RezNext Global Solutions: An Intelligent Distribution Platform to Demystify Distribution for Hoteliers

Date:   Tuesday , December 01, 2015

The Growing Opportunity for Hoteliers

According to Google, online hotel booking in India is poised to touch $1.8 billion by 2016. Over 8.4 million consumers in India are expected to book their stay online by next year. If this opportunity is leveraged well, hotels can see a paradigm shift in their revenue sources with online bookings becoming the largest contributor in emerging economies like India.

But, with the fast adoption of online technologies, consumers today seek instant gratification. However, hoteliers continue to rely heavily on manual processes to drive their online booking efforts-leading to delay in strategic decision making. Bookings generated from online channels are manually fed into the hotel\'s PMS, while rates and inventories are pushed to the online demand generators through individual extranets. Such manual updates often lead to over/under booking scenarios. Furthermore, hoteliers also lack insight into channel performance to adopt a dynamic distribution model.

Demystifying the Complex Hotel Distribution Landscape

RezNext, Bangalore-based real-time distribution system, helps hotels adopt a distribution strategy that simplifies the complex global distribution environment and makes it understandable and manageable. Its offering is integrated with revenue management, operating intelligence and powered with reputation management insights. RezNext\'s technology also levels the playfield for lower and mid-scale hotels allowing them to quickly get online and leverage the opportunity the internet presents today.

\"In India, the hotel distribution landscape has largely been fragmented and unorganised. Several players have focussed on providing the connectivity to demand generators. However this did not address the complexity in the process and hence affected the adoption of online distribution. This is the opportunity the market presented us,\" says Mike Kistner, CEO, RezNext Global Solutions.

According to industry reports, almost 50 percent of the 93,000 hotel rooms being added to the existing 114,000 hotels by March 2017 across major Indian cities will be in the mid-market and budget range. According to Mike, \"We recognised the need mid-market hoteliers had for intelligent distribution tools that simplified the reservation process and enabled them to leverage the benefits of online bookings while scaling to meet the demand. RezNext was born with this vision in mind\".

Robust Technology

ReX, RezNext\'s intelligent distribution platform, is designed using Microsoft components for quick data transfer. Being a cloud based application, hoteliers can keep the investment in infrastructure nimble while improving scalability and reliability. Developed using HTNG standards, RezNext\'s distribution platform is architected as an intelligent open network that allows it to quickly connect with other solutions.

\"Today with our aggressive marketing plans, we have penetrated the market very well and have partnered with over 2500 hotels to improve their distribution strategy. We are focussed on connecting the two ends of the distribution chain-supply and demand-real-time, and helping hoteliers strategically distribute their inventory through the right channels at the most profitable price,\" adds Mike.

RezNext automates the flow of inventory and rates real-time for its hotel partners and provides instant availability and rates to demand generators like Goibibo, Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip and Yatra. All guest bookings that flow from these channels get updated into the hotel\'s property management system automating the otherwise manually cumbersome and labour intensive process for hoteliers and online travel agents.

\"In our market study, we found that typically 25 percent of all bookings processed were done so with errors - either wrong date or wrong name or wrong room type. In the absence of a technology solution, the reservation, delivery, rates and the availability are confirmed via phone calls, emails and faxes,\" says Mike. He further continues, \"When a guest starts booking a hotel, the system is checking the last updated information before allowing the guest to book. The actual confirmation happens post booking when the OTA confirms the availability with the hotel and then updates the customer. With our technology, we connect the data real time. A guest is hence looking at and booking an available room at the correct rate. We help make the booking experience seamless while also providing demand generators upto last minute availability and rates. This helps OTAs fulfil demand, while it gives hoteliers the ability to optimise their occupancy\".

Leveraging Smart Analytics

Smart analytics are core to the offering, allowing hoteliers to be in control of their operations always. \"We designed our platform to function like a business intelligence application for hotel distribution. Hoteliers can know their current occupancy, availability, arrivals and departures for the day, channel performance and the total sales at any given point. With our deep integration with the hotel\'s property management system, we are able to provide a quick look at the DSR which also includes all offline bookings through walk-in, corporate and other sources,\" adds Mike.

Integrated Solution Suite & Market Leading Consultancy &Services

RezNext\'s product portfolio meets the need for a completely integrated solution suite that addresses all the functions around hotel distribution. The solution suite is also supported with industry best services for revenue consulting and digital marketing. According to Mike, \"Revenue management needs a holistic approach. We see hoteliers leveraging only one or two data points such as market segment, rate category, room type or length of stay to forecast their revenues and plan distribution efforts. A significant section of hoteliers also forecast their revenues based on their gut-feel. This is where our team adds value. They optimise the use of the revenue tool to its fullest and help hoteliers put together a revenue strategy that looks at increasing their share of direct bookings and improving their OTA yield through right pricing and profitable promotions. Our solution optimises room revenues with actionable insights on rates, controls, and target segments/business source including what business/bookings not to pick up, helping hoteliers avoid business losses\".

With consumer demand and reaction becoming so dynamic, hoteliers must also look to updating their offers and price real time based on guest feedback. \"Our reputation management offering becomes important here. We help hoteliers dissect guest feedback by department and analyse the root cause issue,\" says Mike.

How it All Began

Mike saw tremendous opportunity to help Indian hotels come online and connect to demand generators real-time while working with Pegasus solutions. That is when he met with industry folks in India and the idea of this venture came about. Mike first came on board as a director and then took over as CEO in couple of months from launch. Today, Mike is based out of Bangalore, where RezNext is headquartered.

Mike\'s vision for the company was recognised last year with the company raising its seed funding of $5 million from New Enterprise Associates. Today, RezNext is uniquely positioned as the leading distribution switch and a preferred profit management partner for hoteliers across categories. The company addresses the need for a single intelligent distribution platform that delivers the concept of integrated strategic distribution (for groups/large chains), automates operations and improves profitability (for independent hotels) and provides an easy platform to get online and leverage its potential (for budget to mid-market hotels).

The Work Milieu

RezNext provides an open, highly engaging workplace. \"We have a great team of skilled personnel who are highly motivated and passionate about what they do. We offer several educational programs and career mapping opportunities to our employee. Our employees are our biggest strength and we believe in providing them a great workplace. We also have several openings and are looking to on-board individuals who can comprehend both technology & hospitality, are aggressive and forward thinking,\" adds Mike.

RezNext also brings in industry experts to work with the team on technology; in fact the company is working with Microsoft right now. \"They help us architect our platform and serve as advisors and educators for our team,\" Mike adds.

Strategic Partnerships

RezNext has partnered with market leaders in property management systems from IDSNEXT, Hotelogix to RAVHAR. It is also working on completing integrations with several other front office solutions providers. On the demand side, RezNext has partnered with all the leading Indian OTAs and have also integrated with international channels like, Expedia, Orbitz, Agoda.

The Road Ahead

RezNext is significantly enhancing its mobile capabilities and is looking to roll out a specific purpose-built application that simplifies hotel distribution on the move. The product is anticipated to be market ready within next few weeks. The company is also working towards enhancing its response time to be able to offer the fastest rate updates in the industry.
RezNext is also looking to introduce a 360° business intelligence solution that ties in all aspects of hotel operations across distribution and track value/cost of transactions, distribution costs for different channels, marketing promotions and ROI.

RezNext also plans to grow its head count to 200 employees from the current 140. On the sales side, it has an aggressive plan to double its customer count by end of this year to 5000.
In the coming five years, RezNext plans to bring over 20,000 properties on the platform and significantly expand operations in the Asian (including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and others), African and Middle East countries along with aggressive expansion in South America and Eastern Europe.


Key Management:

Mike Kistner, CEO

Credited with launching industry\'s only enterprise-level central reservation system, Mike comes with over 25 years of industry specific experience. Prior to RezNext, he was the former Chairman of the Board & CEO of Pegasus Solutions. Mike has also served as the CIO & SVP of e-Commerce at Best Western International

Offices: Bangalore (Headquarter) & Delhi with sales representatives across India

Offerings: Intelligent Distribution Platform for rates, inventory and channel connections, Revenue Management, Online Reputation Management, Internet Booking Engine, Mobile Solutions, Business Intelligence, GDS, Rate Shopper, Campaign Management, Revenue Consulting and Digital Marketing Services

- Winner of the Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award
- Recognised as a \'Cool Vendor\' for Travel and Hospitality by Gartner
- Featured as the CR Travel and Hospitality Software Company of the Month by CIO Review
- Awarded the Best Hotel Distribution Technology Company by South India Travel Awards
- Featured in INC42 Magazine among the top 60 start-ups in Bangalore
- Listed among the top 50 suppliers in the hospitality industry by Hotelier India