Choice Hotels keeps connected with its innovative choiceEDGE technology.
by PATRICK PACIOUS
Today’s world is becoming increasingly connected. Technology touches every aspect of society, changing the ways we live, learn, work and communicate. This shift is magnified in the hospitality industry.
Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed many advancements with cloud computing, data analytics and greater mobile capabilities, which have reshaped how we operate and interact with customers, guests and each other.
At Choice Hotels, we innovate to help our franchisees leverage technology to maximize their hotel’s return on investment. The tools and solutions we create serve to benefit both guests and owners, and we look toward digital disruption to transform the broader industry and address the challenges of an increasingly connected and changing world.
These changes led us to embark on a transformation project over the last few years to replace the company’s reservation system with a new state-of-the art global reservation platform (GRS). Definitively named choiceEDGE, because we knew that this system would give us the edge to stay ahead of our competition and deliver for franchisees and guests. It was the largest technology project in our 79-year history.
This initiative was a result of our research and insight. Consumer behavior is rapidly evolving and driving unprecedented volume to digital channels. There has been an explosion of growth in shopping requests over the last decade, and digital travel sales worldwide are projected to grow from $565 billion in 2016 to $756 billion in 2019, according to market research company eMarketer.
The hotel industry’s aging technology infrastructure is not designed to handle the quantity of transactions we see today in the digital space, as much of it was created before the internet even existed. choiceEDGE allows us to handle the growth in the volume, velocity and variety of interactions required to deliver for guests and franchisees.
The GRS is rolling out and we are thrilled by its performance. It features an unprecedented cloud-based design that gives Choice the flexibility, scale and speed-to-market to adapt as technology evolves and consumer needs change, and specifically, is built to shift toward guest experience personalization through data analytics.
For our franchisees, the choiceEDGE platform works seamlessly with choiceADVANTAGE, the industry’s premier and first cloud-based property management system, and over 30 other partner integrations.
Choice Hotels, uniquely positioned at the intersection of hospitality, franchising and technology, has always been a pioneer of technology in the industry. We were the first to provide 24-hour reservations, the first to offer real-time access to a central reservation system on the web, and the first to introduce and market a mobile application – all solutions that became industry standards. Now, choiceEDGE is the first new global reservation system from a hotel company in 30 years.
Our history and our future are one of innovation, opportunity and growth, and we will continue to look for new ways to shape the future of the industry. ■