A Blog by INTELITY

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Presenting the latest innovation and trends in hospitality technology and the products that are revolutionizing the service industry.

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INTELITY Founder David Adelson Reflects on the First 10 Years

What I’ve Learned So Far and What’s Important Moving Forward as the New INTELITY

INTELITY Founder David Adelson Reflects on First 10 years

Looking back on INTELITY’s first 10 years, I think about how much I’ve learned as its founder and first CEO for the past 10 years. I’m truly excited about what is yet to come in these next 10 years, now that we have merged with KEYPR and have developed into an even stronger brand with a more complete, integrated hospitality technology platform. Building this business from the ground up wasn’t always easy, but it has absolutely been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my professional life.

Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about leading and growing a SaaS company in the hospitality industry.

1. It’s about the people

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. – Michael LeBoeuf

Before I started INTELITY, I worked as a hotelier, which is where I learned that guests are truly the foundation of this business. It was true in the hotel business, and it’s still true now at INTELITY. We deliver what hoteliers need, but most importantly, we deliver what their hotel guests want. Putting guests first is our recipe for success.

2. Customer success is everyone’s job

The golden rule for every business man is this: “Put yourself in your customer’s place.” – Orison Swett Marden

Sales, implementations, engineering, and marketing can be functions that only the specific teams responsible for them worry about. But customer success needs to be something that everyone on the team internalizes. One thing I’ve learned along the way is that the best measure of success is when a customer or brand hires us again. We can deliver 110 percent of what a hotel needs, but if they aren’t delighted with the experience and willing to hire us again, then we’ve missed the mark.

3. Selling SaaS for hotels is fulfilling

Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius

When hotels purchase INTELITY, they buy a solution to a problem that is often very painful. Checking in with hoteliers who are using INTELITY and realizing that they’re either more efficient now or making more money as a direct result of using our tool is incredibly rewarding.

4. Remain Agile

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. – Everett Dirksen

Being flexible in mind, in practice, and in structure has served us well. Technology changes so rapidly. The INTELITY platform was first designed as a web experience, and then for touch screen, then mobile, and now voice. If you don’t change, you get left behind.

5. Discovery never ends

Our business is about technology, yes. But it’s also about operations and customer relationships. – Michael Dell

When a deal closes or implementation ends, don’t convince yourself that discovery is over. It’s crucial that your discovery never ends because customers will keep having new problems. Use current customers to help inform your roadmap, and make sure your tools are matching their pace of innovation.

6. It takes more than tech to build a terrific tech company

Tech is all about building human connections. – Padmasree Warrior

You need more than tech to build a genuinely successful tech company. Customers care much more about the problems your product can solve than the elegant design or ingenious implementation of your solution.

7. Celebrate the wins and understand the losses

It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. – Bill Gates

One of my favorite INTELITY traditions is ringing the bell every time a hotel goes live with our platform. Celebrating every hotel and every achievement along the way is important. And it’s just as important to understand the losses. Both the “what” and the “why” are important and what’s most crucial is reacting to those and learning to win again.

8. Maintain your integrity and vision

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion. – Jack Welch

I believe that integrity and vision are among the most significant roles of the executive team. It’s so important to be able to communicate the company’s vision and reinforce it by every means possible. And when you lead with integrity, you inspire your employees to engage with the same values.

9. Don’t be the smartest person in the room—be the strongest collaborator, connector, and communicator

I think it’s important for people to stay human and remember that genuine human connection is more fulfilling than anything that technology has to offer. – Jon Batiste

Nobody does it alone. It takes a lot of people working together, so be the one helping those people function at their best.

10. It always takes longer than you expect

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. – Leo Tolstoy

It takes time to educate the market as to why your company and product matter. Over the past 10 years, INTELITY has created and delivered only to need to recreate and then deliver again. That’s the way it works. Success is never accidental—you earn it over time through excellence and hard work.

The past 10 years with INTELITY have been a great journey and I look forward to seeing where the next 10 years take the company. Our merger with KEYPR has created new opportunities for the company, opening the door for us to expand into the casino, cruise, luxury residential, and other emerging markets. As we move into this new chapter, I look forward to the company’s continued growth and development and am excited to see where the future will take us.

2018 J.D. Power Survey Finds High Level of Hotel Guest Satisfaction

In-room technology is critical for guest happiness; hotel service is an area where hotels can continue to increase customer satisfaction

The J.D. Power 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index indicated that hotels are definitely getting it right when it comes to guest experience, and their guests are happier than ever. According to the annual survey, overall satisfaction of the hotel industry is up eight points to an all-time high of 825 out of 1,000.

Hotels got high marks all across the board, but one area clearly associated with higher guest satisfaction is adding technology in guest rooms. While 77 percent of guests surveyed said there was a large flat-panel TV in their room during a recent stay, only 10 percent noted a tablet that provides in-room information. A TV raised guest satisfaction 12 points, while a tablet raised it 47 points.

As in-room technology becomes standard, this increased guest satisfaction may start to plateau. In 2018, the addition of a mobile app to a hotel’s offerings brought a 58-percent increase in guest satisfaction, a considerable number but one that’s down from 65 percent the year before.

“Hotels in all price ranges have excelled at ensuring their customers have a top-notch experience,” said Jennifer Corwin, Associate Practice Lead for the Global Travel and Hospitality Practice at J.D. Power. “Years of capital investment in offerings such as higher-end televisions and in-room tablets have left their mark. Now, as hotels look to push customer satisfaction levels higher, their focus should turn to service areas, particularly when it comes to direct booking.”

Satisfaction with hotel services did go up in the 2018 survey but this was lower than the increase in satisfaction with hotel product. Satisfaction with product-focused areas such as guest rooms and hotel facilities are increasing at a higher rate than any other factor (13 and 11 points, respectively). Service areas with the highest level of staff touchpoints (check-in, check-out, and food & beverage) have improved the least (5 and 7 points, respectively), and this coincides with a smaller improvement in cost and fees (5 points). Even with the significant improvement the past few years have seen, there is still room to increase guest satisfaction in areas related to hotel service.

The 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study analyzes guest responses to more than 150 questions regarding their overall experiences and includes 70 officially ranked brands in eight market segments. This year’s study is based on responses from approximately 55,000 hotel guests who stayed at a hotel between May 2017 and May 2018. The study was fielded between June 2017 and May 2018.

For more information about the 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-north-america-hotel-guest-satisfaction-index-study.

Why Hotels Should Prioritize Technology in 2019 Budgets

High tech has become the norm, and it may be growing faster in the global hotel industry than almost anywhere else. As you finalize your property’s 2019 budget, make sure you’ve considered this high-tech trend and have allocated the right amount of spending for the hospitality technology that will best serve your property, your staff, and your guests.

The New York Times quotes Scott Dobroski, who works in corporate communications for Glassdoor, as saying, “All companies are becoming technology companies to some degree, and this is especially true in the hospitality industry.”

And guests are taking notice. Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study found that 65 percent of guests said they would pay more and are more likely to return to a hotel that provides the technology they consider essential. Another study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel and 69 percent prefer to opt-in to smart-room features.

For 2019, this includes mobile check-in that allows guests check-in and out from a smart device, the ability to communicate with hotel staff through messaging, and access to high-tech features in guestrooms. Twenty-first-century guests expect to have access to the same sort of seamless technology in their hotel room that they have at home. They want to find easy-to-use, lightning fast Wi-Fi with Internet speeds that are as fast as at home—or faster. They want to be able to stream content from their phone right to the TV, and they want to be able to make requests without having to pick up the phone.

why hotels should prioritize technology in 2019 budget

Other critical areas to prioritize in your technology budget are booking engines, digital concierge services, mobile key, and beacons.

But let’s not forget about staff-facing hospitality technology. It’s invaluable having a mobile platform that allows staff members to respond to guests in real time, even when they are away from the computer. This type of platform also provides metrics on task management and request fulfillment timelines. Not only does this automated technology help streamline operational efficiencies, but it also frees up staff time to allow your team to focus on guests and create an exceptional guest experience.

With AAA’s newly revised Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines, it’s important to incorporate technologies that connect guests and lodging operators so they can “interact on an increa­­singly personalized basis.” To qualify for one of the higher AAA Diamond Ratings in 2019 you need to make sure your budget allows for the appropriate technologies.

  • A 3-Diamond rating requires a hotel to have mobile technology that supports check-in and check-out.
  • A 4-Diamond rating requires that as well as remote guest-service access through mobile devices.
  • A 5-Diamond rating requires all that and mobile key access to guest rooms and advanced connectivity across all guest interactions.

Prioritizing tech spending in your 2019 budget will help you to remain competitive within the industry. According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Lodging Technology Study, 71 percent of companies that consider themselves technology innovators plan to increase their IT budgets, and 40 percent that considered themselves “laggards” plan to do so.

Ask yourself: Are you communicating with guests from the moment they book their room? Do you have guest engagement and communication throughout the entire guest journey – before, during, and after their stay – and is that helping you earn guests’ loyalty for the long-term?

As for your staff, does your hotel provide tools that ensure five-star service and experiences? And do your digital systems integrate with the other important property management solutions you use?

INTELITY’s enterprise-level hospitality technology platform provides a one-stop shop that offers 20 of the 24 mobile functions that guests revealed wanting the most in that HT 2018 CETS report,” says INTELITY Founder David Adelson. The INTELITY platform also easily integrates with more than 100 other applications you might already be using – or wanting to add to your 2019 operations.

Make sure to think carefully about where you’re at with technology as you finalize your 2019 budget. The worst thing you can do is to fall behind the industry’s tech curve. Guests may stop coming, and it may become difficult or impossible to regain your relevance.

It’s Budget Season… Are You Ready?

Studies show mobile solutions from INTELITY are high on guests’ wish lists for 2019

According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study, 65% of guests say they are willing to pay higher rates and are more likely to return to a hotel that offers access to the technology they deem important. Guests’ technology demands for 2019 include having a hotel mobile app with a variety of features, the ability to check-in and out from a mobile device, and high-tech features available in guestrooms. However, travelers aren’t the only people demanding better hotel technology.

When AAA revised its Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines in April of this year, it put connective technologies front and center so that guests and lodging operators could “interact on an increasingly personalized basis.” So, for a hotel to achieve a higher AAA Diamond Rating in 2019, it will need to budget for more engaging technologies…

budget for hospitality technology in 2019

  • A 3-Diamond rating will require a hotel to feature mobile technology that supports check-in/out
  • A 4-Diamond rating will require mobile check-in/out PLUS remote guest-service access through mobile devices
  • A 5-Diamond rating requires all the previously mentioned features PLUS mobile key access and advanced connectivity across all guest interactions

As hoteliers prepare their 2019 budgets, various studies in consumer travel behaviors are substantiating the need to incorporate mobile guest experience solutions.

“As the summer winds down and the 2019 budget season ramps up, hoteliers need to bring technology to the forefront of their capital plans,” said David Adelson, INTELITY founder. “Owners and operators need to ask themselves these important pre-budget planning questions: ‘Is our relationship with guests as strong as it could be? Are we digitally engaging with everyone from the moment they make a reservation? Are we increasing guest engagement and communication at all stages of the guest journey? Are we developing guest loyalty for long-term benefits? Are we empowering staff with tools to ensure five-star service and experiences? And, are we investing in digital systems that will integrate with other key property solutions?’

“If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above, then it’s time to call INTELITY,” Adelson said. “We provide a one-stop-shop to the engagement solutions that guests are demanding the most. In fact, INTELITY provides 20 out of the 24 mobile functions that guests revealed wanting the most in the HT 2018 CETS report.”

The INTELITY platform gives guests fingertip connectivity to the hotel along every step of their journey, from the moment reservations are made until long after travelers check out inclusive of App, Mobile Web, Text, Social and In-App chat. By giving guests direct digital access to request things like room service, housekeeping or wake-up calls, hoteliers are revolutionizing and personalizing the guest experience. Budgeting for these solutions is an investment in guest loyalty and satisfaction. The result is a healthy financial future for owners.

budget for hospitality technology in 2019

INTELITY can:

  • Place tablets in rooms, including hardware, software, and installation
  • Eliminate more than $12,000 in annual in-room printing costs
  • Increase average monthly IRD revenue by at least 6%
  • Open two-way guest communication with 85% average usage
  • Provide daily business intelligence on operational efficiency

As technology continues to dictate travelers’ expectations and demands, INTELITY stands ready to equip hoteliers with the tools they need to deliver on those experiences.

Top 10 Questions Guests Can Ask Alexa

Say “Hello” to the new voice of guest service.

Implementing voice technology can lead to an increase in guest satisfaction and elevate your guests’ overall experience at your property. Voice technology not only streamlines guest requests, but it can also save guests time.

Studies show that guests spend an average of 12 minutes adjusting the environment in their guest rooms but, by implementing voice technology and integrating it with your room controls, you give your guests back that time and the added convenience of controlling their guest room environment simply by speaking. Not only does voice technology save time, but it can also be used to create personalized experiences tailored to each guest. You can use voice technology to greet each guest and cater specifically to their needs, which goes a long way in creating an exceptional guest experience.

Many guests are used to interacting with voice technology at their own homes or through mobile assistants like Siri, and will be comfortable using it within their guest room. Voice-activated guest rooms can increase guest engagement by giving guests the ability to place in-room dining orders, make service requests, request information about the local area, and make reservations for your on-property restaurants or third-party partners.

So, how can guests use voice technology to engage with your property? Below, we’ve included a list of 10 questions your guests can ask Amazon’s Alexa. INTELITY’s voice solution, leveraged with Amazon’s Alexa, has unlimited possibilities for guest service requests. Check out some top examples below:

“Alexa, please turn on the lights.”

“Alexa, turn the AC to 70 degrees.”

“Alexa, ask the hotel to order me a Caesar salad.”

“Alexa, what time does the gym open tomorrow?”

“Alexa, please ask the hotel to retrieve a valet for me in 15 minutes.”

“Alexa, what are some local attractions?”

“Alexa, ask the hotel to bring more pillows.”

“Alexa, please send a check out request to the hotel.”

“Alexa, please set an alarm for 6 AM.”

“Alexa, ask the hotel to make a reservation at the Inn Grille tonight at 7.”

 
Interested in seeing a demo of the INTELITY voice solution? Schedule a demo with a member of our expert team today. 

How Automated Reporting Helps Hotels

The most successful hotels use technology to track and measure results on an automated basis. Not only is having reliable business analytics important but in today’s environment, it is crucial in making intelligent business decisions. However, tracking data and creating metrics can indeed be tedious work, especially if you’re tracking across different programs.

Can you successfully manage what you can’t measure? Of course not. The issue faced by traditional marketing has always been its inability to properly track and measure results. Measuring your performance has typically meant many laborious hours of manual entries into spreadsheets, and quite frequently never even gets done.

Your hotel needs a system to automatically track and report your success and to identify holes in attracting new guests; increasing revenue; marketing campaigns; and existing patient retention, awareness, and increased per-guest revenue.

At INTELITY, that’s what we’ve done for metrics in the hospitality industry, whether you’re a small boutique hotel or an all-inclusive resort. Thanks to INTELITY Staff, we make it possible to manage multiple guest metrics through one system – without the pain and tedium of putting it all together.

INTELITY Staff was designed specifically with metrics in mind – and the fast-paced life of a hotelier.

What is INTELITY Staff?

The INTELITY Staff is a cloud-based software system that combines the functionality of four distinct tools needed by hoteliers including business intelligence, ticketing, in-room dining, and mobile dining. In other words, INTELITY Staff monitors hotel activity, tracks all incoming guest and in-room dining orders, automates guest marketing, and contains a customized guest-facing interface that bridges the INTELITY platform and the hotel’s back-end infrastructure.

Sounds like a lot, right? But there’s more. One of the most important functions INTELITY Staff can perform is the measurement of all the above. Here are just some of the metrics INTELITY Staff can provide in an automated report, sent straight to you and designated staff’s email inbox:

  • Active guests utilizing your tablet and mobile app solutions
  • App or Tablet Usage
  • Tracks your staff’s overall activities
  • In Room Dining Data

At INTELITY, we have built a platform that brings together all of the latest hospitality industry tools – and measures how they perform for your hotel. Our platform is on the cutting edge and it will enable you to attract more guests profitably. Contact us and we’ll show you a better way of measuring your results.