The Power of Connectivity : How Integrated Hospitality Tech Platforms Benefit Your Business

The Power of Connectivity : How Integrated Hospitality Tech Platforms Benefit Your Business

In today's technology-driven hospitality industry, seamlessly integrating various systems is crucial for smooth, efficient operations of hotels. Gain valuable insights from our enlightening chat with Vertical Booking.
June 15, 2023

In a recent interview with Christian Lepom, COO at Vertical Booking, part of the Zucchetti Group, we discussed the importance of integrating different tech platforms in the hospitality industry. With so many systems in place, from PMS to CRS to channel managers, it's crucial for Hotels to have seamless integration for the sake of efficiency and profitability. What does Christian think? Let's find out.

Hi Christian, could you tell us more about Vertical Booking's positioning in the market, the types of clients you currently work with, which countries you have the strongest presence in, and the range of solutions you offer?

Vertical Booking's platform caters to the needs of all types of hotels and accommodations, including small independent properties, larger establishments, and Hotel groups and chains. Although the company started over 15 years ago in the Italian market, where independent and smaller properties dominate, we have been focusing on groups and chains for the past six to seven years, constantly improving the functionalities and flexibility of our platform. Our strong focus on targeted groups and independent hotels, regardless of their size, allows us to perfectly manage complex rate strategies through our platform.

Currently, Vertical Booking has around 8,000 hotel clients worldwide, with 50% of them based in Italy, which is our main and home market. Other significant markets for us include France, the USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, and interestingly we are also very strong in Eastern Africa, particularly Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

As for the solution, we provide a fully integrated CRS solution which is a central distribution platform, including a booking engine and a channel manager part.  Both are basically direct connections coming out from the CRS, including their own connection to the GDSs with a chain code, allowing for seamless distribution across multiple channels. The central reservation office efficiently manages all offline traffic, both reservations and quotations.

Another interesting module we offer is what we call “Service Provider”, which is perfect for businesses that want to sell their services independently from their accommodations, such as spas.

Booking engine solutions and center reservation systems (CRS) are often confused. Can you clarify the difference between these two models for us with respect to your platform?

The difference between booking engine solutions and central reservation systems (CRS) is an interesting and complex topic. In the past, the CRS was the central place for managing rate strategy, mainly connected to the GDS. However, over the years, the concept has changed as booking engines and channel managers were integrated, and many systems these days call themselves CRS.

From my perspective, a CRS should be viewed based on its capability to manage the entire distribution process. This includes having connections to GDS, and the channel manager a part of the booking engine. However, it's crucial that all channels can be managed in a differentiated way and that the complete distribution strategy can be centrally managed. Additionally, a real CRS should include corporate contract management and the ability to manage groups and chains from a central place, allowing for the management of the whole distribution process across properties from a single point. This distinction focuses on the functionalities rather than just the modules.

Vertical Booking was acquired by the Zucchetti group a few years ago. Could you elaborate on the group's technological solutions for the hospitality industry, how the ecosystem is structured, and what your strengths are within it?

Zucchetti hospitality, it's quite a big world. The Zucchetti Group offers a variety of technological solutions for the hospitality industry, not limited to hotels, but also encompassing restaurants and POS systems. Within the hotel industry, the group provides different PMS systems, with four or five designed for the Italian market, one cloud-based solution for international markets, and a smaller one for the US. Additionally, the group recently acquired a large PMS for the French market.

Furthermore, there are three distribution platforms available, including a booking engine, channel management, and two RMS systems. Although each product operates independently from a technical perspective, they are strategically positioned based on individual strengths and target markets.

Vertical Booking, specifically, focuses on the needs of chains, groups, and independent properties with complex distribution strategies. This is where the group's main focus lies, and Vertical Booking is their key player in this area.

Another significant strength of Vertical Booking is our international reach, with more than half of our clients located outside of Italy, our home market. In contrast, the Zucchetti Group primarily focuses on the Italian market.

As Vertical Booking has been operating in the market for many years and has a large customer base due to combined solutions with Zucchetti, what do you see as the biggest challenges hoteliers face in an industry that is constantly evolving? 

Hoteliers face many challenges in an industry that is constantly evolving. While finding the right solution for different parts of their distribution remains crucial, having the best single platforms in each area does not necessarily equate to the best overall infrastructure. Thus, the biggest challenge is ensuring the right interactions between the different systems that a property uses.

This challenge is not limited to just integrations between platforms but goes beyond to make sure that information flows efficiently and effectively in all directions. If systems do not communicate well, the potential for optimization is lost. Therefore, it is essential to have the right connections between systems and to make sure that all necessary information is flowing correctly.

In addition, having ten different systems with ten different client services can also pose a significant challenge. Good communication between the teams of the systems behind them is crucial to ensure that any issues are resolved promptly. This is where Zucchetti Group's advantage comes into play, as it manages different platforms that interact directly, enabling tech teams to communicate with each other and resolve problems from within the group.

In your opinion, what value do you think the integration with HyperGuest can offer to your hotel customers?

When HyperGuest was first introduced a few years ago, the idea behind it - direct distribution - was a game-changer that the hotels liked a lot. Although I initially saw a challenge in the number of integrations that would be necessary, looking at what is currently in place and the benefits that hotels connected to HyperGuest are receiving, I now see significant value in it.

Moreover, HyperGuest is replacing some of the more traditional distribution platforms, which is a positive sign for the industry. I am curious to see how it will evolve in the next few years. In any case, HyperGuest is without a doubt a crucial distribution channel for our clients. It is more and more in the focus of properties, and I believe it will continue to be so in the coming years.

To learn more about Vertical Booking's integration, click here.

Are you a Travel Technology Provider? Connect your Channel Manager or PMS to HyperGuest and expand your distribution! To request integration, click here.


“When HyperGuest was first introduced a few years ago, the idea behind it - direct distribution - was a game-changer that the hotels liked a lot.”

Christian Lepom
Chief Operating Officer
Vertical Booking

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