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Ranked 2nd (out of 31)
90 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Certificate of Excellence
Ranked 2nd (out of 31)
90 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More
Certificate of Excellence

Reviews Summary

89%
Recommend
Ratings Summary
90 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More

Ranked #2 out of 31 in Revenue Management Software

Ease of Use
4.5/5
ROI
4.4/5
Implementation
4.4/5
Customer support
4.6/5
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IDeaS’s customer support processes haven’t yet been verified by Hotel Tech Report.

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IDeaS Revenue Solutions Overview

With more than 1.5 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS and 3 decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports 10,000+ clients in 125+ countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers more insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing. IDeaS empowers its clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue. IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities”not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. Read more Less

About IDeaS View website

Founded in 1989 | Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN | 490 employees

Other Product by IDeaS

Integrates with

  • Revenue Management Software
  • Central Reservations Systems
  • Property Management Systems
  • Booking Engines
  • Hotel Management System
  • Rate Shopping & Market Intelligence
  • Email Marketing & Hotel CRM
  • Reputation / Review Management
  • Channel Managers
  • Business Intelligence
  • Parity Management
  • Guest Surveys
  • Marketplaces & Integrators
  • Meetings & Events Intelligence
  • Browse integrations (58 verified)

What Customers Love About IDeaS Revenue Solutions

89% recommend

I like how they do their one night LOS rate strategy. It does do a good job and not have a RM to go back multiple times a day to change Retail rate.

Regional Director of Revenue Management in Saint Helier

Each day, I started to review BAR pricing as referred competitors. And reviewing occupancy forecast which I set scheduled report and communicate with related people in timly.

Director of Revenue from Branded in Santa Clara (United States)

It's a great analytical tool. I find it useful for research of past data and can quickly provide visual data to share with an audience. I like the group displacement tool to help quickly decide the value of a piece of business.

Director of Revenue Management in Boston (United States)

It helps in forecasting, pricing, competitive pricing. Also to guage the performance vis a vis budgets

Revenue Manager in Pune (India)

The user experience, the quality of report, easy to use, the accuracy forecast and the customer care service

Revenue Manager from Other in Florence (Italy)

It tells the best available rate and gives all the details of what comes in the room if the guest would like to get a package with their stay.

Front Desk Agent in Dallas (United States)

We love that it's web based so we can access our data off property. It manages and makes good decisions based on history and trends.

Director of Rooms from Other in Winnipeg (Canada)

As above, allows for maximum yield. System optimises 4 times per day and uses the information to make decisions for future days.

Operations Manager in Tankersley (United Kingdom)

Connectivity to PMS, CRS and vendors to avoid competitive issues, capacity to connect to companies that provide further business intelligence reports that help on decision making. Automatic rate uploading. Overbooking levels.

Director of Revenue Management & Reservations from Branded in Beverly Hills (United States)

Forecasting is most accurate compared to other well known systems and group pricing suggestions are logical

Revenue Manager from Branded in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Sped up the group rate quoting process allowing my team to be more effective in responding as well as more efficient in quoting the correct rates for our business to be successful. Game changer for our business that was handcuffed by old revenue management strategies.

General Manager from Boutique in Pocatello (United States)

Helpfull and in constant evolution, always helping hoteliers to be aware of the new trends and technologies about revenue management

Managing Director from Other in Milpitas (United States)

These guys are the real deal and the team is committed to innovation. The software has forecasts at the room type level which is great and also does a good job of overbooking . The training material is very good.

Sr Director Revenue Optimization from Branded in Omaha (United States)

Broadly used therefore hiring employees with prior experience is easy, therefore less time training on systems and more time focused on the important things.

Corporate Director of Revenue from Other in West Hollywood (United States)

IdeaS includes both event space and rooms. It can also provide additional reports to help analyze the best piece of business and inform your rate strategy.

Revenue Management from Branded in Rosemont (United States)

System provides realistic forecasting with a small stretch

Area Director of Revenue from in Los Gatos (United States)

Ease of use and adequate training for all users to ensure preparation

Revenue Specialist from Branded in San Jose (United States)

I like having the information together which helps me to decide on pricing strategy

Cluster Revenue from Other in (United Kingdom)

It's a great step up from previous antiquated systems. Also has some great features and reporting.

Revenue Specialist from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Good forecasting tool that's also helpful with group quotations.

Rooms Division Manager from Other in (United Kingdom)

Strong pricing tool that maximizesour revenue focus

Cluster Revenue Manager from in Hopkins (United States)

The algorithms are exceptional and the company is really responsive on customer service issues.

Director of Revenue Management from Other in San Francisco (United States)

I like that it catches things on dates further out that I might not catch as quickly, and makes changes to those dates accordingly.

Revenue Manager, Full Service - RMCC Americas from Branded in San Jose (United States)

When forecasting is accurate IDeaS can greatly assist in driving quick decisions and improve both LOS and revenue mix for next 365 days daily. Also, the reporting suite is excellent allowing to pull any information required allowing for quick detailed analysis.

Group Revenue manager UK&NI from Other in (Ireland)

Great program once you utilize best practices. Easy to use once implemented and trained.

Revenue Specialist from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Ease of use, rate changes are all done in one place. Supports LOS pricing

Revenue Manager from Other in Benicia (United States)

Ease of use. Lots of good data

Revenue Manager from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Provides a single system for managing revenue. Optimizes pricing & revenue opportunities with alerts & automation

Revenue Managers from Branded in Irving (United States)

Helps us icrease monitoring of changes and provides a comprehensive centralized sourc of information

Corporate revenue manager from Branded in Natchitoches (United States)

Open pricing. Easy to use dashboards

Revenue and Reservations Manager from Other in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Ease of use. I like looking 365 days out on a daily basis

Revenue Manager from Branded in Dallas (United States)

Easy navigation. Accurate forecasting when data quality is good

Revenue Specialist from Branded in San Jose (United States)

User friendly for hotels and corporate employees. I like the continuity between in-program applications

Regional Manager, RM Operations from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Constant updates to increase usability and extended customer/technical support (if needed)

Revenue Manager from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Compared to other revenue management tools I've used in the past, IDeaS is really easy to use.

Revenue and Reservations Manager from Other in Mandaue City (Philippines)

I really like that they are constantly rolling out updates and improvements.

Area Revenue Manager from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Great support with forecasting and I like being able to offer rates based on LOS

Director of Rooms and Revenue from Branded in San Jose (United States)

IDeasS requires less inputs from so I can spend more time on other tasks. The system makes pricing adjustments overnight which helps with efficiency so I just need to review decision changes each morning.

Revenue Manager from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Powerful data with robust integrations

Revenue & Distribution Manager from Other in Boston (United States)

Automated system decisions provide rate guidance and overbooking prevention. Analytics help provide detailed rate decisions by room type.

Senior Director of Revenue & Global Initiatives from Other in New York (United States)

Transient forecasting. BAR decision making

Revenue & Reservations Manager from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Helps to look out for groups and for periods a long way out

Revenue Analyst in (Singapore)

Does a great job managing inventory and restrictions. Good with pricing suggestions and implementation

Regional Revenue Manager in Omaha (United States)

Auto implements length of stay strategy . Great multi day optimization

Corporate Revenue manager from Branded in Natchitoches (United States)

I really like how it calculates transient wash and monitors pricing.

Revenue Manager from Branded in San Jose (United States)

Great analytics and pricing automation

Brand Revenue Manager from Branded in Dallas (United States)

IDeaS is really easy to use. I like being able to incorporate Demand360 data and Social Media score as variables for BAR recommendation

Director of Revenue Management from Other in Cupertino (United States)

I like being able to easily manage rates by room class.

Revenue manager from Other in Peyia (Cyprus)

I'm a big fan of IDeaS. One of the things that makes them a top notch provider is that they respond well to customer requests for enhancements & new features which is the sign of a customer centric company.

Regional Director of Revenue Management from Branded in San Francisco (United States)

The interface is simple and the ability to improved profitability across all market segments.

Cluster Revenue Manager from Branded in Singapore (Singapore)

Hyper-accurate forecasting and excellent reporting

Director of Revenue from Branded in Santa Clara (United States)

The interface is really easy to learn.

Regional Revenue Manager from Branded in Atlanta (United States)

I have been an IDeaS RMS user for the last 4-5 years and the system has helped us a lot to have the right data at any time and make better decisions to drive more revenue to our property. Now that we have completed the transition to IDeaS G3 we have seen immediate positive impact in the revenue optimization results.

Associate Director of Sales from Other in Ciudad de México (México)

- Great an easy to use and understand - Improves your ADR immediately - Compares your rates with your competitors - Support is there to help anytime

General Manager in Winterthur Area, Switzerland (Switzerland)

- System reliability - Continuously evolving and innovating - Effective supporting network across all regions

AVP - Revenue Management and Distribution from Branded

Support staff are responsive and knowledgeable. IDeaS RMS has increased the revenue for our properties by being able to adjust rates and hurdles multiple times a day based on demand.

Revenue Manager from Resort

- Insightful with proper reporting functionality - Regular data updates keep the rate decisions relevant & up to date - Takes out the need to go on 'gut feeling' and has proper data sets to make informed decisions - Saves so much time

General Manager from Extended Stay

- Good customer support and experts providing insights - User friendly system - Host education sessions to teach revenue management concepts from time to time

Director of Revenue Management

Using the IDeaS RMS and Pricing system helps our hotels revenue managers understand the current pickup trends and changes in patterns, which result in the forecast from IDeaS. Human forecasts can be based on emotions and hope, the statistical patterns and trends can show a true forecast, allowing hotel revenue managers to focus on the strategies. The support team and support culture of IDeaS helps hotels really understand the system, focusing on how to manage the system and configuration. Monthly calls from the Client Relationship Managers help to ensure teams are really using and understanding the system.

Vice President Revenue Management from Resort

Using the IDeaS RMS and IDeaS PS assists our revenue managers understand the ever changing business trends, which factored in to the forecast from IDeaS. More importantly system takes emotional and hope factors out from forecasting which tends to happen with Human forecasts. Having forecast purely based on trends and statistical data assists our teams to concentrate on strategies more effectively. Monthly calls from the Client Relationship Managers help to ensure teams are really using and understanding the system.

Vice President Revenue Management

The product is great because of their dedication to service. They stick with you all the way until you are maximizing the use of the product. They have a smart, knowledgeable team that is committed to getting you ramped up quickly. They also monitor the use of the product and help you grow to fully understand it.

Area Director of Sales and Marketing from Resort

User-friendly system Impressive trainer from the company Good to improve hotel Revenue Culture

Project Manager

Efficient revenue software and easy to use. Efficient support system from Ideas which makes it easy to work with. Calls with Eden with constant reviewing of system hygiene and configurations works positively ensuring accuracy of forecasting

Revenue Manager from Boutique

If you feed in correct and accurate information in Ideas, it does definitely give you the correct output.

Director Of Revenue Management from Resort

IDeaS is a great solution for revenue management. The system not just provide pricing recommendation but also provide other element that helping hotel maximize the revenue. The system also provide reports that helping hotelier to make a right decision on business cases.

Corporate Director of Revenue from Branded

- helps me to have a more effective control of my rooms pricing; - forecast information that facilitates a more accurate médium / long term price management;

Revenue Manager from Resort

- The dynamic BAR decisions - Detailed Business Analysis help to understand the overall business scenario to take an appropriate call

Director of Revenue Managements from Resort

- User friendly/intuitive tool - Pricing optimization & demand forecast based on segments and pricing - Competitive pricing analysis and optimization tool

Director of Revenue Management & Distribution from Airport/ conference

It makes my job more efficient because it allows me to spend less time doing reports and more of my time is spent analyzing data and strategizing.

Revenue Manager from Boutique in

-Extensive reporting system -Smart decision making -Price positioning is relevant and close to expectation

Assistant Revenue Manager from Branded

Great Reports which I use for pace and forecasting Calendar view is great with demand levels and decision features for quick reviews

Director of Revenue Management from Boutique

Analytical areas which help properties to make decisions effectively than will maximize hotel revenue.

Revenue Manager from Branded

- BAR Rate increase through continuous yielding - Learned more about our group displacement and rating with the group pricing tool

Revenue Manager from Airport/ conference

It's probably too early to feedback on the tool so I'll feedback on the staff who trained us and provided assistance where needed. They were ready to help and all have been through in their designated role to perform. The tool look promising only we have issues regarding overbooking facility but that's not a problem of IDeaS. The problem comes from a different source.

Head of Sales & Marketing from Branded

Ideas is a platform that provided an easy access to navigate on Has a fast response and very accurate

Sales Manager from Resort

Overall, functionality, support, customer care and always looking at ways to improve for the betterment of the industry.

Director of Revenue Management and Distribution from Resort

- Group pricing module is quick and easy to use - Monthly summary is intuitive and easy to understand

Director of Revenue Strategy

Product is easy to use, well laid out and has great functionality. Fast and reliable customer service when problems do arise.

Area Revenue Manager from Branded

The distribution of Rates days by day and the best control of them during high demand periods

Revenue Manager from Resort

Pricing management, distributing decision to all channels, saving time and improve price elasticity Overbooking by room type, useful when there is no demand for some room categories, allowing lower categories to sell beyond physical inventory Group evaluation tool, useful for deciding on the value of a group business, factoring transient displacement and profitability of the business

Director of Revenue from Boutique

It is a very efficient assistant for a revenue professional and forecasts correctly as well. Also the large number of reports help in granular study of hotel performance

Revenue Manager

accurate Forecast & appropriate BAR decisions and the most important is Support

Revenue Manager from Airport/ conference

-Proactively update the online rates after each optimization cycle and no need for manual update. -The provided analysis reports ie Booking pace report, Data Extract, forecast validation..etc

Revenue Manager from Branded

It helps in end to end revenue management solution for rooms. Has an accurate forecasting mechanism Regular monthly interaction with relationship manager. Regular enhancements and upgrades

Director of Revenue Management from Branded

Very quick decision upload . Super customer support . Ideas reports are very informative and useful for revenue management .

Revenue Manager from Branded

The way ideas manage BAR recommendations and monthly follow up calls by Client Relationship Manager.

Revenue Manager from Branded

user friendly software, helps to forecast unconstrained demand, better forecasting helps us to achieve desired results

Revenue Management from Branded

- Exact STLY comparison helps with forecast validation - Pricing updates are easy

Revenue Manager

You know that you always have appropriate rates in place for a full year. Monthly calls with your Market Manager to assist you. Easy to use.

Revenue Manager

I think revenue strategy is a key aspect to a hotel´s culture. Since our IDeaS G3 RMS implementation, there´s been a noticeable shift in focus as we´ve become much more oriented to revenue strategy.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

They are trying to take into consideration your remarks. They are efficient regarding the issue or questions for my property.

Director of Revenue

Takes out the emotion but makes you think about the decision process and question what you would think. Challenges you.

Regional Revenue Manager from Branded

IDEAS has helped simplify the Revenue Management task so that more of my time can be spent on strategy. IDEAS is useful for -Forecasting -Responsive Revenue decisions -meeting budgets The customer service and support of the staff is faultless.

Revenue Manager

Amazing tool that assists hotels to be on top of its competition. Great yielding opportunities with revenue maximization.

Director of Revenue from Branded

The relative ease of objectivity for the software to relate to the hospitality industry and it's transparency for Revenue Management as a whole. I also love the support and follow up services.

Director of Revenue from Branded

- Dashboard, it display data to provide quick insight into historical and future OTB and BAR level - Professional client support teams, we got experts interacting with property to provide full support of any system issues or urgency - Enhanced mobile accessibility, allows us to utilize iDeaS even we are not around the office and that smart devices also allow us to make critical decisions from their phone at any time and any place - Accurate data store, iDeaS continue to provide different kind of reports to support analytics based on the statistic historical data and drive a better revenue performance - Useful Analytics, iDesS provides extremely powerful performance-driving capabilities such as market segmentation analysis, accurate unconstrained demand and high performance forecasting models

Revenue Manager from Resort

-Great forecasting tool -Superb functionality and simple to use and teach -Exceptional after sales service -Account management is great

Sales & Revenue Manager from Resort

easy system to understand and many reports that are easy to read from. training is good too.

Director Of Revenue Management from Boutique

G3 optimizing by room type demand Overall forecasting and optimization process CARE support.

VP Revenue from Branded

- Support always reply in a timely manager - Easy to access an account manager - Great functionality

Channel and Distribution Manager

IDeas reporting system is extremely good and helpful in daily reporting. Occupancy forecast really helps us to improve our judgements.

Revenue Manager from Branded

Intuitive system when it comes to forecasting and pricing. Great support from the IDeaS team

Revenue & Reservations Manager

I like the most "At Glance Screen" with summary of the month, Calendar with Bar pricing, OTB and forecast.

Revenue Manager from Resort

-Group Pricing: it saves a lot of time on group evaluation, especially for big groups

Director of Revenue Management

The Group Evaluation module is extremely helpful for properties with high group business and multiple sales managers. Flexibility of sales managers to evaluate a quote online remotely speeds up quotation process and waiting times for clients.

Revenue Manager from Branded

Ideas was helpful in calculating future and optimizing revenue, the group evaluation has helped in finding the optimal mix for the hotel by calculating the displacement to minimize risks.

Director of Revenue Management from Branded

The report system is comprehensive. It generates as much as data from the PMS and allow the user to use. The layout of reports is easy to read for all tiers of colleagues.

Director of Revenue Management from Branded

Increase room revenue in demanded dates as they will recommend correct BAR value Also help us to enhance the ADR & Revpar

Assistant Revenue Manager from Resort

I really enjoy the realistic revenue forecasts. A useful tool for every manager.

Financial manager from Branded

Clear visual of occupancy Helpdesk Business Analysis The show me function is really handy

Hotel Manager from Branded

I really like the business forecast, the show me function and the group pricing.

Marketing & communication from Branded

reports/ group pricing / next to excellent solution for Yield & Revenue management, interesting for sales to target segmentation

Director of Sales from Branded

The show me function Business details - great to see the how the numbers evolve everytime there is an update

Reservations Agent from Branded

The science is solid, enhancements are frequent, and client feedback is really valued. Our assets see continued improvement in performance & our teams are enriched by the capabilities the technology affords them to enhance their strategy and understand their business.

Corporate Director from Resort

-System updates rates daily without intervention necessary on my part -Data extraction reports allow for deep dives into statistics by day, month, segment, etc. -Frequent updates add features suggested by users

Area Director of Revenue

IDEAS is very user friendly and visual. The team is very efficient and supportive.

n/a from Boutique

The software helps with calculating demand and letting the hotels make more informed decisions.

Head - Revenue Management from Other

The user friendliness and the awesome one on one support from a human being

Revenue Manager from Branded

IDeaS RMS is good match to the hotel commercial startegy. It provides good detailed forecast, easy pricing system and the IDeaS CRM team is great support for all kind of queries. Overall great product and with G3 version gives more flexibility to the user to manage as well as understand system decisions in more detail than before.

Director of Revenue from Branded

Ideas offers a multi-dimensional overview of the business and its health, forecasting and deployment of hotels pricing is very convenient

Revenue Manager from Resort

■ Improved hotel forecast accuracy. ■ Increased number of red dates with higher sell out efficiency. ■ Great tool for group business displacement calculation through the evaluation module which ensures the most profitable scenario. ■ In addition to the perfect list of analytical reports, the scheduled report tool has been very helpful.

Senior Director of Revenue from Branded

Best after-sales support from a partner! Clients are involve in the product improvement - getting feedback from the users as to what they really need. Ensures that concerns are heard and addressed promptly and comprehensively. The mobile app version is friendly to use, all the essentials are included.

Jr Revenue Manager from Other

System is robust and easy to use. For properties with limited human resources IDEAS will be very helpful when it comes to forecasting and recommending rate strategies. Sophisticated optimization that is refreshed a few times a day to ensure that the rates are always competitive.

Senior Revenue Manager from Resort

Having a system react regularly to changes in demand behavior, both short and long term, helps us maximize our accommodation revenues.

Revenue Manager from Resort

-very user friendly -very useful tools -very efficient support and trainings

Reservations Manager & Revenue Analyst from Branded

The easy to read data is great. It assists in making decisions that are number based and not just gut feel based. The forecasting module is excellent, I could not do the maths as accurately or as quickly It frees me up to make strategic decisions instead of focusing on spreadsheets

Director Of Revenue from Branded

The analytical part, i.e. its reporting but also the whole group evaluation part. We use it for every single group evaluation.

Director of Revenue Management from Branded

The system is very clear and easy to use. The are a lot of possibilities regarding reports to be generated. You can get the data you need very easily.

Revenue Manager from Other

One of the best RMS for hotel Pricing and Forecast are the most important part of revenue management and Ideas RMS are pretty accurate in terms of taking decisions for the same

Director of Revenue from Airport/ conference

Easy and visual way to see all the informacion necessary to analize your properties.

Revenue Analyst from Branded

Data analysis is very good. Helping us to maintain the best available rate throughout the PMS and GDS.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

Very intuitive and easy to use. Gives good scope for users to update configurations without calling on support. Gives users the ability to run light configurations and also the ability for super users to get into the more detailed strategies. IDeaS is the 3rd RMS solution I've used in my RM career and have found IDeaS to be the best.

Revenue Manager from Resort

Simplicity of the system. Easy to understand and train team members who are not in revenue field.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

I like the pricing decisions and Group evaluation. This is best and always saves revenue managers time and makes life easier.

Reservations Manager from Other

BAR Module (Taking into account the Comp Set) Group Evaluation Forecasting

Area Revenue Director from Branded

Rate recommendation which is flexible.

Revenue Manager from Resort

saving our time to see the performance and what forecasting, more strategy to be implemented to increasing revenue

Director of Revenue from Resort

Ease of operation and setup and ongoing support from the support team and account manager!

Deputy Director of Revenue from Branded

- Group pricing evaluation help us in details of displacement calculation - LRV and Web BAR recommendation that we using on daily basis, this help us increase revenue

Cluster Revenue Manager from Branded

Good insight on demand levels as well as LRV. Able to set rates based on different factors both internal and external

Revenue Manager from Other

I like the forecasting part with analysis and gives me a idea for market analysis. 2. Analysis 3. Group Pricing 4. Pricing 5. Decision

Revenue Manager from Boutique

Ideas is really helpful in forecasting rooms in volume and suggesting rate positioning

Cluster Director RM from Extended Stay

The support received during installation and ongoing is second to none, both from the technical support to the client relationship management point of view. The UI is easy to use, they keep developing it including as much of the input provided for the users as possible and the documented manuals and support online is great.

Group Revenue Manager from Resort

The easy of the system to aid in revenue management decisions. The reporting functionality gives a competitive edge to make the correct decisions in a timely manner.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

The Four Cycles: Revenue Optimization Cycle- Forecast, Optimize, Control and Monitor. Accurate Forecast. Able to select the best mix of business to maximize the hotel's revenue. Useful Reports.

Director of Revenue from Resort

Help full to do Forecast and make life more easier to take pricing decision. Monthly review with ideas relation ship manager also great initiative

Revenue Manager from Resort

* Forecast validation: IDEAs vs. User Forecast to help an accurate forecast * Data Analysis of demand patterns * Relationship Manager to help for utilization of IDEAs

Assistant Revenue Director from Hostel

System is very reactive and give us realistic forecast aligned to our expectations and also has very useful reports

Reservations Manager from Branded

Assisting me in rate deployment and provides robust data for analytical purposes.

Reservations Manager from Boutique

- professional account Management - stabilized platform with excelent performance - provides exactly what promoted and with the %'s mentioned

Assistant Director Revenue & Distribution – Europe And Latin America from Boutique

Monthly CRM meeting is very helpful where our team can share their insight with IDeaS about hotel performance and IDeaS' assistance is very on point.

Assistant Revenue Manager from Branded

Very useful for forecasting based on trend of business. System give us the alert of any Yield, like forecast changes, Last Room Value changes, BAR rate available etc. Actually can't say only one or two points as very valuable key for hotel revenue management.

Director of Revenue Management from Extended Stay

Reporting features and forecast accuracy Overview page "@ a glance" with all important information on one page

Anne-Kathrein from Airport/ conference

Pricing for hotel and comp set. Pace Report and also the alert which help us to take action.

Director of Revenue Management from Branded

Its easy to use, customer service is appreciable. Quick response and guidance. Accuracy is commendable.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

Intelligent Revenue Management Systems, forecasting, web rate shopping, reports.

Director of Revenue from Branded

- Rate Recommendation, the ability to quickly and accurately calculate ideal room rates. - Competitor rates features

Revenue Manager from Bed & Breakfast

IDeas enables easier decision making by accounting for outliers and consistent trends. It enables a user to seamlessly monitor and evaluate decisions with respect to change in pace on a daily basis to adjust the strategy

Director of Revenue from Branded

1. The systems can support our hotel business on business analysis and revenue maximization 2. Good Customer Support

Revenue Manager from Branded

Group Evaluation as the sale team can interact with the guest with real time information. Moreover the response from sale team to guest is also much faster.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

- The ability to pull out reports in different aspect aids in analysing and also create efficiency in reacting to demand change better.

Assistant Revenue Manager from City Center

Easy to use and save time for analysis which help forecast and optimize revenue to hotel.

Director of Revenue - Centralize Service from Branded

- Forecasts and demand are clearly available - Smart and learning system - Right pricing all the time - IDeaS focuses professionally on RMS

Business Manager from Other

- Continues and accurate Forecasting abilities - Reporting and integrated tools - Support team is super! Always quick and ready to optimize and improve outcome

Cluster Director Revenue from Airport/ conference

Customer service is top notch and really helped us through the entire set up and continue to work with us as a true partner all the time.

Director of Revenue Management from Boutique

The forecasting which gave 90% accuracy of the forecasted occupancy and room revenue. The group pricing recommendation and the various reports that you can use in doing the anlaysis. The community portal which you can raise cases and you can get a response within 1-2 days.

Revenue Manager from Resort

The details, reports and the statistics. The group module also due to the fact the group offers are based on facts and data now.

Front Office Manager from Other

Unconstrained demand analysis tool is precise and trustworthy. Reports are a great strength also.

Revenue Manager from City Center

IDeaS RMS is - Innovative and forward thinking. Always exploring new avenues to increase revenue - The system is build on granular date, filtering down to the detail and allows you real impact

Founder & Revenue Optimisation Specialist from Other

Daily decisions with upload functionality. Daily 3 times decision updates. Data extraction reports.

Director Of Revenue Management from City Center

IDeaS allows us to now be more strategic and spend less time on data compilation. The system has saved us countless hours of research and data-input changing rates and making yielding decisions, that by the time we have completed are likely outdated. It also has given us more insight into how our different market segments perform such as booking window and wash ratios, which has allowed us to make more confident, data-informed decisions to push toward a sell out. Finally, the team at IDeaS has been incredibly helpful to work with from Crystal in Sales to Geoffrey in training, they are always available to help and strategize on how the system will best work for your hotels' unique selling points.

Regional Director of Revenue from Resort

knowledgeable and helpful client relationship manager. very approachable, willing to go the extra mile to help you with system challenges and/or any questions we have.

Director of Revenue from Resort

- the most significant: assistance in forecasting, pricing decisions, distribution, reporting

Revenue Analyst from City Center

1) Forecast accuracy 2) Pricing Decisions 3) Group Evaluation 4) Reporting 5) Monthly Calls on updates, etc.

Director of Revenue Optimization from Branded

Effective Results Robust System with numerous analytics and assessment tools

Senior Director of Revenue Management and Distribution

In Reporting, it provides various and useful reports to assist hotel to analyze business situation. Another is group evaluation function to assist hotel to evaluate how the risk is.

Revenue Optimisation Analyst

IDeaS provides reliable data that me and my team can always trust with stats to help our strategy decisions

Hotel Manager

They are trying to take into consideration your remarks. They are efficient regarding the issue or questions for my property.

Director of Revenue Management

Takes out the emotion but makes you think about the decision process and question what you would think. Challenges you.

Regional Revenue Manager

1- Forecast accuracy 2- Helpful reports 3- History records and comparison reports 4- User friendly

Revenue Manager

Easy to use visuals of IDeaS at a glance screen is great gives you a lot of information

Regional Revenue Manager

Easy to use and effective with its forecasting and pricing recommendations.

Regional Revenue Manager

It's a pleasure to work with the IDeaS organization, it helps to make my work more easier than before and saves me time.

Revenue Manager

The ease of navigation and the reports available with IDeaS is a lifesaver.

Revenue Manager

- Reports in IDeaS system is really good, helps to improve in our forecasting. - Glance Facility

Revenue Manager

There's so much to love about this software but mainly the revenue forecasting, automated BAR rate settings and group pricing facility.

Revenue Manager

Forecast function, integration with rate shopping tool, and sound commercial logic

Revenue Manager

System is easy to learn, with great support available in the form of the CARE support team, our client relationship Manager (Frank Boshoff) and the online 'Discover' platform. A logical approach to pricing and rate controls. User feedback is taken into consideration for regular system upgrades.

Regional Revenue Manager

It makes my life so much easier on a daily basis - easy to use and helps me in my job

Director of Revenue

Great Forecasting, ability to make informed decision and ability to make instant changes in decisions.

Director of Revenue

Easy to work with, it produces meaningful reports, user friendly. Wonderful summary reports, screen shots. Information at your finger tips

Revenue Manager

Ease to use, the support from the account manager and the support team, very user friendly, and the reports.

General Manager from Boutique

Very user friendly, updated on a regular basis in line with market changes and also feedback from clients. You also have the ability to use the system through an App on your phone giving access when on the move.

Regional Revenue Manager

It is a great tool to help forecast the future, knowing that there is a "second pair of eyes" over viewing the business

Cluster Revenue & Sales Manager

It gives business insights that allow anticipation and it's an excellent tool for Revenue Managers who make training and also on property non revenue management professionals (housekeeping, FO, Sales...).

Head of Revenue Management and Group Sales from Boutique

The software is easy to use. Rate updates are quick to market. Forecasts are fairly accurate and give a good indication of what to expect.

Data Analyst - Revenue

When setting up the system it was flexible to meet the original setup of rate structure and room structure which allowed us to continue operating as previously but at the same time allowed us to enhance what we were currently doing with the daily data review and forecasting that it has internally. After 10 months of using the system it continues to work with me and for me instead of against me or making me switch to their specific requirements. Of course their were minor changes we had to incorporate but these were to be efficient ourselves as well as allow G3 to perform at peak.

Director, Revenue Optimization

The never-ending support and training. I LEARN A LOT FROM THE COURSES. And I appreciate the 24 hr support.

Revenue Supervisor from Boutique

It allows Revenue Managers to focus on strategy, instead of collecting data. It helps to see the big picture and overlook several properties at the same time.

Revenue Systems Deployment Manager

Relatively easy to use, good learning system for new staff. good reporting capabilities

Director of Revenue

To know that our rates are up to date for 365 days in the future. To have automatic rate updates and interfaces to our other partners.

Revenue Manager

The IDeaS G3 platform is great for yielding by room types

Area Director of Revenue from Boutique

Features

  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Price sensitivity modeling
  • Fully automated revenue management
  • "What-if" scenario analysis
  • Guided workflows
  • Extended stay functionality
  • Serviced apartment functionality
  • Group pricing & evaluation
  • Channel management
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Multi-property Management
  • Open API
  • Mobile App
  • Inventory Management

Want to go behind the scenes and see how IDeaS Revenue Solutions works?

Featured Clients

References

IDeaS has done their homework in areas no one else has touched. As a result, both the IDeaS product and roadmap are ahead of everyone else. IDeaS automates pricing down to the individual rate code and room type, instead of centering all pricing around a single retail or BAR price point. Calvin Anderson Chief of Revenue Optimization at the RLH Corporation
We want our guests to do their own thing, and our take on revenue management is similar. We need to be able to do our own thing. My team couldn't be happier that IDeaS RMS will help us catch trends and booking patterns more quickly--allowing us to price ourselves ahead of the competition. Brent Hinton Director of Sales & Marketing at the ACME Hotel Company
The IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System's Information Manager and Business Analysis dashboard provide data that is clear, simple to understand and easy to use. This information really helps revenue managers stay on top of everything while allowing them to concentrate on other tasks like data quality. Veli-Petteri Korpi Business Manager at the S-Group Portfolio
IDeaS Revenue Management System has made our hotel management company's budgeting process so much easier. By using next year's forecast reports as a baseline, the whole process has been streamlined saving us time and effort. Jason McCormick Regional Director of Revenue Management at the Magnolia Hotels - Stout Street Hospitality
It's like the IDeaS system was designed for a revenue manager; always thinking of the end goal. The system and my revenue objectives are perfectly aligned to successfully driving RevPAR. Firas Asad Revenue Manager at the Fairmont Amman
We have sold rates that I would have never published if I hadn't been working with IDeaS. In August 2017, for example, we had revenues +16% vs 2016 and 8% over budget. Stefano Fusaro Assistant Hotel Manager at the Grand Hotel Minerva
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Active Markets

Pricing

One time upfront purchase (flat rate)
$1000 - $10,000
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More than $10/room/month

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Behind the scenes with Klaus Kohlmayr: the super connector of hotel tech

by
Hotel Tech Report

TLDR: Key lessons from our interview with Klaus Most hotel companies have too many cooks in the kitchen to be nimble The power pendulum is shifting back to hotels from the OTAs - and that’s good for everyone 5G and IOT building sensors will fuel the next wave of innovation in hotel tech Direct bookings don’t necessarily have the lowest acquisition cost Just because a system is working doesn’t mean it’s not hurting your business Owners need to make unconventional investments in futuristic infrastructure to develop their competitive advantage in crowded markets   In the world of hotel tech it can be hard to keep up with what seems like a never ending supply of self proclaimed ‘pundits’ and ‘experts’. Klaus Kohlmayr, Chief Evangelist at IDeaS revenue solutions stands in stark contrast with those self proclaimed ‘experts’.  Klaus is one of the most down to earth people you’ll ever meet and that’s the secret to his wisdom. His role as Chief Evangelist at IDeaS gives him unparalleled access that most can only dream of.  Klaus leaves promotion at the door and lets authentic conversations lead the way everywhere he goes.  Klaus has been tasked by IDeaS founder Ravi Mehrotra to bring an unbiased ear to the discussion then synthesize findings into what have become a game changing competitive advantage for the firm. Epictetus famously said that, "we have two ears and one mouth for a reason - to listen twice as much as we speak."  Klaus is an incredible listener and spends most of his time traveling to meet with hotel owners, managers and operators so that he can understand and empathize with their experience. Being a hotel company CEO can be lonely and the role bears an incredible burden.  Hotel company CEOs have thousands of workers who rely on them to put food on the table, they have investors to appease on a quarterly basis and managers who depend on them for career growth.  Disruption is constantly knocking at their doors but they have little time to focus on the future because the present demands so much. Where many tech companies use scare tactics and FOMO to encourage investment in their products, Klaus’ strategy with IDeaS is both calming and optimistic. The space has become incredibly diverse and dynamic over the last few years. When I look at other industries, I feel everyone struggles with the same issues – data silos, outdated technology, data not flowing freely, etc. Many people complain about the lack of innovation in the industry; however, I feel the hotel technology space is buzzing. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.  ~Klaus Kohlmayr, IDeaS Klaus effectively leverages public speaking as a key channel to build his network.  He is what leadership experts call a power broker.  Power brokers are constantly building their networks and then identifying ways to deliver value as quickly and frequently as possible.   In a stroke of genius, IDeaS CEO Dr. Ravi Mehrotra gave Klaus a mandate to remain neutral and non-promotional in his role as Chief Evangelist.  In an underinvested industry that’s notoriously behind the proverbial 8-ball, Mehrotra knew that leaders like his firm IDeaS would need to educate the market and placed a bet on his Chief Evangelist - a bet that has paid off handsomely for both IDeaS and for the industry as a whole.  Revenue management system adoption is growing at a record clip and it’s impossible to unbundle that growth from Kohlmayr’s crusade. Klaus’ evangelism doesn’t stop with hotel CEOs and revenue management.  In recent years Klaus has organically created one of the most coveted event series in the industry with his startup gatherings preceding major industry events.  These events are filled with everyone from top entrepreneurs in hotel tech to venture capitalists, hotel executives and even hospitality division leaders at major firms like Microsoft. So how does a former hotelier become the super connector of hotel tech? Who better to ask than the man himself - Klaus Kohlmayr.  We caught up with Klaus to talk about his career journey, where hotel tech is today and where it’s going.     What does your role as Chief Evangelist mean to you? IDeaS, a SAS company, is the world’s leading provider of revenue management software and services. With 30 years of expertise, IDeaS drives better revenue for more than 11,000 clients in 129 countries. Combining industry knowledge with innovative, data-analytics technology, IDeaS creates sophisticated yet simple ways to empower revenue leaders with precise, automated decisions they can trust. I describe my role as “looking at the biggest trends and developments that will shape the industry in the next 5-7 years.” These trends could cover a lot of ground from consumer to technology developments within the industry. I am in constant dialogue with a wide range of industry players: hospitality groups, owners & asset managers, technology providers, consultants and start-ups. I also look outside the hotel industry for a view on how broader developments will impact the industry as a whole. Throughout my conversations, certain themes emerge, which I then share and communicate back with the industry, as well as within IDeaS so we can all be prepared for the future.   Tell us about your career journey from hotels into hotel tech. My passion for revenue management led me to technology. I was working as a front office manager at a variety of InterContinental Hotels (IHG) around the world. Revenue management didn’t really exist yet, and I became passionate about how I could play with price and demand. I didn’t have any tools, so I taught myself how to program in Microsoft and coded my own Excel-based tools to help me track and analyze data and make what now seem to be very basic revenue management decisions. The results were pretty spectacular for the hotels, so I decided to move into revenue management full time. IDeaS created the first Revenue Management System (RMS) I used, and I quickly understood the power of automating revenue management tasks and decisions. In 2010, after a few years leading revenue management in Europe and Asia Pacific and working on some global projects at IHG, I joined IDeaS to build up the company’s consulting arm and lead innovation projects. Since 2017, I have been IDeaS’ Chief Evangelist, which means I am in a continuous dialogue with the wider industry to identify long-term trends and share how companies should prepare themselves for an exciting future of revenue management and pricing. Essentially, I am spreading the good news (which is what the word “evangelist” means) about revenue management and revenue science to the world.   When did you first become interested in hotel technology? I remember around 1987 we had some computer programming classes in the hotel management school I attended. That was pre-Windows, pre-internet, pre-everything. GW-Basic – green text on black screen. That was pretty cool, and I loved the coding aspect. I really got into hotel technology when I was exposed to the first property management systems at various hotels and of course when I used IDeaS for the first time as a hotel revenue manager in 1999 – what a revelation! Moving from hotels to hotel tech made me realize the incredible universe and ecosystem technology brings to hotels. The space has become incredibly diverse and dynamic over the last few years. When I look at other industries, I feel everyone struggles with the same issues – data silos, outdated technology, data not flowing freely, etc. Many people complain about the lack of innovation in the industry; however, I feel the hotel technology space is buzzing. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.   What makes 'hotel tech' different than just 'tech'? The industry is both decentralized and disintermediated, which means very unique challenges. I think the biggest challenge is twofold – one, the pendulum of power between OTAs and hotels has not yet reached equality. Hotels were blindsided by the power of OTAs and their huge investments in technology, and it took some time to realize technology is essential to differentiation. Two, many people influence decision-making in the industry – from hotel owners to asset managers to operators and brands. For every technology investment at the brand level, a huge effort has to go into creating buy-in from owners and franchisors to actually commit to the investments. That takes time and doesn’t allow for nimbleness.   What's the single biggest opportunity that hotels are missing today? So, of course I have to say revenue management solutions! Kidding aside, an RMS is a must today. The average hotel makes five million revenue management decisions a year, and no human is able to get that right all the time. Other than that, if I was a hotelier, I would invest in two areas: guest engagement systems that allow hotels to interact efficiently and dynamically with guests throughout their journey and labor effectiveness tools because labor costs continue to increase faster than revenue and anything which helps increase productivity goes straight to the bottom line.   What is the most exciting technological innovation that you've seen implemented in hotels within the last 2-3 months? This should fall into the category of "cool tech" and doesn't necessarily need to be practical. I think we have not talked enough about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how this will help hotels be more efficient in their use of resources. When everything has sensors and devices are able to exchange information, a hotel’s efficiency will go through the roof. IDeaS’ parent company, SAS, is a huge believer in IoT and has partnered with Cisco in those areas. For example, people are already able to monitor and optimize waterflows and energy-use remotely and dynamically. The roll out of 5G will have a huge impact in this area.     How will the hotel tech landscape be different in 5-years? One word that comes to mind is convergence. In hotel tech, data is converging in the cloud which means systems are also converging. I believe we will see separate systems such as PMS, CRS, CRM and RMS begin to disappear. Hotels will buy capabilities, not systems and plug them into their platforms. We are already seeing the emergence of marketplaces or hotel app stores. It’s a huge shift, but that’s where investment is going today.   What is one thing that most hotel owners believe to be true that is actually false? That direct bookings have the lowest acquisition costs and that a system that’s “good enough” is good enough.   What are the most important skills or characteristics that hotel owners need to thrive in today's market conditions and why? Vision, strategy and guts. With the industry being in the midst of transformation, the owners who are most successful are the ones who foresee long-term trends, understand their impact and invest into their infrastructure of today for tomorrow, even if it means going against conventional wisdom. Sameness will not result in success.   What is your favorite hotel in the world? I think there is a difference between most memorable and favorite hotels. On the most memorable side, the Oberoi Amarvilas Agra next to the Taj Mahal in India probably tops my list. Spectacular location and incredible service make this a very special, once-in-a-lifetime experience. My favorite stays have actually been in very small hotels or guest houses, including a century old Ryokan in Kyoto, Japan, a seven-bedroom guest house in the middle of rice fields in Bali, Indonesia, a homestay on the Nepalese/Indian Border on the way to Sandakphu Pass in India or the Taj Vivanta Sawai Madhopur Lodge at the Ranthamboree National Park, to name just a few. I left all of them with a sense of having experienced something unique and special.   What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I am passionate about cooking. I am a trained chef and a member of the only remaining chapter of the Amateur Chefs Club in the United States.

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This is the tech your sales and catering team needs

by
Hotel Tech Report

The right tech tools put your sales and catering team in control of their own destinies. Greater productivity and more automation of tedious tasks boosts job satisfaction and gives staff the confidence to do more high-impact work that leads to more revenue. Many solutions now also include predictive analytics to guide efforts automatically, helping staff to pursue the most promising leads effortlessly. The increased effectiveness also builds good will with guests. When staff more ably respond to requests -- with increased accuracy and 3D space visualizations -- event organizers feel much more confident in their venue selections. Best-in-class event management solutions also include strong collaboration features to build trust and boost conversions with event planners and organizers.   Here's a look at the essential tech for your sales and catering team.   Sales platforms & CRMs Sales platforms and CRMs are the backbone of successful sales. The sales team needs to be organized and focused on the most lucrative leads first. A sales platform/CRM will give the sales team a centralized repository for tracking the sales pipeline so that promising leads don’t slip through the cracks. Other leads may need more nurturing over time; a dedicated CRM is a critical piece of this puzzle.   Hotels have one significant choice in this category: to use a specialized hospitality CRM or a major brand that serves all industries. For users of CRMs not specifically focused on hospitality, some feel a disconnect with customer service. It really comes down to whether you prefer a CRM solution with global scale or one targeted to hospitality. Global scale can mean that there are many strong integrations with existing tools, while specialization means that the tool delivers targeted functionality essential to hotels.   Here are the top three sales team CRMs for hospitality, plus one startup to consider. Salesforce: The most well-known CRM provider enables data-driven sales and marketing through its rich guest profiles and robust engagement tracking. The software is familiar to many, which simplifies on-boarding new staff. There’s a tradeoff there, however: specialized support may be harder to come by.     Amadeus Delphi: Amadeus’ CRM module is accessible on mobile and combines a detailed overview of function space with guest room availability so sales can act quickly and accurately. The Simple module supports hotels with less than 5,000 square feet of space, while the Advanced module extends to multiple properties, making this a solid contender for all kinds of properties.     Startup to consider: Quore Sales is an alternative to the major brand names mentioned above. The tool supports efforts across your entire hotel staff and ensures more transparency, accountability, and collaboration across your entire team -- without any legacy hangups.   Want to learn more about Hotel CRM?   Meetings and events intelligence When it comes to leveraging data to close more group business, it’s ideal to have a ‘second brain.’ There’s only so much capacity during the work day. And often, valuable nuggets are buried deep in the data. Meetings and events intelligence tools push further into the data to find opportunities, trends, and threats that enable sales teams to be more effective. While some other categories here include advanced reporting and detailed analytics, a standalone business intelligence tool often outperforms. The specialized focus means that the tool has a deeper set of data than the average event management software, and can truly unearth new insights that were inaccessible outside of a dedicated events intelligence tool.   Here are a few meetings and events intelligence tools that help you get more out of your data, as well as one startup to consider. IDeaS SmartSpace: The visual strategy management solution bridges sales and revenue with deep analytics around business trends and performance of a hotel’s event spaces. The tool includes a space utilization tool to illustrate effective use of space, as well as a pricing strategy tab that breaks down conversions by arrival data, team member, booking type, and meeting class.     KNOWLAND: Knowland helps teams achieve their group goals with deep analytics on group booking patterns, market benchmarking, and planner buying behavior. Predictive analytics based on “the industry’s largest historical database of actualized events” accelerate sales cycles by matching inbound requests with the highest likelihood of success Startup to consider: A winner of the 2019 HotelTechAwards, Get Into More’s strategic tool manages meetings, events, and groups for both branded and non-branded hotel. The tool visualizes data and enables better analysis outside of spreadsheets and reports. For properties building a la carte events/meeting technology, this is a go-to for business intelligence.   Group sourcing & RFPs When sourcing groups, timing is everything. Strong RFP management capabilities ensure that your team is responding to the highest-value RFPs quickly and accurately. One of the biggest struggles faced by event planners is the lack of timely responses to their requests; some even complain that venues don’t even respond. This delay is directly tied to the increase in RFPs received by hoteliers. Reducing the delay is a main benefit for hoteliers that use an RFP management tool that streamlines responses. These tools can pull together responses quickly, and even provide more self-service options to event planners so that hotels have less work to do for each proposal. Group sourcing is also a key part of this category. The major players, such as Cvent, offer hotels a direct line to event planners. These tools are able to match hotels with groups by looking at the characteristics of each group and determine hotels that would be ideal venues. This makes inbound RFPs more likely to be a good fit for hotels, reducing staff labor and increasing the odds of closing group business.     Here are a few group sourcing options, as well as one startup to consider. Cvent Hospitality Cloud: Cvent’s platform achieves three things: help hotels find buyers through increased visibility, win business with lead scoring, and optimize business with metrics and business intelligence. Reviewers appreciate the ability to set up a profile at the property level that includes a variety of offers, which increase transparency with meeting planners.   Cendyn Sales Suite:  Cendyn also takes the platform approach. Its Sales Suite ties into Cendyn’s other products and centers around its eRFP automation, which reduces RFP response times while increasing the accuracy. Reviewers mention an innovative video chat function gives sales teams a way to differentiate proposals with video content.     Startup to consider: The top reviewed vendor in group sourcing/RFP management is Event Temple, popular with those who don’t want to tie into a larger platform with many bells-and-whistles. Reviewers love its all-in-one approach, which assists with everything from lead prospecting, client retention, email automation, ROI analytics, and performance metrics.   Event planning software Hoteliers use event planning software to manage the operational intricacies of on-property events. From collaborating on table layouts to providing a visual layer for event planners to request proposals, these tools improve the experience for everyone. By providing event visualization capabilities that represent your space and your resource inventory, you can deliver on the meeting experience, plan events faster, easier and more accurately. Ultimately, this makes event planners more confident and secure in their venue selections because they can visualize how the event may look in a particular space. There’s also the issue of uneven transfer of information. In traditional models of managing event sales, there can sometimes be some missed information in the hand-off from sales to catering. Event planning software ensures that hotels deliver exactly what’s been promised to the event organizer. There are fewer questions and stronger accountability. The   These are the top event planning tools, as well as one startup to consider. Amadeus Hospitality Diagramming: Amadeus’ diagramming tool allows properties to accurately plan events with organizers, planners, and guests. The intuitive interface via the web makes it easy to organize room plans, including a 3D virtual walkthrough of the completed room. Plans can be shared with others for review, feedback, and approval.   Social Tables: Owned by Cvent, the tool has expanded functionality to become integral to many event planners worldwide. The focus on collaboration between planners and properties on both mobile and desktop. The suite also features online sales and marketing solutions, 2D and 3D room diagramming, business intelligence for hotels, and event attendee management.     Startup to consider: Allseated’s scrappy approach appeals to independents and technologists alike: the freemium business model lowers barriers to entry and the immersive 3D walkthroughs of specific events is a huge bonus to event planners and guests.   Where should you invest right now? Sales and catering technology can transform the way your hotel approaches group business. With the right tools, your sales team can prospect more effectively and your catering team can deliver knockout events that make guests sing their praises. While this category of technology can be a lot to sift through, focus on the functionality with the biggest bang for your buck. If you already have a CRM (and your team actually uses it daily), then it may be best to focus on event planning software and diagramming solutions that give event planners a way to visualize their events. However, if your sales team isn’t using a CRM yet, now may be the time to invest in a holistic solution that provides both sales tools and event management. The most underinvested area within this space lies in meetings and events intelligence solutions.  Such solutions provide near instant ROI and should be considered by every type of hotel that has a decent group business mix. With a comprehensive capability at the heart of your group sales and event delivery operation, you’ll see a massive improvement in productivity, revenue, and client satisfaction.

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9 CEO predictions about the future of the hotel business

by
Hotel Tech Report

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

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“Alexa, make me a better hotelier”

by
Hotel Tech Report

Most of the ‘artificial intelligence’ being sold to hotels isn’t actually artificial intelligence.  The drones used to deliver room service champagne to the ultra elite back in 2014 was just a PR stunt.  Don’t even get us started on Google’s attempt to outfit hotel staff with Google Glass lenses.  The list goes on and on. While we’ve been bullish on the use of voice activated technology for business use such as IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ smart revenue assistant we have historically taken a more bearish stance on voice technology for guest use until recently. Admittedly, we first thought that Alexa for hotel rooms was just another PR stunt but after meeting Dave Berger and trying Volara's technology for ourselves - our skepticism quickly became enthusiasm for Volara's impact on hotel operations and the overall guest experience. Back in 2015 Dave Berger was a lawyer and AirBnB super host.  As his vacation rental business grew it began to interfere with his day job due to an increasing volume of text messages from guests asking lots of similar questions.   Berger was an avid user of Amazon Alexa’s smart assistant in his personal life and decided to hack together a solution that could help answer lots of these questions for guests.  Doing so instantly made managing his budding vacation rental business significantly easier.   That’s when he had his “ah-ha moment”. Berger knew that if he could solve this much friction in his startup vacation rental business with Alexa that hotels would benefit from the use of this new technology due to the massive amount of complexity involved in their operations. Berger didn’t just jump in and start selling his device to hotels.  He spent 2016 identifying the areas where voice technology could make a meaningful impact on the guest experience.  During this research phase, he developed a partner strategy and built a platform that could easily connect with other software solutions. To this day, one of the biggest pain points for guests in a hotel room is waiting on hold when calling guest services. Volara integrates with all the leading work order management systems - like Alice, Amadeus HotSOS, SynergyMMS, Knowcross, and HMobile - so guests can can make requests and get instant confirmation that the item or service they need is being delivered Another massive pain point for hotel guests lies around the fact that hotel room TV remotes are ridden with germs and bacteria.  Volara integrates with in room entertainment systems like Sonifi, BeyondTV and Innspire so that guests never have to pick up that filthy remote control ever again. One by one Berger has identified areas where voice can help other tech products perform better and faster.  Volara has racked up dozens of these technology partnerships to date and its platform approach has paid off in spades for Berger resulting in an exclusive partnership to provide voice technology for Marriott franchisees and even securing a nod straight from Amazon CTO Werner Vogels - no small feat.   Amazon CTO Werner Vogels talks about Volara at Reinvent 2017  While we were tempted to speak with Alexa for this interview, we felt like sitting down for a chat with Berger might be a bit more productive. Dave, what was your background before starting Volara? After five years practicing law at a big law firm, I ran like hell.  I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and have been following my entrepreneurial passions since 2008.   I had been an AirBnB Superhost for three years and one day in January 2016 a particularly needy guest began peppering me the most mundane questions in rapid succession.  "Where are extra towels?" "How do I use the dishwasher?" "Where can I park?" Alexa was one year old at the time and I decided that she could help me serve my guests in a fun and more efficient way. After receiving great feedback from my own guests and measurably reducing the number of guests messaging me, I saw the opportunity for a business venture and began to consider suitable markets.  I spent 2016 speaking with hoteliers and learning everything I could about technology in hotels. Thanks to some great mentors early on, we were able to identify specifically what it would take to turn a consumer smart speaker and natural language processing platform into an enterprise grade solution that's suitable for the most complex hotel environments. Today, Volara's software addresses the most common concerns about consumer smart speakers deployed in hotels - guest privacy, data security, reply accuracy, and seamless integration into existing hotel technologies.  While others are charging for a "skill", Volara gives its conversation models away for free to its clients and enables others to build creatively atop of those conversation models. Who was Volara’s first customer? The Acme Hotel in Chicago was the first hotel to deploy our solution in every room.  This solution is live and loved by guests today. The ownership group has since deployed our solution in another one of their hotels as well.   If I recall correctly, the Acme Hotel found us.  It's an incredibly tech forward property with management and ownership that immediately saw the value in our solution. Why do hotels need voice activated technology? Voice technology enables hotels to engage their guests in a fun and scalable way. Volara turns leading consumer voice technologies that your guests will know from home into a compliant, flexible, and accurate fully integrated hotel business tool that will yield measurable results. Who is one mentor that has really helped you scale Volara? Armand Rabinowitz.  Armand is currently the Senior Director of Strategy and Workgroups at HTNG, but at the time we met he was Director of Innovation at Hyatt.  Armand was the very first hotelier to contact us through our website and helped us understand the intricacies of working with large hotel brands.  Thanks to the insight he shared early on, we have managed to develop successful relationships with four of the largest hotel brands in the world. What's the most common misconception that hoteliers have about voice technology? Some hoteliers believe Amazon's Alexa is a hotel product.  We've seen this mistake lead to disastrous outcomes at The Wynn Las Vegas and Best Western.  In the same way that Google Chromecast needs a hotel technology overlay, so does Amazon's Alexa.  Volara has built this software overlay and I'm proud to say it is being used by every successful deployment of Amazon's Alexa in hotels today. What's the most surprising thing you've learned about scaling technology into hotels since founding the business? Hoteliers don't like to take risks on startups.  Its sad and holds back innovation in an industry that is in dire need of new ways of doing business.  Three years on, Volara is now well established in the industry, but we didn't reach the success we have today without a fight.   Volara has built deep technical integrations for 30 plus hotel technologies - from work order management systems to guest engagement platforms to IPTV solutions to room controls to valet and safety products.  Our vision has been to be the voice interface for everything in the hotel and that helped us bring credibility in those early days by associating with partners who the hotels were already working with. If you could partner with any vendor in hotel tech, who would it be and why? Hotel Tech Report, because they are trying to bring transparency and efficiency to an old fashion marketplace.  Hoteliers should consider vendors based on the quality of their reviews on Hotel Tech Report, rather than by the size of their booth at HITEC. How will voice technology for hotels change in the next 5-years? Hoteliers will become more educated on voice technologies and value the solutions that provide guest privacy protections, data security, improved interaction accuracy, flexible management tools, and seamless integrations. Volara will continue to lead the pack and will be voice enabling 80 hotel technologies across 8 natural language processing platforms in 26 languages on 60 different pieces of hardware in hotels across the globe. Do you have any new products or feature launches to share? While our Alexa based solution continues to scale rapidly, we are committed to providing platform agnostic conversation management for our clients.  I think most folks are aware of our joint solutions with Google and IBM Watson by now, but there is more to come. Stop by to meet us at HITEC or reach out for a confidential preview. Is there anything that the community can do to be helpful for you? Keep collaborating in the best interests of our clients.  I love working with partners to achieve truly remarkable outcomes. What's one piece of advice that you have for any entrepreneurs in the hotel tech space? Focus on measuring the ROI for the hotels immediately.  Nice to have solutions inevitably fail. What is the best book you've read lately and why? It’s not a book but I’ve been really passionately reading the At War section of the New York Times for quite some time and I think it’s critical reading for anyone in global business.  It chronicles the experience and costs of war across the globe. The impact of war - whether on combatants, civilians, the environment, lost innovation or other aspects of our world - is something we all need to try to understand better. What is your favorite podcast I enjoy listening to the investigative reports by 60 Minutes - yes, the same 60 minutes that my grandparents watched on their black and white TV.  Sometimes complex stories take time to investigate, unwind and convey in a thoughtful way. What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I lived atop a butcher shop in Hong Kong.  Each morning a noisy truck would drop a pig in front of our door and my wife would say "Breakfast is here."

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

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Hotel Tech Report

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

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These are the 6 most powerful IDeaS G3 revenue management software features and services

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Hotel Tech Report

In our Product Deep Dive series, we go deep into one solution to help hoteliers evaluate and assess the best software for their specific situations. Among the growing number of revenue management tools, IDeaS has established itself as one of the world’s top revenue management systems. Its flagship IDeaS G3 RMS processes 100 million revenue-enhancing decisions each day across 1.6 million rooms, translating rich data inputs into a dynamic revenue engine for peak profit performance. Here are 6 of the features of the IDeaS G3 system that we most certainly can’t live without.     #1: Demand-based pricing by room type One of the latest IDeaS G3 RMS features allows revenue managers to yield by room type. For example, let’s say the system detects a spike in demand for the “deluxe double” room type. It will automatically increase the price for that room type -- without also boosting prices on other room types. Yielding by room type unlocks a purer yield management approach, with rates priced according to guest demand and price sensitivity for specific room types, rather than simple attributes or inflexible rules. This reduces the burden of manually yielding across multiple room types, says Angelo Fernandes, SVP for Terranea Resort: “This technology has enabled us to look at inventory by type or segment and actually make decisions to yield room types uniquely across different channels. Terranea is very unique, with 582 keys and a mix of rooms, suites, villas, casitas, and bungalows. IDeaS helped us understand pricing, availability, and demand for each room in order to optimize profitability.” The demand-based pricing approach gives revenue managers a more accurate, holistic view of a hotel’s demand profile. Automation ensures that each room type is priced appropriately for the demand, which yields the most profitable business mix. Sometimes dynamic room-type pricing can be unintuitive, says Fernandes, where smaller rooms are actually priced higher than larger, more premium ones. But it’s all based on actual demand rather than instinct or historical performance. “Effectively, each room type has its own BAR, so we’re now selling more rooms at the correct rate, and we’re also avoiding overbooking a certain room type and then having to move guests to a bigger room.”   The IDeaS RMS “at a glance” dashboard     #2: Virtual Revenue Management Service (VRMS) Most hoteliers feel under-resourced. Yet, smaller properties are naturally at a disadvantage when it comes to resources -- especially independents that find themselves in direct competition with “soft” brands that don’t directly rely on their parent company’s identity. These brands appeal to a different cohort than the majors, while still taking advantage of the parent’s revenue management expertise. That’s not to say that brand-affiliated hotels don’t also feel the squeeze when it comes to finding resources to devote to revenue strategy. IDeaS set out to solve this issue for any hotel, with its Virtual Revenue Management Service. VRMS helps hotels accelerate their revenue strategy by assigning an industry revenue expert to work directly with hotel staff—no matter the business objective, resource mix or skill level. The three phases of VRMS align hotel management and staff around the techniques and habits of a revenue-focused culture. With the end goal of establishing clear standard operating procedures around revenue optimization, VRMS ensure that hotels of all kinds benefit from the revenue management revolution.   #3: Ideal Pricing delivers continuous pricing Automation is at the core of the IDeaS approach to revenue management. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, it makes precise revenue management decisions that most revenue managers would never be able to see. Ideal Pricing uses deep market intelligence, such as search penetration, competitor rates, booking trends, and reputation scores, to intelligently forecast demand and power a continuous pricing model.     The automated system prices room types at the ideal rate for a given product and set of guestroom attributes. The ideal pricing model intelligently prices by day or length of stay, while also allowing hotels to price within a range or set specific price levels for certain attributes. Revenue managers can link products to BAR or independently price as agile rates to dynamically flex products based on unique demand and attributes. The best part of this is that it all happens in real-time and in the background, so revenue managers can focus on tactics and strategy rather than manual data entry. The AI-powered analytics recognize relationships between all rates and segments, continuously making the smartest pricing decisions based on the latest information. With Ideal Pricing, hoteliers achieve peak profitability decoupled from a traditional rates-based framework.     #4: Support before, during, and after implementation It’s a common refrain here at HTR: customer support is always a core consideration when evaluating new partners for your hotel. Poor support can scuttle even the most advanced product; without knowledgeable resources available before, during, and after the implementation, a tool risks failing due to low adoption and minimal integration into existing processes. IDeaS sees itself as an ally in implementation, and, as a result, provides robust implementation support that supports a hotel’s efforts to nurture a sustainable revenue culture. The clear plan is to train staff at the outset, as well as through continuous learning so that everyone has the tactical knowledge necessary to get the most of your chosen software. This includes how to read reports and what actions to take action based on those reports.     #5: Rate publishing tool Most hotels realize that all distribution channels are not created equal. For peak profit performance, the highest value booking at the lowest acquisition cost. Individual channel performance, plus overall channel mix, equals the optimal revenue strategy. To achieve the optimal mix, hotels need a rate publishing tool that consistently and accurately updates rates across all chosen channels. This Functionality is integrated into the workflow, making it simple and easy to publish rates across channels. No more logging into multiple extranets and manually entering the same information multiple places. It’s all about working smarter and more strategically. Hotels also realize that there’s a trust issue when it comes to rates appearing equal across channels. Rate parity breeds confidence, and an integrated rate publishing tool empowers hotels to build that confidence through seamless rate management.     The Demand360 view highlights the competitive market data alongside your hotel’s forecast and decisions.   #6: Limited Data Build functionality Launching a new hotel is both an exciting and challenging time. It's a fresh slate to serve a new segment or expand in an existing market. The freshness also poses a problem for revenue management: Without any historical data, how should a hotel be properly priced in its early days? Pricing affects positioning; getting the pricing wrong can alter demand and consumer perception. The Limited Data Build feature addresses this existential issue for new hotels. To forecast demand in the early days, IDeaS will clone data from existing hotels with similar business mixes to provide baselines for demand and predicted guest behavior. One new brand in Germany, Me and all, found that the baseline data helped beat its ADR expectations by 15% in the first half year. “Up until now, one of the biggest problems has been forecasting how a new business will unfold. Normally, we rely heavily on a hotel’s historical market data besides examining the public price points of other hotels to get a feel for the market. On this occasion, however, there was a bigger knowledge gap to fill. -Monika Sand, Corporate Manager Revenue at Lindner Hotels AG Bonus! Lucky #7: Smart Space The complexity of managing revenue grows exponentially when adding groups and meetings to the mix. For larger hotel groups, there may be an additional layer of communication between a centralized revenue management team and property-level sales managers. SmartSpace is a dynamic cloud-based strategy application that provides a revenue-focused visual analysis of meetings-and-events trends and performance. Thanks to more intelligent analysis, hotels can finally optimize revenue on key demand days by using detailed demand profiles to price more strategically.     The SmartSpace Functionality guides hotels on forecasted demand, performance trends, market competitiveness, and pricing strategy. Through data and visualizations, it provides a guide to pricing decisions, as well as prioritization of RFP responses. Demand-level data can also reveal patterns across many meeting room types, to reveal which rooms are most popular and which were underutilized. These patterns inform the optimal configuration of those event spaces to ensure that supply meets demand. For instance, rarely-used rooms could be combined or repurposed to better suit the needs of today’s event and meeting organizers. “Smart Space makes it a lot easier for us to study our booked and lost business and better prioritize sales team efforts,” said Christine. “To be able to pull vast sums of relevant data and see that presented in an intuitive and consumable format is such an advantage. It’s the first step of some very exciting progress we’re seeing in meetings and events.” -Christine Wassell, director of revenue optimization for Radisson Hotel Group

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

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Hotel Tech Report

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

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IDeaS Founder Dr. Ravi Mehrotra on why revenue managers need to start thinking fast and slow

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Hotel Tech Report

Many academics spend their careers publishing research on obscure topics distributed via infrequently read academic journals but Daniel Kahneman and Dr. Ravi Mehrotra break from that mold. Kahneman’s seminal work “Thinking, Fast and Slow” not only won him a Nobel Prize and the title “Father of Behavioral Economics” but has impacted the entire way humanity understands the world around us. In the book, Kahneman breaks down human cognition into two modes which he calls System 1 and System 2.  System 1 refers to fast, instinctive and emotional processing of information. System 2 is slower and more logical.  Kahneman uses empirical observation to show areas where humans are particularly bad at making critical decisions due to tendencies from System 1.   He discovered a set of rules we have developed to help make fast decisions —he calls these rules “heuristics” (or biases).  One such heuristic is the hot-hand fallacy. This bias occurs when a person who has experienced luck with a random event becomes more likely to believe that luck will ensue with future outcomes.   Think of your friend who made money on Bitcoin and then blew their earnings chasing Ethereum during the crypto crash.  Or maybe your friend who rode the slots all the way up and then all the way back down during your last Vegas trip. We developed the hot-hand fallacy as a cognitive shortcut to help us make quick decisions when required for survival.  For decisions that require more thought — this heuristic often leads to poor decision making. Decades before Kahneman’s work went mainstream, a young Carnegie Mellon doctoral student noticed these biases were causing businesses to lose billions of dollars each year — enter Dr. Ravi Mehrotra. Mehrotra went on to become a professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University but couldn’t shake the problems he discovered as a young doctoral student.  In 1989 Mehrotra left his successful career as a professor and set out to change the way companies make pricing decisions using data and predictive models. Many innovators fail because their inventions are ahead of their time. Ravi is unique in that his invention was before its time, but through determination, patience and tenacity he has been able to persevere and has achieved unbelievable commercial success.   Today Dr. Mehrotra's firm, IDeaS revenue solutions, is the world’s largest revenue management software company with more than 10,000 clients, and Ravi is still at the helm.  IDeaS is not just a technological pioneer but has perfected a customer first approach at massive scale. IDeaS was recently awarded the most beloved company in hotel technology by its clients, and it was an honor to sit down with Ravi to learn from his experience and intuition.  Ravi’s story is an inspiration for academics, entrepreneurs, managers and hoteliers alike.     Find out why Ravi thinks that hoteliers make tech decisions when it’s too late, how chess made him a better entrepreneur and more in this exclusive interview.   IDeaS Founder Dr. Ravi Mehrotra What was your background prior to starting the company? After receiving my doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University, I started my university career as a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University where I worked on pioneering models for parallel computing and algorithms for distributed processing based on data science and artificial intelligence. I became very interested in exploiting the power of data science to make better business decisions. Data science could be used to improve our problem-solving abilities by helping us explore new ideas and acquire greater knowledge through the collection, analysis and interpretation of data.   What made you decide to leave your prestigious academic career and create IDeaS? I found it confounding that most companies were relying on guesstimates and gut feelings to make important business decisions. Complex decisions in any business encompass far too many variables for the human mind to comprehend and analyze. I was convinced the amount of available data and the ability to process it with machines would continue growing exponentially, whereas human brain processing capacity is limited. As a result, I became passionate about applying mathematical and scientific reasoning, as well as quantitative data analysis and optimization, to support complex decision-making in business, removing ambiguity and improving speed and accuracy. This led to the establishment of IDeaS (Integrated Decisions & Systems, Inc.) in 1989 that began a journey to change the revenue management industry from a culture that largely depended on gut feelings and heuristics in decision-making to a culture that was much more objective by combining the power of data, advanced mathematics and sophisticated technology. We pioneered the “opportunity cost” approach that provided a simple yet optimal way for the practical determination of asset availability and pricing that later became the industry standard for dealing with the complexities of the network or length-of-stay effects in hotel revenue management.   Who was your first customer when starting the business? We initially focused our software development efforts on the airline industry. Our first client, Northwest Airlines—later acquired by Delta—chose IDeaS to provide the world’s first network optimizer for airline revenue management. When we transitioned our successful applications to the hospitality industry, our first client was Hilton International. We convinced them and other early clients to work with us based on a scientific estimation of the benefits they would achieve from our partnership. The benefit estimations were derived using a forecasting and simulation workbench—a computer simulation of the real-world yield management environment we had developed. The simulation environment capabilities permitted our early hotel clients to vary any or all inputs to the yield management system. By creating a study of what can happen if certain changes were made in the assumptions about the marketing environment, we were able to provide objective estimates of the revenue improvement that can be achieved. Most massive companies lose touch with their customers, how has IDeaS been able to please customers at such a massive scale? IDeaS empowers hoteliers with revenue science, driving greater profitability and productivity by infusing sophisticated, integrated technologies with deep hospitality industry knowledge. We are a proactive partner, balancing a relentless pursuit of innovation with a client-first mentality. Our automated solutions simplify the complex and transform data into precise pricing and forecasting decisions hotels can count on. With 30 years of expertise and over 10,000 clients in 124 countries, we are the world’s leading and most trusted provider of revenue management software and services.   Read what IDeaS clients are saying about the product   You’ve worked with literally tens of thousands of hoteliers over the years, what’s the most common mistake you see hoteliers making today? Hoteliers are not comfortable making changes to prices without knowing the effect it has on their ability to reach budget. In a volatile market, too much emphasis is placed on meeting budget and making safe pricing decisions that ultimately limit a hotel’s revenue achievement. Placing an emphasis instead on demand-based pricing will help secure the highest possible revenue from the marketplace. "Some hoteliers believe it is prudent to wait until business is strong and making more profit before they invest in “nice to have” tools such as revenue management software. That is like saying an athlete should wait until they can run faster before they buy good running shoes. It is the revenue management system that will enable them to maximize their yield and create the bigger profits."   What's the most surprising thing you've learned about scaling technology into hotels? Since forming IDeaS in 1989, there have been many dramatic changes to the hospitality business, but I have continually been surprised by the speed of change in critical technology systems, such as the CRS and PMS. While there has always been a focus on the technologies surrounding the guest experience, the rate of change at the core operational level for the hotels has been very slow. This reticence to change, on one hand, is understandable, but it undeniably has become an area holding the hotels back, especially across the complex ownership structures. Ultimately, reticence to change makes it difficult for hoteliers to take advantage of opportunities to grow revenue the proper way. At IDeaS, our lifeblood has always been the data and the quality of the data provided from those systems. The faster hoteliers adapt to change, the more they will be able to drive revenue-enhancing decisions across their internal department silos and create real business-impacting changes to their revenue picture. The most exciting thing, though, is that this picture is actively changing for the better. Hotel technologists are embracing more modern ways to construct their software, which will make it easier to avoid being locked into a specific technology or approach. Hotel tech is a tight knit community and vendors are constantly developing partnerships with companies who have built complementary products.  Is there a company that has been a particularly good partner for IDeaS? We have enjoyed many outstanding partner relationships over the years that have been instrumental to our growth. One partner, in particular, comes to mind for their ability to drive innovation in the space so quickly. OTA Insight has been fantastic to work with due to their approach on scaling their breadth across the industry and their willingness to be part of some incredibly thought-provoking conversations.   If you could partner with any vendor in hotel tech, who would it be and why? I can’t say there is just one partner we would target, partly because we are partnering or in conversations with so many great vendors in this space. However, I will say we look for partners that have three very focused objectives in their respective space: 1. Integration ease across critical property systems 2. The ability to scale their solutions quickly 3. A strong focus on client and customer success These three elements are core to our business, and it’s these elements that will enable IDe