Ric Leutwyler, PesidentA typical day for a hotel can be prone to chaos, filled with a flurry of activity as guests command attention to detail at every checkpoint. The front desk may seem more like air-traffic control as a staff member briskly taps out specifics on the computer while directing a guest to the gym. Managing early morning check-outs, reviewing check-ins scheduled later for the day, and booking a meeting room for a convention can be overwhelming. But the flurry of activities is easily facilitated with all the relevant data available to the hotel staff—in a quick flash—directly on their screen.
Meanwhile, while logging in as the hotel’s General Manager, reports are available in the SkyTouch Hotel OS™ platform from a remote vacation spot. The system instantly presents relevant information in real time. The flexibility to access the hotel’s details on a mobile device has allowed the GM to relax and enjoy his vacation. His thoughts backtrack to the days of hectic activity, when he used to stride the hotel corridors numerous times assimilating information from various fronts. SkyTouch definitely rocks the conventional hotel industry with their disruptive technology, but as for the user, simplicity is on their mind. The platform processes information in real-time so it allows for on-time operations monitoring, and provides peace of mind.
Not even two years old, SkyTouch Technology is a new, independently operated division of Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE: CHH) which has developed a cloud-based hotel operating system platform. This platform incorporates new property, rate and distribution management solutions, drawing on the award-winning choiceADVANTAGE® property management system for handling reservations, guest stays and rates on any device with an Internet connection. While demonstrating prowess in hospitality, the cloud-based system utilizes intuitively-designed technology to assist in enhanced service excellence. The solution provides the ability to connect seamlessly with other systems used by chain and independent hotels.
“The SkyTouch Hotel OS™ platform offers custom solutions coupled with high levels of support, service and security to its users,” says Ric Leutwyler, President, SkyTouch Technology. Having the experience of adorning multiple hats in the hospitality technology spectrum, Leutwyler says, “My experience of being on the customer side as well as on the provider side helps me relate to what the customer wants and needs. We are continuously evolving our OS to be the one-stop provider while giving our customers flexibility to access the platform from anywhere.” SkyTouch Technology blends the high-tech cloud solution with the personal, ‘touch’that comes from a significant commitment to engagement with customers and partners.
With more than 5,600 successful installations currently active, the SkyTouch Hotel OS- designed by ‘Hoteliers for Hoteliers’ is a web-based platform—the 21st century technology backbone essential for any successful hotel. It provides the operational capabilities, guest-service features, staff management options and information report choices needed by the hotel management and the staff to operate a profitable hotel. Born in the cloud and built on the RISE principle—Reliable, Intuitive, Simple, Economical, Leutwyler details out the super reliability of the Hotel OS in the cloud with 99.94 percent uptime* that includes both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, secure access controls and around the clock monitoring.
"The culture within our organization plays a great bridging role and core for adapting to the continuous evolution of the SkyTouch Hotel OS platform"
The intuitive aspect dwells on the platform’s ease of use, promising more heads-up time (to engage with guests) than heads-down time (to operate the system). Freeing a hotel from the requirements of on-premise servers and heavy networking, the economics involved in transitioning to the platform is greatly improved in comparison to the investment incurred by more traditional software solutions. The solutions offered by SkyTouch have a lot of reporting built into the system. Hoteliers can easily access all of their reports–including their top 10 daily reports-from virtually any device with an Internet connection, giving them key information that is useful for efficient business intelligence.
“At SkyTouch, we believe our success is dependent on being well ‘FED’. We need to be Focused on creating value for our customers, our partners and our team members. We must be highly Engaged with these same three groups to ensure that we tap into the full potential of the SkyTouch ecosystem. Finally, we believe that we must be Disruptive in a way that delivers freedom from the convention that has put limits on success for everyone in the industry,” explains Leutwyler.
He contends that in the art of disrupting in the technology arena ‘Apple Inc.’ is a relevant example. “Their approach did not just disrupt by completely changing the user experience-their products disrupted the music and phone industries as well. They had such a renowned corporate culture and a strong platform for engagement with their customer base and partners that, there are now thousands of people building apps for Apple every day,” says Leutwyler. “The culture within our organization plays a great bridging role and it is at the core for shaping the continuous evolution of the Hotel OS,” he adds. At SkyTouch, the strong commitment to innovation punctuates every corner of the product’s evolution. “We have to innovate with purpose to deliver powerful, simple and intuitive user experiences with minimum requirement for user instructions,” says Leutwyler.
SkyTouch has proven its scalability with more than 5,600 hotels now using the Hotel OS in seven countries and more than 50,000 users benefiting from the features of the OS every day. “We have nine talented technical teams continuously devoted to the evolution of our OS platform. We are here to serve the industry in the way they want to be served,” says Leutwyler. The company’s customer portal collates ideas exchanged between users to feed the technical teams with the real customer challenges and priorities. Our strong level of customer engagement has led to over 60 percent of new features tied directly to customer suggestions “As a SkyTouch customer, you can expect to be an integral part of our platform’s continuous improvement,” adds Leutwyler.