Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
November 14–15, 2017
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
April 11–13, 2018
RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
June 26-29, 2018
ALICE 7 September 2017
ALICE, an operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, announced today the acquisition of GoConcierge, a leading concierge software platform.As part of the acquisition, ALICE welcomes approximately 1,000 GoConcierge hotel customers to their community, with a promise to continue both companies' tradition of delivering industry-leading service technology. Frank Sena and Justin Hirs from Bentley Associates advised GoConcierge on this transaction. ALICE will empower GoConcierge's hotel customers to be at the forefront of guest experience standards in their markets.Justin Effron, Chief Executive Officer, ALICE says, "This acquisition is a huge win for our hotel customers. We'll draw from GoConcierge's deep knowledge in the space and well-connected team, as well as their incredible hotel customer base, to drive improvements in our platform and hotel service offerings. We're committed to supporting the concierge by connecting them to the rest of the hotel and their guests and helping them exceed guests' ever-increasing expectations.""This is a unique opportunity to bring two passionate companies together with a shared vision of delivering tools of efficiency to the concierge as well as other departments, including housekeeping, engineering, security, and a focus on guest communication. Ultimately, we will strive to reduce the number of applications team members are forced to learn and use on a daily basis. We look forward to delivering even more solutions to our clients and the industry," says Adam Isrow, Executive Vice President, GoConcierge. "I look forward to working together with ALICE to bring world-class solutions and support to our customers."The acquisition is a testament to ALICE's continued momentum in the hospitality industry since the company's inception in 2013. Recently, ALICE received $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) Earlier this year, ALICE launched products including the Guest Profile, which gives hoteliers a view into the guest experience across every aspect of their hotel stay, including check-in, requests for amenities and services, and any interaction with the concierge, Guest Text Messaging, which facilitates text messaging between hotels and guests without requiring an app download, as well as Logbooks, which can be used by hoteliers to track any physical item belonging to or loaned to a guest, including packages and lost & found.Additionally, the company launched a Preventative Maintenance tool and an open-API, and is looking forward to releasing new features for use by hoteliers such as Checklists, a tool to improve task management, SMS automation, which automates responses via text to common guest questions, and more."Positive emotional experiences deeply impact guests' likelihood to book or recommend a hotel," says Alex Shashou, President, ALICE. "Our view is that together, ALICE and GoConcierge will be able to deliver our hotel customers a competitive advantage through cutting-edge service and unforgettable guest engagement."For more information on ALICE, please visit: https://info.aliceapp.com.About ALICEALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit https://info.aliceapp.com.About GoConciergeGoConcierge is a Web-based task-tracking and database tracking solution for concierges and other departments including guest services, front desk, shipping and receiving, housekeeping, security and more. The GoConcierge application is being used throughout the United States and in more than 65 countries around the world. GoConcierge owns both GoConcierge and The Concierge Assistant. For more information about GoConcierge.net, go to info.goconcierge.net or call (818) 263-8993.
ALICE 30 August 2017
New York, NY, August 30, 2017 - ALICE, an operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, announced today it has secured $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world's largest online travel company. The completed investment makes Expedia(r) a majority shareholder in ALICE and deepens the commercial cooperation between the two companies that was originally established with an equity investment in 2015. ALICE intends to use the funds further the mission of delivering the very best technology and customer service in the industry. This round brings ALICE's total funding to $39 million.As engaging digital consumer experiences continue to drive success in travel, ALICE takes the guest experience head-on, by studying not only how the internal business of a hotel runs, but also how services are delivered today in other analogous industries. This funding allows ALICE to build out its development, product, sales, and customer success teams to help the company to reach its goal of being one of the hotel industry's leading operating platforms."It is time for the internet to expand beyond revolutionizing how our hotel partners market and distribute their products into how they service and interact with their guests," says Cyril Ranque, President, Lodging Partner Services, Expedia, Inc. "ALICE is developing smart mobile and cloud technology to fundamentally improve the hotelier and guest experience at scale. That's a revolution worth investing in."Justin Effron, Chief Executive Officer, ALICE says, "Our mission is to give hoteliers the ability to provide the best guest service and experience they can around the clock, and this latest round is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. With this additional capital, we'll be better equipped to help hoteliers reach their goals of improved guest service."A deeper relationship with Expedia continues ALICE's momentum in the hospitality industry since its inception in 2013. Earlier this year, ALICE launched products including the Guest Profile, which gives hoteliers a view into the guest experience across every aspect of their hotel stay, including check-in, requests for amenities and services, and any interaction with the concierge, Guest Text Messaging, which facilitates text messaging between hotels and guests without requiring an app download, as well as Logbooks, which can be used by hoteliers to track any physical item belonging to or loaned to a guest, including packages and lost & found. Additionally, the company launched a Preventative Maintenance tool and an open-API, and is looking forward to releasing new features for use by hoteliers such as Checklists, a tool to improve task management, SMS automation, which automates responses via text to common guest questions, and more.In the last six months, ALICE grew its customer base nearly 200%. Recently clients signed to the platform include Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World.For more information on the ALICE team http://info.aliceapp.com.About ALICEALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit http://info.aliceapp.com.About Expedia, Inc.Expedia, Inc. is the world's largest online travel company, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:Expedia.com(r), a leading full-service online travel brand with localized sites in 33 countriesHotels.com(r), a leading global lodging expert operating 89 localized websites in 41 languages with its award winning Hotels.com(r) Rewards loyalty programExpedia(r) Affiliate Network (EAN), a global B2B brand that powers the hotel business of hundreds of leading airlines, travel agencies, loyalty and corporate travel companies plus several top consumer brands through its API and template solutionstrivago(r), a leading online hotel search platform with sites in 55 countries worldwideHomeAway(r), a global online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, which also includes the VRBO, VacationRentals.com and BedandBreakfast.com brands, among othersEgencia(r), a leading corporate travel management companyOrbitz.com(r) and CheapTickets.com(r), leading U.S. travel websites, as well as ebookers(r), a full-service travel brand with websites in seven European countriesTravelocity(r), a leading online travel brand in the U.S. and Canada delivering customer service when and where our customers need it with the Customer First GuaranteeHotwire(r), inspiring spontaneous travel through Hot Rate(r) dealsWotif Group, a leading portfolio of travel brands including Wotif.com(r), Wotif.co.nz, lastminute.com.au(r), lastminute.co.nz and travel.com.au(r)Expedia(r) Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc. that builds creative media partnerships and enables brand advertisers to target a highly-qualified audience of travel consumersCarRentals.comtm, a premier online car rental booking company with localized sites in 13 countriesClassic Vacations(r), a top luxury travel specialistExpedia Local Expert(r), a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in over a thousand destinations worldwideExpedia(r) CruiseShipCenters(r), a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 235 retail travel agency franchises across North AmericaSilverRail Technologies, Inc., a global rail retail and distribution platform connecting rail carriers and suppliers to both online and offline travel distributorsFor corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2017 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50
ALICE 16 August 2017
This stressful scenario and others like it are the unfortunate reality for many travelers. Now there's a simple solution to waylay the anxieties around lost items for guests and staff alike - the new "Lost & Found" feature of ALICE's concierge technology, ALICE concierge.Human error is inevitable wherever you go, but ALICE's Lost & Found logbook provides intuitive functionality for managing guest items, enabling any hotel staff member to track lost items in detail from any device.ALICE Lost & Found features:Smart search across any description of the itemPhoto attachments of items for precisionDigital signature of guest upon pickupDisposal reporting to see which items are ready to be removed from storageWe at ALICE are confident this tool will improve the lost and found experience. Staff already using our Lost & Found feature have garnered powerful insights to more seamlessly assist guests in an event of missing items. "We use it mainly for lost and found credit cards that are left at the bar or the pool, whether it's for a guest or a visitor in the public spaces," said Ben Edwards, chef Concierge at SIXTY LES. "It's simple to do a search in the corresponding category to locate items. It's great how you can search using any keyword of name or location of where the item was found. The search is really intuitive, flexible, and fast."In the last 30 days, 3,202 lost and found items were recorded for all ALICE clients using the new module - that's about 163 items per hotel, per month. The most common left-behind items have been chargers, books, shirts, bags, glasses, and shoes.With Lost & Found in action at your hotel, guest panic will melt into relief when the front desk agent knowingly hands you a coveted lost parcel, or calls you having found it before you even realized it was missing. ALICE's Lost & Found will keep your team ahead of the curve, so they can continue to exceed your guest's expectations through the consistency in service and cross-departmental organization this feature provides. Informed staff lead to happy, repeat guests. Your success is our success.Lost & Found is part of the ALICE Concierge module, used by Front Desk and Concierge teams in hundreds of hotels across the United States and around the world. Learn more about ALICE Concierge and schedule a demo here.
This Newly-Opened New York Boutique Hotel Uses Text Messaging to Create Relationships With Guests Before They Even Arrive On Property
ALICE 8 August 2017
New York, NY -- Newly opened Life Hotel has selected ALICE's guest text messaging and staff technology to facilitate guest communication and power staff operations. ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, connects every department in a hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests.Life Hotel - a 98-room boutique that opened this spring in the original Nomad-neighborhood home of Life Magazine - was initially looking for a guest engagement tool, but chose the multi-purpose ALICE platform over a handful of other vendors, once they saw how ALICE improves staff coordination and request management via dedicated task management technology connecting every department of the hotel. Now, all of Life Hotel's staff departments (front desk, maintenance, housekeeping, and F&B) are using and benefitting from the multi-purpose ALICE platform.Erin Pepper, Life Hotel's VP of Brand and Experience, says text messaging is proving a strong differentiator for the hotel, letting staff continuously delight guests with immediate, personalized responses. "Guests are always responding to our texts with, 'Wow, what a quick answer!', or 'Thank you for the helpful information!'," Erin explains. "I think guests are continuously surprised it's a real person writing back to them on the other side. In this day and age, with so many bots and automated response systems, I think it's important that we maintain personal and direct communication with our guests. The "human touch" is inherent to hospitality and with ALICE technology we are able to strike that healthy balance. We also encourage our team to partake in the occasional use of emojis, which is relatable and familiar to our guests. It is almost like they are texting with a friend - which by the end of their stay (and beyond) we are!" Erin says the most common use case for text messaging is pre-stay. Guests often text the hotel to let staff know they'll be arriving at a certain time and to request early check-in. Guest also gravitate towards text messaging when it comes to requesting a refresh of in-room amenities, like towels or pillows.ALICE is also helping staff delight guests in other ways. Because Life Hotel's busy management team doubles as concierges, ALICE's suite of concierge tools (which include a local vendor database and hotel-branded custom confirmation letters, maps, and itineraries) are helping them quickly become neighborhood experts and provide guests with the trappings characteristic of a fully-staffed concierge team.ALICE is also improving staff operations behind the scenes. Erin loves that, with ALICE, every staff member is united on one system, with all the accountability and efficiencies that affords - "everyone gets the chime [of a new work order or request] and everyone gets the message," she says. Creating a digital paper trail of work orders and guest requests is also providing the hotel's management new insights into the business. Having a record of maintenance issues, for example, allows the maintenance team to systematize reporting and preempt more serious maintenance issues by recognizing patterns in asset malfunction and then addressing things quickly.In addition to praising ALICE's multi-purpose functionality, Erin says she's also been very pleased with how easy the ALICE team is to work with. "It's been wonderful how amenable the ALICE team is to requests - I'm never told 'no' without a solution in the team's back-pocket. The support team is really fantastic. Our hotel is right by the ALICE headquarters, so whenever we have a problem, they just come by the property... It's really nice when you have a vendor who is aligned with your same values and provides you with the same service that you strive to provide to your guests."
ALICE 20 July 2017
New York, NY -- ALICE, the operations platform powering the world's best hotels, welcomes hotel technology sales veteran Adam Fractenberg as Senior Sales Executive for the Southeast region.Adam is an experienced hospitality technology sales executive, with a strong track record in many online solutions including CRM, Website Design, Interactive Marketing, Booking Engine, eProposal, Loyalty, Text Marketing, Business Intelligence, Email Marketing, Social Media, Interfacing, and Customer Surveys. He was most recently Director of Sales for North America, Canada, and the Caribbean at TravelClick, where he spearheaded business development for new sales and client retention. He was previously Director of Strategic Sales with Knowland Group, a provider of SaaS solutions for group data and lead generation products and services to the hospitality industry. Adam has also held senior positions in sales and marketing at Cendyn and Open Hospitality. He began his hospitality technology career at Orbitz/Lodging.com, formerly a Cendant company, where he served in several roles, including Director of Strategic Accounts, helping grow the company's annual sales from $18 million to $450 million. A graduate of Michigan State University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Adam also worked on student radio and TV. In addition, Adam moonlights as a professional statistician, working with the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and college sporting events.Adam's hiring occurs as ALICE continues to identify hospitality veterans to help grow their brand and take it to market. Hundreds of hotels across and country and around the world have chosen ALICE for the transformative effect joining all hotel staff departments onto a single platform has for improved task management and employee communication. ALICE's guest engagement toolset is also helping its clients deliver exceptional service with cutting-edge innovations like guest-to-staff texting."Adam is a great fit for ALICE," says Wendy Zapach, ALICE's Director of Sales, North America. His extensive background in the hospitality technology space, combined with his specialization in CRM and guest engagement, align with where we are innovating. One thing we're particularly excited about is Adam's depth of relationships in the industry. We feel like his recent attendance with us at HITEC was a reunion of friends and colleagues."
ALICE 18 July 2017
New York, NY -- Colorado destination Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa has selected ALICE's concierge technology, ALICE Concierge, to help the resort's concierge team manage guest activities at the 6,000 acre property, which is part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts collection.Scheduling activities for resort guests is no small feat. As one journalist noted in a recent Forbes article, "If you stand at the epicenter of Gateway Canyons Resort, it's a fair statement that there's more to do within a six-mile radius than any other hotel in the American West."And it's up to the resort's concierge to make sure guests take advantage of everything Gateway Canyons has to offer, which includes luxury car rentals, a helicopter pad for air tours, a skeet shooting range, a secluded ranch catering to horseback riding, spa, luxurious pools, restaurants, tours and excursions with the resort's curator of curiosity, a full-service adventure center offering mountain bikes, UTV tours, laser tag and archery, and the Gateway Canyons Auto Museum (housing one of the most valuable classic car collections in the United States). The self-described "world's first and only discovery resort" (owner John Hendricks is the founder and former Chairman of global media company Discovery Communications), Gateway Canyons is also one of the only locations in the world where Precambrian rock is still visible to the human eye, and just steps away from one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils on the planet.Until a year ago, the resort's front desk staff organized activities for guests, in addition to performing all the other responsibilities of their role. As the profile of the resort has risen since opening in 2005 - recent accolades include being named #1 "Top Resort Hotel in the West" in the Travel + Leisure 2016 World's Best Awards, as well as #5 "Best Hotels in the U.S." and #16 "Best Hotels in the World" - it became necessary to create a concierge team, dedicated to creating unique and personalized itineraries for resort guests. This concierge team, like the front desk staff before them, used Outlook to schedule activities, but it soon became evident they'd need a dedicated concierge tool to make it easier to coordinate their work and elevate the level of service they could offer their guests.With ALICE's robust concierge toolset, which includes features like a local vendor database, package and luggage tracking, reminders and alerts, and branded confirmation letters, maps, and itineraries, Gateway Canyons' concierge are now better able to coordinate work between themselves, as well as create detailed and customized plans for guests. ALICE is also helping other departments have more insight to the work of the concierge as well as assist guests off-hours, since authorized staff can easily log into ALICE whenever the concierge aren't on-property or nearby, and print out itineraries for guests or answer activity-related questions.Mandy Guldner, Director of Lodging, says ALICE has helped the concierge team with efficiency, communication, and professionalism. "We needed something more suited to the job of concierge than Outlook, which wouldn't let us print guest itineraries or collaborate on work, and we found a great solution with ALICE. Now, we're able to create detailed guest profiles by recording guest preferences and activities. This helps us curate more tailored guest activities, strengthen our relationship with guests, and forecast our needs for next season."About Gateway Canyons Resort & SpaLocated in the spectacular red rock canyons of western Colorado, Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa caters to the most discerning traveler with 72 luxury guest rooms and suites, including 14 newly-completed casitas. The resort delights guests with savory dining options at Entrada Restaurant, wellness-focused treatments at The Spa at Gateway Canyons, canyon air tours and trips aboard a luxury helicopter, privileged access to more than 100 years of automotive history and design at the Gateway Canyons Auto Museum, and a variety of self-selected experiential activities offered through the on-site Adventure Center and Driven Experiences programs. Built by John Hendricks, founder and former chairman of the Discovery Channel and Discovery Communications, Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa is dedicated to nurturing curious minds and spirits through lifelong learning programs and adventures within an inspiring natural environment. For more information, please call Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa at 1-866-671-4733 or visit www.gatewaycanyons.com.About Noble House Hotels & ResortsA privately held company for more than 30 years, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. was founded in 1979 by owner Patrick R. Colee as a commercial property development group, transitioning in 1994 to a hotel ownership management company. Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., the corporation owns and manages an upscale portfolio of 15 distinct and visually captivating properties spanning the U.S. From the historic passenger Napa Valley Wine Train, to luxury resorts in Seattle, Wash. Jackson Hole, Wyo. and the Florida Keys, each property maximizes and showcases its physical setting. Noble House is continuously growing, operating 43 hotel restaurants, bars and lounges, showcasing local culture and inspiration from local surroundings. With a philosophy that emphasizes "location, distinction and soul," Noble House Hotels & Resorts exemplifies individuality, dedicating itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that contribute to their communities, staying true to local history, culture and ambiance.For more information, visit www.NobleHouseHotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877.NOBLE.TRIP.ABOUT ALICE: By joining all of your hotel departments with a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product - ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and SMS tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module can be integrated with your PMS, POS, and third party management systems. ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $13.5M to date.
Staff At This California Resort Turned to Hotel Communications Technology When Radios Became Unreliable
ALICE 12 July 2017
New York, NY -- Southern California escape, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, has selected ALICE's mobile request management software ALICE Staff to improve staff communication across the 87-acre resort. ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, connects every department in a hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests.Prior to ALICE, The Ranch LB - which is nestled in the majestic, but signal-blocking Aliso and Wood Canyons - was challenged by poor cell phone and radio reception, which frustrated staff communication and operations. Fortunately, they had recently installed state-of-the-art WiFi across the property during a three year renovation, and sought a mobile staff communications system, like ALICE, that could run on WiFi and replace their unreliable radios.Staff at The Ranch LB, who have been using ALICE since March of this year, are thrilled with how easy it is now to communicate with one another, regardless of where they are on property. Previously, when the resort's staff relied on radios to relay guest requests or internal work orders, lags in communication were a common occurrence. When the radios cut out completely, staff would often have to traverse the vast property to find the right staff member to communicate the message to. This caused routine delays in daily tasks such as inspecting guest rooms or picking up room service trays.Now, with ALICE, and the newfound connectedness the platform provides, staff members in every department (which, at The Ranch LB, includes front desk, engineering, housekeeping, reservations, spa, events, and F&B) are delighting in their new productivity. Even the resort's head chef has downloaded the ALICE staff app, happy he can now enter his own maintenance requests (such as the walk-in cooler not chilling) from his phone instead of having to go to the front desk to ask them to radio out for assistance.Although managers at The Ranch LB chose ALICE primarily to improve staff communication, they're pleased with how other features of the platform have benefitted other aspects of the resort's operations. As a manager, Front Office & Spa Manager Kelly Dwyer appreciates ALICE's reporting tools, which have helped her as the hotel winds down its multi-year renovation: "It's helpful from a trend standpoint to see which rooms are having issues again and again. If there's persistent leaking in a particular room or building, I can be proactive about following up with vendors to make sure things get fixed. Having maintenance issues tracked like they are in ALICE has been incredibly useful."
The World's Best Hotels Choose ALICE for Guest Messaging, Staff Operations, Concierge Technology, And More
ALICE 22 June 2017
New York, NY -- ALICE - the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, which connects all the departments of your hotel for improved staff communication and task management - will be showcasing new products and features at this year's HITEC in Toronto, June 26-29, Booth 1245. You can schedule a meeting with our team here.ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. ALICE can also be integrated into your own app or website via ALICE's API. Hotels and groups on the ALICE platform include Two Roads Hospitality, SIXTY Hotels, One&Only Resorts, Viceroy Hotel Group, and Leading Hotels of the World.Read how serene Wine Country escape MacArthur Place, Sonoma Hotel & Spa is using ALICE's Guest Messaging to remove the bottleneck at the front desk. They selected ALICE's Guest Messaging and Staff request management technology to provide convenience to guests with messaging technology they're already familiar with and which doesn't require downloading an app, and ease for front desk staff, who now field many fewer phone calls, and can respond to guest text messages and dispatch guest requests all with one system.Read how Colorado's popular Copper Mountain Resort uses ALICE to coordinate their staff across twenty-six buildings and three different base villages. ALICE has replaced emails, phone calls, radios, and paper logs to provide one centralized place for all requests and internal work orders from guests, unit owners, the front desk, a separate management team, multiple restaurants, event spaces, and other mountain operators, improving staff communication and productivity.Read how ALICE's concierge technology helps an already standout concierge team at SIXTY SoHo "iron out the kinks." The highly-rated team is using ALICE's concierge task management software to improve team coordination and efficiency on the job. The hotel's Chef Concierge says ALICE's functionality (which includes a Google-powered Vendor Database, robust tagging and filtering, itinerary and confirmation printing, and logbooks for package management) sets it apart from other concierge technologies he's used.If you're looking at technology as a means to improve your hotel's performance , stop by Booth 1245 to meet the ALICE team and see a live presentation of our technology. Hoteliers interested in attending HITEC for free can email us at email@example.com for more information. We also invite you to book a meeting in advance, for a personalized demo of ALICE.
ALICE 20 June 2017
Each year, we at ALICE run an analysis on the companies in attendance, and here are some of our findings:The CategoriesMore so than 2016, companies in attendance this year at HITEC are more diverse than ever before. This includes a wide range of categories from hardware to marketing and everything in between. Last year, 2016, had a makeup that included 28.8% hardware companies, 9.6% technology services (which include services ranging from technical support to computer networking), and 8.6% media solutions. With hardware earning the top spot again in 2017, this majority is much smaller than past years (20.2%), and technology services have closed the gap now making up 14% of the event. Other top segments include media solutions (11.8%) and property management systems (10.2%). Although the top categories seem to have become more balanced, there is no sign of any new break-out product categories this year.The NewcomersAlongside 276 returning companies, there are a bunch of new and exciting companies joining the mix this year. Some interesting and impressive newcomers at HITEC 2017 include Nonius, Pure HD, and Dormakaba. Using booth size as a (questionable, but fun) gauge for company ambition, these newcomers have noticeably large booths.A few years ago, HFTP started the popular E20X competition, a forum for innovative startups to pitch their cutting-edge ideas to a room full of attendees and a panel of expert judges (of which Dmitry, our CTO, was one last year). A few notable new entrants to this year's competition include Angie, HotelFlex and Bizly. All 13 entrants will be on the floor to meet with and are a great starting point for inspiration.Angie - The soon to be released smart-room AI for guest voice control that took the HTNG 2017 Innovation Award a few months ago.HotelFlex - An incremental revenue platform out of the U.K. that runs search on all flight times to help hotels offer early and late checkouts in already empty rooms for a fee.Bizly - A beautifully designed and already popular meeting platform that empowers everyone across the company to book their own events.Bigger Booths Than Last YearSome returning companies worth noting with a significant increase in booth size include First Data, Active Networks, and DCI-Design Communications LLC. These are just a small sampling of companies whose booth sizes have increased, which may signal substantial company growth.Going BigThe following companies have some of the biggest booths at HITEC this year:iRiS Software SystemsWorld Cinema, Inc.Samsung ElectronicsAT&TOracleAs the conference comes to a close, it's certainly worth checking out some of the amazing sites of Toronto while you're there! Some of the most popular attractions the city has to offer include the CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market, and the amazing park located on the Toronto Islands. We recommend Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse for a world class steak and Canoe Restaurant & Bar for an amazing view!Headed to HITEC? Share with us the companies you're looking forward to meeting!And while you're there, we invite you to stop by our own (pretty big) booth (#1245) to learn how ALICE can improve your guest service, cut costs and drive revenue at your hotel.Making the Most of HITECAlong with learning about all the great tech companies and seeing what the future of the hospitality industry will look like, there are numerous panels, discussions, sessions, and keynote speakers worth checking out and learning from during your time at HITEC. Make sure to check out Dave Berkus start off the week with his session "Will Tech Kill Your Job?", Monday at 4:30, as well as other keynote speakers Alex Tapscott, Kevin Rosen, and Robert Villanueva. To learn more about these speakers and what they will be discussing, click here. Also, dont miss out on the event's opening party at 6:30 on Monday, as this will be a great place to network and meet the new faces of our rapidly expanding industry!ALICE co-founders Justin Effron and Alex Shashou will also be speaking at HITEC this year. On Monday, June 26th, at 2.45pm, Justin will join the education supersession "How Are You Going To Pay For It?", to discussion the challenges of figuring out the right IT strategy for your company and the different methods of financing these plans. Later in the week, on Wednesday, Alex will join two panels on guest technology. During the 2.30pm "Text Your Guests?", Alex and other industry experts will share best practices for adopting a messaging strategy, plus benefits and challenges of doing so. On the 3.45pm panel "Are Mobile Apps in Hotels Dead?", Alex and his co-panelists will discuss which apps are best suited to meet guests needs, how hotels can differentiate their brands with mobile apps, whether mobile apps can keep guests happy and avoid negative reviews, and how apps can keep guests connected to the hotel before, during and post-stay.With what is sure to be a hectic, and extremely informative week at HITEC, make sure you give the HITEC SCHEDULE a good glance to ensure you don't miss any of the awesome events that HITEC has to offer!
ALICE 15 June 2017
New York, NY -- Long Island's trendy The Montauk Beach House is using ALICE's guest messaging and staff technology, ALICE Guest and ALICE Staff, to improve their front desk staff coordination and guest service.Prior to ALICE, front desk staff at the seasonal property managed guest requests and coordinated their activities via email and walkie-talkie. The volume of email from guests and calls to the front desk would often strain a small front desk staff tasked with managing other staff departments, greeting guests, and fielding concierge requests. Last year, The MBH's management chose ALICE in order to upgrade their guest communications and help the front desk communicate with each other and with guests.In the heart of downtown Montauk, and just a few steps from the beach, The MBH draws a young, well-heeled clientele looking for a unique, laid-back summer experience. ALICE's guest engagement toolset, which includes a Beach House-branded app and guest text messaging (which doesn't require downloading the app), is a perfect fit for this tech-savvy crowd.Stella Garces, Director of Rooms at The MBH, has been delighted by the reception to these new guest communication channels from both guests and staff. For guests, in-app messaging and text messaging comes naturally. Common messages from guests include requests for more in-room amenities and towels, as well as inquiries about local events and recommended restaurants. The hotel's staff, meanwhile, love that they can now communicate with guests prior to arrival, and have created a library of messaging templates to send to guests prior to check-in and throughout their stay.Because The MBH's front desk staff doubles as concierge, pre-arrival communication with guests enables the busy staff to create customized itineraries for guests before they even arrive on property. Staff can use ALICE to email these itineraries directly to guests or print them out and hand them to guests at check-in, cutting down on extra visits to the front desk. Concierge specific tools within ALICE, like the Google-powered vendor database known as "Local," let front desk staff assemble online lists of favorite places that any staff member can access at any time to provide recommendations to guests.Staff at The MBH are also benefiting from ALICE's logbook functionality, which the team is using to manage their lost and found. Prior to ALICE, the front desk staff managed lost and found with both online and offline files, but still occasionally forgot to update them or submit all the necessary information. Now, with ALICE, it's easy for staff to take quick notes about the whereabouts of a guest belonging, attach a photo if necessary, and tie the information to a guest profile. This has resulted in a lot less stress when a guest calls the front desk to inquire about a lost item."Staff love how user-friendly ALICE is," says Ms. Garces. "ALICE gives us one centralized place for all guest messaging and guest request management, which has made our lives at the front desk a lot easier. Even text messaging, which is intended for guests, has made things better at the front desk, allowing us to provide personalized service quickly. It's evident how much our guests appreciate these new tools as well."
ALICE 13 June 2017
The ALICE co-founders will join other industry experts in two back-to-back panels at HITEC to discuss the future of the guest experience.As enthusiasm over guest apps wanes, guest messaging grows in popularity. But is the app really dead? And, if so, should you be texting with your guests instead? The ALICE co-founders will join two back-to-back panels at HITEC to explore the role of apps and guest messaging in hotel guest engagement strategies. Both sessions will take place on Wednesday, June 28th, starting with the Guest Messaging panel at 2.30pm, and the Mobile Apps panel at 3.45pm.In "Text Your Guests?", experts will share best practices for adopting a messaging strategy, plus benefits and challenges. The panel will also discuss the choice between brand native apps and third-party solutions, strategies for enhancing guest relationships and experience, avoiding app fatigue, exploring marketing opportunities with text messaging, and future of text messaging in the hotel industry.In "Are Mobile Apps in Hotels Dead?", the panel will discuss which apps are best suited to meet guests needs, how hotels can differentiate their brands with mobile apps, whether mobile apps can keep guests happy and avoid negative reviews, and how apps can keep guests connected to the hotel before, during and post-stay.As the founders of ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, Alex Shashou, Justin Effron, and Dmitry Koltunov share a unique perspective on how best to optimize guest messaging at your hotel. Mr. Shashou wrote recently about how guest messaging can provide a convenient and personalized way to engage with your guests, if you do it right. You can read his piece, published in eHotelier, here.Both guest engagement panels are complimentary for all full conference pass holders. Hoteliers interested in attending HITEC for free can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For a live demo of ALICE's Guest Messaging technology and full suite of staff operations products while at HITEC, click here.
How a Midtown Manhattan Boutique Hotel Ditched Radios - And Their Noise and Confusion - for Improved Staff Communication and Task Management
ALICE 8 June 2017
New York, NY -- Luxury Midtown Manhattan boutique, Kimberly Hotel & Suites, has selected hospitality operations platform ALICE to improve staff communication and efficiency at the 194-room hotel. ALICE unites all staff departments together with a shared work management and communication system. The Kimberly Hotel's housekeeping, engineering, room service, front desk, and concierge teams have all been using ALICE since February 2017.Implementing ALICE has had an immediate impact on staff productivity throughout the hotel. Prior to ALICE, the Kimberly ran their operations with pen and paper, walkie talkies, and a fair bit of staff locomotion (hotel employees frequently traversed the hotel to relay tasks and information to one another).Now, all guest requests and internal work orders are placed by all staff directly into ALICE. And, in just a few short months, the Kimberly's staff have all but ditched the noisy and unreliable walkie talkies. Attendant productivity increases are evident across the board, none more so than in the engineering department (one of the more mobile of the hotel's staff teams). From prosaic tasks, like changing a lightbulb, to more complicated feats, like fixing an HVAC system, all work orders are assigned, accepted, and closed right in ALICE, obviating the need to ride the elevators back and forth between the main office and where the team is needed next. The Kimberly's Director of IT, Kevin Fullerton, says the "photo attachments" feature in ALICE has been incredibly impactful in this regard. Because staff can now snap a photo of something on their mobile devices and attach it to a task in ALICE, the engineering team now knows exactly what to expect - and what tools to bring - when they head to their next job. "Previously, when someone said there was a small scratch in the wall, and it turned out to be a big gash, engineering would have to return to the office to collect a different set of tools. Now, because there's a photo of the issue, the team can come prepared, saving a lot of time in the process," Mr. Fullterton added.As a manager, Mr. Fullerton also appreciates the accountability and consequent motivation ALICE has brought to his employees. Part of the reason why ALICE has had such an impact on staff productivity, he says, is because of the healthy does of competition it's introduced on-property. Over a few short months, he's seen response times on tasks decrease dramatically, as employees race with one another to accept and complete tasks.Mr. Fullerton admits he and other managers had reservations about introducing technology to his diverse staff, some of whom aren't necessarily "tech savvy." He says he's been surprised, however, by how quickly everyone, "from our youngest to our oldest," has taken to ALICE. He attributes part of this embrace to how user-friendly ALICE is in comparison to other legacy hotel technology systems, as well as to how hands-on and supportive ALICE's client success team is.
ALICE 6 June 2017
Join ALICE and Duetto for a conversation about how technology decision makers can leverage cloud technology to propel hotel performance on Thursday, June 15, at 12pm EST.In this webinar, ALICE and Duetto will share best practices for:Transitioning from legacy systems and analog processes to cloud-based applications built to meet guests' expectations for digital convenience, while coordinating hotels' back-office operations and fostering collaboration.Conceptualizing an IT stack less reliant on in-house systems that lets properties focus on guest service while technology specialists concentrate on innovation, integration and interoperability.Driving profitability by lowering costs for technology while increasing revenue through greater guest service and revenue strategies.Setting up a modern tech stack that aligns all stages of the customer journey to optimize the entire experienceClick here to SAVE A SEAT (sign up even if you can't attend, and we'll send you a recording). Both ALICE and Duetto will also be at HITEC. Stop by booth 1245 to meet with ALICE or schedule a meeting.About ALICE: By joining all of your hotel departments with a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product - ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and SMS tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module can be integrated with your PMS, POS, and third party management systems. ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $13.5M to date. Meet ALICE at HITEC at booth #1245About Duetto: With cloud-based applications that address hospitality's increasing complexity in distribution and technology, Duetto provides powerful Revenue Strategy solutions to optimize profit and guest loyalty. Its GameChanger and ScoreBoard apps deliver key insights into pricing and consumer demand for hotels and casinos.The holistic Revenue Strategy championed by Duetto produces not only greater revenue and profit, but also a lift in market share relative to users' competitive set. In 2016, Duetto's fully deployed hotel clients recorded an average RevPAR Index lift of 6.5%. The company now partners with more than 1,500 hotel and casino properties in more than 60 countries and has offices in seven major markets throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Meet Duetto at HITEC at booth #110
ALICE 1 June 2017
Marketing to your guests isn't just about winning them over at planning and at booking. There's actually seven steps to the customer journey, and technology can help you optimize your marketing, every step of the way.When marketing your hotel to your guests, it's tempting to think there are only two phases of the guest journey that matter: planning and booking. As a result, many hotels optimize their technology for just these two stages.The reality, of course, is that the guest experience doesn't end at booking. It's actually cyclical - cycling from planning through booking through the guest's stay to planning again. While the exact number of phases in the guest journey is up for debate (Google says five, we say seven), what's important is there are multiple stages of the guest journey that together create the guest experience. In each of these stages, the hotel has the opportunity to use technology to optimize the guest experience for more bookings, more loyalty, and more revenue.The Seven Stages of the Guest LifecycleDreamTechnologies: Search engines (Google), social media networks (Facebook, Instagram), online media (Conde Nast Traveler), discovery apps (Hitlist).Every hotel stay begins with someone dreaming of going to a particular place or having a particular kind of experience.In this phase, the guest hasn't yet honed in on your hotel. They have an idea or a dream: a Hawaiian escape, New York City with friends, or a conference for work (maybe not a dream, but a requirement!). They have a certain experience in mind, but are still exploring the opportunities and finer details. The hotel's role in this phase is to be as relevant and discoverable as possible. Hotels will want to optimize their search engine presence, be visible in the media and on social media, and make sure they're on the radar of travel discovery apps, like Hitlist or Hotel Tonight.https://www.hitlistapp.comSelectTechnologies: Your website, OTAs (Expedia), your affiliations (Leading Hotels of the World, Skylark), review sites (TripAdvisor).The average traveler visits over 20 different travel websites before making a booking decision! Your hotel's challenge in this stage is to cut through the noise and stand out from the competition.In this phase, the guest needs a reason to book with you instead of with your competition. Selecting your hotel over others will come down to a variety of factors. Given TripAdvisor's influence online, a decisive factor will be your hotel's reputation (TripAdvisor appears on the first page of organic search for 99% of unbranded search terms, and 93% of travelers say they're influenced by online reviews). (In this regard, your hotel's reputation is in many ways is a reflection of the level of service at your hotel (something we'll get to later...)).Also important in influencing the selection of your hotel is your website (how optimized for search is it? How compelling is its imagery? Is it optimized for mobile?), your presence on the OTAs (are you discoverable?), your membership with affiliate brands (like Skylark) and whether or not offline affiliations (like membership with Leading Hotels of the World) aid in online discovery.https://skylark.com/BookTechnologies: Your website and its booking engine (TravelClick, Avvio), direct booking technologies (Triptease, SiteMinder)At this phase, the guest needs a reason to book on your website instead of anywhere else. A booking engine optimized for your website (like Avvio) and an effective loyalty program help here. So too do innovative technologies like Triptease's Direct Booking Platform and SiteMinder, which work with hotels to improve their direct booking conversions. Of course, an optimized website (facilitated by companies like TravelClick) is a must as well.https://www.triptease.com/PrepareTechnologies: Pre-arrival guest messaging (ALICE, Checkmate), upsell platforms (Nor1), trip-planning/concierge services (Porter & Sail).The time of booking is when your guest is perhaps most excited about your hotel and their upcoming trip. Hotels will want to capitalize on this phase by engaging with their prospective guests. Use this phase to learn the reason for the guests' trips and help them plan their stays.If hotels have an in-house concierge, they can use messaging tools like ALICE to help their guests plan activities prior to arrival. Hotels can also outsource their concierge to services like Porter & Sail, which will work with your guests to plan activities as soon as they've booked their stay. Hotels can also use this time to upsell guests on rooms, amenities, and activities, with tools like Nor1.Developing a relationship with guests in this phase will help you provide them a better in-stay experience and increase the chance they'll share their experience and return.http://www.nor1.com/StayTechnologies: Guest messaging (ALICE), service optimization technologies (ALICE).Many hotels don't think of the stay phase of the guest journey as a "marketing" phase, but they should. In fact, as we often say here at ALICE, the customer experience is your best marketing, strongly influencing the same guest's propensity to share their experiences and return (and inspire others in the dream and selection phases of their journeys as well).Much of the guest experience comes down to the quality of service your hotel provides and, increasingly, the degree of convenience you offer your guests. ALICE improves your guest service by helping your staff get on the same (digital) page. ALICE's request management platform connects your staff departments for seamless communication and streamlined task management. And ALICE's dedicated concierge technology gives concierges the tools they need to excel at their jobs and exceed guest expectations.Meanwhile, ALICE's guest platform, which includes mobile apps, an open API to plug into your existing mobile app, and messaging (SMS), puts all your hotel's services and amenities at your guests' fingertips, for the ultimate in convenience and guest satisfaction.http://info.aliceapp.comShareTechnologies: Review collection technologies (Medallia), social sharing and advocacy platforms (Flip.to), online review sites (TripAdvisor).It's a natural impulse to want to share good experiences with others. Three quarters of U.S. travelers share their trip experiences on social networks, while 97% of Millennials say they share pictures while traveling (on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat).Hotels should encourage guests to share their experiences. For one thing, the collective reach of your guests is enormous and incredibly targeted. Your guests can introduce you to travelers just like them--the perfect demographic for your hotel--before competitors have even had the chance to win the relationship.Plus, according to Cognizant, word of mouth is the single most important factor in selecting a hotel. And 84% of people say they trust reviews from friends and family over any other type of advertising.Encourage promotion of your hotel through your guests with tools like Flip.to, the marketing platform that lets guests become advocates and introduce your brand worldwide.The platform earns and tracks new bookings while growing brand awareness, web traffic, warm leads and a library of authentic content highlighting the travel experiences your guests are sharing with your hotel at the center.You can use this user-generated content on your website, and share guest content via your own social channels, which will help influence other guests early on in their own customer journeys.TripAdvisor is also an important channel for the share phase of the guest journey because of its outsize influence on the early phases of other guests (80% of travelers read 6 to 12 reviews on average before booking a hotel). While encouraging guests to share their experiences to TripAdvisor is important, but so too is responding to these reviews. Indeed, 85% of users say a thoughtful management response to a bad review improves their overall impression of a property.Lastly, inspiring guest sharing isn't just about generating contributions to public forums like review sites and social media. Encouraging guest feedback via internal channels is also an important part of hotel marketing during the share phase of the guest journey. This is because it can allow you to preempt issues before they make their way to public forums, and also because soliciting customer feedback can lead you to make improvements to the guest experience that will increase the likelihood of his or her return. Services like Medallia help hotels collect this guest feedback across a variety of channels.http://www.flip.to/ReturnTechnologies: Email marketing, remarketing campaigns, social media (TravelClick CRM, Cendyn)It's no secret a returning guest is "cheaper" than a new guest. But a returning guest means so much more than money saved in marketing - it's the surest sign you've provided an exceptional guest experience. And it's also a virtuous circle. Every time a guest returns to your property you have the opportunity to "know" the guest a bit more, allowing you to increase your personalization and improve the guest experience with every stay.While the experience on property is the best marketing to influence a guest's return, tools like email marketing, remarketing and social media (your hotel's and other guests'), as well as a compelling loyalty program can also help remind the guest of the fantastic time he or she had on property and ensure their return. Investing in a CRM, like Cendyn's, is the surest way to have the data and functionality to run these email, remarketing, and social campaigns.http://www.cendyn.com/***As you can see, marketing to the guest is much more than guiding them from planning to booking. In fact, marketing has a role in all seven phases of the guest journey: from dream, through stay, and all the way until return (and return again).Most importantly, marketing to your guest doesn't just concern his or her online interaction with your hotel. It also concerns the guest's actual in-person experience on property. By reconceiving marketing's role to extend to all seven phases, hotels have a tremendous opportunity to craft a lasting and impactful relationship with the guest - a relationship that can be nurtured and strengthened by the right technology.
ALICE 31 May 2017
But winning reviews is not the only game in town. Learn how ALICE - the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, which connects all the departments of your hotel for improved staff communication and task management - can make all the difference to your guests' experience on-property and drive loyalty for years to come.Hotels and resorts using ALICE's staff, concierge, and guest engagement technology (which includes guest text messaging) have seen improvements in service increase guest satisfaction, with appreciable increases in bookings, loyalty, and revenue. You can read more about how ALICE helps optimize your guests' on-property experience here.If you're looking to move your marketing to include the guests' on-property experience itself, stop by Booth 1245 to meet the ALICE team and see a live presentation of our technology. Hoteliers interested in attending HITEC for free can email us at email@example.com for more information. We also invite you to book a meeting in advance, for a personalized demo of ALICE.
ALICE 30 May 2017
New York, NY -- Colorado's Copper Mountain Resort is using ALICE's staff operations platform and guest engagement solution to improve staff communication and efficiency, and provide even more digital conveniences to guests. The resort, located at the base of popular ski-destination Copper Mountain, has been using ALICE since November of last year.Copper Mountain Resort's Lodging General Manager, Steve Miller, was looking for a guest engagement tool to enhance communication with guests, but quickly realized ALICE could also transform staff operations behind the scenes. As an expansive resort that offers lodging in over 26 buildings across three different base area villages, and with employees spread throughout, Copper Mountain had a couple of unique challenges when it came to coordinating its staff. For one, guest requests and internal work orders, which come from a wide-range of stakeholders (including guests, unit owners, the front desk, a separate luxury management team, and multiple restaurants, event spaces, and other mountain operations) were being communicated via a variety of channels (phone, email, radio, and in-person), making it difficult to organize work, dispatch it correctly, and keep track of everything. Use of radios in particular was challenging in regards to effective communication. And while radios provided staff with mobility, maintenance technician activity in particular remained organized from a central dispatching location.Now, with ALICE's staff management system, condo maintenance technicians are saving time and are working more efficiently. Because they now receive new work orders as notifications on their mobile devices, they no longer have to stop what they're doing to take notes about an incoming order. Attaching photos to orders has also simplified communication for the team, who no longer has to provide detailed explanations about location or equipment condition. So too, being able to see a list of open tickets on-the-go means maintenance technicians can accept orders most geographically proximate to them, instead of returning to the dispatch building to receive their next task.Copper Mountain Lodging GM Steve Miller is also excited about the conveniences ALICE is providing the resort's guests. Copper Mountain has built ALICE's guest application into the resort's own innovative Copper Mountain Resort app, which provides resort-goers with services like lift times, trail conditions, weather reports, a resort guide and the ability to book lodging and other skier services. Building ALICE - which lets guests request housekeeping, bellman and maintenance services, and communicate directly with the front desk - into their existing guest offering is helping their staff provide even more exceptional service, as evidenced on TripAdvisor.Lodging GM Miller's appreciation of ALICE extends beyond the product's benefits to the experience of working with the ALICE team. "The leadership at ALICE has been very engaged with us as we've worked together to customize the platform to our exact needs. They've taken our product feedback and requests and really helped adapt the system in a way that works best for each of our teams."ALICE has found the partnership with Copper Mountain Resort to be similarly fulfilling. Says Justin Effron, ALICE co-founder and CEO: "After only a few months, Copper Mountain has become one of our highest volume users, proving just how necessary a mobile, cross-department staff solution is to running a complex, high-standard operation like Copper Mountain Resort. We look forward to continuing this productive relationship."
ALICE 25 May 2017
Hundreds of hotels and luxury residences worldwide are partnered with ALICE to improve their staff operations and guest experience. Stop by Booth 1245 for a live product demo.New York, NY -- ALICE - the hospitality industry's first operations platform, which connects all the departments of your hotel for improved staff communication and task management - will be showcasing new products and features at this year's HITEC in Toronto, June 26-29, Booth 1245. To schedule a meeting with our team, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. ALICE can also be integrated into your own app or website via ALICE's API. Hotels and groups on the ALICE platform include Two Roads Hospitality, SIXTY Hotels, One&Only Resorts, Viceroy Hotel Group, and Leading Hotels of the World.ALICE will be demonstrating new additions and updates to the company's product line, including:The New Concierge ExperienceNow that guests have easy access to their own apps and services, guests expect more from their concierges. ALICE features like the updated itinerary, updated reminders, and brand new package management tools are helping the concierge and front desk exceed guest expectations.Guest Text MessagingMessaging is exploding as an engagement channel at hotels - everyone knows how to text, and it doesn't require downloading any apps. ALICE's improved text messaging feature set allows hotels to leverage messaging as a way to provide personalized service and upsell to guests at scale.Photo AttachmentsA picture is worth a thousand words. Attaching photos to internal notes and work orders means communicating between staff members - particularly maintenance, engineering, and housekeeping teams - has never been easier. Learn about the new photo attachments feature in ALICE's dedicated hotel staff technology, ALICE Staff.If you're looking to streamline staff operations for a better guest experience, stop by Booth 1245 to meet the ALICE team and see a live presentation of our technology. You can also write to us at email@example.com to book a meeting in advance.
Renowned Sonoma Hotel & Spa MacArthur Place Came for Guest Texting, Stayed for Radio-Free Operations
ALICE 23 May 2017
New York, NY -- MacArthur Place, Sonoma Hotel & Spa has selected hotel technology platform ALICE to upgrade their operations and provide convenience to guests through mobile messaging. The hotel is using ALICE's full suite of products - ALICE Guest, ALICE Concierge, and ALICE Staff - for their guests, concierge, and staff departments respectively.MacArthur Place, a 64-room, historic Wine Country estate, just steps from Sonoma Square, was looking for a way to text message with guests when they came across ALICE. Recognized as one of the "World's Best" Hotels in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Reader's Choice Awards, MacArthur Place has always viewed innovation in the guest offering and an outstanding guest experience as highly intertwined. The hotel was the first hotel in the region to offer their guests WiFi, as well as the first to offer electric car charging stations, and MacArthur's executive team sought guest messaging as a way to differentiate their hotel even further by improving the accessibility of their offerings and amenities with a technology already familiar and beloved by guests.As the executive team anticipated, guests at MacArthur Place are delighted with how easy text messaging makes it to communicate directly with the hotel. And importantly, the hotel's staff are impressed with how seamlessly responding to guest texts fits into their operations, now that they're managing their work on the ALICE platform. Because MacArthur moved their task management from their PMS to ALICE, adding another guest engagement channel, like texting, doesn't burden the hotel's staff with an additional technology system. When a text comes in from a guest, staff are notified and can respond right away in ALICE, dispatching requests or follow up work orders to their colleagues without switching to a different system or radio-ing out.Guest messaging is proving particularly useful for MacArthur's staff and guests when it comes to communicating whether or not a guest's room is ready for check-in. As Kevin Virgo, MacArthur's Director of Operations described it, communication between guest and staff was particularly fraught when it came to this specific issue. Prior to ALICE, guests would call the front desk prior to arrival to find out whether or not their room was ready. This required a lot of sleuthing by staff behind the scenes, while the guest was placed on hold. Now, the front desk can just text the guest when the room is ready, giving guests peace of mind, and alleviating anxiety for staff. Other popular use cases for texting on property include quick confirmation of dinner reservations from the concierge, as well as leveraging the personal, real-time nature of the medium for guest recovery - something that's really resonating with guests.In addition to guest text messaging, other aspects of the ALICE platform are improving operations at MacArthur Place. The hotel's front desk staff are excited to move management of guest lost and found from paper spreadsheets to ALICE's digital log. Attaching photos of found items to tickets and tying tickets to guest profiles radically simplifies a formerly challenging process. The hotel's seasoned concierge team, meanwhile, uses ALICE's dedicated concierge software, with its online vendor database and digital itinerary builder, to help them deliver the personalized service the hotel is known for. The hotel's concierge particularly like how they can print and email guest itineraries that can be more easily updated than those they previously crafted by hand. They also appreciate that there's now one central log for all guest activities, appointments, and reservations that can be accessed by any team member on any shift.Implementing ALICE across every department also means staff have to rely a lot less on radios, and staff and guests are enjoying the newfound peace and quiet. Mr. Virgo admits he was initially skeptical the hotel could run without radios, primarily because of the ease and speed of communication they provided his staff. Yet, just a few months into using ALICE, staff have discovered shortcut keys within the ALICE staff app, and Mr. Virgo believes staff are now more and better connected than they ever were before. "The staff think we bought ALICE just for them," Mr. Virgo admits. "We were looking for technology that would enhance the guest experience, and we wound up with a technology that's enhanced our staff operations as well."Lastly, Mr. Virgo commended ALICE for its ease of installation. As a long-time Director of Operations at MacArthur Place and at other hotels, Mr. Virgo has overseen many software and system implementations, but said ALICE - as a cloud-based software, with a user-friendly interface and experienced trainers - was by far most stress-free launch of any new hotel technology he's experienced. "We were definitely surprised how fast it was to train every department and get the system up and running," he said.
ALICE 18 May 2017
New York, NY -- SIXTY Beverly Hills has selected ALICE's hotel staff and concierge technology - ALICE Staff and ALICE Concierge - to streamline task management and improve staff communication. The luxury boutique, just steps from storied Rodeo Drive, joins sister properties SIXTY SoHo and SIXTY LES on the ALICE platform.Implementing ALICE has transformed operations for all staff departments, including the front desk, which now has much more time to devote to guests. Since all guest requests and internal work orders are entered into and followed up with directly in ALICE, the front desk no longer has to route tasks or radio colleagues to determine the status of a request. Guests who stop by the front desk can get answers to their questions right away, and guests who call the front desk no longer have to be put on hold while staff quickly try to get in touch with other team members.Other departments also now spend much less time on the phone. With ALICE, housekeeping and maintenance now manage their tasks on mobile devices, eliminating the need to call the front desk in between assignments. ALICE has also improved communication within and between these teams via photo attachments (which let staff instantly communicate issues with photos taken right on their mobile devices), and ALICE's translation portal (which helps non-English speaking staff continue to communicate with one another in their native language).The Concierge department appreciates using a concierge system that is integrated with those used by the other staff departments. Being able to submit requests to other departments via ALICE on behalf of guests, means the concierge team can assist guests with requests which may might be better directed toward another department. And because this can be done just by typing quickly into ALICE, a Concierge can attend to this while still talking with guests or fulfilling other tasks.SIXTY Beverly Hills Front Office Manager Taryn Wolfe is delighted with how logging staff activity and guest requests with ALICE has provided her a greater understanding of her operations, as well as ensured more accountability for her team. With ALICE, there's now a record of communication, (digital) paper trail of assignments, and insight to how long it takes for certain tasks to be completed, as well as who completed them. "Everyone calls her 'trusty Alice'," says Wolfe. "She's the greatest confidant you could have."ABOUT ALICE: By joining all the departments of your hotel onto a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product -ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and SMS tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module can be integrated with your PMS, POS, and third party management systems. ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $13.5M to date.
ALICE 17 May 2017
The Rise of the Outsourced, Virtual ConciergeOutsourcing concierge services in hotels is nothing new - bus companies and other hospitality brands have been placing their agents in hotels for years - but the ubiquity of the smartphone has facilitated a new, innovative breed of outsourced service provider, that of the virtual concierge.Virtual concierges provide the same benefits to guests, but through digital means. On the front end, the guest experience differs from the traditional outsourced concierge model, as the guest never "meets" these concierges, but interacts with them instead through a mobile application or SMS. On the back end, however, the virtual concierge job is very similar to that of a hotel concierge. The concierge makes suggestions, books reservations, orders services, and tracks the status of requests, just as an in-house concierge would.Why You Want Your Virtual Concierge Service Connected to Your Hotel with Request Management Technology1. Every time your guest makes a request to your virtual concierge, that's a valuable piece of guest data you want associated with that guest's profile. This guest information can be used to enhance the guest's stay, and hopefully future stays, at your hotel. You want your outsourced concierge to be using a request management system that is integrated with the system your in-house guest teams use, in order to centralize this data and leverage it for better service and guest experience.2. Additionally, your virtual concierge will often receive requests for items and services outside of his or her mandate, such as request for more towels or the WiFi password. Without a shared request management system, the concierge facilitating the request for more towels has to pick up the phone, call the hotel, and hope the request gets fulfilled. The agent is unable to confirm to the guest the request has been filled without calling the hotel again and tracking down the status of the request, which might involve a long and fraught chain of communication. This is operationally challenging for your hotel and compromises the guest experience. In contrast, if both your in-house staff and virtual concierge service use a request management system, guest requests can be handled seamlessly, even if they're addressed to your outsourced concierge, but require fulfilment by your staff.In ConclusionBecause request management technology unites all hotel staff members - in-house or outsourced - on the same request management platform, it is the ideal solution to integrate the activities of virtual concierges with the those of a hotel's internal teams. Without a request management system to unify your outsourced concierge service with the rest of your hotel staff and operations, you run the risk of compromised guest service and losing valuable guest data. With request management technology, you get all the benefits of outsourcing the concierge function, without any of the drawbacks.
ALICE 9 May 2017
New York, NY -- Brooklyn's Wythe Hotel is using ALICE's hotel management technology to improve staff task management and staff communication. The 70-room waterfront factory turned independent hotel has been using ALICE's staff and concierge technology - ALICE Staff and ALICE Concierge - since June of last year.Before ALICE streamlined task management across the hotel's departments with a single system, Wythe shared guest requests and internal work orders between employees via a series of shared Google docs, notepads and sticky notes. This system worked well at first, but soon, staying on top of tasks became difficult as the amount of information employees had to consult and share amongst each other increased. This manual system also challenged basic concierge work, as neither the notes nor the internal list the Wythe's concierge relied on were searchable.With ALICE's concierge tool, Erin Webb, Wythe's head concierge, can now efficiently search for any restaurant or service listed in ALICE's database of vendors. ALICE lets users categorize vendors they import to the database using any number of tags. When a guest asks for a hotel's favorite restaurants that serve small plates and great wine, for example, it's now easy to quickly pull up a list of recommended places tagged with "favorites," "wine," and "small plates." "Before ALICE, it was really hard to present that information elegantly and in an accessible way," says Webb. "ALICE has been a game changer."ALICE is also helping Wythe's front desk staff juggle their many responsibilities. Unlike many hotels today, most of Wythe's bookings are made direct, and often over the phone. Wythe's front desk staff double as reservationists. Adept at multi-tasking, they now have more time to devote to guests. Because all guest information is entered right into ALICE, working at the front desk no longer means manually entering the same information in several different places, or following up with colleagues to see if work has been done. By cutting down on redundancies, and displaying all information in an easily accessible "calendar view," ALICE is letting Wythe's staff get back to the business of hospitality. "Hospitality is a tough job," says Webb. "ALICE has made our lives easier."Wythe has been a valued partner to ALICE over the past year, beta-testing ALICE's package management product and guest texting functionality. After ALICE alpha-tests its products in-house, the company selects a few partner hotels interested in working together with ALICE to optimize new features and components of the ALICE suite of products. Wythe's tech-savvy operations teams have provided ALICE with weekly feedback to help evolve ALICE's ideas to fit the needs of ALICE's partner hotels. When it came to testing ALICE's new package management tools, Wythe was eager to move from their physical log to a digital, centralized hub for logging packages. Wythe's front desk team have also been enthusiastic when it comes to experimenting with guest SMS. It's taking time to figure out the best way to introduce the product to guests, but staff and guests are seeing instant value from the ability to text when rooms are ready, or to let guests know their dry cleaning has been placed in their rooms, among other use cases. "Texting guests is allowing us to maintain our values of hospitality, but also adapt to the times," says Webb.
Hospitality Technology Veteran and Wellspring of Energy Wendy Zapach Joins ALICE as Director of Sales, North America
ALICE 2 May 2017
New York, NY -- ALICE, the operations platform powering the world's best hotels, is excited to announce hospitality technology sales and leadership veteran Wendy Zapach has joined the company as Director of Sales, North America.Zapach joins ALICE from Yext, where, as Director of Sales, she covered major hospitality partnerships, such as Savre, Vizergy, HeBS Digital, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Prior to Yext, Zapach served as the Director of Sales at TravelClick, where she was responsible for a $8.5M book of business. A President's Club winner every year, Zapach sold more than $7.5M of new business during her four-year tenure, and built the Boston region into a thriving company portfolio. Zapach also has a strong background in hospitality. She served as Director of Sales & Marketing at Bermuda's Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa from 2009-2012, and was also Leisure Sales Manager at the Boston Harbor Hotel from 2004 to 2009.Zapach brings valuable leadership experience to ALICE, as well as longstanding relationships with industry decision makers and hotels. Zapach served as a player coach in her previous leadership roles, excelling as a mentor in the ranks of the TravelClick sales organization as well as in her previous positions.A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Zapach is an avid runner and a wellspring of energy. She currently resides in Reading, MA, with her husband and two children.ALICE welcomes Zapach as a key member of the company's executive team. Zapach joins ALICE at a time of rapid growth. Founded in 2013, ALICE has raised $13.5M in funding, most recently closing a $9.5M Series A in December, 2015, which was led by Expedia. Over 200 hundred hotels across the country and around the world have chosen ALICE for the transformative effect joining all hotel staff departments onto a single platform has for improved task management and employee communication. ALICE's guest engagement toolset is also helping its clients deliver exceptional service with cutting-edge innovations like guest-to-staff texting."Wendy's hospitality-based sales experience and deep network of industry relationships will be a tremendous asset to our team," says ALICE's CEO and co-founder Justin Effron. "The Northeast is a crucial market for us, and Wendy will be able to elevate our profile in the independent hotel market there in a big way. We're also looking to her to help us build and mentor our sales team."Zapach is looking forward to getting started: "ALICE provides something I feel passionate about: exceptional guest service. The innovation we're bringing to the hotel community is exceptional and I'm eager to help hotels facilitate better communication, both internally and externally."
ALICE 19 April 2017
Whether it's booking travel online, buying a book or watching porn, for years, the role of technology has been to improve our access to information and our ability to act on that information. As a result, consumers have become increasingly independent and able to satisfy their needs through technology. In economics this is called disintermediation - the removal of intermediaries from a supply chain, or the "cutting out of the middlemen" in connection with a transaction or a series of transactions. We've seen Uber do it to the taxi companies, airlines to the travel agents and so on. In the hotel, that "middleman" has always been the concierge - the highly polished, extremely knowledgeable "Golden Keys," who could unlock the best restaurants in town for the guests who asked the nicest. The concierge was historically the guests' access point to all the information they were seeking on local services and products.With the advent of the smartphone, however, the concierge role has come under threat. The proliferation of review sites, social media recommendations, and online booking platforms has given guests the ability to discover and take care of everyday requests themselves. Many people are calling this age the Concierge Economy (or Convenience Economy), one in which countless networks of digitally coordinated workers deliver products and services to people who are cash-rich but time-poor. As the Wall Street Journal wrote in 2015, "there is an Uber for everything now." When you combine these Uber-for-X offerings with the online booking platforms that can satisfy your restaurant (OpenTable) and theater (Ticketmaster) needs, you can justify the notion that a guest can effectively serve as their own concierges today.Consumer technology is outpacing concierge technology, leaving many in our industry to undervalue the necessity of a highly trained concierge and many concierges frustrated at their inability to perform at the speed and personalization required to impress our clientele.- Noah Lemaich, Chief Concierge of Sixty HotelsBut reports of the demise of the concierge role have been greatly exaggerated, as you will see. Indeed, let us consider another reality. Nothing has changed. A guest has always been able to figure out what to do and research how to do it. I know it seems shocking to think of a world without my beloved Google Maps, but there was a time when I stopped by the concierge to ask for a map and directions every time I left the hotel -- at that time, doing so was simply the most convenient option. This reality is true of all these on-demand apps. Consumers are not choosing them because they are cheaper but because they are more convenient and in almost all cases, we are paying a premium for this convenience. An item in a vending machine is more expensive than the same one at a store because someone else has applied resources to make sure it's more conveniently located. In our industry, convenience premiums are placed on the items in the mini-bar, the amenities brought up to our rooms and the WiFi now on planes. The point is that consumers value time and effort and technology has not changed our values.Technology has rarely changed what we do, just how we do it. A concierge has always been a luxury not a necessity, just as having a driver has been over renting your own car. The problem today is that technology thus far has affected everything around the concierge, but not yet the role itself. The concierge has become less convenient than the service apps I use because the service apps live on my phone and in most hotels, the concierge does not. So, in a world of mobile technology and information overload, we have to create a new model for concierge, one in which convenience is achieved through technology, and one in which guests are able to continue paying their convenience premiums but to the concierge instead of an outsourced service provider.How Technology will Support the Concierge of the FutureThe concierge of the future needs to be supported by technology made expressly to enhance the role and place him or her at the center of the guest experience. Perhaps a better name for this role is "Guest Experience Manager." This technology needs to augment and advance the concierge in his or her ability to: Project Manage, Communicate, Curate Information and Personalize.1. Project ManagementConcierges today need technology that lets them master their guests' itineraries and accommodate the planning that's needed often months in advance, as well as in the split seconds after a request is made.A concierge is not just the person who secures the guest a romantic corner table on Valentine's Day. A concierge, rather, ensures everything before, during, and after that corner table is exactly as the guest wants it. There's much that goes into this. Just listen to Erik Rocca, Concierge at Thompson Nashville describe what's necessary to coordinate a single evening for just one guest:"Jack Barnes, Corner booth at Balthazar...... 7:47 PM, hates even numbers...Two Negroni's on the rocks waiting at the table....Must be seated in Antonio's section, the Head Waiter for over 20 years. Red Roses. Mr. Barnes has a special note for his wife to be delivered by the Maitre D at 8:13 PM. Two tickets to the heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden. Seats must be in Section 201 or in Mr. Monroe's Box Seats, but only if he offers, of course. Car waiting to take them back, 15 minutes before the fight ends to miss the traffic. Keys at the desk with today's papers for a night cap.""Any concierge," says Erik, "can tell you that the job is not always easy, especially in a luxury market. Guests are demanding and particular, and they have every right to be. Being a great concierge and hotel is about delivering outstanding customer service within a non-stop twenty-four-hour cycle."The concierge role is one that requires extremely accurate project management. Stitching together an evening, whether it is as grand as that of Mr Barnes or as simple as a trip to the movies, takes time and effort. Imagine a whole trip, and then multiply that by the number of guests at your hotel at any one time, plus those guests who plan their trip in advance in arrival. While guests may be increasingly booking their travel online, 77% of all in-stay tourist activities are actually still booked offline and in-destination, according to Robin Berrendorf, Co-Founder at MyEventBUTLER.The app world has done a great job at facilitating the "right now" requests, but a concierge needs to accurately manage requests for activities and items far out in the future as well as those that require immediate attention. Much of the software being used by concierges today (or lack of software) creates a barrier to the concierge performing this orchestration flawlessly. Most concierges are using either spreadsheets or very simple task management tools. To be more convenient and helpful to guests than the apps on their phones, concierges need technology attuned to the project management needs of the role.2. CommunicationConcierges today need technology that makes it easier for guests to communicate with them than it is to communicate with their apps.How we communicate with one another has changed significantly over the past ten years. Phone calls are on the wane, and messaging (be it through SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger) is becoming increasingly prevalent - both between friends and between consumers and businesses. Guests staying at your hotel will expect to communicate with your staff in the method of their choosing, in the way that's most convenient to them.Hotels can't afford to ignore their guests' communication channel preferences. Take the example of Netflix vs Blockbuster. Both companies provide(d) the same exact service - letting you watch a movie at home. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 60,000 employees, 9,000 stores and a market cap of $5bn. Today, Netflix has a market cap of $59.38bn, which is exactly $59.38bn more than that of Blockbuster, which filed for bankruptcy in 2010.When it comes to technology, we must continuously hew towards convenience. If the concierge isn't able to join the guest on their preferred communication channel, then the guest must walk up to the desk or call him or her, which takes effort and diminishes convenience. As long as this technology gap remains, guests will continue to outsource their service needs to a provider who is at their fingertips (and I will continue to use my Google Maps).As the concierge role becomes more of a guest experience hub, it's imperative their communication abilities keep pace with that of their guests.3. Information CurationConcierges today need technology that helps them help guests cut through the information overload that exists today.When the travel industry first introduced online booking platforms, travel agents all over the world went out of business. What need was there for a physical agent, if guests could book themselves online and hotels could access their guests directly? Over the last few years, however, we are starting to see this trend reverse, and witness a resurgence of the travel advisor (the new travel agent). This is because with so much content being produced, we now live in a world of information overload. Travellers crave adventure and new experiences. They also want experiences that are local and authentic. With so much information and "advice" out there it's hard to see the forest through the trees, no matter how many algorithms we create to achieve this. Again, its time vs money and while we can curate our own trips, people value the opinions and reassurances of other humans. When it comes to the hotel experience, the concierge is there to help (much like the resurging travel agent). Even Airbnb has their hosts now communicating through messaging technology with guests around their trips to help facilitate and suggest local experiences that will make the trip memorable. Just as the number of travel advisors is set to grow 10% through 2020, there remains a big opportunity for the content curating concierge.4. PersonalizationConcierges need technology that helps them make guests feel special and valued.Just as we want to experience the world as a local, we also want to be treated as one. The future of guest experience is a highly personalized one. It is one where the hotel recognizes you not just for your booking loyalty, but for who you are as an individual and how you like to enjoy your travel. One of the key reasons we choose hotels in general over Airbnb is for their service. One of the key reasons we will go back to the exact same hotel is because we are remembered. Leading Hotels of the World found their members who felt recognized by the hotel had a 3x higher guest satisfaction score.This is where technology will have its biggest impact. As hotels adopt platform and messaging technology, every single action and communication from a guest will have some form of digital trace. Staff are getting rid of radios and moving to digital too, and even the complaints and requests made by guests are becoming digitized. Thus, as the entire hotel technology ecosystem becomes integrated, the amount of data we have on our guests is growing exponentially. Everything from a complaint to an allergy will become usable data.While we recognize that much of this data is not useful and that there is a data overload, artificial intelligence is progressing to a point where we are not far off from being able to surface the right guest to hotel staff at the right time. The concierge of the future will be able to use this data to create a truly personalized experience. Moreover, concierges who are trained in the art of hospitality will be advantaged to deliver this personalization in a way that feels authentic, which is something technology itself cannot do. As Skift wrote in their mega trends for 2017, hospitality needs to bring back its humanity. But this does not mean no technology, rather it means using technology to support hotel staff to deliver the experience of hospitalityGuests have not changed what they are doing, just how they are doing it. Hotels will continue to need their concierges, because guests will continue to want convenient, human driven hospitality experiences. However, the concierge will only survive and thrive if given the right technology - the right technology to become a holistic guest experience manager, as the changing role requires. Guests will need to communicate with their concierge as seamlessly as they do with their apps. Concierges will also need tools for curation and personalization, in order to safeguard the industry's ability to deliver unique and memorable travel experiences.
ALICE 11 April 2017
New York, NY -- The Gregory Hotel and The Renwick Hotel - a pair of historic boutique hotels in Midtown Manhattan - are using ALICE's operations technology and guest engagement platform to improve staff coordination and provide convenient communications options to guests.Both hotels have a strong legacy of New York City hospitality. The Gregory opened as the Gregorian Hotel in 1903 and quickly became a popular residence for the famous and well-to-do. The Renwick began its life as a home to artist studios and intellectuals and is a member of Historic Hotels of America(r). Both hotels were restored (and, in the case of The Gregory, renamed), and reopened as swank New York City boutiques in 2015.Prior to implementing ALICE, operations at the 173-room The Renwick Hotel (a member of the Curio Collection by Hilton) were managed with pen and paper, with guest calls and requests logged on a shared spreadsheet. Now, the hotel's front desk, engineering, and housekeeping teams all manage their operations with ALICE, which has greatly increased the efficiency with which the departments can log guest requests and dispatch them to the correct team or individual. Logging guest requests and establishing patterns over time has allowed the housekeeping team, for example, to optimize the replenishment schedule they use to place items like water bottles and towels in the guest rooms. The maintenance team, meanwhile, appreciates how establishing patterns in work orders can help point to more fundamental underlying issues, like plumbing problems across an entire building wing, as oppose to in a specific room. Logging numerous work orders regarding shelving that would come loose from bathroom walls led the team to determine the shelving itself was faulty and that they should replace it altogether, rather than go room by room as issues arose.Before ALICE, teams at The Gregory were also tracking activities and requests manually, as well as relying on walkie talkies, which were often obtrusively loud and unreliable. ALICE, in contrast, lets staff at The Gregory be specific with their communication. Entering text-based guest requests and work orders into ALICE means nothing can be misheard or skipped over, and attaching images makes communicating the nature of an issue or its location effortless. The Gregory's Director of Operations, Natalie Bogan, also appreciates how keeping this record of communications and activities makes her job as a manager easier, allowing her to check in every morning or after a long weekend to see instantaneously the status of operations at her hotel. She also keeps her own notes in ALICE, ensuring everything she needs to manage the hotel is in one place.Both The Renwick and The Gregory are using the guest-facing component of ALICE's hotel technology, ALICE Guest. Michael Hillier, General Manager of The Renwick, and The Gregory's Natalie Bogan love the convenience ALICE provides to their guests. ALICE's guest engagement toolset, which includes a guest-facing app and SMS texting, lets guests request housekeeping, bellman and maintenance services, and communicate directly with the front desk. "Offering guests the ability to text and use the app to place requests makes a lot of sense. We're on our phones all the time anyway. It's a lot easier than calling the front desk and potentially being placed on hold, and you can also place requests off-site," says Hillier. Natalie Bogan agrees, "Texting guests creates an immediately personal experience."ABOUT ALICE: By joining all the departments of your hotel onto a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product -ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and SMS tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module can be integrated with your PMS, POS, and third party management systems. ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $13.5M to date.
ALICE 30 March 2017
Changes to websites bring out the best and the worst in people. A small change in how Facebook looks incites both rage and high praise from the internet masses. SIXTY LES has worked with ALICE since October 2014; the launch was initially met with apathetic resistance "Another Hotel Vendor?! We have too many systems already!". Now, my team searches me out to ask "When will ALICE start doing ____?" or "Can we drop ____ and start using ALICE instead"?We decided to look back at the changes and additions made in last year with ALICE. ALICE identified these needs through *many* meetings with our very opinionated staff, as well as with other hotels. One year ago these features only existed as "Wouldn't it be cool if we could use ALICE for ____?", now we have firmly moved to "I don't know how we lived without this". Here's our top 5 ALICE features we've become rabid fans of in the past year.1. Local Vendor & Contact DatabaseALICE first approached us and asked "What's the biggest feature that's missing to enable your concierge team to use ALICE?" We told ALICE they were lacking a way to maintain a local concierge database (restaurants, salons, lounges, etc). ALICE could have just built a basic address book and pat themselves on the back. Instead, one of their first questions was "Interesting; how do you find that information now?". "Most of the time; we use this thing called the interwebs." ALICE identified the ability to save a database of local information only solves part of the issue. The concierge team was spending most of their time scouring the internet and manually adding local vendor information we had found online, into our old online concierge database.When the ALICE team came back with the first version of Local; we were floored. They asked us to add our hotel restaurant into our new ALICE Local. In our old system, we would get ready to type "Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya" search for all the info online and manually copy and paste this info into our database. We only got as far as typing "Blu" and ALICE had already returned our hotel restaurant as a suggestion. With one click, the name, phone, website, full address, hours of operation, categories and a map were automatically populated. One more click, and ALICE automatically pulled in links from Opentable, Menupages, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Thanks, ALICE, for giving me those 10 minutes of my life back.Knowing the address and cross streets does not make a good concierge. What really makes a good concierge is knowing *who* to speak with at the restaurant, a concierge review, our favorite dish, and remembering to guide the guest past a tricky hidden entrance. This concierge specific information is what we are most passionate about. ALICE Local takes care of all the public information that everyone can find; and lets my concierge team focus on adding all those important details that require a concierge hand.2. SMS Text MessagingWhile Texting is not our most used feature, being able to send and receive text messages from guests within ALICE has been a lifesaver. If a guest prefers to text us, rather than downloading an app or calling; my team loves that this comes directly into ALICE. I think that this feature points towards ALICE's passion for becoming an integrated solution which works with our existing software, while also filling the void of software we may not have (like messaging). There are plenty of text message solutions out there; which only handle texting. We like that using ALICE for texting means one less system to constantly monitor. Aside from texting our guests; we also love that we can use ALICE to text our vendors (nightlife promoters, massage therapists, etc) and not worry about constantly checking our mobile phones to see if they have texted back.3. RemindersReminders are another great example of ALICE taking the time to find out what a concierge really needs, rather than just copying something that may already exist. Concierges are used to working from a calendar; any decent calendar program has a reminder option. These are usually limited to something like "remind me about this meeting 15 minutes before". Its very rare that a concierge wants to be reminded about a restaurant reservation 15 minutes before (that may be useful to the guest, but not to the hotel). Additionally, most calendar programs only let you have 1 reminder (and maybe the ability to snooze that reminder). ALICE worked closely with several concierge teams to find out what concierges mean when they ask for "reminders". Now, it's super easy to log a restaurant reservation request and then quickly create a reminder to call to make the reservation 30 days before, another reminder when we find out we need to convince the maitre d' to change from a party of 2 to a party of 6, and a third reminder to call to confirm the reservation the day prior. We love that ALICE realized that a "restaurant reservation" is not just 1 thing, it is a series of actions that need to happen at specific times.4. Digital Logs for Packages and Other ItemsThere are a lot of things a hotel needs to track that are not time definite. A restaurant reservation happens at a specific time, a guest wants more shampoo asap; but there are plenty of things we need to log that do not work well in a calendar. Lost and found, Guest Packages, Valet Parking - many of these things just need to "sit there" until a guest calls to inquire. If a guest receives a package two weeks before they are due to check in... hotels are not really worried about that package until the guest arrives. Additionally, we don't really need to see that package on a calendar at 10:30 AM, mixed in with that day's wake up calls and newspaper requests.Additionally, ALICE realized that in many cases, hotels consider these types of logs as completely self-contained. When a hotel is looking at their "Package" log, we do not want wake-up calls mixed in. ALICE makes it easy for us to still quickly see everything related to a specific guest (across Package Logs and Guest Requests); and also allows us to keep the separate logs we like. Our favorite is using the new Logbook feature to log all of our incoming and outgoing packages. With our old, calendar based, solution - we could only view our packages in one way at specific calendar hours/times. Now, we love that we can sort, filter, and view packages by guest name, storage location, sender's name, and more. We also love the "batch add" feature. Instead of logging 1 package at a time; we can quickly log many packages. Very useful when UPS drops of 20 packages at once! We've also started using the new Logbook feature for Lost and Found, Valet Parking, and we are looking forward to moving some of our other logs into the new Inventory Feature. It will be so much easier to click over to the Logbook section and quickly log something, rather than trying to remember what folder on the network drive we have saved a certain Excel Spreadsheet.5. ALICE's Client SupportALICE Support is, by far, the feature we've found we cannot live without. Many vendors out there are not passionate about changing their product or maintaining usage of their product once the contract has been signed. ALICE is in a very small handful of hotel vendors who strive to excel in these two areas. They never rest and have endless curiosity - constantly asking for feedback as to how they can make existing features better and what new features would be embraced. More importantly, I feel like they actually listen when they ask these questions. They are also great at assessing and improving our existing usage, sometimes before we even realize the issue. Its great to have two way communication with our hotel vendors. I can count on one hand the Hotel Vendors who would call me to say "Last month you logged 100 of this type of request, this month you've only logged 10. Is there something we need to change or update? Why do you think there was such a big drop?"Learn more about ALICE Concierge here: http://info.aliceapp.com/concierge. Schedule a demo of ALICE Concierge here: http://info.aliceapp.com/contact-us.Noah Lemaich, Head Concierge with SIXTY Hotels, has worked various luxury boutique hotels for over over 15 years. Noah has also worked in a variety of "line-staff" positions such as Bellman, Concierge, Front Desk Agent, and Houseman; as well as management level positions at the Front Desk, in Housekeeping, and in the hotel executive offices. Noah has worked in properties ranging from secluded seasonal resorts to busy metropolitan hotels; and has assisted with the opening/launch of over 10 hotels. Previously with Thompson Hotels from 2002-2013, Noah is currently based out of New York City and has been working with SIXTY Hotels since its creation in 2013.
ALICE 29 March 2017
New York, NY -- Hollywood's iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is using ALICE to optimize staff communication and increase guest satisfaction. The Hollywood Roosevelt, rated number 14 out of 300+ hotels in Los Angeles county, continues to prioritize guest experience, implementing ALICE Staff, ALICE's software module for guest request management in November 2016.As part of an ongoing commitment to staying on the cutting-edge of hotel communications and operations technology, ALICE was brought on board to ensure The Hollywood Roosevelt would continue its legacy of providing the best in guest service.Implementing ALICE Staff has changed the hotel's operations efficiency and approach to guest service management, with all communication and task management being centralized. Once a guest request is entered into ALICE (complete with the guest's location), the staff member in closest proximity to the guest can address the issue and easily let others know he's done so, right in ALICE. Keeping track of all employee activity in ALICE is also providing the hotel's management with actionable data. Managers can see what times are the busiest for staff, and optimize employee schedules appropriately."We are incredibly pleased with the easy-to-use interface of ALICE and implementing the new system has directly contributed to our team being able to handle guest requests in a timely and efficient manner, always prioritizing the guest experience and expectations," says Akshay Bahl, general manager of The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. "ALICE has helped us increase accountability and guest satisfaction."Alex Shashou, co-founder and President of ALICE is pleased the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is seeing tangible improvements in guest satisfaction so soon after launch: "The Hollywood Roosevelt is a Los Angeles institution. We're delighted we can help update the hotel's back of house and contribute to its legendary guest experience."