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  • 7/16/2024

    HRS Tech Enables AI-Powered Upgrades for Amadeus Cytric

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    In a recent Amadeus study, Travel Technology Investment Trends 2024, corporate travel managers agreed that improving travel and expense processes are a focus for investment, and the majority of decision-makers are planning to invest more in travel and expense management technology in the next 12 months.

    Today’s announcement highlighting the extension of Amadeus’ longstanding partnership with global travel technology company HRS, reflects these findings. The multi-year agreement features an innovative combination of HRS’ AI-driven technologies available for corporations and business travelers using , Amadeus’ end-to-end corporate travel and expense solution. Cytric, Amadeus’ end-to-end corporate travel and expense solution.

    With this agreement and more widespread deployment of HRS technologies in Cytric, companies and business travelers are benefitting today from end-to-end AI functionality. These features are seamless for travelers, making it easy for them to search for and book the right hotel at the right rate, while travel program leaders and finance executives gain from time-saving automation that improves accuracy and speeds up reconciliation and real-time analysis.

    Highlights include: 

    • Optimized property shopping and accurate rate loading
      HRS provides machine learning technology to its customers in the background that continuously monitors rates, availability, and amenities at customer’s preferred properties, including net rates for properties that may not be listed in a GDS. Automation continuously validates that the correct rates and amenities are displayed to travelers in Cytric, including net rates from properties. By ensuring optimal use of top suppliers via these technologies, companies can maximize hotel program savings.   
    • Automated hotel rebooking to take advantage of lower rates
      HRS rebooking technology in Cytric helps companies take advantage of price fluctuations in room rates. Following a Cytric reservation, HRS will automatically rebook a HRS hotel stay if the room price drops – often saving significantly on the cost of the room. This applies to all flexible rates with the same room category that have been booked at least 24 hours before the arrival date. The traveler automatically receives an email about the booking change and sees the confirmation in Cytric with the message ‘rebooked.’
    • Tangible steps to drive use of more sustainable hotels
      Cytric and HRS customers will now benefit from the HRS’ Green Stay Initiative, which provides corporations and business travelers with a label highlighting properties that feature more sustainable operations. Aligned to regulatory requirements, the Green Stay Initiative also allows each corporate program to use a customizable scorecard to prioritize their preferred ‘green hotels’ in booking displays. Beyond this corporations can access unmatched granular data related to the sustainability of each property.
    • Automated payment and invoice collection saves time
      The integration of Cytric and HRS PAY can offer, by means of this extended agreement, a leading payment solution – with payment acceptance, invoice collection and invoice accuracy all recording 98.5 percent and above performance.* This covers not only centralized payment to suppliers, but also leverages machine learning to digitize all invoices and accurately capture all spend categories tied to each booking. The depth of data analysis and transparency from this process is unmatched in the industry.

    Amadeus and HRS will feature their travel management technologies and services at next week’s Global Business Travel Association conference in Atlanta. See Amadeus at booth # 4333; HRS at booth # 2335.

    Tobias Ragge, Chief Executive Officer, HRS, says: “We are delighted to reinforce our long-term relationship with our travel technology partners at Amadeus. This collaboration brings immense value to our mutual customers. Our drive to continue innovating, leading with technology and APIs that seamlessly integrate into the travel ecosystem, aligns with Amadeus’ goals. By unlocking new data-infused avenues to optimize program performance, maximize savings and enhance sustainable travel operations, we’re working together to make business life better for corporations and their travelers.” 

    Santiago Franco, Chief Technology Officer, Amadeus Cytric, says: “At Amadeus we put the traveler at the heart of everything we do – and the functionality offered through our partnership with HRS is set to bring tangible benefits. Through automating the hotel payments process, cutting costs on accommodation programs and offering fresh insight into sustainability metrics, Cytric can make a real difference to the corporate traveler experience.”  

    * This tabulated average represents the achieved KPIs across HRS’s client base that utilizes the entirety of their platform on a global basis.

  • 7/16/2024

    Staypineapple Chooses Mews to Surprise and Delight Guests Across the US

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    Mews, a hospitality cloud that has more than tripled its customer base in the United States over the last year, has now been chosen by Staypineapple to power its growing portfolio of hotels.

    Staypineapple, a boutique hotel brand, currently operates 10 properties in major cities throughout the US, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Portland and San Diego. The brand champions thoughtful, distinctive hospitality, with an emphasis on delivering moments of joy for guests.

    "Here at Staypineapple, we have always prided ourselves as being an industry-leading company within the tech space of the hospitality industry," says Dina Belon, President at Staypineapple Hotels.

    "From our in-depth revenue management automation to our robust CRM tools, Staypineapple has consistently been ahead of the curve within the industry's technology systems and integrations. It was with this in mind that we made the decision to transition from a legacy PMS software that has had a stronghold on the industry for decades, to Mews' cloud-based and user-friendly platform. The ability to utilize the Mews Marketplace for applicable tech stack integrations will provide us the opportunity to reduce technical expenditures and fees, while streamlining our team members' bandwidth and ultimately improving the Staypineapple guest experience."

    Deployment with Mews began in March at Staypineapple's properties in Seattle, and with seven of its hotels now transitioned to Mews, the brand looks to have its entire portfolio running on the award-winning PMS by next month. Mews guided the Staypineapple team during initial high-touch implementations so that the hotel brand could move towards a lower cost self-onboarding model for the rest of the rollout.

    Migrating to a cloud-native PMS was vital for Staypineapple’s modern take on hospitality. Mews Marketplace provides fast and easy access to over 1,000 integrations, allowing Staypineapple to create a custom tech stack without limitations or inhibitive connection fees. Key integrations for the brand include a direct connection with Expedia, which will increase their customer reach while drastically reducing operating costs.

    “We’ve seen phenomenal growth in the United States over the last year and I am delighted that forward-thinking brands like Staypineapple are utilizing Mews to enhance their operations,” said Richard Valtr, Mews Founder. “Staypineapple’s vision of hospitality is so well aligned with Mews – particularly their focus on the entire guest experience, rather than just overnight rooms – and I’m really excited to see Mews empower them to create even more personalized experiences.”

    A big part of this is helping guest-facing staff to move away from repetitive, manual tasks so they can pay attention to guests rather than computer screens. Online check-in prior to arrival, automatic room assignments and other time-saving automation are all powerful tools in this regard.

    Mews and Staypineapple will continue to work closely together in the coming years to promote their shared vision of guest-centricity, as well as with all future property expansion.

  • 7/16/2024

    Aptech Teams with BirchStreet Systems to Bring Procure-to-Pay Processing to Twenty Four Seven Hotels

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    Aptech has teamed with Birchstreet Systems to deliver efficiency and automation where it is most needed – the procure-to-pay (P2P) process. Based on customer demand, this collaboration brings together the best in cloud-based enterprise accounting and P2P software to deliver better control over purchase orders, invoicing, budgeting, order delivery, flexible payment options, invoice imaging, and financial review efficiency with drill down from P&L to invoice image.

    “With hospitality facing critical staffing and supply management issues, it is imperative for best in class technology providers to work together to streamline processes and deliver efficiencies,” said Valerie Layman, BirchStreet Chief Product Officer. “We are delighted to work with Aptech to bring industry leading   integrated P2P and accounting solutions to all hoteliers.”

    Twenty Four Seven Hotels is an avid Aptech and BirchStreet user. The Southern California-based hotel management company is always improving and innovating for the good of its guests and associates, and collaborating with business partners to build lasting relationships that drive efficiency and effectiveness for its operation. When Twenty Four Seven Hotels transitioned from Aptech’s legacy accounting solution to PVNG for enterprise accounting, they requested that integration to the BirchStreet P2P solution be added as part of the process to eliminate manual entry of purchase orders and invoices.

    “Integration between Aptech and BirchStreet has been instrumental to our performance,” said Khanh Tran, Twenty Four Seven Vice President Finance & Accounting. “Our vendor relationships have greatly improved now that the accounts payable process and check runs are fluid. Vendors are being paid on time and our hotels never run out of the merchandise that our guests demand.

    “Eliminating redundancy – like re-keying invoices – saves a lot of time and it also stops input errors and mishaps with missing statements,” Tran continued. “Everything moves automatically from BirchStreet into PVNG, and all data is easily accessible via hyperlink. While invoices still need to be reviewed by the GM’s, tying the two systems together takes the tediousness of researching and inputting data out of the equation. Both companies are extremely responsive and worthy of a 10/10 ranking for customer service. We could not ask for anything better as a hotel client.”

    Together Aptech and BirchStreet are enabling hoteliers to:

    1.     Report spend currently on un-invoiced purchase orders

    2.     Control PO’s before they go to the suppliers (cost control through approvals and bid management)

    3.     Control orders sent to compliant vendors and products to reduce rogue spending

    4.     Consolidate suppliers and buyers on the same ordering platform with visibility to the same products

    5.     Manage budget and checkbook in real time

    6.     Enhance the receiving process to better manage goods received

    7.     Access automatic accruals based on goods received but not yet invoiced

    8.     Automate the entry of invoice data to Accounts Payable

    9.     Leverage approval workflow for invoice payment process

    10.  Utilize digital storage of invoice images with easy search capabilities

    11.  Increase P&L review efficiency with drill down from Summary Income Statement to invoice image

    PVNG has become a game-changer in the world of hotel accounting,” said Jill Wilder, Aptech President. “It features Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger modules and more that when combined with BirchStreet’s P2P functionality simplifies payment processes across the board. Finding technology partners that you can trust is not as easy as one may think today. Aptech and BirchStreet have the tools and hospitality longevity our customers expect to ensure frictionless financial management.”

  • 7/16/2024

    Actabl Announces New Bundled Solutions to Enhance Hotel Management Efficiency and Profitability

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    Actabl, the hospitality software company that enables hotels to drive profit through actionable insights, announces the launch of its new bundled offerings designed to streamline the delivery of innovation to the hospitality industry that enhances operational efficiency, profitability, and workflow management. 

    Actabl bundles are crafted to meet the diverse needs of hotels, from small properties to large enterprises, ensuring that every property can harness the full power of Actabl's tools. By packaging key features in ProfitSword, Hotel Effectiveness, and Alice and Transcendent, these bundles provide comprehensive solutions for Business Intelligence (BI), Labor Management, and Operations & CapEx.

    "We are thrilled to unveil our new bundled solutions, which mark a significant evolution in how we deliver value to our customers," said Jason Luo, Chief Revenue Officer at Actabl. "We’ve thoughtfully crafted our offerings to meet the unique needs of properties and management groups of all sizes, providing a comprehensive, scalable, and flexible approach to hotel management."

    The new bundles accommodate the unique needs of a hotel management company with three-tiered options: 

    • The Base Bundle: Essential tools for foundational needs

    • The Advanced Bundle: Enhanced features for management groups with more complex needs

    • The Premier Bundle: Comprehensive, customizable solutions for groups looking to get the most out of the Actabl platform

    Continuous access to new features and enhancements keeps customers at the forefront of hospitality technology, ensuring they always benefit from the latest innovations. Each new package includes extensive training materials, webinars, and self-paced courses for seamless adoption and increased productivity. Ongoing access to updated resources enables customers to keep pace with innovation by swiftly embracing technological advancements and equipping them with the knowledge and guidance needed to leverage the most advanced tools and solutions available through Actabl’s bundles.

    By taking advantage of these new offerings from Actabl, hoteliers can maximize profits by integrating data across all areas of hotel management, enabling informed decision-making that drives profitability. Automation and streamlined tasks enhance team efficiency, while coordinated and personalized interactions elevate the guest experience, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty. Streamlined onboarding and aligned support teams ensure faster implementation and value realization.  Actabl’s bundles also simplify operations by making it easier to manage assets, forecast expenditures, and track performance, ensuring optimal use of resources.

  • 7/16/2024

    Docyt AI Unveils GARY: An AI Bookkeeper

    Docyt AI Gary

    Docyt, the frontrunner in AI-driven accounting automation technology, is excited to introduce GARY, the world’s first AI bookkeeper. GARY combines Precision and Predictive AI models with Generative AI tools to streamline the digital back office for small and midsize businesses. It automates manual bookkeeping processes and accelerates the month-end close from a matter of weeks to just 45 minutes through continuous reconciliation. 

    “Through GARY, businesses can now get real-time financials through continuous reconciliation - KPI tracking is also performed daily in real-time. This cuts down the month-end-close down to 45 mins whereas it can take up to 2 weeks for a typical business. What an exciting breakthrough for the accounting world and, frankly, for any growing business!” said Sid Saxena, co-founder and CEO of Docyt. “Today, the accounting field is cluttered with point solutions. Docyt eliminates this with one powerful solution: integrating everything through AI-powered workflows for expense management, revenue accounting, and robust industry vertical reporting KPIs, forming a seamless ecosystem.” 

    Automating the Accounting Workflow

    The GARY (Generative Accounting Retrieval sYstem) AI bookkeeper is built on the powerful Docyt AI SaaS platform that brings a revolutionary new approach to accounting automation, integrating workflows such as expense management, revenue accounting, industry vertical reporting, and financial reporting of key KPIs.

    Accelerated Month-End Close

    Docyt’s new AI bookkeeper makes month-end closing seamless and efficient, compressing a process that used to take 2+ weeks into just 45 minutes. By automating every aspect of the monthly accounting workflow, Docyt AI prepares the month-end close and makes the closing process a formality.

    Effective Account Management Through GARY: Enhances account management by providing real-time assistance and key insights into financials, making it easier for account managers to handle their responsibilities effectively and accurately.

    Efficient Document Retrieval and How-Tos: GARY transforms the laborious process of finding the right documents and understanding procedures into a swift and straightforward task using natural language and AI-driven assistance.

    QuickBooks Integration

    GARY integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks, eliminating the need to migrate to a new ledger system. With an estimated 80% of SMBs running on QuickBooks, Docyt’s new AI bookkeeper gives these businesses an easy way to harness the power of AI without abandoning their legacy financial workflow.

    Revitalizing the Accounting Profession

    The accounting profession in the United States has been in steady decline for the past decade, with enrollment in college-level accounting programs falling each year. Consequently, the number of candidates sitting for the CPA exam is receding at an annual rate of seven percent. Compounding the problem, an estimated 75% of actively practicing accountants are now eligible for retirement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these and other factors fuel a projected annual vacancy of approximately 136,400 accounting and auditing jobs. With fewer individuals entering the accounting workforce as most accountants prepare to retire, the U.S. faces an accountant shortage that will continue to worsen if not proactively addressed. Equipping accountants with modern tools like Docyt’s new AI bookkeeper will breathe new life into the accounting profession by helping them perform their jobs more efficiently and deliver greater strategic value to their clients.

     

  • 7/14/2024

    Boom Launches 24-Hour AI Sales Agent for Short-Term Rentals

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    Boom, an AI platform for the short-term rental sector, announced the launch of the world’s first AI Sales Agent as the platform continues to revolutionize operational efficiency in short-term rentals.
     
    The sales agent is the latest in Boom’s AI workforce and is able to autonomously respond to inquiries, negotiate with prospective guests, upsell, and adapt to customers’ languages and cultures, operating 24/7. 
     
    Vacation rental managers often struggle to balance customer service, sales, marketing, and the operational aspects of running their business, which can lead to missed opportunities and potential revenue loss. Boom is addressing this issue by creating a virtual workforce with the ‘best sales person you’ve ever met’. This allows property managers to focus on more strategic work while the agent works to secure high occupancy and revenues on their behalf. 
     
    The AI Sales Agent can be trained on each property manager’s policies and real past conversations, enabling it to handle inquiries with a deep understanding of the property manager’s portfolio, policies and needs. 
    It also ensures guests receive accurate and comprehensive information in a timely manner, delivered in a style that meets their cultural expectations. By employing a structured sales process customized to the property manager’s needs, the AI maximizes each interaction to ensure a high conversion rate.
     
    A standout feature of Boom’s AI Sales Agent is its ability to negotiate and upsell additional services, such as early check-ins, late check-outs, and airport transfers - and even attempt to fill orphan days by upselling existing guests. This flexibility allows property managers to increase revenue while providing tailored options to guests. If a property is unavailable, the AI can seamlessly offer the perfect alternative accommodations, ensuring no booking opportunity is lost. 
     
    Boom’s AI Sales Agent operates 24/7, providing support through text, voice, or video. Its ability to adapt to various negotiation styles and communicate in multiple languages makes it a versatile tool for property managers around the world. The AI Sales Agent maintains human compassion in interactions, ensuring guests feel valued and comfortable making their booking. 
     
    Shahar Goldboim, CEO and Founder of Boom, said: “Sales is a function that many property managers struggle to prioritize, often overshadowed by the immediate need for cleaners, maintenance staff, and revenue managers. This gap can lead to missed opportunities and lost revenue – but our AI Sales Agent will make these challenges a thing of the past. 
     
    “Boom’s AI agent is the best sales person you’ve ever met. It closes the best possible deals, speaks every language, and never needs a break or vacation. We have programmed it to handle the complexities of sales negotiations and customer interactions with unmatched efficiency and consistency. By automating these workstreams, property managers can redirect their focus to more strategic initiatives that simply can’t be accomplished without human creativity and insight. 
     
    “Boom’s Sales Agent represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to implementing an AI virtual workforce. This is just the beginning of a new era in hospitality management, where AI and human expertise work hand in hand to create exceptional experiences and drive business success.”
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