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The 20 Biggest Travel Technology Innovations of the Last 50 Years

by
Hotel Tech Report
5 days ago

In many respects, 2020 was supposed to be a milestone year. It has a pleasant ring to it, with balance and heft. It also had a convenient correlation to the optometrist’s shorthand for perfect vision. Well, 2020 certainly was a milestone -- but for reasons that no one ever could have predicted.  Given that hindsight is always 20/20, we figured it was time to look back on the history of travel and pull out some of the most important innovations in travel technology over the last half-century. It was a period of tremendous growth, with major expansions of the industry in all directions: land, sea, air. The tourism industry grew from around 165 million in 1970 to 1.5 billion in 2019 (obviously 2020 is an outlier here, so we went with 2019).   Technology was a tremendous force in driving this growth in travel, mirroring broader trends in technology-fueled growth across the global economy. So which travel tech innovations had the greatest impact and fundamentally and positively changed the trajectory of the industry? Here's a timeline of the most important moments in travel technology over the last 50 years. Each signifies a milestone that influenced travel’s journey, ultimately becoming a global industry that provides opportunities for millions of people. The travel industry is changing rapidly and even the dominant online travel agencies aren't safe from disruption.  New technology from augmented reality to next-gen social media like TikTok will continue to change the way we get inspired, where we go and how we share our travel experiences.  Pressing questions lie ahead as we think about the next 50 years and to predict the future it's important that we first understand the past.   The past informs our thinking around transformative questions like: If virtual reality becomes ultra-realistic will we still want to travel in the future? Will biometrics safety tech be so accurate that we'll no longer have lines at the airport? Will the internet of things (IOT) help travel companies deliver hyper-personalized travel experiences? Let's hop on a time machine through the last 50 years of travel innovation!   January 1970: The 747 officially enters service The era of mass tourism really took off with the Boeing 747, which was in and of itself a technical marvel. For the first time, tourists could be transported in large numbers across vast distances. Both leisure and business travel became not just more practical and convenient but also a bit more affordable, as airlines could lower prices by packing more people into a single aircraft.      October 1971: Magic Kingdom opens in Florida And with it began the relentless global march of theme parks worldwide. As the first expansion beyond Disneyland in California, it not only heralded the beginning of an era of mass tourism and packaged culture -- but also the idea that technology could enable more fluid in-person experiences: the entire kingdom was built one story above ground level to accommodate utilidors, the passageways that cloak all operations from public view. That preserves the fantasy -- and put the “magic” in the kingdom.     1976: SABRE opens to travel agents  Since going live in 1960, the GDS had transformed how American Airlines managed its bookings. But the real moment that mattered was when SABRE opened up to travel agents. This meant that travel agents could more efficiently serve customers and thus accelerated the popularity of package tours, resort destinations and last-minute travel. Eventually, of course, Amadeus and Travelport entered the market, further fueling travel’s digital transformation, such as OTAs making self-serve travel a reality.     1976: FOSSE installed as Marriott’s first PMS Dave Berkus wrote the code for his PMS in 1974, growing his business rapidly as he installed his property management system at more hotels. Eventually, Marriott licensed the technology, called it FOSSE, rolled it out worldwide...and proceeded to use it for nearly three decades! The PMS was a companion to existing Central Reservations Systems, which managed reservations externally but didn’t offer functionality to manage internal operations and the guest experience.  Today, there are nearly 700 PMS vendors, alongside other hospitality technologies that help hotels manage operations, reservations and customer relationships.   Legacy tech held sway for decades, but cloud-based options are loosening the grip. [source]   1976: Foreign currency exchange replaces gold standard With the Jamaica Agreement among IMF member countries, floating exchange rates became the global norm. Travel between nations would eventually be influenced greatly by the relative value of each country’s currency, creating a new dynamic in how travel trends unfolded around the world. Fluctuations in currency valuations would now influence the ebbs and flows of travelers based on their home currency’s relative strength and weakness.    May 1981: American Airlines launches loyalty program American Airlines wasn't the first to launch a loyalty program (that honor goes to the defunct Texas International Airlines). But it remains the world’s largest and longest  continuously operating loyalty program. Marriott followed closely after, launching its loyalty program in 1983. Loyalty would eventually become a billion-dollar business for hotels and airlines, who benefited from the rise of premium rewards credit cards.  An early AAdvantage loyalty card shared on FlyerTalk Forum September 1983: GPS goes public  Originally developed for military use, President Ronald Reagan opened the system up to the public in September 1983 after a Soviet jet accidentally shot down a Korean passenger plane. Since then, GPS has been the lynchpin for so many of travel’s transformation technologies. What would rideshare be without mapping? How popular would the iPhone have been without point-to-point directions? Would travelers be comfortable exploring new places in such great numbers without the help of digital maps? The cost would have been too prohibitive for any one company to develop this technology on its own.   A military GPS tracker prior to its public release [source]   January 1988: The first STAR Report  The STR report has become the world’s most indispensable source of market intelligence for the hospitality industry. With the Smith Travel Accommodations Report (STAR), hotels could use actual aggregated data to measure performance against similar hotels. The STAR became indispensable and maintained its place at the center of a revolution in data-driven market intelligence.   The STAR report became an essential part of hotel revenue management.    Early 1990s: Marriott creates Demand Forecasting System Taking a cue from the nascent application of revenue management in the airline industry, Marriott created a Demand Forecasting System for its full-service hotels and a Revenue Management System for its limited service ones (read the genesis story here, it’s a good one!). By building models to predict demand, the hotel could more accurately price its rooms and optimize its revenues. This strategy was obviously transformative and became widely used across the industry -- especially as cloud computing made revenue management more practical for hotels of all sizes.   October 1996: Microsoft Expedia Travel Services Expedia started as an internal project within Microsoft. Its launch in 1996 heralded a sea change in the way travel was booked. No longer reliant on travel agents and ticketing departments, travelers could now research and book travel for themselves. Eventually joined by Booking.com, Google and hundreds others, Expedia entered the scene just as millions of people were accessing the internet for the first time.  As pure-play technology companies, OTAs rapidly cemented themselves at the center of the industry.    An early version of the Expedia website [source] February 2000: Salesforce launches its Web API The first enterprise application programming interface (API) was launched by Salesforce at its IDG Demo conference. Its XML API was the first out of the gate, unleashing a wave of innovation as businesses could share data with other companies and customers in an entirely customizable manner.  As APIs proliferated, data silos fell. Organizations could build applications that pushed and pulled data across products internally, while also making data more accessible to external partners. This accessibility drove innovations around open APIs, which enabled hospitality brands to build customized tech stacks with two-way data sync, all at a lower-cost than legacy tech.     The original Salesforce site. [source]   2001: First review added to Tripadvisor Tripadvisor began as a personalized trip planning website that aggregated reviews from guidebooks. But a small button asking visitors to add reviews took off, with eager travelers leaving reviews en masse. As the first user review site in travel, Tripadvisor began to wield extraordinary power over traveler decisions. Hotels began to watch their online reputations closely, focused on both responding to reviews and getting guests to share positive experiences online. Yelp followed in 2004, cementing user reviews at the center of the online reputation economy. June 26, 2001 from the Wayback Machine.   June 2004: CouchSurfing and “live like a local” home-sharing  Conceived in 1999 and launched in 2004, CouchSurfing was a precursor to the commercialization of home-sharing by Airbnb. Alongside other sites like Hospitality Exchange, it offered travelers an online platform to connect with locals. These “hosts” would not only share their homes with travelers but would often become local guides, showing travelers a real slice of local life -- yep, this was also the original “live like a local” brand promise!  [source]   April 2006: Google Translate introduces instant translation While translation services transformed the way that we communicated across cultures, instant translation changed how we interact in real-time with others. Google Translate was the first mainstream instant translation service. Launched in 2006, it started off as browser-only and struggled to be accurate and sensible. Even in its earliest iteration, it was a tremendous help to travelers. Today, the app now supports 109 languages, with 500 million users translating 100 billion words per day. The app also translates photos and has a “conversation mode” so travelers can communicate fluidly with others. Instant translation also became a standard feature on Apple's latest iOS 14 update, which includes a Translate app that supports 10 languages. Users can download languages for offline translation and can also set up automatic language detection, which makes it a must-have tool for any traveler.   Google Translate’s simple interface made instant translation easy   August 2006: Amazon Web Services and cloud computing Cloud computing has been a fulcrum for innovation. Dave Berkus, investor and inventor of FOSSE PMS, sees cloud as central to the future of hospitality technology: “If we look ahead ten years, and certainly beyond 10 years, it would be easy to see a single cloud based system integrating everything from CRM to reservations to the accounting functions at the properties, all the way through all forms of marketing and follow-through.”  Amazon Web Services accelerated adoption of cloud computing by making it easy for companies to access shared server space on a “pay what you use basis.” Eventually embraced by Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle and others, cloud computing helped enterprises reduce IT infrastructure costs and increase flexibility. For startups, the technology was even more transformative, as it reduced upfront IT costs and simplified scaling up to accommodate demand.   [source]   June 2007: the iPhone changes everything After the GDS, which streamlined the buying and selling of travel via phone and online, the iPhone arguably had the biggest impact on travel. It was the start of the mobile computing era, which would eventually put smartphones in the hands of billions of people worldwide. Now travelers could take their computers wherever they went, meaning that they could make reservations at restaurants, search for things to do and, most importantly, stay in touch with friends and family while traveling. The smartphone became an indispensable tool -- and massive fulcrum for the growth of the industry, becoming cameras, contactless credit cards, room keys, taxi dispatchers, check-in counters, mobile travel agents and local guides.   The first iPhone on display in 2007 [source]   August 2008: Airbnb ushers in the home-sharing economy Originally called Airbed & Breakfast, Airbnb essentially commercialized the CouchSurfing model of connecting travelers with locals offering a place to stay. It gave homeowners a way to monetize unused space and fulfilled the emerging “live like a local” traveler ethos. The company would eventually transform the entire hospitality industry by expanding the diversity of accommodation types worldwide. Hotels were threatened, local governments bristled, and Airbnb grew to be a behemoth. The concept would rapidly expand to other assets, such as cars, boats and RVs, forever changing the economics of stuff -- and giving travelers an entirely new way to experience the world.   2010: UberCab launches rideshare revolution Taxis had long been a pain point in travel. From unknown wait times and handsy drivers to cabbies not wanting to go to certain neighborhoods and price-gouging at the airport, grabbing a cab was always a bit fraught. Now, with cabs on demand, pricing was transparent, wait time was visible and a driver’s reputation upfront. Travel would be forever different.   Early images of UberCab   October 2011: Apple integrates Siri into iPhone 4  Voice forever changed the way that we interact with our devices. The journey began when Apple integrated its Siri voice technology into the iPhone 4. As one of the earliest efforts in voice control, it was far from perfect. But it signaled a shift in thinking about the flexibility and accessibility of our digital devices.  The adoption of voice accelerated with Amazon's Alexa in 2014 and Google's voice assistant in 2016.  With all the major players integrating voice, it's now become a ubiquitous way to interact with our devices -- including the curtains, lights and appliances in smart hotel rooms!   Original coverage of voice control by Engadget.   November 2014: Digital keys become the next must-have Demagnetized cards are frustrating -- even more so when you happen to be in Vegas and the front desk is half a mile away. The first hotel chain to introduce digital keys was Starwood, who piloted the SPG Keyless program at 10 hotels in November 2014. Other brands followed close behind, with Hilton announcing a similar pilot later that year.  Since then, keyless has become standard across hotels worldwide. Digital keys also became a clever driver of loyalty, as digital keys could only be accessed by members.  Keyless entry also has become a major part of the vacation rental experience, allowing owners to manage properties remotely without a traditional “hand off” of keys. The ease of access was welcomed by guests, which often valued the self-service aspects of vacation rentals in the first place.   Keyless entry becomes standard as hotels partner with technology vendors worldwide.   2014: Uplift brings “buy now, pay later” to travel Even before Diner’s Club launched its charge card in 1950, most department stores offered some sort of installment plan. Then, as banks began to issue credit cards that didn't need to be paid off each month, America turned to credit and installments fell out of favor. Other regions preferred installment payments over credit, with certain countries (like Brazil) maintaining a strong consumer desire to pay in installments. In 2014, FinTech startup Uplift began offering its core service: a “buy now, pay later” installment option integrated directly into the payment systems of major travel suppliers. There’s also Affirm, which integrated with Expedia in 2016, and FOMO Travel, which offers interest-free payment plans for travel booked through its partners.   Uplift integrates within the checkout flow [source]   Bonus: Travel insurance The first known seller of travel insurance was James Batterson, who opened his travel-focused agency in 1864. For those who could afford to travel, the insurance was a must-have, given the risks of traveling long during that era. Today, travel insurance has become a global industry with a variety of options that range from stand-alone policies, add-ons to existing health insurance policies and benefits attached to premium credit cards.   Travel insurance is an important innovation as it provides peace of mind and confidence for travelers. Travel insurance that can be customized to individual needs offers a backstop to uncertainty for travelers. Of course, the global pandemic revealed how complex the product has become, with many travelers realizing that their policy did not cover COVID.   -- The tourism industry is one of the most exciting and rewarding career paths one can take - staying on top of travel technology trends is critical to success.  Did we miss any major innovations? Let us know over live chat so we can add yours to the list!    

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30 Ways Hospitality Experience Builds Character

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 week ago

Looking for your next career step in the hospitality industry - or outside of it? Whether you’ve just worked in the hospitality industry briefly or you’re an industry veteran, you should be proud of and excited about the skills you’ve developed working in hotels, restaurants, casinos, cruise ships, or any other hospitality organization. Hospitality work experience delivers a plethora of benefits that make you an attractive candidate for jobs even outside of the hospitality industry, and many employers specifically seek out candidates with hospitality-style skills and experiences. So if you’re polishing up your resume or just looking for some inspiration during the job hunt, keep reading to discover more than 30 benefits of having hospitality experience under your belt (and why employers are lucky to have you).   Organizational and technical skills A hospitality career presents an ideal opportunity to develop a variety of skills that you will use throughout your career - wherever your career path leads.  Communication skills: Any hospitality job, from a front desk agent to a line cook, requires strong communication skills. You’ll learn how to communicate effectively with even the most difficult of guests or communicate efficiently during events or busy rushes. In addition to verbal communication with internal audiences (colleagues and leaders) and external audiences (guests), many jobs set you up to master written communication too. Listening skills: Of course, you can’t have good communication skills without strong listening skills! For example, you’ll practice listening skills when getting to the root of a guest’s complaint or learning about a new policy or procedure.  Problem-solving experience: At the heart of many hospitality jobs is service recovery - or problem-solving. Ever turned a guest’s horrible stay around into a positive one? Or figured out how to accommodate new reservations in an almost full house? These are all examples of problem-solving in action. Customer service expertise: The goal of every hospitality job is to deliver great service. You’ll master not only service recovery, but you’ll also learn to proactively create a fantastic experience for the guest, diner, or customer. Tech-savvy: Hospitality jobs across the industry now include a technology component, as many roles rely on various digital tools and systems throughout the workday. Your position might give you a chance to become an expert in point of sale systems, property management systems, marketing software, and more. Attention to detail: If you’ve had any hospitality experience, you know that attention to detail is crucial to delivering a great guest experience. Every task requires you to be detail-oriented, from taking a lunch order for a guest who’s allergic to shellfish to carefully loading all of a guest’s luggage into their car upon check-out. Upselling: Front desk agents, restaurant servers, and bartenders get the chance to master the art of the upsell. These roles teach you how to identify needs and sell effectively - which are important skills to know even if your career path takes you to a different industry. Handling of sensitive data: Many roles in hotels or restaurants require handling of credit card information, dates of birth, government IDs, and other sensitive data. By learning how to safely and securely handle this data, you can prove that you’re a trustworthy employee comfortable with that responsibility. Continuing education: Want to learn skills that will take your career to the next level? Many hospitality companies have continuing education and training programs that help you become a better manager and leader. Your hotel or restaurant may also offer trainings that don’t relate specifically to your role but are still interesting and engaging - like wine tasting classes or menu tastings. Transferable skills: Just because hospitality work experience is on your resume doesn’t mean you need to stay in the hospitality industry forever. In fact, the skills you’ve honed by working in hospitality, like communication skills and flexibility, are easily transferable to a slew of other industries. Hospitality experience is actually a great launchpad to start a career in a different vertical, such as business, education, medicine, entertainment, technology, public service, and more - even celebrities like Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga worked in hotels and restaurants before their famous careers took off!  Resume-ready experience: Speaking of transferable skills, if you’re applying to customer service jobs outside of the hospitality sector, for example, you probably don't need to make many changes to your resume. Stats like number of calls taken per day, numbers of guests assisted, and guest satisfaction scores are all relevant to similar roles in other industries.    People skills One of the top benefits of hospitality management experience is that these jobs give you endless opportunities to develop people skills through customer experience interactions. Front-of-house roles, in particular, teach you to be more patient and flexible when working with guests. And all hospitality roles give you a chance to become a better team player and to grow your personal network. Conversational skills: If you work in a front-of-house role like check-in or concierge, you were probably a people person even before you were hired. But if not, you’ve probably gotten ample opportunity to practice your conversational skills, since engaging conversation is a key to making people feel welcome, important, and appreciated. Flexibility: Have you ever experienced an unexpected situation in your hospitality job? Most industry veterans have story after story of crazy situations which required them to think on the fly and be flexible in order to find a solution. In a hospitality role, you’ll probably, at times, need to help out in other departments or try something new, tasks which also give you the chance to embrace flexibility. Emotional intelligence: If you’ve ever been taught to anticipate a guest’s needs, then you’ve been trained to use your emotional intelligence. By reading small signals like the guest’s tone of voice and body language, you can uncover more about their wants and needs then they might even be able to tell you. Emotional intelligence is a powerful skill to master no matter where your career path takes you. Teamwork: Nearly every hospitality business has more than one employee, so you’ll likely be working on a team no matter which kind of hospitality organization you’re a part of. A great hotel or restaurant runs like a well-oiled machine, which means you’ll have the opportunity to become a better team player.  From cleaning hotel rooms to proactively handling service requests - hospitality is a team sport through and through. Leadership skills: Many hospitality organizations are hierarchical, and if you’ve started in an entry-level role, it probably won’t take long for you to get promoted to a supervisory role. Hotels and restaurants are the perfect training grounds for future managers and leaders since you can work up to managing teams of people with increasing responsibility. Patience: Whether you’re an entry-level employee or a manager, working in a hotel or restaurant will certainly teach you to be patient - not just an important career skill, but an important life skill too. Empathy: Sometimes we complain about our guests’ demands, but at the end of the day, hospitality professionals truly care. Working in the hospitality industry helps you develop empathy when you put yourself in your guest’s shoes to better understand their wants, needs, and frustrations.  Integrity: Working in a hotel offers many opportunities for you to do the right thing - sometimes instead of the easy thing. Maybe you’ve stopped a guest from driving home after a few too many drinks at the lobby bar, for example. Being a person of integrity will help you succeed in your career and in life. Confidentiality: Hospitality businesses must often keep secrets, like about high-profile guests in-house, which means every employee is entrusted with confidential matters. Working in a role that requires confidentiality proves you can be trusted with sensitive data and a high level of responsibility. Experience working with people from different backgrounds: One of the most enriching parts of working in hospitality is working with colleagues from every walk of life. It’s not uncommon to hear a variety of languages spoken in the employee locker room or work alongside people from around the world. These experiences help you appreciate diversity and become a more effective and empathetic leader. Valuable network: In addition to your colleagues, hospitality professionals have the chance to meet interesting people every day - from guests to managers to vendors. Your expansive network might lead you to opportunities you wouldn’t have known about otherwise, or perhaps one of your connections could become your employee in the future.  International experience: Working with and serving people from different cultures might not be the only international exposure you gain from a hospitality job; hospitality is a global industry, so you might also get the chance to work abroad. International work experience gives you the opportunity to learn a new language, understand different customs, and open your eyes to other cultures.   Unique perks that only a hospitality job provides Hospitality jobs don’t only pad your resume with in-demand skills, they also offer some amazing perks that you’ll never find in a traditional office job. Debating whether to switch industries? This list just might entice you to stay in hospitality. Free hotel stays: What’s one of the best benefits of working in the hotel industry? Comp nights! Besides just being a fun perk, experiencing hospitality from the guest’s perspective can help you see opportunities for improvement in your own organization or career. Career growth within one property: Hospitality businesses, especially hotels, are hierarchical, and there’s a clear trajectory to the top - the role of general manager. If you’re determined to become a GM someday, you can work your way up from an entry-level role at the same hotel. Career growth within a brand: If you work for a large hotel company like Marriott or Hilton, opportunities for internal transfers abound. If you’re a front desk manager in one city, you can likely earn the chance to transfer to a similar role at sister property in the location of your choice. International opportunities: As you move up in your hospitality career, you might also consider working abroad. Many hotel brands and groups have international transfer programs that help you sort out visas, temporary housing, and language skills to make a move to a new country easier than if you were to go at it alone. Work where people vacation: Forget the stuffy office building, if you have a career in hospitality, you might have the chance to work in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world - places where people visit on bucket-list vacations and honeymoons. Even if the hours are long, time flies when you’re surrounded by jaw-dropping architecture and picture-perfect scenery. Making a guest’s day: As a hospitality professional, you might be responsible for making guests’ dreams come true. Maybe you’re helping pull off a surprise engagement party or giving a young guest a stuffed animal; there’s a special kind of satisfaction that comes with knowing you played a role in memories for a lifetime.  Industry nights: That hospitality bond doesn’t end at the doors of your hotel or restaurant; the entire industry forms a sort of family, and many cities are home to a thriving culture of hospitality professionals. It’s common to find discounts for industry employees at local bars or special events only open to hospitality workers. Camaraderie: Hotel and restaurant employees make up one big family. There’s a special bond that forms between hospitality workers as the result of hard work, long hours, and crazy situations that you get through together.   -- Whether you're in event planning at an urban boutique hotel, a bellhop at a remote resort customer or even hotel manager at a roadside motel - customer satisfaction is everything in hospitality. These customer interactions will groom you to be a better person in both your professional and personal life.  Hotel management may seem like a challenging career path especially in the wake of the pandemic that hit last year but the pros far outweigh the cons to this fulfilling lifestyle. Did we miss any fantastic benefits of hospitality experience? Let us know!

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Net Operating Income (NOI): What is it? How Do You Calculate it?

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 weeks ago

We love metrics in hospitality and real estate. From RevPAR to ADR, tracking key metrics are what allows us to understand our performance, improve operations and ultimately drive profitability for management and owners. But what's the point of working so hard operating a hotel if you are not making money once all expenses are paid? Cash flow is king! That’s where net operating income comes in: it shows you how well you’re doing at managing expenses and turning top-line revenue into bottom-line profit. In this article, you’ll see the value of NOI by learning both how to calculate it and how to translate it into operational improvements at your hotel. What is NOI (Net Operating Income)? NOI, which stands for net operating income, is the amount of money left after you have paid out all of your expenses. It's a profitability metric that shows you how well a hotel operates, from both a total revenue standpoint and total expenses standpoint. NOI is less prone to manipulation than other metrics, as you can’t really perform too many tricks to inflate income or reduce expenses. You may also see this metric as net operating profit, or NOP.   Understanding the NOI Formula (NOI Calculations) NOI = Gross Operating Income - Operating Expenses and can be found at the very bottom of your income statement.  Property owners focus on this metric because it tells them a lot about property value, potential rate of return on investment and even impacts financing costs like mortgage payments since banks and lenders want to know that there's enough income to cover interest payments. NOI can also be expressed as a percentage of total revenue, which is how hotel management can easily identify upward and downward trends in profitability. In that case, the formula is: NOI = (Gross Income - Operating Expenses/Gross Income)*100. Gross income would include all potential rental income a property generates, from both rooms and non-room lines of business. Operating costs are all expenses necessary to maintain and operate the business. Among these expenses are insurance, brand fees, property management fees, utilities, property taxes, repair cost and maintenance (even preventive maintenance), payroll, commissions and anything else related to day-to-day operations.  Not included here are any expenses related to debt payments, income taxes, capital expenditures, depreciation and amortization.  Given the relationships in the formula, you can increase net operating income in two ways: increase revenue or reduce expenses. Ideally, you'd like to do both! If you successfully increase income and reduce expenses, you'll see a much more powerful impact on NOI than doing one over the other. Other factors that influence NOI include a property’s ADR, the market segment it serves and the property’s characteristics, such as age, amenities and location -- all things that affect a property’s income potential and overall cost structure.    Why is NOI so Important to Commercial Real Estate Owners? Every facet of real estate investment is based around NOI since investment properties are valued and compared by a metric called capitalization rate (cap rate).  We'll get deeper into cap rate in a future article but the value of a hotel can generally be measured by dividing NOI by cap rate.  Let's say a hotel does $1M in NOI and it's located in downtown San Francisco with a cap rate of 6%.  That hotel's value would likely hover around 1,000,000/.06 or $16.7M.  See why NOI is so important to hotel owners? But wait, there's more.  It's not only real estate investors care about NOI - lenders typically base their willingness to lend on the amount of earnings before interest (EBIT) that a property can generate.  EBIT is equal to NOI + interest expense + taxes.  Whether you own a hotel, rental property or own any other kind of commercial property, understanding the net operating income formula (and how to grow NOI) is critical to your success. Ultimately we use a lot of terms and acronyms in real estate investing but ultimately we want to know how we're doing relative to comparable properties.  Understanding NOI informs our investment decisions and are more important now than ever before. How to Influence Your Hotel’s NOI Since NOI is a fundamental metric for calculating a hotel's ability to generate profit, it correlates directly to hotel valuation -- and thus a focus for owners and management: Hotels with healthy/growing NOI will be valued more highly than those with low/diminishing NOI. And those with negative numbers? That would be Net Operating Loss, or NOL. Not a place ownership wants to be! Here are three tactics to influence your hotel’s net operating income and make your boss happy! Expense Reduction's Impact on NOI NOI benchmarks operational efficiency and helps you identify areas for improvement in your hotel operations. A simple way to turn NOI into a powerful tool for expense management is to track variable costs as percentages of revenue. You won't do this with your fixed costs, as those don’t fluctuate with occupancy. It’s your variable costs, which go up or down alongside occupancy, that you have direct control over each day.  For instance, rent, management payroll and other overhead expenses are fixed; they don’t change each month and you have little control over them. But, for expenses that you can influence, such as front-line labor, linen usage, third-party commissions and cleaning supplies, you can control these on a daily basis.   By tracking these variable costs as a percentage of revenue, you can easily see trends and catch runaway costs before they become problematic and depress NOI. For the most precise control over expenses, monitor your NOI on a daily basis so that you can adjust operations on the fly and keep your finger on the pulse of profitability.  RevPAR's Impact on NOI Growth Of course, increasing revenue also has a positive impact on NOI. After all, you can only cut expenses so far because each property has fixed overhead costs. And aggressively slashing costs can negatively impact the guest experience -- a short sighted move that ends up making it more difficult to maintain desired occupancy levels. Work closely with revenue management and marketing to create compelling campaigns that are targeted to the right people. That means that you aren’t just discounting rates in pursuit of occupancy. You are carefully marketing your hotel in a way that attracts the best guests who are paying rates that don’t jeopardize your pricing power.  Marketing to your most loyal guests is a great way to both boost occupancy and preserve ADR. These guests are already familiar with your hotel, so there’s less education needed. And, even better, these guests are often less price-sensitive than transient guests booking via a third-party. So you have an easier path to booking, one that doesn’t require “race to the bottom” discounting.  NOI Can Benefit Greatly From Upsells and Ancillary Add-ons The third tactic to influence net operating income is to increase income from other areas of the property beyond just putting more heads in beds. This can include a variety of initiatives, such as focusing on upselling guests after booking and offering incentives to book packages that include ancillary services.  You should also do what you can to maximize revenue from guests once they have arrived on property. You've got a relatively captive audience; thoughtfully optimize the on-property experience to entice guests to spend more during their stay. This could include things like a generous happy hour at the bar, merchandising efforts to highlight your property’s culinary delights or a welcome drink that gets guests ready to grab a bite.  NOI During A Pandemic or Downturn Major asterisk: the pandemic has dramatically restricted the ability of hotels to increase revenue. There's not just lower demands but there's also limited capacity. In this environment, NOI is even more valuable. To stay afloat with revenue harder to come by, you must assiduously track expenses. Those that carefully manage expenses will be more likely to survive than those without a strong focus on NOI.  

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What is Property Management? The Beginner's Guide to Building Your Empire

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 weeks ago

Curious about property management? Whether you own an investment property, you're a property manager - or even just looking to break into the industry - you’ll gain a solid introduction to property management in this article. By the end of this page, you’ll know the differences between a property management company and an individual property manager and understand the benefits of using one or the other. Let’s get started!   Property Management Defined In short, property management is the operation and oversight of real estate assets. Property managers can work with residential properties, such as apartments, condominiums, townhouses, or detached single-family homes, or commercial properties, like shopping centers and office buildings. Property management serves as the bridge between the property owner and the tenant, and the property manager often handles maintenance and physical upkeep in addition to driving revenue and interfacing with tenants or guests. Types of Rental Properties When it comes to residential rentals, properties that look the same on the outside can be managed in completely different ways. Residential rentals can be split into two categories: short-term rentals and traditional long-term rentals. Depending on the goals and preferences of homeowners, they might decide to focus on short-term or long-term rentals. Short-term rental properties are made available for stays less than one month in duration. Some short-term rentals allow nightly reservations while others focus on weekly stays. Short-term rentals are an alternative to hotels for vacations or business trips; they’re fully furnished and usually come stocked with linens, toiletries, and kitchenware. The phrase “short-term rental” often refers to urban apartments that allow short stays, while “vacation rental” or “vacation home” refers to detached houses available for short stays. Long-term rentals, on the other hand, generally only allow stays longer than one month, and it’s not uncommon to find traditional rentals that have a 1-year minimum leasing term. These properties are usually unfurnished. Tenants can bring their own furniture, set up their own utilities, and make the place feel like home with their own decor.   Property Management Structures In some cases, the property owner manages their own property, but many owners choose to outsource the hassle of property management activities to a professional, whether that be a real estate agent, an individual property manager, or a property management company. In all of these structures, the owner pays the property manager a fee or commission for their services and pricing varies based on the level of service provided.  Some service providers only handle key hand-offs while others may manage multiple units within a larger multi-family complex and handle other facets of the operation such as: listing sites,  maintenance requests, rental income accounting, setting up VR management software and even managing housekeeping services. In popular leisure destinations, it’s common to see real estate brokers that double as property managers. Why? Many of the broker’s clients are purchasing vacation rental homes that they want to rent out during the parts of the year they’re not using the property. These broker-managers offer deep expertise in the local market and in the real estate and property management fields. Other owners might choose to hire an individual property manager to handle all property management activities. An individual property manager will be dedicated to the property and know all the ins and outs of the property, the market, and the tenants or guests. Professional property management companies also bring a wealth of experience and access to relationships with construction companies, travel agents, and other relevant connections. Some property management companies focus on a specific niche, like condos at a specific ski resort, while others manage hundreds of vacation homes of various sizes and price ranges across the world.   A Day in the Life of a Property Manager What exactly does a property manager do? Whether a company or an individual manages the property, the operational tasks will be quite similar. Property managers have two main responsibilities: maintain the physical property and handle the business aspects of the property’s operations. From a maintenance perspective, the property manager would respond to any alerts of damage or maintenance issues. If a tenant or guest notifies the property manager that there’s a leak in the bathroom, the property manager will contact a plumber and ensure the issue is resolved. The property manager will also schedule seasonal maintenance, such as winterizing pipes or cleaning gutters. The property manager is also the link between the owner and the tenant or guest. At short-term rental properties, the property manager advertises the property, manages reservations, ensures guest satisfaction, and schedules cleanings between stays. At long-term rental properties, the property manager also advertises the property, but rather than accepting reservations, they screen potential tenants, manage lease contracts, and bill tenants for rent payments.   Why use a Property Management Company? Property owners who want to outsource property management must decide whether to use a broker, an individual property manager or a property management company. Property management companies can offer several important benefits that deliver additional value for the owner and the overall business: expertise, connections, and scale. Property management companies that work with dozens or hundreds of properties and have years of experience can bring valuable expertise to the table, especially for short-term rentals. These companies know how to market properties online, delight guests, and provide great experiences. Their operations are a well-oiled machine, and they know the nuances of hospitality, marketing, and legal requirements in the area. In addition to operational expertise, property management companies have relationships with vendors and contractors who work closely alongside them. If your property needs maintenance or decor advice, the property management company can likely snag a discount on these services. Not only that, but if the property management company provides cleaning services, furnishings, or linens, they often receive bulk discounts by operating at a larger scale, which means the owner can save money too. While property management companies can deliver a lot of benefits for owners, it’s important to remember that these benefits come at a literal cost in the form of a management fee or commission. The owner must balance their own financial goals with the efficiencies that come with using a property management company.   Property Management Licenses and Credentials Another reason that owners choose to work with property managers is that many local municipalities require specific licenses or credentials. Some states or cities require property managers to hold community management licenses or special operating licenses for short-term rentals. The application process for these licenses can be complicated and lengthy, and a professional property manager will know secrets to a successful application. Besides operating licenses, some states mandate that property management companies also hold broker’s licenses, which allows them to advertise properties via the multiple listing service (MLS) and hold showings at rental properties. Whether you’re investing in real estate for the first time or considering launching your own property management company, you can find exciting business opportunities with short-term and long-term rentals. What else do you want to learn about property management? Let us know!  

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Is a Degree in Hospitality Management Really Worth it Right Now?

by
Hotel Tech Report
2 weeks ago

Choosing a career path is a big deal. And deciding whether or not to pursue a bachelor's degree is a major part of that career plan. So what to do during a pandemic --  especially when you’ve been considering getting a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management (hotel and restaurant management)?  You’d be right to take a minute to consider whether or not pursuing a degree in hospitality is really worth it, given that hospitality has been hit especially hard by the pandemic and there are tons of low-cost online accreditations available today. There are a few key areas to explore, such as the outlook for the industry, what you’ll learn, and what marketable skills you’ll get from your investment in the degree. From there, you can make an educated decision about whether or not a hospitality degree is right for you.   Developing a Framework to Answer the Question Like anything in business (or life) there is a cost and a benefit calculation you'll need to make to decide which path to pursue.  The cost side of the equation includes both the direct expenses of higher education like tuition as well as the opportunity cost (i.e. how much money would you be making during those years if you went straight to work?).  Hospitality and tourism management school tuition varies widely based on pedigree (reputation of the school) and location.  A Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from EHL costs around $206k (188 CHF) over 4 years including food and accommodation.  According to NerdWallet's student loan calculator a $200,000 loan with 5% interest and a 10-year term requires $2,121.31 in monthly payments.  That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to make $25,000 per year more from year 1 but you should expect that over the long run the difference in salary helps to more than offset the cost of a degree.  Let's use a stylized example to illustrate this point: you are considering whether to leave high school and go straight to becoming a hotel concierge to refine your skills and ultimately become a hotel manager.  The average full-time hotel concierge or guest services manager makes from $23,000-$38,000 per year.  Let's say, for simplicity, it will take you 10 years working your way up as a concierge before you can become a hotel manager without a degree.  During those 10-years you would make $300,000 using an average of $30,000 per year salary. Hotel managers typically make from $61,000-$200,000 per year. Now let's say that with a degree from EHL it would only take you 3-years as a concierge to become a hotel manager.  That means in years 1-4 you spend (-) $200,000 on education.  Then in years 5-7 you make $90,000.  Finally in years 8-10, you make $210,000.  In this scenario, you would have netted $100,000 in salary so all else equal you would be better off without the degree. This example is designed to stylize the decision-making process, not to tell you whether or not you should get a degree.  What if EHL grads make more as hotel managers than non-grads? Are there other long term benefits of a degree like the potential to move into higher-paying corporate management roles? Are there networking and alumni opportunities that must be factored in?  Will you get paid real-world experience with your degree or exposure to differentiated entrepreneurship coursework that are otherwise inaccessible to those without one?  Do you need the degree program to be eligible in the future for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and unlock even higher salaries in the future?  Are there financial aid packages or scholarships available to lower your expense levels? The first step to answering this question is plotting out what you think the future looks like and then going out to validate your hypotheses by talking to real people who work in the hospitality business.  Ultimately this exercise will show you that there is no black and white answer, these calculations vary dramatically based on which segment of hospitality you aim to work in.  It probably doesn't make sense to attend EHL at full tuition in order to get into foodservice or entry-level guest service roles but it may be the only way to grow into a business management role VP level or higher at brands like Marriott and Hilton.   What’s The Outlook for Travel and Hospitality? The pandemic has put industry forecasts into disarray. What had been shaping up to be another strong year in a decade-long boom of travel and tourism turned into quite the opposite. Travel has flatlined and things are changing so fast that it’s hard to get a grasp on the industry’s future prospects.  One of the most reliable forecast sources is STR, which tracks the health of the hospitality industry. STR’s Data Insights Blog has been tracking the regional and global impact of COVID. The bad news is that STR predicts a long road ahead, with recovery back to 2019 levels not happening until 2023. That’s a long way away; but as we’ll see below, this long road to recovery can be an advantage to those just starting out in their careers.   The good news is that industry fundamentals remain strong. People love to travel. And, even though it’s likely that business travel will be slower to return (and may forever be changed), the industry’s gradual recovery provides ample opportunity for career advancement.   What Marketable Skills Will I Learn?  The value of a hospitality management degree lies not just in the future career opportunities but also and be marketable skills that you will learn. There are four core areas that a hospitality management program will cover:  Operations. First and foremost, you will learn the ins-and-outs of the business of hospitality. This includes all day-to-day aspects of hotel operations: checking guests in at the front desk, managing guest requests in the back of the house, scheduling staff,  Revenue. The business of running a hotel involves three key departments: sales, marketing, and revenue management. You’ll learn how each department contributes to a property’s topline revenue and bottom-line profitability. Increasingly, these departments are overlapping and so it’s helpful to have a grasp across all aspects of a hotel’s revenue-generating roles. People management. One of the most important skills for any hospitality professional on the management track is people and human resources. It’s a critical piece of any job in hotels because there are so many people to manage. You’ll learn about what it takes to manage a workforce, including performance management, hiring and training staff to meet service standards. Customer service. The essence of hospitality is customer service. This is the most practical skill that you will learn, as people skills will always come into handy. With the practical hands-on training of a Hospitality Management degree, you'll get  Leadership. Many college degrees struggle to include a hands-on component that teaches you real-world leadership. You can go through college for four years and end up without any practical experience. All of the best hospitality management programs include an internship component of part of the graduation requirements. This means that you will have hands-on experience in an actual business upon graduation. So even if you decide not to go into hospitality, you'll be able to translate your real work experience into conversation points for your job interviews.   What Can I Do with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management?  The most obvious career path involves a role in hospitality. Your potential path with a hospitality management degree may include roles in a few different departments, such as: Operations: The operations of a hotel include the front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, and day-to-day management. Roles here include managing a department, such as the front-of-house or housekeeping, and culminate in a job as a general manager.  Revenue: Sales, marketing, and revenue management are responsible for generating business for the hotel. There are many roles here to consider:  Revenue manager,  HR: One of the core back-office functions at a hotel is HR. This could be both at the property level and corporate level. HR managers are responsible for people operations:  overseeing the hiring, firing, and performance management process so that everything is legal and according to company standards; handling employee complaints and generally being an advisor and resource to employees across the operation. Accounting: Another core back-office function is accounting. These employees are the ones that manage the financial inflows and outflows from property (or group of properties).  Most roles in this specialization require a further degree in accounting, so keep that in mind if you want to pursue a dual degree alongside hospitality management. Business Development/Finance: Business development involves finding locations for new hotels, evaluating the financial feasibility of acquiring existing hotels, and working on the financial side of the industry. Someone with a hospitality management degree working in business development has a very unique skill-set but maybe in high demand. Gaming: Casinos have a very unique footprint and require their own set of skills. Specializing in gaming can give you a competitive advantage in certain circumstances,  especially if you're interested in working in a hotel market with a heavy gaming component, such as Las Vegas. Also, if you are interested in gaming, it makes sense to strongly consider UNLV’s hospitality program! Food and beverage: Many properties have expensive food and beverage operations. There are many aspects to manage here, from room service and catering to individual outlets, which means that F&B offers many opportunities (both in and outside of hotel-affiliated outlets). The skills you learn from your degree in hospitality management are transferable to other areas as well. A graduate with a strong grasp of management, leadership, and operations will be well-positioned for other roles too. Some related roles to consider: Hospitality tech: Expertise in hospitality is in especially high demand with technology companies serving the industry.  You could translate your hospitality management degree into an entry-level role at one of these companies, which will put you on a career path in the technology industry. Account manager/sales manager. Sales and account management requires a lot of soft skills that you'll learn when you get a degree in hospitality. There are also many entry-level jobs in these two fields -- especially for those with strong sales and people skills.  HR. People management is an essential part of any company. Put your organizational and operations knowledge to work, alongside your interpersonal soft skills, in HR. Management training: Your degree is a signal that you are organized and capable of. You could also look for a role in a different industry that come on a management training track. Hospitality consultants: There are many firms that serve hotels and Hospitality brands as contractors and independent hospitality consultants. If you wanted to tackle a broader array of challenges for multiple clients, this could be a great choice for you. Event planning: Event planners don't necessarily have to be on staff at a conference center attached to a hotel. From independent wedding planners to corporate event specialists, you could put your hospitality knowledge to use as an event planner. See more in our in-depth guide to hospitality careers, including job descriptions, salaries, and more.   How Do I Choose a Hospitality Management Program? There's a lot at stake when you choose a hospitality management program. It’s a major investment. A few things to consider as you evaluate programs: Quality: First and foremost, make sure that you are going to a reputable school. A few of the most well-regarded are the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Hotelschool The Hague, and the University of Nevada’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. For a full list, check out the top hotel schools in our hospitality industry guide. Each school should be evaluated for the quality of instruction and access to industry leaders. You also want teachers that are practicing experts in their field, rather than relics of an industry long gone. Specialization: Next, look carefully at the program’s class offerings. Does the program offer the courses that you need for your career path? Do you see specializations that interest you? Remember that it is not just a general education that matters; you also want to get deep dives into the most marketable skills for today's economy. Make sure that you can get the type of education you need to position yourself for success. Network:  Major part of the investment is getting access to a quality Alumni network that can help you find jobs once you graduate. It might seem far away, but you’ll want to leverage the power of the university’s network when you're looking for a job. And also: a career office that can connect you to the best job opportunities. Some notable alumni from the top schools: Cornell: Andrew Tisch, head of Loews Hotels; Will Guidara, restaurateur of Eleven Madison Park and NoMad and TV personality Aida Mollenkamp.  UNLV: Marco Benvenuti, co-founder of hospitality tech company Duetto; hotel-casino mogul George Maloof; Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International; Celebrity Chef and Restauranteur Guy Fieri. EHL: Daisy Soros, philanthropist; Craig Claiborne, New York Times restaurant critic; Georges Plassat, businessman. Hotelschool: Joris Bijdendijk, Dutch celebrity chef; Marc Bolland, businessman and CEO of Marks and Spencer; Erik Tengen, founder and CEO of Oaky.   Cost: Finally, you want to make sure that the cost is worth it! Sticker shock is understandable, especially in the United States where college costs have skyrocketed. Look at the overall cost of the program tuition, as well as related cost-of-living, and measure against the income potential for your career. See next section, as this is usually a top criteria under consideration when deciding on a Hospitality Management program.   How much does a hospitality management degree cost? Out of the criteria listed above, cost is often one of the most important ones.  With the cost of fees and other non-tuition expenses, the total cost of a degree can get quite expensive. As a prospective student, you want to know that your degree will be a good investment. Here's a breakdown of the cost of the best hospitality management programs, followed by a quick calculation you can make to see your return on the investment. Cornell School of Hospitality. Undergraduates can expect to spend $58,586 (out of state) or $58,586 (in state) per year on tuition and around $16,000 on housing and dining. For a Cornell Master in Hospitality degree, expect to spend $87,879 for tuition and around $2,500 per month for books, fees and other living expenses. There are also several scholarships and financing options for those looking to fund the program with federal and private student loans. More on Cornell Hotel School tuition, financing and scholarships here (undergrad) and here (graduate). There’s also a useful financial aid calculator. EHL. The total cost of an undergraduate degree is 197,789 Swiss francs, including housing and health insurance. That cost is less if you are a Swiss citizen or are eligible for a subsidy: “only” 112,010 Swiss francs, also including housing. There are also scholarships for international students and Swiss citizens. More on EHL’s tuition and scholarships here. Hotelschool. One of the more affordable hospitality business schools, tuition for a bachelor's is 24,300 Euros per year for non-Europeans and just 10,360 Euros for Europeans. Other expenses are variable, depending on where you decide to live while on campus. International students can also apply for the Holland Scholarship for students outside of Europe who want to do a Bachelors or Masters in the Netherlands. More on the bachelor program’s costs for non-Europeans here and Europeans here.  University of Nevada. Annual undergraduate tuition costs at UNLV run $8,604 for residents and $24,258 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $6,517 for residents and $22,171 for non-residents. Depending on whether students live with parents, on-campus or off-campus, non-tuition expenses range from $20,000 to $40,000 per year. For financing the degree, there are both federal and private loans available, as well as scholarships. More on tuition here, with this calculator to estimate total tuition and fees. Of course, the sticker price doesn't necessarily mean that you need to pay out-of-pocket. Each program offers financial aid and scholarships,  so you can take out a combination of loans and perhaps some “free” money to make the program tuition accessible to you, regardless of your personal financial situation. To calculate the return on your investment in a hospitality management degree, you need to first determine what your career path looks like. Review the average salary of hospitality jobs in our hotel industry guide and then calculate a 10% payback rate, a reasonable expectation on repayment. And then divide it by the cost of your degree to calculate how quickly your investment will be repaid. Since the goal of getting a degree is to earn a higher salary (and thus increase your lifetime earnings over your entire career), this helps you compare one program to another. This is just a rough estimate but it is a helpful calculation! ROI= (target role salary*.10)/cost of degree   For instance, let's say that you go to the University of Nevada as a non-resident undergrad and your target role is GM at a boutique hotel. Per our guide, the average salary of a hotel general manager is between $75,000 and $140,000. Take the midpoint of that as $100k, multiply by .10 (assuming that you use 10% of your salary to pay down loans) and divide by an estimated total cost 220,000 for a 4-year program. You get a payback period of 22 years. Of course, that doesn't include any amounts paid out of pocket, scholarships or interest costs. So you should adjust this comparative calculator accordingly, adjusting for your own interest and non-tuition costs.   So...Should I Get A Bachelor’s In Hospitality Management?  Ultimately, the decision is yours. While it may seem like a tough time to go into hospitality, we are bullish on the future of travel and hospitality, especially when the time frame is three to five years out.  So now could be the perfect time to get a degree in hospitality management, as you have two major advantages being early on in your hospitality career: your salary needs are lower and you have plenty of time for the industry to recover. You could take the time to earn your degree and really dive into a specialization that will remain competitive as the industry recovery unfolds. Then, right when you're ready to enter the workforce, you’ll be well-positioned. For instance, you may want to consider focusing on revenue management and marketing, which are marketable skills regardless of industry.  and then you will have more options upon graduation, so you could enter the management track and operations, revenue, or marketing.  Hotels will be doing more with less for the foreseeable future. So you just want to make yourself as competitive as possible if you choose to get a bachelor's in hospitality management. If you use your time earning a degree wisely, develop a broad base of soft skills around collaboration, communication, team building, and leadership, you'll be well-positioned to thrive!   Further Resources Want to learn more about the hospitality industry as you decide if a bachelor’s in hospitality management is right for you? Check out these resources: Our complete guide to the hospitality industry Our complete guide to the hotel management industry A deep dive into the various hospitality careers to consider Everything you need to know about hotel operations Exploring the revenue management career path  

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Beonprice Achieves Level I Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
2 months ago

This week, Beonprice earned Hotel Tech Report’s level I Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “Beonprice has taken a really integrated approach to support where instead of a traditional knowledge base that customers have to search through, relevant content is embedded in a slide out modal throughout the application serving as a useful sidekick for users.  Customers can then reach the team within that same view with embedded context meaning their customers, product and support team are always in sync.,” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "In Beonprice we do not just want to provide world leading technology to hotels, but offer long term partnership with our customers. We are only happy if our customers are also happy." Ruben Sanchez, CEO @ Beonprice The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that Beonprice has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers. Beonprice's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 24/34 Certification Level: I Customer Orientation: Customer Minded Recommendation: Recommended Support Team Size: 10 Support Team Leaders: Neville Isaac - Chief Customer Officer Certification Period: September 7, 2020-September 7, 2021 Support Stack: Odoo, Google Drive, Thinkific   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Beonprice has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless. 4.2 Proprietary data recommendations: Vendor aggregates product usage data across clients to benchmark performance and provide recommendations to their users to help them learn about best practices, make better decisions and maximize product utilization. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Beonprice has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients (English and Spanish) 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 4.4 24/7 support availability: Vendor offers 24/7 support to clients for around the clock assistance. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Beonprice has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.6 Learning Management System (LMS): Vendo has a Learning Management System in place that offers videos, guided training and assessments for customers to be able to expand product knowledge in a structured way over time. 4.7 Product certifications: Vendor offers certifications which allow users to have a structured path to becoming a product expert which can be leveraged in their career to strengthen their resume. 4.8 Online community: Vendor offers an online community for customers that allows users to engage with each other as well as targeted content in a contextualized setting to enable self-service discovery and problem solving. 4.9 Dedicated customer success monitoring software: Vendor utilizes dedicated customer success software to monitor product usage and coach users to succeed with the product. 4.10 Customer conference: Vendor produces an in-person or online user conference to build a community, share product updates and educate users on best practices. GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Beonprice has in place for clients: 2.6 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 28 verified client reviews. 4.12 4.9 avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.9/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners.   For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

Juyo Analytics Achieves Level II Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
2 months ago

This week, Juyo Analytics earned Hotel Tech Report’s level II Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “What’s really unique about Juyo’s infrastructure to help customers succeed is having an online community for users to interact with the Juyo team as well as each other to answer questions, share best practices and give product tips. The team is also hyper focused not just product training but also ongoing education to help their clients grow into their roles via continuing education through video content and strategy calls for clients.” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "Our approach in customer support is deeply rooted in empathy. At the very core the team of Juyo is hoteliers. We all deeply understand the hotelier’s day to day life, and we act as a sparring partner to accompany them in their success.." Vassilis Syropoulos, CEO @ Juyo Analytics The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that Juyo Analytics has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers.   Juyo Analytics's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 26/34 Certification Level: II Customer Orientation: Customer Focused Recommendation: Recommended Support Team Size: 4 Support Team Leaders: Karin van Rhee, VP of Customer Success Certification Period: August 2020-August 2021 Support Stack: Freshdesk, Squarespace, Trello, Google Drive     GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Juyo Analytics has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless.   GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Juyo Analytics has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients (English, French, Dutch, German, Romanian, Spanish)  1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Juyo Analytics has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.8 Online community: Vendor offers and online community for customers that allows users to engage with each other as well as targeted content in a contextualized setting to enable self-service discovery and problem solving.   GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Juyo Analytics has in place for clients: 2.6 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows strong client relationships on Hotel Tech Report with more than 26 verified client reviews. 4.12 4.5+ avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

SiteMinder Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
4 months ago

SiteMinder Achieves Level III Global Support Certification This week, SiteMinder earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners. In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “What’s really unique about SiteMinder’s support organization is their ability to not just provide their product, but also their expertise, data and market knowledge to help clients succeed. Their sheer scale allows them to collect mounds and mounds of market data that they skillfully leverage and turn into insights that they package and deliver to clients through things like bespoke ‘recommendation packs’ and local market updates to help clients get the most value out of being a SiteMinder client which is something that very few companies have the wherewithal or scale to deliver,” says Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "Your technology will only carry you so far. It’s the service that you provide to customers that keeps a business strong. Knowing this, SiteMinder has had an unrelenting commitment to customer service from day one, and our responsive and global approach is something that we are proud of. Our teams are dispersed throughout the world. We cover phone support in each of the 11 languages that we operate in and make our products available in eight of those languages, so that despite being a global business, we are also a truly local player to our hotel customers," says Sankar Narayan, CEO at SiteMinder. The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that SiteMinder has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers.   SiteMinder's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 27/34 Certification Level:III Customer Orientation: Customer Focused Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 145 Support Team Leaders: Vinnie Panicker VP, Global Support Certification Period: February 15, 2020 - February 15, 2021 Support Stack: ProductBoard, Intercom, Google Slides, Wistia, Atlassian, GetFeedback, alteryx, Tableau, Salesforce     GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that SiteMinder has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.2 Proprietary data recommendations: Vendor aggregates product usage data across clients to benchmark performance and provide recommendations to their users to help them learn about best practices, make better decisions and maximize product utilization. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that SiteMinder has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that SiteMinder has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.9 Dedicated customer success monitoring software: Vendor utilizes dedicated customer success software to monitor product usage and coach users to succeed with the product. GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that SiteMinder has in place for clients: 4.11 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 100 verified client reviews. 2.5 4-star avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.0/5 across all client reviews.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners.

OTA Insight Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
4 months ago

This week, OTA Insight earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners. In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “While analyzing the OTA Insight team’s internal support infrastructure during the certification process, what really stood out was the depth and sophistication of their feedback loop. Not only do they intake thousands of feedback suggestions across tons of channels and touchpoints like ProductBoard, Slack, email, success calls and live chat to keep a pulse on customer needs; but more importantly, their processes for feedback ingestion, routing, followup and prioritization are key ingredients to a product roadmap that’s driven around customer needs and pain points. As businesses scale this feedback loop becomes harder and harder to organize, prioritize and manage but OTA Insight makes it look easy and there’s no question about it that this is one of the key ingredients to both their success as a company and the success of their users.” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "The customer really is at the core of our business and always has been. As a base, customer insights and feedback affect everything from our product development, through to the sales consultation process. When it comes to customer support, our industry-leading customer success team are focused on delivering quick and efficient support around the clock. Not only does this customer-centric model reduce friction, it means customers can completely trust the accuracy of our data." - Gino Engels, Co-Founder & CCO“I am absolutely delighted for OTA Insight to achieve this certification. It re-confirms our commitment to being a fully customer centric-organisation and shows that we take our customer service seriously. I am incredibly proud of the teams who contribute to this service standard, and this award is testament to their continued drive to improve all areas of our service.” - James Parsons, Global Director, Customer Success & Operations The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that OTA Insight has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers. OTA Insight's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 29/34 Certification Level: III Customer Orientation: Customer Focused Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 40 Support Team Leaders: James Parsons, Global Director of Customer Success & Operations Certification Period: March 12, 2020-March 20, 2021 Support Stack: Productboard, Intercom, Slack, Chartio, Satismeter, Hubspot, Pendo, Inspectlet, Wistia, Google Slides   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that OTA Insight has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.2 Proprietary data recommendations: Vendor aggregates product usage data across clients to benchmark performance and provide recommendations to their users to help them learn about best practices, make better decisions and maximize product utilization.   GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that OTA Insight has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.4 24/7 support availability: Vendor offers 24/7 support to clients for around the clock assistance.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that OTA Insight has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.9 Dedicated customer success monitoring software: Vendor utilizes dedicated customer success software to monitor product usage and coach users to succeed with the product. 4.10 Customer conference: Vendor produces an in-person or online user conference to build a community, share product updates and educate users on best practices.   GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings. The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that OTA Insight has in place for clients: 3.7 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 50 verified client reviews. 4.12 Outstanding Customer Support Rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

Atomize Achieves Level I Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
4 months ago

This week, Atomize earned Hotel Tech Report’s level I Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “Atomize has focused on building a self-serve automated product but their support team is always accessible to clients if they need help.  With an average support rating of 5/5 from 75+ verified client reviews, it's clear that their system is working.” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "The hotel industry is the most service minded industry out there. It is in the DNA to serve guests beyond expectations. Consequently; to serve hotels as a technology vendor, it is imperative to set customer service first. True customer service cannot however be achieved by a department, it needs to include the entire company which is a receipt of the overall company culture." Alexander Edström, CEO @ Atomize The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that Atomize has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers.   Atomize's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 18/34 Certification Level: I Customer Orientation: Customer Minded Recommendation: Recommended Support Team Size: 3 Support Team Leader: Richard Harmon - Global Client Success and Support Manager Certification Period: February 20, 2020-February 20, 2021 Support Stack: Atlassian, Hubspot, Google Sheets     GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Atomize has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips)   GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Atomize has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Atomize has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service.   GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings. The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Atomize has in place for clients: 3.7 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 50+ verified client reviews. 4.12 4.5-star avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

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Revenue Management Category Overview

Revenue management has made great strides in recent years. The transition to cloud-based systems built flexibility into the software development process, accelerating the pace of new features. The shorter cycles allow the software to more accurately meet the evolving needs of hoteliers. This is a relief to many hoteliers with less-than-pleasant memories of the shackles of frozen legacy technology.

A review of today’s revenue management technology highlights just how far the industry has come in fulfilling a vision of connected revenue management systems that use data to dynamically price room inventory. Real-time, data-driven intelligence now comes standard in the industry-leading tools.  

An agile approach to releasing new features is also a requirement. As the industry experiments with new ways to sell its inventory, such as attribute-based selling, the best revenue management software anticipate change, test features, and deliver on the promise of true revenue optimization.

Even so, only 1 in 10 hotels deploys some level of revenue management software, due largely to the complexity of practicing proper revenue management. A comprehensive approach to revenue management generally includes a solution from each of the following categories: CRS, RMS, rate shopper, and business intelligence. Some solutions offer more of a one-stop-shop, while others overlap.

Whether you choose to stick with one multi-purpose solution or craft a bespoke tech stack, be sure to prioritize agility, flexibility, and extensibility. You want a vendor that keeps ahead of the trends, while also offering a flexible product that can be customized to your needs through flexible implementation and extensible integrations.

With that in mind, here are some of the key categories that you should be leveraging to optimize revenue management at your hotel.


Revenue management software automates the process of using analytics -- mainly supply and demand -- to determine the right price for hotel rooms to maximize revenue and profitability. The primary goal is to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price on the right channel. Revenue management software ingests historical and market data, combines this with forward-looking demand signals and recommends a rate for each segment and room type at your hotel, specific for each channel on which you are selling. Recently, modern software has moved from on-premise to cloud-based applications that are delivered as Software-as-a-Service, meaning multiple users can login to the applications from anywhere they have an Internet connection.

Key Features:
  • Integrations - It’s important that your RMS integrates with your PMS, CRS, CRM and booking engine with a reliable, two-way connection so that the systems can share the right data.
  • Open Pricing - Your RMS must be able to price room types and channels independently of each other, rather than in lockstep with a set BAR price. For example, on some days you want your AAA rate to be 10% less than BAR, on other days you may want it 1% less than BAR.
  • Cloud technology - An RMS that runs on multi-tenant cloud architecture allows your systems to integrate and share data more seamlessly, and allows developers to push updates to your software in real time. No more purchasing new versions of software just to get the latest features.  
  • Intelligent reporting - It’s important that your RMS be able to build, export and share your most critical reports. Revenue teams must be able to share reports at the push of a button with management, ownership and other departments within the hotel.
  • Data Visualization - A good RMS not only presents your data in tabular reports, but allows you to visual your data and reports in graphical form. This allows revenue teams to better understand trends, outliers and patterns in data.

Key Players:

Market intelligence tools help hoteliers make more informed decisions on pricing and revenue strategies. Previously manual processes, such as monitoring competitors’ rates, managing your own property’s (or properties’) rate parity across multiple channels, predicting your competitors’ demand, pulling local event and weather data, etc. are now fully automated. For those who operate a broader portfolio, the time savings is multiplied for each property under management.

Key Players:

A central reservation system (CRS) is a platform used by hotels to centrally manage and distribute room inventory, rates, and reservations. The CRS typically receives inventory from the PMS, then distributes rates and availability in real-time to direct and third-party channels, including the hotel’s own website booking engine and call center (direct channels), as well as channel managers, OTAs, GDS, and metasearch (third-party channels). Reservations from these channels are sent back to the CRS and subsequently synced into the PMS for room allocation. Hotel revenue managers and marketing/e-commerce managers use the CRS to create various promotions and offers through rate plans for different channels and to adjust pricing quickly to be updated across all channels. Reservation agents also work in the CRS to manage reservations.

Key Features:
  • Integrations and distribution: channels The CRS should integrate seamlessly with your existing PMS and allow your hotel to distribute rates and availability through a wide network of channels, including direct channels (website, call center) and third-party channels (OTAs, GDS, metasearch). 
  • Pricing capabilities and flexibility: Every good revenue manager needs a good toolset. Your CRS partner should offer dynamic pricing tools that will give your hotel enormous flexibility when it comes to executing complex revenue strategies. Also consider whether integrations between your revenue management, merchandising, and CRM platforms with the CRS would help to increase operational efficiency (e.g. being able to automate pricing from an RMS, being able to enter rates only once within a backend, etc.) 
  • Booking engine / e-commerce platform: A huge deciding factor for many hotels is the quality of the CRS’s booking engine, which should offer conversion optimization features to encourage direct bookings. Key features include the ability to showcase strikethrough pricing, social proof, scarcity messaging, and incremental pricing, among others. 
  • Support and account management: A good CRS partner should not only provide round-the-clock technical support, but should also have active account management focused on customer success. Client services should include performance reviews with detailed analytics and reporting, as well as advice on revenue and pricing strategies. 
  • Innovation: Your CRS partner should always be seeking to enhance features, support the latest technology trends, and evolve the platform to fit the needs of today’s hotel.

Key Players:

Business Intelligence tools are designed exclusively for analysis; to provide fast and widespread access to accurate information and insight. Through dashboards, reports and analytics. users can explore their business – both historical performance and future activity. BI automates reporting, turning report producers into information consumers who can in turn analyze and apply their findings to influence business results. Business Intelligence is about gathering data from a variety of sources and then utilizing technology to serve information to decision-makers in ways that help them to understand where opportunities exist within their business.

Key Features:
  • Cloud Infrastructure: Ease of access to BI across devices. No expensive, lengthy implementation or physical on-site installation. 
  • Depth of Information: Ability to not only view statistics/figures, but to dive deeper into the data and understand what’s impacting those results. 
  • Data Management: Ability to manage & clean data to maintain data & reporting quality and accuracy. 
  • Forecast & Budget Support: Forecasting/Budgeting at the most granular level allows hotels to measure their performance on an ongoing basis to achieve their goals. 
  • Enterprise Level Reporting: Allowing users to view performance of multiple hotels using unified standards makes for easier reporting at an area or portfolio level.

Key Players:

A channel manager is a technology that allows a hotel to expand its reach and visibility online, as well as more easily manage its rates, availability, and reservations. With a channel manager, hotels can access hundreds of online distribution channels and connect to as many as they like at the same time. Hotels can list all of their rooms and availability on all channels and the channel manager will update these automatically and in real-time when a booking is made, thanks to a pooled inventory model. This allows the hotel to maximize occupancy and reservations with minimal risk of being overbooked.

Key Features:
  • Supports your existing booking sites and has a large network: Hoteliers will want to make sure their preferred channels are supported by the channel manager they plan to invest in. Additionally, it’s important the hotel has the opportunity to connect with many new booking sites, in new markets, to grow business and revenue. It’s important the hotel can have the opportunity to connect with many new booking sites, in new markets, to grow business and revenue. 
  • Deep system integrations: The channel manager should be able to integrate with existing systems such as the PMS, RMS, and CRS, and ensure seamless, two-way reservation delivery. 
  • Simple and effective reporting: To manage revenue properly, the channel manager needs to provide the hotelier with a clear view on channel performance for as many channels as the hotel is connected to. 
  • Pooled inventory: It’s vital that the channel manager operates on a pooled inventory model, to minimize overbooking and maximize the room sales. 
  • Real-time channel management: Manage room inventory, availability and rate plans across all channels through a simple user interface, in real-time.

Key Players: