Mukund Mohan has been a hospitality technology professional for over 28 years. He joined Infor Hospitality in 2010 as vice president of product strategy. Before joining Infor, Mohan worked at MICROS where he held various positions including that of Director, Strategic Key Accounts. Originally from Bangalore, India, Mohan holds an engineering degree in computer technology and certifications in information systems management.
Thousands of global hotel and resort brands are leveraging Infor’s hotel cloud solutions. This includes property management systems, hospitality revenue management systems and a full range of scalable applications across the industry designed to optimize operations, deliver a superior customer experience and meet the challenges of a space. Constantly evolving hotelier who has seen more than his share of challenges over the past year and a half. In this interview, we asked Mohan to share his take on some of the challenges facing hoteliers today and the role of technology in the future of hospitality.
How has the current trend of hotel staff shortages affected the hospitality industry?
It is important to note that the hospitality industry covers a wide range of businesses, including hotels, casinos, gaming, food services, and restaurants. As many hotel organizations begin to reopen, many hospitality workers who have been laid off are now reluctant to return to the industry that has contributed to the labor shortage.
We also noticed that during the pandemic, many hospitality workers strategized for their future career paths due to the uncertainty the industry was facing. Some employees learned new skills to embark on a new career path, which resulted in the departure of many current and former hospitality employees.
How is innovative cloud technology supporting hospitality organizations with fewer employees and helping organizations recover from the pandemic?
Technology has kept us all connected during the pandemic, and the hospitality industry is no different. For example, small restaurants have started using online ordering through apps to provide a safe and efficient experience for their customers. To stay afloat, business owners needed to take advantage of technology and automation tools. While many automation tools were available before the pandemic, many companies were not leveraging the technologies or were in the early stages of implementation.
The use of cloud-based technologies has become particularly important for hotel establishments. For example, establishments could operate with minimal staff to keep lights on and perform operations remotely, allowing for security measures for their employees and guests. Hotel establishments have security protocols in place using technology with online processes to streamline the guest experience. Various hotels have implemented online check-in and check-out measures and provided mobile applications to customers, which allowed them to use their smartphones as a hotel room key. As a result, contactless technology has become a necessity and standard for all businesses in the hospitality industry.
Before the pandemic, Infor worked with its customers to integrate contactless technologies to power their businesses. In response to COVID-19, implementing and improving contactless technology for our customers and their guests has become critical and urgent. We immediately put even more emphasis and effort into helping our hospitality customers scale up and adapt quickly to new industry needs.
What trends, driven by the pandemic, do you plan to stay in the industry?
Contactless experiences are here to stay. Even at home, we are already using contactless technology. If we don’t want to go to the store, we can easily order items online and have them arrive at our doors.
However, in the hospitality industry, this trend was never really expected before the pandemic. The industry has now realized how easy it is to automate common services and the efficiencies that are achieved. Going forward, we can expect increased automation in all aspects of the industry, especially as the industry faces staff shortages.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in the hospitality industry. How will this digitization further help the industry prepare for future industry disruptions and unpredictable events?
Before the pandemic, I think we all knew that technology would play a big role in the future of the hospitality industry. However, industry adoption just wasn’t there. Traditionally, a crucial digital transformation can take up to 7-8 years to be widely adopted. The pandemic has reduced the industry transformation timeframe from 7-8 years to 2-3 months.
In general, technology enables digital transformation. Ahead of the next industry disruption, those who have already undergone transformation are more likely to smoothly adapt to unprecedented challenges with the help of technology.
What results and successes have hotel organizations achieved through their collaboration with Infor in meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic?
Infor continues to help thousands of global hotel and resort brands meet the challenges of today’s ever-changing hotel industry.
First, online check-in / check-out has become a fully mobile experience. While hotels were understaffed, this feature allowed guests to have a safe, contactless experience without relying on employees. Infor Hospitality Cloud solutions provide mobile functionality in all hotel operations, such as mobile check-in and check-out. As a result, staff are empowered to interact with their customers in a safe and efficient manner.
Second, Infor’s Hospitality cloud technology and mobility solutions, such as employee-based hotel operation application, housekeeper application, revenue management application, point of care solutions. mobile sales and mobile table reservations, have created a seamless transition allowing employees to work remotely while successfully running the business. operations. Given the uncertainty of whether or not employees could work in the office, Infor’s cloud technology has helped immensely in maintaining business operations without compromising service and keeping employees safe.
Finally, Infor has provided its hospitality customers with mobile meal ordering to keep their businesses running smoothly, paving the way for ongoing customer support and security.
Looking forward, how is Infor helping hospitality organizations realize the next evolution of the hospitality industry after the pandemic?
Infor helps hospitality organizations digitally manage on-site operations to deliver a seamless experience for employees and guests. By accelerating the migration to the cloud, businesses can automate more using artificial intelligence and machine learning to handle mundane tasks and improve business outcomes. Organizations benefit from a centralized view of their activities, which allows them to better analyze data, understand their business, identify trends and react with agility.
We continue to improve our hotel cloud solutions with new revenue forecasting tools. These tools use data science to generate revenue and profitability for hotel establishments. To support the industry, we also continue to innovate for the next generation of technology. Self-service customer and staff productivity tools track requests and deliver according to customer needs. In addition, the mobile tools of the hotel staff provide fast service. Plus, housekeeping, revenue management, event management, table reservations, and point-of-sale tools provide the right prices for the right products.
Our customers have noted that Infor Hospitality solutions are of great benefit to their businesses with our simple and intuitive user interface, modern platform, and mobile applications that can be used to enhance the customer experience.