The biggest advance in the hotel industry in the last ten years is surprising and unexpected


From time to time, groundbreaking innovation arrives in surprising and unexpected ways. For example, in the 1950s, when we started sending rockets into space, we took for granted that the rocket went up into the sky on a one-way trip. On December 21, 2015, something fundamentally changed: Stage 1 of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket completed its descent and landed at Cape Canaveral Station. When that booster landed, vertically and intact, that event fundamentally disrupted the space industry with unprecedented economics, efficiency, and profitability.

When Aaron Shepherd and his founding team at APS commenced working on a 5th generation platform for hotels, they began that journey with an idea that many people also find surprising and unexpected. At the time, we took for granted that every hotel CRS or PMS was built with only one primary product as its core unit of inventory: the hotel room. Instead, Aaron and his team anticipated changes in guest expectations and how hotels would need to market and sell themselves. The result is a unified platform that enables hotel groups to market and sell an entire travel experience (not just rooms), simplifies the software required to run hotels, and delivers unprecedented gains in operational efficiency and profitability.

In the luxury, resort, and gaming segments, guests no longer want to book just rooms. When they research where they want to go, when they dream and aspire, they want an experience that may include attractions on property and nearby. Such attractions may include golf, spa, retail, restaurants, events, show tickets, and more. If you are a hotel executive in the luxury and resort or gaming space, chances are that you are primarily booking rooms. If so, you're missing the opportunity to capture your guests´ aspirations, deepen their engagement, and enable them to book so much more.

In the budget and economy segments, hotels are in heated competition. Revenue managers have two conflicting goals: offer a competitive price and drive higher revenue and yield. Fortunately, for hotel executives in this segment, there's a clear formula to reconcile these conflicting goals:

  • First, offer a basic room product at a competitive price.
  • Second, use attribute-based selling to offer add-ons or additional services.
  • Third, optimize yield with in-line revenue management, updating prices hundreds or thousands of times per day.

Whether you work in the luxury and resort segment or manage hotels in the economy or budget segment, APS enables you to adapt to the changing hotel landscape. IBS Software acquired the APS platform in January 2024, adding groundbreaking CRS and PMS capabilities for hotel organizations. We joined forces with Aaron Shepherd and the APS team to transform how you market and sell your property, helping you achieve record levels of guest satisfaction, revenue, profits, and employee productivity. We did so with a company designed from the ground up with an unexpected and surprising idea. 

Author Info

Steffan is VP and Head of the Hospitality Business at IBS Software. He has a background as a serial entrepreneur, digital pioneer, and hospitality innovator with a track record of building high-growth hotel software and e-commerce businesses. Shortly after college, Steffan founded and led an award-winning digital consultancy that delivered e-commerce transformation for 150 companies over 15 years, including globally recognized B2B and B2C brands like LEGO, Dell, IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, and 2 divisions of General Electric. Steffan joined the hospitality industry in 2015 when his last company was acquired by Pegasus (formerly Travel Tripper). For nearly 10 years, at Pegasus and then at Cendyn, Steffan built and launched a series of innovative and award-winning technologies for hotels, including a chain level booking engine, e-commerce websites, ad technologies, and conversion optimization solutions deployed across CRS, CRM, analytics, and distribution solutions.

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