Category: News

OCR technology in CiHMS proceeds check-in process within seconds

The great news is here. Our hospitality management solution – CiHMS just came out with the new feature, which uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to speed up the check-in process for hotel guests. Quickly scan, quickly stored in our VinBigdata and the amazing technology would make all guests go from A to Z in seconds. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing with you this great cool OCR technology and how it works with CiHMS.

We have just released the new feature with OCR technology for the CiHMS hospitality management solution

OCR technology is now integrated with our hospitality management solution – CiHMS allows you to get your guest check-in at a much faster pace

What is OCR then?

OCR is short for Optical Character Recognition or also known as Optical Character Reader first invented in 1914. Since then, the technology has been developed to improve its accuracy. To this date, OCR technology has come somewhat near its perfection. The technology is used to convert text, handwritten text, typed prints in images, photos, paper documents into machine-readable text data. Early on, OCR technology was to serve purposes to the blinds, the visually impaired populations. Thanks to its conveniences and usefulness today, OCR technology is now widely used in various industries.

The OCR technology helps hotels to achieve contactless hotel experience in a near future

OCR technology was invented at the beginning of the 1910s, but only gained its popularity in recent decades, especially in the travel and hotel industries

For the hotel sectors, OCR has been applied to shorten the guests’ check-in process. Together with the cashless payment trend, which we have discussed in our previous blog, OCR technology shall take us a step closer to making a contactless hotel experience possible. Traditionally, once your guest arrives at the hotel front desk, the employee has to scan their guests’ personal identification papers and manually enter each customer’s data from those scanned files onto the system. How can things be different with the OCR technology?

How does it work with our hospitality management solution – CiHMS?

Thanks to OCR technology integrated with our hospitality management solution, the employee can quickly “scan” guest personal identification through a tablet or mobile device’s camera from the CiHMS staff app. The system then automatically recognizes all the fields to input them into the system.

To dive a bit deeper into the technical aspect of it, this merely is the “transporting” information process between CiHMS and VinBigdata. As soon as CiHMS Staff app has received the information (in this case, are photos taken by employee’s tablet, mobile devices, or via an ID card reader), it would immediately send the images to VinBigdata where the OCR technology would analyze, process and come back with results to CiHMS. This allows the CiHMS to create the profile with this given information respectively. Automation might be intimidating to many hoteliers, but it minimizes the risk of human errors and keeps data stored efficiently. Check-in can now be done without an actual front-desk staff, customers can come in and scan their personal identification documents through a scanner and get check-in automatically if their information matches with their bookings on the system.

What are the types of personal identification that CiHMS supports?

There are 9 different kinds of personal identification CiHMS system currently supports:

  • Vietnam national identification (old version)
  • Vietnam citizen identity card
  • Vietnam new chip-based citizen identity card
  • Vietnam birth certification
  • Passports of all countries
  • Class A1 driver license
  • Class A2 driver license
  • Class B1 driver license
  • Class B2 driver license

If your hotel needs assistance in other types of personal identification, please contact us with your requests. We would be more than happy to receive your feedback and inquiries.

This latest feature has been updated and applied to at least 35 hotel properties of our clients. Using tablets to boost the check-in process has definitely given our customer’s guests a professional first impression of the hotel operation process. This is one of the many amazing features we have been planning to release since April as we mentioned back in our series blog “A new approach to hospitality management solution – CiHMS is ready for the world”. Meanwhile, look out for our upcoming webinar this month on “How can Hotels survive through the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Drop us your thoughts on this new feature, what feature would you like your hotel management solution to have, leave them down in the comment section down below.

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CiHMS is now partnered up with Google

Looking for information? Searching for your next holiday ideal destination? Typically, we would go on to “Google” it. This has become the conventional habit that all the generations unintentionally established over the last decade. That is the result of how fast and convenient Google results come back with your initial keyword input. Undeniably, Google has gradually defined itself as a “free, easy and accessible” encyclopedia across the globe. 

Recently, Google Travel products have launched the Free Booking Links last March 9, 2021, to allow hotels to receive traffic and bookings via Google hotel search. This feature brings such huge opportunities to hoteliers approaching internationally and domestically. Understanding the importance and competitive advantages hoteliers may gain with Free Booking Links, the CiHMS Hospitality Management Solution – has partnered up with Google to provide a seamless connection with Google for our customers. How does this work actually and what are the benefits you – hoteliers get from this partnership? 

Free Booking Links is the new feature released by Google in March 2021 strives to support hotels to appear on google search engine easier, attract direct sales and user engagement at zero cost

The free Booking link feature was recently announced by Google. The new feature is going to change the online distribution in the hospitality industry worldwide

Google Free Booking Links

There are millions of travelers constantly searching for hotels and destinations on Google daily. To show up on Google search engine, hoteliers have to do SEO effectively, practicing, and monitoring it. Some even have to dedicate a large portion of their marketing budget to Google Ads, making sure to maintain their ranking and position on the Google search result pages. The broader your target audience is and depending on how high you want your search result position to be, the budget can fluctuate anywhere from 4 to 6 figures easily. 

Google is constantly observing and evaluating their user experience along with their interactions within Google’s travel products to best enhance it. Free Booking Links feature was first experimented with in September 2020 aiming to help hoteliers gain direct traffic and reservations through the Google search engine at a free cost. 6 months later, this new product feature was officially introduced globally and has contributed to the change in customer searching habits especially in hotel searches. You might have already experienced this feature without acknowledging it. Free Booking Links appear among the mixture of ads (which are marked with “Ads” to distinguish) whenever you search for hotels. 

Free Booking Links is not Google Ads. It appears right under the Ads, and placements cannot be bought likes Ads

Free Booking Links appears in Google hotel search in the results search page right after Ads. Allowing the hoteliers to approach direct customers

Free Booking Links allows hoteliers to have their hotels listed with their best room rates available for travelers to choose from. There is no payment or user engagement from Google collected for those links. Free Booking Links may look like Ads but they are not. The placements are ranked based on a variety of signals, including but not limited to: best matched available room rate for a custom search query, up-to-date feed price, price accuracy score, and matching price between your feed price and the landing page. While you can bid to rank higher in the Ads section, better placement cannot be bought for free booking links. 

The following information would normally be shown in the Free Booking Links section:

  1. Hotel’s properties: those are the hotel’s name, address, phone number, websites, and directions to the hotel. There would also be reviews, your hotel’s pictures, average customer rating score, hotel descriptions, and highlights. 
  2. The “Book a room” button drops down all your hotel room listings.
  3. The booking module with top-ranked booking links and customers can easily adjust check-in, check-out date, number of guests to find the best rate available. 
  4. Filtering option to view by nightly rate, nightly total or stay total.
  5. Booking link ads which have to be paid for and labeled with an “Ads” badge. These ads are from OTAs, travel agencies, or even your own hotel running Google Ads for the selected hotel shown in this Free Booking Links section.
  6. Free booking links under “All Options” and can be configured by hoteliers.

Here are all the elements consisted in Free Booking Links section

The benefits of Free Booking Links

The advantages that come along with Free Booking Links are the followings but not limited to:

  • Free traffic: Yup, to show up on Google Free Booking links means you are visible to the world. These are natural traffic sources and are potential leads that are 100% Free. 
  • In control of your guest experience and data: Google doesn’t charge anything on clicked links and the engagement for Free Booking Links. You can control your guest experience from the Free Booking Links section to your landing pages. Google allows you to track and enable you to generate Reports for your Free Booking Links to further configure to take advantage of it to the max. 
  • Maximize your revenue with real-time rates and room availability: This benefit is for our CiHMS customers who own our hospitality management solution. CiHMS will automatically update your rate and availability directly with Google without you doing any further work in real-time. While others have to regularly update their feed price and send it to Google, we would do all that work for you. Fast, easy, and effective.

How to be eligible for Free Booking Links

You have to have an active Hotel Center account. If you don’t, you can register for one here. However, the process may take longer and there is no confirmation regarding the detailed timeline for this process yet. 

The other fastest way is through a Google integration partner, which is us – your CiHMS hospitality management solution. We are proud and honored to get contacted and become an approved Google integration partner. Make sure you have already set up your Google My Business profile for the property you wish to be listed on Free Booking Links. Please keep in mind that your hotel information on Google My Business should match with the hotel properties you have registered with us, otherwise problems may occur. 

If you are a CiHMS family member and not sure whether or not your hotel appears on the Free Booking Links section, contact us for more details. Any changes and modifications may take up to several weeks to apply on Free Booking Links, please be patient. 

The Free Booking Links feature has definitely brought out numerous potential to hoteliers at no charge, although this pandemic has not ended. COVID 19 shall pass and this tough period soon ends, it is exciting looking forward to the resume of the travel industry. Take this time to improve your hotel portfolio, physically and virtually, including its infrastructure as well as its online presentation. Make your property “within reach”, searchable, and in its best practice. Free Booking Links is worth trying at zero cost and would allow you to accomplish all the above. Why haven’t you started it yet? Have you tried out this feature yet? If so, share your thoughts in the comment section down below.

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Digital transformation in the hospitality industry

Digital transformation has been around for decades since the first entrance of the World Wide Web. However, in the hospitality and tourism industry, it was a game of the traditional agencies in the last two decades. Some still favor the old way of seeking out the information provided by the agency, which only gives out to their customers if they visit it in person. Oddly slow services, time-consuming and do not guarantee you walk out of the place with your ticket or room booked.

The hospitality industry has recently changed and adapted the digital transformation process

Digital transformation has been slowly carried out in the hospitality industry for the last two decades

As the digital world has evolved, customer behavior started to change and had a profound impact on the hospitality and travel industry. People expect to have a customer-centric experience, from choosing their destination easily within a few clicks, extending information on the accommodations including customer services, available activities, room features, and the list goes on. Are your hotels catching up with the digital transformation evolution? How to follow the digitalization footprint? In today’s blog, we will keep you “up to date” with the digital transformation trends and you may find your own path to digitize your hotel slowly.

The Definition of Digital Transformation

You might have heard the term relentlessly over the past few years, but what is Digital Transformation exactly? It is a process of adapting digital technology to change the existing way of doing business processes, replacing manuals with digital procedures. This journey will affect your organization’s culture, your people, and your customers whether you like it or not.

The digital transformation in hotels has been widely acknowledged in the past few years

The hospitality industry embraces digital transformation as a crucial part of development

Many have mistaken digital transformation can easily be done by applying and using the latest technology into their existing businesses. This is called digitalization instead. It is the act of moving your business to the digital world. While digital transformation is much broader. It is about the process of doing in a new and digital way. In 2018, Forbes did mention the high probability that businesses had failed along their digital transformation process and could not reach their initial goal as much as 70%. Every revolution needs a strategic plan, and the journey of digital transformation is no exception.

Why is digital transformation good for your hotels?

Mobile integration

Everyone owns at least one digital device for their own personal use. Technology has affected the way people perceive knowledge and slowly defined their habits. Booking hotel rooms can now be done quickly via the mobile app or your hotel website. If your hotel integrated mobile-first hospitality management software, your customer can do even more with mobile devices, from checking in to ordering room services, from selecting your room upon arrival to unlocking your hotel room’s door keyless, and checking out without actual interaction with your front desk.

Booking hotels can be easily done via personal digital gadgets. Digital transformation lets organization to approach latest technology and set themself apart in the competitions

The increase in digital devices ownership has affected customer purchase behavior in hospitality industry. The need to digital transformation is to stay relevant

A few hotels take it up a notch by offering virtual hotel tools and an augmented reality experience. The customers can explore the hotel facilities, restaurants, and more such as beaches, museums, shops, and cafes. These perks have been widely used for hotels to set themselves apart from their competitors and prove their fast adaptation to the latest technology.

Optimize daily operations with IoT

IoT is best described as a network of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines through the internet to enhance user experience. Through modern technology, the hospitality industry has welcomed IoT and applied it further by allowing their Property Management system (aka hotel management software) to integrate with their guests’ personal digital gadgets.

It boosts up the hotel operations significantly internally. No more paperwork for manual check-in and keeping housekeeping in sync with the front desk through your hotel management software. Hotels have also installed built-in sensors for room light, TVs, and answering guest queries with in-room voice recognition. These lift off a tremendous workload for the front desk operation ultimately cut down hotel costs and expenses.

Maximize customer experience

With the help of technology, your hotel receives constant data flow from your customers, their real experience, and satisfaction. Analyzing this information can utilize your hotel’s practices and improve your hotel operations effectively. It acts as a preference for customer future stays, assuring every customer experience personalized while enabling hotels to provide customizable packages that fit a similar customer demographic.

The benefits of the digital transformation journey are undeniable. Your business might already be in one of the six stages of digital transformation without noticing. Which stages are you at? Let’s go through these stages with us.

The six stages of Digital Transformation

The digital transformation can be tricky to some, as it might requiret a culture and structure change

Digital transformation consists of six stages

Stage 1: Business as usual

As the title explained itself, you keep on doing whatever you are doing at the moment in your business.

Stage 2: Present and active

Moving on to stage 2 when you start recognizing the competition and the need to experiment with new ideas, playing around with technology unintentionally, applying them into business practices. Confronting challenges, hardships, chaos. Find your way to overcome, and slowly notice your organization transforming.

Stage 3: Formalized

Instead of getting comfortable with your status quo, you find your organization to be adventurous, start implementing new technology experiments intentionally. This is where your transformation begins. The experiment has brought in good results and your executives give out all the green light signals. Encouraging your organization to move forward with confidence. In this stage, you often find changes in your company’s culture. Without these changes, the transformation shall fall flat.

Stage 4: Strategic

During this stage, departments within your organization also recognize the power of digital collaboration. All weigh-in to create a new strategic roadmap. Your business seniors level gives change agents a seat at the table. A more dynamic approach and investment are made, roles are defined, tasks are assigned.

Your digital transformation has moved on to the 4th stage where roles are defined and tasks are assigned after your strategic roadmap has been defined

The change agents are giving licenses by the seniors, the digital transformation approach has shown its effectiveness, all in for the new strategic roadmap

Stage 5: Converged

Getting the strategic roadmap done, it is time to form a dedicated team driven by your organization in achieving your strategic goals, making sure you stay on track of your digital transformation journey. Your organization’s culture and structure might have already changed at this stage. You are almost set and well on your way to success.

Stage 6: Innovative and adaptive

Businesses who have successfully come to this stage means the digital transformation is now a part of your organization. It is when your organization’s top hierarchy understands and sees the benefits of digital transformation. They accept constant change is essential to the business. Your organization identifies new tech, and innovations. Proactively approach to adapt to the changing business world at ease.

You probably have achieved culture and structure change in this stage of digital transformation, from here you are well on your way to succeed

At the sixth stage of digital transformation, the highest level of your hierarchy in your hospitality business starts to agree that only change is constant and the digital transformation is the right strategic roadmap.

The efforts made into moving towards your digital transformation journey are huge, the struggles and pressures are put not only onto the leadership, but also the employees. Staying in your comfort zone often brings your organization closer to disruption. In this technology era, digital transformation becomes essential in business practices, especially in the hospitality industry where customer-centric is the norm.

If you are looking for the experts’ advice and opinions on digital transformation, watch our recent webinar video Webinar: Digital Transformation In The Hospitality Industry.

Don’t forget to tune in to the next blog where we share how you can find your own path of digital transformation, the challenges you might face along the way, and how to overcome them and achieve your journey. Take care!

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The launch event of CiHMS – hospitality management system: Hello world!

On April 9th, 2021, the Grand Official launch event for CiHMS – an All-in-one hospitality management solution was held at the Gem Center, Ho Chi Minh City. Thanks to all the guests that came to join us on this special milestone. We were extremely honored to welcome our dear customers, exciting investors, keen tech-savvy professionals, as well as enthusiastic experts in the field. Though the software has already been deployed for a number of customers since the beginning of this year, we believe CiHMS deserves the spotlight at the launch event itself. It is also a celebration and our appreciation party for the team, who have been striving harder every day in the last two years to get CiHMS to where it is today.

Hotel management system - CiHMS was officially launched last April 9th, 2021 with numerous of guests, customers, investors as well as tech experts

The launch event for CiHMS – hospitality management solution on last April 9th, 2021

CiHMS is an all-in-one hospitality management solution that can transform your hotel operations from the inside out. It helps to automate daily operational activities from the front desk to the back office. Room rate, allotments, and availability now can easily update on one platform and synchronize in real-time with hundreds of booking channels, across multiple properties. CiHMS also provides a centralized reservation system that allows you to quickly get an overview of your business with detailed reports in just a single click.

On top of that, our hotel management system is cloud-based software, meaning you can get access to the software from anywhere at any time with your mobile devices or a computer connected to the Internet. Cloud-based computing technology also frees your financial burden on IT infrastructure investment with zero cost on building your own server or IT staff to monitor and maintain it. No longer worry about regular maintenance, software update, and system upgrade. Leave them all to us!

Fully integrated with other 3rd party components, expandable to your business size as it grows, CiHMS is truly a flexible and scalable hotel management system while staying strictly secured. We respect and put our customers as our first priority. Being certified for PCI-DSS, HTNG, and is going to get our ISO 27001, ISO 27018 in a few months’ time now, CiHMS is determined to achieve data transparency with our customers while protecting their data privacy. (To read more on CiHMS features, please dig in here)

Mr. Hoang Nguyen - CEO of CiHMS shared the hardship in the journey of building the all-in-one hotel management software witht he attended guests

At the launch event, Mr. Hoang Nguyen – CEO of CiHMS shared the journey of CiHMS and how to build the complete hospitality solution from the start

Instead of paying in a full lump sum as you would for an on-premise hotel management system, CiHMS enables our customer to pay upon subscription services: Essential for small hotels, Plus for 3-4 stars hotels, Boutique & Premium targeting 5 stars hotels, resorts, and multi corporation hotel chains. During the launch event, Mr. Hoang Nguyen – the CEO of CiHMS also shared: “CiHMS has been developed with the latest technologies aiming to help hotels to operate effectively, minimize its operation cost, and provide customers experience at its best. Thanks to its capability to connect with hundreds of OTAs domestically as well as internationally, opening new doors and opportunities to hoteliers approaching themselves into a bigger market with greater revenue”. The launch event definitely closed on a high note. It has been a journey with CiHMS. Thank you all for your attendance. It meant the world to us!

If you haven’t read our CiHMS journey yet, don’t forget to check out the series at our very first entry: Buy or Build your own PMS.

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Building a hospitality management solution in progress – Fail fast, learn fast

Our hotel management software pilot testing calendar during 4 months progress

Counting down to our first MVP release

The first MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version for our own Property Management Software was completed after spending 4 relentless months building the whole system from scratch. Following was the pilot test in September 2019. The first Alpha version of the CiHMS – the hotel management software – was installed and ran pilot testing in our customers’ City Hotel facilities. During the pilot testing period, there were also Beta, Gamma and Delta versions released. The whole process officially ended around December 2019.

We thought we had every feature figured out, until going into the actual pilot testing phase, which was carefully assisted and consulted by the experts and professional advisors in the field. Everything cannot be applied with the theory-based approach, neither does our Hospitality Management Solution. Only the practical procedures, real human interactions can reveal our PMS’s incompetent capabilities. We were able to learn, improve and adapt the updated features and changes for a better performance into the PMS.

In today’s blog, we’ll share with you our personal experience, failure throughout the pilot testing phase, and how we tackle and grow from it.

What is pilot testing?

For software development, pilot testing is the act of testing your software under a real-time operating condition. This allows us to verify the feasibility, cost, time, risk, and performance of our PMS in a small-scale, short-term experiment before the full deployment in all our customers’ properties. It is like a rehearsal before a live performance of your Broadway show, in this case, it is for your software. Prior to the pilot testing time, we had to:

  • Build a pilot plan
  • Schedule for the pilot test
  • Deploy and test the pilot testing
  • Evaluate pilot testing
  • Rinse & Repeat
The pilot testing for our hotel management system - CiHMS was planned out in detailed before launching

Our hospitality management solution pilot testing was carefully planned out to guarantee smooth implementation

During the pilot testing time, it was important for us to choose one of the following strategies after gathering and evaluating test data:

  • Stagger Forward: adding more candidates into the pilot group
  • Rollback: Restore the pilot group to its previous state
  • Suspension: Stop the pilot testing
  • Patch and continue: Deploy patches to fix the solution and continue on with pilot testing

First Pilot Testing Milestone: The City Hotel

We set ourselves up for the plan and carried them out gradually. The first pilot testing took place at city hotels. We started offloading all the metadata, which technically meant all the information related to your hotel, it was the detail that described the property information, the number of rooms, room types, etc.., of the first hotel into our alpha version of the CiHMS. The system was run for one month, while the room rate and reservation management were successfully imported into the travel agents’ booking portal to sync with the system room rate in real-time.

Then it hit us with complaints and conflicts among our product functions and the client’s front desk team expectation. Constant comparison between the old system and the new one worn out the coding team. We not only have to pay extra attention to the user experience itself, but also to achieve additional requests from the FO team. The night audit process, evaluating and closing daily cash flow in and out of the hotel account, was somewhat different from what we perceived.

The Beta version was released during this period to mostly fix a number of occurring bugs and re-code the night audit features. Once the new version was deployed, the staff started to cool off. They recognized they spend less time and effort on the night audit workloads than before. Everything was automated with a click of a button and started to make sense. It did take two to tango, indeed.

Second Pilot Testing Milestone: Resort, Spa & Entertainment Complexes Hotel Chain

After evaluating data, we chose to “stagger forward”, adding more candidates – hotel properties into the pilot group. These new nominees were evidently complicated with numerous operations linked with multiple systems. It was dreadful, and accomplishing this milestone did feel rewarding.

Second pilot testing for our hotel management software had failure but we did not surrender

We also took risks in CiHMS Pilot testing period, had to roll back couple of times but never backed down

We had to roll back a couple of times due to integration failure with various existing software in the property. Fortunately, these did not discourage our team. We learned to pick up where we left off, patch, and continue to the next solution. At the end of November 2019, a Gamma version of CiHMS was released with full integration with SAP – our customers’ Financial Accounting System and other management systems.

Third Pilot Testing Milestone: Perfecting the system

It was our final stage of pilot testing after running the hospitality software solution CiHMS for 2 consecutive months. We got “perfect” data comparing with the existing On-Premises system at the time. That was a relief for our team. All features were based on practical procedures and protocols from actual hotel operations, no longer theoretical assumption. It helped to eliminate impractical and unnecessary functionalities that other Hotel Management Solution providers would suggest as extra perks in their software that ended up never getting used. We stuck to the cycle of Implementing, Validating, Adapting/Change, and repeating.

Our CiHMS Hospitality management solution had its first pilot testing in our customer's property in September 2019

Pilot testing our hospitality management solution was tackled on September 2019 and ended later on that December

Though CiHMS has recently entered the hospitality management solution market for over a year, 4 months of pilot testing did help CiHMS as the product as well as the company to mature and grow quickly.

Performance test in Nha Trang

Apart from the pilot testing phase, we also did an intense performance test that took place in Nha Trang at one of the customers’ hotel properties. The test involved roughly over 200 front-office staff in our customer hotel’s property. It was required for everyone to log on to the system and performed all their daily tasks such as booking, check-in, check-out, restaurant booking, etc. at the same time.

This proved our system can handle numerous concurrent users at the same time and made sure absolutely no overloading nor crashing due to system incapabilities when we fully deployed the CiHMS in all our customers’ properties. We were extremely lucky to borrow the needed human resources from our customers’ hotel property to carry out this test. Without their help and support, it would be much more difficult for us to gather a large number of people, train them to carry out hospitality procedures and put them in the test environment to run the test.

Agile Methodology

The optimal approach for software development is the agile methodology, which practices the collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams with customers. It allows the team to deliver in workable increments, provides flexibility and responsiveness to changing business needs and customer feedback.

Building our hotel management software based on agile approach had helped us to stay focus and achieve the tight timeframe

Agile methodology was applied in our hospitality management solution development

At CiHMS, we adopt the agile methodology from the start and this was a strategic move, looking back. Unlike the waterfall methodology, a Business Analyst (BA) had to come up with extremely long and time-consuming descriptive product information, and technical requirements which were likely expensive and impossible to change. The BA then controlled and knew how to implement the project thoroughly.

In agile software development, our Product Owner and Business Analyst did not need to have experience in the implementation process. They approached the customers to generate user stories. From there, the team prioritized the product backlog, split into each sprint with workload estimation given by the team members who were in charge. Regular stand-up, sprint planning, review, and retrospective pushed the building process and product delivery forward at a much faster pace.

The methodology was also applied during our pilot testing. We were able to reach out to the customers’ difficulties, create new user stories in the product backlog, improve and release them immediately in the next sprint. Agile methodology has changed our workplace culture to be transparent, value the people over process and tools, working software over documentation, respecting customer collaboration over terms and contracts, most of all, responding to change over following a plan.

The pilot testing ended, meaning we had to get ready for the full deployment on all of our customers’ properties. We had carried out the process in record time, exceeding experts’ expectations and our own. To know what we had achieved, be sure to check in next week with our next blog on: ”Go live with our Hospitality Management System: Zero to Hero”.

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Manage booking from agencies efficiently with Booking Portal

Travel agencies (TAs) are an important channel, contributing a lot of sales for hotels, besides online travel agencies (OTAs) or direct booking. Depending on your business size, the number of travel agencies you have can vary from a handful to dozens. When it comes to booking management, this can be a hassle for both sides. Hoteliers could have a difficult time controlling the inventory between agencies and making sure room, and rate information are correct. On the other hand, travel agencies are struggling to get the best rooms at the best rates available. Phone call reservation with the hotel is time-consuming and not effective as information is quickly outdated.

A booking portal or a reservation system was created to bridge this gap and remove the difficulties for agencies and hotels from making reservations.

How it works

A Booking Portal plays the role of a middleman. It is a platform between agencies and hotels where agencies can place direct bookings.

• For travel agencies

With the Booking Portal, agencies can check real-time information of inventories, rate plans for them from the hotel. They can search, book easily and instantly. Also, there are options to view booking history, make adjustments, add or cancel reservations. All in one platform, no hassle, no delay.

• For hotels

The software makes life easier for hoteliers in managing travel agent profiles and their bookings. You can make sure the information is always in sync, and you can check the performance of any agency in no time.

Managing booking through agencies is easy with the Booking Portal

Benefits of the Booking Portal

  • Remove manual processes
    One platform for all activities: check, book, edit, and even cancel. Everything is quick after few clicks, no phone call, no waiting time, and no error. The process is now automated with real-time data and updates for both sides.
  • Reduce overbookings
    Agencies can only book rooms and rates available for them. Having a central pool of inventories helps hotels reduce the risk of overbookings.
  • Increase revenue for both
    As people said a satisfied customer is the best business strategy. Through a booking portal, hoteliers make it easy for travel agents to satisfy their guests’ demands, which returns in a win-win situation for both hotels and travel agencies.

Do I need one?

There is no correct answer to this question, but it all depends on your TA network. If you find it taking too much time and effort with your current way of doing things, probably it’s time to consider having a booking portal.

Contact us now for a free consultation about Booking Portal!

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What you need to know about the POS/FnB restaurant management systems

The Food and Beverage industry is one of the fastest-growing businesses in Vietnam. Whether you are running a coffee shop or a restaurant chain, you need a management system to help run and manage your business effectively. Why you need one, and what are the benefits a system can bring for your business? We will discuss these points in this article.

What an F&B management system can do

This software is built to support all restaurant operations and can apply to almost all business models. Here are some of the main features:

  • Manage all your restaurant information: floor plan, area map, table setup, menu, promotions, and so on
  • Connect and synchronize all POS devices
  • You can split – combine orders, view order history, apply for promotions, send orders to kitchen printers or kitchen display units
  • Manage employee & work shift

Besides, for hotels and hotel chains, an F&B system must have the ability to integrate with PMS to allow in-room charge.

What are the benefits?

  • Save operation time and costs: All operational activities, from creating orders, printing bills to sending invoices, can be done quickly right on a POS device or mobile application. Your staff can serve guests smoothly and deliver excellent hospitality.
  • Minimize errors: All the data is updated and synchronized between POS and kitchen printers. And this helps to remove the risk of wrong orders which could bring disappointment to your guests.
  • Better business management: knowing your business performance at the right time with the correct data is very important. What you can count on as an F&B software is its clear dashboard and comprehensive reports. Just a glare to know how the business is going.
  • Improve customer service: serve your guests better with a system that handles all your operation needs, so your staff can spend more time with the guests.

Select one for your restaurant

No matter what size or scale of your restaurant operations may be, the right management system is your most reliable source when it comes to both efficient operations and optimal growth. Here are points you should consider when selecting a system

  1. Data transparency
    You want to make sure that the system gives you real-time data; across businesses. A restaurant manager needs to know what’s going on all the time. It is critical to have real-time data as you may need timely action when problems arise.
  2. Easy to use
    No one wants a complicated system that takes months to master. Check the system interface before you decide to buy one. To make sure the interface is user-friendly, clean, and easy to understand.
  3. Scalability
    Choose a system that can support your growth and geographic expansion in the long-run. You don’t want to keep changing the software as your business expands, as it will cost you a lot.

If you still have questions regarding choosing the right F&B system for your restaurant, don’t hesitate to contact our consultant team for further advice.

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Manage bookings easy with our CRS

As a hotelier, having as many distribution channels as possible can guarantee to bring revenue for your business. However, as bookings start pouring in, managing these channels can be painful.

It is vitally important that you need a system that connects all channels from walk-in to online travel agents. In this article, we will discuss how our CRS can come to rescue you.

What is CRS?

CRS, or central reservation system, is a system that lies at the heart of a hotel’s function. The system contains hotel data like availability, rooms, rate plans, inventory, and helps to distribute that info to all distribution channels. Also, it synchronizes reservations and transactions.

Differenced between PMS, CRS, and channel manager

A property management system, or PMS, is all about operations. It manages all operational activities in a hotel from reception to accounting.

And normally, CRS is the main module of a PMS. It, of course, can be a stand-alone solution.

A Channel manager controls all distribution channels like OTAs, metasearch sites, GDSs. It connects to PMS, collects data from CRS, and re-distributes across channels. As rooms get booked, the inventory information is synced throughout all channels to prevent overbooking.

Main functions of a hotel CRS

  • Reservation management: an executive dashboard shows detailed reservation & revenue reports, filtered by channels and properties.
  • Support various payment gateways and card issuers.
  • Cancellations and refunds management

Implementing a CRS increases efficiency due to the automation of numerous processes. Combining CRS with a Channel Manager system, you can effortlessly expand your opportunities to reach millions of potential guests globally at a low cost. Having a CRS also helps to set up a booking engine for your hotel to boost direct bookings.

Another benefit is better business management. Revenue reports are real-time updated, and comprehensive. You can easily see the performance from different channels and quickly adjust your sale strategy. As for hotel chains, a CRS can be useful as managers could have revenue reports from any properties at any location.

In conclusion, to succeed in a hyper-competitive market, hotels need to invest in technology that helps them optimize and effectively manage their business. Having a powerful CRS gives you the advantage of expanding the distribution network, streaming all booking processes, and providing an excellent guest experience.

Contact us for more details and consultations about CRS.

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cloud service concept

All you need to know about Property Management System

What is Property Management System?

PMS or Property Management System is a software to manage all hotel operations. In other words, the PMS lies at the heart of hotels, collects information, and coordinates operations from booking, check-in and check-out, housekeeping, maintenance, billing, payments, and more. In today’s world, PMS is not just a tool to manage hotel operations but to deliver a better guest experience.

Cloud-based PMS can be accessed from any device

Cloud-based PMS can be accessed from any device


Currently, there are two popular types: On-premises PMS and Cloud PMS.

On-premises PMS:

On-premises or server-based PMS stores limited data in the local hotel. You will need an IT department to operate, maintain and upgrade the system. Besides, you will need to invest in workstations, data centers, and backup storage.

Cloud-based PMS:

A cloud-based PMS uses cloud computing. The software can be accessed anytime, from any device that is connecting to the Internet. Cloud-based PMS has lower capital costs, while it’s easier to run, upgrade, and backup.


The main functions of a PMS

In general, a PMS includes the following functions and features:

  • Reservation management
  • Night audit
  • Housekeeping management
  • Distribution channel management
  • Revenue management
  • Guest profile management
  • Business reports and analyses
  • Allotment management
  • Maintenance management
  • Point of sales

Why you need a PMS

Undoubtedly, emerging technologies impact everyone. Guests are now expecting more from hotels. Thus, a hotel must provide a smooth personal guest experience or even exceed their expectation to win their royalty. Traditional management will not get you far in this area, and having a PMS is the first step. A cloud hotel management system would bring you better benefits in the long run:

  • Secured information and real-time updates
  • Lower operation costs and easy to manage tasks
  • Minimize human mistakes
  • Know your guests better with a 360-degree guest profile feature
  • Take no time to set up rate plans and distribute across channels
  • Comprehensive business reports with real-time data

Before choosing your PMS

Picking a PMS vendor depends on your operational scope and needs. Note down what you are looking for and answer the following questions:

  • What kind of features does the software cover? Do they resolve your problems?
  • How much does it cost? Any hidden cost?
  • Is the software easy to use and mobile-friendly?
  • Does the system comply with security standards?
  • Does the supplier provide comprehensive customer support service?

Choosing the right PMS is critical as it can make or break your hotel operations. If you are looking for one, contact us to get a free consultation.

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Why do hotels need a Channel Manager?

What is a Channel Manager?

A Channel Manager is a utility software that connects hotels to all online distribution channels and manages bookings from these channels.

Channel Managers can connect to dozens or hundreds of sales channels, global OTAs channels. It’s a powerful tool to boost your bookings while automatically updating and synchronizing your information in real-time on all channels.

How does Channel Manager work?

Thanks to the emerging technologies, travelers prefer to book their stays online, we see the rise of online booking agents (OTAs) such as Agoda,, or Expedia. In the old way of doing, hoteliers would go and negotiate with each of these OTAs and then manage their bookings separately.

Channel Managers were created to remove these hassles, to help hoteliers get a better chance to enter new market places without losing revenue. Through Channel Manager, you can sell your inventory via online distribution channels around the world.

• Close/open inventory quickly

• Update room, rate plans, availability in real-time

The hotel management system is fully integrated with 3rd party hospitality software and hundreds of distribution channels

Fully integrated with other distribution channels and 3rd party software let you automate business process without maing human mistakes

Channel Manager can act as a stand-alone system connecting distribution channels with your hotel, or even better, it can be integrated with the hotel’s PMS to fully automate your operations.

As an independent system:

You will have an account to access the Channel Manager dashboard where you can manage information such as room rates, room availability, and promotions. Channel Manager will automatically update this information for every channel. Because it operates independently, you have to monitor the Channel Manager dashboard regularly and manually update bookings to the PMS system (if any).

PMS integration:
  • One-way integration: with this, once a booking is created, Channel Manager will send this information to your PMS.
  • Two-way integration: The two-way integration between Channel Manager and PMS means room availability and room rates will be updated from PMS to Channel Manager and vice versa in real-time. This way will save you a lot of time in operations between two systems.

Channel Manager works independently or integrates 2-way with PMS system

Why you need a Channel Manager

Minimize operation time: a channel manager can integrate with your property management system or central reservations system as well as a booking engine to create a central control for your bookings.

Remove manual processes: with Channel Manager systems, you can say goodbye to manual data entry, which is time-consuming, and sometimes, creates errors. Besides, you will reduce the risk of overbookings as guests can only book a room that is actually available.

Increase profit, improve brand recognition: a channel manager can help you put your brand into the new markets, and there is a good chance that travelers will first discover your hotel on one of the top online travel channels. Connect to more online channels, more online bookings.

In short, a channel manager is a powerful tool to boost your bookings and revenue, while making life easy for you to manage inventories across distribution channels. Should you need further information on Channel Manager solutions, feel free to contact us!

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