It starts with a bit of a personal story. Not an autobiography, just one paragraph.
My journey in hospitality began over 15 years ago: a Computer Science major a few years earlier, working in hotels was not the plan, if there was any plan. Moving into this industry was purely opportunistic. This was the year 2006 and the place was Vietnam. The least I can say is this: hoteliers I met, hotel groups I worked with and hotel tech companies I invested into gave me a lot more than I could have ever imagined. The professional experience acquired throughout my career as hotel technologist is massive, and that still falls short against the personal life the industry offered me. Certainly I have received more than I have ever given.
A few months ago, Kai – an Aphy’s co-founder – and I, had a nice coffee in Amsterdam. He told me of an idea: converging hotel operations and software automation, and putting it to work for the hoteliers we know. Pascal, our third partner-in-crime since day 1, brings in top automation expertise. He and his team developed dozens of automated processes already. Thus together we thought we knew a thing or two we can improve for hotels. That’s for the historical angle.
Now you are here for the ‘why’: stupid tasks is why. For years, we have seen our colleagues gruelling and burning themselves out under the weight of such tasks. Connecting our software and hotel experiences, we saw an opportunity to be part of the solution; and for me an hard-to-miss chance to give back to the industry.
Stupid tasks! Say what??
Today, the life of an hotelier is filled with a multitude of software: a tab for this, a tab for that, a window for something else, and to top it all up, a bunch of spreadsheets to copy/paste into some data, which all those systems seem to have but can’t seem to get it into one place. A messyverse of sorts – to put a name on it. The fragmentation is a reality rather than a judgement call. The HotelTech providers do what they can, and they are either attempting to decentralise and focused on integrations, and hoteliers are left with the need for someone to code against everyone else’s APIs, or, they are attempting to re-invent a centralised model and consolidate all in one place, to the risk of missing some functionalities.
The messyverse is in constant flux, possibly growing, and eventually it will stabilise itself. A new paradigm would have emerged. I do not believe we are there yet, it will take time. Until then, hotels are left with hard choices in their tech stack, and sometime they rather not choose at all.
For all these reasons, and certainly others, running a reservation department today, a revenue management operation, or a hotel back-office always involve a ton of manual labor. Those are serving the process over anything else, hence I allow myself to call them stupid.
We advocate a different approach
We think that while the new paradigm settles in, if ever, there is different way to deal with the messyverse’s flaws. Our software robots take away from humans the grudge tasks, operate them as a skilled human would do, and literally give back both time and a pinch of sanity to operators. It is fundamental for us to stress that we promote automation for the sake of the employees and ultimately to elevate the service to the guests.
With all that in mind we made it our mission to bring new technologies and new ways of thinking about processes to the hotel industry. And that’s why we’re starting Aphy: to relieve hoteliers of system pains.
And we can’t wait to have many conversations to fulfil our mission.