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IDeaS G3 RMS Gives New Revenue Opportunity to Resorts and Hotels with Component Room Optimization - an Industry First

IDeaS 14 November 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- Though ubiquitous in resorts and hotels today, component rooms and flexible inventory are a tricky business for revenue managers. These unique rooms have traditionally required manual pricing and constant oversight - and are often undersold because of their complexity compared to standard rooms.To help hoteliers maximize profit potential, IDeaS Revenue Solutions has added a new capability to IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS), the industry's most widely used revenue management solution. Powered by SAS analytics, this new IDeaS G3 RMS feature allows revenue managers to optimize all combinations of room types and build a revenue strategy specifically for flexible inventory - all based on guest demand and price sensitivity.IDeaS G3 RMS is now the only cloud-based revenue management tool that automates component room price optimization. Combined with sophisticated pricing and inventory control decisions, powerful forecasting and interactive reporting dashboards, component room pricing showcases IDeaS' commitment to solving the unique and complex business challenges facing hotels and resorts."Resorts and hotels are threatened every day by new entrants into an already competitive arena. Component rooms, or virtual room types, allow hotels to better serve their guests through a personalized experience that meets the unique needs of each guest," said Sanjay Nagalia, chief operating officer for IDeaS. "By helping hotels understand which components of a room to sell and at what price, we enable our clients to build a revenue strategy that gives them a competitive advantage in their market and an upper hand when it comes to pricing at the room type level for both group and transient business."The new capability allows resorts and hotels with component rooms to account for larger or premium room types and optimize their business strategy based on the most relevant market data and demand indicators. With IDeaS G3 RMS, revenue managers now have the confidence to automatically price and offer fully flexible inventory in order achieve the greatest profitability and business mix for their property."This technology has enabled us to look at inventory by type or segment and actually make decisions to yield room types uniquely across different channels," said Agnelo Fernandes, senior vice president for Terranea Resort. "Terranea is very unique, with 582 keys and a mix of rooms, suites, villas, casitas & bungalows. We find ourselves diving into IDeaS for every decision, and that has helped us become a lot more efficient. IDeaS helped us understand pricing, availability and demand for each room in order to optimize profitability."Click here for more information about IDeaS G3 RMS.Tweet this: @IDeaS_RevOpt #RevenueManagement system is first to allow hotels & resorts to automate component room pricing. www.ideas.com/about/news 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 more than 10,000 clients in 111 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 Learning System Recognized With Gold Award From Learning & Development Research Firm Brandon Hall

IDeaS 8 November 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- The adoption of software tools and technologies for revenue management and hotel data analytics continues to grow within the hospitality segment, helping hoteliers uncover opportunities to grow revenue and improve the guest experience. But, these tools aren't effective without the skilled employees and managers who oversee and rely on them every day.That's why companies like IDeaS Revenue Solutions not only provide the most advanced revenue management software for hoteliers, but also provide the training resources needed for customers to adopt and use their software and systems effectively.In fact, recent improvements to the IDeaS Learning System (ILS) led to the company being given a Gold 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award in the Best Advance in Learning Technology Implementation category. The IDeaS Learning System is a platform that provides revenue managers with customized training modules to advance best practices in hotel revenue management and strategy.Awarded by leading research and analyst firm Brandon Hall Group, the award recognized IDeaS' continuous improvement to a learning system that addresses the unique needs of adult learners who are in a continual education loop while on the job. The improved platform has more than 20,000 learning artifacts, presented in the "moment of need" as opposed to static training materials offered at the beginning of a technology relationship. The ILS encompasses the same scientific and analytical approach IDeaS' applies to its revenue management software through ongoing and curated learning.The new ILS, introduced in late 2016, provides a constant stream of revenue management learning and development resources, with back-end data that can map learning programs directly to client success."It's not enough to provide a set of tools and a static training manual. Our industry is dynamic and constantly evolving, so we built the IDeaS Learning System to respond to the changing demands of our clients," said Sarah Green Toews, director of knowledge management for IDeaS. "We're honored to receive the Gold-level Brandon Hall Group Excellence award. It embodies our team's dedication and commitment to advancing our learning resources and tools, which provides a huge benefit to our global clients."The award recognized IDeaS for working with customers to deliver a modern and easy-to-use training resource that can flex and expand with new products and a broad client base. The improved platform now offers a variety of courses to educate a hotel staff about revenue management best practices, focusing on areas of IDeaS' software that are specifically relevant to an individual role. The ILS, and the transition from existing tools, has been lauded by clients - and the project is a successful use case for advancing training resources and technology."The IDeaS Help system gives our revenue managers the answers they are looking for when questions arise. Additionally, the built-in Show Me technology walks them through the learning process while they perform their job duties so they are left with more time to be strategic. These time-saving efficiencies are a benefit to me as well because no matter the time zone I know my team can find the information they need to make confident decisions," according to client Jodi O'Connor, business systems manager, revenue management, Extended Stay America.This is the third consecutive year IDeaS learning and development efforts have been recognized by Brandon Hall Group."Excellence Award winners symbolize the power and impact that human capital management practices can have on a business or on any organization," said Rachel Cooke, chief operating officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. "Many organizations can have great HCM initiatives, but the standard of excellence only applies for organizations whose HCM practices truly benefit the business. That's what the Excellence Awards program stands for, and that is what Brandon Hall Group stands for."IDeaS will be honored at Brandon Hall Group's HCM Excellence Conference in February 2018.Tweet this: New #hotelrevenue mgmt training platform from @IDeaS_RevOpt gets Gold from @BrandonHallGrp www.ideas.com/newsAbout Brandon Hall GroupBrandon Hall Group is a HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management. With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. For more information, visit www.brandonhall.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 more than 10,000 clients in 111 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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More Than 10,000 Hotel Properties Worldwide Rely on IDeaS' Advanced Analytics for Confident Revenue Management

IDeaS 3 November 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- Hospitality managers across the globe are competing to see which technology tools can drive better business decisions, create new revenue opportunities and improve the guest experience. In 2017, many of these companies turned to IDeaS Revenue Solutions for revenue management software and advisory services, which have been shown to deliver on all three of these core hotel goals.With more than 10,000 hotel properties using IDeaS' solutions, revenue management is now firmly rooted in the category of technology tools that are a critical function of any hotel business. In fact, IDeaS' analytical tools gather and analyze historic and future data, competitor pricing and forward-looking market demand intelligence to make more than 1.6 million pricing decisions daily, spanning properties across six continents and more than 100 countries.Revenue management software plays an important role in helping hoteliers understand room demand for any size hotel, whether it be one property or an estate. IDeaS' solutions transform the right data into clear and actionable insight. They empower clients to forecast, price and report with speed and confidence, improving business performance and maximizing property value."At IDeaS, we believe that successful revenue management requires automated, accurate forecasting and analysis tools, expert validation by well-informed revenue managers, and access to continuous, professional learning resources. These elements are key to achieving revenue productivity," said Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, CEO for IDeaS. "We've been able to double our client base in just three years, in part because we have a great solution, but also because we are committed to helping hoteliers achieve measurable results."2017 marks a year of momentum and growth for the company that pioneered automated revenue management and continues to bring innovative solutions to more markets each day.Leading Partnerships and Strategic ExpansionsTo support strategic growth, IDeaS has expanded its global partner network over the past 12 months, integrating its solutions with leaders like TravelClick's Demand360 platform, which helps clients forecast confidently by understanding future demand data. The company also partnered with nSight Travel Intelligence, giving revenue managers the ability to "futurecast" demand with predictive consumer shopping intelligence from more than 5,000 online travel sites with nSight for IDeaS.In March 2017, IDeaS announced the acquisition of Smart Space, signaling further collaboration between revenue management and function space business. As technology continues to enable hoteliers to focus more on total hotel performance, partnerships like these will empower executives to gain a clearer picture of demand across the entire hotel enterprise.Commitment to Client SuccessIDeaS' client base spans independent, mid-size, extended stay and global hotel brands. Major deals in 2017 include AccorHotels Group and Carlson Rezidor - both of which brought IDeaS in to provide their properties with the best in revenue management technology options. Many independent hotels joined forces with IDeaS, such as Provenance Hotels with their unique portfolio of owned and operated independent hotels, elevating their revenue management to produce consistent market share growth. With an impressive ongoing client retention rate of 95 percent, IDeaS' clients recognize the value a trusted partner can bring to their organizations.Industry Recognition2017 was a strong year for industry accolades. Mehrotra was awarded HFTP's Award of Merit at 2017 HITEC, an award given every five years to individuals who have established a path of innovation in hospitality technology. IDeaS' Director of Advisory Services, Paul van Meerendonk was named chairperson to the HSMAI Europe Revenue Management Advisory Board, one of the most important associations in the hospitality industry. In March, HSMAI recognized IDeaS as the Technology Innovator of the Year. IDeaS' blog was also featured as one of the Top 100 Blogs for hotel industry professionals."A growing client roster and industry recognition exemplify the impact our tools can have in any hotel segment, but equally important is our award-winning learning services," added Mehrotra. "We're committed to surrounding our family of clients with resources to achieve success."Join the celebration to see what #10kThanks means for IDeaS. Watch here.Tweet this: #RevenueManagement leader @IDeaS_RevOpt hits impressive milestone with 10K client properties! #10kThanks www.ideas.com/about/news 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 more than 10,000 clients in 111 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.
Article by Paul Van Meerendonk

Profit Optimization is Not Just a Buzz Phrase for Room Revenue

IDeaS 30 October 2017
True hotel profit optimization leverages multiple hotel functions to ensure goals are aligned to achieve optimal results. It encourages hotels to intelligently decide which business to accept across multiple revenue streams at all times, based on greatest overall value to the asset. This holistic approach to revenue management goes beyond guest room rates and maximizes profits from the strategic management of other key hotel revenue streams; like sales with group bookings and meetings & events teams with catering sales.Maximize Meetings & EventsMeetings and events are traditionally underestimated by hoteliers as they are often a secondary revenue source to bring in more rooms revenue. However, given meetings and events revenue can account for a significant portion of a hotel's top line revenue, an increasing number of hotel groups are starting to focus on the strategic management of these activities to bolster their bottom line.Contrary to any narrow understanding of the benefits that meetings and events spaces can deliver to a hotel, these areas actually do more than just sell guestrooms. In fact, for many hotels, the profit potential of this revenue stream is so significant that it can contribute 40-60% of their total revenue.Surprisingly, many hoteliers still aren't leveraging their event spaces strategically today, which means they risk overlooking opportunities for substantial revenue generation. Many hoteliers fail to fully realize revenues through meetings and events due to the complex nature of the revenue streams across catering, function spaces and sleeping rooms overlapping. In addition, there are other streams of revenue like audio visual, event rentals and more that may involve a revenue share with third parties. These conditions add complexity to the overall business opportunity, which has stifled adoption of demand-based meetings & events strategy.To better maximize revenue opportunities from meetings and events spaces, savvy hoteliers have looked to try and fold revenue management strategies into sales and catering processes. However, despite the positive evidence to support an integrated approach to sales, catering, meetings and revenue management, there hasn't been a strong call for technology beyond sales and catering systems that function solely as a system of record. Until now.Today there are cloud-based, visual strategy management solutions on the market that help hotels analyse and dissect their business trends and meeting space performance at their properties. Where hotels have struggled with reporting and consolidation of their sales and catering data, these systems visually display data from other sales tools to help hotel teams strategically manage meetings & events performance through demand-based pricing strategies.Any increased focus on applying revenue management principles to meetings and events spaces also requires hoteliers to take a more holistic look at their sales and catering revenues, as decisions they make for their function spaces can have a major impact on the bottom line. To ensure that a hotel is optimizing revenues from their function spaces, hoteliers must establish and review KPIs for these spaces. They must start to think about performance measurements like space utilization, revenue per attendee and conversion metrics. Most importantly, hoteliers must also align their pricing strategy to demand indicators and forecasts to ensure that revenues from meetings and events are optimized.To achieve optimal levels of revenue from meetings and events, hoteliers also need to incentivize their sales team on achieving quality of business, rather than quantity. Having the right forecasting, data and metrics in place may not result in optimal business without the sales team delivering the ideal piece of business with greatest profitability impact to the hotel. Sales teams therefore need to be incentivized appropriately on the right measurements, to channel their focus on quality of business, rather than on one dimensional metrics such as number of room nights or revenue. Hotels now have the data to show that all revenue is not created equal so a solution that helps identify the most profitable revenue is paramount.Advanced solutions can also dramatically enhance hotel sales strategies for other meetings and events management like 'free sell' dates. The 'free sell' sales strategy commonly used throughout the hotel industry follows a fairly simple premise: If a meeting request for a date in the future comes in, and it has no guestrooms attached to its Request for Proposal (RFP), a catering or sales manager can't book the business without approval or unless it's within a certain number of days to arrival. While a designated 'free sell' period varies for every hotel, let's assume a property has a current free-sell window of four weeks in the future. In this case, any meeting-only RFP looking to book three months out is likely going to be turned away or at the very least well scrutinized in the anticipation for a more profitable piece of business (often with guestrooms attached). This is an approach which asks: why fill up your space prematurely when there's potentially better business with additional guestroom spend down the road?But what happens when that highly-coveted business doesn't actually end up knocking at your door? What happens if a hotel turned down a $15k meetings-only event over a typically quiet period because there weren't any guestrooms attached to the RFP and the meeting planner inquired too far out; but in the end the hotel didn't fill that space with more profitable business later on? Think about the potential revenue hotels are leaving on the table when they rely only on this kind of rationale.Trend analytics, intuitive visualizations and drill-down reporting capabilities provide hotels with critical insight into group lead times by month and status. Rather than relying on blanket 'free sell' periods established once a year, hotels can now evaluate lead times for every individual day, week or month-reviewing both past and present years-to understand when their strongest business is booking, and when exactly they should be filling their distressed dates with other business to avoid displacement.The revenue opportunities presented by meeting and event spaces mean that all financially savvy hoteliers need to have an integrated approach to sales, revenue management and meetings & events in place-and the right technologies to support this. Advanced cloud-based solutions can support meeting and event revenues, turning complex business challenges into opportunities for even greater hotel profits.Make Sure Group Business is Good BusinessGroup bookings account for a significant portion of hotel bookings these days; for many properties it accounts for up to half of their sleeping rooms business, not to mention the additional revenue brought in from food & beverage and ancillary revenue streams. Rightfully so, many hotels have teams dedicated to selling, servicing and managing this profitable segment of business.The challenge is that for every piece of group business that a hotel takes which adds revenue by staying over less popular nights or makes a significant food and beverage spend, there is another group booking which displaces other revenue, washes out significant rooms, or in hindsight costs the hotel profitability due to concessions. The key to ensuring group business is great business for a hotel, is to establish a strategy and make certain it integrates with the property's broader revenue goals for all segments.Today's most innovative hotel revenue technology provides the ability to forecast group revenues, going so far as to help hoteliers understand demand for a given date range by visualizing booked, turned down and lost inquiries. Leading technology also generates alerts with sudden changes for specific groups (like a wedding block whose potential bookings are not converting with a cut-off date looming) so it can optimize the hotel's strategy based on the new information before the change takes effect in other systems.These revenue management solutions forecast group bookings based on analytically understanding historical performance, the reasons for that performance, the current market conditions and the impacts of special events to get a true picture of group demand. It's not enough to just provide a rate for a given group in a matter of moments; hotels should have instant access to a full profitability displacement analysis of the group to ensure it is the best piece of business.Hoteliers require more than a tool that only replaces Minimum Acceptable Rates (MARs) or Excel spreadsheets. The most powerful technology can enable multi-property evaluations for a regional or global sales representative in addition to alternate date recommendations for the flexible or budget conscious group. The goal is to present a quote that not only meets the needs of the inquirer but also is the most profitable for the hotel. In other words, maximize the demand and minimize the risk of revenue displacement.Revenue Culture Breeds SuccessIt is very important that hotel executives recognize that a shift towards profit optimization means they may also need to focus on strengthening their internal culture. Moving revenue management past guestrooms into other organizational areas requires having a robust revenue culture in place across all departments, something the industry has fundamentally identified as an ideal environment for supporting initiatives that increase total hotel profits.Today's hotel leaders are tasked with converging the traditional roles of sales, marketing, meetings & events and revenue management with an inclusion of other departments like F&B, banquets and finance. Focusing these stakeholders around identifying, capturing and nurturing the most profitable business will result in the most lucrative results driven by a holistic approach to profit optimization.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com.
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"Dirty Data"- The one data source that might be harming your revenue performance

IDeaS 12 October 2017
Historical demand has long been a critical component of dynamic pricing and Revenue Management Systems (RMS). An even more critical requirement for RMS is the unconstrained demand, which is the true demand for a particular product in the absence of any limitations, such as when a room or seat is unavailable to purchase. The success of unconstraining affects the entire pricing and revenue management process.Attempts to Use Regrets and Denials in Unconstraining Have Been Largely UnsuccessfulThere are two options for unconstraining the demand: direct observation and recording or the use of statistical methods. Since the adoption of RMS in the hospitality industries, the unconstraining methodologies have been primarily analytically-driven and attempts to use real-world or directly-observed customer data, specifically regrets and denials have been largely unsuccessful.Regrets and denials data are not directly applicable to calculating an unconstrained demand since there is an important distinction between "denials" that are due to unavailability and "regrets" that are due to price or other factors. Many reservation or booking systems are unable to automatically capture the difference between regrets and denials.The Unqualified Transient Data from Brand.com Is InsufficientThere have been recent claims of RMS systems incorporating denials data in their algorithm using brand.com data, which merely captures partial regrets and denials data for the unqualified transient demand. However, predictive models using only the unqualified transient disregard the demand for different market segments and/or additional channel behaviors.The problem with this methodology is that not only brand.com comprises only 27% of the reservations for transient nights, as TravelClick reports, but also unqualified transient demand data is being widely used without sufficient regard for unconstraining. Unconstraining methods must include demand for each and all of wholesale, group, corporate negotiated, and unqualified transient demands. This is what we call 'holistic unconstraining.A Guest Searches Multiple Times for the Same RoomProperty managers or reservations personnel may also be unaware of the guest's booking history. For each call, the denied availability will be coded independently when, perhaps, they are related to a long list of inquiries from the same person.Regrets and Denials Data Is "Dirty Data"Various news media have reported that, while bookings have remained generally flat, booking engine transaction volume has increased substantially. This is a strong quantitative confirmation of what is known anecdotally: the look-to-book ratio is extremely high, and continuing to increase.Studies confirm that many travel buyers use a variety of websites to research and compare prices before making booking decisions. So, even if one is confident about the methodology for assessing denials on one site, it is not at all clear that there is not cross-usage of additional websites or multiple visits per buyer that are unknown in the denial logic. That is primarily why leading data scientists refer to regrets and denials as "dirty data."Each of the scenarios above can result in the RMS over-unconstraining the demand data, which leads to over-protection of inventory and, eventually, reduced occupancy.
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Pivot Hotels Expands IDeaS' Proven Revenue Management Technology to Multiple Properties

IDeaS 11 October 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, is pleased to announce the expansion of its relationship with Pivot Hotels and Resorts, the luxury and lifestyle operating division of Davidson Hotels and Resorts.With a growing collection of independent and soft-branded properties within their portfolio - and a partnership with IDeaS spanning back to 2014 - it was an easy decision for Pivot Hotels to continue their trusted relationship with IDeaS.With one of their current properties already leveraging the flagship IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS), Pivot Hotels selected IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) for several more of their properties. "We are very excited to transition a number of our hotels to this new, robust system," says Patricia Davis, vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management for Pivot Hotels. "We look forward to the increased customer insights and robust pricing decisions that the advanced SAS analytics can provide."IDeaS' revenue management expertise and leading technology were the best long-term option to empower Pivot Hotels to continue growing. The company is projected to open 5-7 new properties each year and needed a solution that enables each property to make strategic, profitable business decisions."Our greatest excitement is seeing what IDeaS does best: making our shoulder dates stronger. Many of our hotels have an untraditionally longer length of stay, and we look forward to having IDeaS transition those dates from need into high peak days," Davis added."We are proud that our existing relationship with Pivot Hotels has created such a strong platform of trust with IDeaS and our analytics," explains Jane Stampe, the managing director for IDeaS. "Working closely together, we are excited to bring their revenue strategy to a new level for the most profitable results."Read more about this evolving partnership.Tweet this news: @IDeaS_RevOpt expands partnership with Pivot Hotels & Resorts with leading #RevenueManagement tools and services www.ideas.com/about/newsAbout Pivot Hotels and ResortsPivot Hotels & Resorts, the lifestyle and luxury division of Davidson Hotels & Resorts, operates with a deep-rooted passion for continuous innovation, exceptional service delivery, revenue generation, inspired marketing and financial responsibility. Constituted by some of the most accomplished leaders in lifestyle hospitality, Pivot Hotels & Resorts caters to today's experience-seeking, adventure-minded traveler through inspiring design, thoughtful service, and one-of-a-kind experiences at each of its hotels and resorts. Pivot Hotels & Resorts operates eight hotels and resorts across the US with two more in development in Chicago and Nashville. More information may be found at www.pivothotels.com.About IDeaS With more than 1.5 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,500 clients in 111 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.
Article by Jessica Halterman

Revenue Technology: Are You Doing It Wrong?

IDeaS 2 October 2017
Technology helps hoteliers figure out if they've got their hotel revenue strategy just right--or all wrongNo two hotels are exactly alike, despite being in a chain or large portfolioEvery hotel has unique marketing & revenue strategiesRevenue technology can help every hotel master their unique business Recently, I read an article describing the right way to pack liquor in your luggage. And I have to be honest with you...I didn't know there was a wrong way to pack away booze.Apparently, using a couple of t-shirts and sending up an audible prayer during baggage check-in isn't everyone else's go-to strategy.(As a side note: A follow-up Google search later uncovered a WikiHow tutorial specifically outlining three separate methods you can use to accomplish this coup. Again, who knew?)However, in addition to its eye-opening counsel, the article serves as food for thought around hotel strategies.Namely, is there a right and wrong way to approach revenue strategy--and how do you know if you're doing it wrong?One of the most interesting facets of the hotel industry, in my opinion, is that no two hotels are exactly alike--regardless of whether they are part of a chain or portfolio of properties. And if every single hotel property is unique in its own way, its marketing and revenue strategies are going to be, too.When it comes to executing a successful and profitable strategy, there are more than a few ways today's revenue management technology can help every single hotel master their unique business.Here are a few considerations you can use to evaluate how your current or future technology can help drive your highest profits to date:How does your technology handle the segmentation of hotel guests?Can you segment business that allows for consistent reporting and optimal forecasting?What types of data do you use when building a forecast?How does your revenue solution manage the optimization of different room types?How does the system address the need for pricing all of your business types (both dynamically priced and fixed rate business)? What controls in addition to pricing are produced and at what levels?Are all of the controls analytically driven and automated or driven through manually set user rules?Does the solution address areas with untouched revenue potential, such as determining which room types to oversell based on demand--thus creating strategic upgrade paths?Can the solution help determine if the hotel is giving away too much inventory to corporate LRA accounts or wholesale allotments?Can your system validate 'gut feelings' with predictive and 'what-if' analyses that measure the impacts of making pricing and inventory decisions?
Article by Paul van Meerendonk

Don't Get Lost in the Sea of Data

IDeaS 5 September 2017
It's safe to say "data" is not on the list of topics nobody is talking about. Data -- what data to use, where to use it, how to use it and when to use it - has been strategically dissected at the corners of nearly every industry discussion to date.Data is also heralded as the core of intelligent and gainful decision-making. It's been reported that companies at the top of their industry for data-driven decision-making are 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.Over the years, the pool of data sources hotels utilize within their business strategies has grown exponentially larger. The propagation of its importance within the development of short- and long-term vision and strategic planning has also become more commonplace than in years past.Innovative breakthroughs in technology and analytics mean organizations continue to see more opportunities to leverage data in meaningful ways. However, the alternative side is the steep volumes of data can be dauntingly large and intricately complex.Some organizations liken this complex data environment to needing a bigger boat for a sea of data. But when it comes to capitalizing on industry data, size isn't what matters. Organizations that focus on using the right types of data -- with an infrastructure that can effectively leverage it -- can confidently reach ambitious profit goals. An era of big data requires that critical business information is not just easily accessible, but easily digested and understood. In many organizations, data related to operational forecasting, revenue forecasting and annual budgets are housed in different systems and accessed by different departments. This disconnect between both systems and departments can inevitably lead to inefficiencies and manual errors.This article explores how hoteliers can use the right mix of data for a comprehensive picture of the business, while supporting the intricate relationships between departments to improve operations and enhance business performance.Establishing the Ideal Mix of DataProfitable outputs require optimal inputs. For hotel organizations, this means data quality has significant implications on the quality of their strategy - especially when it comes to its financial returns. As organizations continue to leverage evolving data sources, it's important to be thoughtful about the data used within their technology and strategies. Simply adding more and more data - rather than focusing on adding the right data - can actually counter positive results.Here are some common data sources hotels use within their strategies, and how using them impacts their overall profit potential: Online Reputation SentimentsOnline social platforms, such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com, represent an unprecedented purchase power for today's consumers. The reviews on these platforms can also leave a heavy impact an organization's bottom line - either positive or negative. And since reviews are published on many different online websites, they have the potential to reach innumerable prospective consumers. This not only illustrates the importance of guest reviews in today's age of technology, but the opportunity hoteliers have to factor their reputation into short- and long-term business strategies. By evaluating this data, organizations can evaluate their opportunities to influence purchases at the point of decision making, as well as identify their opportunities to increase guest satisfaction. The correlation between a hotel's rate and reputation helps hoteliers identify new pricing opportunities. It has been reported that for every point increase in ratings, hotel bookings increase by 14.1% and average daily rate by 11.2%. Competitive Rate Shopping DataPrice is important to hotel demand, and it has an important role in a revenue management strategy. However, hotel organizations not only have to evaluate their own pricing approaches, but their competitors' pricing as well. This is because competitor pricing can have a direct and indirect impact on their own demand.For example, changes to competitor rates could indicate an intent to steal market share, which directly impacts demand as guests are shopping for the best deals. Competitor rates also have the ability to influence fair market price perceptions. A guest might purchase from a hotel if they expect the competitor price to be higher, but might pass on them if they expect the available rates from competitors to be lower. This means that competitor rates could influence guest reference prices for a given hotel.br>Organizations can use this data in their revenue technology to understand how guests are reacting to their pricing and how their rates are positioned within the market. Technology can use this data to estimate the effect of price on demand, and help hotels make adjustments based on price position relative to their competition. Regrets & Denials DataThere have been many discussions around using customer traffic data for demand forecasting. Much of this stems around using regrets and denials data to unconstrain hotel demand. Unconstrained demand refers to the amount of demand that exists for a product, independent of any constraints. In the hotel world, this demand represents how many hotel rooms could be sold on a given day if there was unlimited inventory available.There are two considerations in the discussions around using regrets and denials data to measure unconstrained demand. The first is the important distinction between "denials" because of unavailability and "regrets" from price or other factors. Secondly, many reservation systems are unable to capture the difference between a regret and a denial. Unconstraining demand affects the entire pricing and revenue management process, and using this data has been largely unsuccessful to date. This is because denial data from direct websites only represents a partial amount of data. When used to determine unqualified transient demand, the demand for other market segments and channel behaviors goes ignored. In addition to this, there is also a high potential of inaccurate coding practices and same person inquiries, as well as high look-to-book ratios against generally flat booking volumes. These are a few of the considerations that make this data unreliable to use in forecasting technologies. Cancellations and Re-BookingsThe practice of cancelling and re-booking is a troubling guest behavior for hotel organizations. Thousands of people cancel and re-book online reservations every single day, and it has left many hotel organizations fighting in a one-sided booking war.This particular booking behavior has the potential to negatively impact hotel's forecast and profit potential. This practice can also be difficult to accommodate for within today's technology, especially in solutions using regrets and denials data to forecast. For example, when repeat shoppers are counted as new units of hotel demand, it can significantly inflate the demand forecast over that time period.However, recent advancements in technology are helping properties account for potential revenue lost by estimating the effects of rate changes. Cancellation and re-booking patterns vary by property, market, season and day-of-week, so technology that properly accounts for these patterns offers analytical insight to optimally balance price and demand. Forward-looking Market IntelligenceMore recently, hotel organizations have identified newer ways to capitalize on data through increased interdepartmental collaboration. One type of data in particular encouraging a previously unlikely partnership between marketing and revenue management teams: travel intent data.The availability of travel intent data has become instrumental in developing a hotel's revenue strategy. This data uses search and booking data from third-party booking sites and OTAs to help quantify the demand a hotel can expect for future dates. This powerful market intelligence puts names to faces, and gives hotels human-focused insights.Hotel revenue managers use this data to strategically futurecast, a practice that builds upon traditional forecasting practices to look beyond the face value of a number and fully understand how and why a particular outcome occurred. It also helps hotel marketing teams develop and execute more specific ad placements, experience packages and personalized offers.Industry technology plays an extremely critical role in helping hotels profit from this data. The ability to integrate information previously inaccessible to hotels (such as the relationships between intent to book and pricing) elevates a hotel's forecast and its subsequent revenue opportunities, such as offering tailored package add-ons based on guest preferences.In addition, technologies providing this extensive level of insight offer hotels distinct competitive advantage when it comes to pricing their rooms, personalizing marketing efforts and aligning the overall consumer experience across all booking channels.Bringing It All TogetherEvaluating the ideal data to inform an intelligent revenue strategy is the first step in managing the sea of industry data. The next step for organizations to take is identifying how this data can help their different departments work closely with one another. The most successful hotel organizations achieve this through a strong foundation of education and routine discussions around how to use data to reach mutual department goals.Selecting the optimal infrastructure has been another topic of interest and area of opportunity for hoteliers in this process. The right infrastructure - also known by its trendier moniker "tech stack" - allows hotels better visibility and control over their revenue streams. "Tech stack" generally refers to the group of integrated solutions that work together to help a hotel achieve its business objectives.This could include data exchange between their property management system, revenue management system, central reservations system, sales and catering systems, and customer relationship management solutions. It's important for hotel organizations to evaluate their existing integrations between current and prospective software for optimal decisions and insights.Using an ideal mix of data and an optimal set of technologies provides hotels with a comprehensive view of business intelligence and encourages stronger team alignment - supporting cross-functional marketing, sales, catering and revenue teams in working together productively and profitably.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com

The Future of Revenue Management- Performance Measurement Video

IDeaS 29 August 2017
In a study co-sponsored by IDeaS, Sherri Kimes was able to connect with revenue managers from around the world, gathering insights to discover the outlook for hotel revenue manager attributes in 2020. Is your hotel ready?
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NYU School of Professional Studies' Students Tap into Latest Hotel Technologies with IDeaS Revenue Solutions

IDeaS 10 August 2017
Tweet this: .@IDeaS_RevOpt helps next generation of hoteliers @NYUSPS with leading academic partner program www.ideas.com/about/-ws #RevenueManagementMINNEAPOLIS -- The role of hotel revenue managers is rapidly evolving, and experience with analytics, automation and technology is a core requirement for aspiring hoteliers.Starting in the spring of 2017, students attending the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) within the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism program have had access to the latest technology platforms and learning resources through a collaboration with IDeaS Revenue Solutions.The IDeaS Academic Partner Program is a worldwide educational curriculum with more than 60 institutions of higher learning. It is designed to provide students with valuable hands-on exposure to industry-leading pricing, forecasting, and revenue management solutions. Combined with other business and revenue management courses, the program empowers the next generation of hoteliers with a deep understanding of how technology will play a pivotal role in their careers."IDeaS will help the next generation of hoteliers at NYUSPS to strategically focus on overall profitability, and not just room revenue, which aligns with our core teaching philosophies," noted the NYUSPS Tisch Center's Academic Chair, Dr. Lynn Minnaert. "We're eager to give our students this hands-on experience and help them accelerate their careers in the hotel industry."NYUSPS launched its hospitality and tourism program in 1995. The revenue management focus is new to the curriculum and is its fastest-growing track. More than 100 students this year began using IDeaS' online tools and learning resources. This has helped students enter the job market with a strong background in revenue management theory, combined with real-world practice and perspective."IDeaS created this initiative more than five years ago because we knew that revenue management programs often struggled to keep up with the evolution in our industry," said Mike Chuma, vice president of product strategy for IDeaS. "By extending access to our tools and award-winning resources, we're helping future hoteliers understand how technology can help revenue managers transform from data miners into strategic business leaders."More information on the academic partner program is available here.IDeaS was a sponsor of the 2017 NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in June and hosted the workshop "From Revenue Optimization to Profit Optimization: Gain a Competitive Advantage and Drive More Profitable Business." About the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and TourismThe NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, now celebrating 22 years of academic excellence, is a leading center for the study of hospitality and tourism.Founded in 1995, the Tisch Center was established in response to the growing need for hospitality and tourism undergraduate and graduate education. Its cutting-edge curricula attract bright, motivated students who seek to become leaders in their fields.Through its undergraduate degree in hotel and tourism management, its graduate degrees in hospitality industry studies and tourism management, a plethora of Professional Pathways programs, and its world-renowned conference, students gain the knowledge and the skill sets that enable them to manage change, to communicate, to thrive in complex work environments, and to advance the businesses of hospitality and tourism. About IDeaSWith more than 1.5 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS(r) and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,500 clients in 111 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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Media One transitions to IDeaS' latest hotel revenue management platform

IDeaS 8 August 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, has expanded its relationship with Media One, one of Dubai's leading independent hotels.Boasting 264 guest rooms and a spacious and inviting lobby, the hotel sits in the heart of Dubai Media City - minutes away from some of the area's most stunning beaches. State-of-the-art facilities and an attractive collection of cafes, bars and restaurants make Media One a highly sought-after location for the savviest of business travellers.Mark Lee, general manager of Media One says, "We've been using the IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) with great success since 2010. We decided to transition to IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System to take our demand forecasting and pricing decisions to even higher levels. In today's market, investing in powerful analytics gives us a strategic advantage over the competition.""We're particularly excited to extend strategic revenue management beyond our guest rooms. Meetings and events are an extremely profitable area for growth and IDeaS has a comprehensive product suite that automates our revenue strategy into our function space," Lee continued."Statistics show that analytical revenue technology helps hotels yield more in challenging market conditions," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "It's exciting to continue our partnership with Media One as they invest in an even more successful future. As the global market leader in hotel revenue technology, IDeaS G3 RMS offers Media One the best approach for profitably managing revenue."
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Provenance Hotels chooses IDeaS G3 RMS to advance revenue strategy in 2017

IDeaS 26 July 2017
MINNEAPOLIS--IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, is delighted to announce the expansion of its relationship with innovative hospitality management company, Provenance Hotels.With increasingly elevated revenue management opportunities achieving consistent market share growth of 3 percent - and a partnership with IDeaS that spans back to 2012 - it was an easy decision for Provenance Hotels to continue their long-standing relationship with IDeaS.With nine properties currently running on the flagship IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS), Provenance's entire portfolio is slated to transition to IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS). "We are very excited to transition all of our hotels to IDeaS G3 RMS as part of Provenance Hotels' strategic investment to elevate our revenue management and distribution platforms. This is technology designed for the decade ahead, while our competitors are operating on systems designed for the previous two decades," says Leslie Lew, vice president of revenue strategy for Provenance Hotels."Provenance looks forward to the added benefit of IDeaS' analytics and business insights to improve revenue, market share and profitability to strengthen our competitive advantage as profit-focused hotel operators. As more and more data becomes available, we count on IDeaS' superior analytics to cut through the 'data noise' and give our revenue leaders actionable intelligence at their fingertips - focusing on improving results rather than drowning in data," Lew added.Provenance Hotels owns and operates unique independent hotels, each with their own hand-crafted story, with several hotels under active development. Prior to implementing their current system in 2012, Provenance Hotels executed revenue management strategies through highly manual processes in central reservation systems and property management systems. Upon implementing IDeaS' RMS, Provenance Hotels saw consistent share growth in all represented markets."Provenance is an innovative hotel company looking for a leading revenue management partner," explains Jane Stampe, managing director for IDeaS. "After carefully reviewing multiple providers, Provenance selected a partner with a demonstrated commitment to their needs as a growing organization, and is equally invested in their success as a company and as individual hotels." About Provenance HotelsFounded in 1985 and headquartered in Portland, Ore., Provenance Hotels specializes in financing, developing and operating award-winning independent hotels with distinct and deeply integrated art stories. The portfolio includes Hotel deLuxe, Hotel Lucia, Heathman Hotel and Sentinel in Portland, Ore., Hotel Max and Roosevelt Hotel in Seattle, Wash., Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash., the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in New Orleans, LA., and Hotel Preston in Nashville, Tenn. Provenance Hotels will open Dossier in Portland in August 2017, Hotel Theodore in Seattle in November 2017 and the Woodlark in Portland in spring 2018. The company can be found online at www.provenancehotels.com.About IDeaS With more than 1.5 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software solutions and advisory services. Powered by SAS(r) and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,500 clients in 111 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.
Article by Paul van Meerendonk

What C-Level Executives Need to Know About Total Hotel Profitability

IDeaS 15 July 2017
While a hotel revenue strategy doesn't lend itself as the panacea to every organizational crossroads, it does provide hotels with a way to profitably navigate through the unpredictability of economical and geopolitical climates, natural disasters and terrorism. This is in addition to finding profitable success in hypercompetitive online environments prone to fluctuating markets and intensifying competition. Strategic revenue management is also recognized as an important component to increasing asset value, attracting investors and improving overall operational efficiency.Among other things, today's hoteliers face mounting pressure to increase their hotel profitability. From acquiring brand new customers to driving repeat business and loyalty, making the right operational decisions and running a hotel with optimal efficiency continues to be an ongoing challenge for top hotel executives. However, with increased scrutiny focused on the best ways to drive total hotel profitability, what exactly do the industry's c-suite executives need to know about revenue strategy and profit optimization?More specifically, what is this push toward profit optimization and where does it need to begin for the best results? What are the KPIs that paint the most accurate picture of a hotel's health and performance? How do hotel distribution channel costs impact overall hotel profitability? And, finally, what are the tools that facilitate these critical activities for hoteliers?What is This Push Towards Profit Optimization?Revenue management used to be considered a very niche function, and one that was only applied to guestroom strategies without the influence or contributions from other hotel revenue streams. Over the years, however, hotels have recognized its benefits and enthusiastically adopted more scientific and analytical approaches to strategic revenue management - experiencing significant financial rewards in the process.As these principles became even more popular and widespread, the industry has looked for ways to apply these holistic strategies to other operational areas and increase their overall profitability even further. And with a recent STR Global report indicating both revenue and expenses for rooms, F&B, payroll and other departments are on the rise in between 2015 and 2016 alone, more and more hotels are seeing the benefits of extending the principles of strategic revenue management to their ancillary streams.The goal of profit optimization is to leverage all hotel functions and maximize their profits in conjunction with one another. It encourages hotels to intelligently decide which business to accept across multiple revenue streams at all times, based on greatest overall value to the asset. This kind of holistic approach to revenue management goes beyond guest room rates and maximizes profits from the strategic management of other revenue streams. Hotels that adopt these principles successfully can drive profit performance to new heights across their entire asset with more competitive positioning, pricing and inventory management.However, it is very important that today's hotel executives recognize that a shift towards profit optimization means they may also need to focus on strengthening their internal culture. Moving revenue management past guestrooms into other organizational areas requires having a robust revenue culture in place, something the industry has fundamentally identified as an ideal environment for supporting initiatives that increase total hotel profits.Today's hotel executives are tasked with converging the traditional roles of sales, marketing and revenue management with an inclusion of other departments like F&B, banquets and finance. Focusing all departments around identifying and nurturing the most profitable business will result in the most lucrative results. The performance metrics that matterThe shift from focusing solely on guestroom revenue to the adoption of an organizational culture that applies revenue management throughout various departments has also encouraged hoteliers to broaden the types of metrics they use for performance evaluation. Traditionally, hotels solely relied on KPIs such as occupancy (OCC), average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) to evaluate the revenue and profit performance of their properties. And while these are still important metrics of performance measurement, the industry has begun gravitating toward other standards that represent their wider spectrum of operations.One area of increased interest for hotel executives is a focused attention on market share, which gives hoteliers a better estimation of their market performance compared to the competition. This is a critical factor when considering today's often uncertain environments. It also makes identifying the right competitive set extremely important, and one of the most crucial elements in accurately measuring overall performance. By identifying a property's true competitors, a hotel can benchmark their market penetration index (MPI), average rate index (ARI) and revenue generated index (RGI) with the valuable context they need to make the best strategic decisions.If a property measures itself and strategizes against an average of hotels that are targeting a vastly different mix of business, or represent a different type of accommodation segment (such as a full service hotel vs. a limited service hotel), it could end up making unprofitable decisions that dilute its brand value and soften its position in the market. There are other opportunities for measurements that the industry should be looking to as well.Aside from standard rooms-focused metrics, hotels need to shift toward a comprehensive understanding and comparison of total revenue performance metrics. Hotel meetings and events space, onsite restaurants, spa services and other hotel revenue streams all make significant contributions to overall profitability. When these revenue streams are not properly measured and evaluated, the hotel's big picture view of its overall profitability misses some very critical pieces.Establishing KPIs that measure areas beyond rooms to meetings and events space (also commonly referred to as function space) is typically the best place for organizations to start. Emerging KPIs in function space revenue management include space utilization, profit per occupied space (ProPost) and profit per available space (ProPast), and are fast becoming the industry standard metric in evaluating function space performance.Establishing these types of performance metrics within an organization, in addition to having the right technology and processes in place to capture, measure and control these KPIs, will help establish a baseline for hotel teams to work towards improving and optimizing against. And while the industry largely lacks a standard KPI to account for total revenue performance and profitability, it is an area of focus steadily gaining more traction.Where Distribution Fits inThe role of distribution is one historically intertwined with the strategic function of revenue management. While distribution strategy has a very micro and specific business focus, it is something that has become a hot topic of interest for hotel executives. As another facet of revenue management, we, as an industry, have spent a lot of time over the recent years analyzing and dissecting the opportunities an intelligent distribution strategy can bring hotels.Most notably, there has been a significant evolution in the role it plays in driving hotel profitability - largely due to emerging industry data sources, channels and various types of technology. Add in the complexity of prices, restrictions, add-ons, channel usage, technology and distribution costs, and many hotel organizations have easily considered this function large enough to split off on its own, increasing job roles that develop, execute and measure their comprehensive and intelligent distribution strategies.The complexity of distribution and its impact on today's organizational structure makes it critical for executives to understand how the quality of this role increases their overall hotel profitability. Not accounting for real distribution costs (which include details like basics of percentages, tracking direct costs and monitoring revenue results) can have an extremely unprofitable impact on overall revenue management strategies. Not properly managing or accounting for distribution costs directly affects the net revenue results hotel executives can expect from their property's distribution channel strategy.The Tools Driving Increased ProfitabilityBig data has undoubtedly helped our industry make big moves over the years. One of the profitable ways hotels have capitalized on the influx of big data is by recognizing that most intelligent revenue strategies look past the "big" description and identify "smart" data. For hotels focusing on driving better business through loyalty programs, personalization and a wealth of attractive guest choices, revenue technology that offers them data-driven methods and powerful analytics has become one of the first stepping stones in doing so.There are many different factors that can influence a hotel purchase decision: online ratings and reviews, competitive pricing, strong loyalty program rewards, location, etc. Hoteliers need to leverage and analyze every one of those factors - and the data sources that drive them - to build guest loyalty, provide a personalized guest experience, boost marketing ROI, attract an optimal business mix and improve their market performance. For a successful data-driven approach to holistic revenue management, it is critical to employ analytical tools and technology that incorporates market intelligence, ancillary revenue data, online reputation sentiments, competitor pricing, and historical data. For today's hotel executives looking to strategic revenue management for increases in profitability, it's important to recognize that maximizing revenue is different from maximizing profits.There is a complexity of revenue management - and the data that it needs to make optimal decisions - that may seem counterintuitive and perplexing at times. However, trusting, investigating and understanding its underlying principles pays off in dividends in the end.Hotels pairing powerful and analytical technology with the right holistic data sources are finding themselves with the most profitable way to strategically tackle today's unpredictable climates and fluctuating markets - improving asset values and efficiencies.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com
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IDeaS to roll out new revenue management solution and strategy services for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group portfolio

IDeaS 27 June 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel companies, today announced a global partnership with IDeaS Revenue Solutions. The goal of the partnership is to increase revenue performance across the group's seven leading brands and more than 1,100 hotels. IDeaS Revenue Solutions is a leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services."By partnering with IDeaS, we feel we are providing our hotels with the best revenue management technology to help us drive efficiency and higher returns. Strategic investments in industry leading tools supports our mission to be the preferred hotel company for both owners and travelers," said Eric De Neef, executive vice president, global chief branding & commercial officer for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.With nearly 30 years of leadership in hospitality technology and more than 9,000 clients worldwide, IDeaS is well-equipped to meet Carlson Rezidor's wide-reaching revenue management objectives. IDeaS' expertise in global revenue strategy and scalability were key factors in defining the partnership."We have immense respect for the Carlson Rezidor team and the success they have achieved through their renowned properties and exceptional service," said Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, president, founder and chief scientist for IDeaS Revenue Solutions. "Having worked with Carlson Rezidor on previous projects, we are thrilled to now help the team plan for the future on an even greater scale by providing the tools to strengthen revenue management strategies across an extensive portfolio."IDeaS and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group initiatives will begin rolling out globally in Q3 2017.Tweet this: .@carlsonrezidor selects @IDeaS_RevOpt to drive revenue management opportunities with #RevenueManagement technology www.ideas.com/newsAbout Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupCarlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel companies and includes 1,440 locations in operation and under development with more than 230,000 rooms and a footprint spanning 115 countries and territories. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu(r), Radisson(r), Radisson RED, Park Plaza(r), Park Inn(r) by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Guests can benefit from Club CarlsonSM, a program that redefines hotel rewards with a collection of exceptional benefits, services, and privileges at more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. Over 95,000 people are employed in Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group hotel systems and the company is headquartered in Minneapolis, Singapore, and Brussels. For more information, visit www.carlsonrezidor.com and follow on Twitter @carlsonrezidor.About IDeaS With more than 1 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(r) and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,000 clients in 106 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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AccorHotels selects IDeaS to deliver advanced revenue strategy for its worldwide hotel network

IDeaS 15 June 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- AccorHotels Group and IDeaS Revenue Solutions have announced a partnership that will enable the AccorHotels Group's properties to rely on IDeaS' revenue optimization expertise. IDeaS, the leading provider of automated revenue management capabilities, is one of the most trusted hospitality technology solution providers in the world, working with more than 9,000 properties.With IDeaS, each AccorHotels property will be able to intelligently price rooms through the use of advanced SAS(r) analytics and the IDeaS suite of user-friendly, cloud-based technology.By integrating thousands of hotel and external market data points into its analytics engine, the IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) platform automatically evaluates demand fluctuations and competitive changes to deploy optimal pricing and inventory control decisions. It also offers comprehensive interactive dashboards and reporting tools to help hotels achieve maximum profitability."Partnering with AccorHotels exemplifies IDeaS' robust capabilities and our ability to drive better revenue for budget hotels, luxury brands and everything in between," said Sanjay Nagalia, chief operating officer for IDeaS. "We are excited to show AccorHotels the impact our automated revenue management technology can have at each hotel and to the business as a whole."AccorHotels' 20 hotel brands will have the option to implement IDeaS' advanced revenue management solutions, which include IDeaS G3 RMS, IDeaS Function Space Revenue Management and other related solutions."IDeaS' range of affordable solutions and capabilities for all our hotels is what attracted us toward this partnership, and we are confident the resulting implementations will help our investors enjoy the highest possible returns on their investments," said Fabrice Otano, chief data officer for AccorHotels. "The SAS analytics behind IDeaS G3 RMS bring a superior dimension to the relationship, and we are eager to see how their proven analytics can optimize pricing and bottom-line revenue."Tweet this news: Hospitality news: @IDeaS_RevOpt now available for 4k+ AccorHotels properties to offer advanced #RevenueManagement http://ideas.com/about/news/About AccorHotels The AccorHotels Group is a global leader in travel and lifestyle and a pioneer in digital technology, offering unique experiences in more than 4,100 hotels, resorts and residences, and in more than 3,000 outstanding private residences worldwide. With its dual expertise as an investor and operator, through its HotelInvest and HotelServices divisions, AccorHotels operates in 95 countries. Its portfolio includes internationally renowned luxury brands such as Raffles, Sofitel Legend, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, Fairmont, onefinestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman and Swissotel, the mid-range boutique hotel brands 25hours, Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio, and very popular budget brands such as JO&JOE, ibis, ibis Styles or ibis budget, as well as the regional brands Grand Mercure, The Sebel and hotelF1. AccorHotels provides innovative services to travelers, throughout their entire journey, notably through the recent acquisition of John Paul, the leading concierge service worldwide.Boasting an unrivalled range of brands and a rich history dating back some five decades, AccorHotels has a global team of more than 240,000 committed women and men investing all their energy into making "Feel Welcome" resonate as the finest hotel promise. Guests have access to one of the world's most attractive hotel loyalty programs - Le Club AccorHotels.AccorHotels plays an active role in the local communities where it operates and is actively involved in promoting sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21, a comprehensive program bringing together employees, clients and partners in order to ensure sustainable growth.Accor SA shares are listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (ISIN: FR0000120404) and traded in the United States on the OTC market (Ticker: ACRFY).For further information or to make a reservation, please visit accorhotels.group or accorhotels.com or join and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.About IDeaS With more than 1 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(r) and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,000 clients in 106 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 powers advanced pricing strategy at HOTEL DU PONT

IDeaS 9 June 2017
MINNEAPOLIS - IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, today announced its partnership with leading U.S. hotel management company, PM Hotel Group.PM Hotel Group recently assumed management of the historic 217 room HOTEL DU PONT in Wilmington, Delaware, and quickly identified IDeaS' powerful, cloud-based solution as the ideal revenue fit for this independent property. HOTEL DU PONT will implement IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) to take full advantage of the most flexible and powerful approach to pricing and inventory control by room class and length of stay, generating maximum overall revenue.IDeaS' Continuous Pricing, as part of IDeaS' unique multiple pricing approach, was a key contributing factor in the decision-making process, providing HOTEL DU PONT a competitive advantage in the market by analytically optimizing pricing without rate tiers. "The hotel already stood strongly in their market by utilizing a reliable approach to revenue management. Our objective was to take HOTEL DU PONT to the next level by identifying its revenue potential if we implemented an automated revenue system," explained Leticia Proctor, senior vice president of sales, revenue management and digital strategies at PM Hotel Group."At PM Hotel Group, we have a lot of experience in branded properties; however, we are very excited to expand our portfolio in the independent hotel space with a proven revenue strategy solution provider. We are excited about the benefits of IDeaS' advanced technology, such as Demand360(r) integration and 'What-if' analysis tool to help yield desired results," added Proctor."HOTEL DU PONT is an iconic hotel in a high demand area of Delaware, and they were looking for a partner with a rich revenue background," noted Jane Stampe, area managing director at IDeaS. "Our technology provides HOTEL DU PONT with analytical, innovative and flexible decisions--all critical elements for accelerating their revenue strategy and supporting their identity in the market."HOTEL DU PONT is one of the most acclaimed luxury hotels in the world, and it defines hospitality in the state of Delaware. A recipient of both the AAA Four-Diamond and the Forbes Four-Star Awards for their renowned Green Room, the hotel is lauded for their lavish design elements, such as fumed oak paneling, coffered oak-beamed ceilings, gold chandeliers, richly textured draperies, Italian mosaics and original oil paintings.About PM Hotel GroupPM Hotel Group was once again named a Top 20 Third-Party Hotel Management Company by Hotel Business magazine in 2017. This award-winning organization operates full-service and select-service hotels in the Hilton, Marriott, and IHG systems as well as internationally notable independent hotels. Celebrating its 20-year anniversary in 2016, PM Hotel Group provides expert leadership in all aspects of hotel operations, including development, technical services, marketing, accounting, and pre-opening. The company manages more than 40 hotel and development projects, comprised of more than 9,000 rooms, throughout the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., PM Hotel Group has participated in the development and acquisition/renovation of dozens of hotels with a market capitalization in excess of $1.5 billion. PM Hotel Group is an approved management company for all leading hotel brands. Additional information about the company may be found at www.pmhotelgroup.com.About IDeaS With more than 1 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(r) and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,000 clients in 106 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 empowers global hoteliers to maximize profitability at 2017 HITEC and ROC

IDeaS 8 June 2017
Tweet this: Join @IDeaS_RevOpt at #HITEC & #HSMAI ROC to experience what #ChannelPerformance strategies can do for your business www.ideas.com/about/newsMaximizing profitability and revenue in light of today's tough competition will be a key topic for hoteliers at this year's co-located HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) and HITEC hospitality technology events, June 26-29 in Toronto.IDeaS Revenue Solutions (booth 1212 at HITEC) will showcase its latest revenue management solutions to help hoteliers confidently forecast, price and manage for improved revenue. By addressing Channel Performance - the concept of measuring business outcomes across a complex multi-channel booking landscape - IDeaS helps hoteliers optimize pricing and marketing across all channels, and boost revenue and profitability.At IDeaS' HITEC booth, attendees can learn about the benefits of marketing and revenue management roles working more closely together, and how today's revenue management tools shed light on operational data and areas of improvement. In addition, the company will unveil its enhanced IDeaS Business Insights Dashboard to North American customers, a sophisticated, yet easy-to-navigate tool giving revenue managers and marketers unprecedented visibility into channel and source data. The Dashboard supports better decision making for total profitability and understanding of a hotel's overall business performance.Click here to arrange a demo at the booth or schedule a time to meet.ROC Lightning Round Presentation - Wednesday, June 28th from 5:15 to 6:00 P.M. Metro Toronto Convention Center North BuildingIn a fast-paced presentation at the ROC conference, IDeaS will dive further into the topic of aligning marketing and revenue management roles in its session titled "Marketers Are from Mars, Revenue Managers Are from Venus." IDeaS, along with one of its seasoned client executives, will give attendees tips on how to build bridges between these two key departments in order to provide greater visibility into revenue generation activities. They'll also discuss how creating a cohesive marketing and revenue management strategy can drive direct business and higher profitability.About IDeaS With more than 1 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(r) and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 9,000 clients in 106 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.
Article by Paul van Meerendonk

Creating a Revenue Strategy as Unique as Your Portfolio

IDeaS 1 June 2017
Hotels set themselves apart competitively by offering distinctive room types and lush amenities, dog-friendly atmospheres, Zen lifestyle packages with yoga mats and serene spaces, and gluten-free and vegan-friendly menus. These are available options guests can choose from to help minimize the disruptions caused by traveling. And when you look at innovation in the technology space, it takes guest options and competitive opportunities for hotels even further. Mobile apps, keyless entry software, digital newspapers and room service robots have become all the rage in recent years-and they are all geared to ultimately influence the guest's choice to book with the brand family.In fact, choice is even one of the cardinal themes embedded in nearly every brand ethos. A quick look around the Internet and words like "unique," "memorable," "diverse," and "curated collection" are frequently used to describe any given portfolio of hotel brands. Company credos "No matter your travel style, there's a Sonesta to suit you" and "Brands to fit every lifestyle and occasion" from the likes of Sonesta and Hilton, respectively, further exemplifies just how much value hotel organizations place on appealing to every type of traveler. From high-touch luxury properties to low-touch limited service facilities to vacation timeshares, the choices are all there-and they fulfill virtually every possible guest need.All of these aforementioned guest options, incentives and choices are ultimate reflections of an overall brand strategy. However, choice shouldn't be a message embodied only within the vivid description of a brand promise, its contemporary lounges or the high-tech amenities and ultra-modern guestrooms. For organizations with a unique portfolio of hotel brands, choice also needs to be a primary theme that permeates into every one of their properties' revenue strategies-and it needs to be supported by advanced revenue technology.Here are some considerations for how hotel organizations can identify the ideal revenue technology for executing a cohesive, profitable and productive revenue strategy across their entire portfolio.It Starts With Choosing the Right TechnologyThe first step in developing a unique revenue strategy that supports the needs of an entire portfolio is identifying the flexible technology capable of doing so. While many brands are recognized for their consistent brand standards and unique business vibes, every property-regardless of its branding-will have its own market environment and guests that differentiate it from its sister properties. For many hotel organizations around the world, selecting the right technology for one single property can be a significant undertaking. So when it comes to choosing the best technology for multiple hotels in different markets with different needs and different guests, it can become nothing short of a daunting and pedantic business decision. The importance of selecting the right technology for a portfolio of hotels has such far-reaching impacts, in fact, that Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson recently cited it as potentially the biggest risk in their industry merger with Starwood.But what exactly makes this first step just so complex? Well, for starters, hotel organizations need advanced revenue technology that adapts to a broad range of markets, brand categories and guest personas to meet the different demands within their wide portfolio. Differences in market environments and brands means there are also differences in property technology requirements, hotel pricing and inventory strategies and staff. It is essential that hotel organizations evaluate any impacts of technology, whether nuanced or grossly significant, when looking for their ideal technological fit.Thinking through existing technology requirements, it's critical to evaluate how revenue technology can integrate with current systems. If hotel technologies can't seamlessly integrate together, it often results in eventual financial implications down the line, which may require upgrading or changing technology. It's important that organizations select technology that communicates well with a variety of their other hotel systems, such as a PMS, CRS or channel manager. This is not only a critical component for sharing and communicating data back and forth between software, but it also significantly improves overall hotel productivity by reducing manual procedures and human errors.There are also analytical aspects that help hotel organizations drive a unique and profitable revenue strategy. Some of these considerations include high-performance forecasting capabilities; granular data and decisions that can be broken out by different departments, segments, room types, day parts and rate codes for multiple hotels; predictive analytical tools for understanding how changes impact their revenue strategy; advanced pricing and inventory controls that maximize revenue opportunities; and emerging data sources such as reputation, competitive performance, rate shopping and value of demand that are integrated into unique decision outputs for each hotel within every portfolio. All of these different aspects lend themselves to the choices hoteliers have when evaluating their potential for analytical capabilities.It Layers in Strategic Pricing & Industry DataProfitable hotel pricing is a passionate topic of conversation for hoteliers at all levels of the organization, and when it comes to finding the right strategy for multiple hotels, there are different strategies for how hotels can effectively use rate to increase profits. This is important to remember when selecting technology for an entire portfolio because a one-size-fits-all pricing approach won't be the optimal option for every property in the portfolio. This is a large reason why revenue technology needs to offer hotels different pricing and inventory strategies. Here are some considerations hotels use to establish their ideal pricing strategy, and why the right technology needs accommodate all of these unique facets:What are guests looking for at each hotel brand and in each market? Is there a specific type of rate that guests prefer? Some regions or audiences may be used to a certain pricing processes and changing it may cause dissatisfaction or lost clientele. For example, some guests like knowing how their stay breaks down in cost by each day. In this case, technology that can determine and automate daily pricing strategies would be an ideal choice. Other guests in other markets or hotel brands could largely prefer the simplicity provided by one rate for their entire stay. In these cases, technologies that deploy length-of-stay pricing strategies would be the best fit.There are alternative considerations that also identify the need for different portfolio pricing options. For example, a hotel with airport transient guests averaging one-night stays is often a better fit for daily pricing strategies. Luxury destination hotels, on the other hand, often see longer lengths of stay. As a result, a flexible or length-of-stay pricing strategy would be a better fit for them.If an organization's revenue technology can't accommodate all of the different pricing needs for their hotel segments, they might be forced to have different technology for different hotels, or use a one-size-fits-all pricing strategy that doesn't drive optimal profits.Industry data also gives hotels a tremendous opportunity to refine and customize their revenue strategy for their brands and respective markets. Most hotels have some type of technology that tracks basic shopper activity on their website; however, it's been fairly limited when forecasting demand. This is where the availability of travel intent data - and its strategic implementation - has become a critical focus point for developing unique revenue strategies. This market intelligence gives hotels personal and human-focused insights, such as shoppers' ages and hobbies, so they can market strategically with better ad placements, customized experience packages and personalized offers.To efficiently use this new data, hotels are incorporating the practice of 'futurecasting,' which encourages them to analyze how and why outcomes occurred. It fuses traditional revenue management data with demand intelligence for better insight into what drives people to book, and what their ideal price is in every selling channel. Using this powerful data in this kind of strategic fashion allows hotels to offer more attractive and personalized choices for their guests.It Depends on Having the Right People & ProcessesHaving the ideal revenue technology, pricing approach and industry data are no doubt critical pieces of a profitable revenue strategy, but they all rely on having the right people in place to support and oversee the execution. Organizations also have to choose who's going to implement their revenue strategies-an onsite revenue manager at each property, a cluster manager overseeing multiple hotels, or perhaps even an outsourced team of revenue professionals that can take over the heavy lifting.Thoroughly planning for potential changes in technology or revenue strategy requires a comprehensive development plan. Hoteliers can begin this process by focusing on improving their data collection, as well as planning and implementing better business practices. To execute effective revenue strategies for every hotel within their portfolio, organizations could also consider whether they need to add new leaders, redesign job roles and responsibilities, or develop higher standards of skills and capabilities.When it comes to the embodiment of choice throughout organizational branding and culture, hotels all around the world are leading the charge and they're not going to be usurped from that throne any time soon. And when it comes to developing a unique revenue strategy to support an entire hotel portfolio, having different choices for technological capabilities, pricing approaches and organizational structures is another prevailing theme that continues to reign king.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com
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Scandic Hotels Introduces IDeaS G3 RMS Across its Estate of European Hotels

IDeaS 27 April 2017
STOCKHOLM -- IDeaS Revenue Solutions is pleased to announce it has expanded its long-standing partnership with Scandic Hotels with the planned implementation of IDeaS flagship G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) across its estate of more than 200 properties.IDeaS' technology will help Scandic futurecast demand for more than 40,000 rooms across seven European countries, creating tangible business results with advanced revenue management tools and expert resources."The hospitality sector is becoming increasingly sophisticated, so it's important we invest in technology like IDeaS that delivers a competitive advantage and business results. Maximising revenue remains one of our key strategies to drive growth and deliver even better shareholder returns," said Jan Lundborg, Vice President of Revenue Management and Distribution for Scandic Hotels. "Using IDeaS G3 RMS allows us to leverage its sophisticated futurecasting analytics, interactive dashboards and reporting tools to capture and analyse transactional data - and we can use those insights to make informed decisions for the future."Powered by advanced SAS(r) Analytics and IDeaS' nearly three decades of industry innovation, Scandic Hotels' entire portfolio will utilise IDeaS automated revenue management tools to make more strategic decisions for its properties. IDeaS G3 RMS offers the industry's most comprehensive pricing and inventory decisions, intuitive dashboards and reporting tools that deliver maximum revenue and occupancy impacts."Our partnership with Scandic exemplifies IDeaS' commitment to revenue management excellence and innovation, and we are eager to see how our premier revenue management system will drive their business forward," said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS. "Hoteliers today are faced with a multitude of business challenges, and we believe our tools and industry expertise will serve up the actionable insights hotels need to make fully informed business decisions with confidence."Tweet: @IDeaS_RevOpt partners with @ScandicGlobal to implement #RevenueManagement tool in over 200 hotels across Europe http://ideas.com/about/news/ About Scandic HotelsScandic is the largest hotel company in the Nordic region with 14,400 team members and a network of close to 230 hotels with about 44,000 hotel rooms in operation and under development. Alongside hotels in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, the company also has a presence northern Europe, with hotels in Belgium, Germany and Poland.Scandic has annual sales of SEK 13.1bn and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm in 2015. For more information, visit www.scandichotelsgroup.com.
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IDeaS helps hoteliers further optimise group, meetings and events revenue through Smart Space acquisition

IDeaS 29 March 2017
Tweet this: #RevenueManagement news: @IDeaS_RevOpt acquires @SmartSpaceStrat to bridge RM and meeting and event sales roles www.ideas.com/about/newsOn March 3, 2017, IDeaS Revenue Solutions acquired the business assets of Smart Space Strategy Limited. Smart Space pioneered a cloud-based, visual strategy management solution that helps companies analyse the business trends and performance of meeting and event space within hotels and conference centre venues.By combining Smart Space with IDeaS' suite of hotel revenue management solutions, IDeaS will continue to bridge the roles of revenue management and function space sales and marketing, signaling the growing need for technology solution providers to equip hotels with a more holistic approach to a combined sales and revenue management strategy."By combining our revenue management expertise with a function space sales and strategy-focused application like Smart Space, we can help our clients sell, market and manage meeting spaces with more precision and detail than ever before," said Sanjay Nagalia, chief operating officer for IDeaS. "This acquisition represents an incredible opportunity to blend traditionally siloed roles and will help integrate revenue management into the events business. We're thrilled to welcome the Smart Space family to IDeaS."Function Space Revenue OpportunitiesGlobal spending on meetings and events continues to rise, and the need for hotel and event managers to understand the impact of group business is critical. Smart Space creates a firm connection between revenue managers and event sales managers by providing visibility into meeting and event demand in a powerful web-based tool. It seamlessly pulls data from other sales tools to strategically manage meetings and event functions, allowing hoteliers to collaborate and create ideal pricing scenarios for group business.Additional InformationHeadquartered in London, Smart Space was founded in 2015 and presently all current team members will transition to IDeaS. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. All existing Smart Space client agreements will transition to IDeaS and be honoured under their current terms and conditions.Click here for more information about Smart Space.
Article by Paul van Meerendonk

Big Data for Big Pay-Off

IDeaS 20 March 2017
But while big data might be heralded as the core of intelligent decision-making, using it effectively can prove to be daunting task for many hotels - especially for those looking to use industry data to develop new revenue management strategies, such as an increasingly essential need for hotels to strengthen their channel performance capabilities. Channel performance refers to the management of channels or sources of business to achieve optimal revenue and maximum profitability for a hotel. However, when it comes to using industry data and revenue technology for sustainable channel execution, management and results, hotels need to not only prioritize the right types of data, but use it effectively to track and manage their costs and thoroughly understand their guests.Prioritizing the Right DataAs hotels explore different types of data for their revenue management strategy, they need to take into account the degree of uncertainty the data brings since a high degree of uncertainty can create a risk for substandard revenue decisions and strategies. This is why identifying the right types of smart data is a critical first step for every hotel.At the highest level, analytical revenue management technology is traditionally comprised from a combination of four data set types, with each set contributing to very distinctive outputs. To better understand the importance of each data set type - and how each one helps drive revenue results for hotels - the following is a brief breakdown of the four types of data sets: descriptive data, diagnostic data, predictive data and prescriptive data.Hotels have been using descriptive data in their basic hotel technology to achieve their business goals for many decades. Descriptive analytics utilize data similar to standard hotel reporting, and large volumes of this data are used to give hotels a view of what happened in the past. These descriptive analytics allow hoteliers to make informed decisions about the future based on data that details what has already happened. Descriptive data falls into a category classified as "hindsight," which is data that provides hotels with the ability to interpret their historical performance.Hotel technology also uses diagnostic data to measure hotel performance relative to its market by aggregating historical data to understand why an outcome occurred. Diagnostic analytics look at historical data from multiple sources, aggregating it to make assumptions for the market as a whole. These types of analytics can also be used by hotels to help benchmark their property performance against their competition, as commonly illustrated through the likes of STR reporting. Similar to descriptive data, diagnostic data also falls within the hindsight category since it uses performance data that helps hotels understand the reasons behind their past performance.The majority of today's revenue management solutions utilize predictive data, which provides hotels with well-informed occupancy and revenue forecasts. These forecasts are typically used to help hotels establish their ideal pricing and inventory control strategies. As hotels gain insights into future outcomes, they can accurately manage price and inventory to achieve an ideal mix of business. However, as predictive analytics are derived from forecast models based on historical records, there can be challenges forecasting time frames with brand new market conditions or events. Predictive data falls into the "foresight" category, as its data forecasts future outcomes to identify revenue opportunities for a hotel.In more recent years, prescriptive data has stepped into an integral analytical role for today's hotels. Prescriptive analytics not only leverage historical data points, but future data that allow hotels to go beyond conventional hotel forecasting practices. Through the use of advanced market intelligence, prescriptive analytics are able to understand optimal outcomes and the strategic decisions needed to achieve them.Today's advanced revenue management solutions provide these analytics - and they give hotels deeper levels of insight into market positioning, channel profitability and guest personas. When this data is combined with powerful revenue strategy controls, it delivers highly accurate pricing and inventory control decisions by room type and multiple lengths of stays. It also allows for more insightful marketing campaigns and promotions that can be monitored in real-time to maximize direct business and profitability.Prescriptive analytics move hotels beyond foresight into the "insight" area of analytical capabilities. Market intelligence data provides hotels with deeper views of their data to maximize the most amount of revenue possible, while the automation of today's technology continuously optimizes decisions and outputs, leaving hotels with little room for human errors and missed rate opportunities.As big data continues its reign as one of hospitality's most prevalent revenue management themes, it has become paramount hotels focus less on the 'big' narrative, and more on the application of 'smart' data. With large amounts of disparate data available today, hotels need to prioritize the data that provides them with meaningful insight and action. Leveraging forward-looking demand intelligence with historical and internal data sources will help create an analytical engine that provides a hotel with insightful strategies that deliver optimal revenue results and maximum profitability.Organizing and Understanding DataOrganizing and understanding data is essential to effectively using it to help drive the decision-making process. This is also true when it comes to channel performance, in particular as it relates to channel costs.To accurately track costs, it is critical that effective best practices and standards are structured around the proper use of business coding and data collection. This ensures the available data is both accurate and suitable for digging into new channel performance opportunities. As an example, source and channel fields within reservation systems are extremely vital to helping hotels understand where their business is coming from, so they may, in turn, track the costs of each reservation. Practices that ensure these field types are well-defined and reliably assigned to reservations allow hotel properties to successfully monitor and evaluate their channel metrics.The other element that is critical in this process is identifying the true cost of each reservation. This may be a relatively simple exercise for an online travel agency reservation that carries a fixed charge, but the depth and breadth of charges related to a reservation are often more complex than that. Considerations must be made for all costs involved in a reservation - this may include such items as variable commissions, labor costs, sales spend, loyalty program charges and a plethora of others. Ensuring that these elements are understood, organized and tracked correctly is essential.Once data is organized and understood, hotels can look to advanced revenue technology and services to close the revenue gaps on better channel performance. The availability of insightful channel reports and dashboards that revenue technology provides give hoteliers swathes of opportunities to analyze acquisition costs and channel revenues at deeper and more customized levels. As more hotels start tracking their channel costs more closely, they'll have the ability to monitor their production into the future, which allows them to make any necessary adjustments to their strategy before it is too late. This will result in more visibility into profit-focused key performance metrics, such as net RevPAR and net ADR, which support hotels in delivering a channel performance strategy that maximizes their bottom line.Optimizing Performance Through Market IntelligenceWhen applying big data in practice, hotel revenue management strategies have historically focused more on its mathematical side by looking at traditional data sources (such as economic factors and historical results) to anticipate market demand. Hotels rely heavily on these data sources and their performance-based numbers to identify the basics of a profitable business strategy. However, exponentially more hotels are seeing untapped wells of opportunity to drill deeper into their data to extract and analyze behavior-based facets and thoroughly understand their guests.Strategic revenue management is beginning to rely heavily on prescriptive analytics to build upon traditional forecasting practices and look beyond numbers to better understand how and why a particular outcome occurred. Across the industry, this shift in strategy is largely considered to be a fusion of both revenue management and marketing strategies. Combining these two functions allow hotels to identify the factors attracting and driving potential guests to book directly with the hotel, as well as helps determine the ideal price to bring in the most revenue at the lowest costs. The use of this market intelligence data supports hotels as they plan intelligently and make more profitable decisions for their organization.Hotels typically have access to technology that tracks basic shopper activity on their website; however, it has been mostly limited to high-level booking data and lost business data for only their brand website. While this type of market intelligence data allows hotels to view searched date ranges, page activity, and room types or packages shoppers expressed interested in, online shoppers have still remained largely mysterious. This is where the availability of travel intent data - and its strategic implementation - has become critical for developing a hotel's revenue strategy.Travel intent data uses search and booking data from third-party booking sites and OTAs to help quantify the demand a hotel can expect for future dates. This advanced and predictive demand intelligence provides hotels with human-focused insights that allow them to market strategically with specific ad placements and personalized offers that pull in more direct bookings. Taking the insights from travel intent data, and layering it into the traditional data sources used in forecasting, provides hotels with one of the most lucrative opportunities to predict which guests are most likely to book and deploy a tailored marketing strategy that targets them.Big data won't be sitting on the revenue management sidelines any time soon, and hotels can continue to expect new and evolving technology that will help them make the best - and most profitable - use of it. When looking to uncover even more revenue opportunities, today's hoteliers are turning to the implementation of strong channel performance initiatives that further strengthen and execute their most powerful and profitable revenue strategy.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com
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IDeaS promotes "futurecasting" at ITB Berlin

IDeaS 8 March 2017
Tweet this: Changing the #revenueoptimization game at @ITB_Berlin. Come #futurecast with @IDeaS_RevOpt booth 110 http://ideas.com/about/news/To optimize revenue, hoteliers must have access to data from a multitude of booking channels and the tools needed to predict traveler behavior, all while relying on easy-to-use dashboards that provide actionable insights. At ITB Berlin, the leading global travel event, IDeaS Revenue Solutions (Hall 8.1, booth 110) will demonstrate solutions that address these, and other complex hotel business opportunities.With a focus on channel performance (the management of booking channel and source costs to achieve optimal profitability) IDeaS will show hoteliers how to tap into powerful market intelligence data streams to create optimal pricing and inventory management scenarios by room type - based on both hotel data and forward-looking market data.The ability to leverage a wide range of travel intent data comes on the heels of IDeaS' recent partnership with nSight Travel Intelligence, allowing hoteliers to "futurecast" inventory demand based on a rich set of data points never before available on a single technology platform.At ITB Berlin, IDeaS will also unveil its enhanced IDeaS Business Insights Dashboard, with new functionality within IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System. The Business Insights Dashboard gives revenue managers unprecedented visibility into channel and source data as well as room revenue acquisition costs, net revenue, net ADR and net RevPAR, compared to the same time period from the previous year. This information - delivered in an easy-to-use graphical dashboard - supports better decision making for total profit optimization across the entire hotel organization.ITB Panel Session To hear directly from experts on futurecasting and optimizing channel performance, ITB visitors can attend the session "A Winning Combination: Travel Data Insights from Industry Innovators" led by Mike Chuma, vice president, product strategy for IDeaS and featuring Clay Jackson for nSight, Shayne Paddock for TravelClick, and Maarten Plesman for Revinate. The panel will discuss how analytics fueled by data can deliver automated revenue strategies, personalized pricing, improved guest experiences and higher ROI on digital marketing efforts, all leading to optimal profitability.Session details:eTravel Lab Day 1Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 11.30 - 12.00 Hall 7.1c, eTravel LabAbout IDeaS With more than one 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(r) and more than 27 years of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 8,700 clients in 106 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers more insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers its clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures--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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nSight for IDeaS Helps Hoteliers Drive More Profitable Bookings by Tapping Forward-Looking Travel Intent Data

IDeaS 15 February 2017
MINNEAPOLIS -- When it comes to forecasting hotel booking behaviors in order to maximize revenue strategy, more data is better than less.That's why IDeaS Revenue Solutions and nSight Travel Intelligence have teamed up to offer hoteliers a new experience in revenue management that allows managers to "futurecast" inventory demand based on a rich set of data points never before available on a single technology platform.With access to both nSight's predictive consumer shopping intelligence data and IDeaS' advanced revenue management solutions, hoteliers can now have exclusive access to the most advanced demand-intelligence solution on the market to increase bookings and drive better revenue.Hoteliers have previously been limited to high-level booking data and lost business data for only brand.com when building demand forecasts. With nSight for IDeaS, hoteliers now have access to aggregated data from more than five thousand online travel sites, giving them much deeper and more cohesive insights on consumer behavior across all relevant online and offline booking channels."The ability to integrate never-before-accessible information - such as relationships between intent to book and pricing - will elevate a hotel's demand forecast and ultimately its revenue opportunities," said Sanjay Nagalia, chief operating officer for IDeaS. "Our partnership with nSight is the first solution to truly bridge two profit-focused functions. By bringing revenue management and marketing closer together, we're giving our clients an exclusive advantage over the competition."Rich, Real-Time Data Drives Revenue nSight for IDeaS goes beyond traditional data sources like brand.com regrets and denials data. Instead it utilizes real-time, relevant and forward-looking demand intelligence from online travel agents and travel websites to provide powerful data that can be used to more accurately apply profit-generating pricing strategies."The sheer amount of data available can be overwhelming and 'big data' has become code for 'lots of work'. We are changing all that with nSight for IDeaS," said Rich Maradik, founder and CEO for nSight. "The simplicity in which hoteliers can now access and leverage large volumes of data is something the market has never seen before. By combining data from the hotel's RMS with predictive data, and offering it through an intuitive dashboard, we help revenue and marketing teams simplify and focus on proven revenue-generating priorities."The information hotels can leverage using nSight for IDeaS can offer a distinct competitive advantage for pricing rooms, personalizing marketing efforts and aligning the overall consumer experience across channels. It effectively narrows the disconnect between revenue management and marketing teams by delivering insights relevant to both functions.nSight for IDeaS enables the two disciplines to collaborate with confidence, more accurately understand guests, and better target and track marketing campaigns. These well-aligned goals, in turn, allow hotels to maximize direct bookings and drive profitability.Free Trial for Hoteliers Existing IDeaS clients can sign up for a "no-charge, no-obligation" subscription of the solution beginning February 2017. This offer includes the full functionality of the nSight for IDeaS solution allowing hotels to use actual data and drive meaningful action immediately. For more information, go to www.ideas.com/nSight.About nSightnSight combines the world's largest view of consumer shopping data with predictive marketing and revenue management solutions to deliver more guests to your hotel and visitors to your destination. Only nSight aggregates more than 85 million travel consumer shops and bookings daily across over 5,000 third-party travel websites. Understanding consumer shopping behavior, rate impact and future market demand enables better marketing and revenue management decisions. Follow nSight on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more information, visit www.nsightfortravel.com.Tweet this: #RevenueManagement meets futurecasting to maximize bookings with new @IDeaS_RevOpt and @nSightforTravel integration http://ideas.com/about/news/About IDeaS With more than one 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 more than 25 years of experience, IDeaS proudly supports more than 7,000 clients in 94 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers more insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers its clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures--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.
Article by Paul Van Meerendonk

Driving Maximum Profit Through More Direct Bookings

IDeaS 7 February 2017
In today's ultra-competitive hotel environment, every dollar counts. Any competitive edge that translates into a stronger bottom line is sought out, and every piece of hotel business is evaluated to determine its true worth. With rising costs associated with acquiring new guests through third-party platforms, hotels are rightly considering their most effective booking channels and looking to maximize business from owned assets like their own website.Guest Acquisition in a Digital AgeToday's costs for acquiring guests are significant: OTAs charge between 15-25 percent commission for every booking they secure, with hotels also paying hefty transaction fees to their selling systems if the reservation is received through them. These third-party costs influence the amount of revenue hotels are able to secure from each guest - ultimately impacting a property's bottom line.While there are significant challenges in securing guests for the ideal price, at the ideal time, through the ideal booking channel today; hoteliers that effectively market themselves to potential guests, practice advanced search engine optimization strategies, and offer guests a unique value can greatly reduce their cost of acquiring guests.Hoteliers currently using OTAs to secure bookings should also consider ways to use those platforms to better support their future business. To increase both business and return business, savvy hoteliers are letting their OTAs handle the initial capturing of guests, and then implement strategies and incentives that ensure those guests book future reservations directly with their hotel - eliminating ongoing third-party booking expenses.Despite a high reliance on OTAs, the most cost-effective online booking channel for a hotel remains its own website. How can hoteliers maximize direct bookings through their website? The first step is increasing website traffic from potential guests and attracting more 'lookers.' To do this, hotels need to understand where, when and who those 'lookers' are. What dates are they searching for, where do they search and what is driving them to a particular market? Collecting this market intelligence provides data that can be used to develop targeted marketing strategies that attract the right type of 'lookers,' the ones most likely to become 'bookers.'Hoteliers can also increase direct bookings by re-targeting past visitors and directing them to their website. When researching a location, potential guests may visit a variety of travel websites and OTAs before deciding where to stay. Hotels need to keep their property on the top of the consumer's mind and influence guests to book on the hotel's website. Technology that offers tailored adverts customized around visitor behavior or website activity can help hotels achieve an estimated 10 percent return rate on website visits - increasing direct booking opportunities.Capturing Direct Business Through Effective Website DesignWith so much competition today, driving direct business and better revenue is a priority for all hoteliers. A greater share of the hotel budget is being allocated to attract qualified website traffic; however, what if the website's architecture and content is preventing - rather than enabling - the booking process? If a website's booking process is not seamless and secure, guests will book elsewhere. That means all the work that went into attracting a guest led to providing someone else a commission for that booking.With marketing funds focused on driving qualified traffic to the hotel website, the website architecture should deliver an enhanced customer experience with user-friendly features that enable easy navigation and booking, and offer a variety of payment options. The hotel website should be informative and assure guests of the level of service they can expect. It is also important the website can be viewed in multiple languages to cater to guests traveling from around the world. To help facilitate the booking process, content is key.To increase direct booking opportunities, website content should not only attract, but also keep visitors on the website. Hotels should incorporate user-generated content from social media sites, such as user ratings and reviews, to assure guests of the credibility and service standard of the hotel. Including online reviews as a component of website content can keep guests from leaving the website, making this is a critical opportunity for hotels since over half of online bookers search online reviews before making reservations.Since call centers are used less frequently by potential guests, many hotels have also neglected phone number placement for reservations on their website. With the advent of push-to-talk capabilities through mobile browsers, today's consumers are often looking to ask specific questions before booking. Hiding or removing phone numbers, or sending them to automated recordings, can quickly cause a hotel to lose out on a booking even though the guest may have had a straightforward query they wanted resolved prior to making a reservation.The rise in mobile device usage needs to be considered when attracting more direct bookings. Mobile phones and tablets are increasingly used for researching and last-minute bookings. A recent eMarketer survey showed that 65 percent of same-day hotel reservations are made via smartphones. Hoteliers looking to capture guest bookings from mobile devices (which are frequently used during 'micro-moments' such as traveling on public transportation, or searching for information while on the go) need to ensure their website is user-centric, responsive, compatible on mobile and tablet devices, and offers a positive visitor experience.Personalising the Guest ExperienceToday's hotel booking meta-sites and OTAs attract large volumes of traffic because they offer potential guests aggregated views of hotels in a particular destination. These sites make it easy to research potential accommodations by viewing and comparing locations, ratings, amenities and more. Ultimately, guests seek hotel experiences tailored around their unique needs, which is why they often visit a hotel's website for more information. However, if the hotel website isn't focused around the needs of the consumer (such as having more photos, videos and reviews than an OTA), they may quickly move onto another property.A hotel's website should be the best online representation of the property available on the internet. Hotels may not be able to compete with OTAs on the level of website traffic they generate, but they should beat them at enhancing the guest's online shopping experience.Throughout the research and purchase journey, hotels need personalize their website and differentiate their property to highlight what makes it unique. For example, most hotel rooms look similar, and while it is important for guests to know what the hotel rooms look like, hotels should focus heavier on other kinds of differentiators. These differentiators could be local experiences or their iconic rooftop pool, farm-to-table restaurant or intriguing history. Millennials, for example, may not be as brand loyal as previous generations, but they aren't driven solely by price either. They appreciate unique experiences they can share with their networks - and they are willing to pay more for it.Maximizing Direct Bookings With the Right PricingWhile it remains vital that hotels are using the right processes to attract online traffic (and their website seamlessly facilitates the booking process), if the rooms or services are priced incorrectly, hotels can still lose out on critical business. Guests will decline to book at properties perceived to be too costly or, adversely, hotels might be attracting guests at price points that leave revenue unclaimed. The practice of revenue management ensures that revenue opportunities are maximized from all booking channels, which includes a hotel's website.It can be a struggle for hotels to determine which pricing strategies deliver maximum revenue optimization. This can become an overly complex and time-consuming process, and something virtually impossible to do in a manual environment. Automation allows a revenue management system to send pricing and inventory decisions to other selling systems, such as property management or central reservations systems. One of its top benefits is that it binds together the hotel's revenue management strategy and its deployment - and its integration helps reduce human errors and inconsistencies. This also frees up valuable time for revenue managers to be more strategic since their automated revenue management technology is handling the heavy-lifting of executing a dynamic revenue strategy.Pricing Advances Hoteliers Need to ConsiderIt is important to understand the pricing strategies employed by competing properties in the market and the effect this has on forecasting and pricing. Hotels should look for revenue management technologies that incorporate competitor data into their demand, pricing and forecasting at the room-type level.Pricing by room type is an area of opportunity for nearly every hotel today. Understanding the demand by each room type enables hoteliers to make data-driven decisions on whether to oversell the base level rooms, or close them out and sell true to type (rather than forced upgrades at no charge). By individually calculating demand by room class, the pricing difference between each room class can be elastic - and drive significant revenue uplift when demand for higher room classes such as suites or club rooms is high. The traditional approach of adding a flat dollar amount onto the base room type rate often leaves significant revenue opportunities untouched.Driving Direct BusinessIt's no secret that driving direct business and better revenue is one of the top priorities facing all hoteliers. In an age of rising third-party guest acquisition costs, hotels are increasingly turning their attention to their most cost-effective online booking channel: their website. However, driving website traffic is not enough on its own; to maximize and achieve the most profitable revenue results, hotels need to not only attract the 'lookers,' but be successfully converting them into 'bookers.'
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IDeaS congratulates winners of 2016 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship

IDeaS 1 December 2016
Minneapolis, Minn. - IDeaS Revenue Solutions, a leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, today announced the 2016 IDeaS Cornell Management Scholarship winners. Offered in partnership with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship presents hospitality professionals with the opportunity to earn online certificates developed by senior Cornell faculty leaders.Currently celebrating its eighth year, the scholarship program fosters professional development in the field of revenue management around the world, with this year's recipients representing six countries and six different hotel organizations."IDeaS has been a pioneering force in bridging academia and business in the hospitality industry, and we are proud to help future revenue leaders across the globe strengthen their revenue management and strategic leadership skills," said Linda Hatfield, vice president of knowledge management for IDeaS. "By partnering with the highly revered hospitality program at Cornell University and promoting these valuable certifications, we're helping drive the industry forward."Winners of the 2016 IDeaS Cornell Scholarship include:Certificate in Strategic Leadership for the Hospitality ProfessionalMaria Carissa Agcaoili La'O, Business & Operations Development Manager, Oak Drive Hotels and Resorts, PhilippinesTrang Tran Huyen Pham, Research & Development Analyst, Jannah Hotels & Resorts, UAEShahla Jabrayilzadeh, Executive Assistant, Qafqaz Hotels and Resort Group Gilan, AzerbaijanCertificate in Advanced Hospitality Revenue Management: Pricing and Demand StrategiesSarah Anne Walsh, Front of House Manager, The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel London, United KingdomNomcebo Lucille Tembe, Cluster Revenue Manager, Hilton, South AfricaJakub Kovac, Revenue Manager, Pine Cliffs Resort, A Luxury Collection/Marriott/Starwood, Portugal"The IDeaS Cornell Strategic Leadership Scholarship means a strategic revolution in my company's performance as well as an invaluable opportunity for me to enhance my leadership competence in hospitality," said Pham. "I'm deeply thankful to IDeaS and Cornell University for educating and supporting aspiring talents in the industry.""IDeaS and Cornell have given me the ultimate opportunity to extend my revenue management knowledge at the world's best hospitality university," added Kovac. "This course will not only provide me with valuable insights but also confidence in my career progress."For more information on the program or to apply for future scholarships, visit http://ideas.com/about/scholarship.About the Cornell School of Hotel Administration The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit https://sha.cornell.edu.
Article by Jurgen Ortelee

6 Questions to Ask When Investing in a Revenue Management Solution

IDeaS 17 November 2016
Having worked intimately with revenue management solutions, implementations and training at many different hotel portfolios such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Shangri-La Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotels and PARKROYAL for nearly two decades, I've experienced the effects of successful implementation and change management practices within different organizational ranks of the hotel structure.And having worked diligently with various hotel owners and executive teams across the globe, I've routinely found myself in discussions around investing in revenue management technology and its tangible benefits to an entire hotel organization - be it single properties or large chains.Below are six of the top questions for hotel owners and executives to ask before they invest in a revenue management solution for their organization:1. How do I know if a revenue management solution will solve my business problems? Will there be a sufficient return on my investment?Before deciding a specific system for your hotel or organization, look for a revenue partner that will review your organization's situation with you to help you determine which solution actually solves your business needs. I have found that a revenue management partner that takes the time to understand your business is much more likely to provide you with a solution that yields a timely and strong 'Return on Investment.'Most companies will share the average ROI results their customers receive, but what sets certain providers apart are their abilities to leverage a large database of results from properties implementing revenue solutions similar to your business. This insight helps estimate the benefits and ROI for a prospective property or chain with a very high degree of accuracy. This ROI calculation is a critical component when you are making the decision to invest in a revenue management system - and it is important to understand how this number has been calculated. Realistically, owners see a 3.5-5.5% increase in their room revenue, with some hotels reporting improvements as high as 14%. It is important to determine if the expectations in revenue lift are incremental and truly a result of the technology, or if you stood to gain that lift already.2. Everyone talks about "revenue optimization." But what does it actually mean and why is it important when looking at a revenue management solution?Optimizing room revenue has two significant components: the price you charge for your guest rooms and your inventory management. These two components work hand-in-hand and cannot be viewed as independently-functioning aspects of any revenue management solution. A revenue management system that does not set price should be categorized as a yield management system; a system without inventory management should be categorized as a pricing system. Only solutions with both components are called revenue management systems and fully optimize your room revenues. It's important to recognize that solutions providing only one component or the other are giving you a partial revenue management solution.When evaluating available solutions, drill down into the detailed approach a prospective solution takes to optimizing price and inventory. For example, here are a few of the questions I regularly advise asking potential revenue technology partners:Does the solution address areas with untouched revenue potential, such as determining which room types to oversell and creating strategic upgrade paths?Does the solution manage revenue and inventory for all business segments at the hotel, such as which yieldable corporate accounts to accept, or which bookings to take for certain lengths of stay?Can the solution help determine if the hotel is giving away too much inventory to corporate LRA accounts or wholesale allotments?Can the system validate 'gut feelings' with predictive and 'what-if' analyses that measure the impacts of making pricing and inventory decisions?By asking these questions, you'll quickly see why managing only price or inventory alone will not provide you with the profitable results you stand to gain by a system that manages both.3. Why do I need a revenue management solution? My revenue manager can handle it fine.The current revenue and distribution environment is becoming exponentially more complex. The number of distribution channels are consistently increasing, and hotel inventory is widely available in ever more channels - especially electronic channels. Inventory and rates have to be updated in many places and this can take up a large part of your revenue team's working day. This leaves sparse time to think strategically and make effective decisions that drive revenue in the long term. A revenue solution that can make and implement tactical decisions will free up the time of your revenue manager tremendously - and allow them to focus on your organization's revenue strategy. By choosing a system that automatically distributes rates and inventory controls to your distribution environment, you have removed any concerns over the potential for lost revenue opportunities.4. What if my revenue manager has never handled a revenue management system? How does this impact my technology selection?By implementing a revenue management solution, your revenue manager's world will become more complicated. This is why selecting a revenue technology partner with an extensive support network is critical in your overall decision making process. In fact, your partner support process should be in place long before you even take the plunge in investing in a solution. The initial selection process will often reflect the type of client engagement and support you can expect to receive from your partner - giving you confidence you are choosing the best solution from the best provider. As part of your decision making process, evaluate how your revenue technology provider can support you and your team during and after the installation. This helps your revenue manager become more knowledgeable and comfortable with the system - and maximize system capabilities after its installation. Look closely for this partnership approach when evaluating your options.5. My hotel has lots of function space, and conference and meetings revenue is a large part of our revenues. How should I consider this when evaluating a revenue management system?Consider a solution that is scalable. Look for a system that can provide function space and group business forecasts and evaluations - and analyzes whether business should be accepted or rejected based on its profitability. Evaluations should consider group and function space requests against the business forecasted in your hotel and your function rooms. Investing in a system that optimizes both your function space and your hotel rooms ensures that you are optimizing your largest revenue streams with a well-aligned revenue strategy.6. What is all this talk about algorithms? How do I know the system is using the right analytics?Algorithms are the engine in revenue management systems. They determine the best price and inventory management outputs to optimize your revenues. The complexity of the algorithms determine the capabilities of the system: low complexity algorithms will provide descriptive analytics, such as various levels of business intelligence and reporting; more complex algorithms allow for predictive analytics, which is what most pricing and yield management systems use today. These algorithms allows hotels to forecast at a total hotel level, set a selling prices and, in some cases, manage inventory with length of stay and overbooking controls.However, only industry leading systems - using a large number of complex algorithms - can provide you with prescriptive analytics. These systems not only provide forecasts at detailed levels and pricing decisions by room type and different lengths of stays, but they will also provide an analysis of the impact of these decisions on your business. These sophisticated systems are 'self-learning,' meaning they always provide you with the level of detail needed to truly optimize your profits.

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