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Radisson's Director of Operations on the Science of Digital Transformation

Discover how Radisson Hotels underwent massive digital transformation by creating a personalized online check-in system, leveraging AI for guest personalization, and reimagining hotel spaces for profitability.

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Jordan Hollander in Operations

Last updated June 04, 2024

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Patrick Apostolo, the Director of Corporate Operations and Business Transformation for EMEA at Radisson Hotels, shares valuable insights on the future of hospitality and technology in a recent episode of Hotel Tech Insider. With a diverse background spanning entrepreneurship, digital events, and hospitality management, Apostolo brings a unique perspective to the industry. His role in leading Radisson's transformation journey, including successful initiatives like the implementation of innovative technologies and strategic partnerships, showcases his expertise in driving profitability and operational efficiency. Learn from Apostolo's practical approach to digital transformation and his emphasis on adaptability and data-driven decision-making in the competitive world of hospitality.

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Innovative Hotel Technology Strategies: Key Takeaways

Patrick emphasizes the importance of not planning technology based on budget, but rather on business opportunities and needs. He also highlights the need to be agile in the roadmap, continuously adapting short-term objectives based on the fast-paced environment. Additionally, Patrick stresses the importance of leveraging data to understand guest preferences and not making decisions based solely on assumptions.

Digital Transformation strategy: The episode emphasizes the importance of embracing digital transformation to drive profitability in the hospitality industry. By leveraging technology and innovative strategies, hotels can streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and increase revenue. Patrick shares examples of how digital transformation has been a key driver of profitability in the hotels he has worked with, showcasing the impact of technology on the bottom line.

Building strong partnerships: The episode highlights the significance of building strong partnerships with technology vendors to ensure successful implementation and utilization of hotel tech tools. By fostering collaborative relationships with vendors, hotels can effectively address their specific needs, drive innovation, and optimize the performance of technology solutions. Patrick shares insights on how to establish and maintain productive partnerships with technology vendors to maximize the benefits of hotel tech tools.

Continuous Improvement: The episode underscores the importance of continuous improvement and adaptability in technology adoption within the hospitality industry. By staying agile and open to change, hotels can effectively navigate evolving technology landscapes, meet guest expectations, and drive operational efficiency. Patrick discusses the need for hotels to constantly evaluate and refine their tech stack, ensuring that it aligns with business objectives and enhances overall performance.

Personalizating Guest Experiences: The episode explores the role of personalization and artificial intelligence in enhancing guest experiences within the hotel industry. By leveraging AI-driven insights and data analytics, hotels can deliver personalized services, anticipate guest needs, and create tailored experiences that drive guest satisfaction and loyalty. Patrick shares insights on the potential of AI in transforming guest interactions and shaping the future of hospitality.

Innovating Business Models: The episode dives into the concept of exploring alternative revenue streams and innovative business models in the hotel industry. By thinking outside the box and reimagining traditional revenue sources, hotels can uncover new opportunities for profitability and growth. Apostolo discusses the importance of maximizing every square meter of a hotel property, considering unconventional offerings, and adapting business models to meet changing market demands.

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Radisson's Tech Stack Explained

Patrick's approach to technology procurement and adoption is characterized by a strategic and agile mindset. He emphasizes starting with a focus on business opportunities and needs rather than budget constraints. Patrick advocates for being flexible in the roadmap, allowing for adjustments based on changing circumstances. He stresses the importance of long-term goals while remaining adaptable to evolving short-term objectives. Patrick also highlights the significance of leveraging data to understand guest preferences and making decisions based on empirical evidence rather than assumptions. His approach prioritizes innovation, continuous improvement, and a forward-thinking attitude towards technology in the hospitality industry.

Radisson has several custom engineered solutions in house all built upon an SAP hotel CRM and ERP:

  • D2O PMI (Profit Management Intelligence): Patrick Apostolo discusses D2O PMI as a tool utilized for profit management and daily P&L analysis in their hotel group. D2O PMI offers predictive capabilities for revenue optimization and financial planning. Patrick recommends D2O PMI to other hoteliers for its effectiveness in revenue forecasting, cost control, and overall financial management.

  • React-based POS System: Patrick Apostolo mentions a React-based hotel POS system developed in-house for transaction management and accounting purposes. The POS system is integrated with SAP for seamless data synchronization and operational efficiency. Patrick recommends the React-based POS system to other hoteliers for its customization, integration capabilities, and support in enhancing guest experiences.

  • Pulse Analytics: Patrick Apostolo mentions Pulse Analytics as an in-house BI product used for aggregating data from various sources such as Lighthouse, STR, and ReviewPro. Pulse Analytics serves as a strategic tool for revenue management, sales, marketing, operations, and quality control. Patrick recommends Pulse Analytics to other hoteliers for its ability to provide a holistic view of key performance metrics, facilitate data-driven decision-making, and enhance operational efficiency.

Radisson also leverages an array of 3rd party software vendors such as:

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THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
100 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
The data from Lighthouse is integrated into Radisson's Pulse Analytics system, which is used for various purposes such as distribution, sales, marketing, revenue, operations, and quality. This integration allows Radisson to access and analyze data from Lighthouse along with other external vendors like STR and RevenuePro within the Pulse Analytics system.
Product logo
Lighthouse (Revenue Insight) Business Intelligence
THE PITCH
RATINGS
100 HT Score
The data from Lighthouse is integrated into Radisson's Pulse Analytics system, which is used for various purposes such as distribution, sales, marketing, revenue, operations, and quality. This integration allows Radisson to access and analyze data from Lighthouse along with other external vendors like STR and RevenuePro within the Pulse Analytics system.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
100 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
Apostolo mentions HotelKit as a tool used in their hotel group for various operations such as preventive and reactive maintenance, housekeeping, and overall task management. HotelKit helps in managing tasks efficiently, improving collaboration, and exchanging information effectively. Patrick recommends HotelKit to other hoteliers for its ability to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and optimize maintenance processes.
Product logo
hotelkit Collaboration Staff Collaboration Tools
THE PITCH
RATINGS
100 HT Score
Apostolo mentions HotelKit as a tool used in their hotel group for various operations such as preventive and reactive maintenance, housekeeping, and overall task management. HotelKit helps in managing tasks efficiently, improving collaboration, and exchanging information effectively. Patrick recommends HotelKit to other hoteliers for its ability to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and optimize maintenance processes.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
0 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
Apostolo highlights SAP as a crucial software tool in their hotel group, serving as the backbone for various operations. SAP is utilized for CRM, ERP, business planning, and budgeting, providing a centralized system for data management and analysis. Patrick recommends SAP to other hoteliers for its comprehensive capabilities in integrating different functions, improving data visibility, and supporting strategic decision-making.
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SAP Litmos Hospitality LMS
THE PITCH
RATINGS
0 HT Score
Apostolo highlights SAP as a crucial software tool in their hotel group, serving as the backbone for various operations. SAP is utilized for CRM, ERP, business planning, and budgeting, providing a centralized system for data management and analysis. Patrick recommends SAP to other hoteliers for its comprehensive capabilities in integrating different functions, improving data visibility, and supporting strategic decision-making.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
0 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
Apostolo discusses MyCheck as a tool integrated into their online check-in system to streamline guest arrival processes and facilitate online payments. MyCheck enhances the guest experience by providing a convenient and efficient check-in process. Patrick recommends MyCheck to other hoteliers for its ability to improve operational efficiency, reduce check-in times, and enhance guest satisfaction.
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MyCheck.io (by Shiji) Hotel Guest Apps
THE PITCH
RATINGS
0 HT Score
Apostolo discusses MyCheck as a tool integrated into their online check-in system to streamline guest arrival processes and facilitate online payments. MyCheck enhances the guest experience by providing a convenient and efficient check-in process. Patrick recommends MyCheck to other hoteliers for its ability to improve operational efficiency, reduce check-in times, and enhance guest satisfaction.
Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
29 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
Radisson uses ReviewPro's data in their Pulse Analytics application. ReviewPro is part of the tech stack that Radisson leverages to make strategic decisions on revenue, quality, and operations. Additionally, Radisson has worked with ReviewPro for many years and has integrated their data into their systems to improve productivity and decision-making processes.
Product logo
Shiji ReviewPro Hotel Reputation Reputation Management
THE PITCH
RATINGS
29 HT Score
Radisson uses ReviewPro's data in their Pulse Analytics application. ReviewPro is part of the tech stack that Radisson leverages to make strategic decisions on revenue, quality, and operations. Additionally, Radisson has worked with ReviewPro for many years and has integrated their data into their systems to improve productivity and decision-making processes.
Learn More

Addressing FF&E Tracking Challenges: Radisson Hotels' Strategic Approach

In  a recent podcast episode, Patrick Apostolo, the Director of Corporate Operations and Business Transformation for EMEA at Radisson Hotels, explored the intricacies of managing FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) inventories within the hotel industry. Apostolo underscored the critical role of maintaining an accurate asset registry for effective FF&E management, highlighting the operational challenges that Radisson Hotels faced in this area.

The primary objective was to implement an automated system for tracking FF&E inventories. This system aimed to enhance preventive maintenance protocols and improve overall operational efficiency across Radisson Hotels.

Patrick Apostolo identified a pressing need for a comprehensive asset registry to ensure accurate tracking of FF&E items. To tackle the inventory tracking challenge, Radisson Hotels forged a partnership with HotelKit, a company renowned for its operational management tools. The HotelKit platform was tailored to include features specifically designed for tracking FF&E items. This customization also incorporated automated preventive maintenance schedules and streamlined housekeeping operations.

The new system was initially deployed as a pilot project in one of Radisson's hotels to assess its effectiveness in managing FF&E inventories. Ongoing feedback and data analysis were instrumental in refining the system, ensuring it met the unique needs of Radisson Hotels.

The new FF&E tracking system provided Radisson Hotels with a centralized, automated asset registry. This advancement facilitated efficient management of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The system enabled proactive maintenance scheduling, thereby reducing downtime and extending the lifespan of FF&E items. By integrating FF&E tracking into the operational workflow, Radisson Hotels achieved significant improvements in housekeeping and maintenance efficiency. The system generated valuable insights into asset utilization and maintenance requirements, empowering informed decision-making and optimized resource allocation.

Through the strategic use of technology and partnerships, Radisson Hotels effectively overcame the challenge of tracking FF&E inventories. This initiative not only enhanced operational efficiency but also improved asset management, underscoring the benefits of leveraging advanced tools in the hospitality industry.

Hoteliers, in the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality, the key to success lies in embracing digital transformation with an open mind and a strategic approach. From optimizing operations to enhancing guest experiences, the insights shared in this podcast episode with Patrick Apostolo, Director of Corporate Operations and Business Transformation at Radisson Hotels, offer a wealth of knowledge that can revolutionize your business.

By focusing on the three pillars of technology, people, and spaces, hoteliers can unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation. Embracing cutting-edge tools like Pulse Analytics and EMA can provide a holistic view of your operations, enabling data-driven decision-making and personalized guest experiences.

The shift towards a lobby-less hotel model and the utilization of artificial intelligence for full personalization showcase the forward-thinking mindset required to stay ahead in the industry.

As Patrick emphasizes, the key is to not only collect data but to leverage it effectively to meet guest expectations and drive business success. By being agile in your approach, continuously adapting to changing trends, and making decisions based on guest insights, you can position your hotel for long-term success in the digital age.

To dive deeper into these transformative strategies and gain valuable insights from industry experts like Patrick Apostolo, we invite you to listen to the full podcast episode. Elevate your hotel's digital transformation journey and unlock the potential for unparalleled growth and success. Tune in to Hotel Tech Insider and discover the power of innovative technology in shaping the future of hospitality.

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Jordan Hollander
Jordan is the co-founder of Hotel Tech Report, the hotel industry's app store where millions of professionals discover tech tools to transform their businesses. He was previously on the Global Partnerships team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his work with SPG, Jordan was Director of Business Development at MWT Hospitality and an equity analyst at Wells Capital Management. Jordan received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he was a Zell Global Entrepreneurship Scholar and a Pritzker Group Venture Fellow.