wait and see" before embracing yet another "shiny object" tech solution.  The last thing we need is another complicated software program that takes up all of our time and delivers little value.  Tech providers need to focus on the benefits of their solution and design products to require minimal effort for maximum value.  Don't assume that because hotels are multi-million dollar businesses that we like to sit around on our laptops all day - we have become successful by taking care of travelers - and each other - with the service and care that we'd provide to our own families.” ~Del Ross from Hotel Effectiveness Labor Management System “The most common misconception about technology is that it's too expensive. Hoteliers have this misconception because they don’t fully understand the value that the technology brings. They see it as a cost rather than as a profit center. Hoteliers often buy technology the same way they would buy a TV or a pillow. And because of that, tech vendors have been forced to limit their innovation.” ~Marco Benvenuti from Duetto Revenue Management   8. Don't ever manually price hotel rooms “They believe they can do good or decent manual pricing... but in reality there is no way a human can do even a decent job at pricing a hotel. The math behind that statement is really simple, there are two main reasons why a human has absolutely zero chance versus an automated AI system: 1) The sheer scale of the problem. If you're a hotel with 5 room types, 4 variations on each room type (breakfast/cancellation), bookable 365 days in advance, and want to update each price once per hour then you have 0.49 seconds per price to do your analysis and set the price. Even if you simplify the problem drastically, let's say you have a fixed additional cost for breakfast & cancellation, that you just want to update the prices once every four hours, and that you only allow your guests to book in the last 30 days, then you still only have 96 seconds per price to do the calculations and set the price. The sheer scale of the problem makes it impossible for any human to keep up and do a good job. 2) The complexity of the problem. It's important to acknowledge that no price is an isolated island, if you change the price of one room type for a particular arrival date then it will have an effect on all the other room types for the same arrival day. But that's not enough, it will also have an effect on the adjacent days as many people stay more than one night and some one-nighters are flexible and price sensitive. There is this ripple effect and you need to present the optimal set of prices, not the price that is thought to be optimal for one specific room type. Quite often the optimal price for one room type will have a negative impact on the overall revenue, and to calculate the optimal set of prices is both hyper complex and very computationally intensive, it simply cannot be done by a human. Humans should focus on strategic revenue management, not at setting prices.” ~Leif Jaggerbrand from Atomize   9. Stop paying massive sums for integration fees when the entire world has moved to open APIs “Hoteliers that its extremely hard and expensive to integrate different software solutions. Having built our own PMS with open API, I can confidently say that this is no longer true, and we stimulate hoteliers to integrate as much as possible to make their lives easier.” ~Matthijs Welle from Mews Systems   10. Use technology to create more personal interaction, not less “Messaging is impersonal, you can’t replace in-person interactions.” The aim of messaging is not to replace in-person interactions or even phone calls, it is to fill the customer service whitespace or void that exists today. There are a large portion of travelers and consumers today who are not communicating with your organization because you may not have the proper means. With the increasing influx of technology separating the hotel staff and guests (e.g. OTAs and Mobile Room Keys), messaging is one of the main components connecting hotels with their guests today.” ~Chris Hovanessian from Whistle

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The definitive guide to ITB Berlin 2019: 5 key trends that every hotelier must know

by
Hotel Tech Report

Last week Hotel Tech Report attended ITB to discover the most cutting edge innovations in travel and hotels.  Each year thousands congregate at Messe Berlin to connect with peers, partners and clients from around the globe. Below are 5 key trends that every hotelier needs to know about this year.  In this article we outline each trend, tell you how it impacts your hotel and give an overview of the companies that launched or showcased on trend products at ITB.  For those of you who couldn't make it to Berlin we also cut a reel from the show so you can get the next best thing to being there.   Check out Hotel Tech Report's official ITB Berlin 2019 Recap video above   5 key trends & takeaways from ITB 2019 1. Automation is going mainstream 2. Software tools are breaking down operational silos 3. Hotel software is moving towards self service 4. App marketplaces are soaring 5. Meeting venues are getting wired up   Our take on automation in hotel software Automation allows for time consuming, tedious and repetitive processes to be handled completely by software. When a task or process reaches the limits of the software’s capability, the appropriate team member is looped in to take over which is a beautiful thing. Let’s face it, if you’ve ever worked in a hotel you know that there are dozens of repetitive tasks that seem like a computer should be able to handle and in many cases perform even better, and now they can.   Automation frees up staff to focus on the things that those computers can’t handle like high level strategic thinking, trying new products and serving guests. Many hotels are still afraid that technology and the personal touch are conflicting ideas; however, innovative hotel groups are realizing that technology and automation actually enable them to focus on the personal aspects of experience in a way they couldn’t when they were bogged down with repetitive tasks.   What's new in automation? IDeaS launches Investigator to let revenue managers uncover the rationale behind automated pricing decisions by asking Alexa. IDeaS announced Investigator, an intuitive way to answer your management's question: How did you achieve that price and those results?  IDeaS G3 is the most popular RMS on the market and now clients can ask the system via Amazon Alexa to rationalize the decisions that it automates to provide transparency into the decision making process that is out of a revenue managers hands and handled by the systems powerful A.I. engines. Hotelchamp launches Autopilot to help hoteliers leverage web data and user behavior to deliver personalized web experiences to boost conversion.  Hotelchamp announced Autopilot technology, which wants to transform how hotels approach their online guest bookings and experience. Autopilot uses AI to deliver an adaptive experience that is tailored to every single website visitor, and is completely GDPR compliant. Using an A.I. engine to identify customer segments and audiences, Hotelchamp Autopilot can automatically serve the best information for each guest.  Autopilot has been trained using pre-populated content, insights from the Hotelchamp data science team, and millions of A/B test impressions. Using this knowledge and live insights from the hotel’s website, Autopilot recognises and personalizes the website experience in real-time to convince visitors to book direct. All Hotelchamp tools can now be controlled by Autopilot, meaning the system will only deploy the right tools at the right time to the right audience. This process happens in real-time and is entirely personalised to each individual website visitor and moment in the booking phase. Crave Scheduler enables hotels to send targeted automated messages generating $5,000/mo in late checkouts.  With the amount of times mobile comes up in conversation and the media, you might think BYOD (bring your own device) is the only way to go but the reality is there are lots of occasions where hotels just simply don’t have the ability to get a guest’s contact info or get them to download an app.  Crave Interactive has a unique, and near unavoidable, position in the guest’s periphery with its in room tablets that see upwards of 90% guest engagement. At ITB, Crave announced a new feature called Crave Scheduler that puts a unique spin on automation allowing hotels to set rules to send target messages to guests.  One of the prime use cases that Crave customers have been taking full advantage of is timed late checkout offers which have seen upwards of $5,000 month in revenue at Crave hotel partners who received early access to the feature. UpsellGuru announced "Auto Pilot" which automates the entire up-selling process.  Upsell Guru now sends targeted emails, calculates the dynamic minimum and maximum upgrade bidding prices, sets up the system to decide which offers to accept and when, updates the PMS - all fully automated not requiring human interaction. The new feature allows hotels to up-sell their rooms & ancillary services  without moving a finger. This saves hotels plenty of time and allows them to use the system without having to log-in on a daily basis. They’re initial trial was successful with a British chain of 30 hotels where they achieve GBP 65,000 per month in up-selling revenue without any manual human work. Quicktext showcased its website chatbot to help guests find answers faster while unlocking $140,000 in requests per 100 rooms.  With Quicktext, guests can book at your hotel through a conversation (on various channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Website Live Chat and SMS), something that has been mainstream throughout Asia (specifically China) via WeChat but has been slower to catch up in the West.  The most practical use of chatbots is on a hotel website where prospective guests often get lost looking for basic information.  A chatbot can answer critical questions instantly like “how far is your hotel from the convention center?”, “what is the best way to get from the airport to the hotel on public transportation?” and “can we add a cot to our room?”.  This helps shorten the time needed to research the hotel and in turn increases conversion into your booking engine flow.  Humanise.AI had Gem on display boasting automation of 80% of inquiries.  Humanise.AI announced automated web-chat for hotels ensures that guests get an immediate response most of the time, but can still summon a member of hotel staff when needed. When hotels use human-only web-chat systems, they often struggle to respond to enquiries quickly enough, meaning guests leave the web site before they get a reply. With Humanise’s Gem product, they claim to automate ~80% of enquiries, radically improving the guest service and improving conversion-ratios for direct bookings. SABA put its multilingual guest request and F&B ordering chatbot on display.  SABA Hospitality Technology announced a bespoke and fully automated hospitality chatbot (SABAGuest Request).  This multilingual chatbot and digital F&B ordering platform provides guests with a seamless communication experience, without the need for downloads. It provides operators the opportunity to eliminate language barriers, provide instant answers to all guest requests and enquiries, and engage with guests on their preferred communication platform: messaging. This allows for the redeployment of staff away from call centers and other low-value repetitive tasks, to engage in meaningful guest interactions that help build long-term guest loyalty.     Our take on breaking down silos in hotel organizations It’s no secret that hotels have historically suffered from siloed organizational departments because historically without better communication tools and access to data, teams were essentially on an island in their own physical locations.  Technology companies are starting to realize that their products and tools can help hoteliers to become more effective by aligning departments around common goals, systems and data. At ITB we saw a lot of this happening as evidenced by a shift where CRM companies are starting to focus heavily on the operational applications of their guest data where historically that data has just been used for marketing purposes.   Who's breaking down operational silos? TravelClick weaves Demand360 data into its Campaign Advisor toolkit to leverage market intelligence data to optimize marketing campaigns fostering collaborative efforts between revenue and marketing.  TravelClick announced the addition of Demand360 to the Campaign Advisor toolkit. Building on last year’s email send time optimizer, Campaign Advisor now allows hoteliers to take the guesswork out of marketing by providing them with recommendations on when to run marketing campaigns based on predictive occupancy in the market.  Demand360 is the hospitality industry’s competitive market intelligence product providing forward-looking reservation metrics and competitive share by segment and channel. Hoteliers using TravelClick’s GMS and Demand360 products will have access to current and projected occupancy data versus competitive sets to best identify the most valuable time periods to run campaigns, allowing them to avoid offering discounts and packages during peak market occupancy and place campaigns when they need it most. A huge pain point for hoteliers is knowing when to send promotions and emails to customers, as hoteliers do not have a clear picture of how their future occupancy compares with their comp set. It’s hard to determine the most valuable time to run a campaign. The Campaign Advisor and Demand360 integration, which is proprietary to TravelClick, takes guesswork out of the equation and enables hoteliers to leverage market data to feel confident that they are choosing the best time to run campaigns and capture demand. Serenata CRM announced Decision Maker, a solution that combines business intelligence with campaign management. Serenata Intraware's Decision Maker allows different users groups like owners, management, operations and marketing to view the same data but from different perspectives to get an optimal view of the hotel operation, identify potential problems and take corrective actions.  The Decision Maker KPI dashboard gives a high-level insight into revenue, OTA share, loyalty contribution and other key metrics and trends. Other dashboards give subject matter experts from operations and marketing the ability to drill-down and identify the root cause for a problem and based on this insight create marketing campaigns using micro-segmentation to mitigate the problem without changing tools or breaking the workflow. Cendyn announced eNgage which brings marketing’s CRM data and customer profiles to front line operations teams bringing the gap between marketing and operations.  Cendyn's next generation product empowers front-line and call center staff to instantly access guest profiles including historical guest feedback, membership information, brand-wide stays, social profile information and more. Used in conjunction with Cendyn’s eInsight hotel CRM, eNgage sits on top of a hotel’s property management system or call center application and intelligently guides staff to create authentic, meaningful encounters and upsell offerings based on guest history, preferences and loyalty status. This lightweight application can be accessed on any device and features configurable messaging prompts and data displays. Like all Cendyn products, eNgage integrates seamlessly with other hotel systems, utilizing an open architecture that ensures the accuracy and completion of guest information for all team members at every touchpoint in the guest journey. Cendyn’s eNgage solution allows hoteliers to provide the right approach to personalization for guests throughout their stay. eNgage brings to life all the data that hotels are collecting on guests and it displays it in real-time through an application window that always sits on top of the hotel PMS. For staff on the front-line, access to data instantly is critical for them to manage their workload and allows them to navigate every situation elegantly with customer service and upselling, so guests feel known and valued, not overly monitored. Fornova expands its business intelligence offering to create a cross department interface for data insights.  Fornova announced that they recently acquired HotelsBI, a hotel Business Intelligence platform. With this acquisition, Fornova now caters to all roles and departments in the property and chain.  With this acquisition, Fornova now has three product offerings; Distribution Intelligence, HotelsBI & eCommerce Optimisation. HotelsBI simplifies the process of analysing internal and external data sources thanks to simple, intuitive dashboards - enabling faster, data-driven decisions to optimize hotel performance. Revinate’s CRM is now being used by front desk staff and showcased the scalability of its platform on newly AWS servers.  This shift allows Revinate to scale more efficiently and ultimately open guest data to new departments.  Revinate showcased the capabilities that get unlocked when front desk staff and managers can access CRM data. MeetingPackage.com brings revenue management and pricing optimization to your sales team.  The Company announced a partnership with IDeaS revenue solutions to bring real time dynamic pricing to meeting venues.  When paired with MeetingPackage’s online booking engine for event spaces, this is a truly groundbreaking development providing hoteliers with real time insights to optimize pricing and a seamless, intuitive, flexible and real time booking experience.      Our take on self service software in the hotel industry This is one of the trends that we’re most excited about at Hotel Tech Report.  Freemium and free trials are ubiquitous in the software world but it’s not until recently that it’s broken into the hotel market.  The challenge historically with hotel software has been that you need to ingest data from core systems like the PMS to make any software work; therefore, it’s hard to offer a free trial or self service.  As the hotel software market moves this direction we’ll continue to see exponential upticks in innovation and sophistication. Another key reason that hotels don’t like trying technology is because even if they like the solutions that they try - they’re so busy that they don’t want to add one more thing onto their teams’ respective plates.  Long complex implementations have stifled innovation for years and lead to a massive trust gap between buyers and sellers. At ITB, Oaky cracked the code on this problem by launching it’s simple onboarding wizard which helps hotels go live in just a few simple steps.   Who's helping you take things into your own hands? Oaky’s new self service onboarding lets hoteliers start upselling in under 5-minutes.  Oaky announced an onboarding wizard which allows hoteliers to go live themselves, by completing a few steps. This reduce onboarding time and effort, and allow hotels to buy Oaky from marketplaces and go live without human touch. Inside the wizard they’re putting together many millions of upsell moments, and predicting the optimal upselling set-up based on the type of hotel and its guests. From combining variables around the upsell, with data around the guest and the property - they suggest the optimal setup for the hotel (what deals to sell, which content, and so on) which also predict how much conversion and ancillary revenue guests that have not yet booked will spend using this setup. In today's revenue management, the room rate is often based on the room and not taking predictable revenue from segments into account. This upsell variable can impact the distribution decision and help hotels better price their rooms.  When the revenue management system knows the upsell spend of a guest from various booking channels, they can deduct the distribution costs and end up seeing how to price their rooms for a more profitable booking. Some segments spend 20% on top of the ADR, which makes sense for the hotel to 1) have an upsell setup that allows for that, and 2) an RM strategy that takes it into account to acquire more of those (more profitable) guests. Atomize’s self service functionality lets hoteliers try out automated revenue management on their own time.  Atomize showcased its advanced revenue management platform that has flexibility that allows hotels to control as much or as little as they’d like when it comes to revenue strategy.  Atomize’s mobile first platform has been designed from the ground up with the idea that hoteliers should be able to go live and try it out without ever speaking with an Atomize rep. The company’s founder, Leif Jaggerbrand told us that he’s had clients come in that his team has never met from countries he’s never heard of.  This dynamic is widespread in the broader SaaS industry and companies like Atomize are bringing this dynamic to hotels. Cloudbeds’ PIE bakes new revenue management capabilities native into the PMS.  Cloudbeds announced PIE - Pricing Intelligence Engine. PIE is built directly into Cloudbeds hospitality management suite. It is seamlessly integrated with the entire Cloudbeds suite, including PMS, booking engine and channel manager. This helps hoteliers and hosts who want one easy-to-system to manage everything.  Many of Cloudbeds’ clients have never used revenue management software before so this provides a lightweight way for them to get started making better pricing decisions.     Our take on hotel software app marketplaces Marketplaces are nothing new to the software industry.  The reality is that it’s impossible for one technology company to be the best at everything.  Historically the hotel tech industry has taken a different approach where incumbents have tried to bolt all functionality into the PMS and maintain a closed architecture but that is rapidly changing as hoteliers are increasingly unwilling to work with closed vendors and sub-par tools. In response to the shift most forward thinking providers are taking towards open architectures, several innovative cloud PMS companies have taken note from tech darlings like Salesforce, Intuit and Apple by creating marketplaces.  These marketplaces facilitate seamless integrations and eventually the ability to easily try new products with the click of a button making it easier than ever to find the best tools to grow your hotel business. Cloudbeds, Mews, Hotelogix, protel and Apaleo were the latest entrants into the marketplace space each launching their own native marketplace baked into their PMS empowering hoteliers to easily tap into a plethora of best-of-breed tools to grow their businesses right from their PMS.  eRevMax was the first non-PMS marketplace on the market and Snapshot was next but SiteMinder and more recently BookingSuite are clear favorites in the race to marketplace dominance.  Hapi is also taking a unique and differentiated approach by building a marketplace that is solution agnostic.  Hoteliers should note that none of these marketplaces have gained significant traction from a demand perspective so the field is wide open.  While the idea has been around for some years we are still in the early innings.  Two-sided marketplaces require supply and demand to develop but those rarely happen simultaneously. Each of the players below has focused on signing supply/tech partners lately so it will be interesting to see which is able to deliver the best user experience and actually change the way hotels interact with their software.   Who's who in the rise of marketplaces Cloudbeds Marketplace.  On top of announcing its native revenue management tool, PIE, Cloudbeds announced the official rollout of its marketplace offering enabling its 20,000+ hotel clients to access a variety of best-of-breed 3rd party tools to mix and match to find the perfect fit.   Mews Marketplace.  In a blaze of glory Mews Systems continued its streak of creative conference displays to showcase its marketplace with this year’s theme of Pimp Your PMS (a parody of MTV’s Pimp My Ride) and its booth was cleverly referred to as ‘The Pitstop’.  In true Mews style, each team member was adorned head-to-toe in race car pitstop jumpsuits with patches for various apps that are integrated into their marketplace. Touche team Mews, touche... Hotelogix Marketplace.  Hotelogix Marketplace launched at ITB and is a one-stop shop for all the hospitality technology needs of a hotelier. It helps hoteliers find and evaluate best-in-class Hotel Technology products on a single platform. Hapi.  Hapi is taking a unique and differentiated approach by building a marketplace that is solution agnostic.  Why is this important? By being solution agnostic, Hapi's marketplace is freed from the confines of being locked into a single PMS.  In fact, Hapi offers technology partners (ie marketplace apps) a way to normalize fragmented and messy data into a streamlined and unified structure opening up the potential to integrate to multiple PMSs (as well as various other hotel systems).  Their marketplace offering enables partners to gain exposure to hotels on the platform and enables hotels to tap into other available systems that are connected to Hapi.  Although Hapi is a smaller marketplace with only about 30 partners currently, its connectivity to multiple solutions from companies like Oracle, Infor and Salesforce signals a great deal of potential. apaleo. apaleo announced its One connection, where data from all pre-connected tools within apaleo's store is available directly within apaleo’s property management system. No switching between browsers or systems. It happens all too often that hoteliers start off their work day organized, and then somehow within a matter of hours (or sometimes even minutes!), end up with dozens of browser tabs open and many systems running. Especially for front desk staff, it takes tons of clicks and searching around to find the info they need, when they need it. It isn't pleasant. With apaleo One, all the info that hoteliers need is visible within apaleo's PMS, saving staff time and creating a more seamless journey for guests. protel Services Marketplace (SMP).  While not quite its first appearance, protel proudly featured its services marketplace at ITB showing off its shiney new native ratings and reviews (syndicated from yours truly) to help hoteliers research, vet and discover the best tools to grow their businesses without leaving the protel app store.  Pretty awesome! From the protel team, “The SMP empowers protel customers to choose from a variety of certified and evaluated 3rd party technology vendors covering all the essential hospitality technology services, such as RMS, CRM, PMS and POS. In other words, it's THE App Store to start integration with protel. It's also the point of entry to integrations for any 3rd party vendor to showcase and offer their powerful services to our 14,000 customers around the globe.”   The protel SMP marketplace features reviews from Hotel Tech Report to deliver transparency for its users   BookingSuite App Store (by Booking.com).  BookingSuite unveiled its app store for the first time where hoteliers can use single sign on (SSO) to activate new apps.  Many hoteliers are naturally wary of relying more on Booking.com or giving them more data, but overall it is a clear strategic move by Booking to provide more value to hoteliers to mend their often shakey relationship. BookingSuite’s approach is similar to the way LinkedIn, Google, Amazon and Facebook allow users to login to 3rd party apps with their APIs. The difference between BookingSuite and these other tech giants is that they want to take commissions (into perpetuity) from technology vendors. The commission vendors pay in the BookingSuite App Store is 25% for year 1, then 15% into perpetuity.  If you are a vendor with an average monthly revenue of $800 per hotel and a 7 year average customer lifetime that means you'll be paying Booking $2,400 in year 1 and $10,080 over the duration of the contract to acquire that single customer. In our opinion, this fee will eventually be passed to the end user (hoteliers) over time and is just another form of integration fee. Google and LinkedIn give away this service free to foster innovation and strengthen their respective platforms. So while BookingSuite’s tech is innovative we’re concerned about their commercialization model and understand why hotels and vendors might want to remain cautious. eRevMax.  eRevMax rolled out updates to its LiveOS platform that allows its hotel clients to centralize the usage of various software applications into one interface using single sign-on.  While the LiveOS platform was one of the first to offer a marketplace offering, they seem to have fallen behind the competition with a limited range of apps available but seems to be pushing forward continuing to try to continue to explore the potential of LiveOS as a central operating platform, that can plug in various systems to help hotels make critical and time saving decisions across multiple systems without having to piece the data together manually.     Our take on wiring up meeting spaces for easy booking During November’s Phocuswright event Hotel Tech Report tried to book the rooftop of several hotels for a client event.  In order to book the spaces we had to go to the hotel websites and fill out a form, then wait for responses from sales reps.  Some websites didn’t even have a form so we had to manually email reps based on contact info from their website (that we had to dig around for).  Out of the 5 desired locations which were some of the hottest hotels in downtown Los Angeles - not a single one responded within 24 hours and 1 didn’t respond to our inquiry at all.  Then to make matters worse, by the time they responded the first question was ‘how much budget do you have to spend’. Needless to say, this was a pretty horrible customer experience so we decided to take our business elsewhere and avoided hotels all together for our event. Imagine if you had to write to a hotel to inquire about availability.  Now imagine that when you wrote, the hotel wrote back asking “what’s your budget?”  The idea is absurd. Hotel websites and OTAs have wired up the industry to make sure this would never happen again.  It starts the relationship off with a bad taste for the customer and completely undermines the intended nature of a collaborative ally that a sales manager should be for any client but especially given that they are a prospect who intends to spend thousands of dollars to throw an event.  Meetings and events contribute $325B of direct spending in the U.S. alone (source AmexGBT) - so it’s about time this highly profitable inventory  got wired up.   Who's laying the groundwork to wire up meeting venues? MeetingPackage.com brings channel management and a seamless booking experience to your meeting space inventory.  Meeting Package’s Joonas Ahola Joonas also announced his firm’s launch of a meeting space channel manager which allows  inventory and rates to syndicate not just on a hotel’s website but across a myriad of 3rd party channels that have popped up to help them find new demand to generate additional revenue .  Meeting spaces today can be booked on platforms like AirBnB as well as on niche marketplaces like Breather, Bizly and VenueBook. Venuesuite launches demand side marketplace to help venues and planners work better together online.  Announced its direct booking platform (or marketplace) that helps venues & planners work better together online. The platform significantly simplifies the RFP process and sourcing of venues. The time required to book a venue for a meeting/event is reduced from days to minutes.  Both planners and venues. It enables planners to find venues fast, book instantly and configure meetings & events 24/7. For venues it generates more revenue via qualitative leads & higher conversion rates as prices are shown upfront to bookers. Within 10 months 1,000+ spaces available in The Netherlands via dedicated venue partners who've joined the new way of online (platform) working.       Other notable product launches and showcases Business Intelligence Pegasus announced its Business Intelligence Platform. It's difficult, if almost impossible to transform raw data into actionable insights - it pains most hotel companies, particularly independents.  Pegasus BI combines guest data from multiple sources and deliver it with automated intelligence and an easy-to-understand dashboard. Hoteliers can gain immediate insights that allow their properties to increase bookings, revenue, occupancy and profitability. Revenue Management RevControl announced rate recommendations calculated by room type separately. This announcement is specifically meant for hostels where the rate difference between private rooms and individual beds in a dormitory is huge and unrelated. It is now possible to use a separate set of business rules for each room/bed type and link each room/bed type to its exact match at hotels in de comp set to get individually calculated rate recommendations for each room/bed type.   RateBoard announced revenue management modules for leisure hotels. RateBoard offers a special module for leisure hotels, taking historical  holiday seasons from different countries, matching this data with the booking window of the different nations and optimizing the forecast due to this important factors. HotelPartner Yield Management announced the implementation of success-based billing models.  The implementation of success-based billing models aligns incentives between HotelPartner and clients since they don't charge new partners without having achieved added value in regards to room revenue.  This is an interesting and innovative approach - we're curious to see how it works as demonstrating uplift is a really difficult thing to prove given market fluctuations and the massive # of variables that can't be controlled. Marketing Travel Tripper announced Real Time Ads & Metasearch Direct. These tools help hotel marketers minimize costs and maximize RoAS on their digital marketing campaigns. Real Time Ads is the first digital marketing tool that allows hotels to advertise—in real time—their rates, availability, popularity and more right on their Google search ads, delivering double the conversion rates. With Metasearch Direct, Travel Tripper has helped hotels generate 38x their spend on metasearch with our direct connect to Google Hotel Ads. Their unique commission model means that independent hotels with smaller budgets can play on the metasearch channel without any risks—and for less cost than an OTA commission. Travel Tripper announced ADA Monitoring Platform. Many hotels in the U.S. are in constant risk of ADA compliance lawsuits simply because their websites are not accessibility friendly. Not only does the TT Web team offer full-service ADA audits on websites, but they also have built out an automated ADA monitoring platform that performs website checks in real time to ensure compliance. Hotel marketers are immediately notified whenever an element of their site falls out of the accessibility guidelines (for example, lack of alt tags, color contrast etc.) Serenata CRM & IgnitionOne launched a next generation CRM partnership that combines both historic guest information combined with real-time intent data. By tracking and scoring website visitors interests and propensity to convert hoteliers can tailor messaging, content and offers, both on the website and in the booking engine accordingly to this data. The scoring technology also supports new guest acquisition by identifying unknown website user that show high interest in a hotel property or a specific offering from the hotel. Based on the interest and score, the visitor can be prompted with personalized newsletter invite. This approach has proven to massively increase the number of newsletter signups, something necessary for many hotels after recent introductions of privacy regulations like GDPR that eliminated a large part of the hotels marketable profiles due to lack of marketing consents.  The newly created newsletter subscription profiles are enriched with the interests and intent information from the IgnitionOne scoring engine monitoring the hotel website and can be used for marketing purpose complementing the historical data points already stored in Serenata CRM. With Serenata CRM and the real-time intent triggered personalization powered by IgntionOne you can deliver a true personalized experience for your guests and website visitors to drive incremental revenue. Integrator announcements HAPI announced it’s recent Salesforce integration following a 2-way oxy connect with Oracle’s PMS dailypoint™ - software made by Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH announced a data cleansing solution which allows hotels to automatically clean, correct, and de-duplicate their guest profiles and push that data back to the hotel’s PMS. The fully automated, AI-based process includes hundreds of steps, reviewing all key data points within the guest profile. It removes duplicate profiles, corrects mistakes made from human errors, corrects addresses for more than 240 countries and ultimately creates one single, accurate guest profile for each guest. This data is stored in the central data management solution by dailypoint™ as well as pushed to the hotel’s PMS so that data is accurate across all key sources. Operations Betterspace GmbH announced Smart Check-out feature with digital invoice and the Self-Ordering function, both for the digital guest directory iQ Tab.The Smart Check-Out enables guests to comfortably check out of the hotel and allows them to view and split their invoice digitally and receive it by e-mail. Thanks to this feature, long waiting lines at the reception desk are a thing of the past. Self-Ordering for the digital guest directory gives guests the opportunity to order food and drinks with the digital guest directory - without leaving the hotel room. Orders are sent directly to the hotel restaurant Both features simplify operational workflows, optimize processes and thus relieve staff and relax guests. This reduces administrative/bureaucratic efforts, saves time and money and the time saved can be devoted to what is important: hotel guests. Customer Alliance announced Customer Experience Hub extending their surveying capabilities from solely focused on post-stay reputation and review gathering into the full guest journey. The Customer Experience Hub allows hoteliers to customize automated messaging based on events through the guest journey to collect feedback and pipe it in real time to the department or team member who can act on it to recover fast, improve the guest experience and in-turn--improve review sentiment and gss scores. Travel Appeal announced Mobile Coach, a mobile app designed for on-the-go managers. By combining artificial intelligence with human experience, the Coach is able to detect even the most granular details from customer feedback. It’s the perfect solution for obtaining actionable insights about everything that really matters to a business. Review and operations  management, made simple. The Coach app not only improves and simplifies business strategies, but helps users manage and respond directly to customer feedback - reviews, posts and photos published by customers are
 delivered directly to your mobile. Uncover what your clients really think to offer the best experience and maximize satisfaction. Live updates and a seamless user experience allow managers to track competitors and monitor brand reputation while also collaborating and assigning tasks to staff members. hotelkit GmbH announced a HOUSEKEEPING module.  Their existing platform is used by over 40.000 hotel employees in more than 800 hotels worldwide. This new solution now focuses on all housekeeping needs and guarantees high-quality housekeeping standards through fully digitalized processes. Through an easy and modern paper-free task allocation, housekeeping processes are way more efficient. The workload can be distributed efficiently according to an employee's time and skill credits, thus, productivity is enhanced. Through digital checklists, quality standards are significantly high and the entire cleaning process can be monitored easily through real-time tracking. Smooth and efficient housekeeping routines are a crucial aspect in hotels, as cleanliness is particularly important when it comes to the guest decision making process. However, typical housekeeping processes within hotels are still highly inefficient. In order to be able to substantially increase guest satisfaction, hotelkit HOUSEKEEPING was developed together with several luxury hotels - among them the Sacher Hotel Vienna and Salzburg, and the Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg Airport. As all processes are digitized, fast reactions, increased quality standards, and high guest satisfaction can be guaranteed! Knowcross announced PANIC BUTTON.  Hospitality workers are subjected to an inordinate amount of sexual harassment and abuse, which is why as a technology provider we considered the introduction of  Panic or Safety Buttons as our way of giving back to the industry. Panic buttons give hospitality workers the ability to summon assistance when needed. PANIC BUTTON helps hotels to provide a safer working environment by instant reporting of harassment complaints by hospitality workers by using technology such as GPS and Bluetooth. Guest Applications & Devices Criton announced multiple property group functionality which was piloted with London-based Cheval Residences became the first brand to adopt the new product. Created specifically for the hospitality sector, the new product gives accommodations providers with multiple properties a platform to include information on each one within a single parent app.  With locations across the capital city, luxury serviced apartment specialist Cheval Residences are the first group to adopt the new technology with eight of their luxury properties contained within their new app. Group functionality is a game-changer for multi-property organizations like Cheval; enabling them to showcase the unique personality of each property while reinforcing their brand, increasing direct bookings and driving loyalty from new and repeat guests. GuestTraction announced online check-in to reduce queuing at Front Desk by moving check-in to pre-arrival. More than a third of guests polled (38%) indicated that a source of frustration was the front desk taking too long to complete requests.

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Digital Marketing for Hotels

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Hotel Tech Report

Before we talk about digital marketing we need to realize that digital marketing is just marketing.  So let’s start with marketing 101 inspired by a lesson from my favorite marketing professor (Kent Grayson) at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Today we’re going to focus on the leisure business. There are really only three things that can occur to improve leisure fundamentals at your hotel: (1) market growth (2) volume growth (3) market share stealing. Market growth can often be based on macro tailwinds like low supply growth and strong demand. Market growth can be catalyzed by one-off events like a sports team moving into your city or a wave of international inbound. Market growth can also come from innovative new products like Dayuse which allows you to rent previously vacant rooms during the day. “So the first step to tackling your 2017 budget is to capitalize on demand trends in your city then learn about innovative new technologies in the market. These will always be the most profitable sources of growth for your business.” Volume growth comes from increased spend with your existing customer base. Marketers have two critical ways to create value here: (1) retention marketing (2) ancillary up-selling (through services like Nor1 or Oaky). Retention marketing is all about bringing back previous customers. This is exponentially harder for independent hotels (or even brands) than it is for 90% of other product categories due to the geographic constraint as well as total expense (i.e. transportation, food, activities, lodging), consumption time (i.e. length of stay) and opportunity cost (i.e. taking vacation days). The lowest hanging fruit in hospitality is loyalty but while it's proven to be extremely effective when executed properly with a differentiated strategy, marketers have to realize that most loyalty is just bribery. Incentives are powerful but in the end the majority of loyalty programs just say, “please stay with me 9 nights and the 10th is free.” If we have $100 ADR and 70% gross margin we would have made $700 profit on this customer. Now we’re only making $630 (minus CPOR) so we need to make sure that $70+ was well spent. The way we do that in theory is by looking at the likelihood of a return visit prior to the “gift” let’s say 5% and then the likelihood after, let’s say 10%. So assuming that the next visit will be 3 days at $100 we’ve just increased our expected profit by $210 (or 3 x $70 gross/day) x 5% lift = $10.50. This is a single year calculation so we need to do this over the expected lifetime of a customer and run a present value calculation. “Loyalty economics are easier calculated for brands with a sample of millions but we can see how sketchy loyalty calculations can be for independents and smaller chains.” As far back as 2012, a McKinsey study showed evidence that companies who spend more on loyalty perform slightly worse than those that don’t (more recent practical experiments have been executed as noted by revenue management visionaries at Duetto). For that reason we have to make sure that $70 couldn’t have been better spent somewhere further down our P&L (e.g. guest experience, social media sweepstakes, etc.). I recommend a heavy focus on email marketing and CRM. Quality > quantity. Email lists are customers that you already know have awareness of your property so they convert at a much higher rate and are less expensive to educate (unless their first stay was below expectations). Best yet, emails are extremely cheap so they have incredible ROI metrics. The one trade-off here is intent - since your previous guests don’t necessarily have the intent to travel to your destination at the time of your email. Remember that sending promotional emails at the wrong time can lead to the dreaded “unsubscribe” because 87% of emails in user inboxes are promotional by nature. So if each guest in your mailing list has an LTV of $50 and you send a marketing email to 10,000 guests with a 5% unsubscribe rate you’ve just potentially lost ~$25,000 in theoretical value. Email click thrus (CTR) in the hotel industry average around 6.46% with a wide variance. That means only 6 out of 100 people who you send emails to will head to your website. When we look at actual conversions that number is closer to 2 in 1,000 guests. Start by building a healthy email database. This means centrally consolidating reservations data and capturing OTA guest emails. Companies like HelloScout can help you do that while improving the guest experience. Once you have that database built up you need to focus on conversion rates. Unfortunately, many hotel providers in the email space are based on legacy infrastructure and don’t have the sophistication or UX of mainstream CRM (e.g. MailChimp) so setting up with the right player is absolutely critical. Once you have the email infrastructure in place you’ll feel the writers’ block come on. “What do my guests want to see? What offers would they like?” “Experience based email offers convert at a rate 2x promotional emails. Telling New Yorkers to come for a surf lesson in Cocoa Beach, Florida while staying at your hotel on a cold winter day is much more powerful than trying to bring them back with a free room upgrade for a trip they probably weren't even planning in the first place.” Products like CityKey can help you create better content for email marketing and retargeting campaigns by building experiential packages with local businesses. They’ll onboard partners for you and set you up with digital fulfillment so that you can focus on driving demand with operational ease. Stealing share is the trickiest of the three but it can be a whole lot of fun when you get it right. Even when we are trying to steal from our competition, we need to start by understanding our customers. The typical guest starts research on OTAs (Expedia/Booking.com) or meta (Kayak, Trivago) then moves to hotel websites for more information. About 82% of guests have been to your hotel website prior to booking yet 57% of online bookings still come from OTAs. I actually don’t believe that there’s a “war” between OTAs and hotels. Yes OTA commissions are insanely costly but they’re handing us business by advertising our hotels and are incredibly effective at what they do (merchandising and price transparency). For that reason we want to make sure that we’re budgeting appropriately to advertise on OTAs and metas (I recommend ~2% of your digital spend). Better to advertise on an OTA than try to bid against them on Google which can get extremely costly since the 2 largest OTAs have larger marketing budgets than Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, IHG and Marriott combined (admittedly you'll have to do both though). Before thinking about paid search, social ads and Google Display Network we need to focus on our websites. Remember, we have 82% of guests come to our websites so we need to monetize them first! Hotels have incredibly low sales and marketing efficiency because many start at the top of the funnel before fixing the middle. Increasing marketing efficiency is by far the easiest way to steal share instead of throwing scarce budget dollars at the top of a broken funnel. Start by investing in a responsive website – I find it funny when people make this recommendation because it’s so obvious and easy (cheap too in any other industry) but here I am and many hotels still don’t have them. Also, make sure that your website is intuitive. Guess what? Target.com and Walmart.com have very similar shopping experiences. It’s important to infuse your brand but don’t get caught up in the “uniqueness” of your website - don't make your website so unique that guests can't figure out how to book or find local area info they came for in the first place. Be there and be useful. Focus on the things that are helpful to guests, drive purchase and are things they want to see but didn't find on an OTA/Meta. Location is the #1 driver of lodging decisions, so show guests what it’s like to experience your neighborhood.  Building unique experiential packages can have the same effect. Make sure your website isn’t static or promotional. The “15% off” popup that’s irritating skeptical guests on your website is sending them right to your competitors. Stop with the gimmicks and shift your strategy to experiences.

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Registration is Now Open for the 2020 HotelTechAwards

By Hotel Tech Report

Registration is now open for the 2020 HotelTechAwards (www.hoteltechawards.com), the industry's only data driven awards platform that recognizes best of breed hotel technology companies who win in the eyes of the judges that matter most - their customers. 2019 winners of the HotelTechAwards included top hotel technology companies such as TravelClick, Beekeeper, Screen Pilot, Atomize and Oaky. New York based ALICE won "The Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech" edging out runner up Mews Systems (10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech). "Revenue generation and operations have become very complex for hotels, threatening profitability and detracting from the customer experience. The answer lies in innovative technology solutions, which can disrupt the disruptors. The HotelTechAwards recognize these technologies and their beneficial impact on the future of our industry." says Marc Heyneker, CEO at Revinate, one of the hotel tech industry's most recognized brands and 2019’s top rated Hotel CRM. Companies are competing for category leadership across marketing, revenue management, guest experience, operations and sales technology. Hotel technology companies ranging from hardware to software and service businesses like digital marketing agencies are eligible for nomination. More than 40 companies around the world have already pre-registered for the competition. Registration closes on September 1st. Voting will take place through December 31, 2019 and winners of the 2020 HotelTechAwards will be announced on January 15, 2020. "As a former hotelier there was ultimately one thing my team wanted to know about prospective technology partners," says Jordan Hollander, co-founder of Hotel Tech Report. "We wanted to know what other hoteliers like us thought about the service providers, that they were tried and true and that the company could deliver on their sales promises. The HotelTechAwards were designed to do exactly that - they help hoteliers see what people like them honestly think about products and services to help them make better decisions for their properties." Learn more about the HotelTechAwards and register now at www.hoteltechawards.com

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.

Oaky Named 2018’s Top Rated Merchandising Upselling Platform in the HotelTechAwards

By Hotel Tech Report

  February 12, 2018 -  Hotel Tech Report has named Oaky 2018’s top-rated Merchandising & Upselling Platform based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries around the world. Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “The European hotel tech startup ecosystem is really inspiring and the Oaky team is an essential piece of the puzzle. The Amsterdam based team has created a SaaS product that keeps costs down while driving incremental ancillary revenues to their partners - it’s really a no-brainer.  Hoteliers love the user interface and the fact that they aren’t paying commissions on their upsells” says Hotel Tech Report’s Jordan Hollander. Oaky is poised for sustained growth in 2018. Hoteliers like that Oaky’s platform provides them leverage. Hoteliers pay a fixed monthly fee then maximize usage of the product to keep enhancing return on investment with automated up-selling of room upgrades, ancillaries and really cool services that guests will remember. Oaky combine storytelling with data to improve the guest experience while generating revenue. “After a short introduction and an initial setup we’ve seen the upgrade requests flowing in. I am still very surprised about the amount of requests and additional revenue it generates for our hotels,” says one Utrecht, Netherlands based Revenue Manager. Read the full review and more on Oaky Upsell Software