Where Focus Goes, Energy Flows
As far as I'm concerned, focus is key when it comes to entrepreneurship. That's why we strive every day for specialisation when it comes to our services. This is not always self-evident in a sector in which so much has changed as it has in ours. Let's take a trip down Memory Lane!
In the past...
SmartHOTEL started 'back in the days' as software vendor with the 'point of sale' software WinRES POS, soon with the addition of SmartPMS. And when Booking.com started off as a booking site, we thought it would be useful not to re-type the bookings that arrived at the hotel by fax but to have them automatically entered into the PMS.
The first booking that automatically entered our PMS is still in a frame on the wall at our office.
This was before the word "Channel Management" existed at all. We were good at linking our PMS to booking sites. OTA/booking sites started popping up like mushrooms. There was good money to be made and every month we linked new booking sites. This was also the period in time we found out that our PMS was not suitable for every hotel.
The result of the above conclusion was a hard split the Channel Manager and PMS software. This was also when we started to link the Channel Manager to other PMS systems (e.g. Micros Fidelio, Suite8, Protel, Vips etc.). Our USP's became clear and our Channel Manager user base grew fast.
Micros Fidelio (Opera PMS) white labelled our Channel Management solution and sold it under its own name. The product helped hotels around the world to increase their OTA bookings and significantly reduce manual work. The same happened with the Suite8 Channel Manager (also our technology) and more and more it turned out that we as a company were very good at connectivity between systems.
Simply doing what you do best
Linking PMS with booking sites, using the latest techniques, proved to be our distinguishing feature and it still is today. Once you know what you are good at, where you come from and where you want to go, you have to dare to make choices. One of these choices was that after 15 years, at the end of 2019, we will stop supporting our SmartPMS system.
The complete software package with which the SmartHOTEL adventure started is 'expired'. Towards the future, we can no longer guarantee the proper functioning of the PMS. It is always difficult to send such a message to loyal hoteliers, but we know that in the long run, it will be to their advantage if they switch to another system. Every hotelier has different wishes and there are plenty of options.
If you choose to stop something, you will also have the opportunity to use more resources in other areas. SmartHOTEL is good at channel management and quality connectivity for hotels. Nobody can be good at everything and we strongly believe in specialization. PMS vendors do PMS (making the operation more effective), RMS advises you on the price you charge on which channel to whom, IBE vendors take care of the direct conversion and we love Channel Management; more online bookings and less effort for our customers.
Nothing of what we did and what we will do in the future can be done without focus. In this way, we guarantee the high quality and innovation that we promise our loyal and new customers.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
Recognizable? How have you dealt with the developments in your market in recent years? Were you able to change course in time, or did it sometimes involve turbulent waters? I wonder how you look back on the changes in your market and the choices you made in it.