Guestline

Guestline are experts in cloud-hosted property management, distribution and digital marketing technologies for the hospitality industry. The solutions enable independent hotels, groups, pub companies and serviced apartments to achieve maximum occupancy at the most profitable rate.

Rezlynx Property Management System

Guestline’s Rezlynx PMS is a fully configurable, PCI compliant property management system to enable any sized hotel or group to manage their bookings and operations efficiently and profitably. It is updated in real-time, and incorporates a comprehensive rate and availability management tool to ensure that revenue is maximised at every opportunity.

Secure Payment Solutions

Our secure payment gateway enables hoteliers to process card payments in a PCI compliant way. Our clients benefit from a safe and secure method of storing and processing credit card details which can form part of the hotel’s overall PCI compliancy policy.

Guestline Support

Offering ongoing UK support 365 days a year, our service commitment goes far beyond just our technologically superior software solutions to deliver outstanding quality and reliability.

Channel and Distribution Manager

Guestline’s Channel Manager distributes your live inventory to a wide range of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and the Global Distribution System (GDS), with minimum effort and cost. It can be seamlessly integrated with Rezlynx PMS so that bookings, regardless of their source, flow directly into the PMS without the need for time consuming manual data entry and allocation.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Charles Cowley CCO from Impala sits down with Guestline to discuss the complex topic of third party integrations and APIs


Robert Vogt caught up with Charles Cowley co-founder of Impala earlier this week to discuss the new connectivity partnership and look into what this means for customers across the globe. In a world of connections and, with new technologies emerging on a daily basis, it is key for us at Guestline, to offer a quick and easy (although always secure!) integration for the solutions our hoteliers want and need.



Hi Charles, what is you role within Impala, in a nutshell?

I’m the Chief Commercial Officer at Impala, which in practice means I spend my time travelling the world meeting everyone who currently works in the hospitality tech space. It’s my job to get out there, bang the drum and tell everyone that the days of difficult, expensive, time-consuming integrations are coming to an end.

Why did you want to collaborate with Guestline?

Our core business is connecting developers and hospitality tech companies with hotel data by helping them integrate with PMS. So linking-up with Guestline was a no-brainer for us as they are one of Europe’s leading Property Management Systems. We’ve been very impressed by the big moves the Guestline team have been making outside of the UK for some time and want to help them grow into new regions like Germany, Benelux and beyond.

How will this connectivity partnership benefit mutual clients?

Our service will allow Guestline to connect to multiple hotel tech vendors through one simple, secure integration. In essence, this will provide Guestline clients with full use of a much larger range of technology services, without having to wait an outrageous amount of time for individual integrations to be completed or pay a premium for each one.

How long has Impala been in the industry?

We started the business in early 2017 and launched the service officially in February this year. We released Impala Version 2 earlier this week and are really excited to see how our partnership with Guestline can help take our user offering to the next level.

Are you global player?  ... Or which markets do you work in? 

Going by the amount of new stamps in my passport over the last 18 months, I’d say we were an international company! In all seriousness though, while our team is primarily based in the UK, the very nature of what we do means that ours is very much a global product because hotels and tech are such ubiquitous industries. It’s very much one of the things that drew us to the hotel tech space to begin with. We want to be facilitators for the industry. We think UK businesses like Guestline should be free and able to sell their products to hotels in Germany or integrate with third party services in the States, Sweden or Swaziland. A global industry should be globally connected. We think that sounds pretty cool.

What does your typical customer look like?

There’s actually no straightforward answer to that because we have always made a point of engaging with hotel brands of all shapes and sizes. The problem we are trying to solve is felt just as acutely by family-run B&Bs as massive hotel chains. We want to make it incredibly easy for any brand of hotel to reap the benefits of the software and hardware available to them, without having to worry about how they connect with it all.

What sets Impala apart from the rest?

I’d probably have to say ‘focus’. Our team build hospitality PMS integrations and help hoteliers connect with third party apps and services. That’s basically it. We haven’t spent the last two years building a million different things and taking on a whole laundry list of challenges, nor do we really plan on ever doing so. We identified a problem in the PMS integration sector that we believe that, as infrastructure engineers, we could deliver an effective, secure solution to. So we went for it and that is what we’ll continue to do.

What challenges/ common issues does your solution resolve for hoteliers?


At the risk of sounding a bit like a broken record, our business is all about greater, more effective connectivity. Hoteliers have been well aware of the benefits of third-party integration for years, the problem has always been that integrations have previously been expensive, complicated and time-consuming. Impala negates the need for manual data transfer on the part of hotels and seeks to identify and eliminate any friction points within the integration process. We want hoteliers to be able to use any service that can make their lives easier through greater connectivity.

What should hoteliers be focusing on for the next 12 months?

I’m a big believer in learning from your peers and staying abreast of the up-and-comers in your chosen field, hotels and hotel tech, more specifically, is no different. There are too many companies making strides in this sector to name, but I guess my advice would be to check Hotel Tech Report regularly and stay on top of the movers and shakers. It could end up saving you a huge amount of time and money in the long run. I would also definitely suggest updating and expanding their software use around their PMS. Mind you, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Other than Impala of course, What is the most exciting technology within the industry at the moment?

One of the areas which we’re noticing a lot of movement in right now is guest experience, which has seen a huge number of new entrants in the last 12 months alone. Of course, it would be optimistic to claim that all of them will definitely succeed, but I think the current surge in interest will reveal much about how guests will be interacting with the hotel in years to come.

Any future tech trend predictions?

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I think it’s really interesting to look at the rest of travel and to see where hotel tech is maybe a step behind. For me, upselling will be the next niche that really takes hold of the industry and we are already seeing the first shoots of it. If you take airlines as an example, and you see how effective Ryanair/easyjet are in their upselling strategies, just imagine that being deployed in hotels across the world. I dread to think how much of my hard-earned cash would be coming their way.

One piece of advice for newcomers to the hospitality industry?

Honestly? Don’t build PMS integrations! It’s damn hard work, but we love it.

Impala and Guestline announce connectivity partnership - Full article 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Tori Ackling, Legacy Hotels tells all on working with Guestline

We are getting many positive reviews for Guestline’s cloud based PMS, Rezlynx, but what is it about the company (and its software) that hoteliers are getting so excited about? Matt Thomas, Corporate Sales Consultant for Legacy Hotels and Resorts (a collection of three and four star properties across the UK and southern Spain) goes behind the hotel desk to speak to Tori Ackling, Revenue Manager at Legacy Hotels to find out!

Matt Thomas – Hi Tori! Legacy Hotels have been a long-standing user of Rezlynx, why did you
choose Guestline?

Tori Ackling - We were looking for a cost effective solution that could deliver a slick PMS. It needed to be easy to use, easy to implement, cloud based and with great reports in order to analyse and track the business. We were also left feeling a little neglected by our old PMS providers, they seemed to not really care, so we really wanted a company where the support was great and account management was strong.  

Matt Thomas – And how have you found working with Guestline?

Tori Ackling - Very easy and simple. If you need help someone is always there. The support is fantastic. Guestline deliver great account management, the implementation process is thorough and we were guided through every step and made to feel at ease. It was seamless and stress-free.

Matt Thomas – It is always great to hear positive feedback on our support offering, they do a great job! You have recently appointed Guestline as a preferred supplier, why did Legacy Hotels make this decision?

Tori Ackling - Legacy Hotels were looking for a company that understood our business and Guestline have shown that they do! Our USP is that we do not dictate that our hotels all have the same PMS but where evolution comes about and we need a new PMS within a hotel, we have put in a common platform across all hotels and we use Guestline. It is great from a revenue manager’s point of view as I can jump onto the PMS at any time and look at a number of our hotels and assist and support.

 Matt Thomas – That is great to hear, so you recommend to hoteliers within your group to use Guestline, what would be your advice to hoteliers who are on the fence about moving to Rezlynx?

Tori Ackling - "Just go for it… You will not be forgotten about as some other providers do once implementation is over, its great value for money! I definitely would recommend Guestline. The implementation process is great, support great and Guestline has many API connections with lots of other products/companies so it really opens doors to automated processes and gaining more information to help, do your job better and help the performance of the hotel."

Matt Thomas – As with all business relationships, trust within your supplier is of paramount importance. Do you have that with Guestline?

Tori Ackling – We trust Guestline completely, and feel extremely valued. They have listened to our development requests and actioned. The Guestline Connect events that you put on are great. You get to hear from lots of different people in the industry and make good connections and a chance to build relationships – this shows us that Guestline are about more than just selling services into their clients.

Matt Thomas – This is great customer feedback Tori, and it is very much appreciated. One last question, would you make the same decision again, implementing Guestline?

Tori Ackling – 100%!

For more information on how Legacy Hotels utilise Guestline solutions, read the full case study here.

www.guestline.com


Monday, 25 June 2018

The low down on OTA's - an OTA guru tells all

Oaky recently interviewed Guestline's Alex Bufton to get the low down on OTA's. 

When you think about the hotel-tech industry, you probably quickly think about OTAs. Not only because they are one of the biggest players in this sector, but also because you almost definitely make use of them yourself. Although we have to admit it, we all know and use OTAs, but what do we actually need to know, and what are the pros and the cons of OTAs?

Alex Bufton – a sports fanatic, hospitality enthusiast, OTA guru, and a distribution consultant at Guestline, will share her thoughts about what she thinks, you should know.

Hi Alex, could you tell us a bit more about what you do?

I’m responsible for managing the commercial relationship between our connected OTAs and RMS partners. My focus is on generating demand for our portfolio of over 2000 connected locations across the globe.


How, and when, did you end up in the hotel-tech industry?

I was captured by this dynamic industry even before I left high-school. During my long summer holidays, I was offered an apprenticeship at the resort our family stayed at in 1986. Even at that time, I’d already been involved with tech and tools aimed at improving customer journeys.

What do you like the most about this industry?

The ever-changing landscape and how it constantly evolves. Every day is a new day and it’s incredible to be at the forefront of continuous innovation.

What is your hobby?

I love sports. I love playing them, I love watching them, but my passion is competing in marathons for charity.

Your favourite holiday destination and why?

We had the most amazing holiday in Crete (Greece) two years ago. Beautiful beaches, wonderful food, spectacular sunsets – and most importantly time with my husband.

You were referred by someone when we were looking for an OTA-guru. Could you tell us what makes you an OTA-guru?

Ha! If I have to be honest, I think it must be my many years of industry experience. By working on-and-off-property with managing hectic reservation teams, directing account management teams for big players, being on the other team and supporting global chains with revenue and business optimization, I’ve gained a lifetime of experience.
Of course, Guestline has strengthened that too. Supporting businesses with driving profit, and exposing them to new markets through new tools, has contributed hugely to my expertise.



“Let’s deep dive into what we need to know about OTAs”

First of all, What is an OTA?

An OTA is an online marketplace for hotels looking to sell their rooms and services on a global scale, in exchange for commission payments – 24/7, 365 days a year.

What is changing in the OTA landscape?

OTA’s are increasingly moving towards adding more inventory – sometimes in quirky ways like treehouses, or by tapping into the shared economy market. Most significantly, OTAs want to start selling the entire experience: flights, railway travel, attractions, etc. They want to become a one-stop shop for their consumer – driving their own brand loyalty simultaneously.
My experience has shown that Google Ads are definitely a disruptor in countless markets, and whilst hotels have to work the Booking.com/Expedia duopoly, hotels have seen a business shift directly affecting their bottom-line gains.

What are the advantages of an OTA?

The advantage for consumers is the number of plug-ins and price-monitoring add-ins. These tools will cancel and re-book a property at a lower rate whenever possible. Bookers are loyal to their preferred OTA for a number of reasons. Namely: ease of booking – as the OTA’s hold the bookers details; accessibility on different devices; trust in the look-and-feel (think Booking.com – 3 steps and you’re booked).
The advantage for hotels is that they can quickly access bookers from different markets, run tactical or strategic offers and display offers to closed user groups in exchange for increased exposure.

What are the disadvantages of OTAs?

Even before we moved into the world of GDPR, OTAs “owned” the asset – the booker in this case. Properties were no longer able to market their services directly, as OTAs stopped sharing booker email addresses. OTAs may also have a high attrition rate as customers become loyal to an OTA, rather than a specific hotel (chain). OTAs also monitor properties on the rates they sell across a number of channels, and whilst rate parity is no longer a requirement, properties are penalised by OTAs with higher commision rates if they offer different rates to other public channels.

Where do you think OTAs will be in 5 years?

I think there will be further consolidation – or rather acquisition – resulting in more “super brands” offering different inventory/booking experiences/options to different markets. Meta – though it’s still a bit shiny and new, is shrouded in an element of mystery. It’s new and mainly mastered by the super savvy, but it will increasingly grow as properties try to take control of their online presence and cost of sale. By managing and driving profit whilst working with channels that produce volume, metadata will really shine through in the near future.

What are 5 things you would advise hoteliers about OTAs or the OTA landscape?

  • Content is King, so keep it fresh! Algorithms are constantly updated so ensure your property is featured in the best possible fashion, and tell your story through compelling visuals and images.
  • Interrogate your business – OTA’s might drive bookings, but what is the cancellation ratio and revenue? Does one OTA perform better than the other? Speak to your market manager and see how you can drive more (earlier) bookings, and win over your competitors market share.
  • Focus on what makes you unique and what separates you from all other competing properties.
  • ALWAYS respond to feedback. Remember it’s a gift, even if you don’t want it. The decision to purchase is impacted by organic feedback because people buy from other people. Research has shown buyers go through an emotive process and trust the opinions of a selection of strangers in making their decision to stay.
  • Be social – if you offer a great dining experience, Instagram it. Have a closed user group promotion? Facebook it. Create and share fantastic “wow” moments.

Where will you be in 5 years?

Hopefully on some fabulous island listening to some great music and eating delicious food – having booked my trip directly with the hotel!

And where will Oaky be in 5 years?

Like Guestline, Oaky will be the first choice for customers requiring exceptional service from their chosen service partners.

Check out Oaky & Guestline 

Friday, 8 June 2018

Travel Daily Media talk to Matthew Emptage, country manager Thailand for Guestline on becoming the people's choice!

Matthew Emptage is the country manager for Thailand at Guestline – the property management company that has just won the Hotel Tech Report’s People’s Choice Award.

We wanted to know more about his involvement in Guestline and the company’s background and future vision – and to take a look at some of the results that have earned Guestline its latest accolade. Emptage writes:

The company background

Guestline was founded in 1991 and provides end-to-end property management, channel distribution and digital marketing solutions to the hospitality sector. We build, develop and support cloud-based software for hospitality businesses.

Across our portfolio of solutions, we enable owners and managers in hotel groups, independent hotels, serviced apartments, management companies and pub companies to manage bookings and operations both efficiently and profitably.

The product

We pride ourselves on being a leading ambassador of cloud-based technology and promoting the associated benefits.

With cloud-based software, hoteliers are able to enjoy a more flexible, cost-effective solution, remote staff access to key property management system functions, easy deployment and automatic software upgrades.

All of these can improve efficiencies and revenues; this software is flexible and our team is experienced enough to operate very effectively across all of these hospitality segments.

At Guestline, we believe what sets us apart is our recognised seamless technology and commitment to first-class customer service. Guestline Labs, which was launched in 2017, marked our consistent investment in researching new ways in which technology innovation and product development can facilitate clients to operate better and grow their revenues in a cost-effective way.

Our highly experienced teams provide a wealth of knowledge from the hospitality sector and are dedicated to offering worldwide support to empower hoteliers to make effective changes in their use of technology to drive big success in their business.

My involvement

I was involved in a number of IT-based roles after graduating from university in 2006 before joining

Guestline back in 2012 as a 2nd line support engineer. This role helped me to develop skill sets and knowledge, which I see as invaluable and appropriate to my current position as country manager.

Guestline was smaller at the time, with approximately 60 employees; we were located in a small office in Shrewsbury before moving to the Business Park in 2014.  At the same time, an opportunity came up to spend three months in Bangkok, to lead the support and installations for our new and existing customers in Australasia. As the business grew over the next three years, I was promoted to country manager for the Thailand office in June 2017.

Now in its 26th year of operation, Guestline has seen strong growth in the last year with new office openings and expansion in the team so we’re proud that we serve the needs of hospitality-based businesses in a rapidly growing number of countries across five continents.

Growth in Thailand and beyond

This year will see more shifts in the hospitality market and technology landscapes and Guestline are preparing for new technology opportunities.

Our plans to continue our investment in innovating new technology will help deliver greater efficiencies and greater profitability for current and new clients in the year ahead.

The Thailand team works from a new office location in Bangkok, where they work to guide and support hospitality clients throughout the Southeast Asia region.

We are looking forward to furthering global expansion in 2018. We want to continue to position Guestline as an industry leader in providing world-class cloud-based solutions to international hoteliers.

Everything we are doing is designed to enhance and streamline hospitality businesses’ operations to improve the customer journey, make the businesses more profitable, and deliver more efficient operations.

Increasing revenue for clients

The last 12 months have been particularly rewarding for Guestline as the business grew its client portfolio by 20%; we heavily invested in our presence in overseas markets and in our commitment to contributing to new hospitality software innovations.

Our customers recognise our growth and have chosen to use our booking portals 30% more than last year. This has contributed to a total client revenue increase of 49%. We are already seeing a profitable start to 2018 as most recently the company has been commissioned by the boutique and budget chain B2 Hotels to undertake a rapid installation of our property management system, Rezlynx, Guestline distribution and integrations across 33 of its properties.

Hotel Tech Report’s People’s Choice Award

Winning the award is a great accolade to add to our credentials, especially as it was voted for by
customers.  A key part of our own operations and company ethos is our unfailing commitment to delivering and maintaining excellent customer service. Rather than operating as a third party supplier, we take a strong partnership approach to working with our clients to ensure they are fully supported in their operations.

 The property management system is fundamental to maintaining a hotel’s operations so it is essential that not only is it efficient but also used to maximum advantage by all members of a hotel team. Essentially it is mission-critical software so it’s important to ensure it runs smoothly.

Conclusion

Beyond Thailand, we are expanding into new territories that include Benelux, plus Germany, Austria and the Swiss (DACH) markets. In a move to extend business opportunities in Benelux, we also recently announced the arrival of Robert Vogt as director of business development.

As a business looking forward to future growth and expansion of our network and footprint, via new partnerships, it is essential that we increase our global presence and continue to develop new solutions for the hospitality sector. In March this year, we launched the Guestline Connect Partner Programme, which is split into three partner categories: operation, distribution, and guest experience.

Customers will be able to benefit from new interfaces across Guestline’s current portfolio of software solutions, from revenue management to metasearch bidding and upselling opportunities. This is just one example of how we are looking to grow our profile and opportunities for our customers and we are looking forward to continued growth in the future.

Arrange a demonstration of Guestline solutions here


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Make Tech Investments Wisely - Alan O' Neill, Sunday Independent Columnist

Make Tech Investments Wisely
Every single day, we see example of changes in our world. Whether it’s driven by technological advancements, people and society, by the economy or by political and legislative changes, we have to cope with it. For some industries, this change is hugely disruptive and stressful yet for others it’s a tremendous opportunity. A lot of that has to do with your mindset. Embrace it or resist it, it’s going to happen anyway.
While all of these change drivers are interwoven and impact each other, we have to give special attention to the change driven by technology. Gordon Moore was one of the founders of Intel Corp. In 1965, he predicted that the processing power for computers would double every two years (known as Moore’s Law). Think about the exponential growth we’ve seen such as the comparison between the power of a giant Supercomputer back then and the smartphone of today.
That has facilitated and necessitated the need for specialization of professional services companies who focus perhaps on a technology or an industry to provide specialized support and expertise.
Guestline:
Guestline is one such tech company specialising in Hospitality Software Solutions. They are experts in cloud based property management, distribution and digital marketing technologies for the hospitality industry.
Siloed technology and the absence of coherent and meaningful data are real issues in the hospitality software sector. Hotels tend to have lots of standalone systems that don’t talk to one another and therefore they cannot rely on the accuracy or completeness of data when making business critical decisions. Whereas an efficient Property Management System brings them all together in a way that eases a lot of pain for the hotelier, improves efficiency, saves cost and greatly enhances the customer experience, all done in compliance with data protection regulations.
Clio O’Gara is Country Manager, Ireland for Guestline. “Because we know the industry so well, we don’t just focus on our customers, i.e. the hotels. We also put huge emphasis on knowing the behaviours and expectations of our customer’s customers and integrate them in all we do”. Clio knows the industry inside out having spent many years in marketing roles. She knows the importance of a fully integrated approach.
A classic ‘kitchen table’ start-up company founded 25 years ago, Guestline is now leading the field in Cloud PMS technology available across most of Europe and South East Asia
Challenges with Tech in the Hospitality Industry
Hoteliers have had no resistance to investing in technology to improve their business. That includes accounts packages, programming of TVs in bedrooms and reservations systems. The challenge is more about what technology to invest in. The industry like many others is in a state of flux and confusion given the various technological advances over the years.
Additionally, there is a mine of information at their fingertips. However, in my experience, it is not being exploited in a way that will drive sales and add value. I believe there are three reasons for that. One is that ‘serving guests’ is their core business and therefore their comfort zone; tech is not a natural comfort area. Two, they tend to have many tech suppliers who do not share their data, so they have baskets of what seems like unrelated information. And three, hoteliers don’t always know what actual data is most relevant or indeed what to do with that data.   
Change Tips
Because of the speed of technological change and the dramatic growth in professional services companies, we are all being regularly bombarded with new concepts every day. We might read about them in trade press, see them at exhibitions or be exposed to them through various media. But just like a child in a sweet shop, we can’t have them all. Even my large corporate clients have budgets to work to, so neither can they jump on every band-wagon when it rolls into town.
1.      As a first step, we have to be open to change and listen out for new trends. For example we know for sure that omni-channel is penetrating B2C industries like retail and hospitality. Customers want a seamless experience at all touch-points and we have to explore how we can do that.
2.      When those small tech companies knock on your door wanting to tell you about their expertise, maybe you should find time for them. I know that’s a time management nightmare, but it might just give you a competitive edge.
3.      Acknowledge to yourself that tech is not your core expertise so don’t be embarrassed about not keeping up. But do partner with a key tech supplier that can help you make sense of trends in the industry and your changing needs. For hoteliers, the Property Management System sits at the heart of the business. Guestline are solutions-focused and have the expertise to ensure independent hotels and groups of any size exploit their tech investments to the maximum. That of course requires trust and a long-term partnership.
Summary
Just this week I was in London working with a start-up tech company who are doing truly amazing things in the digital payments and loyalty space. On their behalf, I interviewed several retailers and coffee chains to get their views on how they see the industry changing and what their changing needs are. In summary, I discovered  that their customers ‘don’t know what they don’t know’.
What I meant was that retailers, hoteliers, coffee shops have a core business doing what they do which is usually buying, selling and serving customers. They are neither data analysts or tech experts and therefore can and need to be led by responsible professional services partners. Furthermore, data is just a set of numbers that is of no value without insights being drawn out. Cosying up with the right partner will ensure your tech investment reaps the rewards that you deserve.
Alan O’Neill is the Change Agent. Go to www.alan-oneill.com if you’d like help with your business
For more information on Guestline, visit www.guestline.com 

Explore our blog...