Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
April 11–13, 2018
RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
June 26-29, 2018
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
December 5–6, 2018
ALICE 14 February 2018
ALICE is excited to share it has been named a '2018 Best Place to Work in Hotel Tech' by HotelTechReport, for creating and maintaining a culture that fosters employee satisfaction along with business growth. HTR surveys thousands of hotel tech employees around the world about what it's like inside the operations of the industry's greatest technology companies. Being on this list is truly and honor and a testament to our commitment to our people.Like the industry we serve, hospitality is one of our core values. We continually aim to anticipate needs, build empathy, be generous, and most of all, be genuine. We believe it's important to act with integrity and to build relationships with the people around us. It all starts with our team."ALICE employees have autonomy to work from home when needed because management trusts that they've hired a team who will stop at nothing to become an industry standard in short order." --Hotel Tech Report"ALICE has prioritized scaling the company and protecting its culture as a pillar of its continued growth plan on a go-forward basis. Investments in people and technology to support growth and its culture are more evident than ever. We win when the team wins." --Ian Adelstein, ALICE Head of PeopleALICE has grown from 3 humble founders to a global team of 80+, since its inception in 2013. Our workforce has hubs in NYC, Los Angeles, Latin America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, and beyond. A goal of 100+ employees in 2018 requires special people to come aboard and contribute. We encourage you to reach out to our People team via the Careers webpage, directly via email@example.com or by visiting HotelTechReport, Linkedin and Glassdoor to learn more about how you fit into our growth plan and apply. Every role is critical to ALICE's success. We hope you find your contribution and opportunities for personal and professional growth equally rewarding!
ALICE 12 February 2018
The HotelTechAwards leveraged real user data - ratings and reviews - to determine the winning products across the twenty-eight categories of hospitality products Hotel Tech Report showcases. Hotel Tech Report creates its "HT score" from a variety of factors, including the number of user reviews submitted and the quality of user ratings across four areas of assessment: likelihood to recommend, return on investment, customer service, and ease of use. ALICE's concierge software garnered rave reviews, with hoteliers recognizing the software's interface design and usability as just some of the elements that set it apart from the competition. Extolled one Assistant General Manager, who uses ALICE not only at the concierge desk, but also across all staff departments:"[ALICE is] a true game-changer for our entire team! For our property size (200 keys, Upper Luxury), ALICE provides everything we need. ALICE is extremely easy to use at all levels of tech proficiency. It has dramatically reduced paperwork and time lost in radio or phone communication while providing accurate tasks and needs from inside and outside clients alike.Its vast capacity for reporting at every level also provides the perfect training tools, not to mention proper monitoring of effectiveness of our associates and the perfect "paper trail" for all transactions.The only thing we don't seem to like about ALICE is that we didn't discover it sooner! It has been a true game-changer for our Housekeeping, Engineering, Room Service, Front Desk and Concierge Departments - just to name a few of the Departments which have benefited the most since its implementation."(To read this and other reviews of ALICE Concierge head to Hotel Tech Report).For ALICE, this win is an auspicious start to a year in which further innovation and development is scheduled for the concierge software. After acquiring leading concierge technology provider, GoConcierge in September 2017, ALICE has embarked on an ambitious technology roadmap for their concierge software."It is very encouraging to win this award, in particular because it was voted on by our customers and people with first-hand experience using ALICE. This year has gotten off to an amazing start and we are very encouraged about our roadmap for the year ahead.We believe that GoConcierge and ALICE coming together and uniting as one team allows us to leverage our vast industry experience and passion for developing the most impactful tools for concierge among other departments. We share a commitment to creating the world's best concierge software and are investing more money and development efforts to achieve this than ever before. With an expanded team, we are now able to deliver enhanced functionality faster than ever and we are gaining insight from our Concierge Advisory Board, made up of ALICE users, on desired features and functionality for delivering service excellence. Proudly, we believe that Together We Are Better! We look forward to welcoming you to ALICE."Alex Shashou, Co-Founder & President and Adam Isrow, EVPALICE's vision for a unified hospitality operations platform has made waves in the industry. The company, which has raised $40M and partnered with over 2,000 hotels, was also a top finisher in the four other categories in which it fielded products: Staff Task Management & Collaboration, Mobile Apps, Guest Messaging Platforms, and Engineering Software.To learn more about ALICE's concierge software and request a demo, visit the ALICE website.For more reviews of ALICE Concierge, head to Hotel Tech Report.
Grupo Posadas Partners with ALICE to Standardize Operations Across Their Portfolio of 147 Properties
ALICE 6 February 2018
Leading hospitality operations platform ALICE has been selected by Grupo Posadas S.A.B. de C.V., the largest hotel operator in Mexico, to power operations for their portfolio of 147 properties. Uniting all eight of Grupo Posadas' hotel brands with a robust technology platform will support and improve standardization of operations across the group and provide for insights from guest request and staff performance data only possible at scale. This partnership with Grupo Posadas' 147 properties is the largest client partnership for ALICE to date - one which Grupo Posadas is committed to increasing to 300 properties by 2020.Partnering with ALICE will enable Grupo Posadas to meet three key management goals:The creation of an Enterprise Business Intelligence Dashboard that will serve as a single dashboard with data inputs and KPIs per department for General Managers and corporate management. Data on guest requests, internal work orders, and employee productivity will drive insights at the corporate, brand, and individual hotel levels.The ability to standardize management: With ALICE, Posadas Corporate will be able to distribute tools and checklists to all General Managers and other hotel department managers to ensure that every property completes certain essential tasks, from Fiesta Care, to the Posadas rooms and public areas maintenance program, to corporate initiatives. Completion of these tasks is essential for brand level consistency and efficiency, as well as to develop management staff under Posadas' culture and values to support its growth.The consolidation of technology systems: Today, guest requests, which come through Grupo Posadas' guest application, Ana, or are entered manually, are tracked in the group's in-house operations software Minutero. Radios are used for dispatching and internal work orders are not tracked to the company's satisfaction. By integrating with Ana, and replacing radios with smart devices that run on the ALICE platform, ALICE will improve efficiency and provide, for the first time, reporting on service times and work across every department.As the only platform available with a guest API and tracking of guest and internal requests, ALICE is uniquely able to help Grupo Posadas consolidate tools, while capturing and reporting on more hotel data. "We built ALICE with the vision of creating efficiencies within a hotel and improving accountability by uniting all staff and all departments with a shared technology. Implementing ALICE at 147 properties and providing Posadas Corporate with a single dashboard for complete visibility into and control of their operations is the pinnacle so far of our platform vision," says ALICE CEO Justin Effron about the new partnership.Enrique Calderon, Vice President of Hotel Operations at Grupo Posadas, highlighted, "This platform is, without a doubt, a great tool that will support us in the management of each of the hotels we operate; from the measurement and assurance of the objectives of the managers and collaborators, as well as the documentation and resolution of requirements of our guests. With this system, we are not only optimizing our processes, but it will also allow us to provide a better service for the benefit of the company and our owners."###About Posadas: Posadas Hotels is Mexico's largest and most important hotel operator, with more than 160 hotels and 25,000 rooms in beach and city destinations across the country. With its varied brand portfolio, including Live Aqua, Grand Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn, One Hotels and The Explorean by Fiesta Americana, Posadas enjoys international recognition and respect. Posadas has been listed on the Mexican stock exchange (BMV) since 1992. For more information, visit: www.posadas.com.About ALICE: ALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry, working with many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit http://info.aliceapp.com.ALICE is hiring Spanish-speaking Sales and Implementation specialists to help us expand our presence in Central and South America. Please visit https://info.aliceapp.com/careers to learn more.
ALICE 5 February 2018
The rise of the sharing economy and the digital revolution are leading to new ways of thinking about what a hotel can be. By leveraging hotel assets, people and services in innovative ways, hotels have unprecedented opportunity to open new revenue streams, improve loyalty, and grow their customer base.In early 2017, AccorHotels celebrated its 50th anniversary by announcing AccorLocal. A program designed to integrate the brand's hotels into their surrounding communities, AccorLocal invites a new way of thinking of what a hotel can be and provides a blueprint to other hotels looking to leverage their properties and services, as well as foster community, in less traditional ways."Ninety-nine percent of what we have done for 50 years has been based on the guy coming from outside of town. A traveler, from a different city, from a different country, which I think is interesting, but not too smart. Because we missed a population which is 100 times greater and better and easier: The guy living next door. The local inhabitants. They live around the hotel, or they go to an office around the hotel, and 90 percent of them never dared coming into the property, because they're fearful that we're going to be asking, 'What's your room number?' They don't need a room, but they may need a service." Sebastien Bazin, Accor CEOAnd it's not only Accor that is moving towards what the brand calls "augmented hospitality." In South London, Bermondsey Square Hotel is offering its services to neighborhood Airbnb hosts and guests. Participants in the SquAIR program - offered within a one mile radius of the hotel - can take advantage of the hotel's concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance services, key management, luggage storage, and a reliable point of contact. Even less formally, the concept of hotel-as-community-hub is familiar to anyone who has spent time in any of the Ace Hotels, which, as Ian Schrager likes to say, "activate" the lobby with its bars that hosts community nightly socializing activities. Indeed, for years, boutique hotels have led the charge in this regard, serving as hotspots for nightlife and entertainment. Take The NoMad Hotel here in New York, which knocked out two of their worst bedrooms to make a stage for a 40-person magic show that has been sold out for three years.Other industries have also been augmenting their core offering and using community to help them grow revenue, improve loyalty, and draw new customers to the brand. As brick and mortar retail has been increasingly imperiled by e-commerce, "experiential retail" has become a buzzword. The idea is exemplified by Apple stores, which are some of the busiest and also highest-grossing stores in any city - with their Genius bars, group classes, in-house entertainment series, and sales people that double as educators. IKEA, meanwhile, has become just as much a destination for meatballs as it has for hard-to-assemble furniture. Educational outfits like General Assembly have used coworking space and networking events to help them sell classes. Some restaurants that are idle during the day are realizing they can monetize their underused space for coworking space, and, finally, exercise brands like CrossFit and SoulCycle have become empires by wielding community as a competitive advantage.By thinking beyond the physical boundaries of the hotel and broadening the definition of a hotel guest, there are now exciting opportunities for hoteliers to tap new revenue streams and engender loyalty. "What can I offer [local residents] by way of service?," Accor's CEO Sebastien Bazin asks. "Food and beverage? Dry cleaning? Key service? Leave their luggage? Recover a rental car? Drop it off? When you enter that universe, you say, 'My God, I have everything that the digital world wants.' I have John Paul [concierge services] where I can interact with them. [We're] changing, radically, your mindset, and entering revenue that can grow 20 to 30 percent a year."Accor's reimaging of what a hotel can be is a clear response to the competitive pressures of the sharing economy, both in terms of its value proposition as well as its business model. Airbnb has, since its humble air mattress beginnings, laid claim to the "authentic" and "community-oriented" guest experience, something the company has doubled-down on with its Belong Anywhere campaign and its expanding activities business, Airbnb Experiences. The company's rapid growth is in many ways attributable to travelers' growing appetite for authentic, experiential travel, and AccorLocal and similar initiatives are a way to ground hotel in their communities and meet this shift in traveler demands. So too, this reimagining of the hotel is also a response to Airbnb's asset light and labor light business model. As Bazin describes, the AccorLocal program is an attempt to turn a potential liability (a large amount of capital locked in physical assets and labor) into a strength (multi-purpose community hub), through the leveraging of underutilized assets that is the foundation of the sharing economy: "Throughout these assets and addresses I'm already open 24/7 and I have 240,000 people," he explains.A less obvious, yet equally important driver of AccorLocal and similar programs, is the concept of the digital platform, which makes this "hotel as a platform" model possible. In the 2016 book, Platform Revolution, a "platform" is defined as a business model that "uses technology to connect people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem in which amazing amounts of value can be created and exchanged." With their many different interactions, players, and services, hotels already act as a platform, before even considering external stakeholders in the way AccorLocal does. This makes hotels ideal candidates for platform technology that facilitates the exchange of information and services internally, as well as permits the integration of external tools, channels, and vendors that successfully opening up the hotel requires. With a solid technology foundation in place, the hotel-as-platform becomes both immediately possible and sensible. Indeed, the hotel-as-platform approach is paying off for the hotel brand, with Accor posting record operating profit for recent period in which financial information is available. As travel publication Skift puts its, Accor "is taking bold steps to bring the traditional hotel company into the future," and, says Bazin, "We're entering a new adventure where there's boldness, innovation, and risk taking."For the hotel industry, the platform approach - the idea of unifying systems across departments and allowing for the integration of external tools, channels, and vendors - provides an opportunity to leverage technology holistically to bring every person and every department together. Running a hotel is tough enough without having to deal with closed technologies that don't work together and don't let you build on top of one another. Indeed, introducing an app, like the one that serves the AccorLocal program, to a hotel's technology lineup would add prohibitive complexity to a hotel's operations without a platform underpinning. Read more how platform technology can transform hotel operations.____While AccorLocal provides a useful starting off point for opening new revenue streams and growing a customer base, there are many ways hotels can start to think about repositioning their assets and services and taking advantage of community. To start the conversation, we asked our industry friends Cendyn, Duetto, Hitlist, HotelFlex, HTNG, SevenRooms, Travel Tripper, and Volara for their ideas for ways in which hotels can look beyond lodging and RevPAR to fulfill their hotel-as-platform potential:Local membership services: gyms and beyondThe idea of unbundling hotel services and making them available to those not staying at the hotel might be new in the 'west', but when I lived in the Middle East it was common for expats to buy subscriptions to hotel's gyms, since there weren't as many standalone sports clubs.If locals are becoming hoteliers through Airbnb and the like, why shouldn't hotels become offer local services offers as well? Repurposing underutilized space and services may be what hotels need to do to stay relevant in a world where they no longer have a monopoly on the accommodation market.Gillian Morris, CEO, HitlistFrom conference rooms to parking spaces - everything is for rentI saw a new product a couple of months ago that was invented by an MIT grad working at Amazon.He created at device that could be installed on or near any commercial or residential parking garage to allow the owner to rent their unused parking space(s).Amazon Spaces is now in pilot with apartment building garages surrounding the Amazon campus. Hoteliers already have several options to generate revenue on unused parking spaces, but Amazon Spaces is a solution that may help smaller hotels generate revenue with garages that are not compatible with similar booking apps like Spot Hero, ParkWiz and SpotOn.Armand Rabinowitz, Senior Director of Strategy and Workgroups, HTNGFlex your check-inHotels at their core are time-based assets with hoteliers in the business of maximising the amount of time each room is sold for.However, due to guest arrival and departure times hotel rooms sit empty for large quantities of the day. The average hotel room actually sits empty for 7 hours between the previous guest departing and the next guest arriving, costing the hotel considerable lost potential revenue. Over the last couple of years, hoteliers have been plugging these gaps with day-use bookings - selling the room for a couple of hours to new guests. However, a much more profitable technique is to plug these gaps by upselling existing guests with early check-ins and late check-outs.Currently, hotels will wait for guests to request early check-ins or late check-outs. However, if guests are specifically targeted with the offer hotels can generate considerable incremental revenue. In our experience at HotelFlex, hotels can expect 20% of guests to convert each paying on average 15% on top of their room rate for earlier check-in flexibility. And, because the room doesn't need to be re-cleaned, any revenue generated is pure profit and goes straight to the hotel's bottom line. Max Shepherd-Cross, CEO, HotelFlexLeverage contextual relevance in a frictionless wayBelow are some ways hotels are generating more revenue, without hosting more guests:Appending special offers to contextually-relevant interactions. For example, when a guests asks Alexa or Google Assistant about the pool, hotels are sharing special offers for the pool bar. When a guest asks about places for dinner, hotels are sharing special offers for the hotel restaurant.Scheduling prepended or appended promotions at specific times during the stay. For example, Volara enables the hotel to schedule promotions through Alexa or Google Assistant to share information about Sunday Brunch beginning at 12pm on Saturday... or share information about the spa whenever its forecast to rain... or highlight any special events happening at the property upon check-in.Offering special "Alexa rates" for bookings of voice-enabled rooms can increase ADR.The frictionless nature of voice means that guests actually use it. The personal and natural interactions facilitated by Volara's software means that promotions feel more like helpful suggestions and lead to higher conversion rates compared to other media.David Berger, CEO, VolaraPersonalize the upsell with new-age CRMThe concept of a hotel as a centerpoint for excellent services (not just sleeping rooms) is very on point with the cultural trends of rethinking spaces, community hubs and desire for "the experience." Food, drink, spa, pool and meeting space are just a few of the services housed inside hotels, but only now are smart hoteliers truly turning their properties inside out to discover the additional revenue opportunities that can come when they leverage their existing assets or services to create more revenue. With a true hotel CRM, hoteliers can tap into the opportunity to upsell ancillary services like these onto existing room night bookings. Hotels can also leverage a hotel CRM to utilize their database of guests to sell goods and services outside of room nights, like high-end goods from a gift shop, to yoga classes in the spa, restaurant offers to a day at the pool. All based around past guest behaviors and indicated likes kept in a hotel CRM that can be segmented for marketing offers.Michael Bennett, SVP Global Marketing, CendynEmbrace an Open Pricing philosophyBringing in more guests comes with its own acquisition costs, either in commissions to online travel agencies or in money out of the hotel's marketing budget. But pricing strategy is the lever completely within a hotel's control that has the greatest potential for making more money without selling more room nights.The most important thing hotel revenue managers can do is to find the price for every booking date and room type that will make the property the most money. Don't estimate demand and just sell out your rooms for too low a rate to hit your forecast. Instead, measure the conversion and pick-up when you change your prices. If you can yield rates higher and still get people to book them, that's your most important indicator of demand.An Open Pricing philosophy lets hotels price their rooms more flexibly, setting rates for any booking date, distribution channel, room type or customer segment independently, not according to static discounts off a "best available" rate.Such an approach helps hotels grow revenue while addressing the complex picture in digital distribution, where acquisition costs are rising and OTAs' are innovating new ways to sell hotels' room nights online.Marco Benvenuti, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, DuettoConsider F&BThe tides are changing in the hospitality industry. Dining, and other food and beverage programs, are becoming truly unique experiences for guests, and they are more than willing to pay for it. It's a primary driver for what people are looking for when they travel, and how they look to spend their money as a local.Hotels have a competitive advantage in this area, as they can strategically use F&B programs to attract and engage loyal guests at home and on the road, while increasing revenue and building long term guest relationships.The hotels at the forefront today are designing highly attractive programs, strategically integrating the resulting guest data across their hotel portfolio to create highly personalized experiences.For example, welcoming hotel guests at the restaurant with special tables, tagging reservations with a guests' loyalty status, or customizing in-room amenities based on past F&B purchases - even customizing hotel stay packages with F&B offerings. The common factor across the industry leaders is the use of technology to share and leverage guest data across the hotel and F&B outlets to create exceptional guest experiences.Joel Montaniel, CEO, SevenRoomsGet more from your loyalty programTechnologies that allow for integrated loyalty bookings and smart upsells are an easy way to strengthen revenue streams from your most loyal guests. This is especially true for hotels with a significant percentage of repeat bookings, like gaming and leisure properties. These types of hotels usually run in-house loyalty programs that allow guests to take advantage of comped rooms, upgrades, spa treatments, restaurant discounts, etc.By integrating the loyalty program into the direct booking process, customers no longer have to call for deals, they can book their loyalty offers directly online. This affords the hotel an opportunity to understand what type of trip the guest is looking for at the time of booking, and delight the guest upon arrival with customized upsells and offers.Gautam Lulla, President, Travel TripperThe fantastic ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to looking beyond lodging for revenue opportunities. As a society, we have never been closer to one another - anyone can sign up to do almost any job. Hotels looking to become a hub within their communities could leverage this familiarity much further. Since starting ALICE five years ago, we have seen all sorts of interesting ideas from our hotel partners looking to leverage their resources uniquely. We have seen GMs of ours offer their housekeeping services to nearby Airbnb rentals, we have seen locals paying for hotels to collect and store their packages during the day, and we have seen rooms being sold by the hour.If you are willing to look past RevPAR to concepts such as revenue per available minute, or even the addition of a new metric: revenue per local, then the opportunities are boundless. This is a world where you and your hotel staff can get as creative as you want.Alex Shashou, President, ALICE_____The AccorLocal program is still evolving - after being piloted in Paris in 2016, it was rolled out to Accor hotels throughout France in 2017, with plans to expand it worldwide this year and next. Because it's intended to be customized to each property based upon local needs and hoteliers' relationships with local businesses, we're sure to see many different permutations of the program. For hoteliers, that means offering their guests a variety of local services and experiences, such as fitness classes via local boutique gyms, food deliveries from nearby restaurants, or pay-by-the-hour car rental services through partnerships with local dealers. Meanwhile, local residents will be able to use the program to take advantage of their local hotels' offerings, be it in the form of visits to the spa, fitness facilities, or co-working spaces, or by having access to takeaway breakfasts, printers, ironing rooms, and parking - all without having to book a room. Ultimately, Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin says Accor will get into "zillions" of services, among them "having hotels assist locals with simple tasks and solving everyday solutions like holding packages or keys or recommending the best services nearby."
ALICE 2 February 2018
Trying to understand the capricious whims and complex emotions of human beings you're hoping to please is an exercise in futility at best and can actually harm your relationships at worst. Why? Because pretending to know someone you don't really have a deep relationship with can come across as presumptuous and insensitive. And should your guesses actually be correct, you can inadvertently come across even worse because no one likes to think of themselves as being that predictable.So what's a GM to do to make their guests feel right at home? The solution is to not make their stay anything like home. Make your guests feel like guests! In this regard, we've listed three common pitfalls of trying to placate clients that hotels often fall into, and their respective solutions. By putting the focus on a winning culture instead of winning over customers, you'll be more effective in getting the desired result: satisfied guests who'll want to return again and again.1. If You're Trying To Guess What Guests Want, You're Probably Getting It Wrong The same guest doesn't necessarily behave the same way from one visit to the next. For starters, that guest could be on a business trip, family vacation, romantic getaway, or girls' night out. Even if it's always a business trip, what's the nature of the business this time around? Is it pitching a new client, trying to keep from losing a client, or being wooed as a client by another business? Is it an easygoing trip or a stressful one where everything is on the line--including his or her job? What's his mood like now? What's the season? What's going on in her life?If your hotel bases its services and amenities on what a particular guest wanted the last time they stayed with you, you're probably not going to get it right. So why even try? No one expects you to. What guests expect is great service, convenient amenities, comfortable accommodations, and the preferences they'd requested for this visit. Just do that and do a spectacular job of it, without trying to know what your guest will want before they do.2. Great Service Is More Important Than Great CustomizationHotels have yet to get service so perfect that they're ready to focus on customized stays. For the most part, these highly specific techniques aimed at generating loyalty fail to leave guests with the loyal connection that was intended. As discussed above, people don't necessarily want the same thing every time, but even if some of your guesses are correct, guests are rarely all that impressed. Knowing that they like decaf in their room or a certain kind of pillow isn't going to impress anyone about the quality of your service or details of your memory. It only serves to remind them that you've got a profile on them in your computer.What would impress them a lot more is a staff that makes them feel good by remembering their names, asking about their families, and wanting to know about their lives. People love to talk about themselves. They feel positive about those who like them and are like them (similar interests, values, etc.). You want a staff that remembers guests, asks how they've been, and genuinely seems to care. And the kind of staff that tends to do that, is one that's happy and productive. By better incentivizing staff and giving them better tools to do their jobs, you'll see much greater impact on the guest than leaving their favorite board game in their room. And this brings us to our last point.3. Stop Guessing What Guests Want And Start Focusing On Staff SuccessTrying to proactively predict what every guest wants is labor-intensive, resource-draining, and usually off the mark. However, giving your staff what they want is much easier since you know them better and have more control over providing the benefits they desire. The labor market is more competitive than ever at hotels. In a 2015 report, Deloitte found employee turnover at hotels to be as high as 31%--nearly double the average rate for other industries. Your best option to attract higher quality employees with fewer turnovers is to provide them with a great place to work. That means creating a positive, uplifting culture that's as stress-free as possible and focuses on teamwork so the entire staff feels a sense of pride about their role in it all.Easier said than done? Perhaps, but it is being done, by a rapidly growing number of hotels and other service-industry establishments around the world. And most of these transitions to a more united, positive, and proactively-pleasing staff are happening quite quickly and inexpensively. While there are certainly benefits to bringing in consultants, motivational speakers, or staff-whisperers of sorts, these days one of the quickest and most effective way to make huge leaps towards having a happy hospitality staff is to use an integrated hospitality platform.In the 2016 book, Platform Revolution, a "platform" is defined as a business model that "uses technology to connect people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem in which amazing amounts of value can be created and exchanged." With their many different interactions, players, and services, hotels already act as a platform in many ways. This makes them ideal candidates for platform technology that facilitates the exchange of information and services between these various players, making life easier for a hotel's staff.Hotels adopting an integrated hospitality platform into their operations can not only integrate the various systems already in use, but also create a new master system that's able to link with guests, vendors, and of course, staff. All staff--from the front desk and concierge to housekeeping and maintenance. Those using such platforms quickly become more efficient at communicating between departments, getting service data they've never had before, and getting it all to work together as a cohesive unit. Hence the term, "integrated."In short, the impressive timesaving, stress-reducing, teamwork-building, and revenue-generating benefits of integrated platforms offer immediate value, making them far and away the quickest way to achieve staff satisfaction. For starters, by choosing integrated technology that is simple to learn and use, the entire staff becomes like a well-oiled machine--speeding up with the routine tasks of the existing workforce while lowering training times and costs for incoming staff.Hotels are at the forefront of customer service. Not in a way that a consumer brand is, where you have a dedicated team for it and no one else need bother, but in a hotel, every one of your staff doubles as a customer service agent. "Take care of your employees and they'll take care of your customers," J.W. Marriott famously said. With time freed up thanks to more streamlined systems and automation of many of their communication steps, employees can be deployed for other functions and increase their ability to service more guests. Every minute a staff member is spending, trying to work around poor technology (or lack of any technology), is a minute they could be spending maximizing your guests' experience. Making technology work well for your staff, as Snapshot CEO Stefan Tweraser corroborates, will help your staff work well for your guests. So, to put Mariott's and Tweraser's wisdom together, take care of your staff by making their lives easier through technology and they'll take care of your guests.The time and money saved from using effective technology and having a happy staff with little turnover leads to a positive cycle that includes more lucrative incentives for employees. This in turn makes them happier and more likely to make guests happier as well. It works like this: an integrated hospitality platform enables staff to be more effective and efficient, which makes them happier while saving the hotel time and money with less overtime, turnover, and sub-quality service. This in turn leads to a more pleasant work environment, which leads to a more positive ambience, better service, and happier guests more likely to leave positive reviews and bring in more guests. This creates more money for the hotel allowing for more pay for staff and capital for investments. This leads to even happier staff with even better service, and more fulfilled guests and the cycle goes on and on--all without the hassle of trying to customize your hotel to fit your guests. Instead, you'll attract the right guests to your hotel. And that's just easier for everybody.Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com
Concierge Connoisseur Karen Clancy Joins ALICE in Building a World-Class Concierge Technology Sales Team
ALICE 25 January 2018
New York, NY - ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, welcomes Karen Clancy, as Senior Sales Executive of the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.Karen was previously the Director of Sales of GoConcierge, a concierge technology rival acquired by ALICE in September, following its $26M Series B funding in August.Karen learned the keys of a concierge at The Ritz Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii, where she began her journey as a Lobby Concierge in 1991. A true hospitality enthusiast, Karen wore many hats during her long-standing service with the world-renown hotel group. In 1994, she was promoted to Concierge and Guest Recognition Manager, providing VIP Concierge services for high profile guests ranging from celebrities in the entertainment industry to royal families. After five years in a concierge role, Karen progressed to Rooms Operations Manager at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, where she oversaw restaurant reservations and PBX for three years, before kicking off her sales career in business travel at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey.With her rich experience in sales and front-of-house operations known far and wide, Karen was poached to become the Vice President and Director of Sales at Concierge Assistant, a pioneer in the concierge technology space. Upon its acquisition by GoConcierge, Karen transitioned to Director of Sales and fronted the growth of a loyal customer base alongside Founder Adam Isrow. Karen holds a B.A in Communication and Media Studies from California State University - Long Beach.Having worked in the industry for over two decades, Karen identifies with the pains of legacy communication in hotels and has experienced first hand the need for technology to streamline operations. When asked whether the concierge role is threatened by technology, Karen rejects the thought. "The concierge puts together the puzzle," she says. "Guests want to do everything, and the concierge organizes them an elegant itinerary. Technology only provides the resources for them to do their jobs better and more efficiently."ALICE is the industry leader in hospitality operations technology. Close to two thousand hotels across the country and around the world have chosen ALICE for the transformative effect joining all hotel staff departments onto a single platform has for improved task management and employee communication. ALICE's guest engagement toolset is also helping its clients deliver exceptional service with cutting-edge innovations like guest-to-staff texting."Karen Clancy is iconic in the concierge community and luxury hotel space. From the start of her career with Ritz-Carlton through the development of Concierge Assistant and most recently GoConcierge, her reputation as a friend and supporter to the concierge community is unparalleled," says Wendy Zapach, Head of Sales."We plan on leveraging her relationships for our entire sales team and are eager to learn from her knowledge. Karen will specifically tackle the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii, and we believe that with her background in California and experience living in Hawaii, she is the ideal fit."
ALICE 18 January 2018
When it comes to hotel management, there are so many demands starving for a slice of your fiscal pie that it can become overwhelming to figure out where funds can be utilized most effectively. But surprisingly, the most important concern of guests is something hotels can drastically improve upon. "Staff Service" was found to be the top guest complaint found in online reviews, according to a survey of attendees at last year's Revenue Strategy Summit (RSS). Although resolving this issue may seem like a daunting task, it is actually very simple thanks to today's technology.In the 2016 book, Platform Revolution, a platform is defined as a business model that "uses technology to connect people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem in which amazing amounts of value can be created and exchanged."This immediate value includes impressive time-saving and revenue-generating benefits, which make platforms the best use of budget funds.Here are five reasons why you should budget for a hotel platform in 2018:1. Businesses Embracing Platform Strategies Are Thriving (And Vice-Versa)From Airbnb and Uber to Amazon and Netflix, businesses utilizing platforms are shaking up industries. This new model resolves issues of communication gaps that have been plaguing hotels for centuries, as platforms allow hotels to consolidate their front desk, concierge, maintenance, housekeeping, and operations departments with guests and vendor relations, which has proven imperative for hotels to compete with lodging service. Seamless communication through platforms leads to accountability and efficiency, and enables hotels to adapt to the fast-changing demands of guests expectations. But that's only the beginning. Even better platforms have an advanced open Application Programming Interface (API) that connects hotels with other systems that may be currently in place, including PMS, POS, and third-party management systems. When combined with the wealth of data stored on times, costs, and ratings, the platform is able to reveal valuable data for GMs to gain insight into what are the most cost-effective options.2. Guests are Getting the MessageFor today's tech-savvy consumer, customization and instant gratification aren't an added perk. They're a way of life. Text messaging has become the favored means of communication due to its ease of use and convenience, and has exploded in recent years as the engagement channel of choice at hotels, and not just among Millennials. Pew Research reveals that 99% of text messages are read by recipients and 90% read within three minutes of delivery - it's no wonder texting is replacing the traditional means of communicating with guests. By allowing guests to request services more easily and using guest activity to personalize messages, texting also increases engagement and drives guest loyalty.The best hospitality platforms funnel text messages into the same integrated back-end to create an organized text trail that neither phone nor in-person conversations provide. Keeping guests happy has never been more of a priority before due to the increased impact of online reviews on revenue, as today's guests have easy and instant access to write about their experience on their mobile phones and in real-time across multiple channels. The challenge for most hotels is that there is no system of accountability to find out how long housekeeping is taking to deliver pillows, or for maintenance to fix a broken A/C, so many hotels are discovering their issues the worst way possible - reading about them in online reviews. The right hotel platform offers a more proactive approach through data reporting, and fixes issues before they become widespread or even before they happen to begin with.3. The Best Way to Improve Performance Is to Measure ItWhile most hotels rely on radios to communicate with staff, radios don't offer systems to track fulfillment, make note of issues, or allow guests to voice a complaint if a service didn't meet their expectations. These interactions have no traceability, using paper records are difficult to coordinate, and guest requests are not captured in a searchable place so hotels can't learn about guest habits over time. Hotels using analog tools have no idea what their issues are, so they can't fix them. Not only does a shared platform enable staff and guests to communicate together to know when things are going right or wrong, it also provides a trackable system of metrics for management to know how long services are taking and where things can be improved.4. Easy Set Up and Quick Learning CurveMost GMs are so consumed with putting out fires, they feel that they don't have time to invest in long-term solutions that will prevent all those problems to begin with. Successful leaders are those that take measures to prevent problems from returning. The reality is, not only is the pain of upgrading short, it's not even as painful or time-consuming as most GMs assume. In fact, most hotels making the switch to hospitality solutions can start with a slow roll in a matter of weeks and are fully converted within a couple months or less. Another worry is whether consumers really be embracing new technologies quickly enough to make the investment worthwhile. Executives at Blockbuster had asked the same question when they had an opportunity to buy Netflix for $50 million back in 2000. Sure, that's a different industry, but where are all the hotels these days without irons, key cards, and WIFI? Hotels who adopt technology early and implement platforms to ease customer communication will come out on top with the new generation of travelers.5. You Can't Put a Price Tag on SecurityWhether caused by nature, machinery, or man, life-threatening emergencies do happen. When they do, it becomes extremely important to have the most streamlined method of communications available. A platform integrated with security systems can assess the situation and go on lock-down if necessary and can send an emergency message to all staff and guests immediately at the touch of a button. The right platform can not only offer data to help make security assessments, but can also help you manage them if they're already in progress.
ALICE 11 January 2018
Luxury Napa Valley hideaway Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, a member of the prestigious Four Sisters Inns collection, is using ALICE's concierge technology, ALICE Concierge, to help their four-person front desk team provide guests with the kind of exceptional concierge service expected of a much larger team.Guests of Milliken Creek Inn, a 12-suite boutique that sits on a lush three acres overlooking the Napa River, count on the property's guest services team to help them take full advantage of everything this idyllic wine country hotel and locale have to offer. For the Inn's four front desk staff (who not only double as the property's concierges, but also have other roles in the hotel, including General Manager!), this means helping guests plan their trip from the moment guests book their trip through the time they checkout. Milliken Creek's front desk team therefore need a robust tool like ALICE that can help them coordinate complex guest itineraries and facilitate the multi-step planning and booking processes that characterize concierge work.In addition to using ALICE to book guests' offsite activities like vineyard and winery tours, restaurant reservations, and spa appointments, Milliken Creek's front desk staff use the technology to help them organize on-property activities like their nightly wine- and cheese-tasting hour, assign and coordinate pre-arrival amenities like champagne and rose petals, and to also keep track of items loaned to guests, like DVDs.Staff at Milliken Creek Inn appreciate many aspects of ALICE's technology that were not features of the concierge software they used previously. This includes the "user-friendliness" of the tool, as well as ALICE's text messaging functionality, which allows the Inn's staff to easily confirm guest reservations with the spa's therapists and keep records of those exchanges that are accessible to any hotel employee. Most importantly, they value the professionalism ALICE's printed itineraries and confirmation letters and emails confer the concierge operation. Says Tamara Mims, Vice President at Four Sisters Inns, "The guest itineraries and confirmation emails we can create with ALICE are better looking and more professional than anything we've had in the past. Achieving the same consistency and sophistication in formatting without ALICE would take our front desk staff a lot of time they don't have. ALICE, in this way and more, makes our lives much easier.""What sets Milliken Creek Inn apart from other Napa hotels is the level of service we offer our guests, despite our size. Our concierge program is an important part of this, and our ability to cater to our guests the way we do would not be possible for a four-person team without the help of a very capable and reliable piece of software like ALICE. It's as if we had another member of our team!," adds General Manager David Jessup.
ALICE 20 December 2017
New York, NY -- ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, welcomes Rafael Lozada, as Director of Customer Implementations.Rafael joins ALICE at a time of rapid growth for the company, following its $26M Series B funding in August, and the company's acquisition of concierge technology rival GoConcierge in September. A versatile leader with 15+ years of service delivery experience in technology-based companies, Rafael will help ALICE scale customer activation and ensure excellent service. Rafael's fluency in both English and Spanish will also allow ALICE to accelerate product implementation in Mexico and the greater Central America region, where company sales have increased in recent months.Rafael comes to ALICE from TravelClick, where as Director of Implementations Americas, he managed a team of 40+ Implementation Managers across three businesses and seven product lines, representing 35% of all new sales implementations. Prior to joining TravelClick, Rafael was Practice Director, Midsize Solutions at Hubbard One, where he led a team of Project Managers responsible for the implementation of websites for mid-sized law firms, a new segment of product he helped create. Rafael has also held Senior and Manager positions at Accenture, Stericycle, and Consorcio Credicard, where he began his career. Rafael has a B.S. in Systems Engineering from Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela, and a M.B.A in Corporate Finance from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business."We are excited to have Rafael lead our next stage of growth," said Scott Bieker, ALICE's VP, Business Operations. "Rafael's experience and exemplary customer knowledge will provide a solid foundation for our customers and Customer Success team."ABOUT ALICE:By joining all the departments of your hotel onto a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. The company acquired concierge technology provider GoConcierge in 2017. For more information, visit https://info.aliceapp.com.ALICE is hiring Spanish-speaking Sales and Implementation specialists to help us expand our presence in Central and South America. Please visit https://info.aliceapp.com/careers to learn more.
ALICE 13 December 2017
Renowned Wine Country getaway, Carneros Resort and Spa, has selected ALICE's concierge software, ALICE Concierge, and its guest text messaging technology, ALICE Guest, to improve front of house operations and elevate the guest experience. This implementation of ALICE leverages the company's integrations with both HotSOS and Springer Miller. ALICE is the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.Carneros Resort's management was first drawn to ALICE for the product's itinerary creation tool, which produced itineraries "far more visually appealing than what we currently were producing on site," says Jonathan Vail, Assistant Director of IT, but were compelled to purchase the technology after discovering how it would allow them to consolidate the multitude of different systems used to run the resort. Indeed, prior to ALICE, Carneros Resort's management was frustrated by an inability to integrate all of their different technologies. "This created an environment where we had all of the information available, but had no ability to leverage the information quickly when we really needed it. That is when we began exploring our possibilities with ALICE," explains Vail.With front desk staff often communicating with one another over email and paper notes, the engineering team using HotSOS, and the concierge team using GoConcierge, guest- and other property-critical information remained siloed by department. "This led to excessive amounts of internal emails and phone calls from users trying to pull information they already had access to. A simple guest issue could easily be over-complicated or missed, due to miscommunication," says Vail.Carneros Resort's management selected ALICE with the goal to unify all these systems - seeing ALICE as an easy-to-use tool that would "provide a window into every spectrum of the guest experience." Adds Vail, "ALICE will give us ability to easily view all of our relevant guest information and turn that data into action. With the guest communication tools provided by ALICE, we will have the ability to improve the guest experience like never before. Not only will we be able to communicate more effectively internally and externally, but we will be able to anticipate guest needs and manage the guest experience from a single platform."
ALICE 6 December 2017
The iconic Boston hotel XV Beacon has selected ALICE to enhance their internal communication, concierge operations, and guest engagement. The award-winning property (Travel + Leisure's #2 Best Hotel in the U.S, and #1 Best Hotel in Boston and #1 in the state of Massachusetts, as voted by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler), implemented ALICE's housekeeping and maintenance software ALICE Staff, ALICE's concierge software, ALICE Concierge, and ALICE's guest text messaging solution, ALICE Guest, in August of this year. ALICE is the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.Prior to implementing ALICE, staff at XV Beacon relied on radios, telephones and emails to communicate within and between departments, with the hotel's three-person concierge team using concierge technology GoConcierge. While GoConcierge helped the concierge team stay organized and aligned, the lack of a shared technology platform across this concierge-driven hotel challenged communication between the concierge team and other departments, and caused guest data to be siloed.Upgrading all departments to ALICE has made an immediate impact on staff alignment. "With radios, communication sometimes was unclear and delegation of tasks was sometimes misconstrued," says XV Beacon's Chef Concierge, Anthony Collito, "With ALICE, there's no miscommunication. Having digital confirmation of all staff exchanges and a permanent record of guest information is key for follow up, tracking and production reporting to management."One aspect of ALICE's concierge technology that has benefitted Collito's concierge department is the ALICE Logbook, which migrates paper logs to the cloud for easy access and analysis. Collito and his team use the Logbook to keep track of house car activities - XV Beacon offers guests complimentary trips around downtown Boston with their fleet of chauffeured Lexuses - and creating a digital repository for all trips makes the monthly audits the team does much less time consuming than before.Using ALICE's guest messaging technology has also made things easier for Collito and his department. Prior to ALICE, Collito used a spare phone to text with guests - the seasoned concierge saw early on how guests preferred to receive time sensitive information by text - but sharing a phone between team members created complications and made it difficult to record guest preferences and keep records of guest interactions. Using ALICE's guest messaging platform to text with guests means all text exchanges are permanently attached to a guest's profile and this information is accessible to all hotel staff. Collito and his team use messaging to let guests know about their rooms being ready, as well as to communicate reservation and itinerary information.Collito also appreciates the insights ALICE affords him as a manager. Because ALICE creates a record of all internal work orders and guest requests, managers are able to gain meaningful appreciation of individual and department-level productivity. Collito says this has improved accountability and team efficiency.
Hotel Operations Technology Has Reduced Staff Communication Complications By Some 60-70%, Says Resort GM
ALICE 29 November 2017
Aruba's Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort, which implemented ALICE's full suite of hospitality technology products in August of this year, can already report meaningful improvements in staff communication and guest satisfaction. The intimate and picturesque resort, set on award-winning Eagle Beach, is using ALICE Staff, ALICE Concierge, and ALICE Guest to align its front of house and back of house teams, as well as provide its guests with convenient ways to get in touch with the hotel. ALICE is the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, connecting every department of a hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.Before implementing ALICE in the summer of 2017, staff at Amsterdam Manor communicated with one another primarily through radios, emails, and phone calls. This siloed method of communication challenged accountability and alignment (it wasn't uncommon for multiple of the resort's hyper-attentive staff members to address the same concern simultaneously), and, in the case of radios, created a noisy distraction for both guests and staff. When staff were out of range of the radios, or didn't respond right away, staff would spend time tracking each other down across the 13-acre property, hampering productivity.Now, after only a few months of using ALICE, Amsterdam Manor's General Manager Alfred Kaufmann estimates communication complications have been reduced by some 60- to 70%. Whereas previously, determining the status of a guest request required a chain of exchanges between staff members, now, everyone on staff can log into ALICE and immediately see the status of the guest request or internal work order.Kaufmann says his staff have responded enthusiastically to how much easier ALICE has made communication and coordination. "My staff can now quickly check in with each other online. When someone comes on shift, they can just post a short message, 'Hey guys, I'm here,' and everyone who needs to know, is notified seamlessly." The GM also says he's pleased with how open staff of all ages have been to embrace the technology. Earlier concerns about whether some of his staff would be as quick to take to ALICE as others were quickly allayed, once everyone saw how useful this new type of communication would be.For Kaufmann, use of ALICE represents a sea change in his ability as General Manager to oversee his staff, as well as keep up to the moment with activity on property. "For me, ALICE is fabulous. In the morning, I can look at the ALICE log and see immediately the activity from the day before. If there is a problem with the A/C somewhere on property, for example, I can see it in the log and in the tickets and I can see whether or not the issue was resolved. This makes things very open - I can see exactly what's going on at all times."Most importantly, Kaufmann says ALICE is helping him where it counts, and that's in the guest experience. "We do this for one reason," Kaufmann says of his and his team's drive for better operations, "and that's guest satisfaction. ALICE allows us to respond to guest requests and guest issues far more quickly than we could before. Establishing a record of guest preferences and requests also helps us improve our relationships with guests and better anticipate their needs."
ALICE 28 November 2017
At first blush, the pairing of Poncho (a cheeky chatbot that tells you the weather, with no obvious ties to the hospitality industry) and ALICE (a hospitality messaging product that doesn't use chatbots) seems an unconventional choice to host a conversation at HX about chatbots and guest conversational interfaces. But, as a lively discussion between the panelists and audience made clear, there's a lot hospitality can learn from the popular consumer product Poncho, and a lot more to messaging - especially in this industry - than chatbots.Here are a couple of takeaways from ALICE co-founder Alex Shashou's HX panel on Monday:Attitude is everythingWhether your hotel's messaging is chatbot-driven, completely staffed by humans, or something in between, deciding on a tone of voice that represents your brand is essential.One of the things that distinguishes Poncho from other weather apps and conversational interfaces is its distinct personality - one that is both humorous and smart. The product's founder knew what kind of voice he wanted from the product's inception, and so he hired a team of writers from Upright Citizens Brigade, a renowned improv theater and training center here in New York, to infuse weather updates - something that could easily be dry and forgettable - to something compelling and sticky. Poncho updates its responses every week or two, incorporating current events, and learning from past interactions, to keep its users delighted and engaged.Hotels starting with chatbots or messaging don't need to do a lot of soul-searching to find their voice - knowing what tone to strike with guests is integral to a hotel's brand and likely well established before diving into messaging. The trick is adapting this voice for a new medium.The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas made headlines earlier this year when it unveiled Rose, its concierge chatbot that you can text for nearly anything you might need during your stay. Digital marketing agency R/GA worked with The Cosmopolitan to "create a spirited personality that reflects the mystique" of the hotel. The result is something that's both playful and helpful, as well as a bit sassy - perfect for Las Vegas. When Travel + Leisure asked Rose where to find strippers, Rose apparently replies: "I love playing pretend, so I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that," followed by the Hear No Evil monkey emoji. She also added "Let's keep this PG-13 if you know what I mean."Whether you're designing a chatbot or implementing messaging, establishing brand guidelines for the medium is essential to upholding brand standards and honing in on a particularly unique or compelling voice (like in the case of Rose at The Cosmopolitan) can even set your property apart.Chatbots definitely have more buzz right now, but maybe human-driven messaging, or a hybrid solution, will work better for your hotel.When Alex asked who in the audience was already using chatbots at their hotel, one hotelier explained how she had intended for her hotel's messaging program to be entirely automated, but realized it would need to include (and would benefit from) staff-generated messages. Indeed, having automated messages for certain frequently-occurring interactions saves her staff time, but there's a long tail of possible exchanges that the average chatbot can't account for. This doesn't matter much when it comes to weather apps - if Poncho doesn't recognize a user message he will tell you he doesn't understand and prompt you to try again - but it's incompatible with hospitality, which requires every guest request and exchange to be addressed to the highest standard possible. It's for this reason we think the happy medium for most hotel messaging programs will be a mixture of automated and staff-generated responses. This will save staff time - particularly for a messaging program at scale - but still allow for real, truly personalized human exchanges.Start slowWhen it comes to messaging for the first time, many hoteliers fear being overwhelmed by messages and being too slow to respond. Alex understood the concerns but reminded the audience that, before messaging, we were all concerned that we couldn't engage with our guests on mobile at all. Alex's advice to those embarking with messaging is to start slow. Pick a handful of guests to roll this out to at the start, see what engagement is like and how your staff enjoy it, and gradually promote the service to more people. As you expand, you'll learn how long it takes your staff to respond to queries, and how frequently, and at what times of day, guests are most likely to reach out. One thing you'll learn right away, Alex says, is that facilitating ten guest interactions over text is a lot more operationally efficient than taking ten guest phone calls. Even moving a few of those calls to the front desk to text conversations as you slowly roll out the program will have an immediate impact on your operations.Choose a messaging platform to get all the benefits of messaging with none of the drawbacks of doing it from your personal phoneDuring Alex's panel, a hotelier from the audience enthused about the power of text messaging to create lasting and profitable relationships with guests, describing how a guest engagement program born out of necessity (all she had was her phone) eventuated to something far more prized than a collection of customer emails. But what happens when she goes on vacation, Alex asked, or wants to sell the business? All that valuable data and guest history stays with the phone and its user. The same goes for all hotels that try texting guests from staff phones at the front desk and the concierge desk. If a concierge is having conversations with a guest on his own personal phone, none of that guest history or guest preferences gets recorded by the hotel, and none of that information is easily accessible to other staff members during that guest stay or subsequent stays. This is not scalable. That's why we recommend using a dedicated messaging tool to run a messaging program at your hotel, ideally one that is integrated with the technology your staff uses to manage their work. That way, all guest information is retained and easily accessible, regardless of who on staff is doing the texting.
ALICE 21 November 2017
A panel of industry experts awarded ALICE the top honor at the third annual HX TECHPitch - a tech innovation competition held during HX: The Hotel Experience - here in New York City last week, November 12-13.Deanna Ting, Hospitality Editor at Skift, Vijay Dandapani, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, and Valerie Ferguson, Director, Experience Planning and Integration, Hotels & Resorts at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts judged the competition.ALICE faced some hot competition for the award. Finalists included Maidbot, makers of a housekeeping robot, Openkey, providers of mobile keyless hotel access, Remi, a smart mirror from Mirror Image and KEYPR, VDroom, a direct marketing platform that enables the creation of virtual reality websites for hotels, and Verdant, an energy management system.In his pitch for ALICE's ability to help staff forge meaningful relationships with guests, company Co-Founder and President Alex Shashou set the stage by pointing out that, despite our best attempts, we're failing as an industry when it comes to delivering hospitality in today's digital age. He showed the audience a recent overview of customer satisfaction benchmarks by industry, which revealed that the hotel industry ranks behind banks, behind supermarkets, and even behind phone companies, when it comes to customer satisfaction! "By knowing your name, an Uber driver knows more about you than most hotel staff. Domino's delivers pizza with more transparency than room service. Siri fulfills more of your local queries than your concierge." The list goes on, Alex explained.We should all take inspiration, he said, from one hotel group that was willing to take a risk to improve guest engagement. "They played to win, instead of playing not to lose," he said, "This group came to us and said, 'What if we could take our guest app, that doesn't work as well as we want it to, and connect it to your staff platform?' We said yes. So, they took our Guest API and our staff platform and had their own developers build our messaging tools and our services into their guest app. They then launched ALICE at their hotels and let their front desk respond in any way they wanted. Of course, we thought this would be risky - no one knew what would happen, but the best thing possible occurred - guests and staff loved it, and started conversing. And true moments of hospitality started to happen."Despite the optimistic message, Alex was surprised by the win: "When staff operations technology competes against robots, the robots usually win. This award is an important endorsement from the industry that platform technology that streamlines staff communication and task management is a valuable technology breakthrough that can make a big impact on the guest experience. We thank the judges, and look forward to reconnecting with everyone again at HX 2018."ABOUT ALICE: ALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective. Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. ALICE was founded by Dmitry Koltunov, Justin Effron, and Alex Shashou, and has raised $39M to date. The company acquired concierge technology provider GoConcierge in 2017. For more information, visit https://info.aliceapp.com.
Hospitality Technology Sales & Media Specialist Leigh Sansone Joins ALICE to Continue Company Expansion into the Midwest
ALICE 15 November 2017
ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, welcomes travel technology sales leader and digital marketing professional Leigh Sansone as Senior Sales Executive for the Midwest and Toronto.Leigh joins ALICE at a time of rapid growth for the company, following its $39M Series B funding in August, and the company's acquisition of concierge technology rival GoConcierge the following month. Leigh will help ALICE grow the brand and open new markets for the company.Leigh comes to ALICE from TravelClick, where for the past five years, Leigh consistently scaled company ranks, becoming an expert in hotel e-commerce, distribution, and technology. Leigh joined TravelClick in New York City as a Media Analyst in 2012. After a series of quick promotions, Leigh rose to Director of Digital Strategy in 2014, and was again promoted to Director of Sales for Miami, Florida in 2015. Leigh consistently outperformed her peers, winning numerous awards during her tenure at TravelClick, including Sales Specialist of the Year in 2014, and in 2016, Sales Rookie of the Year and 100% Club. At the time of her move from TravelClick to ALICE, Leigh was the local market expert for more than 300 hotels, having successfully supported and expanded a $5M book of business. Leigh is a graduate of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and holds a BSBA in Finance.ALICE is the industry leader in hospitality operations technology. Close to two thousand hotels across the country and around the world have chosen ALICE for the transformative effect joining all hotel staff departments onto a single platform has for improved task management and employee communication. ALICE's guest engagement toolset is also helping its clients deliver exceptional service with cutting-edge innovations like guest-to-staff texting."We are so excited to have Leigh join our team in Chicago," says Wendy Zapach, ALICE's Head of Sales. "Chicago and the Midwest are excellent markets for ALICE, with beautiful and unique independent properties. Leigh's being a native gal with local contacts and connections is going to make an impact for ALICE right off the ground."
Two of Mexico's Premier Luxury Hotel Groups Trade Their Radios and Spreadsheets for Operations Technology
ALICE 1 November 2017
Puerto Vallarta Area, Mexico -- Partner companies Tafer Hotels & Resorts and the Villa Group, representing two pioneering collections of luxury hotels and resorts in Mexico, have just introduced hospitality mobile wunderplatform ALICE to all fourteen of their distinct vacation properties. Overseeing these high-end collections to ensure that the millions of unique moving parts flow together seamlessly is Carlos Aquino, VP of Sales & Business Development, who was searching for better ways to connect his hotel departments and staff, and integrate the unique resorts with one another."We're always on the lookout for opportunities to make improvements to our services and create more opportunities to WOW our guests," Aquino says. "As independent companies, we have not always had an efficient ability to integrate all the systems and... the myriad of platforms to complement our own custom development."The properties' management team and staff considered the hospitality software they were using to be very limited in what it could do and lacking any features for guests. "Our customers are very mobile driven... the way they interact with us nowadays is more on mobile devices. We need technology that is one step ahead of that, such as the possibility of integrating chatbots... We're always looking to meet the customer where they are, not forcing them to be where we are."With a global vision for expansion, the two hotel groups were also looking to unify communications and "wanted to better interconnect systems and data, finding more compatibility with new partners and more flexibility," Aquino says. "With ALICE we saw an opportunity to create a higher-level experience."Founded in 2013 as the first integrated guest management platform, ALICE streamlines hotel communication and task management with a completely customizable, cloud-based app that's accessible from any device. The user-friendly interface connects all hotel departments in real-time, helping them act like a unified team. ALICE's main product--ALICE Suite--brings together the front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, while connecting guests to the hotel through the company's app and text messaging tools. The result is increased hotel revenue, efficiency, and morale, as well as improved guest relations."We were very impressed with the degree of understanding that we found in the process and due diligence to what our needs were and what we were looking for," Aquino says. He was also very pleased with the possibilities of integrating the platform with their own CRM and guest depository. ALICE offered a "very simple process" and Aquino is excited to use it to predict guest requests and service needs. "Capturing data is the most important benefit, and once it's captured then we can analyze it."Moreover, the data's usefulness expands well beyond benefitting just each hotel individually. By using ALICE, Aquino says the goals are, "Centralizing data from all our properties; being able to analyze and compare our properties; creating a new set of benchmarks within our hotel service standards. ALICE is a unique solution that we can use to standardize our processes where today they are not, which is quite a challenge today when it comes to individual data. There are only so many spreadsheets you can pull out and work with."And not only does ALICE help overcome the boundaries of time, but also of space. With fourteen expansive properties, the two resort groups relied on a rudimentary system of radios for communication before signing on with ALICE. "The biggest challenge in more complex properties like ours has been the mobility of our associates," Aquino says. "We have not been able to always identify where the staff are around property. Hundreds of radios. ... we couldn't find a solution before that provided the mobility required. People at a resort are moving all over the place." ALICE addressed this by working through mobile phones that everyone has access to and takes advantage of the great Internet coverage across the property that wasn't being fully utilized.All of these advantages will not only help associates to be more efficient, but will also enable them to better connect with their guests, and for their guests to better connect with them. The ALICE program is versatile enough to connect to various guest room technologies. "If we want to develop an app solution, the ALICE API will make it significantly cheaper and more achievable for us to give our guests a better experience that they can control, and which integrates with other programs," Aquino says. "Mostly, what we are looking for is that ROI on the technology." With ALICE, the goal is to get real time feedback with measurable service standards and customer satisfaction results.And speaking of the future, Aquino says, "We have a very clear understanding that our core purpose is to create iconic hotels and unique experiences and spaces for our customers. In doing that we have to be constantly evolving to where our customers are... We want partners that offer a degree of customization and understanding that each business has unique differentiators." Having hotels that are unique in design, ambience, style, and clientele requires uniformity in terms of operations so all hotels can be on the same page when communicating. That's where ALICE excels, and Aquino is excited to have found the platform before opening the new properties. The groups expect to open at least one hotel each year over the next five years in Mexico, and plan to expand further thereafter. Thankfully, ALICE offers a duplicable, scalable model that streamlines all management, staff, and guest relations, and makes a whole lot of sense in any language.
Two Formerly Rival Hotel Technology Vendors Come Together to Create Something Special for The Greenwich Hotel
ALICE 18 October 2017
ALICE, the operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, is celebrating a successful year of partnership with New York City's Greenwich Hotel and Alta, the tablet provider that enhances a guest's stay by allowing users to discover and request available goods and services.Through this partnership, guests at The Greenwich Hotel have been requesting services and amenities as well as uncovering the surrounding area, all without having to swing by the front desk or call down to reception. Tablets are available in every room in the hotel and come pre-loaded with the Alta app. These services include room service, digital newspaper and magazine subscriptions, dinner and spa reservations, and more. Guests can also download the Alta app to their mobile devices and have the same access on the go.Beyond the value this partnership offers guests, hotel staff now have an optimal system for communication and task management. Requests placed by guests on the app arrive to staff via ALICE. This creates one comprehensive system and solves the notorious industry problem of needing to deal with multiple technology platforms. The Greenwich's housekeeping staff have traded their noisy radios for mobile devices running the technology."Alta has figured out what makes for a great user experience," says Alex Shashou, ALICE co-founder and President. "It's one thing to offer guests an app to download, but quite another to literally put the app into the guests' hands via this in-room tablet as Alta has done. When we learned about their technology we saw a way to improve how guest requests make their way to hotel staff through our API, and together improve the experience for the guests at The Greenwich."Originally both platforms came to The Greenwich as separate vendors; Alta for its guest-facing, in-room technology, ALICE for its ability to streamline staff communications and fragmented back-of-house management."When ALICE came to us and said we had complementary technologies and suggested we integrate, I was initially skeptical, because I thought we were competitors," said Nicholas Wirth, one of Alta's co-founders and its CEO. "It turns out ALICE was right." With Alta, ALICE's first hardware partner, ALICE had a great opportunity to work through the kinks of their API, which was new at the start of the partnership.While many hotels have found guests to be reluctant to download their app, The Greenwich has seen industry-high engagement rates of more than 80 percent since the launch of the program in the summer of 2016. Additionally, it seems that guest spend for items available through the application, like room service, are up.According to Philip Trulove, The Greenwich Hotel's General Manager, "This isn't about replacing human interaction, it's about enhancing it. Providing our guests with this technology is a way for us to keep pace, and I can see having this constant connectedness is undoubtedly the way of the world."This partnership furthers ALICE's mission to improve the delivery of hospitality through customer-driven technology., ALICE recently announced $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) and acquired GoConcierge, a leading concierge software platform.For more information on ALICE, please visit: https://info.aliceapp.com.For more information on Alta, please visit: www.getALTA.com.About ALICEALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service, and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working with many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit https://info.aliceapp.com. About ALTAAlta is a digital guest engagement platform for hotels. Launched in mid-2016, Alta's integrated software and hardware solution enhances every stay by empowering guests to discover and request any goods or services available to them. Hospitality providers use Alta to showcase their unique offerings and maintain a real-time communication channel with their customers - elevating the entire guest experience. To contact us or learn more, please visit www.getALTA.com.
How Hotel Technology Helps This Historic Hudson Valley Inn Do Everything From Feeding Their Geese to Turning Their Rooms
ALICE 11 October 2017
Historic Hudson Valley bed and breakfast, Buttermilk Falls Inn, has selected ALICE's staff communications platform to improve employee communication and coordination across the 75-acre estate. ALICE is the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.Although the Buttermilk property had modernized and expanded its offering many times since erection of the main inn building in 1764 (recent additions include a world-class spa, a renowned farm-to-table restaurant, more accommodations, and a popular event space), improvements to the Inn's technology infrastructure had not kept pace. Prior to implementing ALICE, the Inn's staff relied primarily on walkie-talkies to relay tasks and updates to one another. Not only were there often not enough walkie-talkies to go around, but the property's vast size and topography (a mix of elevations and trees) made communication by walkie-talkie unreliable. Other ways of communicating guest requests and keeping records, like verbal communication (which was easily forgotten) and paper logs (which could be lost or not consistently updated) were similarly fallible. An ailing Property Management System made matters even worse.Now, with all staff departments using ALICE, communication and task management at the Inn has improved substantially, says CJ Hartwell-Kelly, Buttermilk's General Manager. These improvements are evident in the level of service the Inn can now provide its guests, she adds. ALICE is ideal for her property, she tells us, because despite only having 18 guest rooms, the Inn has a large staff (upwards of 100 during peak season) and a substantial number of facilities under management that were previously difficult to align without such a robust communications toolset. (These facilities, befitting of this rural idyll, include an organic kitchen garden and orchard, aviary, apiary, working farm, and livestock barns for the Inn's animal rescue activities.)ALICE has additional benefits for Buttermilk beyond aligning staff on property. The Inn happens to own its own laundromat off-site, and Hartwell-Kelly is pleased that she can now coordinate laundry pickups and dropoffs at both locations through ALICE, thereby streamlining necessary oversight. The GM and her staff also appreciate ALICE for its ability to carve out paper waste and unnecessary printing, which aligns with Buttermilk Falls' commitment to sustainable practices. "ALICE has helped us in all the ways I expected it would and more," says the GM.
How a Hotel Operations Platform Improves Staff Communication and Accountability at this Luxury Beachside Boutique
ALICE 4 October 2017
Luxury oceanfront retreat, Malibu Beach Inn, has selected ALICE to upgrade the property's staff communication and provide its guests with more ways to request services from the hotel. The upscale boutique property, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) and Conde Nast Traveler awards recipient, is using ALICE's full suite of products - ALICE Staff, ALICE Concierge, and ALICE Guest - which are purpose-built for every role within the hotel. ALICE is the hospitality industry's leading operations technology, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.Prior to implementing ALICE, staff at Malibu Beach Inn were using a handful of different methods to communicate with one another and manage their work (including email, phone calls, text messaging, and walkie talkies). This challenged consistency in internal communication and made it difficult to retain useful guest information that would allow the team to be more proactive with guest requests."With all departments now using ALICE, communication between team members at Malibu Beach Inn has significantly improved," said Gregory Day, General Manager. "By eliminating traditional communication channels, which left room for user error, our team is able to track all guest requests and internal work-flows along with personalized data regarding guest preferences. Plus, staff accountability is through the roof. ALICE provides a tool that finesses our system of communication and enhances the luxury experience."ALICE is also providing Malibu Beach Inn staff with benefits beyond improved communication.The hotel's valet team, for example, often finds use for the photo attachments feature of the technology. For every vehicle the team is asked to park, a valet will create a ticket in ALICE. If the vehicle happens to be damaged in any way, the valet will take a photo of the vehicle from his with phone with the ALICE app and attach the image to the ticket. This provides the team with valuable peace of mind when it comes to minding guests' and visitors' property.Malibu Beach Inn guests are also delighted with the new digital means of getting in touch with the front desk and requesting services from the hotel. Guests at the property have the ability to download the Malibu Beach Inn app, powered by ALICE and branded to the property, as well as text the front desk, without the need to download an app. Guests have particularly taken to text messaging staff, with common requests including those for concierge services (like those for dinner reservations and recommendations), extra amenities, and transportation needs. Staff also appreciate using the text message feature to build relationships with guests prior to their arrival on property, as well as post departure.The management team at Malibu Beach Inn learned about the benefits of switching the hotel to the ALICE platform from the General Manager of The Greenwich Hotel in New York City (and fellow LHW). After partnering with ALICE in February of this year, management and staff have quickly recognized the enhanced efficiency and guest satisfaction streamlined communications provides.ABOUT ALICE: Manage staff work and guest communication across departments with the ALICE operations platform. By joining all of the departments of your hotel with a single platform, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product - ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and text messaging tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module can be integrated with your PMS and third party management systems. ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $39M to date.
ALICE 7 September 2017
ALICE, an operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, announced today the acquisition of GoConcierge, a leading concierge software platform.As part of the acquisition, ALICE welcomes approximately 1,000 GoConcierge hotel customers to their community, with a promise to continue both companies' tradition of delivering industry-leading service technology. Frank Sena and Justin Hirs from Bentley Associates advised GoConcierge on this transaction. ALICE will empower GoConcierge's hotel customers to be at the forefront of guest experience standards in their markets.Justin Effron, Chief Executive Officer, ALICE says, "This acquisition is a huge win for our hotel customers. We'll draw from GoConcierge's deep knowledge in the space and well-connected team, as well as their incredible hotel customer base, to drive improvements in our platform and hotel service offerings. We're committed to supporting the concierge by connecting them to the rest of the hotel and their guests and helping them exceed guests' ever-increasing expectations.""This is a unique opportunity to bring two passionate companies together with a shared vision of delivering tools of efficiency to the concierge as well as other departments, including housekeeping, engineering, security, and a focus on guest communication. Ultimately, we will strive to reduce the number of applications team members are forced to learn and use on a daily basis. We look forward to delivering even more solutions to our clients and the industry," says Adam Isrow, Executive Vice President, GoConcierge. "I look forward to working together with ALICE to bring world-class solutions and support to our customers."The acquisition is a testament to ALICE's continued momentum in the hospitality industry since the company's inception in 2013. Recently, ALICE received $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) Earlier this year, ALICE launched products including the Guest Profile, which gives hoteliers a view into the guest experience across every aspect of their hotel stay, including check-in, requests for amenities and services, and any interaction with the concierge, Guest Text Messaging, which facilitates text messaging between hotels and guests without requiring an app download, as well as Logbooks, which can be used by hoteliers to track any physical item belonging to or loaned to a guest, including packages and lost & found.Additionally, the company launched a Preventative Maintenance tool and an open-API, and is looking forward to releasing new features for use by hoteliers such as Checklists, a tool to improve task management, SMS automation, which automates responses via text to common guest questions, and more."Positive emotional experiences deeply impact guests' likelihood to book or recommend a hotel," says Alex Shashou, President, ALICE. "Our view is that together, ALICE and GoConcierge will be able to deliver our hotel customers a competitive advantage through cutting-edge service and unforgettable guest engagement."For more information on ALICE, please visit: https://info.aliceapp.com.About ALICEALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit https://info.aliceapp.com.About GoConciergeGoConcierge is a Web-based task-tracking and database tracking solution for concierges and other departments including guest services, front desk, shipping and receiving, housekeeping, security and more. The GoConcierge application is being used throughout the United States and in more than 65 countries around the world. GoConcierge owns both GoConcierge and The Concierge Assistant. For more information about GoConcierge.net, go to info.goconcierge.net or call (818) 263-8993.
ALICE 30 August 2017
New York, NY, August 30, 2017 - ALICE, an operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, announced today it has secured $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world's largest online travel company. The completed investment makes Expedia(r) a majority shareholder in ALICE and deepens the commercial cooperation between the two companies that was originally established with an equity investment in 2015. ALICE intends to use the funds further the mission of delivering the very best technology and customer service in the industry. This round brings ALICE's total funding to $39 million.As engaging digital consumer experiences continue to drive success in travel, ALICE takes the guest experience head-on, by studying not only how the internal business of a hotel runs, but also how services are delivered today in other analogous industries. This funding allows ALICE to build out its development, product, sales, and customer success teams to help the company to reach its goal of being one of the hotel industry's leading operating platforms."It is time for the internet to expand beyond revolutionizing how our hotel partners market and distribute their products into how they service and interact with their guests," says Cyril Ranque, President, Lodging Partner Services, Expedia, Inc. "ALICE is developing smart mobile and cloud technology to fundamentally improve the hotelier and guest experience at scale. That's a revolution worth investing in."Justin Effron, Chief Executive Officer, ALICE says, "Our mission is to give hoteliers the ability to provide the best guest service and experience they can around the clock, and this latest round is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. With this additional capital, we'll be better equipped to help hoteliers reach their goals of improved guest service."A deeper relationship with Expedia continues ALICE's momentum in the hospitality industry since its inception in 2013. Earlier this year, ALICE launched products including the Guest Profile, which gives hoteliers a view into the guest experience across every aspect of their hotel stay, including check-in, requests for amenities and services, and any interaction with the concierge, Guest Text Messaging, which facilitates text messaging between hotels and guests without requiring an app download, as well as Logbooks, which can be used by hoteliers to track any physical item belonging to or loaned to a guest, including packages and lost & found. Additionally, the company launched a Preventative Maintenance tool and an open-API, and is looking forward to releasing new features for use by hoteliers such as Checklists, a tool to improve task management, SMS automation, which automates responses via text to common guest questions, and more.In the last six months, ALICE grew its customer base nearly 200%. Recently clients signed to the platform include Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World.For more information on the ALICE team http://info.aliceapp.com.About ALICEALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit http://info.aliceapp.com.About Expedia, Inc.Expedia, Inc. is the world's largest online travel company, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:Expedia.com(r), a leading full-service online travel brand with localized sites in 33 countriesHotels.com(r), a leading global lodging expert operating 89 localized websites in 41 languages with its award winning Hotels.com(r) Rewards loyalty programExpedia(r) Affiliate Network (EAN), a global B2B brand that powers the hotel business of hundreds of leading airlines, travel agencies, loyalty and corporate travel companies plus several top consumer brands through its API and template solutionstrivago(r), a leading online hotel search platform with sites in 55 countries worldwideHomeAway(r), a global online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, which also includes the VRBO, VacationRentals.com and BedandBreakfast.com brands, among othersEgencia(r), a leading corporate travel management companyOrbitz.com(r) and CheapTickets.com(r), leading U.S. travel websites, as well as ebookers(r), a full-service travel brand with websites in seven European countriesTravelocity(r), a leading online travel brand in the U.S. and Canada delivering customer service when and where our customers need it with the Customer First GuaranteeHotwire(r), inspiring spontaneous travel through Hot Rate(r) dealsWotif Group, a leading portfolio of travel brands including Wotif.com(r), Wotif.co.nz, lastminute.com.au(r), lastminute.co.nz and travel.com.au(r)Expedia(r) Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc. that builds creative media partnerships and enables brand advertisers to target a highly-qualified audience of travel consumersCarRentals.comtm, a premier online car rental booking company with localized sites in 13 countriesClassic Vacations(r), a top luxury travel specialistExpedia Local Expert(r), a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in over a thousand destinations worldwideExpedia(r) CruiseShipCenters(r), a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 235 retail travel agency franchises across North AmericaSilverRail Technologies, Inc., a global rail retail and distribution platform connecting rail carriers and suppliers to both online and offline travel distributorsFor corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2017 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50
ALICE 16 August 2017
This stressful scenario and others like it are the unfortunate reality for many travelers. Now there's a simple solution to waylay the anxieties around lost items for guests and staff alike - the new "Lost & Found" feature of ALICE's concierge technology, ALICE concierge.Human error is inevitable wherever you go, but ALICE's Lost & Found logbook provides intuitive functionality for managing guest items, enabling any hotel staff member to track lost items in detail from any device.ALICE Lost & Found features:Smart search across any description of the itemPhoto attachments of items for precisionDigital signature of guest upon pickupDisposal reporting to see which items are ready to be removed from storageWe at ALICE are confident this tool will improve the lost and found experience. Staff already using our Lost & Found feature have garnered powerful insights to more seamlessly assist guests in an event of missing items. "We use it mainly for lost and found credit cards that are left at the bar or the pool, whether it's for a guest or a visitor in the public spaces," said Ben Edwards, chef Concierge at SIXTY LES. "It's simple to do a search in the corresponding category to locate items. It's great how you can search using any keyword of name or location of where the item was found. The search is really intuitive, flexible, and fast."In the last 30 days, 3,202 lost and found items were recorded for all ALICE clients using the new module - that's about 163 items per hotel, per month. The most common left-behind items have been chargers, books, shirts, bags, glasses, and shoes.With Lost & Found in action at your hotel, guest panic will melt into relief when the front desk agent knowingly hands you a coveted lost parcel, or calls you having found it before you even realized it was missing. ALICE's Lost & Found will keep your team ahead of the curve, so they can continue to exceed your guest's expectations through the consistency in service and cross-departmental organization this feature provides. Informed staff lead to happy, repeat guests. Your success is our success.Lost & Found is part of the ALICE Concierge module, used by Front Desk and Concierge teams in hundreds of hotels across the United States and around the world. Learn more about ALICE Concierge and schedule a demo here.
This Newly-Opened New York Boutique Hotel Uses Text Messaging to Create Relationships With Guests Before They Even Arrive On Property
ALICE 8 August 2017
New York, NY -- Newly opened Life Hotel has selected ALICE's guest text messaging and staff technology to facilitate guest communication and power staff operations. ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, connects every department in a hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests.Life Hotel - a 98-room boutique that opened this spring in the original Nomad-neighborhood home of Life Magazine - was initially looking for a guest engagement tool, but chose the multi-purpose ALICE platform over a handful of other vendors, once they saw how ALICE improves staff coordination and request management via dedicated task management technology connecting every department of the hotel. Now, all of Life Hotel's staff departments (front desk, maintenance, housekeeping, and F&B) are using and benefitting from the multi-purpose ALICE platform.Erin Pepper, Life Hotel's VP of Brand and Experience, says text messaging is proving a strong differentiator for the hotel, letting staff continuously delight guests with immediate, personalized responses. "Guests are always responding to our texts with, 'Wow, what a quick answer!', or 'Thank you for the helpful information!'," Erin explains. "I think guests are continuously surprised it's a real person writing back to them on the other side. In this day and age, with so many bots and automated response systems, I think it's important that we maintain personal and direct communication with our guests. The "human touch" is inherent to hospitality and with ALICE technology we are able to strike that healthy balance. We also encourage our team to partake in the occasional use of emojis, which is relatable and familiar to our guests. It is almost like they are texting with a friend - which by the end of their stay (and beyond) we are!" Erin says the most common use case for text messaging is pre-stay. Guests often text the hotel to let staff know they'll be arriving at a certain time and to request early check-in. Guest also gravitate towards text messaging when it comes to requesting a refresh of in-room amenities, like towels or pillows.ALICE is also helping staff delight guests in other ways. Because Life Hotel's busy management team doubles as concierges, ALICE's suite of concierge tools (which include a local vendor database and hotel-branded custom confirmation letters, maps, and itineraries) are helping them quickly become neighborhood experts and provide guests with the trappings characteristic of a fully-staffed concierge team.ALICE is also improving staff operations behind the scenes. Erin loves that, with ALICE, every staff member is united on one system, with all the accountability and efficiencies that affords - "everyone gets the chime [of a new work order or request] and everyone gets the message," she says. Creating a digital paper trail of work orders and guest requests is also providing the hotel's management new insights into the business. Having a record of maintenance issues, for example, allows the maintenance team to systematize reporting and preempt more serious maintenance issues by recognizing patterns in asset malfunction and then addressing things quickly.In addition to praising ALICE's multi-purpose functionality, Erin says she's also been very pleased with how easy the ALICE team is to work with. "It's been wonderful how amenable the ALICE team is to requests - I'm never told 'no' without a solution in the team's back-pocket. The support team is really fantastic. Our hotel is right by the ALICE headquarters, so whenever we have a problem, they just come by the property... It's really nice when you have a vendor who is aligned with your same values and provides you with the same service that you strive to provide to your guests."
ALICE 20 July 2017
New York, NY -- ALICE, the operations platform powering the world's best hotels, welcomes hotel technology sales veteran Adam Fractenberg as Senior Sales Executive for the Southeast region.Adam is an experienced hospitality technology sales executive, with a strong track record in many online solutions including CRM, Website Design, Interactive Marketing, Booking Engine, eProposal, Loyalty, Text Marketing, Business Intelligence, Email Marketing, Social Media, Interfacing, and Customer Surveys. He was most recently Director of Sales for North America, Canada, and the Caribbean at TravelClick, where he spearheaded business development for new sales and client retention. He was previously Director of Strategic Sales with Knowland Group, a provider of SaaS solutions for group data and lead generation products and services to the hospitality industry. Adam has also held senior positions in sales and marketing at Cendyn and Open Hospitality. He began his hospitality technology career at Orbitz/Lodging.com, formerly a Cendant company, where he served in several roles, including Director of Strategic Accounts, helping grow the company's annual sales from $18 million to $450 million. A graduate of Michigan State University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Adam also worked on student radio and TV. In addition, Adam moonlights as a professional statistician, working with the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and college sporting events.Adam's hiring occurs as ALICE continues to identify hospitality veterans to help grow their brand and take it to market. Hundreds of hotels across and country and around the world have chosen ALICE for the transformative effect joining all hotel staff departments onto a single platform has for improved task management and employee communication. ALICE's guest engagement toolset is also helping its clients deliver exceptional service with cutting-edge innovations like guest-to-staff texting."Adam is a great fit for ALICE," says Wendy Zapach, ALICE's Director of Sales, North America. His extensive background in the hospitality technology space, combined with his specialization in CRM and guest engagement, align with where we are innovating. One thing we're particularly excited about is Adam's depth of relationships in the industry. We feel like his recent attendance with us at HITEC was a reunion of friends and colleagues."
ALICE 18 July 2017
New York, NY -- Colorado destination Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa has selected ALICE's concierge technology, ALICE Concierge, to help the resort's concierge team manage guest activities at the 6,000 acre property, which is part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts collection.Scheduling activities for resort guests is no small feat. As one journalist noted in a recent Forbes article, "If you stand at the epicenter of Gateway Canyons Resort, it's a fair statement that there's more to do within a six-mile radius than any other hotel in the American West."And it's up to the resort's concierge to make sure guests take advantage of everything Gateway Canyons has to offer, which includes luxury car rentals, a helicopter pad for air tours, a skeet shooting range, a secluded ranch catering to horseback riding, spa, luxurious pools, restaurants, tours and excursions with the resort's curator of curiosity, a full-service adventure center offering mountain bikes, UTV tours, laser tag and archery, and the Gateway Canyons Auto Museum (housing one of the most valuable classic car collections in the United States). The self-described "world's first and only discovery resort" (owner John Hendricks is the founder and former Chairman of global media company Discovery Communications), Gateway Canyons is also one of the only locations in the world where Precambrian rock is still visible to the human eye, and just steps away from one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils on the planet.Until a year ago, the resort's front desk staff organized activities for guests, in addition to performing all the other responsibilities of their role. As the profile of the resort has risen since opening in 2005 - recent accolades include being named #1 "Top Resort Hotel in the West" in the Travel + Leisure 2016 World's Best Awards, as well as #5 "Best Hotels in the U.S." and #16 "Best Hotels in the World" - it became necessary to create a concierge team, dedicated to creating unique and personalized itineraries for resort guests. This concierge team, like the front desk staff before them, used Outlook to schedule activities, but it soon became evident they'd need a dedicated concierge tool to make it easier to coordinate their work and elevate the level of service they could offer their guests.With ALICE's robust concierge toolset, which includes features like a local vendor database, package and luggage tracking, reminders and alerts, and branded confirmation letters, maps, and itineraries, Gateway Canyons' concierge are now better able to coordinate work between themselves, as well as create detailed and customized plans for guests. ALICE is also helping other departments have more insight to the work of the concierge as well as assist guests off-hours, since authorized staff can easily log into ALICE whenever the concierge aren't on-property or nearby, and print out itineraries for guests or answer activity-related questions.Mandy Guldner, Director of Lodging, says ALICE has helped the concierge team with efficiency, communication, and professionalism. "We needed something more suited to the job of concierge than Outlook, which wouldn't let us print guest itineraries or collaborate on work, and we found a great solution with ALICE. Now, we're able to create detailed guest profiles by recording guest preferences and activities. This helps us curate more tailored guest activities, strengthen our relationship with guests, and forecast our needs for next season."About Gateway Canyons Resort & SpaLocated in the spectacular red rock canyons of western Colorado, Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa caters to the most discerning traveler with 72 luxury guest rooms and suites, including 14 newly-completed casitas. The resort delights guests with savory dining options at Entrada Restaurant, wellness-focused treatments at The Spa at Gateway Canyons, canyon air tours and trips aboard a luxury helicopter, privileged access to more than 100 years of automotive history and design at the Gateway Canyons Auto Museum, and a variety of self-selected experiential activities offered through the on-site Adventure Center and Driven Experiences programs. Built by John Hendricks, founder and former chairman of the Discovery Channel and Discovery Communications, Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa is dedicated to nurturing curious minds and spirits through lifelong learning programs and adventures within an inspiring natural environment. For more information, please call Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa at 1-866-671-4733 or visit www.gatewaycanyons.com.About Noble House Hotels & ResortsA privately held company for more than 30 years, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. was founded in 1979 by owner Patrick R. Colee as a commercial property development group, transitioning in 1994 to a hotel ownership management company. Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., the corporation owns and manages an upscale portfolio of 15 distinct and visually captivating properties spanning the U.S. From the historic passenger Napa Valley Wine Train, to luxury resorts in Seattle, Wash. Jackson Hole, Wyo. and the Florida Keys, each property maximizes and showcases its physical setting. Noble House is continuously growing, operating 43 hotel restaurants, bars and lounges, showcasing local culture and inspiration from local surroundings. With a philosophy that emphasizes "location, distinction and soul," Noble House Hotels & Resorts exemplifies individuality, dedicating itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that contribute to their communities, staying true to local history, culture and ambiance.For more information, visit www.NobleHouseHotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877.NOBLE.TRIP.ABOUT ALICE: By joining all of your hotel departments with a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps your staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. ALICE's main product - ALICE Suite - brings together your front office, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects your guests to your hotel with our app and SMS tools. The ALICE platform is also available as specialized software and mobile applications for your staff (ALICE Staff), your concierge (ALICE Concierge) and your guests (ALICE Guest). Each module can be integrated with your PMS, POS, and third party management systems. ALICE's partners include 3-5 star independent and managed hotels, hotel groups, residential condominiums, serviced apartments, vacation rental companies, and concierge companies looking to provide exceptional service through mobile staff technology and guest communication channels. Third-party service providers also leverage the ALICE API. ALICE was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alex Shashou, and Dmitry Koltunov, and has raised $13.5M to date.
Staff At This California Resort Turned to Hotel Communications Technology When Radios Became Unreliable
ALICE 12 July 2017
New York, NY -- Southern California escape, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, has selected ALICE's mobile request management software ALICE Staff to improve staff communication across the 87-acre resort. ALICE, the hospitality industry's leading operations platform, connects every department in a hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests.Prior to ALICE, The Ranch LB - which is nestled in the majestic, but signal-blocking Aliso and Wood Canyons - was challenged by poor cell phone and radio reception, which frustrated staff communication and operations. Fortunately, they had recently installed state-of-the-art WiFi across the property during a three year renovation, and sought a mobile staff communications system, like ALICE, that could run on WiFi and replace their unreliable radios.Staff at The Ranch LB, who have been using ALICE since March of this year, are thrilled with how easy it is now to communicate with one another, regardless of where they are on property. Previously, when the resort's staff relied on radios to relay guest requests or internal work orders, lags in communication were a common occurrence. When the radios cut out completely, staff would often have to traverse the vast property to find the right staff member to communicate the message to. This caused routine delays in daily tasks such as inspecting guest rooms or picking up room service trays.Now, with ALICE, and the newfound connectedness the platform provides, staff members in every department (which, at The Ranch LB, includes front desk, engineering, housekeeping, reservations, spa, events, and F&B) are delighting in their new productivity. Even the resort's head chef has downloaded the ALICE staff app, happy he can now enter his own maintenance requests (such as the walk-in cooler not chilling) from his phone instead of having to go to the front desk to ask them to radio out for assistance.Although managers at The Ranch LB chose ALICE primarily to improve staff communication, they're pleased with how other features of the platform have benefitted other aspects of the resort's operations. As a manager, Front Office & Spa Manager Kelly Dwyer appreciates ALICE's reporting tools, which have helped her as the hotel winds down its multi-year renovation: "It's helpful from a trend standpoint to see which rooms are having issues again and again. If there's persistent leaking in a particular room or building, I can be proactive about following up with vendors to make sure things get fixed. Having maintenance issues tracked like they are in ALICE has been incredibly useful."