CLOUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE IS CHANGING THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Through the emergence of cloud-based hotel software solutions , the hospitality industry has undergone a transformation in the last decade. With cloud-based property management software only gaining in popularity , the way hoteliers do business has been changed forever.
Transitioning to a cloud-based hotel software solution can seem like a daunting task at first , which may be the reason why some property owners in the hotel industry have been slow to adopt this new technology . But hoteliers are increasingly looking for better service and more integrated technology options and factors like these are just some of the benefits that cloud-based software can provide . In fact that in the next two or three years hoteliers are expected to invest seven to eight percent more on cloud technology and it’s easy to see that the future will lead to the majority of hoteliers adopting new technology.
This hotel software will change the hospitality industry with revolutionary features . It can provide updated data in reall time. Additionally , increased accessibility , greater profitability and user-friendly dashboards make this software enticing for hoteliers.
HOW HAS COUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE IMPACTED THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?
For starters , cloud-based hotel software has the ability to host a property management system (PMS) from a remote location .It allows hoteliers to access their property data from anywhere in the world with aninternet connection.
This feature is unique to software and eliminates the need for hoteliers to be physically present at their property to be able to check in on daily management operations.
Unlike locally installed hospitality software , cloud-based systems are hosted by a vendor’s server and give hoteliers a single system that’s flexible and easily updated. These are just a few of the reasons the hospitality industry is approaching a turning point in terms of cloud technology adoption.
Furthermore , cloud-based hotel system allows property owners and managers to :
Eliminate the need for manual data sharing and processing
Give staff more mobility and accessibility around the property(staff can view and update housekeeping status in real time)
Take advantage of frequent software updates and enhancements instead of waiting to download and install new versions of their software.
Accelerate hotel check-in / out
Easily integrate their PMS software with third-party tools and services
BENEFITS OF CLOUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE
Cloud-based hotel software has been shown to boost productivity , efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By automating daily tasks ,staff can spend more time attending to guests.
Additonally , hoteliers can eliminate the need for on-premise servers at each property. This can mean a tremendous amount of savings on maintenance costs. In fact, the hotel group ,Triple C Hotels and Resorts reported a 60%savings on software costs when they switched to cloud-based hospitality software.
CLOUD-BASED HOTEL SOFTWARE AND DATA SECURITY
Cyber attacks and tighter regulations on privacy policies have made the need to protect guests information more important than ever. This topic is a main concern for those considering switching to a cloud-based PMS system . Thankfully , these systems undergo frequent security updates to guard against cyber attacks and reduce liability risk.
The high-level security standards followed by cloud-based hotel software is due in part to its rigid compliance with PCI requirements. For example, HOTEL RACE hospitality software implements periodic auto-logoff features . Hoteliers with cloud-based hotel software can feel secure . They feel their data and that of their guest is safe .
PREPARING FOR FUTURE GROWTH
Unlike locally installed software , one of the more attractive elements of using this hotel software system is the ability to adapt , grow with future trends. In an industry that is always changing , this kind of flexibility is priceless. Flexible software options mean that changes can be made across multiple properties . It allows you market-leading innovations to be faster for operations , online bookings and customer services.
INCREASE YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT
In the simplest terms , cloud-based hotel software cuts costs for properties in order to help gain revenue.
Unlike convential hotel software models that require hoteliers to purchase licenses and hardware . Cloud-based hotel software is sold as a service . It enables clients to add on as many or as few tools and features as needed. This makes it customizable with seamless integration for client and saves money.
In fact . a study by Frost and Sullivan showed that business can cut IT costs in half by implementing cloud-based computing solutions to customer support.
With cloud-based hotel software , hoteliers can say goodbye to traditional cost burdens.
Distribution management remains one of the most important things a property has to oversee in 2017. While we believe a good distribution strategy is a healthy mix of third-party distribution partners, we want to focus on how properties can win more direct bookings. Depending on your property, you may have varying opinions about direct bookings strategies and their importance to your revenue and brand.
Regardless of your property type, direct bookings (should) offer higher profit margins and an opportunity to connect with your guests.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT DIRECT BOOKINGS
There are an endless amount of reasons why you should care about direct bookings, but we’ll outline a few of the most important ones. OTAs are great in many ways, but in others, they infringe on your business.
Creating a healthy distribution mix is a never-ending battle .You should revisit your distribution management strategy on a regular basis.
When guests book direct, you and your property are able to control the guest’s experience in its entirety. If a guest books on an OTA, the OTA in large part is controlling the pre-arrival process. The OTA sends the booking confirmation, and if it’s a large OTA, they will continue to try and cross-sell the guest until long after their trip is over (i.e. car rentals, activities, guides, future trips etc.).
If the guest books direct , the only communications they’ll receive about their stay is from you. This allows you to maintain a stronger hold on your brand and messaging . You know more about your property and destination than any OTA and you can use that to your advantage.
As the property owner or manager , you have the ability to offer insider information and better travelling advice. An OTA can offer cookie-cutter information based on location and simple demographic data . But you understand the nuances of your location more deeply.
In today’s market , we see consumers becoming brand loyal to OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com . With ‘member-only’ pricing and branded loyalty programs ,it’s not surprising that travelers turn to OTAs when researching and booking travel.
Your property can combat this by creating your own loyalty program and offering direct booking perks, like including breakfast or another extra amenity. OTAs have large and intense marketing campaigns to target people during every stage of their booking process. An independent property doesn’t have the time or resources to operate at the same scale. But you can have an easy-to-use website, blog posts and active media to strengthen your online presence.
An obvious reason to focus on direct bookings is because they’re commission-free. Depending on the OTA, the commission charge could be above 20% or it could be as low as Airbnb’s 3%. Recently, an article called OTA fees the steal of the century infavor of the OTA. The argument is that the commission fees are used to directly market properties.
It was an interesting take on how the commission fees are actually used. But, for any property, if you’re comparing the same exact reservation, you’d rather it was booked direct rather than on an OTA. Direct bookings = more money.
However, the benefit of an OTA is discovery and bring properties reservations they may not have received without the added distribution. As we’ve mentioned before, a healthy distribution mix is necessary, but you need to put yourself in the best position possible when a guest visits your website.
HOW TO GET DIRECT BOOKINGS IN 2019
Gaining more direct bookings in 2018 isn’t much different than getting them in 2019. The internet remains the most powerful and efficient way to obtain new bookings and that’s not changing. The “too long; don’t read” version of this would be to get a good looking and easy to use website, fill it with content and post it to social media. But, if you’re interested in more of the details, continue reading.
A SOLID ONLINE PRESENCE
No matter where a guest is in their travel journey, whether it’s dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, or sharing, you want to make sure their online experience is strong. This means having a beautiful website that’s easy to navigate and understand. Don’t hide important information like room types, amenities, and most importantly the book now button. It should be painfully obvious how and where to check availability and book a stay.
Keep your website updated with regular content on a blog. As you probably know by now, Google and other search engines prioritize sites that are updated regularly. New content gains attention from search engines and boosts the entire website’s performance.
Blog-like content can also help convince travelers to stay at your property. Content can often help paint a complete picture of what your property has to offer. On an OTA, your property’s listing will look like every other listing.
One of the major advantages of being an independent property is that you and your staff are extremely knowledge about your property and usually travel in general. Big, branded hotels have employees who are passionate about travel and know a lot, but we find there’s a different level of passion with independent hoteliers and property owners. Translate that knowledge and passion into shareable content. It will pay off in the long run.
UTILIZE RETARGETING ADS
Retargeting ads are one of the OTAs most widely-used marketing tactics. Follow their lead and make sure you create your own retargeting campaigns to remain competitive.
There are several ad distribution companies that you can use to essentially ” follow ” your customers around the web. You can install a few lines of code on your website that will then track all the people who visit . Then it will display your ads to those same people on different websites around the web and keep your property top of mind.
Facebook also allows you to do this with their pixel. You can advertise to people who visit your website and track those who booked because of it with their conversion-based ads. During the dreaming and planning stage of travel , potential guests will visit several different websites and likely check out many different options . Retargeting ads allow you showcase your property.
These ads will help increase direct bookings because they link directly to your website or proprietary booking engine. You never want a guest to visit your website and end up booking offer is more attractive , retargeting ads help seal the deal.
WHAT IT IS FOR AND WHY YOUR PROPERTY NEED IT
We’re in a Golden Age of hospitality technology. Independent properties and hospitality professionals have an opportunity to elevate their brands . They will do this giving their guests a more personalized experience. From check-out to post-stay, independent properties should harness technology to create this connection and sense of trust with their guests.
One such technology is a point-of-sale (POS) system. In short , POS is a broad term for a terminal that accepts payments from customers. It can be physical, such as at a hotel restaurant where cards are processed in-person. Or can be virtual, like a front desk taking an off-site guest’s payment details over the phone.
In this article , we’re going to spotlight on POS Tech . We’ll explore the benefits of a physical POS for independent hotels , hostels and bed & breakfast . Even small properties can take advantage of simple technological upgrades like adding a POS to their property . Here’s how .
THE BENEFITS OF A POS FOR HOTELS
Firstly, spotlight on POS Tech gives us opportunity to learn the benefits.Any property that has food and beverage operations, a spa, or even a concierge selling in-destination activities, needs a system to sell these items to guests. To clarify , in the past staff would have to add on-property charges by hand to a guest’s folio. These manual methods took up valuable staff time and left room for error. On the other hands ,these manual entries also prevented management from capturing data around guest spending patterns.
Today, a hotels’ POS should directly connect to your property management system. This provides some clear benefits for hotels :
A seamless guest experience. No matter the size of your property, you can offer your guest the convenience of a seamless experience. After all, today’s guest expects it! Most importantly , a POS automatically adds room service, restaurant bills, bar tabs, spa expenditures, and other on-property expenses to a single folio. The guest then pays only once, at check-out.
Expanded service opportunities. With a mobile-friendly POS, your staff can take orders anywhere: by the pool, in the lobby, at the spa. Wherever guests are, your staff can clinch incremental revenue.
Better billing. Manual reconciliation of on-property expenses creates room for error. A POS reduces the possibility of human errors and improves guest satisfaction by providing faster service and more accurate billing.
Useful reports. A standalone POS surfaces new insights about guest behavior. Since you can view all of a guest’s spending on a single folio, you can determine which profiles of guests are the most lucrative. Do certain channels deliver higher-spending guests? What are your seasonal trends? Do certain guests over-index on F&B spending? Many new questions can be asked, answered . And acted upon to better match supply to demand.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A POS FOR YOUR PROPERT
In addition to inventory and staff management functionality, here’s what to look for when searching for the best POS for your independent property:
Integration. That is to say , the last thing you want to do is add another manual task to your workload. Firstly, eliminate any POS that doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your existing property management system. It’s this integration that simplifies billing for both yourself and the guest, as well as creating a single profile that enables proper personalization. Moreover , processing payments in two separate systems and isolating guest information silos are not beneficial to your hotel’s operation.
Mobile capability. If you’re chosen POS doesn’t provide a full-featured mobile experience, you’ll limit your future options. It may not always be realistic or feasible to install a tablet terminal; a mobile POS gives your employees flexibility in how they serve guests.
Cloud-based. You want a cloud-based POS for the same reasons you want a cloud-based PMS: The noteworthy point, it’s a lot cheaper and more reliable than on-premises systems that require steep upfront investments and ongoing maintenance.
Pricing. Exorbitant fees are never welcome. Moreover ,your chosen POS vendor should be your ally, not your enemy. Don’t settle for anything less than fair and transparent pricing that reflects the features and functionality you actually need.
Loyalty. Some independent properties attract a sizable local crowd. To clarify ,whether it’s a freelancer friendly lobby or a lively happy hour. Some properties may benefit from a POS with built-in loyalty. Locals may not be staying overnight . But it pays to encourage them to return regularly.
Smaller properties don’t always have access to the deep pockets that fund the latest hospitality technology. So spotlight on POS Tech is very crucial. Therefore , investing in a modern point-of-sale empowers your staff to deliver a seamless experience on par with much larger properties. In addition , you’ll also gain operational precision, an improved guests experience and make more accurate data-backed decisions. In conclusion , it’s a win all around for properties that sell more than just room to guests.
SELL FASTER , DO BETTER , ACHIEVE MORE
Hoteliers who came of age in the 20th century can remember a time when the year 2020 once seemed very far away. By then, people would be making payments on flying cars. We would send hologram messages, like in early Star Wars films. Whatever the world looked like, it would be drastically different. Arthur C. Clarke, the British science fiction writer, predicted the Internet in 1964 with startling accuracy. But at that time, flying cars and holidays to the moon sounded equally plausible. Myriad point of view have mentioned what successful hotels will like in 2020 . Nowadays it is popular question.Successful hotels will like in 2020 magnificent part of the world .
Now that 2020 is right around the corner, we can safely say that Internet is the single greater driver of change for any industry you care to mention — including hotels. The way we promote ourselves and compete with other properties has been transformed by online booking and OTAs. Online reviews give individual guests the ability to affect a hotel’s reputation and inventory. Reliable Wi-Fi and charge points are now as vital to guests as hot water and clean sheets.
Given the blinding pace of change, you’d think hoteliers simply would not have time to rest on their laurels and breathe easy. Unfortunately, our foray into science fiction has some distance yet to cover. Here are some key developments we can expect by 2020.
Artificial intelligence will show its strengths and limitations
Artificial intelligence has been creeping into our lives for while now, with giants like Amazon and Google aggressively pushing devices that answer questions and do shopping for you. Sophisticated chatbots and voice command software will continue to be an area of interest for hoteliers . Because we find the appropriate balance between personal warmth and digital convenience. In other words , more assertive forms of A.I. are already being explored. Robotic luggage handlers (no tipping required, even in America) are already operational in several hotels, as well as the Yobot Hotel in New York City. In Japan, you can stay at a hotel where cyborgs check you in.
Advanced in-room controls will be the norm
The Peninsula Shanghai is one of many properties now offering digital touch panels for in-room controls. For examples, such as the ARIA in Las Vegas, of smart-entry capabilities. Three simple things happen when the guest enters the room: the lights turn on, the HVAC system starts running, the curtains open. It sounds basic. But it has the power to surprise and delight — and that’s what creating a better guest experience is all about.
It’s worth mentioning also that “the internet of things” is quickly becoming more ubiquitous in people’s homes. By 2020, devices that were installed in hotels “back in 2017” might seem dated. The question hoteliers face is whether to invest in high-tech infrastructure now, or wait for that infrastructure to evolve. It’s even possible that custom-built apps will dominate the market for in-room controls, allowing guests to access everything from their own devices.
Bigger bathrooms, smaller guestrooms, optical illusions
Traditional wisdom on guestroom dimensions has been up for review since millennials started pouring into the workforce, leaving countless ping-pong tables and treadmill desks in their wake. But it’s not just millennials who have inspired a new look at how guestrooms are laid out. It’s a decreasing amount of urban space and a shifting sense of what’s important.
Larger bathrooms are commonly seen as a benchmark of luxury in hotels. Obviously building a bigger bathroom will decrease your dimensions for living and sleeping . But what if you trade those bulky, enclosed closets for open storage solutions? What if you add foldaway workstations and tables? By 2020, more hotel renovations and new hotel developments will be following these space-saving and optical trends. Wall-sized screens that mimic forests and deserts might also solve a spatial problem or two — but that might be something we commonly see by 2025.
Hotels will design with social media in mind
Guest reviews will continue to be an important driver of success in 2020. Because the guests reviews will establish what successful hotels like in 2020. In particular, activity on photo sites like Instagram, Pinterest and whatever comes next will be a more powerful channel for hotels. If a property can design a guest room, amenity, or common area that inspires delighted Instagram posts and shares . They will have harnessed the best type of publicity. Negative posts, on the other hand, will become ipso facto negative reviews.
Personal interactions will continue to define the guest experience
Finding ways to invest and adapt to the times, while remaining flexible and ready for new changes, remains one of the great challenges of our profession. But no matter how much the hotel of the future looks like a science fiction story. Personal interactions will remain important. They will continue to endow the guest experience with something no device ever can. The warmth and personality of human connections. It doesn’t matter what successful hotels will like in 2020, the noteworthy point is that personal interactions. If you are not convinced, just ask Siri.
The 8th meeting of Uludag Economic Summit was held in Bursa (Turkey) on March 22-23, organized by magazines Capital and Economist, and global startup competition Stars of Region was organized as part of this event.
The Uludag Economic Summit, which has been held since 2012, is one of the most important events in the business and economy of Turkey. The annual event is attended by representatives of government agencies, the private sector and investors from Turkey and around the world.
According to the terms of the global startup competition Stars of Region, the startups, which have qualified for the final stage (top 10) are permitted to present their products and solutions before investors in the summit, and startups that are included in the top 3 have an opportunity to get investment.
Relevant work was carried out by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies for participation of startups in our country in the competition and over 30 startup projects were registered for participation in the competition.
The startup Hotel Race, which is a participant in the Innovative Business Program of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, selected from among more than two thousand startups participating in the international competition, has presented its products and solutions to investors at the final stage.
The main goal of the startup Hotel Race is to develop innovative management and analytical solutions for hotels using information technologies.
The competition jury has determined the winners of the first, second and third places from among the startups that reached the final stage.
Projects Tion (Turkey), Hotel Race (Azerbaijan), Sonaris (Israel) took the first, second and third places, respectively. At the end of the event, the winners were awarded cash prizes by organizers and partners. The winners of the competition were negotiated to make investments in order to provide them with access to the global market.
It should be noted that a representative of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies was represented on the jury of the international startup competition for the first time.
Thus, acting executive director of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies Azer Bayramov was elected to the jury of a startup competition by the organizers of the Uludag Economic Summit.
ABOUT GUESTS REVIEWS
I’d like to point out the importance of guests reviews . Having many positive reviews is incredibly important for any hotel and correct way to gain more bookings. Replying to reviews – especially to negative ones – is paramount to convincing potential bookers that you are in control and will motivate them to complete their reservation.
But you must put some thought behind your replies when answering reviews!
You can send a special thank ,by this way you can encourage others to leave reviews themselves .It shows your compassion for hotel guests. Alternatively, if you’re copy and pasting replies to negative reviews, that will reflect how much you care! Here are 7 best practices you should always keep in mind when replying to your guests reviews:
1. BE POLITE
Being thoughtful and polite can go a long way, with minimum effort. A quick thank you. Show of appreciation can reflect your brand’s values and professionalism. Whether the review is positive or negative, opening with a ‘thank you’ shows the reviewer that you care about their opinion. It allows for the possibility of a more open dialogue.
2. BE PERSONAL
Nowadays personalization is a key player in the hospitality business. Especially as new trends are imposed by the travellers! Because it’s very easy to have templates and just re-use them and it might work when replying to positive comments. But when replying to negative comments, let the review drive your response. Concentrate on the main issue. Discuss your actions to resolve it, whilst avoiding becoming defensive. A negative review may feel like a personal insult. But take a breath and respond rather than react.
3. BE TIMELY AND KEEP IT SHORT
The general rule of thumb is to respond to guest reviews within 72 hours . Firstly ,we’d suggest prioritizing negative reviews . If they are not answered within this time frame, it starts to look like you don’t care. To clarify ,keep it short and sweet.
Reassurance is one of the best things you can offer to an unsatisfied customer. By suggesting a few potential solutions or a plan of action to resolve the issue, the guest may give your hotel a second chance. In worst case scenarios offer a refund, a discount or anything else which you consider to be appropriate. Always remember to give a choice to the customer wherever possible.
5.APOLOGIZE WHEN RELEVANT
Customer satisfaction should always come first. In other words ,if you have a disgruntled reviewer, then take the time to apologise. When necessary and acknowledge that you care how they feel. Thank the guest for taking the time to share their experience. Acknowledge their issue and show empathy. Being humble can reconcile the reviewer and keep you from appearing defensive. In short, remember to remain professional throughout.
6.DO NOT PROMOTE OTHER PRODUCTS OR RESELL
Avoid upselling and promoting your products when replying to negative reviews. It’s a sure fire way to get them even more agitated! Use other channels to promote hotel services. Reviews aren’t the right platform.
7.REREAD BEFORE SENDING
It seems like thinking before speaking . Good grammar and spelling goes a long way. Also reflects on your brand. Therefore , check the review through before posting. Responding to hotel guests reviews is considered how the message might sound internationally. After all it may be read by millions of people!
Responding to hotel guests reviews can alter your reputation. Plan in time to answer reviews .They are important. And remember to proceed with caution as the customer is always right!
With the right online reputation management, not only will you increase your positive ratings, but will also in turn increase your revenue potential. We have proven these techniques with our clients, so let’s make it work for you!
25th Anniversary Azerbaijan International Telecommunications, Innovations and High Technologies Exhibition and Conference
According to the Bakutel.az, Bakutel 2018, the 24th Azerbaijan International Telecommunications, Innovations and High Technologies Exhibition and Conference was held in Baku from the 4thto the 7th of December. The exhibition marked the beginning of High Technologies Week. Today, Bakutel is much more than an exposition of ICT achievements; it is a business exhibition, networking platform, inspirational conferences, promising start-ups and a high-tech game zone. This is a meeting place for those involved in shaping the digital future.
The exhibition was preceded by a press conference. The press conference was attended by Mr. Elmir Velizade – Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Edward Strachan – Director of Caspian Event Organisers, Ms. Emiliya Ismayilova – Project Manager. More than 30 media attended the press-conference, including AzTv, Azertag, ARB, CBC, Interfax, Lider, SalamNews, TREND, Interaz and other agencies. During the press conference, journalists were informed about the participants, and the record-breaking statistics of the exhibition.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughters Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva viewed Bakutel 2018. Mr. Ilham Aliyev also personally tested the Robokeeper. Robert Pires presented the official Euroleague’s ball to Mr. President.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ramin Guluzade, emphasized that Bakutel became a traditional meeting place for industry professionals and the largest ICT event in the region. Business leaders, professionals on the Bakutel platform solve global issues, discuss promising projects and make important decisions. At the same time, the exhibition demonstrated the latest achievements and innovations in the field of ICT, determining the possibilities of international cooperation in this field.
Kirill Oparin, head of the zonal branch of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the CIS, read a welcome letter to the participants of the exhibition of the ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao. The message, in particular, notes the growing role of Azerbaijan in numerous projects implemented by ITU, and the influence of our country on the long-term development of the industry on an international scale.
The director of Caspian Event Organisers, Mr Edward Strachan, underlined the positive factor of the exhibition, which this year brought together 230 companies from 20 countries of the world. Mr. Strachan also thanked the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications (RCC), and sponsors and partners of the event for their support.
Over the course of four days, the exhibition showcased the following thematic sections: digitalization solutions, Big Data, M2M, Internet of Things, banking technologies, 4-5G mobile technologies, services in the field of fibre-optics and cloud technologies, the latest ways to suppress cyber-crime, government services, e-health, artificial intelligence, mobile devices and accessories, Smart City, unmanned air vehicle control systems and drones, and much more.
The exhibition receives the support of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, ITU – International Telecommunication Union, Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC), Azerbaijan Fund for the Promotion of Export and Investment (AZPROMO), the National Confederation of the Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations of Azerbaijan Republic (AEC), and Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The organiser of the exhibition is Caspian Event Organisers (CEO). The general sponsor of the exhibition was Azercell Telecom, which has been a participant of the exhibition for 20 years.
Traditionally the exhibition is visited by foreign experts and heads of industry organisations. This year the honored guests of the Bakutel were the ministers and representatives from Russia, Turkey, Belarus, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Latvia, and Bulgaria.
BAKUTEL 2018 – INNOVATIONS’ AREA
The Bakutel 2018 exhibition gathered 230 companies from 20 countries around the world on one site, which means a 25% increased of occupied exhibition space. Leading ICT companies, mobile operators, Internet providers, system integrators, distributors of well-known brands and young developers represented the real solutions and technologies necessary for success. Enterprises dealing with electronic commerce (e-commerce) were located at a separate stand. Debutants of this year made up 30% of the total number of exhibitors. Also the list of participants was replenished thanks to new companies on-board; so, among this year’s debutants were Silk Way Business Aviation, the State Advertising Agency of Azerbaijan (ADRA), Systematics (Russia), Suntech (Poland), Hostimul (Azerbaijan), IPG IRE-Polus (Russia), Xerrow Technologies (UAE) and many more.
This year, 10 countries – Belarus, Croatia, France, Turkey, Iran, Italy, Slovenia, UAE, USA and Poland presented at their stands leading companies from their respective countries and innovative projects not only for Azerbaijan, but for the entire Caspian region, in addition to presenting various products and ICT services.
Leading Azerbaijani state ICT structures represented on a single national stand, organised by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. New developmental projects in the fields of communication, high technologies, mail projects, a nanotechnology, E-government, the infrastructure of “electronic signature”, and cloud services Data Center and some startup were presented at the stand. The exhibition reflected many international and local projects in the field of ICT, in which Azerbaijan is directly involved.
During the exhibition, a museum dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of postal communications in Azerbaijan was organised in the lobby. Communication devices, commutator phones, Morse code alphabet, and official documents for the period, postal and communication workers’ clothing, letters, small packages and wrappers, exhibits, letters, telegrams were demonstrated at this stand. At the same time, postcards from World War II, military letters, mailboxes, and postcards coinciding with the 70s and 80s of the last century were presented. A special area dedicated to the development of postal service during National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s presidency was presented at the exhibition.
The new direction of the exhibition was the involvement of small and medium-sized businesses and private technology developers to solve problems in various fields – from oil to entertainment – to help them promote their business. This direction was being developed with the support of the Agency for Development of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Ten companies AG Development, emobile.az, Frazex, Hesab.az, IDEA Consulting, iticket, Morooq, Remart Group, SMART IT and Ticketsetup were represented at the joint stand.
For example, among this year’s debutants was the Azerbaijan State Advertising Agency (ADRA), showcased a new outdoor advertising tracking system. The company Eurodesign presented the technology of tele-presence used for courts, as well as special bracelets for those under house arrest.
The exhibition continues the tradition of providing opportunities for young developers to discuss their inventions and projects, along with industry leaders and government agencies. It was gratifying that this year the exhibition featured a record number of start-ups – over 50 from various innovation centres. Thus, start-ups of the High-Tech Park, finalists of the recently-launched start-up tour “From Idea to Business” in Azerbaijan, which included start-ups from Baku and other regions, innovation and entrepreneurship centres Barama (Azercell Telecom) and AppLab (Bakcell), all took part in the exhibition. Start-ups present their bright innovative ideas for such sectors as tourism, ecology, HoReCa, healthcare, and accounting. An impressive part of developments was based on the application of virtual and augmented reality technologies, the development of websites and mobile applications.
The business programme of the exhibition was opened by the 54th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Administrations of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications. Then the Meeting of the ICT Ministers of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) took place, and also the 4th Belarus-Azerbaijan ICT Forum.
The First Caspian Innovation Conference on the subject “Digital Interaction for Sustainable Development” was organised on the second day. The initiator of the Caspian Innovation Conference was the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The event covered such topics as “Broadband Communication,” “Artificial Intelligence,” “Internet of Things,” “Electronic Services,” “ICT-Oriented Start-ups and Innovative Entrepreneurship,” “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” “High-Tech Production,” and “Cyber training.” The first Caspian Innovation Conference brought together representatives of government, industry leaders, and officials of regulatory structures and international organisations, including the heads of the largest regional telecommunications and satellite operators. The conference played the role of regional platform for discussing opportunities for effective cooperation between all participants in the ICT sector, and also contributed to solving problems in this field. In the future, this conference is projected to be held annually at the international Bakutel exhibition.
Starting last year, B2B meetings were held as part of the exhibition; this year’s meetings were held on the first day an even larger scale by attracting representatives of companies from vertical markets to whom exhibitors offered their digital solutions.
Special attention was paid to women and their role in ICT. Bakutel, together with the Azerbaijan Women’s ICT Club (Femmes Digitales), featured an AWITA 2018 – Azerbaijan – the Women in IT Award awards ceremony on the second day of the event to recognise the most successful women working in the field of information and communication technologies in Azerbaijan. The Evening reception sponsor was Pasha Bank, and the floristic partner was Lilac Flower Boutique.
This year’s Bakutel exhibition supported children with psychological developmental issues. As part of Bakutel 2018, a charity auction of clip art done during start-up tours in eight regions of the country was held within the framework of the project “From Idea to Business.” Funds raised at the auction went to supporting children on the autism spectrums that are undergoing rehabilitation in the public association “Together and Healthy.” Note that the paintings were the work of the famous graphic designer Mahir Gafarov. The ministry organised an excursion for pupils of orphanages in Baku to visit the Bakutel exhibition. They were able to get acquainted with the functioning pavilions of the exhibition and had fun in the zone of innovative games.
BAKUTEL TECH TALKS
In addition to annual meetings and conferences, the exhibition announced Bakutel Tech Talks, a new dynamic discussion platform created by exhibition organisers. Tech Talks was opened by ITV’s famous TV presenter Vusala Said, who kicked off the Bizimkiler session. The name of the session came from the fact that our compatriots working abroad in world-renowned IT companies were the speakers. The purpose of the session was to convey to the audience the experiences of large international IT-companies, and to acquaint them with the latest industry know-how. Zaur Fataliyev, Senior Engineer, LG Electronics, Korea – “Deep Learning for Computer Vision”, Elchin Asgarli, Software Engineer, Google, USA – “Modern Full Stack Software Engineering”, Maral Gurbanzade, Researcher at Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, Netherlands – “Social Robots and Design Trends in Social Robotics, as well as Probable Consequences of their Introduction into the Global Market”, Taghi Aliyev, Full time Doctoral Student at CERN, Switzerland – “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare and Science: Known and Unknown Facts; Limits and Potential Reach of Artificial Intelligence” made reports and Rustam Hashimov – Senior Software Engineer, Facebook, USA – “Personalized Recommender Systems in Online Platforms: A Case Study of Modern Era Software Development and its Implications”, who completed this session.
Then, Bakutel Tech Talks continued with panel discussions under the slogan “IT-emize your perspective.” The main idea was that IT and solutions were in great demand in certain industries (TV & Radio broadcasting, transport, education, tourism). The purpose of the event was to establish a dialogue between consumers and suppliers of digital innovations, and the first topic tought vectors of development of television technologies. The session was moderated by Tural Yusifov – Author of “AvtoStop” Project and Ismail Aliyev – Advisor to Director General, İctimai Television, Fikret Azimov – Deputy Technical Director, Azad Azerbaijan TV and Ali Aliyev, – Head of New Projects Development Department, KATV1 joined the discussion.
Further discussions included the panel “IT in Transport” with the participation of the following speakers: Ramin Bayramov – Head of Information Analysis and Information Technologies Depatment, State Road Transport Service, Samir Karimov – Executive Director, 189 Taxi Service and moderator was Tural Yusifov – Author of “AvtoStop” Project.
The moderator of the next panel “IT in Education” was Jahid Ismayiloglu, PhD in Philology, researcher, Institute of Linguistics named after Nasimi, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. The main speakers were Vusal Khanlarov – Head of the Bureau on ICT for Education, Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Tatyana Mikayilova – Co-Founder, Edutainment.az, and Anar Mammadov – Deputy Director, MEC International School.
The panel ended with the discussion on “IT in Tourism,” in which Nigar Arpadarai – Head of marketing and communications, F1 Azerbaijan GP was the moderator, and the speakers were Ildirim Gambarov – Deputy CEO, Pasha Travel, Mahammad Muradov – Head of Tourism Policy Department, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Rufat Baghirov – Director, Baku Tourism Information Center.
The Bakutel Tech Talks programme was continued with the session “From Start-up to Business,” to which start-ups and business youth were invited. In this session, experienced speakers conveyed to the audience their confidence that all ideas could be implemented. The first outstanding presentation was delivered by Tal Catran, a business guru from Israel – a well-known expert in the field of building businesses and start-ups, a major investor, entrepreneur, founder and leader of several business accelerators and international innovation centres in Israel, and a member of the advisory board and chairman of several start-ups. He has extensive experience in managing large Hi-Tech companies and start-ups at the seed stage in a wide variety of technologies. Interesting speakers in this session were Javid Mammadov – Director, Sumaks Technologies LLC, Farid Pardashunas – Founder, Technote Media & Hotbots Robotics, Magrur Rzayev – Software Developer, PictoFy.
The main idea of all the reports was to explain how a start-up system works and how to build start-ups correctly – from idea to running the business. This session was a godsend for those who want to know how to find, test and implement their ideas, why it is important to share an idea and how to prevent it from being stolen. Tech Talks addressed the most pressing issues of the industry and became a sought-after platform for discussions with opinion leaders. The organisers plan to hold Bakutel Tech Talks annually at the exhibition.
In addition to demonstrating and discussing technologies that form the digital environment, Bakutel is also a unique platform where entertainment utilising high-end technologies is presented. This year, the game zone was located in the lobby and presented the Digital Museum, robot tournament for First Lego League schoolchildren, the computer game “Yukseklik”, virtual fairy tales about national heroes – “Kulek – the first national heroes,” a digital museum project from 3D Productions, 3D printers that print out landmarks of Azerbaijan, and a drones show. Exhibits from the Hedef Lyceum Museum of Interactive Science also were presented.
For the first time, the fastest goalkeeper in the world, Robokeeper, demonstrated at Bakutel 2018. Robokeeper is an innovative invention of German scientists and has already stolen a way into hearts of all football fans around the world. At the exhibition, visitors and guests of the exhibition had the opportunity to test Robokeeper for its goal-saving ability.
In the lobby of the Baku Expo Center, there was children’s area, organized by the partner of the exhibitions, the network of kindergartens Bagcam.az. Professional educators and teachers from Bagcam.az took care of children with educational games, useful and exciting activities.
The exhibition was timed to coincide with the release of the official newspaper, “Bakutel Exhibition News 2018”, which told about the participants and events of the exhibition. This year the “Baku Convention Center” was sponsoring the “Bakutel Exhibition News”.
The organizers awarded certificates to sponsors, partners, and exhibitors who stood out with their imaginative approaches to their work:
The Best Tourism Start-Up – HotelRace
The Best Corporate Style – Azerfon
The Best Stand Design – Eurodesign
The Best Performance – Bakcell
The Best Shell Scheme – Sinam
The Best Customer Attraction – Hostimul
The Most Creative Stand – ADRA
The Most Attended Stand – Azercell
The Best Debut – Silk Way Business Aviation
The Best Product Presentation – ABV
The Best Country Presentation – IT Country Belarus
The Most Original Stand – Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan
For information support – TECHNOTE
The Best Companies Presentation – Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan
The Best Service Presentation – AZQTEL
The Best Collective stands – USA NATIONAL PAVILION
The most attractive stand – Microsoft
For information support – InfoCity
Friend of “Bakutel” – Dmitriy Andrianov
For Supporting the Exhibitions – AMCHAM
During the 4 days of work, 8174 people visited the Bakutel exhibition, who were able to get acquainted with the novelties of the industry, hold fruitful meetings, as well as participate in quizzes and win prizes.
In 2019, the exhibition, having already passed the rebranding, will celebrate its 25th anniversary and will be held from 3 to 6 December at the Baku Expo Center. #Bakutel
Koray Kurhan, General Manager and Managing Partner, Zaxe (Turkey)
“I want to thank everyone who assisted us in participating in this exhibition. The event is perfectly organized and allows you to present products at the international level”.
Dmitriy Afanasenko, Head of the Technical Infrastructure Support Department at the National Centre for Electronic Services (Republic of Belarus)
“The exhibition is perfectly organised, with pleasant working environment reigning in its halls. An indicator of interest in our stand is that on the second day we almost ran out of booklets and information flyers”.
Gunel Gozalova, Head of PR Department at Azerpost
“As is always, the exhibition has been organized as a full-fledged event. The holding of this forum is very important, since the preparation for it imposes on the participants a certain responsibility, makes them implement new original ideas and products, thereby stimulating healthy competition. I wish that the Bakutel exhibition continues to please its participants and visitors for many years to come!”
Keep always control your competitors
To follow your hotel competitors is the most important point in the developing hotel sector. You can control competitors, compare prices, analyze the situation and reply to differences.
People have many ways to follow their competitors. Some of them are they:
Monitor their profiles to see their social media and engagement strategies. Look at what kind of content they’re creating, how it’s distributed, and who’s linking to it. Then see what they’re doing with influencer marketing in hotel competition.
Track your competitors’ PR coverage and campaigns. See which bloggers they’re working with, and how. Build a relevant media list based on the journalists that write about them.
See what consumers think of your competitors’ products and how they handle customer support. If you see an unhappy customer, it could even be a sales opportunity!
But none of them are not exact and they don’t give any information about price, sale, room type. Only HotelRace gives you complete and detailed information.
Monitor competitors’ room
Watching your competition in the sales channels and multiple hotel websites. HotelRace provides you a chance to follow competitors’ room. You can adjust smoothly to your hotel strategy by seeing competitors’ full and empty rooms.
Here’s the problem: Most of us don’t really know what our differentiators are because we haven’t researched our competitors. It’s hard to do well, but it’s critical if you want to dominate and win. If you use HotelRace online program it will be certainly so easy for you.
- Knowing your competitors well helps you:
- Understand specifically what your competitive advantages are
- Get clarity on who your competitors really are and how they work
- Design your different plan to maximize your advantages
Follow annual price of competitors
First of all, follow the annual prices of your rivals to manage hotel business in selling channels and various websites. Because this key feature provides you to create a business structure. By this way, you can improve your hotel opportunities and gain more revenue in hotel competition.
Every business report – including communication – must be written in hotel competition. Annual reports are almost always intended to improve efficiency and here have three important aims:
1. to increase sales
2. to promote the brand
3. to reassure current or potential shareholders
Be Aware of price changes
HotelRace ensures you notifications about a difference of prices between your hotel and other hotel websites. For instance, when your competitors made changes in cost, you immediately know it owing to the online hotel system.
We want to introduce you two terms about the price to understand clearly the importance of price’s awareness and HotelRace’s strong feature:
The degree to which buyers are knowledgeable about the prices of alternative products and services that they are interested in buying.
The degree to which buyers are sensitive to differences in price between alternative choices. Generally, a price-conscious person seeks to minimize the price paid for an item in price comparison.
According to price strategy, when you see that your rivals diminish their price. You also should decrease your wage for price comparison. The reason is that customer explore and select cheaper one. In that case, if you don’t reduce your pay, you will lose your customers and give your revenue yo other hotels.
Good pricing strategy helps you determine the price point at which you can maximize profits on sales of your products or services. When setting prices, a business owner needs to consider a wide range of factors including production and distribution costs, competitor offerings, positioning strategies, and the business’ target customer base.
Increase charge in hotel competition
Our online system informs you when your competitors increase wage. With that info, you can set your price plan and rise surely your charge. Because you are an only option for customers, so they will absolutely choose you despite the price.
Customers need to perceive products as being worth the higher price tag, a business must work hard to create a value perception. HotelRace price comparison feature helps you in this process.
Sum of room sale
You can see sum sale of other hotels owing to our hotel online management system. And prepare annual reports about them. The reports can be linked to selling amount, price’s difference, sum’s distinction, reasons for sum difference etc.
In fact, the aware sum pricing of a product is one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy. It also includes product, promotion, placement (or distribution) and people.
Room sale’s speed
We also ensure you the ability to track competition’s speed in your various online sales channels. So using our system you will know speed details of your competitors. For example, duration and reservations’ types. So, they can be weekly, (monthly, yearly, daily) overnight and or single or group.
Room Price Strategy
Above all, HotelRace analyzes all competitors in your region and old information’s sale date in your PMS, and by this way, our system provides you a perfect strategy for your rooms’ sale price in hotel competition.
Generally, pricing strategies include the following:
- Price Comparison
setting a price based on what the competition charges
setting a high price and lowering it as the market evolves
setting a price low to enter a competitive market and raising it later
Smart Booking Engine – Boost sales on your site
Facebook Reservation Engine – Boost your hotel’s social sales and promote special offers
Mobile Booking Engine – Do mobile sales a reality
Enhance your online distribution
Smart Channel Manager – Administrate your availability rooms and rates with a single planner
PMS CRS connectivity – Convert whole your availability into reservations
GDS connectivity – Sell your rooms directly through all journey agencies
Boost your decision-making and analysis
Rate Screener Parity Checker – Analyse and compare your competitors’ rates
Next Degree – Optimize and sell at the good price
Customer Reviews – Improve your customer satisfaction
Sentinel – Control and analyze your hotel’s online reputation
need to ACQUIRE the right guests at the right price, CONVERT
shoppers into bookers and RETAIN guest relationships for repeat business. All solutions in the suite are fully interconnected, mutually supportive and uniquely designed to make you successful by maximizing revenue for your hotel.
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Room Key can access these low Loyalty Member Rates for hundreds of hotels across over than 60 hotel chains – more than any other travel website – that’s why making it simple to shop at a suitable rate.
Lower Loyalty Member Degrees.
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SynXis Central BOOKING System
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They give online most importantly services like:
The first is DISTRIBUTION that it also has some sections
- Central Reservations
- Channel Management
- Consulting Services
- Sales Management
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