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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.


Free webinar: Your Data Security in a Post-GDPR World

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·11 July 2018
It is no surprise. Hotels use a plethora of different software, all of which store guest data in various formats. How could hotels possibly keep track of all this data in a way where they could provide it back to the guest, or worse, delete all the guest's data upon request?dailypointTM is launching an all new webinar on July 13th to help hotels navigate their data in this new, post-GDPR era. In it, Michael Toedt, Managing Partner and CEO at dailypointTM will explain:What the new GDPR regulations areWhat the implications are for hotelsBest practices for hotels to handle the requirementsHow to simplify compliance with all your data in one, centrally managed sourceThe webinar will take place on July 13th at 10am CEST in German and at 11:30am CEST in English. Register now, as space is limited.
Article by Michael Toedt

GDPR complaints are on the rise. Are you prepared?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 9 July 2018
As an indicator of what is to come, let's look at what's been happening outside of the hospitality industry. Regulators in the UK, France, Austria, and across Europe are reporting a sharp increase in data protection complaints and breach notifications since the GDPR came into effect. The majority of these complaints were filed against tech giants like Google and Facebook.Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the head of French data protection regulator, CNIL, told Politico: "The general public is interested about all the transparency obligations, consent and all the new rights."What does this mean for the hospitality industry? Should hotels be concerned? Only time will tell, however, with maximum fines up to EUR20m or 4% of a company's global turnover - whichever is higher, hotels must be prepared if complaints come their way.So how can hotels prepare? First, they must have a proper way to manage all guest data. Since most hotels use multiple different systems that all store guest data in different formats, this can quickly become a burden. One way to simplify the storage of data is to centrally manage all guest data in one system. In this scenario, if a guest requests that his or her data is retrieved, edited, or removed, the hotel can simply fulfill the request at the click of a button.Centralized data management has further benefits for hotels. It allows them to truly understand their guests and use their data in meaningful ways. Imagine the possibilities when data from a hotel's PMS, POS, WLAN, newsletter system, Outlook, booking engine, channel manager, questionnaires, website etc. are all in one place. The possibilities to personalize marketing, upsell communications and guest services are limitless. Centralized data management transforms data into revenue.Learn more about how to leverage your hotel's data in the post-GDPR landscape in an all new webinar hosted by Michael Toedt, Managing Partner and CEO at dailypointTM. The webinar will cover:What the new GDPR regulations areWhat the implications are for hotelsBest practices for hotels to handle the requirementsHow to simplify compliance with all your data in one, centrally managed sourceFurther operational benefits of central data managementThe webinar will take place on July 13th at 10am CEST in German and at 11:30am CEST in English. Register now, as space is limited.
Article by Michael Toedt

GDPR - a blessing in disguise for the hotel industry!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·27 June 2018
For me, however, the GDPR is not a monster at all, as it is so often described. I see it as an opportunity for the hotel industry to make up for lost ground. It has, by law, forced every company to deal with its own digitization and IT strategy.This is because, among other things, all people (including hotel guests, if we look at the hospitality industry specifically) in the EU have comprehensive rights to their personal data, including the right to request their data, correct it, delete it, and transfer it to another provider. All this must have been guaranteed by the 25th of May.It is a sometimes overlooked secret that hardly any hotels are actually able to abide by these regulations! This is because hotels work with a proliferation of systems that can no longer be controlled. How should a guest's right to his or her data possibly be managed when the data is scattered across the PMS, POS, WLAN, newsletter system, Outlook, booking engine, channel manager, questionnaire system, website etc.? This is simply impossible! Hotel companies are therefore wading treacherous waters.The fact that hotels work with so many systems is not only a nightmare for hotels that want to focus on the new GDPR regulations. It also leaves the hotel industry behind when it comes to digitalization. With data scattered in so many sources, hotels can't properly understand or use it in any meaningful way.But some companies did it right. Enter the winners from last decade: the Online Travel Agents (OTAs). They did something fundamentally different from the beginning. They understood the value of data and pursued a central storage of their customer data, aptly called central data management (CDM). Simply put, all data about the customer comes together in one central location, a kind of parent database that combines everything.This central database is the standard for hotels that want to move into the digital era. Only those who know their customers down to the smallest detail and use this knowledge for a comprehensive individualization of guest interaction can benefit from data. Even if it is unpleasant, hotels today generally have no idea who their guests are. This is unacceptable. All decision-makers should be aware of this.So how can hotels move forward? They need a central system in which everything comes together. In the past, this system was the property management system (PMS). But PMSs are inflexible, with expensive interfaces, and poor data cleansing functionalities. Today's dominant PMSs are not designed to handle the increasing amounts of data and data sources, and the upcoming cloud-based generation of systems is too lean and focus only the key functionalities like check-in and check-out.The hotel industry therefore needs a new central system, a mothership that takes over the former role of the PMS. An #abovePMS system is required to finally be able to work at eye level with the OTA's again.If you look at the GDPR from this perspective, it is ultimately a measure initiated by politicians to force companies to make themselves fit for the future. All those who do not do so run the risk of violating applicable law and drifting further down the competitive spiral in the coming years.In this sense, perhaps some hoteliers will thank the politicians in a few years for making them fit for the future through the GDPR. It has forcibly given those that comply with a competitive advantage.PS - Looking to see how your hotel can manage its data in compliance with GDPR regulations? Register for our webinar on July 13!

Deutsche Hospitality selects dailypoint as its centralized, above PMS data platform

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·20 June 2018
dailypoint will serve as much more than just a powerful, cloud-based CRM. It will consolidate the group's guest feedback data, newsletters, website insights, loyalty program, and data from its multiple Opera installations into one centralized platform allowing for better guest insights and more personalized services."We want to know exactly who our guests are to customize our marketing and services and to make better management decisions. The scope of data that dailypoint analyzes and the insights it provides allow us to do this in one central system," says Petra Gotting, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Deutsche Hospitality. "During the implementation, the project management and experience of the dailypoint staff was also a very important success factor."Deutsche Hospitality has been piloting its hotels with dailypoint for the past twelve months, testing both the software, as well as dailypoint's patented, AI-based data cleansing processes, which ensure that all data is correctly stored and usable."This project pushed us to the next level. Especially the very intense testing period of 12 months of our patented data cleansing functionality with millions of records were extremely positive," says Michael Toedt, founder and CEO of dailypoint. "We were able to further improve our algorithms which is the key success factor when bringing data together in one central system."After a successful pilot phase, Deutsche Hospitality rolled out all of its properties with dailypoint and will now emphasize its focus on creating innovative, data-driven ways to delight its guests with hyper-personalized offerings while also generating more revenue.

dailypoint by TS&C GmbH Announces Review Collection Partnership with TripAdvisor

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·13 June 2018
Munich -- dailypoint today announced that they are partnering with TripAdvisor to offer their customer base an easy and powerful solution to collect guest feedback. The partnership involves a technology integration enabling hotel clients to automatically request reviews from guests following their stay."One of the most important things for a hotel brand's customer acquisition is a good listing on TripAdvisor" says Dr Michael Toedt, founder and CEO of dailypoint. He highlights the importance of hotels maintaining a good Social Media Marketing strategy, if they want to do well and become profitable in our modern world. The performance of listings on review platforms is mainly influenced by the average review rating, but also by variables like the recency of guest feedback and the volume of reviews. With the new partnership, dailypoint hotel clients can leverage TripAdvisor review and feedback collection tools integrated in the quality management app of dailypoint.The dailypoint cloud data management platform creates a single rich guest profile using the most current AI and machine learning algorithms and patented data cleansing processes. To benefit from this new knowledge, dailypoint offers 16 apps from BI to campaign management, from operations to quality management, from CRM to loyalty. "On average, our clients can replace 5 different unconnected systems and bring everything together on the dailypoint cloud system" explains Michael Toedt, one of the major USPs of the company.Key benefits of the integration include: Easier collection of guest reviewsHigher feedback volume helps to improve visibility and guest acquisitionDeep analytics reporting functionalities

The GDPR (DSGVO) Countdown is On

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·16 February 2018
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is about to become effective and it is time now for the hospitality industry to become aware of this topic. The GDPR is considered the big bang for data protection. The new regulation will take effect on May 25, 2018after a 2-year transition period. As of this date, all data protection regulations currently valid across the 28 countries of the European Union will be replaced by this new regulation, making the 28 different local data protection regulations disappear. With the GDPR data protection will be Europeanized.The new regulations of the GDPR will bring many changes and various additional obligations. This will lead to new implications for owners, managers and employees.German companies that comply with the current local Data Protection Act have a clear advantage, as a lot of the regulations will remain the same or be similar.Hand on heart - have you already taken measures to ensure proper data protection? I doubt that many hoteliers have spent the necessary time on this topic.There is a difference between the so-called "data security", i.e. the technical and organizational measures, and the actual "data protection", meaning the protection of a person from excessive collection of personal data by companies, the government etc. Under data protection a person does not only include the guests, but also employees, suppliers, and other third parties. We will focus on the hotel guests, the direct clients of our industry.Here are some good reasons why the GDPR should be taken seriously:Organizations in breach of the GDPR can be fined up to EUR20m or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater). This is quite an increase from the former maximum amount of EUR300.000. Now, the annual global turnover of an organization is taken as a calculation basis. This makes it all the more important for international organizations with branches in Europe to comply with the GDPR, as the annual turnover of the entire group will be taken into consideration.Under the new regulations, the personal liability of managing directors will remain valid; so will be the personal liability of employees.The GDPR aims at strengthening the position of any affected person. This will, however, also encourage so-called "warning associations" to pursue infringements of the GDPR and to instigate legal proceedings. This could lead to the development of a new type of "warning" industry, which can increase the risk of getting fined.In other words, this is the last chance to take this topic seriously and to take respective actions.Record of Processing ActivitiesThe GDPR clearly regulates how data protection must be organized. One of the new obligations is to keep record of all data processing activities in a so-called Record of Processing Activities. All processes of an organization that involve personal data must be described and documented. The record must also indicate how long the data is stored and when it will be deleted. German organizations that have a documentation following the current German data protection regulations, can easily adapt the existing record to the new requirements. Most companies, however, have no documentation that they can build on. A typical organization has about 150 processes that have to be evaluated and documented. It can take a couple of hours to create the respective entry in the Record of Processing Activities. This gives an indication of the scope of a GDPR project and the work involved to create the required documentation. And, keeping a Record of Processing Activities is only one of a dozen requirements.The Record of Processing Activities clearly shows where data is processed and what exactly is done with it. In the past, companies had some time to create the documentation, as any inspection was announced prior by the data protection authorities. As of May 25, 2018, however, the authorities have the right to demand the Record of Processing Activities without giving any prior notification. There are even discussions about remote access to the records. But even if the deadline was longer, it would be impossible to create a proper record, as it requires so much input by the specialist departments, such as legal, the data protection officer, IT security, etc. There will be no more buffer for a quick fix. If you want to avoid the risk of getting fined, all documents should be more or less available at hand.Implications for the hotel softwareThe controller of the data, e.g. a hotel, will liable for the proper data processing of its suppliers, mainly the software providers ("processor"). This implies that a hotel based in Germany is fully liable for the activities of its software provider, which is based in the US or in China. The German hotel is obliged to verify, if the provider complies with the new regulations. This will be extremely challenging for most European hoteliers and might have serious consequences.Technological ChangesThe GDPR will also bring big challenges for the industry in regards to technology. An individual hotel works with up to 15 software systems containing guest data. As of May 25, 2018, guests have the right to request information about their personal data stored by the hotel. They also have the right to demand deletion of their personal data. Further, a guest may demand transfer of his personal data back to him or to a third party, e.g. a competitor. There are certain prerequisites to this, but these are mostly met in case of guest data.In a fully heterogeneous IT environment, it will be virtually impossible for companies to comply with the new regulations, unless they have a Central Data Management (CDM), a so-called "Above Property System", which centralizes all data streams. A CDM with its central guest profiles enables the implementation of a privacy dashboard meeting the new EU standards.We highly recommend checking, if your software provider complies with the GDPR regulations. If not, you should switch provider and even consider taking legal action for non-compliance with the legal requirements. Data protection should be part of the software concept (Privacy by Design). And it is your right to work with partners who provide a legally compliant software. We advise to only work with software providers that guarantee legal compliance. European software companies had to comply with data protection regulations for many years already and are thus better prepared than providers, for which the complex regulations of the GDPR are new territory. Never before has it been more important to select the right software provider.Since April 2017, dailypoint has been working on a holistic GDPR compliance strategy. During ITB 2018, we will present the new privacy dashboard for our dailypoint software products. This dashboard will be integrated as a standard module in all dailypoint products (kissCRM by dailypoint, dailypoint 360deg CDM/CRM, dailypoint BOOKING MANAGER and dailypoint SMART WLAN). For us "Privacy by Design" means that we take data privacy seriously and support our hotels to do the same.

How to turn data into money?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 9 November 2017
When Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, Microsoft paid US$260 per active user. At that time LinkedIn had about 100 million active users which led to the unbelievable price of 26 Billion US$. The question is, how much would an investor pay for a hotel company with about 100 million guests? Most likely, the guest profiles were not part of the evaluation process, but how comes? The answer is simple, hotels have not created a model to monetize data.For sure data is the new oil, the foundation of the fourth industrial revolution, called Big Data. But data is first of all just a raw material companies have to make useable. In order to make oil valuable it must be refined for instance to get petrol out of it. First after the refining process it can be used. It is the same with data. Data needs to be refined, it needs intelligence to get value out of it.But how to make data valuable, how to transform Big into Smart Data into values? The way is simple to explain, but the way extremely complex: technology wise, organizational wise, people wise and it needs the sponsorship from the top. A Central Data Management strategy means a shift of responsibilities and these needs the support from the CEO first of all.The way of creating value from data can be described in five steps:Step1: Like an umbrella an above property system has to consolidate all relevant data sources. For hotels these are: PMS, POS, Newsletter System, Website, WIFI, questionnaires and table reservation system.Step2: Data cleansing: this is one of the hardest parts since about 75% of all data centralization projects fail due to poor data quality.Step3: Based on the consolidated and clean data a central profile must be created which shows a complete picture of each individual.Step4: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning is needed to create knowledge from the huge amount of available information. E.g. A click in a newsletter, a click on the website, an answer in the questionnaire, all this information can be used to learn who a customer is and to create fully automated interests and preferences without any manual interaction.Step5: Usage of the new knowledge. Big Data is all about quality, it is all about individualization for a better marketing, a better service or better decisions.Companies who follow these five-step approach will gain a complete different value set. The principle looks simple, but the change process requires a combination of leadership, an aligned team and the right partners. Hotels sit on a treasure of raw material like almost no other industry which waits to get refined. Hotels should start to fight back against the OTA's and use the new possibilities of Big Data.

Digitalization: How good are you?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·11 August 2017
Everyone is talking about digitalization, whether big or small experts, self-proclaimed hotel gurus or just imposters. But what is it really all about? Why are some companies so extremely valuable and other so worthless? The big problem of the hotel industry is, that you can't find the benchmarks where you commonly would suppose them. In almost every branch, the top of the class with the highest market penetration is also the leadership, of whom everyone could learn a thing or two. In the automotive industry for instance, Tesla is clearly the status quo at the moment. A startup which shows the established ones how the wind blows.However, do the Marriott's and Hilton's of this world suit to copy their strategies to know how you can gain profit with the digitalization? Certainly not. The only ones which should be seen as benchmark, are the biggest bogeymen right now: The Online Travel Agents. They show every hotelier, how central data-management and a consequent customer orientation in the BIG DATA age should look like. The secret of these companies is really simple. They identified, that data is extremely valuable.Nowadays, data will be compared with an energy source like oil. But in the end, oil is only the raw material, which needs to be refined to use it. So how can you get the worthwhile petrol out of the oil? In a transferred sense - how can you generate knowledge out of data? A central element is that all company data sources have to be connected. This is a basic rule, which all data driven companies consider in every decision.Getting there is strategy. Hotels need an Above-Proberty System, which combines all data sources, cleanses the existing amount of data and after that, creates a central profile for every guest. With an Artificial Intelligence, the interests of a guest have to be calculated automatically. The next step is to develop a holistic CRM, based on this new comprehensive knowledge. The fields Marketing, Operations and Analysis need to be covered with this strategy. By the way, this is the Elevator Pitch of dailypointtm!Ask yourself and also your employees how well you're really prepared!The following five questions should give you a hint:How much does your website cost per year, including creation, SEO and SEA?How many visitors per day can you identify on your website?How many marketing profiles have you generated with your internet presence in the past year?How many interests have been calculated in the past year?How much does your WLAN cost per year, including hardware, software and bandwidth?How many new marketing profiles have you generated with your WLAN the past year?How many interests have been calculated in the past year?How many interests have you calculated based on the booking habits?How many interests have you calculated based on the feedback on your questionnaire?How many interests have you automatically calculated based on the newsletter dispatch?It's been my experience, 99,9 % of hotel companies have to answer these questions with "ZERO". This responds as well, why a lot of companies don't gain profit out of the digitalization. The positive thing, hospitality industry has so much data, you only have to know the right way to use it."Data is the new Oil but intelligence is needed to get petrol out of it".

How Artificial Intelligence will change the Hospitality Industry

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·10 May 2017
More Individuality through Big DataArtificial Intelligence is a key element of Big Data - also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The rational behind is simple and complex at the same time: to find out as much as possible about a customer by using comprehensive data management to then use the insights in order to meet the customer's individual needs. Big Bata stands for individuality. The essential resource is data - huge amounts of data. The maxim is the more data, the better.Machine Learning is an aspect of Artificial Intelligence, which generates valuable information from more or less useless data. Systems like the Profile Engine by dailypointtm help to draw conclusions from each booking, each click and each movement. This helps hoteliers to create a constantly growing and learning centralized guest profile.Central Data Management is the KeyThe prerequisite for Machine Learning is a centralized system, where all relevant data streams are linked and the data is stored. Many hotels still use isolated solutions without sufficient linkage, which prevents valuable use of the available data. The constantly growing flood of data can only be leveraged when using a CDM (Central Data Management), which is the consequent evolution of a modern CRM.Machine Learning helps to create a comprehensive guest profile, which can be used to create a unique customer journey and guest experience. Modern consumers expect tailor-made solutions at all touch points - from the first contact to the proposal, during the actual stay and in CRM. To live ones individuality and to make personalized experiences is the new luxury. This is also valid for hotel stays. The better you know your customer, the better you can adapt your offering and personalize the guest experience.Mass Commodity Products are passeSuch a comprehensive knowledge base can only be created with the support of Machine Learning. The goal is to create unique experiences for all your customers and not just a few! This will give you a clear competitive advantage and will show in positive economic results. Also mass commodity hotel products are passe.It makes no longer sense to gain information about the guest by observation and manual processing of the gained information. Questionnaires or observations are outdated; new approaches using the new technology can bring much more information. Hoteliers will know more about their guests than ever before, more than most people can imagine today. The information just needs to be used in a creative and targeted manner.The intelligent HotelIntelligent hotels, where all data streams are linked, are the future. In an intelligent hotel all systems are interlinked, similar to an organism where everything is connected and supplied through veins and arteries. The Internet of Things (IoT) will help to further develop the personalized guest experience. The connection of room control, motion sensors, the integrated TV and voice control systems, such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana are developments which will also impact the hospitality industry.We are facing quite some changes and it's wise to face them, as this is only the beginning of a huge change process.Please contact us at or +49 89 189 35 69 0, if you are interested in learning more about how dailypointtm can help you to create an intelligent hotel.

Direct Distribution and OTAs - How does that go together?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 5 April 2017
Hotel manager have regained the pricing powerThe core of most direct booking campaigns is rate parity. What was once highly valued has been given up by the competition regulators. Hotel managers used their regained pricing power to offer lower room rates to direct bookers on the hotel website than to their distribution partners, the big Online Travel Agents such as, Expedia, and HRS.Fatal: Losing the OTAs' favourIt does not come as a surprise that the OTAs did not like this obvious attack on the attractiveness and competitiveness of their portals. They responded by punishing hotels that ignored rate parity with a lower ranking than hotels that respected rate parity. Since the amount of generated bookings strongly correlates with the ranking of a hotel, as do search results on Google, the consequence is a decrease in bookings. The regained pricing power now often has a negative impact on the profitability, as hardly any hotel can compensate the loss with bookings through their own channels.Many hoteliers thus have to reconsider their strategy in order to compensate the lower occupancy. Is there way to generate direct bookings without being punished? What possibilities does digitalization offer? There is indeed a way to offer lower rates on the hotel website than on the OTA platforms by simply not publicly showing and not making them bookable for everybody.The new strategy: a customer clubThe solution is a consumer club. Nowadays, it is common that consumers visiting a shopping website are requested to register. The marketing machine can only start when a customer has registered. But nothing usually happens when a consumer visits a hotel website. The site may be appealing in design, but there is mostly no guest-centric central data strategy. The only thing that can be found is a hidden button to subscribe to a newsletter. This website strategy will, however, not help to generate structured, high quality data, which can be used to identify consumers.The transparent customerIn the Big Data age, a full-service hotel should consolidate the following seven data sources: the hotel website, the newsletter system, the PMS, the POS and the table booking system, the WLAN as well as the survey tool. All these systems should be centralized and integrated in so-called Central Data Management System. Only then can the information be used for marketing, analytics, and operations and customers become transparent.A consumer club can also be integrated into such a system. Consumers visiting the hotel website can be asked to subscribe to the club through an Overlay, a new form of Pop-up. Upon registration, the new club member automatically receives a special rate code showing the discounted rate in the booking engine. With this strategy, OTAs can no longer punish the hotel by lowering their ranking and the hotel can generate new customer data and use it for marketing purposes. The positive result is an increase in revenue. A consumer club can also be pepped up with a bonus points system. But in most cases this is not even necessary. And it only makes sense, if it is actively used and is part of the communications strategy. All in all, a consumer club is a simple and effective digital tool to support direct distribution of a hotel. If you want to find out how to implement a conumer club, don't hesitate to contact us via

Data First! - Health Check in the Digital Age

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·23 February 2017
The success formula in marketing is quite simple: The further the reach, the better the results. For direct marketing this translates to: The larger the target group, the more bookings can be generated through a hotel's proprietary website.How to reach up to 100,000 prospective customers"Data First" should be the key maxim for marketing! Thus, the main focus should be on collecting as much data as possible from existing and prospective customers to be able to use them for marketing purposes. In the digital age, the creation of marketing campaigns has become very simple. The costs for dispatch - once the limiting factor in customer relationship management - are no longer relevant. With an investment of only EUR 1,000, it is possible to reach up to 100,000 contacts. The cost per thousand contacts has always been a key indicator. These costs have decreased significantly for e-mail marketing. Do you know the marketing potential of your hotel?What is the number of guests a hotel should be able to communicate with in the Big Data era? Here an example: A 100-room hotel with an average occupancy of 80%, an average length of stay of 1.5 days, a double-occupancy factor of 25%, as well as 5,000 external conference guests, should be able generate approx. 25,000 guest profiles per year. In less than five years, this hotel should be able to communicate with more than 100,000 guests, despite considering a loyalty factor of 20%.This number is much lower in most hotels, which means that there is unleveraged revenue potential. The booking rate for an average newsletter to existing clients is about 0.25%. One single e-mail campaign to 100,000 contacts, has a revenue potential of more than EUR 60,000, calculating with an average revenue of EUR 250 per booking. With our dailypointtm software you can precisely measure the success of each marketing campaign. With the right strategy, you can collect the full contact details of about 85% of your guests, including daytime visitors and partners. Any business, which fails to achieve this, should start taking action.Are you ready for theDigital Age?Managers should analyze their company's fitness for the digital age. The basis for all measures is the contact database and the number of profiles, which can be used for marketing measures. If less than 85% of the profiles are usable, the company has some deficits. These can exist for legal, technical or organizational reasons. But since acquisition of new clients is up to 10 times more costly than managing existing clients, there is a negative impact on the marketing expense.New company valuation models are being introduced that also evaluate the number of available client profiles. So far, these models are not applied for the hospitality industry, as the importance of digitalization in this industry is not yet understood. But this will definitely change over the next couple of years. Hoteliers should be prepared and put a focus on their digitalization strategy. Not design or content play the main role in marketing, but the data collection.

How Secure is Your Data?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 2 January 2017
After the latest hacker attack, access data of around 1 billion Yahoo users became available on the web. It is quite alarming to see that most people utilize the same user name and password for a variety of sites. What seems so practical is, however, extremely dangerous and should be avoided in any case.Do not give hackers a chance!In the following, I would like to give you some tips on data security. At dailypointtm, we have very strict password rules to ensure security of the highly sensitive data of our clients. Slight alterations in your password rules can have a huge effect on your data security.When the insurance does not payPassword security is pure mathematics. The higher the number of possible combinations, the longer it will take to hack them. Hardly anyone is aware that nowadays it only takes a few seconds to hack a password. This is, of course, a tremendous problem. The passwords we use at dailypointtm have at least 13 characters, contain upper case and lower case, numbers, and special symbols. Yes, that is long and more complicated than the four, six or eight digit passwords, which are mostly used. But this effort makes a huge difference! Do you know that in case of a claim, insurance providers may deny coverage due to gross negligence, if they consider the password rules to be insufficient? This could be disastrous and put managers in trouble when it comes to potential liability claims.3 years to hack a passwordToday, passwords are hacked with so-called Bruce-force attacks. These are computer programs, when used professionally, have extreme processing power across networks and are thus able to check a huge number of combinations per second to identify the right match. This means that a six-digit password can be hacked in less than a second! But now mathematics comes into play. It already takes 1.5 minutes to hack an eight-digit code. And if the length and the number of symbols are increased, the number of potential combinations rises exponentially to, for example, 2.000285392686698e+23 for the passwords we use at dailypointtm! That means it would theoretically take 2.9 million years to hack one of our passwords. This proves that a slight alteration in the password rules you can definitely enhance your data security!We highly recommend that you not only review your password rules, but also check the security concepts of your partners. Make it your responsibility and avoid any negligence.

How to Generate Revenue with Social Media

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·21 November 2016
Most hoteliers associate the term Social Media with Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. But there is much more to Social Media. Facebook & Co. are one aspect, the other important part is rating portals. Communities are nice and valuable, but money is made through TripAdvisor, HolidayCheck, and Google+.What is important for a good hotel ranking Without a top ranking, new client acquisition has become quite challenging and expensive. So, how can you get on top of the ranking lists? Client feedback is essential, but also the amount and topicality of the comments have a major impact on the positioning. Therefore, it is important to encourage guests to post a lot of good feedback! Many hotels fail to get high rankings even though the product and staff are great. One of the reasons is the lack of active Social Media Management. With our support and expertise we can help you to get on top of the ranking lists.How to get on gop of the ranking list at HolidayCheck, TripAdvisor & Co.Even the best hotels cannot fully satisfy every guest. This is nothing unusual. Hotel managers who target a specific group with a clear marketing message know what I mean. Negative feedback from guests, who do not belong to the key target group and happen to stay at the hotel, can create a false picture on the rating portals and ruin a hotel's good positioning. Thankfully, it is quite easy to counteract this. We call it "Brand Ambassador" strategy: As feedback of guests, who have not previously stayed at the property, is unpredictable, their post-stay survey does not contain a link to TripAdvisor or HolidayCheck. If their feedback is positive, they will receive another thank-you email with the request to share their feedback on a specific rating platform. The platform is selected based on their profile. Guests with a Gmail address have a Google account and therefore can easily give feedback on Google. Their feedback has a direct impact on the hotel's Google ranking and the hotelier gets advertising exposure without investing a lot of money!How to improve new customer acquisitionGerman-speaking guests who do not have a Gmail address can be asked for feedback on HolidayCheck. International guests should receive a link to TripAdvisor. This know-how and support by the right partners makes it quite easy to increase the web-presence and to improve new customer acquisition.
Article by Michael Toedt

The Half-Life of Knowledge

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·16 September 2016
Never before has change been so omnipresent like today. And never before has it been more important to stay up-to-date and to expand ones knowledge. Such statements can be seen a lot. And they are true! Big Data, the hot topic of the past months, confirms this.In 1965, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, postulated that processor speed would double every 18 months and network capacities every 9 months. Back then, only a few people understood what this meant. More than 50 years ago, Gordon Moore already predicted how fast our world would change. This means that, if the development continued at the same speed, computers will be 64 times faster than today by the year 2026! It is hard to imagine the possibilities this would bring.Big Data: See light at the end of the tunnel and go with the flow!In 1997, the ASCI Red was the fastest computer. It was about 150 m2 in size and cost US$55m. Back then nobody could imagine that only 9 years later the Sony Playstation PS2 would outperform this computer.Two anniversaries in 2015 and 2016 impressively show the speed of change. In 1995, the commercial Internet was born. It was the year Google, Booking or Amazon have started their businesses. This also means that only 21 years ago, companies have started to accumulate ever-increasing amounts of data, which is foundation for Big Data. But only 20 years later, managers come to see the value of data. Data is the driver for companies such as Uber or AirBnB, which today have a higher market value than many long-established companies.History shows that such a delay is not unusual. When James Watts developed the steam engine in 1769 no one thought that this invention would initiate the first industrial revolution. It took 30 years until engineers discovered the power of steam and its potential. Today, the same is true when it comes to data. It has taken quite some time to understand the value and potential of data.In 2016, the Smart Phone celebrates its 20th anniversary. First devices already came out in 1996 but only the iPhone, which was launched in 2007, has changed nearly everything. In only 9 years, it has revolutionized the telecommunications market. Big players such as Nokia, Siemens, Blackberry or Ericsson have lost their market shares. Nobody thought that flagships of this size could be kicked out of the market so quickly. One of the reasons is the half-life of knowledge, which has never been so short!Managers of bigger companies sometimes feel too safe. This could explain the bankruptcy of Kodak in 2012. Because management has failed to foresee the consequences of digitalization, only 7,000 of the formerly 145,000 employees are left.The hospitality industry faces a lot of mergers and acquisitions lately, such as Starwood and Marriott, or Accor taking over Fairmont, Swissotel and Raffles. One driver is the liquidity flood on the financial markets, another one need to increase power over the mighty Online Travel Agents. History has shown, however, that size does not guarantee survival.The hospitality industry has to adapt to the changes. Still today, technology innovation for the majority of hoteliers means sending out newsletters and building a website. While the OTAs focus on the customer and provide personalized service, many hotel managers still believe that new bathrooms and bigger TV sets would bring new guests. Only a few have understood the importance of guest data. This can also be seen when comparing individual hotel websites with that of an OTA.Nowadays, size will definitely not guarantee survival. It is the motivation to change, which makes the difference. And change is often more difficult for bigger companies.CRM has be become a huge topic again. In a Big Data world, CRM should be part of a holistic approach. Today, data also belongs to operations (Customer Relationship Optimization, CRO) and is the basis for intelligent analyses (Customer Relationship Analytics, CRA).TS&C offers the most comprehensive Central Data Management (CDM) solution for the hospitality industry. Our dailypointtm solution comprises CRM, CRO and CRA. Profit from Big Data by centralizing and connecting your data. Be part of the change and not part of the problem. Please contact us for more information!
Article by Michael Toedt

The Lucky Bag: WLAN

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·22 August 2016
Data has become the new gold in the Big Data era. When you look at the business value of companies such as, AirBnB or Uber you can see the immense value of data. All these companies would have no basis for existence without the data they are generating.Hotels also create huge amounts of data. One massive data source is the WLAN, a system hardly anyone pays attention to or makes use of. This, however, is a big mistake! There are calculations according to which a 200-room hotel gives up around 280,000 Euros per year by not tapping into this potential.WLAN is generally considered a financial burden. In a study conducted by the Munich University in 2015, leading hotels in Germany were asked for the ROI of their WLAN investments. The hardly surprising result was that none of them had a ROI calculation.A well-functioning Internet connection has become standard in hospitality. The quality of the Internet connection has even become one of the key decision-making factors during the search for a hotel.According to network provider Ericsson interruptions during video streaming, i.e. when watching movies via the PC, Smartphone or Tablet, cause a level of stress, which can be compared to that watching a horror movie. This reinforces the importance of high-quality Internet access at hotels.Nowadays, more than 90% of the consumers travel with mobile devices. Business travelers go online with up to three devices. This trend is referred to as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Moreover, travelers increasingly want to consume their own content. This phenomenon is referred to as BYOC (Bring Your Own Content). Guests no longer want to search hotel TV for interesting programs, but prefer using streaming platforms such as Youtube to satisfy their own preferences at any given time. The increased use of video requires an increase in bandwidth and considerable investments in hard- and software. The challenge is, however, that guests are no longer willing to pay for high speed Internet access. It has become a basic need, which they expect to be fulfilled without annoyance. But is there a way to make money with WLAN? Yes, there is by intelligently using the generated data.In order to do this, the collected unstructured data first needs to be transferred into structured data. This can be done by forcing the guest to register and to identify by adding the contact data to his guest profile. By doing this, useless, unstructured data is changed into structured data and the system recognizes an actual person and no longer an anonymous device!Due to the increasing share of OTA bookings, e.g. via, fewer and fewer hotels have the full contact details of their guests, as the OTAs provide them only with the first and last name of the guest. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest is either not willing to complete his guest profile or the hotel staff fails to ask for the details. As a result, most hotels only have contact details of less than 30% of their guests. Thus, only a fraction of the guest data is stored in the hotel's CRM system. But if a hotel does not communicate directly with its guests, there is no chance to generate direct bookings. This makes the hotel even more dependent on intermediaries such as HRS.About 75% of all guests go online and so do their partners, friends, other meeting participants, and external visitors of the restaurant, spa or the bar. Contact data of all these people can be collected and used in the CRM.But this is not all: Like a GPS system, modern Access Points can identify the location of a user with an accuracy of one meter. If this data is integrated in a central data management system, the hotel can see how long a guest spent at a specific location. Like Apple, Google and Co. they can use the previously unused data to see movement patterns of guests and thus learn what their preferences are. Communicate with the guest is possible in real time, based on his location. Also guest recognition works in real-time, which can help to enhance the service level. Further, the WLAN data can also facilitate staff planning. For example, if housekeeping receives an alert after a certain number of guests have used the gym, they can go and check the facilities when there is a real need, instead of working according to fixed cleaning plans.Some will probably throw their hands up in horror; but others will see the potential. But don't forget - it's better to move with the times than to be removed over time.If you want to see your potential, find out about SmartWireless and turn your available unstructured and almost useless wireless data with dailypointtm into a highly valuable asset.

The Lucky Bag: WLAN

·25 July 2016
Data has become the new gold in the Big Data era. When you look at the business value of companies such as, AirBnB or Uber you can see the immense value of data. All these companies would have no basis for existence without the data they are generating.
Article by Michael Toedt

Guest Loyalty stands and falls with the Use of your Data!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 6 June 2016
The fight for guests and their loyalty manifests in the booking behavior. In other words, guest loyalty stands or falls with the guest data. Only if you know your guests, their needs and expectations and how much they are willing to pay, will you be able to go up against the OTAs. Success does not depend on the size of a company, but on the management's ability to adapt to the changing environment. In the end, it is all about Central Data Management (CDM).Whereas Customer Relationship Management (CRM) focuses on the acquisition, development and retention of customer relationships, Central Data Management encompasses all aspects. CDM is about profitable use of data, whereas CRM is just a small aspect of the bigger picture.CDM means focusing the entire organization on the needs of the customer, tailoring all products and services to the company's specific target group and personalizing all communication. CDM is the next evolutionary stage in marketing. It brings individuality to a uniform mass.The goal is to implement the 7 P's of Service Marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Processes, Physical Evidence). Modern data management shows the way.It is, however, not sufficient to cleanse and link PMS and e-mail data. Other essential data sources such as the cash register system, the restaurant booking system, the feedback management system, the proprietary website and not to forget WLAN must also be included. Only when these data sources are combined comprehensive information about the guest can be obtained. Bits and pieces from individual sources are insignificant. CDM enables to create a complete guest profile in one central source.

Guest Loyalty stands and falls with the Use of your Data!

·25 May 2016
The fight for guests and their loyalty manifests in the booking behavior. In other words, guest loyalty stands or falls with the guest data. Only if you know your guests, their needs and expectations and how much they are willing to pay, will you be able to go up against the OTAs. Success does not
Article by Michael Toedt

Hotel Investments: Invest In Big Data As Long As Your Competitors Are Still Sleeping!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·23 May 2016
Each year, many hotel managers ask themselves what and how much they should invest in to meet the expectations of their guests. Without doubt guest satisfaction alongside communications is the most important variable influencing guest loyalty and repurchase behavior.Thomas Reisenzahn, former secretary general of the Austrian Hotel Association and today managing director of GFB Prodinger Tourism Consulting, recently stated that one of the main reasons for the increasingly difficult situation of hotels in the Alpine region was false and costly investments. I completely agree. However, I believe that this statement is not only applicable to hotels in the Alpine region, but to hotels everywhere!Today, approximately 50% of all investments made are questionable, if not wrong. This number is quite astonishing. But why is this the case?The answer is rather simple: Too often, hotel managers have no idea what their guests really want!A high-quality guest survey requires expertiseHoteliers tend to use social media analyses obtained from rating sites for decision-making. But these sites are marketing platforms and complaint management channels. They were built for that and are not suitable for basing budget decisions on.Data from these channels should rather be used to question and verify the results in a guest survey using a questionnaire, which was correctly developed for the hotel. One of the key principles of market research is that you should know the target group giving the answers. Only if you know the needs of your core target group will you be able to take sustainable decisions and then tailor and design your product according to these needs.Hotel managers will only be able to take the right decisions if they use a questionnaire, which has been developed specifically for their property. Each hotel has its own challenges and particularities, which have to be considered. Preparing a valuable and correct questionnaire requires expertise. Many hoteliers look at what the hotel chains are doing, but are they the right benchmark?A lot of hotel owners believe that the individual brand is most decisive. Unfortunately, market research does not provide any helpful statements on this, which can be used for the meaningful allocation of investments. I do not know of any hotel chain, which sends out questionnaires containing reliable general statements.The prerequisite for low-risk investments is to identify what priority the individual business units have for the target group. Only then targeted investment decisions can be taken. Make sure that you and/or your survey provider can answer this important question.Experience is good, facts are betterAlbert Einstein once said: God is not guessing!Big Data divides mangers in two groups - the ones who know what they are doing and the ones who think they know what they are doing. Which group do you belong to?For investment decisions this means that gut feeling and experience are good, but only make sense when underpinned by hard facts. Big Data analyses can provide these profound insights.Use the potential, which cross-linked data nowadays provides. It is simply fascinating how obvious the results are.
Article by Michael Toedt

The Big Data Formula: BD = C2A2

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 3 May 2016
What is Big Data? I hear this question almost every day. It is indeed not so easy to explain Big Data in simple words. Although Big Data and intelligent use of data are highly relevant topics and present throughout the media, only a few experts are able to deliver a logical and clear definition.The Definition of Big DataA way to explain Big Data is through the 5 "Vs": Volume (data volume), Variety (data types and sources), Veracity (data quality), Velocity (speed at which data volumes are generated and spread) and Value (economic value). The 5 "Vs" illustrate that Big Data is about the intelligent use of constantly increasing data volumes derived from various sources and the generation of value thereof for companies.Experts define Big Data as follows: Big Data is the intelligent use of data to ensure a sustainable positive impact on economic development.The Importance of the Human Element for Success For some people this definition might not be catchy enough. A simpler approach is to put the underlying concept into a formula, derived from the concept of central data management, which is elementary for intelligent data usage:BD = C2A2, meaning: Big Data = Collect * Cleanse * Analyze * ActWhat does this mean for the hospitality industry? Data from all phases of the customer journey is collected, cleansed and thus made usable. After that, the data is analyzed to enable decisions and actions based on the gained information. In a hospitality context this means that relevant data is collected, connected and cleansed throughout the phases of the guest's journey, starting with the inspiration phase, followed by the booking and preparation phase, the actual trip to the guest's arrival, stay and departure, ending with the reflection phase and ultimately the transfer to customer relationship management. What sounds quite simple in the beginning turns out to be pretty complex. Big Data requires specific technology solutions, such as a centralized data management system.The next step is the analysis of the collected and cleansed data. This can be done either automatically or manually using complex algorithms. The human element is very important for success, as data or analyses, which are not questioned and interpreted by experts, can lead to false conclusions. In particular, analyzes of social media data are likely to lead to wrong decisions, as often it is not clear which feedback the data is based on. Is the data really related to the relevant target group? Does the result really reflect the needs of my customers? Systems such as TripAdvisor and HolidayCheck, which are relevant for marketing, are often used and interpreted wrongly. This phenomenon is known as the social media pitfall! Even the best social media analysis cannot replace a questionnaire or on-property customer survey.Personalized Guest CommunicationAll departments of a company benefit from centralized data management. The service-related departments benefit from intelligent distribution of information at the point-of-sale. Marketing profits from personalized and targeted guest communication, which ultimately leads to higher guest loyalty.The biggest impact of Big Data comes from the fact that everything is measurable. With intelligent data management important decisions are no longer based on gut feeling, subjective perception, or yearlong experience. The reason for this is the interconnected approach of Big Data. If all relevant data sources are connected and made available at one central point everything is measurable which leads to complete transparency. A Big Data approach is an important factor for risk minimization and should thus be considered by every company.

The Big Data Formula: BD = C2A2

·19 April 2016
What is Big Data? I hear this question almost every day. It is indeed not so easy to explain Big Data in simple words. Although Big Data and intelligent use of data are highly relevant topics and present throughout the media, only a few experts are able to deliver a logical and clear definition. The Definition of Big Data A way to explain Big Data is through the 5 “Vs“: Volume (data volume), Variety (data types and sources), Veracity (data quality), Velocity (speed at which data volumes are generated and spread) and Value (economic value). The 5 “Vs“ illustrate that Big Data is about the intelligent use of constantly increasing data volumes derived from various sources and the generation of value thereof for companies.
Article by Michael Toedt

Hotel Marketing - Stuck in the Year 2000

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 8 April 2016
For more than 20 years, I have been working with digital media. In 2000, I started with marketing databases and CRM. Over the years, I have gained a pretty good overview of the activities within the hospitality industry, in particular when it comes to guest communication. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the past years. It seems to me that 99.9% of all hotels got stuck in the year 2000.The world is moving faster and faster This would not be problematic, if the world around us did not change. But this is not the case - it is moving faster and faster. Technology develops at almost exponential speed and along with it communication.I do not want to talk about all the new channels, which are being used in marketing nowadays. I want to talk about e-mail marketing. E-mail is still the most important communication channel, even if some black-and-white thinkers believe that it will disappear. As a communication channel e-mail is 50 times more efficient than Facebook and Twitter combined. But when you look at the newsletters sent out by hotels from all segments, from 1 star to 5 stars, individually owned or multinational chain, you can see that not much or nothing has changed in the past 16 years except for the design.Marketing for guests from North Korea Most hotels still follow the scattershot approach, i.e. all recipients get the same offer at the same time. This would be okay in North Korea or any other totalitarian country, in which individuality is not very popular and firmly controlled. In our western world, however, individuality and freedom of individuals are fundamental. The hospitality industry still fails to offer the necessary personalization, which Online Travel Agents (OTAs) have been providing already for many years! The lack of personalized guest communication is one of the reasons why the industry is under such pressure.The basis is missing - centralized data management Only a few hotel companies use centralized data management, which has become standard for OTAs or online retailers. Thus, the industry is still far away from personalized automated communication. If at all, the approach is to work with target groups, missing out that each recipient is an individual and wants to be treated as such. Consequently, standardized newsletters should no longer be sent out. Each client should receive a personalized newsletter with content that is relevant and of interest.The hospitality industry needs to open up to the topics of Big Data and centralized data management. Otherwise, they will lose the game. It will only be possible to bridge the gap to the OTAs, if the available data is collected and cleansed, i.e. the data is analyzed and used intelligently.These are the seven most important data sources in a hotel:PMSEMS (E-mail Management System)WebsiteSurvey-ManagementWiFiPOS (Spa, F&B etc.)Table Booking SystemNot only can intelligent use of data bridge the gap to the OTAs, it also opens up a knowledge pool, which is significantly bigger and more valuable than that of the OTAs.The available data helps to tailor the hotel's service offering to the guest's preferences and needs and also enables communication of relevant information at the right time via the right channel. Big Data does not mean anonymity and uniformity; it enables unprecedented individuality. This is what managers need to understand following the principle, "Either move with the times or be removed over time".

Hotel Marketing - Stuck in the Year 2000

· 5 April 2016
For more than 20 years, I have been working with digital media. In 2000, I started with marketing databases and CRM. Over the years, I have gained a pretty good overview of the activities within the hospitality industry, in particular when it comes to guest communication. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the past years. It seems to me that 99.9% of all hotels got stuck in the year 2000.
Article by Michael Toedt

Move with the times or be removed over time

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 9 February 2016
Big Data or holistic and intelligent data management has become a popular topic within the hospitality industry. A lot of hotel companies talk about it, but hardly anyone is even close to doing it right. In my new book I predict that by the year 2020 many hotels will have disappeared for exactly that reason. But I have to admit I was mistaken - the process is already in full swing.Secured Online Cloud Computing Concept with Business ManThe takeover of Starwood by Marriott shows that those who will not act in time will eventually disappear. Barry Sternlicht, founder and former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, put it in a nutshell by saying that Marriott's goal for the merger was to fight the OTAs and to enhance their market position. Marriott is taking action against these data-driven and progressive companies, but will the size of a company really be decisive for survival in the Big Data age or could it rather be a constraint?Data has become the commodity of the 21st century, the heart of the 4th industrial revolution. It is, however, not only important to own data. A clear advantage of the hospitality industry, as hardly any other industry knows more about their customers. Owning alone is worthless, if the data is not used properly and management has no expertise in doing that. In a world where propositions are similar, the product is no longer the decision-making factor. Look at "Marwood" (Marriott plus Starwood) with its 30 brands. Hardly any hotel expert knows them all, understands what they stand for or knows their brand promise. If experts fail, how should the end consumer get it? Not those with the best product will win the race, but those with the most consumer data and expertise to make use of it. Data has become crucial for the success of your business. If you are good at using the data, like the OTAs, you will "own" the customer.Intelligent data management has a considerable impact on the quality of communication, service level, operations, and decision-making.The fact that Starwood could be taken over shows how fast a former model company can disappear from the market, if management ignores the necessary changes. Big Data has become a catalyst and will filter out companies, which have missed or have acted to late to the changes. Or like Truman Capote once said "Either you move with the times, or you will be removed over time".2016 will be a crucial year, as things are happening much faster and on a much larger scale than expected! The dynamics are actually quite scary. Therefore, it is vital to take action now, to establish interlaced thinking within the management, and to consolidate all relevant data sources. The PMS, the once leading on-property system, is losing its importance. It will gradually be replaced by the so-called Master Data Base. The existing operating systems are not able to meet the requirements of the modern data management and have not been built to connect many different data sources, or clean, analyze and handle huge amounts of data.The success or even survival of the chains is hugely dependent on their data management. In 2016, it will be key to have a good data strategy or to quickly start developing one.For quite some time, we have been visiting hotels and doing so-called reality-checks. We analyze the status quo, identify the systems in place, find out where the data is data stored, check data quality management, look how the existing tools are connected, indentify the communication channels, etc. We ask many questions which could be painful, as they confront our clients with the reality. And although the results are mostly not very satisfying, this process lays the foundation for a data-driven holistic company strategy, which, however, can only be executed if management fully supports and drives the change processes.Holistic data management is by no means just an IT project, which drags through the entire organization. It requires changes in responsibilities and reporting lines. This is one of the main reasons why so far only a few smaller and mid-size hospitality companies have been able to efficiently use Big Data.It is only a matter of time until the next hotel icon will vanish. And not the OTAs will be to blame, but the management, which has failed to adapt to the changes. A good example is Kodak. The company was founded in 1888 and during its peak times had up to 145,000 employees worldwide. In 2012, the former global player went bankrupt and disappeared. In most big companies management just focuses on increasing revenue but ignore that the world around them is changing. Clayton Christensen, the father of disruptive innovation, called this phenomenon the "dilemma of innovators".I believe that 2016 will be crucial and decisive for many companies and I am not sure how many managers are really aware of that.

Move with the times or be removed over time

· 4 February 2016
Big Data or holistic and intelligent data management has become a popular topic within the hospitality industry. A lot of hotel companies talk about it, but hardly anyone is even close to doing it right. In my new book 'Big Data - Challenges for the Hospitality Industry',� I predict that by the year 2020 many hotels
Article by Michael Toedt

Beacons - Top or Flop for the Hospitality Industry?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·16 December 2015
There has been quite a hype lately around beacons, in particular since HRS has invested 10m in this technology, which is supposed to improve the customer experience in the hotels. But what is behind all this?The beacon technology allows hotels to identify their guests via an app, e.g. a receptionist can see the guest's profile on a tablet when he enters the lobby. This enables a personalized welcome experience and service. Sounds great in theory, but what about reality? Is the beacon technology the ultimate solution for the hospitality industry? And what actually is a beacon?A beacon is the natural progression of the QR (Quick Response) Code, which never had a real break-through despite its intelligent potential uses. A beacon is a small Bluetooth transmitter, which can be installed e.g. in the lobby, that sends signals to mobile end devices such as Smartphones. The technology enables automatic communication between various devices. If more than one transmitter is installed in a room the user can be localized, which is quite interesting for location-based services. So far, tracking has been difficult especially in closed rooms. The localization allows a hotel to get in touch with its guests, send vouchers, provide additional information, etc.Sound amazing, but where is the catch? There are two fundamental challenges: Firstly, Bluetooth needs to be activated on the recipient's mobile device. Currently, about 70% of all Smartphone users deactivate Bluetooth in order to maximize battery life. Secondly, the user has to download and activate a special app on his Smartphone. The usage of apps is increasing, but is limited to only a few such as Facebook, Youtube, or news apps. In general, customers are getting tired of apps. Hotel apps have a low spread and there are only a few successful ones, as consumers refuse to download a hotel app, if there is no added value.Considering these challenges, the beacon technology should be critically assessed. But why is a smart company like HRS investing huge amounts in this technology? HRS is losing market share and in my opinion the management is looking for new paths. Only the apps of the big OTAs are somehow accepted and used. If HRS integrates the beacon technology in its app and a beacon sender is installed in the hotel lobby, HRS guests could be offered a better service than guests who came via other channels. This would mean that a guest who comes through an expensive OTA would get a better service than the more valuable guest, who booked directly at the hotel.On top, the collected data would remain with the app provider and not with the hotel. Nowadays, data is more precious than stones. The stock prices of Priceline versus Marriott or Hilton reflect this clearly. The investment could indeed be interesting for HRS, depending on how many hotels are installing beacons. But what is in for the hotelier? It remains interesting to see who will actually make the connection.


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