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Company insight The ultimate guest journey


Founded in 1963, Agilysys boasts a large portfolio of cloud-native software solutions specifically designed to drive profitability and improve guest satisfaction. Ben Curtis, managing director for EMEA, and Matthew Prosser, senior sales director, explain how the company has developed its technology to enhance every facet of the guest journey.


What brought you to hospitality as your career choice, and why Agilysys? Ben Curtis: I have been in hospitality for most of my working life, starting in F&B before switching to front of house. However, I have always had an interest in technology. While at university I would build and sell PCs to my fellow students, and now I have been fortunate to find a way to combine my passion for the hospitality industry with my interest in technology.


honest, I had not considered a career in hospitality before but, living in Hong Kong at the time, I felt it was necessary to try something new. Technology has always been something I have been close to, and combining it with hospitality seemed like the perfect match. I have worked with Agilysys for over ten years and, put simply, I would not want to work with any other system The suite of products is by far the most robust and reliable on the market. Fast forward to today and Agilysys, having


“Ultimately it is the guest and the guest journey that dominates. The ease of the guest journey is a top priority for any hospitality provider and technology has certainly been one of the mechanisms used.”


I spent several years in-house, managing and consuming technology for numerous hotel companies, both locally and internationally, before eventually moving to work for hospitality technology providers. I have been familiar with the Agilysys product set for several years and have always kept a keen eye on the development of its products. In the past three or four years, there has been a transformation in ethos of the company, which put the product development programme at the forefront.


The full range of hospitality products that Agilysys offers are world class and genuinely exciting, which is why I was keen to join when the opportunity arose. Matthew Prosser: I never realised my first job in hospitality would include a lesson in Mandarin, but that’s what happened as I started working for Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. If I’m


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invested significantly in modernising all solutions over the past three years, has delivered on its promise of maintaining product durability and reputation, while providing all the technology a hotel could need. These are exciting times, and I would not want to be anywhere else.


What do you think is important for hospitality providers to gain from their technology suppliers? Relationships. Hospitality providers strive to build relationships with their guests, and they should expect the same from their suppliers. Technology suppliers need to become trusted partners to pave the way for open dialogue and enable a greater understanding of customer and guest needs. Technology is constantly evolving, and it is through such collaborations that we all – suppliers and providers – ensure that the development of technology remains


innovative and relevant for us to be leaders in our markets.


Who drives the demand and appetite for technology – is this the hotelier or the guest? It’s a combination of the two, but ultimately it is the guest and the guest journey that dominates. The ease of the guest journey is a top priority for any hospitality provider and technology has certainly been one of the mechanisms used. Modern PMS products are supporting this with features such as online booking, online or contactless check-in and check- out, and digital room keys. The guest can use the hotel’s services without ever needing to interact with staff, if they so choose. This does not detract from a hotelier’s desire to get to know their guest, but this is where their appetite and need for technology really comes into its own.


A complete guest profile has always been pivotal to any hotelier, and technology must deliver. The ability for a guest to book accommodation, food and beverage requirements and activities such as spa or other leisure events from a single platform also allows the hotelier to capture a fuller guest profile and provide an enhanced experience.


Do differing generations have different needs and expectations, and what is being done to accommodate them?


Addressing the needs of each generation has always been a necessity. The trend today is to link the generational demands to the technological advancements and craft a tailored experience to suit everyone and gain brand loyalty. Take for example the generational extremes. Gen-Z guests typically want to


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com

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