We kick-started this year on a positive note, with appreciation from our customers and industry peers for initiatives like the Freemium plan and enhancements in product features. As Prabhash (Founder of Hotelogix) and I sat down to draw our plan for this year, I realized how closer we are getting to achieving what we started out doing – changing the lives of small and medium hoteliers across the globe and empowering them with cloud technology to enhance their business. As we continue to evolve, we set our sights on offering a much richer user-experience this year. The key areas that we will focus on are:
– Interoperability: As a product that is agile and built to adapt to newer market demands, our aim will be to equip Hotelogix PMS to interoperate with third party services by publishing open APIs. These services could be Revenue Management, CRM, Concierge and Business Intelligence tools, to put more power in the hands of smaller hoteliers.
– Mobile Initiatives: We plan to provide multiple handy services on mobile like analytics for management, applications for housekeepers, self-check-in capability and other applications.
– Integrations: Newer product enhancements are in the offing like integration with systems that run a fine dining restaurant with much better capability. Hoteliers would also be able to see enhancements in multi-property management capabilities.
– Self-enablement: We will go the whole nine yards in 2015 in making our technology available to each and every small hotelier by way of our Freemium offering and ensure that hoteliers experience a simplified platform for their day-to-day tasks. We expect a hotelier to experience Freemium and once they have the trust in its service, we are certain they would see enough value to grow into long-term customers.
Our goal lies in empowering the small hotelier to take advantage of changing market dynamics.
The latest reports from PwC indicate rising occupancy trends in USA. US is a very competitive market and a hotelier needs to be absolutely technologically equipped to deal with this competition and take advantage of this rising occupancy level. Smaller the hotel, bigger will be the challenges. In US, technology moves at a very rapid pace with very quick adoption, which is evident from the diverse marketplaces that have evolved in a short span of time for travelers to make bookings. From OTAs, social media and review media to Google Hotel Finder, niche travel sites and mobile apps like Hotel Tonight, these changes have created many opportunities for hotels but also made it extremely complex for them to avail the benefits. On the other hand, guest expectations have been growing by the day and a hotel has to look at automation of its critical tasks so that it can carry them out in a consistently error-free manner.
Ability to expand their market presence and be able to manage their limited inventory efficiently is going to be critical for a hotelier. Smaller the hotel, rate management and distribution becomes all the more challenging. Being equipped with technology to garner reviews from happy guests and to being able to position it in an automated way would also play a vital role. Cloud based PMS is going to become a must-have for every small hotelier, as a cloud-based PMS has inherent advantages of sharing and interoperating with internet based services like travel sites in real-time, which is imperative and no longer a choice.
Decision making has to be extremely dynamic and the smaller hotelier needs to equip himself to respond to market dynamics with agility for him to take advantage of the offerings. Being on top of their business would be critical for a small hotelier and cloud based technology would enable him to have real-time control and information on the fingertips. Also, specially for a smaller hotel, a cloud solution will take all the overheads away, freeing him up to focus on his business.
A PMS is a very tricky choice and has not always been a very strategic decision for a hotelier historically but now as the hospitality industry is evolving, the PMS has become a strategic choice as it affects not just the operations but also the hotel’s ability to grow their business. Improving occupancies are becoming directly dependent on a PMS, especially for a smaller hotel.
It is in our pipeline to educate more hoteliers to understand the benefits of a Cloud PMS. In 2015, we plan to attend various conferences, especially in North and South America to accomplish our vision like Independent Lodging Summit in Arizona, HITEC in Texas and WTM in London and Latin America.
It’s an exciting plan for the year and there is so much more we can do. We hope to achieve newer milestones this year and make a difference in many more small hoteliers’ lives.