++ The apaleo Platform Links Together Technology Systems to Manage All Properties ++ SMARTments business Digitizes The Guest Journey From Booking and Check-In to Invoicing and Check-Out ++ Goes Contactless Backed by apaleo’s Infrastructure ++ Serviced Apartment Utilizes Alliance Between hotelbird and apaleo
BERLIN – 19 OCTOBER 2020
In a new collaboration between the open software platform apaleo and the serviced apartment brand SMARTments business, the technology behind the booking and administrative processes takes a leap into the future with digitalization and automatization. At the center, the apaleo platform links together all of the technology necessary for the business operations and property management. This includes all the systems pertaining to the guest journey, from booking and reservations to sending out an invoice and processing payments. It also includes flexible room management with the planning of inventory adjustments, reservation and rate management, as well as the processes for accounting and invoicing. The platform also enables operational planning and optimization of staff tasks. Most importantly, apaleo enables unlimited integration possibilities to all of the best hospitality software, third-party applications, and makes it easy to create custom in-house solutions.
apaleo powers all six SMARTments business hotels: with a total of 752 rooms in Munich, Vienna, Hamburg, and Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg, Karlshorst, and City West). The software integration will also be implemented during the construction phase for the two houses in Mannheim and again Vienna, which will open next year. The same applies to all properties planned as part of the company’s further expansion, including Frankfurt Airport.
“The cooperation with apaleo is the central component of our digitization strategy,” explains Burak Ünver, Managing Director of SMARTments business: “Our brand has relied heavily on automated processes since our start. However, our experience during the Corona-pandemic has amplified our technology adoption to meet guest needs. For example, contactless check-in and check-out has become a vital criterion for booking for many guests.” Against this background, serviced apartments with kitchen facilities are particularly ideal for travel in times of a pandemic. Which enables meal-preparation much easier with individual kitchens.
Further digitalization is now simple with apaleo’s platform. Through its open interface, SMARTments business can choose between existing hospitality applications and also program its own apps. All communication channels are integrated into such digitization steps. Regardless of whether the guest contacts the property via telephone, online chat, messenger service, websites, 3rd-party apps, or even through self-service kiosks.
After an intensive selection process, SMARTments business recognized apaleo’s unique concept as the ideal platform. “Our software pursues two goals at once,” explains Ulrich Pillau, founder of apaleo: “On the one hand, thanks to digitalization, the needs of guests are able to be met even more precisely and effectively. On the other hand, cost savings are to be enabled and passed on, benefiting both guests and operators. The payment processes, and thus the billing, also run via apaleo.“ For Philip von Ditfurth, another apaleo founder, this complete offer is an important part of the recipe for success: “The hotel operators must be able to rely on the fact that we have all relevant procedures in view and control.”
The cooperation between SMARTments business and apaleo is particularly effective because both companies simultaneously cooperate with hotelbird. Among many features, the experts of the guest-facing technology have developed a digital key that allows guests to open the room door using their smartphones. In addition, hotelbird is setting up self-service terminals throughout SMARTments business-properties where guests can check-in and use pay contactless payments without using a smartphone. These hotelbird terminals, generate contactless key cards for the room. “This means that even smartphone avoiders and unlucky people with defective or lost devices can still check into the room without contact,” says Daniel Zawe, Commercial Director SMARTments business. Even in the laundromat, one can avoid other guests by digitally controlling personal washing times. Zawe: “Our technology stack is the perfect example of how all digitization options should interact with each other for the benefit of guests. SMARTments business, apaleo, and hotelbird are the perfect trio.”
Tech adoption rates skyrocket as the global economy slows and the travel sector seems to have all but stopped. This creates a bright future for early adopters to embark on new technological initiatives that would likely have never seen the light of day without all of the intense pressure to optimize.
About SMARTments business
SMARTments business is a brand of the GBI group of companies and offers travelers fully furnished and equipped apartments including their own kitchenette. Historically, business travelers used serviced apartments for longer stays in a city, for example for project work or consulting mandates. Now private travelers can also use serviced apartments of the brand – for example for city trips or to arrive in a foreign city and search for a new apartment in peace. Six SMARTments business properties with a total of 752 apartments in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna are currently in operation. In addition, there are about 700 apartments under construction and in planning in Mannheim, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, and Vienna. The operation of serviced apartments of the SMARTments business brand is also independent of real estate developments of the GBI Group, the largest hotel project developer in Germany. The parent company of the GBI Group is GBI Holding AG, a 100% subsidiary of the non-profit Moses Mendelssohn Foundation.
The technology company hotelbird GmbH, founded in 2015, is the market leader in Germany in the field of digital check-in/out services and pursues a clear mission: to make the check-in/out process invisible through automation and thereby enable hotels to operate in a decentralized manner. hotelbird works with leading hotel chains in Germany such as Lindner Hotels, Leonardo Hotels, Gorgeous Smiling Hotels, Deutsche Hospitality, H-Hotels or NOVUM Hospitality. All necessary formalities, starting with check-in including the digital registration form, the mobile room key, payment and check-out can be easily handled via one software. Hotel guests enjoy more freedom through a comfortable and digital hotel experience. At the same time, hotels save time and money with the smart technology and relieve their reception staff. hotelbird is based in Munich and currently employs 30 people.
apaleo is the cloud platform to help build agile accommodation businesses. All types of properties - from serviced apartments to hotel chains - rely on apaleo's APIs and community to create digital experiences for their guests and staff. Instantly connect the leading hospitality apps to the apaleo interface or use open APIs for unlimited customization possibilities.