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Grand Hotel Baglioni Chooses IDeaS G3 RMS for Revenue Technology Upgrade

IDeaS 6 December 2018
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, is pleased to announce one of Europes most historic hotels, the Grand Hotel Baglioni, has chosen IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS)to optimise revenue performance across its 192-room property.The Grand Hotel Baglioni remains one of Florence's classic hotels, proudly retaining its traditional style while incorporating 21st-century amenities and services. Despite occupancy rates averaging 82 percent over the past six monthswith an equal split between business and transient travelthe inefficiencies and limitations of its legacy manual forecasting system became apparent.Identifying the challenges of an outdated system In addition to the amount of time the existing revenue management process involved, hotel management couldnt access the full value of the data being entered. Without the ability to forecast by room type, sales was forced to concentrate efforts on a restricted number of days for a specific room type. Now the team is able to promote sales across all room categories.Boosting revenue through added functionality The group pricing feature ofIDeaS G3 RMS solves a major challenge by providing tailor-made pricing packages for groups and with it the potential to significantly boost revenue.Delivering innovation worldwide Powered by SAS, with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS remains the global leader in revenue management and continues to provide solutions that equip clients with a clear view of their data, giving them greater control over their business performance.Antonio Remaschi, general manager, Grand Hotel Baglioni, said:Were fortunate in that key decisions made over 100 years ago separate us from our local competitors. Our hotel is a benchmark in Florence. We chose IDeaS G3 RMS for a similar reason. Its clearly the industrys leading system, and it will help us run our business more smoothly, efficiently and profitably.Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director, IDeaS, said:There are few hotels in the world that can match the Grand Hotel Baglionis elegance, sophistication and history. We are delighted theyve chosen IDeaS G3 RMS to ensure better business decisions, enhance the guest experience and optimise revenue.ENDSAbout Grand Hotel BaglioniThe historic Grand Hotel Baglioni takes pride of place in Florence, situated near Santa Maria Novella train station and a five-minute walk to the Duomo. With 192 rooms, the Baglioni is not only the largest hotel in central Florence but also boasts one of the citys best conference facilities. For more information, visit www.hotelbaglioni.it/enAbout IDeaSWith more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services.Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management culturesfrom single entities to world-renowned estatesby focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunitiesnot just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise.For more information, visit www.ideas.com
Article by Yuki Hu

Do hotel revenue managers need to panic about one day being replaced by robots?

IDeaS 26 November 2018
An AI humanoid called Sophia has become the first robot citizen with feelings, preferences, and the capability to learn much faster than humans. Besides that, it turns out AI can even write pretty good songs. Researchers at Sony released the AI-generated song, "Daddy's Car," a catchy, sunny tune reminiscent of The Beatles. Last year, Facebook abandoned an experiment and shut down two AI robots after they started talking to each other in their own language, which remained mysterious to the scientists who were supposedly looking after them. It looks like robots are one step closer to taking over the world.But what about our world? The wonderful and colorful revenue management world? How does AI influence our daily jobs?First coined in 1956 by John McCarthy, AI involves "machines that can perform tasks characteristic of human intelligence," including planning, understanding language, recognizing objects and sounds, learning, and problem solving. Today, with the collection of customer data, coupled with continued improvements in computer technology, AI can perform a wide range of routine tasks, from basic customer service to personalized job duties, more advanced decision-making, even sales processes and direct messaging.Professionals from all different fields use AI for predictive analysis and interpretation. AI is one of the biggest trends in tourism and related fields, and hoteliers are also using big data and AI to innovate their pricing strategies. AI combined with data analytics will enable the automation of many daily tasks. Therefore, when human participation and manual work becomes unnecessary, we should find a good balance between the human resource and machine, and reasonably allocate our time on what we are good at.Among the most repetitive tasks, AI technology can take on the burden of large amounts of demand and pricing analysis. Hoteliers look forward to and appreciate this change when they experience explosive data growth. Today, the production of various daily reports takes more and more time with the increase of data elements and analysis dimensions. The amount of time spent on this data processing and reporting is bound to affect the scheduling of more important analyses and decisions, so it is far more efficient to leave these repetitive tasks to AI.In addition, the data analysis methods of AI nowadays are getting more accurate, and more data analysis normally leads to more insights. Allowing AI to complete more accurate data analysis leads to more rational decision-making and can be another great benefit to revenue managers, leaving them with more time to monitor the automated decisions based on the analysis, focus on the implementation and make proper adjustment to the decisions.AI can also be applied to different research tasks, such as generating specific market segments, which can reveal the implicit correlation between customer information and preferences. Traditional hotel revenue management systems are based on a pre-set market segmentation model for future demand forecasting and management. With AI, more advanced revenue management systems would automatically assign attributes to more detailed rate code levels to generate its own forecast group, based on both attributes and historical booking patterns. For example, two market segments may have the same attributes, and may be grouped together. But meanwhile the system may place them in two different forecast groups after analyzing their booking patterns and finding they differ greatly regarding the timing of when the business books. The advantage of doing so is to divide the forecast group as much as possible according to the actual business attribute and behavior pattern, rather than only relying on the existing market segmentation system, which may be wrong, resulting in inaccurate forecast.Also, with AI and a machine-learning algorithm, the revenue system can evaluate the nearest competing hotel's demand level, competitor pricing, destination special events, room type, and so on. Demand forecasts provide critical information for pricing decisions for each market segment or room class and can help revenue managers to select appropriate distribution strategies, as well as explore what customers want and describe their price sensitivity.An intelligent, data-driven revenue management system can greatly improve pricing efficiency. For example, in some international hotel groups, the machine-learning-based revenue management system combines different strategies and data sources to set a best available rate for each room class on each date. The algorithms behind this dynamic pricing engine take into account both customer profiles, room types and prices, as well as external data, such as competitor prices, reputation score data, and even booking patterns captured on other websites.In addition to pricing, another important aspect of revenue management is inventory control. The key point of revenue management is optimizing revenue and profit through proper pricing and space controlling of hotel rooms, meeting space, restaurants and other entertainment areas. Revenue managers seek to capture the opportunity to increase prices and maximize revenue on high-demand dates while maximizing occupancy on low-demand days. In this case, the AI-based, advanced revenue system can automatically make decisions and select the revenue strategies applicable to different market segments. The system needs to be able to select the best space control strategy to achieve the best deal, the commonly used inventory control strategy including the minimum or maximum length of stay, closed to arrival, block or allotment set up, the last room availability, and so on.Last but not least, a hotel's success is often due to the personalized service and unique experience it offers guests. With the help from AI, combined with human experience, the tasks of identifying the hotel demand model, looking for revenue growth opportunities, and using digital marketing to boost market demand can be done in a much more accurate and effective way.So, a trusting AI system is the best thing to have at the moment, but hotel revenue managers do not need to panic about one day being replaced by robots. No matter how advanced the AI revenue system gets, it will always require a human touch and interaction. Therefore, the future trend is that the hotel will inevitably use AI data analysis to make better optimization decisions to grow revenue and enhance profit performance.
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IDeaS Helps RLH Corporation Redefine Revenue Strategy, Transform Its Business

IDeaS 13 November 2018
Tweet This: How do you #DisruptHospitality? @RLHCo relies on @IDeaS_RevOpt to break with tradition and adopt #RevenueManagement as strategyMINNEAPOLIS--Nov. 13, 2018--As one of the fastest-growing hotel franchise companies in the U.S., RLH Corporation(NYSE: RLH) has prescribed a transformational goal for itself: build a culture around commercial revenue strategy and adopt technology that breaks down organizational silos across sales and marketing. But the company isn't doing it alone. They're working with IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the global leader in revenue management, to take a disruptive approach to proactively optimize revenue and create a competitive advantage.The IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS)is designed to automate pricing and inventory control across room types, properties and portfolios. By tapping into SAS analytics, artificial intelligence and deep machine-learning, IDeaS G3 RMS frees up revenue managers from arduous tactical duties, enabling them to be more strategic about growing revenue. This results in dramatically smarter pricing decisions and greater revenue over time.Redefining revenue strategy:RLH Corporation plans to align its revenue management, pricing and yielding insights with marketing and sales to create a more powerful overarching commercial strategy using IDeaS.Aligning business strategies to stay ahead of the competition:Knowing they always have an optimal pricing program in place, revenue strategists can focus on aligning business strategies across departments such as sales and marketing. With the increasing complexity of booking channels and more competition from hotel brands, this has the potential to leapfrog RLH Corporation past its competitors, even in tough markets.Calvin Anderson, chief of revenue optimization, RLH Corporation said:"We need to blow up this idea that using legacy technology systems and following the status quo is 'good enough.' We wanted a business solution that looks beyond what others are doing currently in the revenue management space. IDeaS has done their homework in areas no one else has touched. As a result, both the IDeaS' product and roadmap are ahead of everyone else. IDeaS automates pricing down to the individual rate code and room type, instead of centering all pricing around a single retail or BAR price point. This level of detail is crucial because true commercial optimization must consider a multiplicity of demand variables and respond to each accordingly. This level of adaptability and granularity gives us a more acute, real-time understanding of changing demand. While most revenue management platforms want to reach this level, the nearest functionality outside of IDeaS offers a manual implementation that is rules-based. IDeaS' onboarding and training program has made this transition an extremely smooth and reassuring process. Throughout the implementation, the IDeaS team has been highly supportive, and we've already seen significant value in IDeaS G3 RMS."Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, co-founder and president, IDeaS, said: "At IDeaS, we're helping RLH Corporation transform its complete approach to revenue management, but what's more important is that our visions for the future of this industry are so strongly aligned. We have the right approach and capabilities to help RLH Corporation create an even more strategic, aligned culture, and we look forward to making this journey together a successful one."About RLH Corporation Red Lion Hotels Corporation is an innovative hotel company doing business as RLH Corporation and focuses on the franchising, management and ownership of upscale, midscale and economy hotels. The company focuses on maximizing return on invested capital for hotel owners across North America through relevant brands, industry-leading technology and forward-thinking services. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.rlhco.com.About IDeaS With more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures--from single entities to world-renowned estates--by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities--not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. For more information, visit www.ideas.com.
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NAU Hotels & Resorts Renews Partnership with IDeaS After Full Market Review

IDeaS 8 November 2018
- Comprehensive competitive evaluation convinces Portuguese chain to extend its use of IDeaS RMS- New agreement sees IDeaS RMS implemented across entire estate of 10 hotelsIDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, is pleased to announce that NAU Hotels & Resorts will extend its use of IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) to optimise revenue performance across its entire estate.NAU Hotels & Resorts first began working with IDeaS in 2015, implementing IDeaS RMS in four of its ten properties across Portugal. Following a comprehensive analysis of revenue management systems on the market, the company will now expand its use of IDeaS RMS across its six remaining hotels."Our goal is to operate as efficiently as possible in an increasingly complex marketplace" said Mario Azevedo Ferreira, CEO of NAU Hotels & Resorts. "Revenue management technology will play a central role in this, so we undertook a thorough review, comparing IDeaS with all alternative offerings to identify the system that would best drive performance for us."Powered by SAS, with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS remains the global leader in revenue management and continues to provide solutions that equip clients with a clear view of their data, giving them greater control over their business performance."Our evaluation process clearly identified IDeaS as the best choice," continued Ferreira. "Their advanced technology stood out and gave us great confidence in rapidly implementing their system in our remaining hotels. Another important factor in our decision is the quality of the support and advisory services IDeaS offers to our staff--both now and in the future.""We are extremely pleased NAU Hotels & Resorts has decided to extend its partnership with us," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "We're proud that their independent research clearly identified IDeaS as the market's leading RMS provider, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to help enhance profitability and productivity across their entire portfolio."
Article by Paul van Meerendonk

Training, Maintaining & Elevating Top Hotel Revenue Management Talent

IDeaS 6 November 2018
Ah, the good old days. It used to be so simple. Then the initial wave of OTAs hit, bringing every poor revenue and reservations manager to their knees with endless channel updates. The internet-generated floodwaters soon followed as data became more and more essential. Now we have visibility into transactional data, we know where bookings come from (and why), we know what prices our competitors are selling at, we know our review scores and online reputation, and the list goes on and on. And what about the whiz kid? Is he still up to the challenge? Did he stay afloat in the sea of new data sources? Even more concerning: is he even still working at the hotel? Perhaps he went off to work for one of the OTAs!How we find, manage, and retain top talent at revenue-managing hotels has changed dramatically since the big-data boom began. It's important that we continuously strive to provide ongoing education and support in this competitive job market. Blended learning approaches are key to accommodate varying levels of expertise, job roles, and employee age groups. On-demand, quick learning tools are especially relevant as high-turnover rates necessitate faster uptimes of skilled, productive employees. Beyond that, career trajectory and a clear pathway for upward mobility must also be considered to attract top performers. Properly training, maintaining, and elevating talent is essential to achieving an ongoing return on investment in your people, technology, and processes.Wade into the Talent PoolLet's first look at what should be your company's number-one asset: the people who work there. While promoting from within presents many benefits, it is rare now to find a reservation agent or manager who has the skills required for modern-day revenue management. All the good ones have either been taken or have moved on to bigger and better things. The revenue managers of tomorrow may need to come from elsewhere. If we start at the beginning, our obvious choice would be to seek talent straight out of college.Fortunately, several top hotel schools have risen to the challenge, offering advanced degrees in hotel revenue management. University hotel programs have long been a reliable source of industry up-and-comers, and now they are a great place to find eager and knowledgeable hotel revenue managers. At a recent HSMAI event in Amsterdam, several young graduates took to the stage and showed off their abilities in front of industry leaders and veterans. It was a good indicator that, as academic institutions ramp up their courses and degrees to match revenue management needs, concerns about a shortage of able-minded workers will ebb away. This is not to say, however, you should rely solely on fresh graduates to fill open positions, but you may find it to be one of the most efficient routes.Give Your Talent the Best ToolsSo, let's say you've found your next whiz kid or even assembled your dream team of revenue-management professionals. Now you must make sure they have what they need to deliver. This is where investing in the right technology plays a pivotal role. Advanced revenue management software, applications, and tools have significantly changed the way revenue managers can work with and leverage data. What became an impossible job for one human to handle in a deep sea has become a manageable and rewarding profession thanks to technological advances and science-based software engineering. Now modern systems will do all the heavy lifting-even managing the upkeep of OTA channels. College degrees in visual basic or advanced analytics are no longer necessary.So, if the machines are so smart, do we even need to find talented people to operate them? Well, not so fast. Automation and machine learning don't replace the need for skilled revenue managers, but rather, they enable bright, analytical minds to devote more time to doing what they do best, enabling strategic, forward-looking initiatives that will enhance a hotel's profitability even further. By leveraging the best revenue management systems, revenue managers of tomorrow can position themselves as recognized business leaders with the knowledge and insights to make key decisions and inform organization-wide planning.There is of course a need to be able to steer and direct technology systems so they behave in ways that align with your revenue strategy. Regular systems training is, therefore, essential, particularly as today's platforms are improved and updated frequently, and the revenue manager needs to stay on top of the latest developments so they don't become outdated by their own tools.Technology has not stood still in this aspect either. While we haven't attained the ability to upload knowledge directly into a person's brain, a la The Matrix-"I know kung fu," anyone?-research into the psychology of how humans learn and process new information has made a big impact on how educational resources are designed right within our systems. Gamified learning levels have replaced dry, step-by-step tutorials, and moment-of-need, hands-on, "show me" training has streamlined the process significantly.The advanced learning programs included within some of today's leading systems allow revenue managers to quickly pick up what they need to know to make an immediate impact. These learning systems are often complemented with instant online insights and videos into revenue management concepts and best practices. With the right technology investments, revenue managers are never short of sources for ongoing education and performance improvement.Chart a Course for SuccessBeyond technology and analytical skills, revenue managers need to also be able to interpret what these systems are doing and be able to communicate this with the rest of their organization. These soft skills don't always come easy. A balance of analytical intelligence with communication know-how, as well as a knack for business strategy, will make for a truly successful revenue manager.Empowering talent is key to retaining it. Therefore, when nurturing revenue management skills, it is important to assess current proficiency levels to know where development is needed in these areas. For some, this may mean growth in communication skills. For others, it may mean a focus on developing strategic expertise. Regular assessment of capabilities and application is therefore essential to lay out the development plans of revenue management talent of various backgrounds and skillsets.Of course, revenue managers need to see themselves as valuable contributors not only in the present, but also in the future. One of the challenges that has plagued the industry for years has been the lack of a clear career path and promotion potential for revenue managers. Sure, some revenue managers can and have become general managers and taken on a wider scope of responsibilities, including more client-facing and customer-service focused areas. However, this is not the most natural path for many revenue managers, who often prefer back-of-house analysis and strategy over front-of-house guest relations and overseeing quality of service. It is therefore essential that other opportunities exist to entice revenue managers to stay with your hotel and feel motivated to go above and beyond.Luckily, this is also an area where changes in the industry have benefitted the field of revenue management. Consolidation has accelerated the growth in clustering and centralization of revenue management services. Revenue management service centers are now commonplace, and these dedicated department and service offerings have also ensured additional positions and opportunities of growth for revenue managers. High-performing revenue managers can now move sideways and upward all within their expanding area of expertise. This development has also attracted greater strategic and analytical talent to the industry, which has had a positive impact on overall business performance.Faster than anyone expected, the data tsunami brought a treasure-chest of opportunity to our shores. Now, training, maintaining, and elevating revenue management talent effectively will not only allow us to exploit these opportunities, but it will allow us to grow the industry leaders of tomorrow. Nurturing natural talent is important, but make sure the next whiz kid at your hotel also has the best possible technology and resources he or she needs to get up to speed quickly and find lasting growth with opportunities for improvement. With the right people and tools in place, the revenue manager role will evolve to drive profitability in more ways than ever before, and with the right planning and vision, the revenue managers of tomorrow may go boldly where none have gone before.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from http://www.hotelexecutive.com/
Article by Klaus Kohlmayr

3 Countries, 8 Events, Countless Conversations - Dispatch from Asia

IDeaS 2 November 2018
The Asia-Pacific region has always had a special place in my heart. Before moving to IDeaS HQ in the US in 2010, I spent a number of years based in Singapore, first helping IHG grow their footprint in the region and then educating hoteliers across Asia Pacific about revenue management by launching and growing IDeaS' then new consulting services arm (now called IDeaS Advisory Services).Over the years I have seen the Asia-Pacific hotel industry grow and mature. During a two-week trip to India, Singapore and Hong Kong, attending or speaking at eight different industry events, I was keen to have in-depth conversations with hoteliers, innovators, startups, and investors to understand the latest developments and needs of the industry across this vast region.Totally focused on Total Revenue ManagementFor many hotels in Asia Pacific, 50 percent or more of revenues are generated from non-room revenues, including meeting rooms, conference, spa and others. Many hotel companies and brands feel their capabilities for rooms revenue management is sufficiently advanced, but it is now time to focus on the other revenue generating areas. Total Revenue Management has been talked about for a long time, and some companies have started to tackle it either through regional efforts or through creating dedicated global teams focused on optimizing the totality of a hotel's revenue potential.Accessibility to clean data is still a challenge as hotels struggle to consolidate information from a variety of sources; however, with new technology comes better and more efficient access to data, better insights and increased ability to make revenue enhancing decisions. In roundtables in Mumbai, Pune and Singapore, with experts from hotel companies, consultants and technology partners, all parties confirmed that now is the time to focus on Total Revenue Management, with some allocating significant efforts toward it.The evolving tech stack & the rise of the machinesAt the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), Asia Pacific's largest gathering of hospitality movers and shakers, Microsoft distinguished engineer and technical evangelist James Whittaker kicked off the annual proceedings with a dire prediction: it is inevitable that "the machines" will outsmart and outperform humans in the not too distant future. And the reason is that "everything is data" which can be digitized, analyzed and optimized. As the world is transformed into a sea of data, we will generate 163 zettabytes of structured data by the year 2025, equivalent to 40 trillion DVDs. An increasing amount is generated by devices talking to each other through the Internet of Things (IoT), with the data stored in the cloud.In a panel conversation I led with participants from Oracle, Sabre and German BI company Snapshot, we discussed the implications of this transformation. This includes cloud-based platforms, increasingly efficient ways to access data, unparalleled insights into consumer behavior and more and more engaging ways to interact and connect with customers along the entire buyer's journey, and across all revenue streams.In a world where it is more efficient to order food from an app-based delivery company (Deliveroo, Foodpanda, BiteSquad and others) than from hotel room service and fully automated restaurants, hoteliers of the future will need to be mindful that disruption is increasingly coming from tech-minded entrepreneurs outside the traditional hotel space. It is no question that the rise of the machine will alter our lives, in many cases making it better than ever before. However, in order to stay relevant, the hotel industry needs to start reinventing itself, become data savvy, embrace technology and be ready for the age of the machines.
Article by Klaus Kohlmayr

Three Ways Hoteliers Are Kicking Silos of Technology for Good (Finally)

IDeaS 29 October 2018
Oh, you've heard it? Me too. For years, actually. So why are we still here? And more importantly, what are we doing to change? Because it feels like we're stuck in the same old rut.A few hoteliers seem to have figured it out. They've realized that an integrated distribution strategy, along with its intertwined relationship to sales, loyalty and revenue management programs, represents the way forward.These front-runners are breaking down silos and embracing modern technology stacks so they can be in front of potential guests at the moment of decision--with the right room, the right price or the perfect engagement strategy.It may sound like lip service to talk about how technology is reshaping our space. But a few brave hoteliers are not just talking the talk.In fact, I've discovered three very real (and achievable) ways these brands have successfully broken down internal silos to maximize their data insights, enhance the guest experience and improve business performance.Give consumers the information they want, in the shape, place and format they want itInternet-savvy guests follow the path of least resistance to research, plan and book travel. Often, they use web search tools, social media channels and OTA websites to compare and help in decision making.The challenge for hotels is making hotel information and pricing easy to find, highly personal and relevant for guests. In an ideal world, this information is even customized based on existing or newly collected data you have for each individual guest.In a fractured booking environment, the successful hotels create unique customer booking paths on every channel. They build customer journeys that are easy to follow and provide all the information a guest needs to easily and quickly book.Especially in the independent and boutique world, where companies are not constrained by legacy technology, the application of highly personalized, experience-led booking capabilities are making significant inroads.Of course, this is easier said than done, and hotels must aggregate multiple data sources including consumer insight data, Google Analytics, customer research and more in order to be successful.Put another way, the more you understand about behavior, the more you can customize the journey for individual channels and customer segments.Engage throughout the experience by freeing data from disparate systemsAnother strategy I've noticed successful hotels using is guest engagement opportunities once a reservation has been made.It doesn't matter what channel the guest used to book; the next step in their journey should be a positive brand experience to reinforce their decision to trust your brand.Yes, the basic approach is usually a traditional upsell offer, but can't we do better?Brands focused on building greater loyalty don't ask their guest to immediately invest more--they give back in a way that is authentic.To serve up loyalty-building guest engagement opportunities, hotels need to understand what the guest (or segment of guest) wants and what the hotel can offer that will benefit both the guest experience and hotel performance.This means technology integration is critical. Disparate systems for reservations, catering, meetings and events, and spas all need to communicate with one another, from the point of booking all the way through a stay.For example, Jenny books a multi-day weekday stay at a resort property suite for two adults and two children.You can see that the spa and kids' club are not well booked those days. By offering Jenny two free day passes to the kids' club if she books a couples massage, you can incrementally improve overall revenue.The hotel gets a new spa booking and Jenny gets a brand-boosting guest experience which improves her perception of the hotel.For this to work (without becoming a time-consuming and manual headache), hotels must reduce their silos of technology.Visibility across departments and systems and automation of recommendations based on guest data can create this much-needed level of engagement--but only when hotels can access all the critical data.When in place, this creates a competitive advantage no OTA will be able to touch.Empower the digital generationEmbracing modern hotel management technology requires a change in mindset.The young talent coming into our business are digital natives--they grew up with iPhones, tablets, Siri and Google Assistant. Yet they're being asked to work with sales and booking systems that are often decades old.Forward-looking and smart hotel management teams have chosen to leapfrog over the most common middle step--trying to integrate and upgrade old systems to create a workable approach to data visibility and connectivity.Here's a tip: don't bother with that middle step.Overhauling systems can be painful, yes. But if you want to compete, now is the time to make your move. Not only do your employees expect to have fully integrated, easy-to-use and intuitive systems, your guests demand it.Without seamless booking, accurate and competitive pricing, and personalized guest experiences, millennials and Gen Z--who together, now make up more than 50 percent of the world's total population--will shift their loyalties to alternative lodging and rentals, most of which cater to these digital natives.The hoteliers that embrace this digital-first mindset are reaping the benefits. Just take a look at Hilton, who in 2017, achieved record-setting growth.This isn't just the technology platforms working; it's an entirely new way to think about Hilton's brand value to guests.Technologies to look at include an updated cloud-based CRM system, guest interaction tools such as chat and SMS, event/meeting space, sales and marketing platforms.The heart of the system should be a modern, automated revenue management solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing decisions and reduces the amount of work to manage your guest engagement and channel strategy.All these platforms should have an effortless integration that allows individual systems and managers to tap into a centralized repository for guest data.There's no magic technology stack or change-management strategy that will work for any given hotel brand.So, relying on the wisdom, successes and failures of those organization and technology experts who are paving the way is key.But don't wait--there's a path forward that leads to a better guest experience and improved business performance if you're brave enough to follow it.
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Charlestowne Hotels to Implement New Interface from IDeaS G3 RMS and RoomKeyPMS

IDeaS 23 October 2018
IDeaS Revenue Solutions and RoomKeyPMS are pleased to announce their growing relationship with innovative hospitality company Charlestowne Hotels with the implementation of a new integration at the HarbourView Inn and French Quarter Inn in Charleston, South Carolina.RoomKeyPMS has been implemented in multiple Charlestowne properties since 2010 where they have benefitted from the deep set of features available with RoomKeyPMS and have been key partners in multiple growth initiatives of the product.After embarking on a thorough search for their ideal revenue technology provider, Charlestowne Hotels selected IDeaS. Previously operating without an automated revenue solution, the decision to partner with the proven industry leader was paramount to their selection process. With over 100 rooms combined, these two luxury properties will implement IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) this year."As the market has become more competitive, we wanted to put the best system in the best properties to maintain their elite market status. After seeing the product, and working closely with IDeaS, we quickly knew they were the right fit for us," said Johnathan Capps, vice president of revenue with Charlestowne Hotels. "We looked for a system provider that could check all our boxes. We enjoyed the intuitive system and its ease of use, providing us the aptitude to trust the data to deliver the best revenue possibilities. IDeaS G3 RMS gives our revenue managers the time-saving ability to do their daily tasks all in one trusted system."The responsiveness of IDeaS G3 RMS in both analytically determining differential price points by room type and superior business mix optimization was another critical factor in the decision-making process."We are excited to welcome these dynamic luxury independent hotels into the IDeaS family," said Jane Stampe, managing director for IDeaS. "Though these properties have done exceptionally well without an automated system, we look forward to IDeaS' advanced analytics elevating their revenue opportunities to a new level of increased competitiveness and profits."IDeaS' integration with RoomKeyPMS provides Charlestowne a next-level ability to manage every aspect of their hotel -- from rate and inventory management to housekeeping schedules -- all seamlessly woven together with deep analytics."IDeaS is the ideal partner and product for Charlestowne and RoomKeyPMS as we continue to add enterprise-level solutions to our HTNG standardized PMS platform for independent properties and chains," said Tim Major, CEO for RoomKeyPMS. "IDeaS' technical integration team worked seamlessly with our product team to ensure a successful PMS integration."About Charlestowne HotelsFounded in 1980, Charlestowne Hotels is a leading full-service hospitality management company offering innovative expertise in hotel development, operational controls, marketing management, revenue optimization, and financial reporting. Now regarded as one of the top hotel management companies in the U.S., Charlestowne Hotels leads its properties to consistently achieve RevPAR growth nearly double the national average. The brand offers a robust portfolio of properties around the country, from independent inns and resorts to franchised hotels and condos. By employing a proficient management style that homes in on the guest experience, Charlestowne Hotels drives its properties to regularly receive industry accolades on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List and Readers' Choice Awards, Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for "Top City Hotels in the Continental U.S." and "Top 100 Best Hotels in the World," and top standings on TripAdvisor. For more information please visit www.CharlestowneHotels.com.About RoomKey PMS RSI International Systems Inc. is the developer of RoomKeyPMS, a web-based Property Management System (PMS) that incorporates a fully integrated Online Reservation Booking engine and seamless real-time connectivity to the major Global Distribution and Internet Distribution Systems. RSI markets its RoomKeyPMS and a number of other proprietary "hosted" software solutions to a wide variety of Hospitality Industry clients around the world. For more information, please see our website at www.roomkeypms.com.About IDeaS With more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures -- from single entities to world-renowned estates -- by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities -- not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise.For more information, visit www.ideas.com.
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IDeaS Delivers Regional-First Revenue Management Solution to YMCA

IDeaS 17 October 2018
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, announced today that the YMCA of Hong Kong had implemented IDeaS' flagship G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) to enhance rate performance and support revenue growth at their upmarket hotel property, The Salisbury.Owned and operated by YMCA of Hong Kong, The Salisbury is a modern hotel with 372 newly renovated rooms and suites. The property is located in the heart of bustling Tsimshatsui, the main shopping, dining and entertainment district in Hong Kong. Developed to offer a superior guest experience, over 50 percent of rooms offer full or partial views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island."The hospitality sector is becoming increasingly sophisticated, so it's important that we invest in technology that delivers a competitive advantage and business results. Maximising revenue remains one of our key strategies to drive growth. IDeaS has a reputation for software excellence and support. We chose to implement their G3 RMS to forecast demand further into the future with more accuracy, enabling us to be more strategic in our pricing," said Kenneth Yong, General Manager, The Salisbury - YMCA of Hong Kong.The deployment of IDeaS G3 RMS at The Salisbury marks the first occasion a YMCA property has utilised a fully automated revenue management system in the Asia-Pacific region."IDeaS is excited to work with the YMCA of Hong Kong--a first for the organisation in the Asia-Pacific region. Our G3 RMS will enable The Salisbury to leverage sophisticated forecasting analytics and reporting tools to analyse data, enabling the hotel to make strategic and impactful decisions across their business, driving improved results and yield," said Rachel Grier, Area Managing Director Asia Pacific for IDeaS.Powered by advanced SAS analytics and nearly 30 years of IDeaS' innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS G3 RMS offers The Salisbury the industry's most comprehensive pricing decisions, interactive dashboards and reporting tools to help deliver maximum revenue and occupancy impact."In Hong Kong, there is an estimated 29 new hotels with an additional 5,657 rooms opening in 2018. Presented with these increased levels of competition, our executive team felt there was a need to improve our approach to pricing and revenue management overall. After meeting with numerous vendors, and based on industry references, we felt that IDeaS G3 RMS was the right product for us due to its history, sophistication and IDeaS' standing in the industry," said Mr. Yong.
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IDeaS Launches Discover - A Next-Gen User Learning Experience

IDeaS 12 October 2018
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services has launched Discover, a new, state-of-the-art user learning experience. Discover streamlines the system-training process by providing access to learning paths on a self-paced, as-needed basis.Amidst competitive job markets and the need to retain top talent, revenue managing companies have increasingly searched for ways to deliver a blended learning approach that enables training for different generations, job roles and levels of expertise. Based on client feedback, IDeaS invested significant resources in its enablement and engagement team to reinvent the learning process for IDeaS systems.The team's innovations have led to Discover, a superior training experience tailored for all users. Discover is embedded within IDeaS' software, eliminating the need for an external access portal. This change will allow users to gain hands-on experience directly in their system in a clean and intuitive interface."Our clients spoke. We listened. Now we are thrilled to launch Discover, a world-class learning experience," said Sarah Green Toews, director of enablement and engagement for IDeaS. "Gone are the days of hefty manuals and time-consuming coursework. Discover is designed to quickly educate and inform our users while they work. It's there for them at all times to help guide and nurture their proficiency in the most effective and efficient ways possible."IDeaS recognizes that ongoing training and support are key elements for the successful implementation and continued use of its revenue management systems. Discover will help instill greater user confidence in IDeaS' solutions, and because it's an included feature in IDeaS' software products, each user can choose the learning path that best suits their needs."The way people learn has evolved, and we now have a deeper understanding of how the human mind acquires and retains new information," continued Green Toews. "Moment-of-need learning has become increasingly relevant in the fast-paced, high turnover travel and hospitality sector in order to achieve an ongoing return on investment in people, processes and technology."Tweet this: Prepare to Discover - a new-and-improved, on-demand @IDeaS_RevOpt user learning experience.
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Hoteliers to Gather for HOTECH 2020

IDeaS 3 October 2018
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, will stage a pivotal hotel technology summit in conjunction with Hotel ICON. The sold-out event, called HOTECH 2020, will bring together over 200 hotel executives to discuss the outlook for the regional hotel sector and the role of technology in hotel operations.IDeaS and Hotel ICON, each recognised as thought leaders for hospitality innovation, will build on the success of previous events to present an ideal platform for industry networking, sharing tips and advice, gaining knowledge and skills and learning about the latest technologies and solutions.HOTECH 2020 will be held on October 11 at Hotel ICON in Hong Kong, covering topics such as consumer trends in the online travel market, operational technology advancements, disruptions in travel distribution, revenue management and artificial intelligence in the hotel sector. The sessions will include panel discussions featuring vertical leaders as well as keynote addresses by industry experts."Technology plays a critical role in helping hoteliers identify leading trends across demographics, online information sources, and booking behaviours, enabling hoteliers to be more proactive in making strategic, impactful decisions," said Rachel Grier, IDeaS' Asia Pacific area managing director. "To succeed in an increasingly competitive hotel sector, it is vital that hotel executives not only have working knowledge of common operational technology platforms, but also understand how advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning will disrupt the industry in the future."Supported by premium sponsors like Oracle, Sabre, FASTBOOKING, and SHR, HOTECH 2020 is designed to highlight best practices in hotel sales and marketing, distribution, revenue management and in driving personalisation of the guest experience."Guests today are less interested in purchasing products or brands and are more motivated by experiences and engaging with the destination," said Richard Hatter, general manager of Hotel ICON & adjunct associate professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management Hotel ICON & The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "To drive guest loyalty and satisfaction, personalisation of pricing and product is key. By attending the HOTECH 2020 event, hotel executives will learn how data-driven personalisation can enhance guest experiences and drive loyalty. For young hoteliers, this is the perfect platform to network, be inspired by industry leaders, and learn lessons to boost their hospitality and travel careers."Due to overwhelming demand, registration for HOTECH 2020 is closed. If you wish to be placed on a wait list, in lieu of cancellations, please email mc@hotel-icon.com.Visit IDeaS.com and Hotel-ICON.com to learn more about the future of Asia's hospitality industry.About IDeaSWith more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures--from single entities to world-renowned estates--by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities--not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. For more information, visit www.ideas.com.About Hotel ICONUnlike any other, Hotel ICON is an upscale Hong Kong hotel in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East. Standing as a testament to Hong Kong's creative energy and vibrant arts scene, Hotel ICON showcases work from the city's celebrated designers and the world's most acclaimed architects. Offering the ultimate in comfort and committed to service excellence, Hotel ICON's 262 stylish guestrooms comprise seductive extras, including complimentary wired and Wi-Fi internet connections, smartphone with unlimited mobile data and an ultra-slim 40" Ultra High Definition LED TV. Located on level nine, Hotel ICON's Angsana Spa is a tranquil oasis while the harbour-facing outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre allow guests to exercise while enjoying views of Hong Kong Island's spectacular skyline.With a maximum capacity of 580 persons, Hotel ICON's grand Silverbox ballroom is the ideal venue for a celebration or theatre-style conference. Hotel ICON houses three restaurants: Above & Beyond, The Market and GREEN, providing guests with exceptional quality of food and impeccable service. Wallpaper* magazine included Hotel ICON in its 2011 list of the world's Best Business Hotels and DestinAsian included the hotel in its Luxe List 2011. The premier hotel has also won in two categories, including the Top 25 Hotels in Asia in the 2017 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Awards.For more information on Hotel ICON, please visit www.hotel-icon.com. Join us by following our official social media accounts at @hoteliconhk and share your memorable moments with us by using the hashtag #hoteliconhk
Article by Ian Chinn

Basic, Better, Best: Low Season Revenue Strategies

IDeaS 20 September 2018
The longer-term ramifications of rate reductions to boost business in times of lower demand are far reaching. Not only does this impact brand perception but it also impacts product value perceptions and future pricing scopes when the market is in recovery. The overuse of incentives to attract guests can reduce the revenue coming into a venue and turn away higher-paying customers who are attracted to a hotel for its reputation or prestige.Given the seasonal operating environment many properties face, how should a hotel's revenue, sales and marketing teams work together to maximise revenue through any low season? Below we identify three possible approaches; a basic, better and best practice way to approach periods of lower demand.The basic approach: At a basic level, preparing for a hotel's low season would involve analysing booking patterns over previous years for the same period to identify trends and incorporating them to the property's demand forecast for the upcoming low season. Once any patterns amongst booking segments have been identified, incentivised hotel promotions would be designed and distributed to try and attract guests to the property. As mentioned previously though, this approach may impact overall value perceptions and is not ideal longer-term for hotels looking to capture higher-quality revenue.The better approach: A better way to maximise revenue through a hotel's low season is to move beyond applying blanket discounts, or incentives, to attract bookings. Rather, hotels should identify specific market segments that are falling behind forecast and design market segment specific promotions to address any short-fall. Monitoring and adjusting the promotion channel, spend and incentive are also critical to the success of any low season offer, and hotels should look to adjust any underperforming campaigns accordingly.When faced with softer booking periods, hotels need to be smarter about how they price themselves and what incentives they are using, or giving away, to attract business. Overuse of general incentives to attract guests can reduce the revenue coming into a property in the long run.This isn't to say that incentive offers aren't important to attracting guests in periods of lower demand. They are, but they need to be tailored and mindful of each booking segment's motivations. Hoteliers should be asking themselves questions like: "Why should I provide an upgrade to the executive or concierge floor, is this customer less price sensitive and will book the premium room type no matter what because they are travelling on business?"The best practice approach:The best way for a hotel to address low season weaker demand is to ensure they have a good understanding of their historical performance both same time last year and more recently. Once they have that they can easily compare and validate their current demand forecast against those benchmarks to better understand the exact position they are in and what they need to produce to achieve their business goals. Revenue managers should also align with a hotel's marketing department to develop and adjust promotions in relation to the available channel, resources and marketing budget. If you truly want to steal the limited demand available in the market; a marketing plan to put the offer in front of the guest is just as important as the curated offer itself.When it comes to incentives, specificity is key. What motivates one group of potential guests to book can be completely different to the next. Hotels need to design specific promotions for each channel or geographical region, taking booking lead time into account. For example, a hotel might consider enacting a GDS promotion to attract corporate individual travellers, or a digital marketing campaign to attract direct booking to the brand website and the components of those offers should vary based on the audience's needs. For any low season promotion a hotel runs, revenue targets should be established and benchmarked against. Hotels should continue to monitor booking pace and occupancy forecast, adjusting the promotion and marketing allocations while they are still in play to ensure maximum success.When any low season promotions have run their course, hotels must conduct an intensive evaluation process of each campaign to assess the ROI of marketing spend. A record of all promotion schemes and production should also be kept to assist with next year's low period activities.Periods of low demand also present hoteliers with the opportunity to fence cautiously. By creating new products that increase business during low seasons, hotels can drive demand from a new sector. The advantage of offering a range of fenced products is that market segments that find these offerings meaningful will begin gravitating toward purchasing new products. This produces previously untapped business - and the possibility of further untapped business. Fencing successfully will enhance revenues and capture existing demand based on the occupancy levels and business patterns.Outside of activities aimed at attracting bookings, in times of lower demand, hotels should also focus their attention on ways to better manage their costs. When applied to its fullest potential, revenue management technology can also positively impact efficiency and improve operational performance across an entire property, even in quieter operating periods. Advanced forecasting models or systems provide powerful insights into business demand, which assists with project planning and staffing. For example, if a hotel can accurately anticipate lower levels of guest occupancy, it can ensure that the property is not overstaffed and carrying unnecessary wage costs in this lower revenue phase. This same principle can be translated throughout the hotel's entire operation for better overall maintenance, staffing and inventory levels. The optimised wage costs translate into financial savings and directly benefits the hotel's bottom line.If a sustained period of low demand impacts a specific geographic market, hotels can face not only issues from discounting rival properties desperate for guests; but also pressure from contracted distribution partners (such as wholesalers) after better deals on their contracts. For example, a wholesaler might ask for more access to a hotel's inventory, push for increased value adds, decrease materialisation commitments or allotment release periods. Under such a scenario, hotels should consider awarding additional incentives by room type rather than at the hotel level. It is not just the price on the contract, but the terms of the contract, that are also important. Hotels should ensure that their distributor contracts allow for re-evaluation of the price and contract terms at regular intervals throughout the contract term based on usage, as well as materialisation.Incentivise smarter, attract better business Hotels approaching a low season, or experiencing softer booking conditions, need to be smarter about how they price themselves, what incentives they are using, and what they are giving away to attract business. Overuse of incentives to attract guests can actually reduce the revenue coming into a particular venue and attract poorly rated business to a property. It is those hotels that monitor previous years' booking patterns, build accurate demand forecasts and develop specific campaigns for specific audiences that are best positioned to succeed in a time of low demand.
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IDeaS Revenue Solutions and Guestline Expand Strategic Partnership

IDeaS 12 September 2018
LONDON - September 12, 2018 - IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services,has expanded its partnership with Guestlineto include IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS), allowing hotels the ability to analytically optimise room pricing by utilising transaction-level data.Building on a relationship lasting over a decade, this enhanced integration gives hotels access to the most granular level of data to support automated forecasting, pricing and inventory controls only achieved with IDeaS G3 RMS, the most widely adopted revenue management technology in the hospitality industry."In today's increasingly competitive marketplace, it's essential hoteliers adopt a more analytical and robust approach to revenue management," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "This expansion with Guestline will allow users to transition to a more dynamic pricing model, where prices and availability for individual room types are set based on scientific analysis of data--not guess work."The integration with Guestline will allow revenue managers to influence, forecast and price both group and transient business at a more optimal level."The integration will empower clients to automate many manual, time-consuming tasks, be more strategic and concentrate on maximising revenue by forecasting and selling specific rooms for the best possible price," said Andrew McGregor, CEO of Guestline.'We are delighted to have completed a full roll out of IDeaS G3 RMS across our portfolio of seven Point A Hotels, and the new integration with the Rezlynx PMS will take the Group's pricing and forecasting to a totally new level".Regis Morin, Director of revenue, Queensway Group.ENDSAbout IDeaSWith more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures--from single entities to world-renowned estates - by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities--not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise.For more information, visit www.ideas.com.About GuestlineGuestline's unique, cloud-based suite of solutions for the hospitality industry increases revenue, streamlines operations and lowers costs.Guestline provides end-to-end property management, channel distribution and digital marketing solutions to a range of hotel groups, independent hotels, serviced apartments, management companies and pub companies. Fully integrated and cloud based, the solutions are easy to install and quick to deploy with low cost of ownership.With offices in Europe and Asia, Guestline's systems are used in 25 countries across five continents and enable properties of all sizes to achieve maximum occupancy at the most profitable rate. For more information, visit https://www.guestline.com/
Article by Paul Van Meerendonk

Firing Up the Revenue Productivity Engine

IDeaS 11 September 2018
With so many solutions available today promising to attract more guests, enticing them with your most profitable products to ensure their return, where does one begin? You could start with little tweaks at the edges of your current technology and processes and gradually work toward the core opportunities. Or you could set the bullseye right in the heart of the lifeblood of your organization: your revenues. If you follow the money, you'll find it comes from your guests--your livelihood. Being able to craft the right product assortment at the most compelling prices that keep them coming back will mean continuous revenues, even in tough times. I have touted the benefits of a guest-centric revenue strategy for a long time now, and this is amplified by the need for a revenue productivity engine that delivers results.The concept of a revenue productivity engine begins with a theme lifted from W. Timothy Gallwey's best-selling book, The Inner Game of Tennis. Tennis is not only a game of endurance and skill, but also very much a game of psychology. The same can be said about creating your revenue productivity engine. It's imperative to understand your revenue psychology--making sure your revenue performance will equal your revenue potential, minus any interferences--before setting out on the journey. Operating in the here-and-now ensures you crystalize your goals throughout the organization. Using an analytics framework is the sure-fire way to instill a culture that operates on data proven by science and reduces overthinking which allows inconsistent judgment to cloud the vision.A revenue productivity engine lets you shorten the distance between intuition and action and gets you to richer rewards faster, more economically, and with better buy-in and employee engagement along the way. Think of the revenue productivity engine as a navigation system on your J.O.U.R.N.E.Y. Let's deconstruct this analogy.JUSTIFY - What is happening in your organization that is making change apparent? Perhaps it is from changes in market conditions, such as a rise or downturn in the economy, increased competition--including the pressures of alternative lodging choices or pressure to modernize to align with guest preferences and hospitality trends. Or, it's become obvious that internal processes are inefficient, outdated, laborious and causing you to lose talent. Maybe your technology is just covering the basics, only handling bookings and distribution, when you know you could be deriving more value from your data.OPPORTUNITIES - Take a look outside of yourself and your organization. With fresh eyes, look for new segments that could be served or identify corporate change efforts that could align business units to work in greater harmony. Decide to make a positive change in your revenue strategy, ensuring you use modern technology to solve your business challenges. Create a realistic roadmap outlining your objectives and corresponding deliverables. Once your teams are on the same strategic path, you will have the commitment and resources you need to have a strong start to your journey.UNDERSTAND - There are many roads you can take to reach your goals. Become familiar with the available choices and seek the technologies that align with your business objectives. Make analytics your best friend. Don't rely on hype or what could be. Rely instead on proven performance, using data in a validated and measurable way. Know that not all revenue management systems are created equally. A sophisticated solution will give you the foundation from which you can measure your pace along the journey, drawing from the vast analytical outcomes generated from your own data reserves and the market around you. With so many infinite data points to analyze and optimize, your technology should use this valuable information to understand the nuances of unconstrained demand, price and elasticity of demand and revenue--areas that cannot be effectively analyzed when you only skim the surface of available data--and help make more informed revenue strategy decisions.RETAIN - Determine ways to motivate and challenge staff during the long-term initiatives that inevitably must be faced on the journey. Unless they are informed with the big vision of the journey, most employees may tend to do the same thing over and over, resisting change. As a leader, it is important to empower staff with technology-driven systems that can further their own development and help them to become better contributors. The more you involve your employees in your vision, the more they can be a part of the change, which in turn aligns their goals with that of the organization. These efforts will improve your return on your modern technology investment, while embedding the best practices and standards for full effectiveness and buy-in.NIMBLE - Being nimble is all about being able to adjust to change. And being able to do it quickly. From a revenue management perspective, this is all about making sure you keep processes and standards as focused and adaptable as possible. Remember that revenue manager who was a wiz at Excel and built a whole series of fantastic reports and insights using macros, VBA, pivot tables and other fancy features? Remember when they left and nobody knew how things worked and the entire house of cards they built came crashing down? This is the opposite of being nimble and something you want to avoid at all costs. When addressing your technology challenges, it is important that your approach is nimble and that the technology you implement is able to adapt to changing dynamics of the market. In technology development, agile is a term used to describe the way that advancement and changes are made on the fly. An organization can only be truly nimble if they are agile.EXPERIENCE - Your path to success in implementing and adapting to technology will, on the one hand, rely on the experience of people and processes you have in place and, on the other, the experience of the providers of technology. Experience can in both cases be both a blessing and a curse. It is important to be able to take a step back and look at your strategy objectively, and more importantly apply analytics to your decision-making. This goes beyond only understanding the options as outlined above, it is all about leveraging experience and combining this with hard facts in order to reach the optimal conclusion. Strategically, this means making technology decisions that are supported by sound decision-making, understanding the implications of choosing one path over another. Growing this experience over time will ensure continuing success of your strategy.YIELD - I am not talking about the term coined by Robert Crandall, former chairman and CEO of American Airlines, although it does seem rather fitting. This is all about using good metrics to accelerate progress toward your goal, ensuring momentum as the project moves forward. Regular reviews of how your innovative solutions perform are critical to measure success and identify areas that need refinement. Essentially, what is the "yield" from the choices that you make? There are many black-and-white indicators, such as movement in revenue per available room and average daily rate that should be reviewed. Were there market conditions that attributed to that success, or is your new technology producing those results? It's easier to measure an analytics-based solution because the results can be scientifically quantified. When measuring success generated by manual activity, it can be difficult to determine the origin of the success since it may rely on the skill level of the individual. If that revenue manager were replaced, would the next person be able to provide the same outcome? Additionally, ensure you review the many shades of gray--indirect benefits--that tie to employee performance. While efficiency, improved morale and better alignment across departments are all hard to measure, it can be taken as a positive sign when employees are given time back to work on more strategic endeavors, especially when collaborating across teams and breaking down silos that previously existed.The revenue productivity engine that will result from your J.O.U.R.N.E.Y will be unique to your situation and your strategy. Ultimately, it is not just a game of tennis--it is about winning the grand slam and creating a sustainable and guest-centric revenue strategy that will lead to game, set and match over your competition.
Article by Paul Van Meerendonk

The Power of Personalization: Customer-Choice Pricing

IDeaS 10 September 2018
A Win-Win StrategyPersonalizing the guest experience is all the rage right now, and hotels are eager to capitalize on opportunities to monetize. Loyalty programs are no longer just marketing initiatives but also revenue management strategies to control top- and bottom-line performance. As travelers demand more tailored accommodation experiences-blame the millennials, of course-a "customer-choice pricing" model may be the best way to deliver the ideal product to the ideal guest at the ideal price.To understand how this works, let's shift industries a moment. Consumers are already used to customer-choice pricing from purchase scenarios like the car-buying process. Auto dealers enable shoppers to define their own value standards. Most vehicles include the basics: an engine, some seats, four tires, etc., and there's the obvious cost difference between luxury and economy. But beyond that, at a more granular level, the price can still vary quite a bit. Some may seek nice-to-haves like heated seats or built-in navigation. Others may not care for those frills but still want some automation like cruise control and anti-lock brakes. The minor differences from one customer to another become important factors in determining price.It's not much of a stretch to see how this same value-decision framework could apply to hotel-room booking. A bed and bathroom is to be expected in most cases, and rooms with balconies or kitchenettes already come at a premium. But the sky is the limit in terms of other monetizable amenities and services. Some people may be willing to pay a higher rate for the assurance of a quieter room, away from the elevators and other busy areas. Leisure seekers may enjoy a comfortable lounge and TV space, whereas business travelers are fine with just a desk. Families with kids will see more value in a sofa-sleeper. A back-pain sufferer might be grateful for a pillow-top upgrade.The car salesperson has the advantage of being on the showroom floor as the potential buyer peruses models. They can assess the shopper's likes and dislikes during a test drive and start to narrow in on the right price as they sit across the desk from their prospect. The promise of certain features can even be used as negotiation tactics. Ultimately, it comes down to how much they can squeeze out of the customer to make the most profit.Hotel salespeople don't usually have this same level of face-to-face interaction with their potential guests, but through sophisticated data analytics and a more detail-oriented online booking experience, this next level of dynamic, bespoke pricing could become a tangible reality. Hotel guests will appreciate the choice to avoid paying for things they don't need while gaining more options that truly matter to them. In the process of providing greater personalization, hotels can introduce new opportunities to create more revenue. It's a win-win strategy.Boost Your BrandThe personalized-pricing business model can also function as a major brand differentiator, allowing hotels to stand out in an overcrowded market. With little to distinguish one hotel's service values and rewards program from another, brand loyalty has fallen by the wayside. Most shoppers are simply searching for the lowest price, and hotel brands have become commoditized. OTAs are partially to blame, but hotels themselves are just as culpable. Finding the optimal price point for a room has been boiled down to a science, but in the process, hoteliers have lost sight of what really matters to their guests.In the current model, rooms are priced as units, and rates are determined by demand and availability. OTAs then display these rooms in a side-by-side, competitive marketplace format where little information is provided about any of the distinguishing qualities each unique room may have to offer. For instance, if you're shopping for a king room at a five-star hotel in downtown Chicago and you come across three listings, you'll most likely opt for the lowest-priced option-or maybe the one that allows free cancellation. What the booking channel can't tell you is that there's an available room with stunning views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan that would really make your Chicago vacation an unforgettable experience. If only you knew.There's a major opportunity here to capitalize on a growing travel trend. Airbnb has already made this a key element for their brand. It's time for hotels to follow suit. Today's hotel guests may be fixated on price, but deep down, they want more than just a place to sleep, and whatever it is they desire, they want the highest quality version of it they can afford. Cost will always matter, of course, but hotels can start to reposition price as just one factor of the overall decision. In a customer-choice pricing model, each shopper would be given more options in the online booking environment. They can select the individual components of a room they want and leave off the ones they don't, either spending extra or getting a cheaper rate in the process.Put Your Trust in TechnologyPersonalized pricing's ascent into a widespread industry practice will depend on the availability of new and advanced technologies. Human decision-making and revenue-management processes will still apply, but offering customer-choice pricing to guests is not a job for just one person or even a team of people. There's just far too much data to consider. As we've seen with the rise of dynamic pricing, automated forecasting and rate-setting software has been crucial for hotels to successfully drive up their revenue strategies. Now, as we near the third decade of the 21st century-can you believe it?-progress in machine learning is poised to unlock tremendous opportunities with significant business applications.The crux of customer-choice pricing is its capability to achieve real-time functionality. Online shoppers want a quick and painless experience. They want to be convinced to click "Book" as fast as possible so they can get on with planning the rest of their trip. Mobile apps and voice technology help expedite the user experience, but the ultimate driver will be artificial intelligence equipped with the power to offer immediate, catered pricing at an individual consumer level of specificity.Technology already exists to analytically predict consumer wants and needs and provide personalized products and services. The next giant leap will involve some intricate finetuning to deliver this level of sophisticated machine learning into a usable format for hotels. With technological breakthroughs and game-changing innovations happening at an exponential rate, customer-choice pricing is set to be the next generation of dynamic pricing for hotels, and probably a lot sooner than you may think.Bring Power to the PeopleA new pricing practice could be just the industry shift needed to battle hotel-room commoditization. It would also give customers more freedom and control over their destiny, allowing them to define how they value the services and amenities available to them. By implementing customer-choice pricing, hotels can separate and categorize all their products and services into components of value. Features that are currently invisible during booking could now be brought to the surface as part of the decision-making process. This will help drive differentiation and minimize direct price comparison with competitor products being marketed as the same thing, despite their many differences.Providing consumers with this level of choice can reveal scenarios for bonus revenue as guests choose more attributes, and by being empowered to make those selections on their own, they will be more appreciative of the value they receive for the money they pay. For the customer-choice pricing model to work successfully, hotels will need to determine the most distinctive and appealing elements of their assets. This will help the hotel's products rise above their current competitive landscape and allow them to be presented on their own merits and personal relevance to individual prospective guests.Instead of customers scouring the Internet for the best possible price, hotels can bring their brand to the forefront by offering a tailored experience, using the right choices to arrive at the right price. Other consumer benefits include increased transparency into what they're getting and greater piece of mind that their stay will meet their expectations.Customer-choice pricing could be just what hotels need to repair the booking process, rebuild their reputation and renew guest loyalty. In the process, hotels can provide a better shopping experience and an overall better stay by offering a wider variety of options. There's power in choice, both for the buyer and the seller. Your potential guests will tell you how much they're willing to pay, and you in turn can monetize more of your assets. Here's to hoping that booking a hotel room could someday provide as much personalized self-selection as the car-buying process-thankfully, without the pushy salesperson and cheap coffee.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com
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Hotel Camiral chooses IDeaS G3 RMS to develop leisure segment and boost revenue

IDeaS 6 September 2018
Girona, Spain - September 6th, 2018 - IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, is pleased to announce that Hotel Camiral, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), chose IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) to help expand its business and optimise revenue performance.The five-star hotel, part of 300-hectare PGA Catalunya Resort which also hosts Lavida Hotel and offers 39 rental properties, is popular with golfers keen on testing Spain's top course. The recent completion of the state-of-the-art football training facilities has seen leading European football clubs join the hotel's guest list."The golfing side of our business is well established as we're known as one of Europe's leading venues," said Pedro Sierra, revenue and reservations manager at PGA Catalunya Resort. "However, we experience variances in demand over the summer and winter months, so our goal is to become a leading leisure and trip destination for the entire year while maximising revenues during our quiet periods."Along with expanding their guest offerings beyond golf, the luxurious hotelchose to implement IDeaS G3 RMS after conducting an extensive market review of local and international revenue management system providers.Powered by SAS, with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS remains the global leader in revenue management and continues to provide solutions that equip clients with a clear view of their data, giving them greater control over their business performance."We are delighted to be involved in such an important time of Hotel Camiral's development," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "The decision to utilise IDeaS G3 RMS' advanced analytics will deliver a competitive advantage and allow them to grow their market share."
Article by Paul Van Meerendonk

Resort Revenue Management: No Day at the Beach

IDeaS 27 June 2018
Cultivating asset value for resorts is all about capturing and capitalizing on the unique revenue opportunities their distinctive business models create. However, compared with standard hotel operation, where revenue management processes are well-established based on industry-wide practices, resorts are challenged by much more complicated business models and a diverse range of revenue streams.For the resort revenue manager, this is both a blessing and a curse. The potential to enhance resort profits, and her or his own professional standing in the process, is virtually limitless, yet the pitfalls along the path to job success are plentiful. Modern revenue management technology has made heroes out of hotel revenue managers. They have been able to apply advanced analytics by using automated-forecasting and optimized-pricing software to drastically enhance their annual revenue performance, but these same success stories for resort revenue managers have been few and far between.Resorts require a more tailored approach than the typical hotel that accounts for flexible guest rooms to accommodate families of all sizes, while pricing per person or by room, as well as managing an abundance of package offers and contracted wholesale rates, among other factors. Resort revenue managers often find themselves in a whirlwind of something they may begrudgingly refer to as "organized chaos"--smart, industrious people to be sure, but wasting inordinate amounts of time trying to maintain some semblance of order to all their convoluted reports, unwieldy spreadsheets and clunky legacy technology. And imagine the horror of the resort general manager if their revenue guru were to suddenly win the lottery and say "sayonara, sucker."It's an unsustainable situation, and in today's technology-enhanced business climate, it's unreasonable the plight of the resort revenue manager should go on. But, in order to serve up an effective solution, the solution makers must fully understand the problem. So, let's take a closer look at some of the primary business challenges resorts face when it comes to revenue management.Wavy InventoryFirst up: inventory control. One of the foundations of revenue management is to have a fixed capacity where you can then choose the right business to optimize the available inventory. However, having flexible guest-room inventory is crucial to a resort's ability to serve a variety of group sizes and needs. Many make use of adaptable, virtual room types, or component rooms, which are comprised of a combination of two or more physical rooms that enable larger and more tailored accommodations. So, a king room combined with a double can be sold as a "family suite." This is great for guests but a nightmare for revenue managers as this flexible inventory changes the approach needed in revenue management for inventory optimization.The complexity of offering multiple room configurations on top of a property's set room count often requires manual pricing and constant oversight to manage the profitability of these assets. This means that rooms are often excluded from certain channels to appropriately protect the inventory, but as a result, they go underutilized and undersold compared to standard rooms. Because of the high degree of variables, little has evolved in terms of an automated solution for component room management.Rocky PricingSo much data, so much volatility, so many possible outcomes, only one true optimal price point. Because of this pricing paradox, dynamic pricing, while standard practice for most hotels, isn't even in the cards for some resorts, which means they're missing out on significant potential gains. That said, those revenue managers who have tried their hand at flexible pricing strategies have likely had mixed results.Automated-pricing technology has changed the game for hotels, but how many systems out there can truly account for the full scope of considerations a resort should make to attain that golden price? For instance, with all-inclusives and their emphasis on the number of occupants in a room, these resorts must weigh the outcomes of per-person pricing versus unit-based pricing and be able to deploy those prices across all channels. There's also a higher level of guest personalization options related to the resort experience. Deals like the honeymooner package with in-room Jacuzzi, rose petals and bubbly or the room-location roulette wheel of balcony, poolside, ocean-view, beachfront, et al. make for more complex customer-choice, value-based pricing possibilities to be considered and disseminated.The Wholesale High TideAnd, regardless, the margin for flexible pricing is pretty slim to start with because a large amount of a resort's business--sometimes north of 70 percent--can come from wholesale tour-and-travel contracts. With rates set far in advance, rooms occupied and even total guest spend preconfigured, it would be easy to assume the work of a revenue manager is mostly wrapped up. The agreed upon terms help ensure the resort stays busy, but with less control over pricing and availability, how does a resort know if these arrangements truly create the best outcome for their bottom line? A savvy revenue manager dedicated to the holy grail of total-revenue management and optimization may wish to question the status quo and conduct a thorough analysis of their contracted revenue performance, if only they had the right tools to take on this sort of undertaking accurately and efficiently.Bigger Fish to Fry?Speaking of total-revenue management, the typical resort has a lot more going on than guest-room revenue alone. Meetings-and-events space, for instance, can comprise a huge piece of the profit pie for resorts. Weddings, professional conferences and conventions with thousands of attendees can become all-consuming for some resort revenue managers trying to enhance additional revenue streams for the property. Every occasion and function-space reservation brings its own unique specifications and opportunities, requiring many dedicated hours of astute, hands-on revenue management.Blue SkiesThe good news is that the future of resort revenue management looks bright. As leading revenue management technology providers wise up to these specific needs of resorts, they'll tailor their products to better serve this industry by building in full-scope, resort-specific solutions. New systems with component rooms functionality will allow resort revenue managers to optimize all combinations of room types and build a strategy specifically for flexible inventory based on guest demand and price sensitivity. An advanced capability like this will give revenue managers the confidence to know which components of a room to sell, and at what price, to achieve the greatest profitability and business mix across different channels.Revenue platforms with more robust pricing options and the latest in machine learning can provide automated pricing strategies that consider more possibilities and scenarios than ever before. Something even as manifold as customer-choice pricing can be enabled by the most sophisticated technology, allowing guests to choose the features they want to purchase and save money on the amenities they don't necessarily value while still increasing the resort's profit margin. Other resort-centric solutions will include group pricing and evaluation tools--maybe a good way to finally see if those wholesale contracts are really worth the displacement of other business--as well as meetings-and-events space optimization analytics.Many of these refined features are already available, and with other tech breakthroughs on the horizon, not to mention buzzing trends like AI and IoT, a resort revenue manager may start to wonder if it's too much of a good thing. Could the technology become so far advanced as to make their job obsolete? It doesn't look likely, at least not any time soon.Creative planning and a human understanding of the resort business and leisure-seeking consumer behavior are imperative for identifying new ways to increase revenue and improve the guest experience. Big data analysis is no match for good old intuition and abstract thinking. What revenue strategy automation and optimization software really amounts to is user empowerment, boosted confidence, improved job performance and a lot more time and energy for revenue managers to spend on constructive, forward-thinking initiatives, and maybe while they're at it, they can sneak in a few hours at the beach.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com.
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Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants chooses IDeaS RMS to boost revenue and efficiency

IDeaS 25 June 2018
The largest Dutch hospitality chain switches from BookingSuite to IDeaS-New agreement covers nineteen hotels and 2,498 rooms in Germany, Bonaire, Spain and the Netherlands.Tweet this: @HotelBlijdorp chooses @IDeaS_RevOpt RMS to boost revenue and efficiency. www.ideas.com/newsNetherlands -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, is pleased to announce that Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants has chosen IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) to optimise revenue performance and improve efficiency at nineteen additional hotels. With over thirty Van der Valk properties already using IDeaS' solutions, the agreement expands the number of rooms in the Netherland's biggest hospitality chain to over 5,500 priced through IDeaS. The nineteen hotels covered in the new agreement had been using BookingSuite as their pricing system--but news of its imminent closure prompted a search for alternative, more robust solutions. "BookingSuite's pending withdrawal helped us focus on the need to invest in a more powerful analytics system," said Christina Hobbel, commercial manager at Van der Valk International. "After conducting an extensive market review, we're confident IDeaS RMS will bring us closer to total revenue management and will take our demand forecasting and pricing decisions to much higher levels." The family-run Van der Valk business encourages management teams of its various hotels to regularly exchange thoughts. Even though another RMS provider is already installed in some Valk properties, it was at these meetings that Christina Hobbel regularly heard of the advantages the IDeaS platform and services had delivered for her colleagues. "Some features that caught our eye were the yielding on total business mix, inventory controls and length-of-stay restrictions--that's something we've wanted for a while," Hobbel said. "Besides the functionality, we also appreciated how easy it would be to implement and use the system along with the quality of training and customer support on offer." Van der Valk's hotels attract a mix of leisure and business guests who enjoy the presence of onsite restaurants, casinos, conference rooms and cinemas--areas the company has identified for efficiency gains. "We try to provide a total package so our guests have no need to leave their hotel," added Hobbel. "Implementing IDeaS RMS frees our front office staff fromworrying about revenue--instead they'll be able to make our guest experience even better and upsell products and services when necessary." Powered by SAS, with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS remains the global leader in revenue management and continues to provide solutions that equip clients with a clear view of their data, giving them greater control over their business performance. "We are delighted that Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants has decided to expand our partnership into new hotels," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. Kirsten Lang at KL Consulting, IDeaS' partner in the BENELUX region responsible for implementation added, "I look forward to working on this project--implementing IDeaS RMS is a key step in their future growth and will help drive better business decisions, enhance the guest experience and optimise revenues."About Van der Valk Hotels & RestaurantsVan der Valk is a Dutch international hospitality chain run by the Van der Valk family.Started in 1862 with cafe de Gouden Leeuw in Voorschoten, the company has now grown into the country's largest hospitality chain, with more than 68 locations in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the Caribbean.For more information, visit www.valk.com.
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IDeaS Breaks the Rules with New Superior Agile Pricing Approach

IDeaS 12 June 2018
Solving this complexity, IDeaS Revenue Solutions has taken revenue strategy to a new level with the introduction of Agile Rates--a fundamental change in pricing strategy designed to incorporate flexibility and simplicity into a hotel's revenue productivity engine. Available on the hospitality industry's most widely-adopted revenue technology, IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS), Agile Rates provides the ability to price and distribute key linked or independent products for the wider market or specific guest micro-segments."Pricing products independently is not a new concept, but revenue leaders have been forced into rigid pricing structures and rules-based tactics," said IDeaS' Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Nagalia. "Agile Rates breaks free from those limitations, allowing hotels to manage their business as needed, using multi-product optimization to jointly maximize both independent and linked products." Powered by the world's most sophisticated AI capabilities, Agile Rates provides IDeaS G3 RMS with superior visibility into a hotel's rate strategy--understanding the relationships between products--which results in dramatically smarter pricing decisions and ultimately greater revenues.This technology, as part of IDeaS' Ideal Pricing capabilities, offers hospitality organizations the ultimate in flexibility to personalize rate plans such as loyalty, advance purchase or other packages to enhance the guest shopping experience. Agile Rates empowers hoteliers to affect pricing strategy through multiple dimensions of demand, guest behavior and product attributes to build the most relevant and unique price and product for the guest."Our commitment to innovation and elevating what's possible for our clients is what drove the inception of Agile Rates," continued Nagalia. "The industry is shifting away from pricing products in isolation based on a set of manually-applied parameters or fixed discounts. They seek truly adaptive machine-learning powering a holistic optimization of their entire business through flexible cloud technology, and IDeaS Agile Rates delivers that."Visit IDeaS Live at HITEC 2018Visitors to HITEC are encouraged to stop by the IDeaS booth (1704) for a live demonstration of pricing and revenue control with Agile Rates. At HITEC, IDeaS will provide information on voice-integration capabilities, new resort functionalities such as per-person pricing and the innovative meetings & events tool, Smart Space by IDeaS.Attendees at the co-located Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) can find IDeaS at the George R. Brown Convention Center (1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX).Discover more about IDeaS Agile Rates in the Hotel Pricing, Reinvented video.
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HSMAI Recognises Tech Innovation of Smart Space by IDeaS

IDeaS 16 May 2018
HSMAI Region Europe Awards recognises Smart Space by IDeaSIndustry's leading solution helps hoteliers make informed decisions about M&E businessLONDON -- Smart Space by IDeaS was honoured by HSMAI, the world's leading hospitality sales and marketing association, for its innovative role in allowing hoteliers to analyse the trends and performance of their meetings and events (M&E) space. April's HSMAI Europe's Best Tech Innovator of the Year awards recognised Smart Space, with the judging panel acknowledging the platform's role in connecting revenue managers and event sales managers with unprecedented visibility into M&E demand. Through its unique cloud-based technology, Smart Space leverages sales and catering data to better manage M&E pricing, allowing hoteliers to enhance strategic decisions and increase revenue growth. "Smart Space by IDeaS delivers an innovative solution to a long-established industry challenge--how to maximise revenue from M&E spaces," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "Contrary to widespread belief, M&E does more than just sell guest rooms--for many venues, this revenue stream can contribute up to 60% of their total revenue. It's often one of the most overlooked opportunities for substantial profit generation." Historically sales, catering, marketing and revenue management often worked in silos and haven't extended the same disciplined approach to managing revenue to M&E space. Typical obstacles include a lack of easy-to-consume data and reporting from sales and catering systems--and a lack of visibility into key performance measurements for M&E. "You can ask a hotel GM what their room occupancy was the previous night, and they most likely will know the answer or where to find it. But will they know their meeting space occupancy? Or better yet, would they even be able to find that answer," said Fabian Specht. "It's very pleasing that such a prestigious industry organisation as HSMAI Europe has recognised the impact Smart Space by IDeaS is having in allowing revenue management strategies to be folded into sales and catering processes." Users from around the world are now enjoying benefits such as double-digit growth in conversion revenue of inquiries into bookings, space utilisation and revenue per attendee thanks to Smart Space by IDeaS.
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Eden Hotels & Resorts chooses IDeaS to maximise revenue for new JHotel

IDeaS 2 May 2018
Turin, Italy -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, is pleased to announce that Italy's Eden Hotels & Resorts has chosen IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) to maximise its revenue growth and competitiveness.After conducting an extensive market review, the management company decided to implement IDeaS G3 RMS at the prestigious J Hotel.The hotel will not open until July 2018, but Eden Hotels & Resorts was able to proactively use IDeaS Limited Data Build functionality to enable IDeaS G3 RMS to more accurately forecast demand, set prices in the absence of historic data and enjoy results from day one of hotel operation."Throughout the selection process, we had a clear focus on finding a system that optimised profit and efficiency," said Enrico Feliciani, director of Eden Hotels & Resorts. "Once we'd completed our research, it was obvious there was clear water between IDeaS and the rest of the market.""We were really impressed by the automation capabilities and unique room class strategy of IDeaS G3 RMS," said Aizhana Zhantuarov, head of pricing and sales at Eden Hotels & Resorts. "While decisions such as price setting, restrictions and overbooking are fully automated, it also offers us the ability to manually override the system, enter real-time market data and seamlessly incorporate competitive set data and reputation data into our forecasts and strategy.""IDeaS brought to the table an industry-wide reputation for software excellence, together with support that is second-to-none. Their scientific approach to data analysis and decision making means we can forecast significantly further into the future with much more accuracy, allowing us to be more strategic in our approach," added Zhantuarov.Powered by SAS High Performance Analytics, with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS' solutions equip clients with a clear view of their data through pricing, forecasting and optimisation strategies, giving them greater control over their business performance."We are excited to support Eden Hotels & Resorts and J-Hotel in their partnership with the advanced analytics supplied by IDeaS G3 RMS," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "This new relationship is part of an industry-wide trend where smaller, tech-savvy managing companies are using the best revenue technology available to compete against larger and better-known brands."
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IDeaS Expands Partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts to Over 100 Properties

IDeaS 30 April 2018
IDeaS Revenue Solutions (IDeaS) is proud to announce that more than 100 Preferred Hotels & Resorts properties have installed IDeaS revenue management technology. With nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS' solutions equip this group of independent hotels worldwide with a clear view of their data across more than 100 word-wide hotels with 22,000 guest rooms. Through pricing, forecasting and optimization strategies, Preferred Hotels & Resorts' properties have leveraged IDeaS for greater control over their business performance to drive improved profits and productivity.In 2018, Preferred Hotels & Resorts is celebrating 50 years of providing travelers with unique, luxury independent hotel experiences. Select hotels within the brand's global portfolio utilize IDeaS' advanced analytics to confidently book the right room for the right guest at the right price at all times, enhancing their revenue performance. Properties within the Preferred brand also rely on IDeaS' powerful approach to pricing and inventory control by room class and length of stay, managing the tactical duties and allowing users to be more strategic."For over 10 years, IDeaS has been an integral member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Alliance Partner program," said Michael Osgood, vice president, Alliance Partnerships for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. "IDeaS has played a key role in the technology transformation of our properties, and we look forward to the continued expansion of our partnership.""We value our growing partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts and are honored to be the only revenue management provider within their alliance program," said Jane Stampe, managing director of the Americas for IDeaS. "All of us at IDeaS congratulate Preferred Hotels & Resorts for its successful 50-year anniversary as a leader within the hospitality industry. The trusted partnership that we have with the Preferred team invaluable. We are excited to continually delight the member hotels with improved profitability."In addition to increased revenue management opportunities for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, IDeaS also offers the assistance to better align its properties' people, processes and technology with IDeaS Advisory Services to ensure that everyone within the team is focused on revenue performance and has the tools to succeed. IDeaS Advisory Services employs a proven, three-phase process for smoothly moving clients from assessment, process optimization and coaching through permanently embedding revenue centricity into every individual action taken and collective decision made."We look forward to an enduring partnership and continued success in the future," added Stampe.About IDeaSWith more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures-from single entities to world-renowned estates-by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities-not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. For more information, visit www.ideas.com. About Preferred Hotels & ResortsPreferred Hotels & Resorts is the world's largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 700 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travelers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I Prefer Hotel Rewards program, Preferred Residences, Preferred Family, Preferred Pride, and Preferred Golf offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.
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Milan Apartment Rental chooses IDeaS to maximise revenue

IDeaS 11 April 2018
LONDON -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, is pleased to announce that Milan Apartment Rental has chosen IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (G3 RMS), the industry's most widely used revenue management solution, to maximise revenue growth and boost competitiveness.Milan Apartment Rental is an independently-run company which manages 28 serviced apartments next to Milan's main railway station Centrale and several more apartments in various other central locations in Milan --the majority of which are short-stay or corporate accommodation. With demand fluctuating between weekdays and weekends, the owner knew that to maximise revenue, they needed to identify demand structures."IDeaS G3 RMS is the only system that can forecast and strategise demand for separate room types independently," said Alessandro Wilcke, owner of Milan Apartment Rental. "The G3 RMS room class functionality allows me to automatically set prices for the different room types many months ahead--previously, I was doing this manually and working only days in advance."Alessandro's previous career as a manager for a Fortune 500 company gave him the opportunity to get to know SAS analytics software at an enterprise level, and he knew using analytical software in the hospitality sector was the key to driving growth for his fledgling business. After a review of the suppliers and each of their pricing structures, Alessandro selected IDeaS G3 RMS as the best system--both in terms of functionality and affordability--for an independent operator such as himself."The automation of demand forecasting and pricing will revolutionise how we operate," he said. "Not only do we expect revenue to rise, but we will also have more free time to make the business more competitive. Strategically, this levels out the playing field and allows Milan Apartment Rental to compete with larger and better-known rivals in the centre of Milan that have more resources at their disposal. IDeaS G3 RMS is my secret weapon."Powered by advanced analytics, and with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS' solutions equip clients with a clear view of their data through pricing, forecasting and optimisation strategies, giving them greater control over their business performance."We are delighted that Milan Apartment Rental has chosen IDeaS G3 RMS to ensure it has a competitive advantage over its rivals," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "The solution's unique room-class functionality will be a significant advantage for Alessandro and his team moving forward"."About Milan Apartment RentalMilan Apartment Rental is the brand and website of Myland s.a.s. di IIIRE S.r.l. and manages 28 apartments near Milan's main railway stations Centrale and Garibaldi with several more apartments in various other locations in Milan.www.MilanApartmentRental.it
Article by Klaus Kohlmayr

Cornell Hospitality Summit Series: Hospitality Technology Disruption

IDeaS 3 April 2018
While we are in the midst of a significant transformation, powered by technology and changing consumer behaviors, significant silos and fragmentation exist, which are limiting evolution. Watch as we dive into more detail surrounding what to expect for hoteliers in the future.How far are we from the vision of seamless intelligence where hospitality providers will not only understand the guest but also anticipate needs?Thank you to my fellow panelists for taking part in this intriguing conversation:Chris Anderson, professor, Cornell UniversityVivek Bhogaraju, director, revenue management solutions, Expedia, Inc.Pierre Boettner, founder & CEO, hospitalityPulseRJ Friedlander, founder & CEO, ReviewProBalaji Krishnamurthy, vice president, global strategy, corporate development and business intelligence, Sabre Hospitality Solutions
Article by Paul Van Meerendonk

Rev Up Productivity: The Rise of IoT & Voice

IDeaS 28 March 2018
A study conducted by Statista estimates over the last four years, IoT-connected devices will have grown by over 33 percent by the end of 2018 for a total of 23.1 billion devices connected worldwide. And over the next four years that number is forecasted to nearly double and total over 42.6 billion by 2022. That would mean there will be over five connected devices for every human, and that average number gets much higher considering only half of the world's population has readily available internet access.Technology continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, and as a result, more and more of it becomes a fixture in our daily lives. Four years is a short period of time for an install base to nearly double in size. It's why machine-to-machine communication will continue to exponentially grow, leading to more opportunities for efficiency in every industry.IoT is Checking InTravel and hospitality, specifically, are working on many different approaches to take advantage of this technology spike. Not only do hotels need to think about how they can invest in technology to elevate the guest experience, but they must also be cognizant of the need for seamless connection of guest devices to their technology. Most of the technology a guest uses will be brought into the hotel by the guest, not supplied by the hotel. So, the end goal for hotels needs to be ease of use, speed of access and monetization of the guest's digital journey from their own devices.This has already manifested with tailored booking experiences, voice-controlled, in-room assistants, property-specific mobile apps and chatbot concierge services appearing at hotels, but technology also needs to enable efficiency on the business side as well as the consumer side. With better technology comes improved productivity and more hoteliers overseeing multiple properties, working remotely and automating mundane tasks to create more time for strategic activity. This means less time at a desk or a single property and more time on the go.When it comes to revenue technology in the hospitality industry, the goal is still ease of use and speed of access, but more importantly, it is also the ease of access to vast amounts of consumable data. This makes revenue technology ripe for interfacing with IoT devices to effortlessly access more data insights.Powerful revenue management solutions (RMS) bring together multiple sources of market data and layer that on top of hotel-specific data like actuals, forecasts and budgets. When your technology stack is seamlessly integrated, your RMS pulls data from multiple systems and builds a strategy it pushes back out to those systems. That in itself is impressive, but now imagine you have all that connected power in the palm of your hand or at the command of your voice.Of course, there isn't even a need to imagine because this "science fiction" has become the new reality. We've seen mobile phones' primary function change drastically over the last ten years. How often do you use your smartphone to make an actual phone call?Revenue technology is following the evolution of the mobile phone. What once was just a rate-setting and forecasting tool is now the convergence of all data insights you need to influence revenue productivity, whether at your desk, on the road or at home. An RMS visualizes thousands of data points, and an RMS mobile app or voice-enabled assistant, like Amazon's Alexa, make access to that data simple, convenient and possible from anywhere with an internet connection.Software development has always had to consider the user experience. You have limited real estate on a computer monitor or mobile phone screen to provide the right features or capabilities to a user. Friendly user interfaces (UI) have become requisite for optimal adoption and a quick return on investment. However, when the work environment becomes the backseat of a taxi, the lounge at an airport or kitchen counter while preparing dinner, how do you optimize the UI? Hotel technology in today's world must challenge the status quo and think outside the box, or rather, the computer screen.The New UI is No UIAs hotels adopt cloud technology and bring their systems and data together into one autonomous platform, the challenge becomes accessing the right data at the exact moment of need. Natural-language processing, like the technology behind Alexa or Google Assistant, make that possible. Voice search or voice commands have proliferated since the advent of Siri on Apple's iOS, and Amazon, Google and others have only expanded that reach with smart-speaker devices.For revenue management technology, the opportunities are limitless. Owners and general managers no longer need logins to a system they access once a month, nor do they need to be trained on how to view hotel performance within the software. Now, they can communicate with the voice-controlled assistant sitting on their desk and never have to remember a rarely used password again.Even internal meetings become more efficient and productive. Hotels no longer need to run standard reports for standing meetings every day. They can literally ask their technology to recite that information to them at each meeting. Now, a voice-enabled system can save employees time and resources while still providing key performance metrics whenever called upon. It's your personalized on-command data assistant with immediate access to historical, future and market data.Because an RMS typically stores hotel performance data that can be compared against the last year, forecast and budget, it also provides unparalleled insight for financial stakeholders like controllers and finance officers. They no longer need to seek out someone with RMS access or learn to generate a report themselves. Simple voice commands allow them to obtain the comparative data they need to assess performance in real time.Of course, revenue strategy leaders stand to benefit as much as anyone else. Not only does this technology make them more efficient in their responsibilities, but it empowers their colleagues and departments to access the data they need, when they need it. It helps promote revenue awareness across an organization by the simple fact that the information is so easily accessible.Ideal Technology Promotes Ideal BehaviorAutomated revenue technology paired with a voice-enabled interface may modify the rules for user experience design, but it totally changes the game for hotel revenue strategy. Security and user configurations allow administrative users to enable the appropriate data-access permissions for each persona that then applies to any device. Data that once had limited access can now be made available to all appropriate teams and roles without having to train and educate each individual user because they will interface through technology already used in their daily lives.Human interaction with technology is evolving as fast as the technology itself. A hotel's path to success will involve investing in the right innovative technology that enables both an enhanced experience for their guests and their employees. This means, as we become more mobile and more connected, we need tools that take us to the next inevitable step in this technological journey.Everyone has moments of genuine shock, and even uncertainty, when they experience new technology. Remember the disruption of the MP3 player in the late '90s--or Tickle Me Elmo? Who saw that coming? Thankfully, voice-enabled technology is less about shock and more about "where has this natural extension of my revenue strategy been all my life?". Now is the time to start thinking about how the latest sci-fi tech breakthrough can realistically make your revenue strategy even more productive and profitable.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com
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Independent hotel, The Durham, elevates revenue strategy with IDeaS' Continuous Pricing

IDeaS 22 March 2018
MINNEAPOLIS -- In July of 2015, The Durham Hotel opened its doors for the first time as an independent hotel property; its historic building previously operated as a local bank for decades. Being in the heart of downtown Durham, NC--amidst a revitalization, increase in market hotel inventory and pricing instability in the market--The Durham Hotel saw the opportunity to change from a manual pricing system to an automated revenue management solution, continuing their efforts to maximize overall revenue opportunities.IDeaS Revenue Solutions (IDeaS), the leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, was an easy choice for The Durham Hotel. Using continuous pricing--one of the flexible pricing options offered by IDeaS' Ideal Pricing, group recommendations and SAS High Performance Analytics, the hotel knew they found the provider proven to live up to their expectations."We knew that to rise above the competition, The Durham would need to stay on top of the technology," said Craig Shipley, director of sales for The Durham Hotel. "While searching for a company with a robust system, we discovered there was no other provider better than IDeaS."The Durham Hotel is a unique, locally owned and operated hotel with 53 guest rooms and a value-centric philosophy. Personalized touches are provided to make any stay delightful, such as locally handmade blankets by Raleigh Denim, Burt's Bees in-room gifts, classic continental breakfast and complimentary connectivity. Being familiar with IDeaS' solutions and understanding its competitive advantages, The Durham decided it was time to implement IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) to enhance their revenue strategy in a constantly changing market."The landscape and competitiveness in downtown Durham has continued to change, and we wanted to evolve with it," added Shipley. "IDeaS G3 RMS is the best system out there. It has everything we were looking for to help us gain competitive advantage within the market.""We appreciate The Durham Hotel's unique qualities of guest personalization and sense of community," said Jane Stampe, managing director at IDeaS. "IDeaS is confident in our advanced analytics and that The Durham Hotel's key performance indicators will offer a clear view into their most important information." About The Durham HotelOnce the Home Savings & Loans Bank headquarters, is now a mid-century modern, 53 room boutique hotel in the heart of downtown. The Durham is a vibrant destination, inspired by the spirit of its namesake city, and built to serve its community. Locally owned and operated, The Durham is instilled with the energy of its surroundings and is a cultural hub for the vibrant and engaging downtown scene.As is evident with its naming, The Durham is a true community amenity and has forged collaborations with many local businesses including custom made blankets by Raleigh Denim, music programming by Durham-based Merge Records, coffee by Counter Culture, Escazu Artisan Chocolates, and minibars stocked with snacks from around North Carolina and overseen by NC Made.James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing offers refined menus at the hotel's bar and restaurant that revive American melting pot and hotel classics, casting them in a modern context. The rooftop and lounge overlooks the city, providing a scenic backdrop for guests to enjoy cocktails and selections from the raw bar while making meaningful connections.The Durham pairs value with truly gracious service within a community landmark creating an authentic experience for all to enjoy. To book your stay at The Durham, visit www.thedurham.com.About IDeaS With more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures--from single entities to world-renowned estates--by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly, insightful and profitable revenue opportunities--not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise. For more information, visit www.ideas.com.

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