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Amadeus has made a big bet on tech services for the hotel industry, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has been its high-profile launch partner for Amadeus’ new guest reservation system.
But Amadeus revealed Friday that the InterContinental rollout, which previously had been slated to take place in 2018, would now be delayed until 2019 at the request of the hotel chain.
CORRECTION: A mistaken notion was introduced during the conference call. In questions during a call with analysts, an analyst said that Amadeus had previously said InterContinental would have its rollout through 2018 and asked about what appeared to be a delay. This mistake was not clearly corrected during the call.
Amadeus’s executives said that they don’t talk about customer’s timetables but that everything was fine on their end and that sometimes customers request a slowed pace to fit with their own business needs.
In answering the analyst about whether InterContinental’s (apparent) delay represented something wrong on Amadeus’s side, an Amadeus executive said sometimes customers request to have delays. “There are no problems in our technology or that our solution is not working as anticipated, or anything like that. We are well on track and we are adapting to our customer’s needs,” she said.
InterContinental said Monday that this was a misunderstanding of what Amadeus executives said. InterContinental has been consistent since September 2016 in saying that the roll-out would start by the end of 2017 with “full deployment expected by late 2018 to early 2019.” The company confirmed today that all remains on track.
This reporter regrets the error.
InterContinental said it has received “very positive feedback from tests at pilot hotels.”
On Friday’s call, Amadeus annoucned another win, albeit a smaller one than for InterContinental.
The Premier Inn hotel chain, owned by Whitbread Group, said it will roll out Amadeus’ combined central reservation system, property management system, and its payment system across its 765 properties.
In a conference call with financial analysts Friday, Amadeus executives did not give a timeline for the program’s rollout.
The goal is that by integrating systems, Premier Inn will see its corporate and property information — such as vacancies and rates and availabilities — sync up in real time, unlike today.
The cloud-based model that Amadeus uses means Premier Inn pays a subscription rather than primarily spending up-front on hardware as is still common in the hospitality industry.
The hotel chain is the first major customer for Amadeus’ new payments platform, which helps process payments while checking for fraud and compliance with regulations.
Premier Inn said two weeks ago that the brand’s UK presence may soon grow to 100,000 rooms, and that the company is accelerating its expansion in Germany.
InterContinental Is in the House
In its budding hotel-services business, InterContinental Hotels Group is the biggest chain sign up and try the company’s new guest reservation system.
In the past few months, InterContinental began a multi-year move away from its in-house system, Holidex, to Amadeus’ new one. If the migration goes well, Amadeus intends to use the example to woo other major hotel chains.
“What’s good about the Premier Inn deal is that they’re taking all of our modules,” said de Pro on Friday. “It will be a reference customer that helps us in showing to the industry that our integrated cloud-based modular solutions do work if you take all of them. But other customers, such as IHG, only take the guest reservation module, and that works, too.”
The Premier Inn deal also keeps momentum in the business from slowing — or at least Amadeus would be happy with that perception.
The new platform is designed to make it easier for InterContinental to upsell customers based on their profiles and past behavior throughout a trip, and would help the company get more adept at generating top dollar from a potential guest.
InterContinental’s IT systems today have data scattered across databases that can’t communicate with one other. This siloed approach to data hampers the hotel group’s ability to make offers that are personal and relevant to guests.
In theory, Amadeus’s new reservation system would be able to recognize if a customer is a millennial who is a member of the loyalty program. That could help the hotel group offer the guest a relevant promotion at a premium price.