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‘Our products are built on customer feedback’

Manoj K Mohanty, Vice President – South and Central Asia, at IDS Softwares speaks with Hospitality Biz about the products and their unique features

Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 12:00 Hrs  [IST]

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Q. What sets IDS apart from other players in the market?
A.
Our strength lies in the fact that we have been focused on hospitality for over 23 years, giving us a distinct advantage over other players. Around 2,500 hotel installations in 40 countries just go to prove the trust that the industry has placed in us. This is further reinforced by the fact that over 95 per cent of our business is through referrals. Our products are built on customer feedback. Keeping the needs of the industry at the forefront of our development objectives has ensured that our products have stood the test of time. Product wise, not many players provide fully integrated solutions in a single database, and this is a key factor that sets us apart from our competitors.

Q. Can you name some of your clients?
A.
We support a number of hotel chains, restaurants, resorts, serviced apartments, limited service hotels, business hotels, lounge bars and cafés worldwide. Some of these are Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, ITC Fortune Group, Club Mahindra Holidays, Pride Hotels, VITS, Ramada Hotels, Ramee, Sterling, Royal Orchid Resorts, Choice Hotels, Holiday Inn to name a few, in India. Internationally, we are partners to Aitken Spence Hotels, ETA Star, Eurovillage, Airways PNG, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts and the John Keels Group, to name a few.

Q. Can you tell us about FortuneNEXT range of solutions, which was launched recently?
A.
FortuneNEXT is our new range of hospitality solutions. It consists of property management systems for high growth businesses, specially designed to enhance the productivity of hotels. It is one of the most robust hotel operations systems with unique features, where even a night audit process does not require a system shutdown. FortuneNEXT has added several new features and tools, the benefits of which can be passed on to guests by enabling an enhanced experience at the property. The software ensures ease-of-use and can also assist in making sound business decisions through its Revenue Management Tool.

The FortuneNEXT range of solutions comprises:
•    FortuneNEXT Enterprise – an all-in-one property management system for large scale hotels and hospitality businesses
•    FortuneNEXT Professional - a fully integrated solution to empower full service hotels and hospitality enterprise operations
•    FortuneNEXT Express – a property management system for midsized properties and
•    FortuneNEXT Genie: a property management system for limited service properties.

Q. How does IDS go about training the hotel or restaurant staff to operate the software?
A.
Our training programmes take place at several levels, ensuring that hotel staff is thoroughly familiar with the necessary theories and practical application of systems. Real-life operations are simulated to reinforce training. We also recommend periodic training overviews on a regular basis. Train the Trainer programmes are provided to select members of the hotel’s staff. Post Installation support and trouble-shooting help are also provided through our Remote Client Log-in service. All of these enable the hotel/restaurant to ensure that they are able to make optimal utilisation of the software for maximised benefits.

Q. What are some of the special features of IDS’ product?
A.
In an industry, which operates 24/7, our products have proven their robustness and reliability time and again. We have, till date not had a single customer who has faced operational issues due to our software’s performance. Conversely, many times, our support staffs are often called upon to help fix hardware issues!

We have features such as a night audit that does not require the system to shut down and we also have support teams located within 12 hours of every location that we have installations in, ensuring local, same day support, which is not something that everyone can boast of.

Q. What are some of the challenges and how does IDS overcome these?
A.
In over 23 years, one thing has remained constant, the biggest challenge that hotels faced, then and now is guest satisfaction. Our property management systems are equipped with a powerful ‘Guest History’ feature, which allows hotels to capture guest preferences in a comprehensive manner, so that they are able to provide a unique and memorable experience, which will keep them coming back.

Q. Has there been a quantitative benefit to hotels after they have implemented IDS products?
A.
After using our products, some of our clients have seen a substantial rise in operational efficiency. Staff effectiveness in some hotels has spiked by 30 per cent due to the simplified processes and user-friendly setup. Some clients have seen an increase in customer satisfaction by 60 per cent, customer retention by 50 per cent and an increase in revenue by 20 per cent.

 
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