Huawei | August 26, 2021
As part of its move away from hardware, Huawei is scaling up its cloud services and startup support in Asia Pacific and, while travel and hospitality is not top of mind yet, its move into this vertical seems inevitable with the expansion of its headquarters in Singapore and a recent first move in the Middle East.
Huawei, facing pressure in Western markets and a slowdown in consumer business amid U.S. sanctions, has been steadily moving its focus away from manufacturing to become a tech and software company that believes “deeply in the power of digital technology to provide fresh solutions to the problems the world is facing right now.
"We will keep on innovating to help build a low-carbon, intelligent world,” said Eric Xu, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, at the release of business results for the first half earlier this month.
In the Middle East, travel marketplace Wego is the first travel player to sign a partnership with Huawei’s Petal Search to integrate the travel app into Huawei smartphones.
“The world of travel and hospitality has entered a new era of m-commerce, as more than 60% of travellers rely entirely on smartphone applications when making their travel plans. Pre-installing the Wego app into smartphones is part of our continuous efforts to enable these travellers to get the best deals and options when shopping for their holiday,” says Mamoun Hmedan, Wego managing director for MENA and India.
From May, all Huawei smartphones EMUI 5 and above bundled with the Wego app will be made available across stores in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.
“Over the last few years, we have been noticing a significant rise in the number of Wego users on Huawei devices. Interestingly, it has also been noted that Huawei smartphone users tend to spend more on travel than the average Android user,” says Hmedan.
In the startup space, Huawei announced its plan to invest $100 million in the ecosystem, with the funds going towards its Spark Program in the Asia Pacific region over the next three years.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand are the priority markets and at the Huawei Cloud Spark Founders Summit in July, it announced the programme would develop four additional startup hubs – Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
The overarching aim is to recruit a total of 1,000 startups into the Spark accelerator program and shaping 100 of them into scaleups.
Speaking at the Summit, Huawei senior vice president and board member Catherine Chen said 34 years ago, Huawei was a startup with just $5,000 of registered capital.
“Recently, we have been thinking: How can we leverage our experience and resources to help more startups address their challenges? Doing so would allow them to seize the opportunities posed by digital transformation, achieve business success, and develop more innovative products and solutions for the world.”
Alexis Lee, Spark program manager at Huawei Cloud and AI Asia Pacific, who joined the team in January, told WebInTravel that 40 startups came through in the first cohort and about eight to 10 were identified to enter the “Spark Fire” programme, an accelerator.
Zhang Ping’an, senior vice president of Huawei, CEO of Huawei Cloud BU, and president of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service, announced at the Summit that “we have already helped four of these startups launch new products and completely transform their businesses, while helping eight enter new markets”.
It is currently in the midst of selecting the second cohort – entries closed last week.
Lee, who previously worked in the investor space and was at Grab for two years, said how Huawei differentiated from other accelerators in Singapore is in its business development strength. “We introduce startups to clients, obviously in China, as well as global. China is obviously the most attractive market for scale up.”
It does not take equity, rather it invests in kind, offering cloud infrastructure support in credits as well as a strong mentoring and investor network. “The programme is about building up the startup community, and sharing our resources. We have the tech know-how and the client network to help startups scale.”
Areas of interest include anything to do with AI, ML or 5G and industry verticals include fintech, logistics, smart cities, ad tech and insurance tech.
Huawei says its global HMS ecosystem is the world’s third largest mobile app ecosystem, serving 4.5 million developers in over 170 countries and regions. The goal is to cultivate over 100,000 HMS cloud-native developers in Asia Pacific over three years. Huawei Cloud is second in China and fifth in the global IaaS market.
FEATURES AND ADVICE
RoomRaccoon | December 01, 2021
RoomRaccoon has expanded to the United States, offering accommodation property owners even greater opportunities to grow their business.
Independent hotels in the U.S. will now have the chance to experience the full power of RoomRaccoon, the award-winning Hotel Management System (HMS). With the North American hotel market estimated to be worth $30.66 billion in 2020, RoomRaccoon can play a vital role in helping American hoteliers maximize their share of the market and navigate the new normal with virtual tools like contactless check-in.
The Netherlands-based HMS provider has been available in Europe and Africa since 2017 and quickly became the preferred hotel tech solution for over 1,500 properties. In the months leading up to the full North American release, the company recruited and trained a team of local representatives who can offer hotel managers free online demos throughout the northern states and Canadian provinces.
"This is a very important moment in the history of RoomRaccoon,Our mission is to empower hoteliers around the world, and this is a big step in that direction. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with hoteliers in North America."
-Tymen Van Dyl, CEO, and co-founder of RoomRaccoon.
RoomRaccoon is the most complete cloud hotel management system in the world that is designed to be easy to use and fully automated, offering hoteliers a simple, yet comprehensive solution that does the job of multiple hotel tech stacks.
RoomRaccoon comes fully integrated with a Property Management System (PMS), Booking Engine, and Channel Manager, meaning you can manage everything from guest check-ins and check-outs, capture, and process direct bookings to instant rate and availability updates across multiple distribution channels in a snap.
Other important tools and features that hoteliers benefit from include:
Payment processing and card machine
Revenue and Yield management
Guest ID scanner
Automated pre-stay, post-stay, and confirmation emails
With RoomRaccoon hoteliers can increase their occupancy rates, control their inventory, maximize their revenue and improve the overall guest experience. RoomRaccoon’s real power lies in the fact that it’s the most complete solution for the modern-day hotelier, said Van Dyl.
Unlike legacy technology, RoomRaccoon is made to be compatible with over 138 third-party integrations. “North America opens up the opportunity to partner with even more innovative, fast-paced, and trend-setting companies. RoomRaccoon looks forward to expanding with our existing partners including Event Temple, Lightspeed, Expedia, and Ivvy. We’re excited to discover new opportunities where together we can make a real difference,” said Nick Kleynhans, Head of Partnerships at RoomRaccoon.
Hoteliers can also keep an eye out for the RoomRaccoon team at hospitality expos and events next year. “We will be attending different events throughout North America. We believe in the power of events, meeting each other face-to-face, and getting to know the market,” said RoomRaccoon’s Event Planner Marit Hoencamp, who was behind the successful hospitality summit, Check-In 2021, hosted by RoomRaccoon where keynote speakers from Booking.com among others addressed important topics in the industry.
What do RoomRaccoon clients think? Training on RoomRaccoon is a breeze compared to some other systems. As a team, we really understand the RoomRaccoon system," said Aimee Lawson, Assistant General Manager of Cloud Estate Boutique Hotel in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
“RoomRaccoon has helped us improve our operations with the simplicity of the operating system from the front end and even from the back end. RoomRaccoon is the secret weapon to successful hotel management,”
-Jayson Van Noordwyk, General Manager of O’Two Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.
What makes RoomRaccoon stand out in the crowded hotel tech space is the fact it is more than just a hotel tech company, RoomRaccoon is the brainchild of a hotelier who has first-hand experience of the daily operations and pain points involved in running a hotel.
Nadja Buckenberger, the product owner at RoomRaccoon, faced many challenges when she first opened the doors of her own independent hotel, the Bliss Boutique Hotel in Breda, Netherlands. The crux was that she couldn’t find a single affordable solution that could manage all aspects of her property. That’s when she decided to join forces with Tymen to create one that could.
it was voted the best Hotel Management System in 2020 and 2021 by hotel managers and industry experts on Hotel Tech Report. The company was also nominated as the Netherlands’ fifth most successful software company in 2021 by Techleap.
TripActions | January 11, 2021
Corporate travel management platform TripActions said in an official statement that its TripActions Liquid payments and cost framework presently incorporates with driving corporate finance systems.
Among the enterprise resource planning (ERP) frameworks with which TripActions Liquid communicates now are NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Intacct, SAP and Xero, according to the release.
"This integration automates and integrates [travel and entertainment (T&E)] and ERP data to help finance teams experience an entirely new level of visibility over financial data," Michael Sindicich, general manager of TripActions Liquid, said in the release. "An automated link with ERP systems will improve analytical capabilities and provide executives with true spending intelligence across the greater organization."
Among the advantages of the integrations TripActions promotes in the release about the new mixes is that account groups will have the option to follow costs as they're caused instead of when representatives submit them.
TripActions states in marketing materials that a major preferred position it offers business travelers is a powerful online platform combined with admittance to human travel agents 'round the clock.
TripActions' contributions incorporate the Liquid payment card, which PYMNTS detailed kills frustrations that arise — in any event, during seasons of limited travel — that come from having employees working from remote outposts.