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November 10, 2010

Amadeus launches SaaS hotel tech platform

Time for the industry to embrace personalisation and customisation, firm says

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Amadeus has unveiled a new SaaS offering that aims to transform the way hotels do business by combining central reservation, property management and global distribution systems into one fully integrated platform.

Amadeus Hotel Platform will offer a single and real-time view of the entire business, the firm said. It will enable hoteliers to make bookings, manage rates, create promotions and packages and react to specific customer needs in real-time, Jerome Destors, global head of Amadeus’ Hotel business, told CBR.

"There is an understanding in the hotel industry of the need to improve the coordination and consolidation of generated data. All the data is stored centrally, so if a user creates a promotion it’ll be available to everyone else instantly. Hotels can now really see what’s happening," he said.

Destors added that one of the main benefits of the Amadeus Hotel Platform is the ability to tailor packages depending on specific guest needs as all the data is available in real-time.

The need for hotels to be much more flexible is one the they key findings of a report Amadeus carried out in conjunction with Fast Future Research into what hotels must do to "succeed in an area of change," as the report says. Rather than offering a uniform bedroom to guests, hotels must look to offer a more personalised service, according to Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research.

"Nearly all [92%] of respondents said that they expect more personalisation in future hotel visits," he told CBR. "They want choice about the bed, furniture, toiletries, even the audio/visual items in the room. Hotels need to customise, not offer fixed rooms."

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The role of technology in this is should enable to hotel industry to catch up with other sectors where customisation and personalisation are already wide-spread, Talwar added.

"It’s been accelerated by the App culture as people are used to getting what they want, when they want it," he said. "Why can’t it be the same for the hotel industry? You can already pick your seat on trains and planes, but that sort of thing doesn’t happen in hotels. Maybe 150 years ago when your local shopkeeper knew all customers by name and knew what they wanted you could get a much more personal experience, but that’s not the case now. You need the technology to manage all the data from social networks and to offer people more choice through apps for example."

Amadeus Hotel Platform is already being tested by a number of hotels, Destors said, including a 200-strong chain in Europe, a number in Latin America and a large hotel chain in North America. The SaaS platform is set to be updated three times per year and the firm is gathering feedback from early adopters and pilot projects to improve the offering, Destors said.

"In today’s market, it is vital that [the hotel’s] IT infrastructure can support global business growth and expansion whilst guaranteeing operational efficiencies on a global scale," added Philippe Chérèque, EVP, Commercial at Amadeus. "With a thorough understanding of the current and future shape of the hotels sector, we are 100% committed to helping our customers remove technology barriers by offering them a central solution, allowing them to benefit fully from the power of new technology whilst transforming their fixed cost into a variable one. With this in mind hoteliers can focus on transforming their business making the most of emerging opportunities in a way that is right for them."

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