Jim Dennedy, President & CEOIn the highly competitive hospitality market, success depends on knowing your customers and serving their needs. As a result, technology has moved beyond merely managing transactions to managing the entire guest experience. According to Agilysys President and CEO, Jim Dennedy, key trends driving today’s hospitality business include a transition to open multi-functional hospitality platforms, cloud-based solutions, mobility and analytics.
“Hotel business demands are much different now than they were even a few years ago,” he says. “Properties today require addressable services rather than proprietary interfaces to gain efficiency from commonly used guest-facing applications. Only an integrated platform can deliver the level of product integration that results in visibility into guest preferences at every touch-point.” This integration enables properties to optimize both service delivery and operations.
Adding cloud-based solution deployment to the mix allows hotels to focus resources on guest service and optimize their IT environments, while mobile solutions enable ‘in-the-moment’ consumption and provide opportunities to further personalize the guest experience. Finally, turning consumption into intelligence allows properties to make fact-based business decisions, take advantage of rapidly changing market dynamics, and increase wallet share with targeted offers and promotions.
Dennedy notes that Agilysys is keenly aware of these trends and is developing solutions that incorporate them. The company recently launched its groundbreaking rGuest hospitality Platform as a Service. The multi-functional, guest-centric, standards-based platform relies on an open architecture that enables rich, RESTful API integration with applications delivered not only from Agilysys but also from its partners, third-party vendors and customers.
The rGuest platform also supports a comprehensive suite of Agilysys solutions, including: rGuest Stay, the company’s next-generation property management system; rGuest Pay, a P2PE and PCI-validated payment gateway solution; rGuest Seat, a restaurant reservation and table management system; rGuest Buy, a guest-facing self-service kiosk solution; and rGuest Analyze, a comprehensive data analytics application.
Our innovative solutions provide the first truly open, integrated platform that delivers information about guests and their preferences
As a result, previously siloed data is now easily accessible in real time, allowing hotels to tailor their services, capitalize on time-sensitive pricing, and gain an advantage in the market. Dennedy says this business intelligence is critical to survival in an increasingly competitive hospitality environment. “Analytics enables properties to understand everything about the guest. It helps them determine what sells and what doesn’t. It illuminates areas of hidden costs and pinpoints discrepancies that affect the bottom line. It reveals guest preferences, so that pricing, product mix, promotions and services can be tailored accordingly.”
As for market challenges, Dennedy notes that one of the biggest is a shifting demographic – from Baby Boomers to Millennials. “Millennials expect to use mobile tools across their interactions, and they’re focused on desired experiences rather than specific services,” he said. Properties that want to beat the competition must implement business intelligence technology to measure and track the value of these new guests, as well as adopt mobile applications in order to deliver service in the manner and time demanded.
“Tremendous change is taking place in hospitality technology, and the future is exciting,” Dennedy concluded. “Never before have there been as many opportunities to improve operations and offer enhanced guest service simply by implementing new software solutions. With the right systems in place, hotels and other hospitality venues will be well-positioned to increase revenue, command market share and create the lasting connections with guests that keep them coming back.”