The Hotel Moment podcast — episode 42
Innovation and tech adoption in hospitality
This week on the Hotel Moment podcast, Revinate’s CRO, Karen Stephens, and Fabricio Titiro, Director of Product Management at Oracle, are exploring what product innovation means for the guest experience. You’ll find out how to weigh the risks and when to get ahead when it comes to technology adoption.
Listen in to find out how to prepare your hotel for the future with technology that goes beyond delighting your guests.
Meet your host
Karen Stephens is Revinate’s Chief Revenue Officer and runs the sales, marketing, and customer success teams. She has more than 20 years of experience in the industry alone.
On the Hotel Moment podcast, Karen speaks with leaders to draw out their experiences and insights. She is also a Francophile and Prof K — a coach, a mentor, a guide to the people who work with her.
Karen Stephens: Hello and welcome everyone to the Hotel Moment podcast. I am your host Karen Stephens, the Chief Revenue Officer of Revinate. On this podcast we’re joined by industry experts to get insights on hospitality specifically. And I am delighted today to have with me Fabricio Titiro, who is with Oracle Hospitality.
Fabricio Titiro: Thank you Karen, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you.
Karen Stephens: Ah, wonderful. You know, I think a lot of what’s going on out there today, we’ve got a lot of people crystal-ball gazing, is what I’d like to call it. So there’s so much uncertainty going on in the markets and we’re not sure what’s happening, but at the same time, people are continuing to travel. So, I know we’ve had a lot of conferences lately and I want to get into all of that with you.
The other reason I’m very excited to have you here is that product management is always my favorite, favorite topic, with any company. My favorite expression is, “the brains are in the building”, and I think it’s so great when we get to talk to people whose core responsibility is innovation and making things cooler.
So very much looking forward to the conversation with you.
Fabricio Titiro: Thank you.
Karen Stephens: So Fabricio, you’re based in Madrid, is that right?
Fabricio Titiro: I’m based in Madrid. Exactly. Which as you know, is one of the largest tourism destinations in the world, right? Um, Spain, and their Southern region in Europe, right? So yes, I’m surrounded by tourism all day.
Karen Stephens: All day long. Yes. It’s a beautiful city. I’ve been there many times. And in fact, um, we were just in Spain. We have a president’s club at Revinate where we take our top sales people. So we were in Ibiza, hopefully I pronounced that right. We were in Ibiza in uh, June, and it was fantastic to see how many people are back.
Hotels were full. Flights were full. There’s just a wonderful air of like, okay, we’re all living our lives out there. So hopefully you’re seeing that in Madrid as well.
Fabricio Titiro: I’m definitely seeing this, as well, and actually seeing it from many directions, right? From my professional life, and I’m also seeing this from my personal life on many dimensions, right? From friends, from family, my own family, trying to get united again, after all these years, right?
Where many of us could not travel, for example, to a different continent.
Or, on the business side, absolutely booming. that’s the feedback that we are hearing from the street, right? And, my role also professionally takes me to work with partners and with customers worldwide. We could say overall, that that’s what we are hearing, what we are seeing. Right?
Of course we are in the summer season here in the in the Northern atmosphere. Obviously, that’s really helpful for us. But, like I said before, also at the personal level, all what we hear is folks trying to get back to normality traveling wise, and that traveling is very, very high in the in the list of priorities, right?
Karen Stephens: Isn’t that great?
Fabricio Titiro: I definitely, I definitely support this, this statement.
Karen Stephens: All right. That’s fantastic. So you’re living in Madrid, but you’re actually from Argentina. So you’re originally from, from the Southern atmosphere. Uh, yeah. So have you been able to go see your friends and family that have come back over from Argentina?
Fabricio Titiro: I’ve been able to go back very quickly at the beginning of this year. Oracle has a great, uh, remote work policy too. It’s very flexible on, on these things, and I was able to get back and spend some time with my parents. And, hopefully by the end of this year, I will be able to, to take back my entire family there.
I have two daughters, they’re really looking forward to see their, their grandparents after three years. So quite, quite emotional, right? And of course also spend some time traveling, which is like what we all love, right? So definitely looking forward to that.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, absolutely. I think we’re really lucky to be operating in this industry because, you know, I think a lot of people love to travel. We love it, but to be able to have that be part of your core job as well is, pretty cool.
Fabricio Titiro: Absolutely.
Karen Stephens: Well, I wanna get into some really juicy topics, but before we do that, I actually have five personal questions for you just to kind of warm us up here.
All right. Don’t worry. You’re gonna know the answers. They’re totally easy. So the first question for you is when did you start working in the industry? And do you remember your first day on the job?
Fabricio Titiro: Absolutely. I definitely remember my, my first day on that, on that job. I joined the industry, the hospitality, I, I consider myself a person that falls within the umbrella of tourism. And I think hospitality is within that umbrella. Same as transportation. And actually, I began my career in hospitality with, uh, I was very young, 18 years old.
And I started working as a professional bartender.
Karen Stephens: (ooo cool)
Fabricio Titiro: I actually, uh, spent like seven, eight years, doing that role, among other roles in parallel.
Karen Stephens: Ok.
Fabricio Titiro: And, and I definitely remember my, my first days. It was an amazing job. Probably, I still think it was probably the most exciting and the job role that, that I most enjoyed.
So definitely I remember that one. I also remember my first day in hospitality tech that happened many years after.
Karen Stephens: Okay, and where was the first job in hospitality tech?
Fabricio Titiro: The first job in hospitality tech was about eight years later from, from that moment, and I joined, I had the opportunity to join, what was MICROS at that time, in Ireland, to work in the regional support center there, which was my, my first job in hospitality tech. I’m, I’m also very proud of that too.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Very cool. Okay. Next question. What was the most uplifting moment so far in your career? So you’ve done a lot, seen a lot. What, can you think of one moment that was really impactful and uplifting?
Fabricio Titiro: I have asked myself this question many times, and I’m very grateful of the career that I have already enjoyed. I’ve been around 20 years now in hospitality tech, and a bit more in hospitality, in general. and to be honest, um, working with the customers that we are so lucky to serve in a company like Oracle hospitality for me has always been like a dream.
So, since day one until this day, so I have so many moments, where I felt, we are the pinnacle here with the customer, with working, for example, at, universities, having the opportunity to teach, to show, our technology, our, our industry knowledge at events. I have also had the pleasure at several times to work with companies like, like Apple, like Samsung- collaborate with, with companies like this.
I mean, not now, many years ago, when, when I think this felt even more exciting than now. And then also of course, working for an organization like Oracle is very challenging, but I really cannot go to one only because, it’s so many success stories that we have.
Karen Stephens: Right.
Fabricio Titiro: And I was lucky to take part on some of those.
Karen Stephens: Ah, that’s fantastic. Yeah, it’s a great industry. That’s wonderful. There’s so many, it’s hard to pick even one. So that’s great. Okay. This time I’m gonna make you pick one. All right. So this is, what is the most striking experience so far? So this could be a food, you know, experience at a restaurant, one of your stays, a holiday, a travel experience.
So what is kind of your personal like, wow, that if I could do that again, that would be amazing.
Fabricio Titiro: that’s also tricky. I have so many.
Karen Stephens: Tough.
Fabricio Titiro: But, but, but a few times, um, I cannot remember exactly now, the situation, but, it happened to me two, three times, traveling, because we have, again, this lack of, of having the, to have war to live to also for, professional, task to have visited so many countries. And, and a few times it happened to me, that it really, could see that statement, that, famous quote, that “the world is so small” And it happened to me being, you know, in a completely different country, in a completely different place, and having found something physical or, or a connection with a person that, they told me exactly the same thing, that maybe somebody else was doing on, on, on the other side of the world. This happened to me two or three times, and not technology related. And it is true that, this is such a small place and that some, some way or another, we are, we are all connected. I, I had this two or three times and, and that really struck me.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s really cool. We are all connected. I love it. Okay. And have you met any celebrities while you were in the trenches working in hospitality? Any celebrities?
Fabricio Titiro: So they asked me to bring some, some real life stories. And for this one, I have one that, only happened a few minutes ago, literally. So I think it is a nice story. I was preparing a blog. We, we are writing a blog, some data management, some, some content. And, as part of this blog, I remember, that one of the things that I have had the pleasure to do is a lot of times, uh, is data migration.
This goes into technology, sorry, but as part of that data migration that involves migrating, people’s data, people’s, you know, information at the properties, right?
Karen Stephens: Right
Fabricio Titiro: So even though I have seen a few times celebrities, the one I remember the most is migrating the data of celebrities.
Karen Stephens: Oh, wow!
Fabricio Titiro: Um, um, and seeing across my eyes, data flowing from one side to the other and seeing presidents, seeing world leaders, nobel prize winners. So I was handling that data. I, I feel very, you know, and it was very valuable data, that the customers trusted that we would put from one place to antoher. So I definitely feel that I was part of the story of, of these people one way or, or the other.
Karen Stephens: That’s right. I mean, the core of any technology company is obviously data privacy security. And so that’s good to know. You’re like making sure it goes from one to the other and it’s protected. And it is pretty striking cuz these are real people that really travel and stay in the hotels. So very cool.
All right. So last question. Are there any women at work that you’ve been very inspired by? So we always like to call out some females in the industry. Can you think of anybody, in your time that really struck you.
Fabricio Titiro: This one is, is not gonna be a problem, at all. Actually my wife. And, this might sound biased, right? But, but actually my wife and myself, we had, pretty much joined, almost, I, I would guess, our entire career in hospitality tech and she also works today for, for Oracle, in a different role.
She has the same professional experience. You could say we have the same seniority level if you want the same, more or less the same roles, but in different areas. And I’m very proud that she managed to do all this. Also all what it brings to be a mother, a full-time mother.
Fabricio Titiro: And, and, so definitely, definitely I’m picking up her.
Karen Stephens: All right. And what’s your wife’s name?
Fabricio Titiro: It’s Layla.
Karen Stephens: Layla. There you go. We’re gonna give Layla a shout out. Okay. Wonderful. Well, thank you for that. I love to, that’s great to get to know a little bit more about you, and fantastic. So, let’s get onto the topic at hand. So we wanna talk a little bit today about innovation and you know what we’re seeing out there in the market.
So, I think I’d like to start kind of broad. So I know that you attended recently HITEC in Dubai. First I wanna talk about, you know, I think what we saw in Dubai certainly during the lockdown, just because so much of their business is from other markets. It’s very international. How was it going in Dubai and, and what did you glean from HITEC?
What was the kind of the mood and what did you see out there?
Fabricio Titiro: I took a few learnings out of this, uh, out of this show, um, again, Youtube projects and, to my work here at Oracle. Had to visit Dubai multiple times before for customer meetings and for shows and events, over the years. But obviously this time was special. I think it was special for, customers, for, for the partners, for, the industry in general, because we are still under that, small umbrella of reopening, you know, reopening.
Fabricio Titiro: And, in this case it was the first show after the, the, this break that we had. So first of all, it’s, it will probably take a little bit of time for everything to get back to normal, right? On the other side, I have a little bit of a bittersweet, opinion of what I saw or where, where things are going, because, could see that, something that, that is an important outcome here, you could see that there’s, customers, hoteliers, and, and also industry players that took these two years to move faster, to win back time, and then you see, other companies that probably lost two years, and that this has an impact on innovation.
So I could see a little bit of that discrepancy. And I think the customers were realizing this, uh, that, there were companies that perhaps were speaking about innovation and were more or less presenting the same that they were doing three years ago.
And then you will see the few ones, that actually were, really now much more head of the pack and I think, again, you can see this from the, from the hotels side as well.
Karen Stephens: Okay. So are you speaking specifically about technology adoption. So they took the period of time where, cause I, cause I think you’re right. There could be two reactions, right? I mean we’ve never seen anything like the global pandemic in terms of just literally everything coming to a screeching halt.
And I think you could have seen two reactions. One is to just really, you know, reel everything in, cut off spending, close the doors, put your head down and, and just hope you can get to the other side. Um, and I think what you’re referring to is another approach, which is you take that opportunity to figure out, okay, where can we think differently, right? Where, where can we, use technology to go farther, faster so that, you know, we will come out of this, there will be a recovery and, and we wanna be the early adopters. The, the front of the pack is that I don’t wanna put words in your mouth, but is that what you’re referring to
Fabricio Titiro: It’s it’s 100%. I call this myself. I, I dunno if this is a, it’s an actual expression, but there’s a very common call, “paralyzed by analysis”. I think this is like paralyzes by crisis.
Karen Stephens: Oh that’s a new one!
Fabricio Titiro: And I think it’s relatively, relatively normal and also it’s not, um, an absolute, yes or no situation.
It’s more of a, these changes, within time and, and maybe there’s companies, organizations that were. Perhaps more paralyzed at the beginning then maybe by end of 2020 or by 2021. And then of course you have the, the ones that are coming very, very late to the party at all levels.
Karen Stephens: Right. And that I think is where nobody should be in, in that position, right? I’m speaking from, from the technology offering, but also from, from the technology adopters that are the, the hotels, right? It’s, it’s something to really think about because, you know, we are coming up into budget season now and, and we’re still facing a lot of uncertainty. Like, like we talked about we’re in definitely in a better place, because it’s clear that, I mean, you know, we saw this coming out of the Hotel Data Conference that just happened in Nashville, even though the indicators and that, that’s mostly focused on the us.
So bear with me on that, but you know, we’ve got gas prices up. Globally, you know, people are saying, ah, the cost and inflation, but people are still traveling. So at least the backdrop is, you know, that things are looking strong. Maybe it’s not gonna be as severe as we thought, but the point is you don’t ever really know what’s coming.
So you, you need to make sure that you’re spending the time to set yourself up. From a technology perspective so that you can scale, you can deal with staff shortages, but in doing that, I wonder what your take is, because obviously at the center of all of this hospitality is the guest experience. I mean, that’s, that’s why people do what they do, right?
It’s about the guest and making sure that the experience is great. So when you think about technology, how should hoteliers think about, you know, when they go to adopt something to make sure that they maintain that guest experience? You know, do, do you have, that’s kind of a weird way to, to word the question, but I think technology can be a compliment, right? And not something that replaces the guest experience.
Fabricio Titiro: I can share some thoughts. Um, and again, little bit to find your opinion on this. Now, if we, if we look three years backwards. I think probably, guest experience was, the most commonly used word or phrase in our industry. This is my opinion, but I think if we go, you know, we paint one of those graphics that, that brings the,
Karen Stephens: Word cloud yeah.
Fabricio Titiro: Exactly, exactly. Uh, probably, probably, that’s gonna confirm that guest experience was the number one. I think personally what I saw during the, let’s say the bad years, the hate of the pandemic is that everybody kind of parked a little bit, guest experience, right? Because, there were higher priorities.
It seems to be that the, the things are getting back to normal and guest experiences, again, top of the list, right? Or at least is back to, or at the same level as, the other trends that perhaps occupy that space.
You mentioned before shortest labor, we can call this on many ways, but in the end we are talking is, automating, improving processes, simplifying, and look at all what technology can do to improve on cost savings and, processes improvements, etcetera. And I think the, the other key trend, there’s many of course, but I think the other one that that will rank very high is, where else can I increase my, profitability, where else can I make, better business?
Where else can, can we bring a new source of income? Right? And I think everybody which has been in the industry for so many years, again, these things are not new. They have always been there is just that the, the importance and, which one is higher on the priority list kept changing over time. Right?
I totally think agree with you that guest experience should remain at the center, and that pretty much everything that we do should have an impact on the guest experience. Actually, this is one of the first questions I, normally ask or I wish I would be asked every time we are advising someone, partners, when we are talking about innovation with our technology partners is, “is what we’re doing, having an impact on the, on the guest experience?” You know, even if it is a field on a CRM, whatever it is, it needs to have, an impact on, on the guest experience. And then if not, at least let’s check the other pillars. As we mentioned before, can this bring some extra revenue, can this automate a process?
And there are other trends too, but definitely that’s a good way in my opinion, to, to measure, that the technology has a real impact on that guest’s experience.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, I think that’s a great way to put it, you know, because data for data’s sake, there’s a ton of data out there. There’s no question about that. It’s being able to organize that data. And then being able to use that, and having a great guest experience and making that profitable for the hotel can go hand in hand if you’re doing it right. Right? So.
Fabricio Titiro: That’s a perfect combination. I think that’s what, and again, and the hoteliers should aim for that and we, the providers should, should work toward that objective. Definitely.
Karen Stephens: Yeah the more that you can personalize at every point, at every touchpoint, right? Inbound, when you’re presenting offers on a website to win the guest books all the way down through to the hotel stay. So, wow. That’s, that’s really key.
I wanted to talk a little bit about a little Oracle information.
So, OHIP. You know, I should tell everybody, Revinate has a number of customers, mutual customers with Oracle. So we connect into Oracle’s PMS a variety of ways. Um, Oxy was traditionally what we did, you know, in the past. And obviously that’s real time availability. It’s super secure. We love it.
But recently, I guess last year about, was it last year, maybe a little earlier, we became certified. We’re an Oracle, Oracle gold partner. Um, we became certified on the OHIP interface. So can you just tell everybody what OHIP stands for, what it is, and why it’s cool?
Fabricio Titiro: Absolutely. It relates back to some of the topics we, we were discussing before, right? Um, and I think for me again, if there will be only one word we should take out of this is, is innovation. Because in the end, the guest experience all, all what we’re discussing is driven by innovation. Without innovation there’s no improvement and that’s what really puts, in this case, hoteliers um, and we as providers, puts, different providers in different categories basically. OHIP is in the most simple and non-technical words is basically an enabler for innovation.
It’s not a product. I mean, you know, we could talk about APIs. We could talk about many things, but, but in the end, what OHIP is, is doing is in a very easy, friendly, open and also we think very cost efficient way, allow to connect the best innovators out there, like Revinate. Which was by the way, one of the first companies to join when we opened this quest to the industry to reinvent all these PMS connections.
And on the other side, the companies that are demanding that innovation, right? The, the hoteliers that are waiting for, asking us for, for so many things over the years. I mean, again, CRM, we, we could talk about CRMs. We could talk about, digital assistance, right? So, good example. So Oxy is a great technology, I love it too, but technology needs to be ready, always for the future, right?
Karen Stephens: Right
And OHIP is a technology that today is ready for everything, every trend that can affect our industry today, but most importantly is future proof, right? and that’s really, that’s all. And, and that’s why the feedback we are receiving from, from the partner.
I, I work primarily with the partner community, with the startups, with the established players out there. And the feedback we have been receiving is, is very positive. We have now, about 1,500 developers working with us on a Slack community. I think that’s an example of how friendly, open, and, and collaborative this is, including Revinate.
As I mentioned before, and this keeps growing every day ,in short that’s what OHIP is. I, I could go a lot into the technical details but what matters here is start. We can enable all that innovation to reach to the hotel. Literally within days, literally within days, and probably within hours, especially the new trends.
Like I mentioned before, digital innovation, sustainability, robotics, this is ready to enable everything.
Karen Stephens: That’s so cool because obviously the, the core of everything, we, we keep coming back to data, but you know, the heart, the heart of a hotel is the information stored in the property management system. It’s everything there. So to be able to put that, you know, to, to access OHIP and then make that available.
We keep saying Oxy, we let, we love Oxy again. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s the gold standard in terms of security, connectivity, real time availability, but you used to have to go connection by connection. And it was cost prohibitive for a lot of hotels. You know if they wanna test and try something, first you gotta get an Oxy connected. So we all know the story there. Um, so it was really great to see this innovation come out of Oracle, so that hoteliers are able to, as you said, access more system. We don’t even know what’s gonna be out there two years from now, right? So.
Fabricio Titiro: Correct, and especially, I think it’s, it’s important to take feedback. Now you mentioned, couple of the, of the drawbacks we took into consideration also when, when, when the signing, OHIP that obviously you, you, you, I think every, every product company, every software company should do the things, right?
Listen, look at the good things from the past. Look at also the not so good things from the past, and then of course, reinvent and innovate and come up with, with new ideas. And I think OHIP a little bit, a combination of, of all that, right? Learning from the mistakes, that there’s always mistakes.
But then on top of that, be very creative. Be willing to rock the industry to, to come up with ideas that will challenge the industry. We know this is always in all these conversations that we are not the fastest industry. Hospitality in general in embracing change. And that’s why also when you come up with, with revolutionary approach, you also need to fight little bit at the beginning.
But in the case of OHIP, it’s the outcome, it’s surprisingly, getting to the market much faster even than what we anticipated. And I think partners are happy. We are happy. Customers are happy. and that’s the best outcome we can expect. No?
Karen Stephens: Yeah, no, that’s fantastic. It’s, it’s a win-win across the board. So you mentioned there, you know, talking about innovation and robotics and, just curious, like, what are you seeing out there that’s really kind of cool for hotels? Uh, you know, like were you thinking, like robotics, for example, what have you seen out there?
And I’m sure that Dubai was probably a great place for that. Just cuz it’s Dubai.
Fabricio Titiro: Actually they were showcasing. There were a lot of robots in the convention center actually. They have been there for several years now. Personally in that training particular, what I see, and what I saw exactly this year, is that, you see basically more robots on one side.
And you also, start seeing that the robots are starting to adapt more to the industry. I actually had a few talks with, with most of the providers there. The majority basically are hardware manufacturers. They really don’t understand hospitality. And that that’s a great example, which we have all learned.
The CRM is a great example of this, that you, you can take a CRM off the shelf. That’s not the same as a product like Revinate that is industry focus, and anything roads are like 5-10 years.
Karen Stephens: Okay!
Fabricio Titiro: Industry focused.
Fabricio Titiro: With that, say via, we already have robots, we already have robots connected, and actually ready for production today.
Actually they are already in production with, with customers. So, it’s one more trend. There was an article today, um, in one of the recognized publications that we have our industry, 100 trends for 2022. We are already in this every day, not 20 trends, 50 trends. Well, today I read 100 trends, right?
So now let’s try to look at this. Robots was obviously one of them. Let’s now think on this from the, from the view of the hotelier, right? How challenging could that be now? When we, the experts are telling them there’s 100 trends,
Karen Stephens: 100 Options. Oh my gosh.
Yeah. It’s like, be an early adopter. Ah, here’s all the stuff you can adopt.
Fabricio Titiro: Exactly. Exactly. So, this takes me back a little bit to my role. The remaining years at Oracle, I’m one of the roles I enjoy the most. I think I still do that role in, in a different way. That is been an advisor. I think that’s where, hoteliers need good advisors, people that can help them not, decide for them. Because they are the owners of, but at least guide them in for example, out of those 100 trends, which one?
Because as you know, out of those trends, as companies trying to sell a solution, trying to position a product, and normally that’s a big investment, right? That will be required. And so, being an advisor, being a fair advisor, I think it’s something also personally, I’m very proud of. And still because a trustable advisor by, by many of our, of our customers and partners, but definitely something that we all in the industry should aim for.
I think that that’s a personal, personal opinion.
Karen Stephens: No, no, I think that’s true because I, you know, this is such a relationship based industry. It is about partnership. You know, you, hopefully when you’re a hotelier, you find vendors that you can trust and have with you for many, many, many years. And they can help you decide who else you’re gonna bring into the ecosystem, right?
Because, uh, you know, every vendor has a, has an angle and a, and a way to think about, why you should adopt what, but yeah. With a hundred choices out there, with all of the things coming at them, I think it is important to understand what your end goals are, which should be, as we mentioned, bottom line is profitability.
Like how are you gonna drive more revenue from more places and also maximize your share of wallet, right? With the guests that you have. With guest experience. But yeah, I think, I think that’s a really good point because, we wanna encourage everybody to be brave and bold and look to innovation, but they also need to know that they have trusted partners that they can sound board off of, right? For lack of a better.
Fabricio Titiro: Correct. That, again, this takes me back to, to some of the topics we discussed before. And also another word right now that is extremely important. That is trust. You know, the companies that, that you can trust, over the years that have an experience that have at the same time, you always need to be open to, to startups, to innovation.
I like to think that we are startup. I make this statement based on some facts with the partners all the time, many of them, which are startups and look, you are startup, but I’m a startup too. We are a startup too at Oracle. But I think, um, trust is also, extremely important, you know to, to build trust over time.
And to have a track record now that, that I think helps a lot. And for example, that track record of, of innovation, no? I kept thinking on some of the, the questions you asked me before, um, and you asked me about stuff that I migh been particularly proud of. And I remember for example, that during the pandemic in 2020, at the very, very height of the pandemic, we put together an innovation event where again, Revinate participated and around several hundred partners participated.
And that, that’s, obviously I’m, happy to showcase that we were able to pull this together as hospitality, but for me personally is something I was extremely proud of, how the people internally collaborated in trying to drive that innovation to drive immediately solutions to an industry that that was in need of that.
And that was the same I saw from, from the partner community. The people that was joining, a lot of the people that was joining from some of the companies they were on the temporary layoffs or, or, temporary unemployment, and they still, the developers were joining were coming there to this event to see where they could help come up with contactless with, cashless solutions that could reach the customers, uh, immediately.
And, again, also this, builds trust basically, I think, between the partners and, and the customers that even on the, most difficult times, you have been there in, in a way.
Karen Stephens: Yeah absolutely. Well, I think you know innovation goes hand in hand with iteration. I think you hit on it before. If you, if you have trust there, then you’re able to release new products, new services, and it’s rarely 100% perfect out of the box because you have to learn. You know, you have to learn what, how things work in the real world.
And if you have that, partnership, then you know, that customers are able to take it out of the gates and try things. Course for early adopters, you gotta be brave and you gotta get in there. But if you’re working with a trusted partner, a vendor that you trust, then you know, okay, we’re in this together and we’re gonna make it better as we go.
And then, you know, you look back three, four years and oh man, look at what you’ve built.
Fabricio Titiro: This, this could take me in so many directions. Would you just say Karen, one, one first word that get back to me on all what you saying? And you say many words that I love, like pioneering, you know, driving change, but, or one word that, that I love to use a lot, And, and we, we try to think ourselves of, of that, but it’s visionaries, right?
I think it, it’s a must to be a visionary to do that, right? Of course there’s a risk with being a pioneer. Theres’s definitely a risk, but someone needs to be at, at the forefront, and I think companies like, like Revinate, like Oracle Hospitality, we cannot afford not to. Because I think that’s what the market expects from us, that we are leading the change.
I think that’s really, really, I love these topics.
Karen Stephens: It’s really important. Yeah, no, well, I mean, just as we were talking about, you know, when, when the pandemic came, there’s some hoteliers who kind of shrink down and went inside and put their heads down, and let’s just get through this, and other ones who were like, okay, how do we come out bigger, stronger, better, faster? How do we embrace the change?
And I think the same is true for tech companies, right? Like we had an attitude with, with Revinate, right out of the gate that we were gonna emerge. We were gonna spend that time innovating because when you’re a company that supports only hospitality and hospitality, screeches to a halt, you have some decisions to make. So that’s, true.
And the other thing I wanted to pick up on was, you know, you are a startup. Oracle Hospitality is, obviously a huge company, but if you really wanna innovate and you really wanna be at the cutting edge, you do have to act like a startup. Meaning, you know, your teams have to be agile.
They have to be talking to each other. You can’t have process, you can’t be analysis paralysis, as we like to say, you have to have that. So it’s really great to hear. I can hear in your voice how much you love working in that kind of environment.
Fabricio Titiro: I was also thinking on again, on the things you said and, you know, maybe leave some tips also based on, on our experience to, to the hotelier that might be listening, no? We talk about pioneers. Um, during my early years as product manager in MICROS at that time, and still, I like to think of myself, as someone who always wants to be ahead, that always wants to take the risks, right?
But I have to say that over the years I learned that you need to find the right strategy and the right tactic for, for every moment. And I also learned from customers, from chains that not everybody wants to be a pioneer. For example, a lot of companies would prefer to be what they call a “fast follower”. Right then, there’s a big chunk of companies that will just come with the wave, with the big wave. And then there’s again, I think we mentioned it before, there’s the group that comes with the, they’re late to the party, I call it.
So, um, I think this is something that I learned again during my career hearing also from customers. I will be very pushy when we have a new solution talking with my friends. I call it friends because I think they’re friends. What we built with with customers over the years and always tell them, “Hey, do you want to test this?” “We just released this. Do you want to try it?”
And some will be on that pioneering box, but not always. And also being on that box, yes there there’s a risk, you know, there’s a benefit of being the first, but there’s a risk. But I think for, for the hoteliers there they should always, especially now with all these strengths, with all these new changes, always think, where do they want to be, but avoid at all costs avoid being late to the party.
Karen Stephens: Don’t late to the party. Figure out where you are. You can be a fast follower. That’s fine. You can be in the wave.
Fabricio Titiro: come with the big wave, but never be late the party.
Karen Stephens: Don’t be late to the party.
Fabricio Titiro: That’s something that, that I try to also apply for for my own. We are all learning and transforming ourselves all the time, especially in a company like Oracle, like, and I always try to never be late to party.
Karen Stephens: That’s right. There’s nothing good at the end of the party. All the snacks are gone, drinks are cold or they’re not cold. They’re terribly, luke, lukewarm.
Well, that’s wonderful. Fabricio. I can’t think that’s a great place to leave it. I think that that is, uh, wonderful. So top tip, find out where you are, in the innovation cycle. Always be innovating, always be brave. I think that that’s the other thing I would leave with our hoteliers. You know, you might not be the very first, but,.
Fabricio Titiro: Being the very first are some benefits. I mean, I, I, again, I, I have so many examples, real examples from my career, even some, some friends, big, big, very big customer here in Spain, they were, or one of the first, or the first, they announced in accepting Bitcoin, for example, at a check in. You don’t know if this is a, if gonna be a, an industry standard or not, or it could be the first company doing, contactless check, you know. MICROS at that time again, we implemented this back in, I think 2004, 2005.
Can you imagine, I mean, most people are still thinking of this. We, we just released an industry report, few weeks ago. This still comes as the top priority in contactless and, and digital experience. But this has been there since like there were customers, there were hotels that decided to go contactless or, or self service back in 2005, 2000. And that can bring, also for example, metic impact, and we know how important is this today, right? This can be measured from, from many ways from revenue, from, from social media impact, from guest experience. but I really would suggest the hotels to ask these questions themselves and to, take all these little pieces of advice, um, when trying to come to a, to a decision.
Karen Stephens: Yes, that’s great. And, and good timing as we said, it’s good timing. People are thinking about that now. Even if you can’t imagine. I remember, so I started my career, well, I won’t say the year, but I started a very young startup, before the first .com crash. It’s been a minute, but at that time, high speed internet access, hoteliers could not imagine that people would pay for high speed internet access in a hotel room. They’ll use, dial up for free.
Because we were trying to sell a portal. When you, when you launched the high speed internet access in the hotel room, there was a portal, with local information and we had the hardest time convincing people. Oh, no, people are gonna want high speed. They’re not gonna want dialup. And their PBX boxes, the telephone boxes were blowing up.
Finally, everybody changed, but now you can’t even imagine somebody going on a dialup. I don’t even think it exists. I don’t think it’s possible.
Fabricio Titiro: Again, all this resonates with me a lot, because for example, I always call OHIP, broadband. I say OHIP is broadband. It’s just broadband, you know, is, is you are talking about dialogue, but doesn’t matter. Tomorrow’s gonna be something else now is talking about 5G. Well, I call it broadband or fiber is an enabler, right?
These things are enablers I’m referring to, ok? But it could be anything. And the other thing that I really resonate from what you just said is, that I also think, things like, dialup, like broadband, where we are discussing should be as transparent. All these technologies should be transparent.
And I think there there’s actually the CEO, CEO of Jumeriah, he’s always calling this, in every show where, where he speaks invisible technology, you know? I think there’s, there’s others organizations calling it, similar. I think Disney has a similar word. Let’s enable as much as we can with the broadband, with dial-up, but in the end, these are not the key things.
The key things is what is happening and the outcome that, that these things are bringing on, on the table, right? And sometimes we get lost. We get lost in in thinking that the dialup or the broadband or the 5G is the big thing. That’s just an enabler. That should be invisible, should be something that is there, but where we need to focus is on the outcome that we are trying to achieve. You know? Happier guest. And I guess that I suspecting a little more on the stay a returning guest, a guest that is inviting now, his friends, his family, what’s the outcome that we are looking the rest, the broadband dialup. Let’s keep it as hidden as possible.
Karen Stephens: Yes, seamless for the guests. It shouldn’t matter. They should show up and it should just be. Be about the experience in the hotel and the recognition and the, you know, basically that that’s where loyalty generates from, right? It’s about coming into the hotel and all of that is operating behind the scenes. And, you’re right. It shouldn’t really matter what the enabler is. It’s what the out is, you know, ultimately.
Oh, great. Fabricio any, any last, any last words for our listeners before we sign off?
Fabricio Titiro: Really enjoy the conversation and, things could go in so many directions. It’s an amazing time to work in hospitality, an amazing time to work in hospitality technology too. But I think hospitality, like we said before, it will remain top priority for, for everyone, is probably the industry that brings more, more happiness to every person in the world.
So I hope everybody that is listening is, is as proud as I am to working in this industry. And I hope we can, we can continue in a recovery phase and have a fantastic end of 2022 and a fantastic 2023 ahead for our entire industry that needs this so much, right? And so many communities out there, need to receive to get back, to resume things. So much value, right? And, and development to the underdeveloped countries. And, and I really hope we can get fully back on track on all these, we from the technology to as much as we can we to help on that, on that recovery.
Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. Well, thank you. Fabricio it’s been a pleasure.
Fabricio Titiro: Thank you so much. Thank you.
Karen Stephens: Well, thank you, everyone. My guest has been Fabricio, Director of Product Management with Oracle. So Fabricio, if people wanna find out more information about Oracle’s products and services, including OHIP, where should they go?
Fabricio Titiro: All of our content is very easily available and, and, and can be located online, but literally Google it. But, we are gonna provide also some links at the end of the, of the podcast where they can go immediately and find all what they need, okay?
Karen Stephens: Awesome. Thank you. All right. Links in the show notes, and don’t be late to the party. Thanks everybody.