Never has innovation been more crucial. The memorable year gone by has demonstrated just how vital technological adaptability is to hospitality's survival. Luckily, Techotel have two products geared towards this very thing
Innovation has always been key within the digital world, but arguably, digital innovation within the hospitality sector is, right now, more vital than ever. If 2020 showed us anything, it is that the pace of change - both within expected evolutions, and of utterly unexpected events - is faster now than ever. Keeping up with this and being able to pivot quickly and efficiently are key now to ensuring survival.
This is where AK Techotel comes in. Versed in the development, sale, teaching and support of IT solutions for hotels, inns, conference centers, hotel chains and restaurants across Europe, their emphasis is on revenue-enhancing features, usability and guest service.
AK Techotel's most recent innovation is the launch of a new digital assistant called Mona, which is designed to manage and execute the sort of time-consuming tasks that are vital to the smooth running of a business. These include:
- Assisting with reservations
- Sending confirmations with check-in information via SMS and e-mail
- Allocation of rooms
- Payment of rooms with split bill, credit card or invoicing
- Contactless key delivery - the key can be sent to a mobile phone
- Check-in and check-out of guests
- SMS and e-mail notifications to relevant staff regarding any issues
The intervention of Mona to these tasks means freeing up time for front-desk employees, savings on operating costs and - of particular interest in the current healthcare climate - reducing the potential for spread of infection by significantly reducing the number of physical contact points with guests.
Alistair Brown, AK Techotel county manager, explains, "This is an all-in-one system that provides everything in one. Rather than having to source a bar system, an online booking engine, a channel manager and a PMS - all that have to work seamlessly together - we can provide one that is already together in one system. This allows for one training system, one staff log in and one set of accounts. The staff training costs are a fraction of having to install multiple systems."
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many changes, but none more so than the trend towards contactless guest interactions. Alistair says, "Techotels Mona system allows a hotel to use contactless communication with the guest. Payment is made on the guest's mobile phone, providing touch-free check-in and check-out all via mobile, reducing the need for direct contact with the guest. We were planning on introducing the opportunity for staff-less check-in even before COVID, but I guess the pandemic has sped up the process. From an internal perspective, we are doing a lot of online demos, it seems to be the way forward. Training and installation can also be done online, and although we always prefer face to face meetings, we have had to adapt, and it seems the rest of the world is doing so also."
And, crucially, there is inherent versatility within the system. "We have to be able to adapt to the requirements of the hotel, guesthouse, activity centre, B&B, university accommodation, conference centre or campsite," Alistair says.
Alongside Mona, Techotel also offers Picasso, which is already the most widely-used PMS in Northern Europe. The beauty of Picasso, Alistair explains, is, again, the versatility and adaptability of the system, which compares very favourably with other software and booking management apps. "I think the main difference is the ability to adapt," he says. "We have seen this in so many circumstances, where a customer will be interested in the PMS, but when we discuss what we can offer, we realise that there are endless possibilities and requirements, and rather than handing a system in a box, we fit Picasso around what the business needs."
Once tourism picks up again, as it is certain to in the next year, Picasso has "a major benefit around the booking process. Rather than going to a third party, users can promote their online prices and sell rooms directly through the company's website and through the Picasso online booking engine. It's a one-stop shop in that we provide a complete solution for the smallest boutique hotel right up to the largest multinational chain."
Finally, another significant benefit is the speed with which it can be installed, typically approximately four weeks. "From initial contact to installing the Techotel Picasso system in a hospitality outlet, the entire process can typically be implemented within a month," says Alistair.
To find out more about AK Techotel, the brand new Mona digital assistant platform and the Techotel Picasso system, visit www.techotel.ie.
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