On June 13, 2012 Infor announced the acquisition of London-based EasyRMS, a leading provider of revenue management software for the hospitality industry. This is another step in executing its industry go-to-market strategy, more specifically in expanding its Infor10 HMS solution. Infor has been growing its presence and its solution in the hospitality industry over the past several years through a combination of acquisition and organic development. This acquisition buys them both added presence in Europe and Asia Pacific, as well as an important piece of the puzzle for a complete solution for this industry. Because this solution is delivered as multitenant Software as a Service (SaaS), Infor’s cloud offering also gets a boost.
A Bit of History
Infor is no stranger to the hospitality industry. Both its Infinium and SunSystems products were back office solutions that had been adopted by a fair number of hotels and casinos. Infinium products were added to the Infor product portfolio as part of the SSA Global acquisition in August 2006. SunSystems was acquired at the same time. But it was through the SoftBrands acquisition a couple of years later that Infor was able to address the operational needs of the hospitality industry in general and hotels in particular.
Later Infor combined the industry expertise acquired through the SoftBrands acquisition and the technology acquired from DataStream and its Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution to re-architect the solution from the ground up. Among the advantages of this approach is a very scalable, full multitenant SaaS architecture, which allowed Infor to bring a newly architected product to market twice as fast as it would have taken without this proven SaaS platform. A SaaS environment should also be particularly appealing to companies rolling the solution out to multiple properties within a chain or group of hotels.
Compatibility with an EAM solution doesn’t hurt either. Facility management across multiple properties is a key concern for many in the hospitality business.
That is what forms the basis for Infor10 HMS from an operational perspective. This operational solution is then paired with either Infinium or SunSystems to provide the best fit for the back-office, if that is also a requirement.
So hospitality business can come to Infor from any number of directions. For example, a hotel or hotel chain running SunSystems back office solutions or a casino running Infinium might come looking for an operational solution to assist in reservations, event planning or managing hotel staff and scheduling. Or a hotel using the original SoftBrands product might come looking to replace its back office applications. Or a brand new prospect may come looking for either or both. In all cases they will be purchasing Infor10 HMS, but it may be configured differently depending on their needs.
How Does EasyRMS Fit?
EasyRMS ‘ EzRMS product suite complements the operational component of Infor10 HMS with a fully automated Revenue Management Solution. The solution treats book-able hotel nights as a perishable commodity and looks to optimize revenue produced. While historically most such revenue optimization algorithms simply managed room price, EzRMS also considers ancillary spend in spas, restaurants, on the golf course, and other extra revenues. Profits and cost (per day, per room, per guest and per stay) are considered.
Potential revenue is analyzed based on past stays for returning guests and based on demographics and channel from which the inquiry comes (e.g. coming from Expedia.com, Priceline.com or a search based on a particular hotel brand) to predict total spend and thereby determine the lowest possible rate that should be offered.
Other components of the EzRMS product suite deal with quotes for group rates and contracts as well as reporting by region. The addition of this suite to the existing functionality of Infor10 HMS makes it a very complete solution from an operational perspective. When combined with the back office solutions available, companies would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive solution for hotels. If you further consider EAM as an added option, it makes it even more comprehensive and complete.
Infor will be welcoming customers from more than 1,200 hotel properties using EasyRMS solutions. These customers could very well prove to be greenfield opportunity for back office Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like Infinium and SunSystems. A large chain like Marriott, which already has an ERP installed, would never have been on the radar of the sales team without having a foot in the door.
With its base in London, it is also not surprising to learn that it has a strong presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). And it also has a strong presence in Asia/Pacific (APAC). This also offers a nice complement to Infor’s current stronghold in North America.
The Infor hospitality business itself grew 35% last year. With the addition of EasyRMS, this growth could easily be dwarfed by the growth fueled by an extended product and expanded presence. Additional opportunities may also arise by applying some of the same revenue management optimization algorithms to other industries. Hotel nights aren’t the only perishable products supported by Infor solutions. Certain food and beverage industries might also benefit from the same kind of science. It will be interesting to watch where Infor takes it.