Understanding MACH Software and How it’s Disrupting Hospitality Systems, with Apaleo’s Martin Reichenbach



Composable Hospitality Software, or MACH, uses third-party plugins to achieve many of its core functions rather than trying to be an all-in-one software package. It claims to offer a superior experience and more flexibility at a lower adoption capital cost. Given its rapid adoption, hoteliers seem to agree. Today, we’re speaking with Martin Reichenbach, founder and CEO of Apaleo, to explore Composable Hospitality Software and why it’s becoming more popular.


Highlights from Today’s Episode

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Episode Transcript

Martin Reichenbach: [00:00:00] We’re all traveling still the same way. We take the planes, we take the cars, we take the boats, whatever it is. But at the end of the day, we really got used to digital in our surrounding. When we look at the hotel experience today, it’s still in most cases very much manual, very much non digital. So let’s make sure that we all embrace the digital and let’s make sure we invest in it. And platforms are one aspect of that architecture certainly one of them. But let’s make sure we invest into the right technology that bring us forward. And that satisfies not only the guests but also the staff going up.

Robin Trimingham: [00:00:46] Welcome to the Innovative Hotelier podcast by Hotels magazine, with weekly, thought provoking discussions with the world’s leading hotel and hospitality innovators. Welcome to the Innovative Hotelier, brought to you by hotels magazine. I’m your host, Robin Trimingham. It’s no secret that legacy hotel operators are being held back by outdated software and operational inefficiencies, and the race is on to identify and implement cost effective, scalable alternatives. Today, we’re going to chat about the advent of mock architecture, which stands for microservices based API first, Cloud Native and Headless Architecture, which has the capacity to allow operators to continuously evolve their services and stay competitive regardless of their size. And we’re also going to talk about a few of the far reaching implications for the hospitality industry once this new composable hospitality technology takes hold. My guest today, Martin Reichenbach, is the founder and CEO of Apaleo, and he’s here today to help us all understand the scalability and future proof benefits of this coming digital revolution. Join me now for my conversation with Martin F.o.h. Is a global food service and hospitality company that manufactures smart commercial grade solutions, headquartered in Miami. The company designs and manufactures all their restaurant and hotel products. They have showrooms and distribution centers located throughout the globe, and their products are always in stock and ready to ship from any of their distribution centers worldwide. Welcome, Martin. It’s great to get a chance to chat with you today.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:02:46] Thanks for having me, Robin.

Robin Trimingham: [00:02:48] I think that I’m going to learn a lot during this conversation. I get to talk to a lot of people who are involved in technology and AI for hoteliers, but I’d say this is my first exposure to mock architecture, so I’m actually really looking forward to this. But for all of our listeners who might not be completely up to speed on all of these things, can you start off by explaining what is composable hospitality and where did this term originate?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:03:23] So I would go a bit back in history and think about why did we actually get to composable hospitality in general? I think there’s fundamental issues in the industry, which are mostly related to systems from the past. And one of the really costly and I think widely acknowledged one is the integration capabilities. We saw this move from on premise to cloud hosted architecture. We saw software as a service coming up. We saw also then the advent of a couple of new interfacing technologies. And nowadays we don’t only look at software as a service or SaaS, but we look at platform technologies. And platform technologies typically come with very open APIs, and they don’t even need a user interface like the typical SaaS products in the past to operate. Basically, composable hospitality continues this trend. The tech stacks can be put together very much based on multiple platforms. So we talked about platforms and modular parts are coming from different vendors. So that’s why it’s composable because these parts can be removed replaced. And you can always add of course additional components to that. And depending on the level of a technology understanding, hotelier can simply use a platform product. And here we are with Apollo, for instance, and pick other components from an app store in case the technology understanding is rather low. If you’re in a very complex environment and you require a lot of tech understanding and digital understanding in enterprises, for instance, larger hotel groups, then you would actually bind together multiple of such platforms. So one platform might own the data of the customer, another platform might own the operations data of distribution, etcetera. So you can think about of very much different components that are composed together and create much more flexibility around what a hotel tech stack can look like and who is actually involved in that.

Robin Trimingham: [00:05:28] So this is basically technology that’s almost like Lego in that you can build it today with these blocks one way and take it apart, and tomorrow build it a different way.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:05:41] Indeed, you don’t want to have the big and integration heavy projects running, but you want to be very quick to replace certain parts and add different Lego pieces to that. And that’s also one of the phases that some of our people use when, when they talk to customers that you’re basically like in a toy shop and you find all these Lego pieces to put together. And this is what the foundation of of all of this, this is.

Robin Trimingham: [00:06:06] That’s very interesting. So also when I was preparing for all of this, I’m doing a little reading and I came across this other term, mock architecture. And I understand there’s four components. Can you explain this a little bit?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:06:24] Yes, this abbreviation and the same is actually true for composable. It’s not a hospitality term, it’s something that is also used widely used in other industries like e-commerce, which is driving a lot of the innovation in that space. But also banking has composable banking. And muck architecture is one of the foundations here. So Markus, the abbreviation for microservices API first cloud native and headless. So when we look at microservices, it means that there are distinct modules inside a platform. You can look at this from an internal perspective where you say, if you have all these different services bound together through connectivity, it’s easier internally to develop on each of these because you don’t have all these dependencies which you had in the big systems from the past. But of course, if you consider, for instance, Apollo as a property management platform which replaces a PMS, then you have services around inventory management. So everything around your rooms and any space you want to manage the weight management. So all the prices that you want to set and restrictions etcetera. You might have an accounting service or you do have an accounting service and so on. So in extreme cases you could even decouple these and take an accounting service from vendor A and weight management from Apollo. But to make it more simple and to replace a PMS, you would not try to have five vendors for these. But when you think about microservices as different platforms, different products, and all of them are built through microservices, the connectivity makes it much more attractive to couple different services from different providers.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:08:06] The A as API first describes on the one side a development approach. So it means you’re not really looking at things from the user interface anymore, but you really look at things from what is the connectivity layer look like. So APIs are built as the first thing that means when you want to set up a hotel on Apollo, for instance, you would be able to do this through an API. You don’t have to go into some back office to do this, but you could just simply use APIs for that. This is, of course, for partners, very friendly, but also for what I mentioned before, enterprises when they don’t want to rely on all what Apollo is providing in terms of user interface, they can just build their own on top of the APIs. There’s also the other benefit that this means we are eating our own dog food. So in other scenarios where you don’t have API first, it means you build what you need for your customers and then the rest out there, the tech partners. Et cetera. They actually get a separate API, which might not be that performing. Et cetera. So we’re one of the first in the industry, certainly the first PMS that our property management platform that has built on first. So we make sure that everything is prepared for an ecosystem of partners.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:09:23] The C stands for Cloud native. It’s something that today is much more understood than it was before. Everyone wants to work off the cloud of any device. They want to make sure they can access their system or their software from anywhere. But we still have a lot of confusion around this and in the hospitality space, because cloud native means you don’t just take an old product hosted in the cloud and then make it accessible, but it means it’s built in the cloud to scale with with your customers. It means that one version for everyone is available. And in our industry, a lot of vendors are still working with more cloud hosted solutions and call it cloud. So we have to make sure that everyone understands cloud native is you build it for the cloud, it scales across all customers and you only use one version for all the customers. The last one, the headless, it’s actually fairly close to the first. It’s basically a result of that. So if you have a typical system, you would have a back end and a front end. And in a mock architecture way, you don’t need to have this front end anymore, but you only can build upon the back end and anyone could do so. It means that you’re working without a head, you’re just using the APIs, and the head is delivered either by the party like Apollo, but it could be also delivered by a third party.

Robin Trimingham: [00:10:50] Okay, so that’s very helpful and quite a mouthful all at the same time. Let’s try and break this down just a little bit. I guess my first question is if I’m understanding all this correctly, a traditional PMS system, we always call it a legacy system because the moment you install it, the next moment, it’s out of date in that it only embraces what’s been developed so far. And as we get more and more into the world of AI, it’s all about what’s next. So are you telling me that this API system basically would be workable, pretty much regardless of what comes next, that you would be able to plug in a new technology that we hadn’t even thought of today.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:11:44] Indeed, it’s about providing data, so it’s about providing certain functionalities that were built into legacy systems from the past. But if we talk about the AI, it’s about providing data, and that’s where the abbreviations come in, like API first. And if we look at continuous evolution of technology, of course we think about infrastructure. Like where does it sit? Does it sit in my hotel? Does it sit with a vendor? Does it sit with a big hosting provider like Google or Amazon? And this is of course a progression which helps us to scale without building out all these resources and which is much more cost efficient. When think about evolution from a business perspective, I would rather look into what are the ways where I can improve my business, which means I have an impact on revenue or on cost savings. Basically everything that’s in a PNL. And one important thing here is if I have a mock architecture as a baseline, I can bolt in anything at any point in time, which then allows me to think about where do I actually want to optimize. And as you said, we are in the age of AI now where you want to have all the all the data available, you want to put machine learning on there to automate things. You have certain manual labor tasks that you did in old systems, which you now can fully automate. So there’s a lot of things where improvement happens and it’s within the known categories like revenue management, like customer relationship management, everything that we basically built over the last 20, 30 years. But it’s also all the new areas where we don’t have a clear definition of what it is and what it can do. So we allow actually to continuously evolve the services and our services. Our core services, of course, have to be flexible enough to support that. At the end of the day, it’s always about providing the data, giving access to the data, to hoteliers and to partners, which evolves the whole technology stack and the benefits of it.

Robin Trimingham: [00:13:45] Okay, so that’s actually pretty fascinating when I think about it. A lot of our hotel listeners will think about things in terms of the ROI for them. So if they’re listening, what would be the advantages of a system like this in terms of flexibility and cost effectiveness for their own hotel operators?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:14:09] So in terms of flexibility, it means I can provide, if I look now at a hotel group setting and not necessarily independent hotels, I can provide different technologies to different of my properties. Typically in the old landscape, I would say I have one technology stack which covers all my hotels, all my brands, etcetera. So there’s a standard here. I can be much more flexible and depending on the level of service, the level of automation, the level of guest expectation, I can bring in more digital or less, I can bring in certain service functionalities or not. So I’m very flexible of how I can actually build up my technology stack. And this is then property by property. And this of course is one of the big benefits when think about flexibility, when think about the cost efficiency. One of the big questions that we always get asked, how much more guest satisfaction do I achieve if I bring more digital technology to the guest? So this is where a lot of our hotels are benefiting, and a lot of the users of Mac architecture are benefiting, because suddenly the guest journey is not depending on the provider anymore, or if the provider even wants to sell their own services in that space.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:15:26] But you can really custom build and adjust to the needs of your guests depending of the location, depending on the type of hotel region, etcetera. So there’s of course then a cost efficiency also because the guests can take on some of the services that were handled manually in the past, like a check in the check out through their devices. And on the other side also you can get your staff to. To focus on the right things. For instance, there are certain processes which are repetitively done. So in some of our customer cases, there’s 5060 processes that are fully automated, which of course also means that you can think about what to we use the staff time for. So we do see a lot of cost savings on that side. And then we have all the unknowns of AI plugging into that data and thinking about how can I improve certain things in the setup, how can I improve pricing, how can I improve other topics of the hotel operations, which can of course also lead to a lot of cost savings at the end of the day?

Robin Trimingham: [00:16:27] Okay, so the other part of the hotel operations that has to be convinced is anybody involved in it and security. Traditionally, we hear cloud storage is the way to go. Why, in your opinion, is a digital ecosystem the safest and most scalable option for the hotel industry?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:16:53] So a digital ecosystem, of course has to be secured. And this is independent. If this digital technology sits inside your hotel, if it sits with a vendor, if it sits at Amazon, the question is who can deploy most resources to keep it safe and the aggregation and making it scaled into a data center, which holds 100 thousands of hotels, is certainly much more able to spend money on security than if you put, let’s say, your server in the in the hotel, where it then needs to, where every vendor basically needs to provide the security. And I think this is something where, where we also see that old setups are challenged from time to time. When you think about the the big fraud cases, the big customer data theft cases, I think they always appear in a in an environment which we deem as very safe because it’s somehow in-house. It’s built over decades in a lot of cases. What we need to make sure is that the new ways of of security, and this means we can secure who accesses certain systems. We have mechanisms in place to make sure that we validate the authenticity of a person. These kind of things we as vendors have to put in, and then things are suddenly getting much more safe because you have much more reliability on who actually accesses your services.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:18:18] So it’s the investment of the big infrastructure providers on the one side to make sure that these kind of attacks are being taken care of. And on the other side, it’s the responsibility of each vendor to make sure that their products are safe. And that means safe from a privacy and compliancy perspective. So your GDPR compliant and Europe, for instance, you make sure you don’t expose data to partners that don’t need guest data. So there are things where we as platform providers of course, have to be very thorough in how we build APIs, how we give access to APIs. And this is our day and night job, and that’s what we employ specialists for and where we need to make sure that we have the resources that an individual hotel running their server in the basement is not able to deploy. So it’s it’s all the aggregation of, of resources at different places where it’s really about investing into security. And this is better done in a cloud environment than it is in a single location environment.

Robin Trimingham: [00:19:20] You’re making me think of another question listening to you. Basically, if we have modules that are plug and play like Lego and we’re talking about security, then it also means that if suddenly we needed a new level of security, a new kind of security, basically you could just plug that in.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:19:42] Indeed, and it is already there. So when we look at typical platform setups, there is a separate layer of security, which handles all the access of APIs, users, etcetera. And this sits outside of any of the platforms. It would be a separate security layer, which really makes sure that only the user that is allowed to access a certain parts of the stack, parts of the modules basically, and also in which way they are able to do that from where on they are able to do that. Can they do this from the hotel network only? Can they do that from the mobile device? So yes, there’s a whole authentication layer which you would build in in case of a typical Mac architecture. And this is also what’s being done in the projects that we’re running today.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:20:32] Established in 2002, is a woman owned global food service and hospitality company that manufactures smart, savvy commercial grade products including plate wear, drinkware, flatware, hotel amenities and more driven by innovation. Effort, which is dedicated to delivering that wow experience that restaurants and hotels crave. All while maintaining a competitive price. All products are fully customizable, and many are also created using sustainable, eco friendly materials such as straws and plates made from biodegradable paper and wood and PVC free drinkware, so as to establish brands. Front of the house focused on table top and buffet solutions, and room 360, which offers hotel products. Check out their collections today at Pho How does the adoption of mosque architecture disrupt the traditional concept of scale in the hospitality industry?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:21:41] So mock architecture allows you, due to part of the word around APIs and headless, to really do repetitive or create repetitive scenarios. So scaling means I actually want to roll out very fast. So if we look at customers of ours that have perfected for that, they would roll out their hotel in 1.5 hours with all the technologies that are connected to that. The main reason is that they can replicate the setup process, the connection process, the user access process, which we just talked about. And all of this is done in an automated way. And for that reason, it helps you to scale out this technology very quickly. So you don’t need to have a team on site for two weeks to install, let’s say a server, but you basically just create the next property next to the one existing. Maybe you even just copy what you have, and it’s basically ready to go within a few minutes on the paleo side. And then of course you have additional topics like integrating your channels distribution. Et cetera. So some of the setup is close to what it was. But if you look at the core and the technology stack, that’s something that can really be spun up very quickly in a matter of minutes, and thereby you’re very fast to scale. So we have an example now with a customer of ours, which is going live in 35 locations, and they are doing this basically in two weeks time. And this wasn’t possible before, but nowadays mock architecture makes this possible.

Robin Trimingham: [00:23:18] Okay, so I can see obviously if you’re a national or an international brand, there are huge benefits to this approach. What about for small operators or new entrants into hospitality? What would be the benefits for them?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:23:37] So the benefits, of course, at scale are different ones than the ones when you have an independent property. Apple is working with a lot of independent hotels. What is happening in that space is typically that we have preconfigured technology stacks. So let’s say there there are certain ways or certain areas where hotelier wants to be more flexible and more digital than their peers. So what they would do is they’d take a few of the standard components and we all know them. That’s basically the replacement, that’s the channel manager, that’s the guest journey pieces. So these would be fairly standard also coming from different vendors but fairly standard in the stack. And then what you would focus on is really the differentiators for your business. So what are the things where you want to stand out. And this is where the mock architecture gives a lot of benefits to the smaller and independent hoteliers, because next to having standard components, they can also build whatever custom needs they have. So if you’re an independent hotelier and you want to roll out mock architecture, you would do this in a very simplistic scenario first. And then you think about what do I need to do in order to stand out, to either make drive more revenues, drive higher guest satisfaction, drive better staff experience, and then you would focus very much on these areas.

Robin Trimingham: [00:25:03] So that’s really interesting. How can the use of mock architecture enable the creation of new hospitality brands with lower all investment?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:25:15] So new brands should have new propositions and new propositions. Today means I’m more attracted to a certain type of guest. We do see that digital natives, Gen Z, a lot of people are looking more into digital innovation. We we are working and seeing people that are deploying or applying cryptocurrency. For instance, we we do see the creation of NFTs. So things which of course we didn’t hear of a decade back. And of course these have to be supported by the core systems because otherwise it’s just creating overhead and you will not be able to scale this. So if there is a new experience for a new user, which is not supported by the traditional concepts of, let’s say, a PMS or the processes that are being built into that, this is where you would say mock architecture is just the perfect fit because you build on some, let’s say, borrowing concepts around how do I manage a room, how do I manage a price, how do I do accounting, which you would never like to do yourself or build yourself? But you can really focus on the exciting stuff that is creating the experience. And then of course you could scale it because hopefully the new brand is also being picked by guests much more than the traditional brands and grow much faster. So we do see that then the scaling effect is also helping in such occurrences, which of course has certain benefits in terms of investment because you don’t have to build like a very big system or a big solution. But you can really say, okay, I’m taking a lean core and I can scale this fast without a lot of extra cost. And that’s basically the benefit of the investment case that you say I or my technology scales with my own business scaling, and I don’t have to go into upfront investments, high upfront investments around building the first solution.

Robin Trimingham: [00:27:14] So for a big brand where they’re talking a lot about doing conversions from one kind of hotel use to a completely different brand, a different kind of use, different kind of guest profile. This would be a really good thing to have, because you could make the switch, if you will, very quickly.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:27:35] Indeed, 100%. So this is exactly the case that we see in a in a lot of our customer scenarios. There is a conversion or there is a new use case for certain parts of the hotel. And then suddenly we talk about subscription models, we talk about co-working spaces, we talk about co-living. So there’s a lot of these new age mixed models where where we see the benefit that you can have your traditional hotel running next to a service department business, running next to a co-working space. And the core at the end is managing a space, writing an invoice to a guest, and creating a good experience for the guests and the staff. So the core is always the same, but you’re allowing for a lot of flexibility in the business models, and thereby also allowing for these conversion cases where you suddenly build a completely new business out of an existing one.

Robin Trimingham: [00:28:28] That’s really interesting. A couple of minutes ago, you were talking about being able to differentiate yourself by. A personalizing or customizing the guest experience. Can you give us a couple of examples regarding just how far this could go at the present time?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:28:48] Indeed, we know from the past that guests want to have a certain level of personalization. We want to be addressed by our first names or in cases by our last names. We have certain channels that we want to go through. So what I want to allow for today is that a guest is riding me in any kind of channel. Might be WhatsApp, might be WeChat, might be, and he wants to get a response or she in the same or through the same channel. So this is something where of course you could build upon mock architecture, you could build all these different channel experiences. And the benefit here is then that the guest is actually re-adjust to the guest expectation and not the other way around. And this is one of the examples where it’s getting really personalized. Another way is, of course, to create new kind of loyalty programs where you think about collecting all the data, that and all the experiences that the guest has with our brands, and then giving loyalty in a certain way and providing the benefit that they cherish the most and not the not the same selection criteria as the past. I give you a big bunch of potential bonuses and you pick from that. We do have the personalization through the new kind of booking experience, where you don’t pick a rate plan or a certain room type, but you really pick by features.

Martin Reichenbach:  [00:30:10] So this is also something where mock architecture helps because you have a much more fine grained inventory management, at least in the occurrences that we see, where you can then take a room attribute and take this as a personalization example and say certain guests want to have certain features in their room. We see a few of these, but I believe we’re still very early in this process. We have payment channels, payment methods that the guests can pick from. So we’re not demanding every guest to pay with their credit card, but make sure we adjusted earnings in that area. And it goes just beyond all the touch points with the guests where we can think about personalization. And then again, it’s depending a bit on the hotel concept or the hospitality concept and product that we’re working with, where we actually invest the time or where our customers invest the time to personalize. But yeah, there is an endless amount of opportunity in that area. Talking about I, like we did in the beginning, of course, there’s much more how we can help guests, how we can do predictive work in the future. And we are only at the beginning of this one.

Robin Trimingham: [00:31:20] You mentioned something that really resonated with me, so I’m wondering whether or not you can answer this. One of the big I’d hesitate to use the word, but one of the big challenges inside a hotel is assigning rooms for guests on check in. That’s been a very, very labor intensive task in the past, in which really, the guest is having to adjust to the hotel when it really should be the hotel meeting the guest’s expectations or desires. Can this kind of technology make it much easier to figure out which guests are really coming, because they want the ocean view, and which guest is much more interested in being way down the end of the hall because it’s quieter.

Martin Reichenbach: [00:32:10] It’s definitely a yes. There are different ways to think about this. On the one side, on the let’s call it the easy side, I allow the guest to pick the room. Of course, this creates some operational issues, but there are the technologies and there are the vendors out there which plug into a platform like Apple, and then they offer it to the guests to pick the room, and then they can decide, do I want the ocean view, or do I want to have the forest view or whatever it is? And then there’s the more sophisticated predictive models, and some of them are taking information from the channels and then assign the rooms automatically where you have machine learning concepts behind it, etcetera, especially in long hotels, in large hotels. And the most interesting area will be certainly where you think about, can I profile my guests well enough from all the information that I gathered through the website, through the journey, maybe through the past experiences in other hotels, maybe through their reviews from other pages, and then it’s back to where do I get that data from? Is this originally done inside the platform? I would say, well, no, it’s probably the platform as one source of information alongside all the models. And then you think about how do I combine this? And one example that we have there is really one of the customers which builds a uses customer data platform or a customer data platform where they try to collect all this information to build this perfect guest profile and then create room assignments to set up of the room, the layout and etcetera, exactly according to the guest standards. Again, a very a very challenging but at the same time very exciting view on what the future holds.

Robin Trimingham: [00:33:55] It’s fascinating to think about where all of this will be in even five years from now, let alone 20. What do you think is going to happen to hotels that don’t embrace all of these changes now?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:34:13] I do think at the moment we’re back to a time of high occupancy, high pricing, etcetera. So on that side, I think at the moment a lot of hotels are fine and are going back into this perception that change will happen in the future. What we see at the moment is that the very successful cases, they are actually stacking up now, they are making sure, okay, now I’m filling sort of my my watch as whatever the future holds. And I do think that technology and digital is actually the key to that to prepare for the future. And this might vary, might be a very changing environment again due to any reason. And I think that’s the crucial part that actually prepares you to to gear up for whatever the future holds, despite the fact that we’re all now going through a phase of revenge travel and having a lot of a lot of the positives of that. So if hotels are missing out on this, and this might mean the upgrading of their rooms or the upgrading of their door lock systems, even renovations, whatever it is, I think it it will haunt us only in the future, not now. And digital of course, is an expectation from the guests and an expectation from the staff. So what we see, if you don’t do this today and you’re in a staff shortage situation, how do you handle that? If your systems are 20 years old and you don’t find anyone to operate that? So those are the short term topics. How do you get your staff trained? In an ideal case, this is a 2 or 3 hour exercise. In a worst case scenario, it takes you 2 to 3 weeks to get your staff on boarded. So these things are short term, but in the long run, it will help you only to make your business more robust and make sure that you benefit from innovation today and of course, also in the future.

Robin Trimingham: [00:36:12] So maybe you’ve just answered my next question, but for a hotelier who has to justify the ROI of the costs involved in making what will be a radical switch if they’ve still been on a legacy system and they’re not even in the cloud, how would you explain that to them?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:36:36] I think there’s a few very easy ones. So there’s a cost related to onboarding staff. There’s a cost related to replacing staff that’s not there anymore. And Mark can help you as well as modern technology in general, to really bring down the cost through automation and through making your business running more efficiently. On the other side, being flexible in addressing what you’ve mentioned before around have a conversion case. I have a case where I want to try out new business models to increase my revenues. Of course, you have to have flexibility in your tech stack to do that. You have to be able to use not only hospitality software, but also software from the outside, which is not the case if you want traditional systems. So you’re very flexible. You run everything in the cloud means you also getting rid of some of your some of your upfront investments. You have to replace your server anyways at some point in time. So these kind of things are the areas of ROI. And when it comes to staff and when it comes to guest satisfaction, then it’s clearly a case where modern systems are much more easy to use and allow a much better experience on any device. Which of course then should also be one of the ROI ingredients that we build.

Robin Trimingham: [00:37:59] We’ve got a couple of minutes left here. What’s your key message for everyone who sees this?

Martin Reichenbach: [00:38:07] So today we are living in a digital world. We’re all traveling still the same way. We take the planes, we take the cars, we take the boats, whatever it is. But at the end of the day, we really got used to digital in our surrounding, and that means digital in our households. It means when we shop, when we bank, wherever we are, we are digital. When we look at the hotel experience today, it’s still in most cases very much manual, very much non-digital. So in order to get to this transition, we all have to think for ourselves, how would I greet my guests? How would I onboard my staff in a digital environment? So for everyone, it’s important to really unlock the potential of the digital because it brings you certain eyes. It is not a cost center anymore, it is a revenue generator and digital is today what it was yesterday. So for that reason, let’s make sure that we all embrace the digital and let’s make sure we invest in it. And platforms are one aspect of that architecture, certainly one of them. But let’s make sure we invest into the right technology that bring us forward. And that satisfies not only the guests, but also the staff.

Robin Trimingham:  [00:39:24] Martin, I want to thank you very much for a very insightful conversation. This has been a great learning opportunity for anybody who doesn’t presently work in the IT department. You’ve been watching The Innovative Hotelier join us again soon for more up to the minute insights and information specifically for the hotel and hospitality industry. You’ve been listening to the Innovative Hotelier podcast by hotels magazine. Join us again soon for more conversations with hospitality industry thought leaders.

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