Fast. Efficient. And always on the move. That’s the world we live in.
Keeping up with the changing times, hotels have evolved too. They have turned to technology for various aspects. Majority of hotels have adopted a plethora of digital tools to handle operations and guest services. Digital distribution is now the norm worldwide. Simply put, the hotel tech landscape has matured; thousands of players offer tools to digitize process management at, and the supply chain for hotels.
Hotels are using technology across the board: central reservation systems (CRS), guest check-in software, property management software (PMS), pricing tools, customer relationship management systems, loyalty program management, and social analytics to monitor guests’ experiences during their stay. These solutions, and then some, have become an integral part of hotel’s tech stack.
Prominent CRS and PMS providers dominate the global hotel tech market. Among them, Oracle’s OPERA, IDeaS, Alibaba/Shiji Group, SnYxis/Sabre Hospitality Solutions (SHS), etc. are deeply entrenched with major hospitality chains. Their solutions lay the basic foundation — and standardization — upon which other emerging solutions can be integrated. But chaos ensues on the other end of the spectrum. The uptake of technology at independent hotels is varied. The breadth of solutions in the marketplace is overwhelming for most independent hoteliers. Besides, limited human resources or capital to evaluate the right solution results in an ad-hoc tech deployment and a bulky stack.
Sensing opportunity, several providers have entered the fray to ‘de-clutter’ the hotel-tech market. Notable among them are Booking.com’s App Store, Hotelogix Marketplace and eRevMax’s LiveOS — each now provides a Shopify-like experience for hoteliers to access various solutions and tools. They partner with solutions complementing — and which easily integrates with — their core offering, thus limiting concerns related to compatibility.
Tomorrow’s Hotel, Today
No doubt that there are hotels which are already ahead of the curve. Automated processes, digital personal agents, robot servers — these hotels offer numerous sci-fi experiences to their guests.
For instance, CitizenM uses proprietary software to get real-time hotel updates, to facilitate self-check-in, check-out, and to provide tablet-control ambient settings. Similarly, Alibaba recently previewed FlyZoo, a hotel which lets guests self-check-in and operates hotel’s facilities with a facial-recognition mechanism. And it doesn’t stop there. FlyZoo also uses robotic servers for room-service and intelligent digital assistants to help guests with whatever they need. (But it was Hilton Worldwide to first pilot a Watson-enabled robot concierge, Connie, in 2016).
Technology is indeed revolutionizing hotels business in more ways than expected.
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