Skift Take

In his first interview since becoming Accor's chief technology officer, Floor Bleeker explains the hotel giant's contrarian tech strategy. Expect top tech players and Accor's rivals to take notice.

Series: Travel Tech Briefing

Travel Tech Briefing

Editor’s Note: Exclusive reporting on technology’s impact on the travel industry, delivered every Thursday. The briefing will guide executives as they decide if their companies should “build, buy, or partner” to stay ahead.

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Welcome to my first weekly backgrounder on enterprise tech! I've had the opportunity at Skift for nearly five years now to cover the rapidly changing landscape of technology in travel. I am hoping this weekly readout for you can offer some of my unique insights, and by you, I mean, executives, investors, and startup founders. I'll look at how the shrewdest travel companies are using tech to gain an edge in operations, distribution, and marketing. I'll report on which vendors are winning now — and which commercial and technical models are prevailing. Hopefully, by the time you are through reading my words each Thursday, you'll come away with a new idea, or feel more emboldened about making a decision. Let me know your reactions and send along your news tips! Email me at [email protected] To share information in confidence, contact me on a non-work device via [email protected] I am really happy that for my first briefing I had the chance to speak exclusively with the newish chief technology officer, Floor Bleeker, at Accor. Unlike most other hospitality groups, Accor is taking a contrarian strategy to enterprise tech. I got the lowdown on the Paris-based giant's decentralized approach from CTO Bleeker in his first media interview since he stepped into the role in November 2020. Accor — whose brands include Sofitel and Raffles — wants to use technology to further speed up its net supply growth of lodging units, among other goals.Yet the group has been on a decade-long acquisition streak. So it has collected several brands with different software needs.Rivals such as InterContinental Hotels Group, The Peninsula Group, and Wyndham have been simplifying their technology stacks into one or two core systems with the help of partners such as Amadeus, Sabre, Shiji, and Oracle Hospitality.Upstart lodging operators such as Life House, Limehome, Mint House, and Sonder are encroaching on traditional hotel operators' turf. The startups claim their unified, cloud-based tech stacks makes them more cost-effectiv