September is here, and it’s a good moment to share some Eko news!
The Eko Partner Network (EPN) team has been working hard on building new relationships with innovative tech companies, and we are thrilled to announce we have established a partnership with Impala to collectively bring further productivity and communication benefits to staff in the hospitality industry.
Our teams have joined forces to change the way hotels access their PMS data. By integrating Eko’s communication platform directly with Impala, hotel managers and staff are now empowered to access real-time property data on demand, right from their phones and within an easy and accessible messaging environment. Additionally, the Eko/Impala PMS A.I Bot can send regularly scheduled PMS reports providing instant insights into how properties are performing.
Our team caught up with Caspar Mould, Sales Director at Impala to learn more about the partnership.
Hi Caspar! Can you tell us a bit about Impala and your role?
At Impala we want to make connecting hotel technology products to multiple hotel property management systems quick, easy and affordable; something it certainly isn’t at the moment. In practical terms that means offering a single API through which our customers can access the data they need from PMS across the world. My role as Sales Director is to really understand how a vendors product works and the customers that are using it. Once I understand those two things, I can help add the most value to the customer’s product using Impala.
When did you first know you wanted to partner with Eko?
Undoubtedly when I saw hands-on a demonstration of the chatbot for the first time. Being a non-hospitality specific company I was so impressed by Eko’s ability to take existing technology, re-work for the industry’s need and create something new and exciting. The reason we do what we do at Impala is to help innovative, data-driven products scale; in Eko I see a great demonstration of that.
How does the union between both firms benefit your clients? What key challenge does the relationship solve?
Hotel tech vendors specialise in creating cool products, as technologists do in every other industry. In the hotel space however, there’s the added headache of integration, which no one wants to have to focus on. We can do that bit. With us in play, tech vendors can concentrate on the creative piece of the puzzle without worrying about maintenance and debugging different systems.
There’s also the issue of scaling – integration hurdles cause scalability issues but our platform is more plug-and-play, scaling is easier and more predictable as vendors don’t face the same blockages for every new build or integration.
“The Impala platform is only as good as the partners who use it and so we are delighted to have Eko join our growing list of industry-leading hospitality technology. Impala is all about building connections across the industry using our API and this partnership will make life easier for hotels across the world to communicate and thrive.”
Caspar Mould, Sales Director at Impala
What do you see as the number one challenge impacting the hospitality sector at present?
Wow, there’s a question. There are so many options, if you were to ask ten people in the industry, you’d get ten different answers: OTAs, death of hotel brands, millenium hoteliers, GDPR etc.
From my perspective, what I know is hotel tech, so what I can say with a level of authority is that the rapid advancement of tech has not always been the same for the end user at the front desk of a hotel. The user base in hotels is transitory and of vastly different age ranges, levels of tech savviness etc. I’m not saying there’s anything necessarily wrong with that, merely that one of the big things we need to do is educate. It’s great that new, innovative tech is being released, but without commitment, training and application by hoteliers a lot of it won’t reach its potential and the industry, as a whole, may suffer. We all need to be proactive to make sure that isn’t the case.
What makes Impala stand out from the crowd?
At Impala we try to focus on as few things as possible. It sounds counterintuitive but we know what we do and where our strengths lie. We’re technologists and we solve problems, so that’s what we try to focus on. Collectively, we have a huge depth of knowledge and expertise in using and creating technology solutions to overcome obstacles. We continue to lean on the best in problem-solving from other industries to carve an expertise in hotel tech and PMS integration.
Can you give us a peek into what the Impala roadmap looks like over the next 12 months?
Many more integrations and empowering hotel technologists the world over! It’s our aim to onboard as many hotels as possible – as easily as possible – so our partners have the opportunity to roll their products out far and wide. As well as business growth, we will continue to refine our API, making it deeper, smoother and with more functionality and features to keep pace with market evolution. We want to be the obvious, easy choice: big options and few barriers for users across the board.
What do you love best about this particular industry?
I love that it feels like we are very much at the start of something exciting. Hotel tech is a young industry that has so much room to grow. Part of that stems from the fact that it’s been late in adopting newer innovations, but now the number of companies who are bringing new ideas and, finally, the latest technology to the table is growing by the day. It also helps that you get to meet fun, driven, smart people in every area of this industry, which makes coming into work and attending conferences a lot easier.
If you had to describe the future of the hospitality tech industry in three words, what would they be and why?
Technology enabled automation.