WizCom Internationa has announced the launch of Hotel Cache. An industry first in switch enhancement, Hotel Cache speeds the online reservations process, reduces costs and improves the efficiency of central reservation systems (CRSs) for hotel clients around the world. Offered through the WizCom switch, Hotel Cache significantly reduces the burden on a hotel’s CRS that arises when large volumes of specific room requests are received within a short time frame from multiple distribution sources.
“Hotel Cache revolutionizes the reservations process. It gives our hotel customers a significant strategic advantage in the marketplace by improving the flow of reservation activity so consumers find the information they want more quickly - and by substantially reducing the costs involved with maintaining and updating reservations data in their CRS,” said Michael W. McCormick, senior vice president, Hospitality & Leisure Services, Cendant TDS. “In most cases we anticipate hotels will realize a 15% to 30% savings from Hotel Cache and, in some cases, more. Even better, the new technology can be implemented in days without any modifications to a hotel’s existing CRS.”
The Hotel Cache technology was developed to enable a hotel’s CRS to intercept and respond more efficiently and quickly to multiple, yet identical, requests for its room inventory received during a specific time period - for example, multiple requests for a room in a Paris hotel on the night of July 14 within a 30-minute window. According to McCormick, improving the response time also improves customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
The product works by storing (or “caching”) the results of specific room-search criteria which consumers use to make a hotel reservation for a specific location and date. Once an initial consumer request is returned through Hotel Cache from the hotel’s CRS to the original distribution source, Hotel Cache can automatically identify any transaction “matches” thereafter - for whatever length of time a hotel chooses. All subsequent “matches” are then processed by Hotel Cache, not the hotel’s CRS. By providing this unique capability, the technology eliminates the need for hotels to make costly investments in their CRSs to improve storage capacity and processing capability.
In addition, Hotel Cache can be configured to enable a hotel to tailor its responses to shopping requests from different distribution sources in different ways - in essence, to tailor its responses to requests from the four GDSs, online channels such as Orbitz and Hotwire, and other distribution sources. By allowing a hotel to specify how long Hotel Cache should hold each rate before it’s discarded, the technology gives hotels greater control over their selling preferences. The “freshness window” that Hotel Cache establishes for a hotel can be based on minutes, hours or days; can vary by day of the week; and be changed in a matter of seconds - giving suppliers greater control over their inventory. Hotel Cache enables hoteliers to specify which city codes they want Hotel Cache to process requests for, specify which distribution sources are to process requests through GDS and switch the product off at any time for any city code or distribution source.
McCormick pointed out that implementing Hotel Cache doesn’t require any re-coding for a hotelier’s IT department. All a hotel client must do is specify the technology’s parameters and then verify the performance savings on their system.
A recent beta test of Hotel Cache conducted with a Cendant TDS client demonstrated the potential impact of the technology. The test was conducted using a sample hotel and an IDS (Internet distribution system) known to generate a significant volume of daily hits to the hotel’s CRS. During one day of testing, Hotel Cache logged 10,603 shopping requests from the IDS. If the hotel had used Hotel Cache to establish a 30-minute “freshness window” for its reservation rates - meaning if the hotel had directed Hotel Cache to hold room rates for 30 minutes before discarding them - it would have received approximately 1,500 “matches” within the more than 10,000 requests, and reduced hits to its CRS by 15%.
“In an environment where hotels must regularly update their CRS systems to keep up with constantly changing distribution and reservations systems, this dynamic, new technology gives our clients greater control over the reservations requests that would typically go through their CRSs, and allows them to enjoy significant savings on their CRS maintenance and technology updates,” McCormick said. “WizCom’s Hotel Cache can now do the work for them.”