Another year has flown by. For all of us at SHR, 2017 was packed with new clients, partners, and experiences. With so much to be thankful for, it’s time to reflect on some of the highlights and milestones in our amazing year.
Growth & Market Expansion
Cross-Tinental Acquisition. In August, SHR acquired Cross-Tinental, a well-known leader in the European hospitality tech consultancy sector. This purchase served to immediately jump start SHR’s already growing European presence, giving the company a broader base to build upon in the coming years. Cross-Tinental’s mission fits perfectly with SHR’s vision to simplify the complex world of hoteliers. By becoming a single entity, the combined teams are strengthened while giving more hoteliers in Europe and the Middle East access to SHR technology.
Enhanced Singapore Support. Adding to SHR’s expanding global presence, we introduced a dedicated Client Experience Management staff in Singapore to better serve our growing Asia Pacific clientele.
New Barcelona Office. David Orensanz, the former CEO for Cross-Tinental, began leading growth efforts for the EMEA region as Managing Director of SHR-Europe, marked by the opening of the new EMEA headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.
New Houston Offices. SHR upgraded its Houston headquarters to occupy the entire 7th floor of their previous address, now enjoying all the best that modern, streamlined office design has to offer. With SHR services and global reach expanding so much in the past few years, it was time to reflect that growth in a fresh new space.
New Major Clients
Among our new clients for 2017, SHR added Danubius Hotels Group, Universal Orlando™ Resort Hotels, Seda Hotels, Hotel Equatorial Shanghai, and Hotel Equatorial Qingdao.
New Product Offerings
Expedia API. SHR teamed with Expedia, Inc. to bring SHR’s clients an additional tool to help create easier, more reliable booking experiences and truer inventory management—the Expedia Product Application Programming Interface (API)—and in doing so, became one of Expedia’s first integrated partners to offer this API to its clients. Hotel room updates are now sent directly to Expedia, no mapping required, enabling us to support a more streamlined data exchange that translates into truer room availability, and a more satisfying overall booking experience—for the hotelier and for the guest.
Protel Partnership. SHR partnered with global PMS innovator, protel hotel software, creating the first-ever CRS/PMS whisper technology alliance. Protel has been providing PMS services to the market for 22 years in over 90 countries throughout Europe and Asia, garnering deep PMS knowledge over that period. This partnership gave SHR access to protel’s 14,000 global hotel clients’ transaction and preference data, making SHR the first CRS provider to have such deep data integration via a service bus concept.
Multi-Currency Functionality. With this feature, Windsurfer supports complete multi-currency functionality configurable for each property, enabling a property to offer various rates for recording in their assigned currency.
Virtual Rooms. This feature creates a component room type by combining two or more room types into a single room. This feature provides hoteliers the ability to sell specialty suites without reducing regular inventory, and is especially useful for hotels that wish to employ a more complex distribution strategy.
Upgrade Option. With this feature, any room that is listed at a higher rate than what a guest has in their cart can be displayed as an upgrade option. Guests now see the rate difference between the selected room, and higher priced room, helping them to upgrade more easily from one price point to another.
Events & Honors
Innovation Summit. In May, SHR held its first Innovation Summit in Houston, dedicated to Shaping the Future of Hospitality Together. Starting with a small group of actively-engaged clients and partners, this experimental gathering served as a test opportunity to see if our clients would derive real value from a chance to interact with their peers in an open forum. The outcome exceeded our best expectations. A post-event survey revealed that the Summit was a refreshing and valuable experience, with participants commenting positively on everything from how good it was to simply have “room to think clearly” to having enjoyed debating diverse issues via “honest and candid dialogue,” and coming away with “not just new ideas, but a clearer focus on what matters, and what we can do today.”
HITEC Toronto. One of the biggest hospitality tech shows of the year, the SHR team dove into the action conducting product demos and client meetings, showing a whole new wave of hoteliers why Windsurfer continues to be the top choice for hotel distribution the world over. Rod Jimenez, SHR CEO and co-founder, and Estella Hale, VP of Product, were on-hand, answering hoteliers’ most pressing distribution questions, sharing industry knowledge, and insider viewpoints on the future of hospitality technology.
Hong Kong and Singapore Technology Panels. Rod spoke as an expert panelist at two major hospitality technology events; The Future of Hotel Technology, held at the Revenue Strategy Forum, Hong Kong, and E-Commerce: Driving Direct Bookings to Enhance Yields and Loyalty, held at the Hotel Management Singapore Summit. “I was honored to be participating in two such well-respected hospitality tech forums,” Rod said. “SHR’s innovative approach has allowed us a unique window into the problems facing today’s hoteliers. It was exciting to contribute some of the knowledge we’ve gained, and to hear the perspectives of our industry colleagues as we work toward how best to help our clients in the future.”
Inc. 5000 Listing, Number Six. SHR was named to this prestigious list for celebrating innovation and entrepreneurial leadership, as ranked by overall revenue growth over a three-year period. To receive this distinction six years running is a true testament to the spirit of hard work and client commitment SHR team members embrace. SHR’s continued inclusion on the list has marked its rapid growth as reflected in true numbers, with SHR consistently exceeding its revenue goals, increasing sales each year by almost 30 percent since 2012.
Executive Outlook, eHotelier Tech Trends. CTO Dave Samia, VP of Product Estella Hale, and COO Adam Roark weighed in on the biggest current and future hospitality tech trends in the areas of distribution, revenue management, and the guest. The bottom line? As Adam put it, “Hoteliers are already seeing their profits squeezed by third-party booking companies. It’s finally time to look past simply easy solutions, and time for hoteliers to seriously invest in deeper technology.”
Hurricane Relief Efforts. With Harvey bearing down on the Houston area, and Irma wreaking havoc on our friends in Southern Florida and the Keys, the people at SHR joined thousands of others throughout the areas to help wherever they could. From putting our boats into service to reach our neighbors hard-hit by Harvey’s flooding, to working with the Houston Pregnancy Help Center, making sure that area infants and mothers didn’t go without vital supplies, SHR folks were there however and wherever they were needed.
Food Drive. Our annual participation with the Houston Food Bank not only helps to ensure children of local low income families have food, but that they also have the necessary tools needed to receive a quality education. This year, they hosted a Teachers Aid School Supply Drive and Food Drive. While these events are important every year, they were even more so in 2017 with the heightened sense of urgency created by Harvey.
Adopt a Family. 2017 marks the second year that we've adopted a family through the Houston Children's Charity. This year, we were paired with a mom and her children who we learned had lost their beds due to Harvey, and were sleeping on the floor. SHR employees immediately donated three beds, a pack and play, and bedding, and eventually over 60 other gifts, including toys, clothes, housewares, and shoes, all delivered by SHR directly to the family.
With 2017 behind us, we look forward to all the exciting challenges the New Year will bring. A sincere thank you to our hotel clients for all you do. The truth is without you, there simply is no us. Here’s to a bright 2018, and to shaping the future of hospitality—together.