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PMS Primary Systems Integrations -What the Heart of Hotel Technology Needs to Connect With

StayNTouch Inc. 8 November 2017
A Property Management Systems (PMS) serves as the heart and soul of your hotel. As such, the PMS needs to connect to primary systems that are imperative to have in order to run hotel operations at the highest level and as efficiently as possible. StayNTouch, the leading innovator in mobile PMS technology for hotels and resorts today released an infographic detailing the intricate and complex ecosystem of systems that need to seamlessly exchange data in order to optimize hotel operations and support guest service.The first property management systems in the hospitality industry appeared on the market in the 1980s and was developed to automate essential functions of hotel operations. Today's PMS is an integral part of every aspect required to of run a profitable hotel, with most systems being enhanced via a landscape of integrations or interfaces with third-party applications. Many of these products are cloud-based and not handcuffed by antiquated technologies. Thanks to industry efforts including Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) and technologies such as cloud-based solutions there is promise for a more unified and cooperative future. Important systems that need to connect with a hotel PMS include:Sales & Catering SystemsCentral ReservationsPayment GatewaysPBX & Voice MailPOS SystemsCall Accounting SystemsCRM/ Marketing SoftwareElectronic Locking SystemsEnergy Management SystemsOTAs & Channel ManagersIn-Room Entertainment SystemsPayment GatewaysReputation Management SystemsLoyalty/Points ProgramsRevenue Management SystemsMini-bar SystemMobile Check in & Check outWi-Fi"There is a positive impact on the hotel world when technology providers can integrate with other systems using proprietary or Open APIs to assist hoteliers in cutting costs, driving revenue and delivering exceptional service," explains Jos Schaap, the company's CEO. "Getting the right mix of API program scenarios can push an enterprise toward innovation, enabling it to compete in a world of new expectations and compelling opportunities, speeding it on its way to digital transformation. Fundamentally, hoteliers need to look for systems that provide technological flexibility by using Open APIs, and ultimately, select systems that deliver on their promises."To get a complimentary copy of PMS Primary Systems Integrations Infographic CLICK HERE or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/PMSPrimarySystemsIntegration.html?utm_source=Hsyndicate_HSMAI_HospitalityNet.
Article by Jos Schaap

Interview: StayNTouch CEO on how our digital life has profoundly impacted our expectations of everything

StayNTouch Inc. 31 October 2017
What was the impetus for starting StayNTouch?JS: I was on a bike ride with my dad (who went cross country), and we stopped at a coffee shop in Lander, Wyoming (mid-2012). When we ordered our coffee, the Barista took the order on an iPad and then turned it around towards me for me to swipe my card and sign on the tablet. This was the first time I experienced this type of transaction done on an iPad. I was intrigued by the interaction between the barista and myself - the fulfilling part of the transaction. I asked the manager a few questions about the technology and application they were using. That night my son downloaded the app, set up the POS on his iPad, and walked me through how to order a burger - only at that point, the app asked us to subscribe and pay a monthly fee in order to use it.I was really impressed that in addition to the great customer/staff experience, the technology was also straightforward to use and setup. Even my 12-year-old son could set up a full restaurant POS on his iPad without any training. I thought this was amazing. Over the next ten days, while on the bike ride, I had a lot of time to think. The key to great hotel service is all about people, but often people are separated by a Front Desk. This barrier was making most requests, including check-in, and check out more of a transaction than a really personalized guest service experience. It is then that it occurred to me - if hotel staff could access the entire PMS on a tablet, they could better assist and engage with guests, as well as become much more efficient. Add to that, the ease of use associated with an iPad or tablet app, especially in hotels with high staff turnover, and it was something that was badly needed. That is what initially sparked the idea of developing the first cloud-based mobile hotel property management system with integrated guest self-service solutions.What market segments need to step up their game when it comes to implementing new and innovative hotel technologies?JS: I think in general all market segments can work towards upping their game as it relates to implementing new technologies - primarily if they are existing hotels. To me, there should be an increased focus for hotels to provide more self-service options. We can see from our database that over 66% of the guests in hotels who use all our self-service modules (mobile check-in, and self-service lobby check-in), opt to check in through a self-service solution.Where do you see AI being used within the hotel industry?JS: This is an interesting question. I am not sure how to answer that at this point. Can we use Artificial Intelligence to find guests in our system? Can we use it to have guests use Siri or Alexa to check themselves in? Maybe, but I think we first need to do a better job of collecting data on the guest, so we can optimize the latest technology to provide a better experience. Using this data to be more targeted, offer the early check-in, late checkout, or package extras at the right time for the right guest, these are things we can do a lot with, and they are things guests will appreciate even if they might need to pay more. Working towards putting the guest in control of their stay is as important if not more important than AI.How do you think hotels can truly give the guest what they want?JS: The digital transformation of our culture has changed our expectations about everything we encounter. Look at the way you interact with people, consume information, purchase goods and services, and so on. Everything is immediate and personalized. Entire industries such as retail, telecommunications, and media, have completely transformed in response. Unfortunately, the typical hotel experience looks very much like it did 20 years ago. That is why we have a vision for helping hotels to align their service model with our new, digital lives. To be competitive in today's marketplace, we believe you need to free yourself from traditional assumptions about hotel operations. Our vision is to bring mobility to hotel staff and guests to create a genuinely guest-centric experience that parallels with your guests' lives and makes your hotel business more successful.Guests want their own way of entering and leaving the hotel; they want to choose how they interact, and they want to be in control.What's next for StayNTouch?JS: We are in the middle of piloting our Rover Connect APIs, together with our largest customers. One customer is building a new mobile app for their hotels and wants to deliver fully integrated check-in and out experiences. Our APIs provide just that. Be on the lookout for our general release of Rover Connect in early 2018. We also have, on the way, our multi-property features. In short, we continue to work on being the right technology for today's hotels and their guests!

The Hotel Owners Playbook for Choosing the Right Technology Systems

StayNTouch Inc. 25 October 2017
There are many ways to make a bad hotel technology decision, but only a few ways to make a good one. To help you out with this process, StayNTouch has created a handbook titled, The Hotel Owners Playbook for Choosing the Right Technology Systems, featuring the top attributes for hotel owners to consider when shopping for any new hotel technology system.With literally hundreds of different solutions to choose from, finding the right one for your hotel is a process that takes time and thought. So where do you start? While critical, simply having a list of business requirements is not enough information to begin evaluating hotel systems. Considered the market leader in developing the most innovative solutions for the hospitality industry, StayNTouch, has gathered insights from consultants, technologists, and their own team of experts to develop the most important requirements to make your technology choices much clearer. Highlights in the handbook include:The features you really need (and those you don't)Ease of use, training and implementationPricing and SSAsPlatform/mobile compatibilityExpert service and support"All too often hotels spend thousands of dollars on a new hotel system, only to realize that it doesn't solve the daily pains, increase productivity or drive revenue," explains Jos Schaap, CEO of StayNTouch. "The reality is that one size does not fit all and many implementations end up failing to produce the expected results. By considering these five factors and approaches, hoteliers will be in a much better position to find the right system to take their business to the next level."The time invested in finding the best hotel technology systems for your unique needs will be repaid many times over. Choosing the right techology can boost revenue, improve guest service, increase productivity and help to create a happier workplace.To get a complimentary copy of The Hotel Owners Playbook for Choosing the Right Technology Systems, click here or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/TheHotelOwnersPlaybook.html?utm_source=Hsyndicate_HSMAI_HospitalityNet

Hotels Are Leaving Money on the Table: StayNTouch Guide Explores Strategies for Maximizing Guest's Share of Wallet

StayNTouch Inc. 10 October 2017
In simple terms, share of wallet (SOW) is the percentage of a customer's total spending that is captured by a business. Today, hospitality technology leader StayNTouch has launched a new guide aimed at helping hotels entice guests to increase the frequency and amount of their transactions each time they visit. Titled, 5 Easy Hacks to Supercharge Your On-Property Guest Spend, the strategies include profitable upsell and merchandising techniques, encouraging guests to stay more often and amplifying sales.Most hoteliers realize that not all guests are the same. Some will only pay the nightly rate while others will spend hundreds on-site through dining, services, amenities, and activities like spa treatments and golf. At the end of the day, once a hotel has acquired a new guest regardless of channel, the ultimate goal is to maximize the revenues that the guest generates for each stay. Approaches and tactics covered in the guide include:How to leverage the impulse effectUsing special offers and limited-time-only promotions to drive spendingCompeting with the locals - attractions, restaurants, retail, and othersCatering to business travelersThe number one of tried and tested sales boost tactic - excellent service"If optimizing guest spend is not one of the top priorities, hotels will miss out on massive opportunity to grow revenue quickly and easily--and profitably," said Jos Schaap, CEO of StayNTouch. "Your current guests already know your brand and trust your services so don't leave money on the table by letting them go elsewhere. Focusing your time and energy on them as opposed to always trying to find new guests can be a powerful way to supercharge your bottom line."To get a complimentary copy of 5 Easy Hacks to Supercharge Your On-Property Guest Spend, click here or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/5EasyHacks.html?utm_source=Hsyndicate_HSMAI_HospitalityNet. About StayNTouch StayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long-lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require.StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 75,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests.StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward-thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.For more information, visit www.stayntouch.com.Unless indicated otherwise, all trademarks and service marks herein are trademarks of StayNTouch, Inc. or an affiliate thereof.

5 Guest Engagement Strategies Every Hotel Should Be Using

StayNTouch Inc. 28 September 2017
Today, StayNTouch announced the release of a new guide, 5 Guest Engagement Strategies Every Hotel Should Be Using. The high-level publication outlines actionable tactics for hotels to amplify their connections with guests to win new business, increase satisfaction and gain a help them gain a competitive advantage.These days, guest engagement is more than just a buzzword. Hotels need to focus on guest engagement because it is a differentiator in today's marketplace and has a profound impact on business success. The goal of guest engagement activities is to refine the guest journey through each touchpoint. The new guide is the current best practices developed over the past several years by the StayNTouch team, industry consultants, and successful hoteliers. By using the insights and tips, hotels can create an engagement model that outlines what kinds of experiences they want to deploy at each stage of the guest journey.Highlights include:How to provide a seamless omni-channel experienceDeveloping employee evangelism and passion that exemplifies your brand/service promiseUsing communication to make guests feeling valuedBest ways to identify, acknowledge and retain your VIP guestsThe importance of going the extra mile to answer questions and address complaints"Today's technology allows guest engagement to go many steps further than ever before," explains Jos Schaap, CEO of StayNTouch. "Guest engagement isn't only for current guests. It begins the moment a someone spots a mention of your hotel on social media or hears about your brand from a friend or family member. Adopting a well-orchestrated guest engagement strategy will ultimately boost revenue, loyalty and the lifetime value of each guest."Some hotels will find themselves right at the beginning of their guest engagement journey, while others may feel they are fully optimized. Wherever your hotel is, the journey to seamless guest engagement across multiple channels is complex. This guide will provide examples of how properties at any stage can quickly ramp up to achieve a greater return on investment.Download a free copy of 5 Guest Engagement Strategies Every Hotel Should Be Using by going to http://go.stayntouch.com/5GuestEngagementStrategies_ContentLandingpage.html
Article by Jos Schaap

Mobile Check-In & Check-Out: There's So Much More on the Way

StayNTouch Inc. 26 September 2017
The ProcessWhen one thinks about mobile check-in or check-out,, they automatically think of the utilization of a personal smart device for this to activity to take place. This is how the process works. The guest receives an email or text message from the hotel letting them know that they can check in as their room is now available. The guest then clicks on the link within the email or message and checks-in. By doing this, they have triggered a number of events. Firstly, they are now confirmed guests, opening up the opportunity to offer an upgraded room type for a nominal fee. It is also timely to propose an incentive to stay on-property for dinner rather than venturing out. Another opportunity for engagement can be a text from someone (GM, concierge, front desk) at the hotel welcoming them and expressing a personal message to let the guest know they are available to help with any needs or requests. Finally, the check-in process is expedited at the front desk because the guest doesn't need to stand and wait for their key. The key is made available via an envelope handed over by the front desk agent or based on the technology available; the guest may be able to use their smart device to open the door.Technology's ImpactThis process seems logical and straightforward. It makes sense for someone to use his or her device to check-in and check-out if they so desire. However, what happens when they do not want to check-in remotely? What about if they have special requests that are not hard-coded into the check-in system? These issues arise all the time. We, as an industry need to be committed to delivering the level of service that our guests expect, regardless of what it takes. In the past, we have only developed technology systems that chain hotel staff and restricts guests. Now we realize that all these software solutions we've implemented over the years have drastic limitations and far-reaching detrimental impacts. Luckily times have changed, and we are now able to deliver on the hotel industry's promise of exceptional service and give our guest the ability to personalize their stay.Self-ServiceWhen examining the mobile check-in and check-out landscape, we see there are varied devices and methods of engagement that can be applied in order to give guests what they want. Self-service stations and tablets are available at many hotel properties worldwide - decreasing front desk lines and enabling guests to pick and choose products and services during their check-in process. Giving guests control over their experience is a high priority for hotels looking for competitive differentiation and additional revenue.Roving Check-InRoving check-in is relatively new to our industry, but it is already proving its value with some excellent adoption rates. Roving check-in describes what occurs when a hotel makes a conscious decision to empower their staff with the tools to interact and assist their guests at every touchpoint. This type of attentiveness fosters relationships with guests because it supports a high degree of engagement. The front desk staff can use tablets to check-in guests and can either escort them directly to their room or spend time with them in the lobby and walk them through the property's services. This type of connection fosters a relationship, increasing the likelihood that the guest will return next time they are in town.More on the WayThe advancement of how mobile platforms can be used in the hospitality environment is moving at light speed with no signs of slowing down. Hoteliers need to take advantage of the latest technologies that enable them to deliver service levels and products that increase guest satisfaction, operational efficiency, and profitability.The most important thing to remember is that most hotel guests just want to feel as if they matter. They are your guests staying at your hotel, and they should be appreciated. In today's age of immediate gratification and technological haste, hoteliers should turn to the power of mobile platforms as the backbone to drive memorable experiences that keep guests coming back.

PMS Software Evaluation Scorecard Ensures Hotels Can Find Their Ideal Property Management System

StayNTouch Inc. 14 September 2017
Investing in the right property management system (PMS) will help increase hotel revenue, drive guest engagement, and boost staff efficiencies, but with many options available, what selection criteria should hoteliers use to make the right decision for their unique property? Knowing that not all hotel PMS solutions are created equal, StayNTouch(r) has released a comprehensive PMS Evaluation Scorecard designed to help hotel operators select the right PMS for their needs and budget.The criteria-based approach is created on a quantitative assessment of the PMS in terms of functionality, flexibility, maintainability, and usability. This gives hoteliers a practical insight into how the software is developed, implemented and supported - and any potential technical barriers that prevent scalability or adoption. Hoteliers can use the step-by-step scorecard to determine the total score for each PMS vendor and then consider only the technology providers with the highest grades. By the end of the scoring process, hoteliers will know how to choose the best PMS for their unique goals and needs.The downloadable scorecard and template address the most critical areas that require consideration during the evaluation process including:Defining goalsCreating a list of potential vendors/solutionsAnnual CostsImplementationMobilityIntegrationReporting/InsightsEase of use/User InterfaceAutomationSecurity and ScalabilityService and SupportJos Schaap, hospitality technology industry veteran and founder of StayNtouch explains, "We realize that the selection and evaluation process of a new hotel PMS can seem like a daunting task. But it's worth all of the effort. After all, the system you choose will play a critical role in helping you manage your hotel and grow your business. We've developed this scorecard to help hoteliers understand the ins and outs of what to look for when evaluating new hotel systems and make well-informed decisions when they are ready to take the next steps. "A well thought out hotel PMS strategy coupled with the right technology partner is very powerful. Click here to download the free PMS Software Evaluation Scorecard or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/PMSEvaluationScorecard_ContentLandingpage.html
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Proven Ways to Guarantee Your Hotel Tech Supplier Has Your Back

StayNTouch Inc. 5 September 2017
The purchase of a hotel system is only the beginning of the journey. More planning is needed to use the software to its full potential. In today's hectic hotel operational environment, the one thing you don't want to worry about is the support of your technology platforms. If you need something fixed, tweaked or replaced, you want to feel secure that your technology supplier has your back.Here are a few ideas to help hoteliers maximize value from their technology investment: Dedicated Champion On-Property: Make sure that you have a dedicated individual who acts as your technology champion on property. This may indeed be your IT person, but for several hotels that cannot afford an IT resource, it may be your Front Desk Manager or another person on staff. If you have a champion on the property, then your technology partner knows whom to deal with when the time comes to help with service and support issues. Support Forums: Ask your technology provider if they have a support forum. Some do, and some don't. However, if they do, this can be a great tool for hoteliers to discuss issues with their peers and even omit the need to talk to a support representative. Having a support community can make a significant difference in many ways, providing helpful tools at your fingertips. If your technology provider does not have one, ask to see if they can organize a group and moderate it. Education: It is no secret that there is extreme turnover in our industry so confirm that each new person joining your team is well educated on using the technology you have on the property. If you spend the time and effort training a new hire on the systems they will be using - there will be far fewer support issues to deal with. Work with your technology partner to make sure that new hire training is in place and available. Prioritization: It is important for your team to understand the severity of any issue you may have with your on-property technology. Is the issue an emergency or is it something that can be handled within a 24-hour period? Some departments may think that not having data that they can use is disrupting their work day, but this may not be an issue that is an operational emergency. You should have a grading system related to the severity of problems. Back to the first point, if you have a technology champion on the property, they will be able to assess the issue and then decide what the best course of action is. Is it to send an email, click-to-chat or to call the 800 number? Feature Requests: Maybe you have an idea that you may have for a new product feature or enhancement. Technology providers always want feedback from their users, and so a feature request is something they want to know. Find an effective way to communicate these types of needs, outside of the usual support lines. It makes sense to facilitate a discussion with them about your idea and provide input into how the platform grows and addresses ongoing operational issues. Take Advantage of Automation. Automating remote diagnostics, monitoring, and issue isolation and resolution can reduce preventable issues dramatically. By taking advantage of these advanced problem-solving capabilities, your hotel can equip itself for proactive prevention, rapid resolution and continual optimization of systems. Do Your Homework: When you are deciding to move to a new technology provider, do your homework and investigate their service and support department. Make sure that they will be able to meet your needs and talk to other hotels that are currently using their platform. Be informed as the ongoing support of a system is just as critical as how it helps you operate your hotel. Other points could be noted. However, the areas discussed above should be top of mind. If the support backbone of your system fails, your guests will ultimately pay the price. An unhappy guest is much harder to manage then a happy one.One last point, in today's "social world" - check online regarding the feedback related to the support of system you are looking to implement. It can be quite enlightening. Here is a quote that we found on Reddit regarding one of the largest property management companies in the world and their support level:"Dealing with [provider name] support is some of the worst things you can do. I do it for a living. You need to understand how the system works. At one end, you have support staff that is paid for how many tickets they can process. Not solve, process. So, expect to get sent around in a loop of different 'techs' that do minimal work on the ticket and passes it on to the next person."In the business of hotel technology - we are always striving to reach that nirvana state where everything is perfect. While there isn't a silver bullet to futureproof your hotel's technology challenges, selecting the right technology partner to match your goals and strategy will help you to set your hotel up for success moving forward.

8 Steps to Transform the On-Property Guest Experience

StayNTouch Inc. 29 August 2017
Optimizing on-property guest experience is increasingly important. In fact, it frequently sits at the top of priorities for most hoteliers. Today, StayNTouch(r), the leading innovator in mobile technology and Property Management Systems (PMS) for the hospitality industry, released a new guide titled, The 8 Steps to Transform Your Hotel's On-Property Guest Experience.Like most things in today's market place, guest experience has changed. It goes beyond person-to-person service and thanks to technology, hotels can connect with their customers in new and engaging ways. On-property guest experience is the most exciting opportunity for hoteliers to drive revenue, loyalty and positive online reviews. Guests are more demanding than ever, and with endless channels to vent their frustrations through, it's a challenge to navigate the guest journey effectively. The goal is to stay away from the cookie-cutter experiences and focus on staying true to your brand promise before, during and after their stay. However, the magical moments created during the stay make the most lasting impressions. This guide is designed to help hoteliers ensure their on-property guest experience is optimized for success.Key strategies include:Offering both self-service and high-touch serviceCollecting data on guest profiles and training your teams to use history and preferences to customize the guest stayHow to create the most memorable experiencesEnsuring your hotel offers omni-channel communications optionsBest ways to showcase your brand personality and local flavorStreamlining processes using technology and standard operating proceduresMonitoring of guest feedback on all channelsMastering the basics"For service brands like hotels, the way the guest feels is always at the center of the experience the brand provides," explains Jos Schaap, the company's CEO. "The best on-property experiences are achieved when a member of your team creates an emotional connection with a guest. Raising the bar on-property by not just meeting but actually anticipating guest desires during their stay can help make you a market leader. It's not hard to see why all hotels should put this valuable stage at the forefront."Click here to download The 8 Steps to Transform Your Hotel's On-Property Guest Experience or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/8stepstoTransformOn-PropertyExperience_ContentLandingpage.html
Article by Jos Schaap

Service excellence and the hotel industry is in our DNA

StayNTouch Inc. 15 August 2017
Technology, at its foundation, is developed either to make one's life easier or to enable people to communicate more effectively. The problem with developing technology for technology's sake is that companies become too highly focused on the development of the technology, forgetting to understand its full impact on their end users and audience. There can also be a huge void between the development of technology for specific industry vertical if the founders and developers do not have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the targeted industry.The hotel industry in incredibly unique. There is a myriad of different styles of hotels with diverse priorities. There are the smaller properties or those more transactional in nature and on the other end of the spectrum, there are large properties that offer every type of service and amenity available. When we look at today's guest, they are far more complex than they were twenty years ago. There are those looking for that transactional environment while others crave being fawned over. Some are traveling on business, and others are on vacation. Mix the guest requirements or expectations with the different type of property, and now you have an extremely intricate industry. Fairmont Hotels Heritage Place even has a page on its website to educate the traveler on how it differentiates their brand versus others.Service has always been the glue that holds the hospitality industry together. The service experience starts at the beginning of the guests' journey. They start looking at locations and their associated hotels. Their immediate reaction can be based upon the visual and textural content to help them make a decision. Conversely, if they place a call to a reservations center, they have now connected with a person who must exude service at the initial contact phase. When arriving at the property, the service element is heightened. First step is checking in at the front desk and here, they are met again, with someone who must focus on developing a relationship with the guest and providing exemplary service. The guest may wish to forgo the formalities of checking in at a front desk, so the hotel must offer the self-serve options for the guest to go directly to their room. This is an example of a fundamental use of technology as a service. The service element and technology requirement continues as the guest dines at the property restaurant, lounges by the pool or orders room service. It is always there and always expected.When hotels and hoteliers are under such scrutiny related to ensuring that they deliver the service that today's demanding guest expects, they should not have to worry about the technology that supports their operations.The technology provider needs to recognize the hotel landscape and how it has changed over the years - along with guest expectations. The technology partner must have some of the same priorities and objectives as the hotelier and what is needed to optimize efficiently and profitably. The technology partner actually needs to serve as a technological extension of the hotel itself. The relationship is truly a bond.When your technology partner has effectively the same DNA within their team as the hotelier has within their operations, the service element is at the forefront. A hotelier needs to feel confident that their tech partner has' got their back' at all times - whether there is an issue with the platform or there is a front desk person who just needs a little help. If the technology partner has a knowledgeable support team with the same passion for service that hoteliers have for their brand promise to their guest, then this is truly a win-win scenario.When deciding on a new technology platform a large number of hoteliers will look at features, functions and how well the platform will integrate with their other systems. These are all very valid areas of concern that need to be addressed to determine the right fit, however hoteliers need to spend more time reviewing the support and service that they will be receiving from their technology partner. A good place to start is asking for references, talking to their peers and researching the support operations center performance. If the level of service is not there, then the implementation will not be a success, and there will likely be long term negative consequences.Service excellence and the hotel industry DNA need to infiltrate every department within your technology partners' business. If it isn't there, maybe you need to take a look somewhere else.

StayNTouch Presents an Insider's Look at How to Evaluate Your Hotel Tech Provider

StayNTouch Inc. 8 August 2017
StayNTouch(r), the leading innovator in mobile technology and Property Management Systems (PMS) for the hospitality industry, today released a list of the 7 most important things hoteliers should evaluate in their current technology service providers or when going through the process of selecting a new one.The free checklist is available for free download at here.These days, technology partners have become extensions of the hotel itself, and just like hotel companies, all suppliers are not created equal. Often the pricing model is the same, but the service and support delivery varies significantly. Who better to shine a spotlight on some of the most common pitfalls that hotel companies should be aware of than one of the industry's most trusted hotel systems provider. StayNTouch, recognized as a technology pioneer and thought leader, gets to the heart of what matters most - decoding the nuances and pitfalls that every hotel should be aware of."Hoteliers need to realize that they set the service standard, not the technology provider," explains Jos Schaap, CEO of StayNTouch. "A true partner will strive to exceed expectations, not just meet them. We want to hotels to step back and take a good look at their current tech partners and consider the costs of the status quo if there are better options available."Identifying the service deliverables and levers that drive realizable value to your hotel business, and then thoughtfully committing to the right technology service providers will help hotels operate at optimal levels on all levels. The keys are setting service expectations, holding vendors accountable, and making a move to a more suitable provider if needed because sometimes the cost of change is a lot less than the cost of staying the same.Click here to download How to Best Evaluate if Your Tech Provider is Delivering on Service or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/EvaluatingyourTechProvider_ContentLandingpage.html.

StayNTouch Reveals 7 Questions to Ask Every Hotel Technology Provider Before You Say YES! [CHECKLIST]

StayNTouch Inc. 27 July 2017
A new checklist has been launched by StayNTouch(r), to help hoteliers make the right choice when investing in a new hotel solution. The checklist, titled, 7 Questions to Ask Every Hotel Technology Provider Before You Say YES! was developed to enable lodging companies of all sizes to make better decisions as they consider moving to a new property management system or other hotel solution.Despite the benefits of adopting new technologies being clear, many hoteliers struggle with the process of contracting with and service providers, particularly the hospitality industry which often demands the use, multiple vendors. Even for companies that already manage multiple, complex systems, the process can be challenging and inconsistent. Most hoteliers have no structured guidance through the decision-making process, and without a standardized approach, many have signed agreements that have not been a good fit for their business. This is where the checklist can help.Highlights of the checklist include:The unstoppable rise of mobileImpact of social media and guest reviewsExpectations for messaging, notifications and chatRevenue and service potential of personalized offers"Before you select a hotel technology partner, it's critical to compare the level of service offered by different providers, as well as identify your own objectives and requirements," explains Jos Schaap, CEO of StayNTouch. "Due to the complex nature of our industry, hoteliers almost invariably omit some considerations, leading to consequences for the property when problems later arise. We worked with our industry consultants to put together this checklist which covers some of the most important questions you should ask--and the answers to listen for--to help ensure you're making the best decision."Click here to download 7 Questions to Ask Every Hotel Technology Provider Before You Say YES! or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/7QuestionsforHotelTechProviders_ContentLandingpage.html
Article by Jos Schaap

Software as a Service? Better Focus on the Service!

StayNTouch Inc. 25 July 2017
According to Gartner, the worldwide market for public cloud services will be worth $204B in 2016. Of this $204B in revenue, SaaS will make up for 20.3% of the addressable public cloud services market.Applications are not only being delivered via SaaS, but they are also focusing heavily on mobile as the mobile landscape becomes increasingly necessary to run business efficiently and effectively. In the hotel industry, the introduction of a SaaS solutions combined with mobile usability is creating a new world of customer interaction and relationship building. There are really no limits to how the combination of SaaS and mobile will continue to embed itself into the hotel and travel industry.The service aspect of SaaS can be divided into several sub-services. These sub-services include distribution of the product, pricing of the product, management of the product and finally support of the product.Distributing a SaaS solution via the Internet has no physical need for indirect distribution because it is not "physically" distributed and it can be deployed almost instantaneously. In the hotel industry, the hotelier will still require multiple systems to manage their business, but as more and more solutions providers begin delivering their solution via SaaS, there will be less of a requirement for intermediaries and partners.The price models associated with a SaaS deployment are also service-oriented. No longer are there significant up-front CAPEX expenditures required to implement a primary or secondary system that will help you manage your hotel more effectively. SaaS providers generally price the solution via a subscription fee model that is charged via a monthly fee or even at times based upon occupancy. This enables the hotelier to budget effectively for expenses that in the past would have disrupted their yearly budget allocation taking monies away from guest facing priorities and having to sound large amounts of money on invisible upgrades. Most SaaS providers also work with the hotel in order to come up with the best pricing model that works for both parties involved.The management of a SaaS solution is virtually unseen by the hotelier. The maintenance of the platform along with upgrades are implemented instantaneously and isn't something that must be dealt with on property. Solutions that are premise-based create an operations headache. Whenever an upgrade or fix is required, the system has to be shut down in order to install the upgrade - which inevitably has an impact on operations. This is no longer the case with SaaS.In concert with the management of a SaaS solution is the support of the software. There is a myriad of backend dashboards that a SaaS provider has at their disposal which enables them to track system performance and even before a glitch is experienced with the system that would impact a hotel's operations. Problems can be anticipated and proactively addressed via the support and monitoring team. Also, when there is an issue that requires direct support, no support representative no longer have to "tunnel into your system" to see what is happening because with SaaS they are right there with you, investigating the problem and rectifying it ASAP.All of these elements are truly service oriented, but the delivery of a SaaS solution adds one more element of service that sometimes goes unnoticed. SaaS systems drive opportunities for higher levels of guest engagement. Employees don't have to be tied to the front desk or within other areas of the hotel because the SaaS solution can be available using most any type of mobile device. With cloud-based access, the executive team can keep an eye on operations or make changes when they are off-property. This would never have been possible just five years ago. Software as a Service is gaining momentum month to month, year to year and it will continue to do so. Most hoteliers are ready for a shift, as they're frustrated by the traditional cycle of buying a software license, paying for a maintenance contract, and then having to go through time-consuming and expensive upgrades. Many hoteliers believe they should have more control over the relationship with their technology provider and SaaS gives that to them. The future is extremely bright for SaaS companies and for those hotels that choose to move towards SaaS implementations.

StayNTouch Releases Eye-Opening Infographic: Keeping Up With Hotel Guest Expectations

StayNTouch Inc. 19 July 2017
StayNTouch(r), the leading innovator in mobile technology and Property Management Systems (PMS) for hotels and lodging, today announced the release of their most inspiring infographic yet - titled Keeping Up With Hotel Guest Expectations. This infographic lays out the trend lines and data points that tell a story about the changing dynamics of guest expectations and how technology has become an essential tool in today's hotel market.To satisfy this enormous appetite for technology, hotel companies of all sizes must be relentless in their efforts to improve experiences at every touchpoint. In fact, two thirds of consumers (68%) say it is somewhat or very important that companies they interact with are seen as a technology leader (Salesforce Mobile Behavior Report 2015) and according to Phocuswright, 64% t of U.S. hotel guests said it is "very or extremely important" for hotels to continue investing in technology to enhance the guest experience. And with the rising mobile adoption, hotel engagement and messaging needs to reach guests on the mobile platforms where they're spending their time.Highlights of the infographic include:The unstoppable rise of mobileImpact of social media and guest reviewsExpectations for messaging, notifications and chatRevenue and service potential of personalized offersWith guest expectations higher than ever due to technology, the pressure is on for hotels to keep up with tech-savvy, always-on consumers--or risk getting trampled by the competition. Hotel brands investing in the latest technologies that enable customization, social engagement and on-the-go access through mobile devices will be able to increase market share, drive more onsite spend and foster good reviews that keep guests coming back.To download the Keeping Up With Hotel Guest Expectations infographic, please click here or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/KeepingupwithHotelGuesttechExpectations_ContentLandingpage.html
Article by Jos Schaap

Service and Reputation Go Hand in Hand: Tech Suppliers and Hotels Need to Work Together

StayNTouch Inc. 11 July 2017
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." Warren Buffett"Reputation is only a candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit." James Russell LowellWe now live in a world where service, technology, and reputation are on a collision course - and this affects the hotel industry more than most other industry segments. According to a recent Hospitality Technology study, 85% of guests consider positive reviews and high ratings very important when making a hotel selection.When thinking about a hotel's reputation, TripAdvisor, Google and the companies that supply reputation management solutions come first to mind. However, the reputation of a hotel goes much deeper when you intersect service and technology. Looking at a hotel's reputation from the outside, the top factors that affect reviews, and thus reputation, are cleanliness, Wi-Fi, service, food, amenities and believe it or not, the pool. All of these issues are directly related to the guest stay and the most prominent areas that the guest sees or uses. These areas are critical however with certain tweaks here and there, the reputation scores for each area can be increased by implementing better procedures, monitoring and delivering quick and effective resolutions.Things that cannot be seen by the guest but that can complicate their visit immensely is when the technology that drives the hotel has issues. The issues can be as minor as a clock radio not working properly or the TV malfunctioning to a full system collapse where the hotel can niether check guests in or out, take reservations, or the door locks will not work making for a very uncomfortable service environment.The service shift happens here. The technology provider must have exemplary service and deliver on their agreed upon service level agreement with the hotel to ensure that any system issue is dealt with expeditiously and with positive results. Also, shifting the primary systems, your PMS, out of the property and into the cloud helps immensely. While writing this article, I found a thread online where an IT person stated the following about their hotel PMS, "I'd rather burn my server room to the ground and get everyone to use construction paper, and crayons than ever let XXXXX into my environment again."When a primary system goes down or has integration issues, it impacts every aspect of your business and ultimately affects every guest. Will they post online about this specific experience? Probably no, but they will post a derogatory review about the long wait at the front desk or not being able to check-out or order room service. The technology behind the scene can create havoc if it is not working at its optimal rate.A strong and mutually beneficial relationship between the hotel and its software provider is incredibly important. A relationship of mutual trust must be achieved to deal with problems that arise that may impact hotel operations and thus the service delivery side of the business. Many technology companies tout themselves as partners but are viewed by the hotel as a vendor. If a technology company can escalate the relationship with the hotel by providing responsive service and support of their products, they can be seen as a true partner rather than just a vendor - and all stakeholders should be driving towards this goal.Finally, when discussing service and support related to your technology providers, it is critical to ensure they are on the same page in regards to your expectations. Hotels can easily have over thirty different technology providers - and many of them need to interface their solutions. Too often, tech providers lay the blame and point fingers at each other when it comes to interface or integration issues. Hold each partner to the highest standard and commit to developing long-lasting relationships with them with a focus on service. The delivery of great service by technology providers to the hotel will ultimately enable the hotel to deliver on their guest service promises.

StayNTouch Implements Its Mobile PMS at Filament Hospitality

StayNTouch Inc. 27 June 2017
"What attracted us to StayNTouch, besides the fact that it is cloud-based, were the mobile features and the pre-stay upsell and guest enhancement programs," said Ingrid Summerfeld, Partner and President at Filament Hospitality. "Ultimately, StayNTouch provides the flexibility we have been looking for. In the service industry we always talk about personalized service, but then we have this front desk that is a literal barrier to personal service. I think that having the PMS on tablets help make the guest/staff interaction less of a business transaction and more concierge-like.""We also were very impressed by their openness to work with integrations with our other software partners and commitment to innovation, in general," she continued. "We are excited to be a partner with them."StayNTouch offers hotels the opportunity to integrate multiple cloud-solutions on one platform:Rover PMStm: Next generation Hotel PMS, fully cloud, fits on every device, optimizes hotel operations from front desk, to groups, to housekeeping to revenue management. Simple monthly pricing that includes training, integrations and configuration.Zesttm: Enables guest pre-engagement and guest services via mobile web. Guest-enabled mobile check-in & out via smart phone or desktop. Private labeled, PMS-integrated mobile check-in &/or checkout. Bill review, preference collection, upsell opportunities, and remote key fulfillment. Promote and monetize late checkouts."We are delighted to be working with the team at Filament Hospitality," said Jos Schaap, CEO-Founder of StayNTouch, "Ingrid and her team have a long record of bringing value to independent hotels through flexibility and innovation. We are proud to have been selected to help them continue their leadership in this endeavor."About StayNTouch Inc.StayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 75,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.To learn more watch our video "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"Twitter: @StayNTouchIncFacebook: facebook.com/stayntouchLinkedIn: LinkedIn/stayntouchAbout Filament Hospitality Filament Hospitality is the management company for the project. Filament Hospitality specializes in operating independent lifestyle properties, alternative experiential destinations, and educational retreat centers. Through a unique combination of innovation, creativity, and deep industry experience, Filament creates memorable experiences for the modern traveler. www.filamenthospitality.com.
Article by Jos Schaap

Why do companies give up on customer service as they grow?

StayNTouch Inc. 15 June 2017
Everyone experiences second-rate service from a trustworthy brand at some point. Some recent examples of large brands plagued with a reputation for poor service include wireless service providers, airlines, auto manufacturers and Internet service providers. One need only look at Twitter feeds to see the angst that their customers are feeling. In the airline industry, United Airlines seems to be getting the brunt of customer complaints and media coverage as of late due to the infamous dragging of a passenger from one of their flights that went viral. Now, they are once again in crisis management mode because a United employee tried to wrestle an 18th-century violin away from a passenger who wanted to carry on the rare and valuable violin but was being forced to check it in [1].Apart from the odd exception, top brands are not able to retain their status as market leaders as long as they used to. As companies grow, they try their best to ensure that service standards are maintained at the highest levels possible. However, in the long run, a decline in quality of either products or customer service is one of the greatest risks. There are many reasons for this degradation. When companies shift more focus on cost savings, they may consider outsourcing offshore to cut costs. Also, as hospitality management evolves, companies that develop software may have employees that are not up to speed on the latest variations made to the software. This all but ensures they will short on helping their clients with technical issues. Large companies can also become constrained by the fragmented departments and processes they put in place to streamline operations, but these processes can backfire and actually slow down responsiveness. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey claimed that disloyalty is caused by a lack of understanding of the various touch points rather than by customer dissatisfaction with a single interaction.It takes a long time to steer a big ship In the hotel technology industry, some big companies have experienced declines in service because they have not been able to adapt to change quickly enough. Their infrastructure is aging quickly. We live in a world of instant gratification. For a software company in the hospitality space, the delivery of reliable, knowledgeable service and support is paramount to building a successful business. Software that runs a hotel or connects a hotel to its guest needs to be working at all times. When something does occur that inhibits the software from performing correctly, there can be no delays in a resolution to the issue. Smaller hotel technology brands can be more agile, modern and responsive.Domain expertise makes all the difference The people on the front lines of hotel software service and support not only need to have exceptional knowledge of the software in varied configurations, but they also need be specialists on how the hotel business works. They need to be able to identify if the issue is of an operational nature or related to the technology itself. Without an adequate background and understanding of the complexities of our industry - service, and support can quickly fall apart. One survey discussing customer dissatisfaction states that a whopping 91% of its respondents complained about customer service because they had to contact the same company several times before their problem was resolved. Regardless of industry, exceeding customer expectations requires the right mix of personal service, quality interactions, and first-call resolution.It is time that customer service returned to its roots With customer service often being a key differentiator, companies cannot settle for declining service levels, especially in the hotel industry as high touch service is the hallmark of our business. The first step for hotel technology providers to stay on track is to determine what constitutes superior customer service, and learn how to deliver it. The next step is to be aware of industry trends and new technologies that emerge as they impact not only on the industry, but they also impact software with issues like new integration requirements, compliance and more. Finally, companies should always plan for success rather than planning for failure. If you plan for success, you will be able to ramp up your support services to address the growth of your company and thus be able to meet the needs of your customers.No matter how big or small our companies may be, as software providers, we are part of the service value chain right down to each and every guest. By providing excellent service to hotels - we enable them to provide exceptional service to their guests. Hotel software companies need to maintain the highest levels of support to ensure that their technology does not negatively impact hotel operations or their ability to exceed guest expectations.[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/united-accused-of-wrestling-musician-for-her-antique-violin/

StayNTouch Releases E-Book: The New Guest Experience Reality - From Millennials to Mobile - What Today's Guests Really Want

StayNTouch Inc. 12 June 2017
StayNTouch(r), the leading innovator in mobile technology and Property Management Systems (PMS) for hotels and lodging, today announced the release of their most inspiring e-book yet - titled The New Guest Experience Reality: From Millennials to Mobile - What Today's Guests Really Want. The 27-page guide examines the economic and business impact of meeting the dynamic expectations of today's demanding guests based on profiles, preferences, and personas.Smart hoteliers recognize that there are many types of guests and subsets of guests. Their values, preferences, and expectations are not fixed. What works for one guest doesn't necessarily appeal to all. Today's traveler expects personalized experiences tailored to meet their needs. The question is, how well do you know your guests and their changingexpectations? It's important to thoroughly understand your target market in order to tailor services to them. Who are they? What do they want? How can you win them over? This e-book will explore these very things, as well as how technology can help accumulate important guest intelligence to deliver an exceptional guest experience.Highlights include:Understanding the differences in generational guest expectations: Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers, The Greatest GenerationDeterming guests expectations based on type of stay: Family, Leisure, Business, BleisureCatering to different guest personas: The Bargain Hunter, The Social Butterfly, The Hyper-Connected, The Eco-Conscious, The Pampered TravelerHow technology can help profile your guests and personalize their stayGuests are more connected and informed than ever before, making hyper-contextualized personalization focusing on their needs and wants critical to achieving increased revenue, loyalty and positive reviews. "Hoteliers have seen the writing on the wall regarding personalization for a while," explains Jos Schaap, CEO of StayNTouch. "In order to exceed guest expectations, you first need to know what those expectations are. The hospitality industry is highly competitive and it has become a struggle for hotels to make the best decisions when they don't have dependable information on the true desires of guests. As the industry evolves-- it becomes imperative to use data insights to develop a more tailored services and amenities. By understanding who they are, hotels can respond to their wants, and even to anticipate them in order to create one-to-one experiences for guests and keep them coming back."To download your complimentary copy of The New Guest Experience Reality: From Millennials to Mobile - What Today's Guests Really Want, please click here or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/GuestExperienceRealityEbook_Landingpage.html.
Article by Jos Schaap

The most important question every hotel should ask of their hotel software providers

StayNTouch Inc. 6 June 2017
There are many important questions every hotelier should ask before investing in any new hotel software system. There are questions regarding features, functions, integration, SaaS or license, cloud or on premise, training - and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, one of the big questions that often gets overlooked and doesn't get researched enough is the question of service and support.Service and support of your hotel software platform is integral to the success of your hotel on many levels. Yes, there may be the occasional hiccup during the initial implementation phase, but where the rubber meets the road is when you have issues that impact your operations and your revenue. It could be a system outage or a central interface that fails. However, every time something unexpected occurs to your hotel technology, you want to feel secure that the support and service you receive is quick, effective and rectifies the situation as quickly as possible.Companies very rarely plan for success but they do plan for failure. They plan for market conditions that could impact their sales, they plan for changes in guest buying habits but planning for success...this seems like a strange thing to do. Companies that plan for success can prepare for the future and staff up their help desk department to effectively meet the needs of their customers. This can be a tricky balancing act, but ensuring that the technology provider that you have partnered with has this "success vision" will be critical for you in the long run.Here are just some very basic technology service and support realities:Happy customers are more likely to tell other hoteliers about your productAngry customers gossip more than happy onesIf you are known for great customer service, it gives you the flexibility to try new thingsIn a McKinsey report, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer is being treated and supported. This rings incredibly true when delivering selling, implementing and supporting hotel software. Hotels are in the business of delivering great guest service and hotel technology providers should echo this important element.Service and support is important related to client retention. As stated above, when you have an angry customer, they are more likely to look elsewhere but in a White House Office of Consumer Affairs report, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current customer.Hoteliers are fed up with the quality of service current models offer. The future: human-centric service and support. A human-centric service model revolves around people. It is a model that recognizes clients are a valuable resource, key to a company's success, and therefore all aspects of service and support is designed to go above and beyond to help them. It means anticipating customer issues and addressing them proactively. At StayNTouch, we pride ourselves in delivering amazing high touch, human-centric service and support. It is in our DNA. We know that your property's success depends on our ability to deliver exceptional products and support services. Keeping you informed, being incredibly responsive and adding a consultative approach to the mix are all contributing factors to our support philosophy. It's more than just providing answers; it's an important part of our promise to its clients."The service we have received with StayNTouch is not even comparable to any other companies we have come across in the property management systems space. In general, everyone on the team is extremely competent and passionate about the StayNTouch solution. Their service and support is excellent."Marco Burlimann, Area Manager, Modus HotelsThe line between products and services is blurring, and customer service has become part of the product itself. Keeping service and support top of mind during your PMS purchase decision is imperative. When you're ready to make a move, do your homework. You can use social media outlets as well as LinkedIn groups to read direct feedback from front end users of almost every hotel technology system. Check references and speak to your peers. A long feature list is nice to have, but you should make your choice with a broader framework in mind, keeping service at the top of that list. Not only do you need to know what support channels are available, but also how quickly you'll be helped and with what level of competency.
Article by Jos Schaap

So Many Hotel Software Systems, So Little Time: How to Choose the Best PMS for Your Needs and Budget

StayNTouch Inc. 23 May 2017
It's a jungle out there! The jungle of different hotel software solutions has grown very thick, and the competition between vendors on who has the best solution has hardened.In the vendor section of Hospitality Upgrades' online portal, there are 15 property management systems from which to choose. There are over 12 PMS providers displayed on the vendor directory of HospitalityNet's website. The hotel software systems listed on these leading sites are a mere drop in the ocean of property management systems available these days. According to many industry experts, there are over 100 solution providers that develop, sell and support PMS software systems considered to be at the epicenter of helping hoteliers run their hotels.So how can Owners, General Managers, and their respective teams determine which property management system is best suited to their unique operational and budgetary needs? There are many factors to consider during the decision-making process, and though some carry more weight than others, it can be an overwhelming decision to make. As the technological landscape evolves, it is important to evaluate whether it is necessary to find a system that mirrors exactly what your current PMS does. There are many new functionalities available in today's modern solutions that are more valuable than those that your legacy system can offer. On the other hand, if a hotelier does not see any requirement to advance the technological and service elements of their operation, then there is really no reason invest in a new system.Here are some highlights to help you navigate the journey.Every new system you invest in should be a cloud system The world has changed. Long gone are the days where we required a massive cold room on-property to house the primary software and hardware systems of a hotel. The advent of cloud computing has freed hoteliers to implement solutions that are to some extent future-proofed. Every innovative system being developed today is focused on offering the delivery of its platform using the cloud. The reason is quite simple. Cloud-based systems are more reliable, more flexible, more affordable, and have the capability to scale. Look for simple and intuitive integrations Older systems have their technological challenges. One of the greatest challenges these legacy systems face is that of integrating with other systems. As new products are developed, and guests demand more technological flexibility, trying to get these emerging solutions connected to older property systems becomes very complicated. The introduction of cloud systems breaks down these barriers whereby even if a hotelier wants to connect fresh and innovative platforms to their primary PMS, they can do so easily and with a minimal amount of friction. SaaS-based solutions offer better cost structure and ownership SaaS-based solutions come with low upfront costs because the platform providers take over the asset management portion, and therefore, this reduces the total cost of ownership. No hardware and no software to install makes the choice to move your hotel's principal technology to this delivery model very compelling. There are no lengthy contracts with SaaS products, and the updates that are so cumbersome with an on-property system are now automatic - and best of all - they are free as part of your service. The cost will always be an important component of the decision-making process. However, it should never be the primary decision criteria. Make sure that the solution marries itself nicely to your operations, and if it does, the payback will be seen in short order. Your Cloud PMS needs to enable access from anywhere, anytime The hotel industry is vibrant and always changing as are the roles of hoteliers and the frontline employees that service today's demanding guests. Hotel staff and executive teams cannot be limited to receiving information only when they are their desks. The capabilities of modern technologies and delivery methods now ensure that all the information a hotelier needs to not only run the hotel at its optimal effectiveness but also deliver amazing guest service is available on their mobile device. Look for features that prioritize communication and mobility. There are also operational efficiencies to be gained by being able to access the hotel PMS on a mobile device. For example, by using a tablet PMS, employees can build relationships with guests by completing the entire check-in process while escorting them to their room or by enabling housekeeping to place a special request on the fly while chatting with a guest in the hall. On many levels, mobile is now essential to the continued success of any hotel. Make sure the system providers offer their current clients a reliable customer service with 24/hour support. For most hoteliers, the main area of concern with a property management system is the delivery of unfailing support. It is imperative that any new system you are considering be bundled with 24/7/365 support along with reputable customer service. If you think about it, solutions providers should be held to the same high standards of service that a hotel guest expects from the hotel. We are all in the service industry, whether we are a front desk agent, a General Manager or the CEO of a company that develops and sells systems to hoteliers. We all need to commit to offering outstanding customer service - so make sure that you do reference checks on the service element of the software provider you are contemplating on purchasing. This will substantially reduce any future (costly) headaches.Of course, many other elements play a role in the decision to commit to a new property management system, but the items listed above are critical for hoteliers to ask of every software provider. The right solution partner must be up to speed on the current challenges facing the hospitality industry and fully prepared to address how future innovations will affect hotel operations.Making the right choice is never easy with so many vendors to choose from you really must do your homework. Investing in a new PMS is time-consuming, but implementing the right system for your hotel will take your operations, revenue, and service to the next level.

StayNTouch and MGM Resorts International Redefining Hotel Check-in on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond

StayNTouch Inc. 16 May 2017
The StayNTouch platform is delivered using two solutions on a single cloud platform. The Rover PMS Overlay mobilizes existing front desk and housekeeping operations. Zest is a guest-centric, mobile website experience, enabling check-in and check-out, preference collection, and upsell opportunities. ARIA, a AAA Five Diamond Award winner, was the first to roll out StayNTouch's cloud-based mobility platform, offering guests a variety of check-in and check-out options via their smartphone. Guest impact was immediate, with check-in lines and wait times significantly reduced. Following ARIA, the platform was launched at Bellagio, Vdara, MGM Grand, The Signature at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano Las Vegas, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, Luxor and Excalibur in Las Vegas. In addition, MGM Grand Detroit, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi and Gold Strike in Tunica in Mississippi now offer mobile check-in."We have been searching for a technology component that could improve the guest arrival process at our properties," said Sy Esfahani, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President for MGM Resorts International. "Following the on-going success we saw at ARIA, we decided to deploy StayNTouch's solutions across all of our properties. Now our guests will have greater control over their stay, checking in and out with ease."Jos Schaap, CEO and Founder at StayNTouch, said, "We are delighted to get close to completing the roll-out to all of the MGM Resorts' properties. Because of their tireless commitment to improving guest satisfaction through innovation, MGM Resorts continues to be the hospitality leader that others try to emulate. StayNTouch is proud that we can be part of that innovative mission."About StayNTouch Inc.StayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 75,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.To learn more watch our video "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"Twitter: @StayNTouchIncFacebook: facebook.com/stayntouchLinkedIn: LinkedIn/stayntouchAbout MGM Resorts InternationalMGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is among the world's leading entertainment companies. With national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an inspired array of restaurant and retail offerings, MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio includes 15 of the most recognizable hospitality and resort brands throughout 27 locations. The company is expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, recently opening MGM National Harbor in Maryland and very soon, MGM Springfield in Massachusetts and MGM COTAI in Asia. The 77,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud to be recognized as one of FORUNE(r) Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies(r). For more information, visit us at www.mgmresorts.com.Twitter: @MGMResortsIntlFacebook: facebook.com/mgmresorts
Article by Jos Schaap

The Secret to Giving Hotel Guests What They Want

StayNTouch Inc. 8 May 2017
Gazing into a crystal ball to see the future has always been alluring. Imagine if a person could truly see the future. What an incredible impact this would have on our world. Hoteliers today are all trying to gaze into their own distinct crystal ball to better understand what guests want and how they can deliver on these guest needs and desires. In a recent Phocuswright Research Report titled, U.S Traveler Technology Survey Sixth Edition, travelers are looking for more engagement with the hotel property and those who run the hotel. When it comes to apps, 49% of travelers wanted to use their mobile device for check-in and check-out while 32% wanted to manage and make their bookings. Finally, 16% wanted to chat and text with hotel staff.When it comes to sharing their travel experiences, travelers were using their mobile device 48% of the time to text with their travel companions and others, and 31% were using messaging apps. What this shows us is that today's travelers wants to be in control of their trip - from the shopping and purchase of their specific trip elements - right through to their in-destination transactions. In days' past, there was a more personal connection between traveler and those who worked in a hotel or at an airline because travel was less easily attainable. Unfortunately, we have turned the travel and hotel experience into a commodity, and the implementations of some specific technologies have taken us here. The systems that run hotels and airlines have been able to drive major efficiencies. However, at the same time, the traveler or hotel guest now feels as if they are just a merely a seat or room number. The hotel industry is trying to change this perception, but it's proving to be extremely difficult.The hotel industry is also trying to keep up with the alternative lodging industry (Airbnb, HomeAway, etc.) as this space has greater technological flexibility due to its "newness". They have also been able to use the social sphere to initiate relationships between the owners of the different locations and their guests by letting both parties review each other. The hotel industry would never do this. In another Phocuswright report, Private Accommodation Muscles in on Hotels in the US and Europe, it is stated that private accommodations are flourishing in the U.S. and growing at double the pace of the overall travel market. More and more travelers are choosing private lodging rentals over traditional options for leisure trips.So, how do hoteliers give guests what they want?Hoteliers need to define the types of guests that stay at their hotel. Are they there on business? Are they traveling for leisure? Are they bringing their family? Once the basic elements are determined, the hotel can dig deeper to understand further what their guests are looking for. There are some fundamentals that every hotel can do to exceed guest expectations. They can make sure that the rooms are clean and bright, help each and every guest with their on-property requests quickly and efficiently, and most importantly, hotel employees can smile.Once the hotel has done everything they can to deliver the best guest experience to their guests, they can start analyzing their data. The data that can be squeezed out of a property system or a central reservation platform can go a long way, but at times, it may not enough. Why? Because the persona and requirements of the guest can change based on the purpose of their stay. As stated earlier, a guest can have different requirements if they are traveling alone versus with their family. So, each guest record must have the capability to include multiple personas and profiles.Also, there are intangible items that may not be obvious using the data provided through systems integration. For example, maybe the guest has a hectic schedule and just wants to be left alone - and does not want to speak with the on-site staff. The hotel must be able to cater to this type of guest, and this requires service level options like self-serve check-in capabilities, mobile room keys, service requests and ordering via tablet or smartphone, and the list goes on and on. This guest is what we would call a "low-touch guest" in this circumstance. One the flip side, you may have a guest that is a high maintenance and wants everything is taken care of them by the hotel, - and loves interacting with the hotel staff. These types of guest would be called "high-touch guest". Once hoteliers authentically understand who their guests are, they will be able to deliver the hotel experience that he or she requires.Finally, we as an industry have often put up barriers between the hotel and our guests. These obstacles - like the front desk, business center or even the cart that a housekeeper rolls through the hallways - make it challenging to connect. We need to leverage new technologies that take the handcuffs off our guests and our employees, so the engagement model increases and we can deliver more personalized experiences. We also need to be open and honest with our guests and invite their feedback, whether it is good or bad and embrace the changes that may be required.The hotel industry is a wonderful world on many levels, - but it is time we get back to basics! By breaking down the barriers, capturing profile data, and embracing innovative technologies, we can give guests memorable experiences that drive great reviews and keep them coming back.
Article by Jos Schaap

Move Over Information Age - This is the Age of Experience

StayNTouch Inc. 25 April 2017
Looking back, the agricultural and industrial ages both ended and were replaced by the information age. They will always be present, we will continue to need agricultural, industry and information but we are now seeing a new phase. Thanks to mobile screens, virtual reality, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) advancements, it seems we have shifted into what is being commonly referred to as the experience age. This phase combines not only the digital age but also the experiential age. In a TechCrunch article published in May of 2016 written by Mike Wadhera, the founder of Teleport, he stated that "Thanks to mobile screens and Internet everywhere, we're now entering what I call the Experience Age." The Experience Age refers not to the information we're so rapidly consuming, but how we choose to consume this information.In the 1990's we developed software to help with operations and to collect data that would help us run our companies more effectively. The problem was that most businesses really didn't know how to use this data. We would collect incredible amounts of information, store it in data warehouses, and then try to decipher the insights into buckets that we could then act on. It just wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. Now we have amazing new technologies such as fast search and digital devices that allow users to gain insights from the information that was previously stored behind closed doors.Combining digital with experiential, we have come up with some rather innovative solutions not only for the hotel industry, but for all people. The introduction of self-driving cars, the broad use of a cell phone to be so much more than just a phone and IBM's Watson, that yes, uses crazy amounts of data to deliver its results but the delivery mechanism is whatever IBM can think up. Never before have we had connected devices of all sorts uploading data and/or communicating machine to machine as we do today and there is a shift underway which prioritizes data over technology.In the travel and hotel space, we can now use different devices to check in, check out, order room service, or when on a plane, order onboard amenities. All the time we are doing this, the information is being collected to deliver the next experience we have that is catered to our likes and wants versus a generic one-way communications environment. Without even realizing this, we can now use this information to provide better service using digital devices with access to information. We are creating a digital personalization age that focuses on experiences and the delivery of these experiences.There indeed has been a change and there are three hallmarks of this shift from information to digital personalization and an experienced-based age.The massive growth of self-service online shoppingOur phones are now our windows into the worldOur expectations of "service" have changedWhen you look at the winners and losers as we transform into a new age, the winners are the companies that had the vision to see the change coming. The winners include brands like Netflix, Accenture, McDonald's, Spotify, Amazon, Apple, HomeAway, SnapChat, Visit Las Vegas, Virgin Atlantic, Marriott and Uber. The losers could not move as quickly and adapt to the massive change in consumer interaction like Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Sony Ericsson, US Airways, Howard Johnson, and yes, the Taxi trade.The hotel industry can learn from the winners noted above. We need to be as innovative and proactive as the best companies in the world. The hotel industry has, at times, been slow to embrace technological change - but things are moving so quickly these days that there is little choice but to change with a vengeance in order to keep up with the "new guest" and their ever-evolving expectations.
Article by Jos Schaap

These Major Trends Are Changing the Hospitality Industry, as You Know It

StayNTouch Inc. 19 April 2017
In the hospitality industry, the only thing that's constant is change. It's clear you can't talk about the hospitality industry these days without talking about disruption. As a hotelier, you need to constantly keep your pulse on emerging trends to avoid disappointing guests and falling behind competitors. The priority no longer lies in only increasing the number of guests you attract, but rather improving their experience to keep them coming back--whether it be online, on-property or across different touchpoints. Here are the three important changes that'll make (and continue to make) a big impact on the hotel landscape.Changing Guest Behavior and ExpectationsIn an increasingly competitive environment, the way hotels react to guests' expectations has a dramatic impact on their profitability. Guests are continually voting with their wallets through their purchases. Immediate accessibility, mobile obsession, personalized experiences and contradictory preferences--these are just some of the challenges that hoteliers are tackling daily. Today's guests are less interested in the quick sell (i.e. low price sale) and more concerned with building a long-term relationship (i.e. meaningful interactions). If they're an existing guest, they want to be treated from the standpoint of knowledge about the past business. Guests also realize the power they have via social media and online reviews - and will use it when not satisfied with a service. While defining various persona's and generation-based profiles have their place, it is important to keep in mind that millennial guest on vacation with their family has different expectations then that same millennial on a business trip. Hotels need to meet the guests where they are and satisfy their sophisticated needs. The key consideration here is that guests and types of stays are not all the same, so it is counterproductive to treat them that way.Technology Shaping the Guest JourneyAs new technologies emerge, hotels of all sizes can't afford to sit on the sidelines. In a world where new technologies pop up all the time, the hotels that put guest needs first are in a position to win. Over the last few years, hoteliers have realized that online and offline are converging and they need to integrate their systems. This evolution has driven more hotels to move to cloud-based PMS systems, as these solutions enable them to scale quickly, work from anywhere, and get real-time insights into various aspects of their business. Next generation systems offer advanced functionality without the restrictions and overhead costs of being tied down to large, complicated legacy systems.Mobile devices are increasingly becoming an essential part of the guest journey - before, during and after their stay. In fact, sixty percent of all travel-related searches begin from a mobile device. From travel research and hotels booking to checking in and ordering services while on the property, smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming the preferred method of engagement for most travelers. Mobile technology can also help hoteliers increase their sales of ancillary products and services. But mobile is just the beginning. A study by McKinsey found that the uses of IoT in retail could have an economic impact of $410 billion to $1.2 trillion per year in 2025. That may be a long way to go, but that doesn't mean forward-thinking hoteliers shouldn't be laying down the foundation to prepare and take action. The future of hospitality is all about using technology to strengthen guest relationships and improve the guest's experience while making the day-to-day operations more efficient. Hotels using solutions built from the ground up with Open API technology are in better position to scale and prepare for future innovation.One Size Does Not Fit All Service DeliveryThe old adage was never truer: You can't personalize unless you know the person. Since today's consumers go through multiple channels in their path to booking travel, collecting and studying data in silos won't cut it anymore. Analyzing online and offline data together gives hoteliers a more comprehensive picture of their guests' preferences and needs. By understanding what guests are looking for during their stay, hoteliers can ensure they have the products and services ready to deliver when guests arrive. "The one area where hotels [still] have the competitive edge over online travel agents is when the customer walks through the door. It's here when the guest is immersed in the hotel experience, that hoteliers have a chance to upsell" (Eye for Travel, 2015). Exceptional service delivery means providing the right service, at the right time to the right person. This of course can range from offering self-service check-in, honoring the DND sign on the door for total privacy with staff little interaction to offering personalized ancillaries and upsells to create a dynamic guest experience.When it comes right down to it, disruption is being driven primarily by technology. Any hotel that is not embracing this is setting themselves up for failure. The truth is that to be successful - you have to adapt to change.

Travel Tripper, StayNTouch and SnapShot Reveal How to Build the Perfect Hotel Tech Stack in new Webinar

StayNTouch Inc. 19 April 2017
Travel Tripper, a full-service hotel technology provider with hotel booking and digital marketing solutions has teamed up with leading hotel PMS provider StayNTouch and hotel data company and marketplace SnapShot, for a joint webinar titled "Building the perfect hotel tech stack for your property."The event will assist hotels in building a robust hotel technology strategy that is sure to future-proof their property and better manage, sell, market and run their operations.The trio of hospitality industry experts will reveal tips and tools to help hotels engineer an effective technology stackIn this webinar, attendees will learn:The key tools and platforms that hotel GMs, revenue managers, and marketers need to stay competitiveThe most important components of a modern CRS and booking systemHow a mobile PMS can streamline hotel operations and improve FOH and BOH communicationsHow to create a centralized location so you can have access to timely and accurate dataHow to evaluate tech providers: what questions you should be asking"The winners of tomorrow are going to be the hotels that understand how to leverage technology to provide a key differentiator amongst their competitors," said Jos Schaap, Founder and CEO of StayNTouch. "Knowing how to use technology to improve your hotel's bottom line and taking action to ensure that your building a solid stack is important for every hotel in the modern age. I'm excited to make that argument and share my insight with hoteliers.""There are dozens, even hundreds, of applications available to hotels. The difficulty comes in deciding which technologies to choose and ensuring that each of these applications integrates," said Stefan Tweraser, CEO of SnapShot. "Hotels that build the right customized, fully-integrated technology stack will be able to better understand their data, improve operations, maximize profits, and improve the overall guest experience.""Today's hoteliers have a tough job. Not only do they have to master the business of hospitality and guest service, they now have to become masters of multiple types of technology as well, from the PMS to CRS and everything in between," said Gautam Lulla, President of Travel Tripper. "This webinar is intended to help hotel managers ask the right questions and find the right technology partners that will help their business succeed."The webinar will be hosted on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT (8 AM PDT, 4 PM London).To save your seat for this free webinar, register here. About Travel Tripper--Travel Tripper is a full-service hospitality technology provider and strategic partner in helping hotels worldwide to generate demand, optimize conversions, and maximize revenue. Known in the industry for its constant innovation and exceptional expertise, Travel Tripper provides a comprehensive suite of solutions that empowers hotels from search to stay, including central reservation systems, hotel distribution, website and booking, and digital marketing. For more information, visit traveltripper.com.About StayNTouch--StayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 75,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus Hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.For more information, visit http://www.stayntouch.com.About SnapShot--Founded in 2013 in Zell-am-See, Austria, SnapShot is a hotel data company and marketplace for hotel applications, with offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States. In the last 12 months, SnapShot has signed more than 3,000 hotels to its platform, as well as 40+ data partners.The Snapshot Marketplace offers a wide range of applications from Snapshot and third party developers. These include comprehensive hotel data analytics, easy-to-use budget control tools and a user-centric hotel communication/messaging service.Acting as a hub for application developers needing to access and work with hotel data for applications and hotels needing secure, integrated applications, SnapShot is a unique resource in the industry, allowing a fast and efficient access to technology for hotels, and a rapid and secure access to hotel data for developers. To find out more, visit www.snapshot.travel.

StayNTouch(r) Releases Ebook "Become a Hotel Technology Savant in 5 Easy Steps!"

StayNTouch Inc. 13 April 2017
A new e-book, "Become a Hotel Technology Savant in 5 Easy Steps!" has been released by mobile hospitality technology leader StayNTouch(r).Traditionally, hotel technology has been a complicated subject in which few hoteliers have an interest. As a result, core hotel technologies such as the property management system (PMS) have rarely been upgraded or improved. However, that is now changing. Mobile, cloud-based technologies, enhanced with 3rd party APIs and served up through a SaaS model have emerged and the first adopters have already reaped new revenues and cost efficiencies.As other hoteliers try to catch up, facing and understanding these new technologies can appear to be difficult. The new e-book demystifies the new tech by drawing comparisons to commonly understood consumer technologies like smartphones and dispels common myths about security and costs. The StayNTouch e-book addresses topics such as:SaaS and the Hotel Industry. The guide answer the questions: How is SaaS applied differently to our industry? What is the business culture shift that is happening as a result?The Cloud PMS and Security, Payment and Liability. When hoteliers consider moving to a cloud-based PMS, it always seems like a good idea until they start to worry about security. The Guide dispels some common myths and shines a light on this misunderstood area of concern. The CFO's Guide to SaaS. The guide looks at the dollars and cents of SaaS hotel software and how it will change the way your CFO or controller budgets and forecasts. The Risk of Technology Decision Paralysis. Technology decision-making is something few hoteliers want to deal with. But if do nothing, the competition wins. This section provides some guidance on how to get through this process.Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and the Hotel Industry. It may sound like tech-speak , but a hotelier's understanding this little piece of jargon can facilitate smarter purchasing decisions."It is safe to say that most hoteliers didn't get into the business because they love technology," said Jos Schapp, Chief Executive Officer at StayNTouch. "But we are now in a era where hotel technology is transforming the way hoteliers are providing service to their guests. Those managers, asset managers and CIOs that understand and embrace APIs, SaaS, the Cloud and mobile platforms will provide a better experience for their guests and will be the winners in their compset."The complimentary e-book is available at this link . To learn more or request a live demo of StayNtouch solutions, please visit stayntouch.com.About StayNTouch(r)StayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 75,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.To learn more watch our video "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"Twitter: @StayNTouchIncFacebook: facebook.com/stayntouchLinkedIn: LinkedIn/stayntouchUnless indicated otherwise, all trademarks and service marks herein are trademarks of StayNTouch, Inc. or an affiliate thereof.

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