Industry Update
Opinion Article14 September 2011

Dreamforce 2011: Great News for Hospitality CRM

By Gregg Hopkins, Travel and Hospitality Technology Advisor

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Hopkins did it again - the recently held Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, California was a huge success in the world of CRM and ever expanding social enterprise! I joined the 45,000+ attendees at the Moscone Center for the largest cloud computing event of the year to learn how Salesforce is building a social community that, as Benioff himself described as "a whole new world" of technology. From this, Salesforce made key announcements that, as I described to one colleague, went from awesome to "awesomer!" What was all "the buzz" about for the upcoming year?


From how I see it, Salesforce is on the cutting edge of the "Social Revolution." And, with the Winter Release 2012, users will be able to seamlessly connect to social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, through the power of platform technologies. That's big - why? It expands social media into social enterprise for your entire organization. How does that translate into successful business practice for the hospitality industry? Users will be able to know their hotel guest better than ever, and ultimately provide them with personalized service. Just imagine - you could automatically view your VIP customer's Facebook page, easily accessed from their Guest Profile, giving you personalized insight to know, for example, that they are exhausted from sitting next to a crying baby on their recent flight. You could be their hero upon check-in, by having extra pillows delivered to their room or offering them a cup of tea or glass of wine, depending upon their personal preferences noted in your CRM system.

But, the Salesforce social expansion doesn't stop there. Enhancements to "Chatter," the social collaboration tool were also announced, giving organizations more communication power through such features as Chatter Approvals, Chatter Service, and Chatter Connect. Even better - Chatter Now will enable users to see their colleagues online, instantly chat with them and share their screen - all in real-time. And, here's what I think is the best news: Chatter Customer Groups. Users will soon be able to invite people outside their organization into their secure, private network, allowing them to collaborate beyond the four walls of their company. For a hotelier, that means the concierge could instantly notify the golf course located across property that a special guest would like to rent clubs, while also instantly communicating with the corporate accounting office across the country that the club rental fees on the guest's folio should be complimentary.

Beyond the groundbreaking social announcements, Salesforce also launched, an effective integration tool that unifies contact information from Jigsaw and company information from Dun & Bradstreet into one place, allowing users to build and better maintain social customer profiles. Information can be merged with an existing database and/or new data can be brought in, segmented into categories, so the user can get a better understanding of the customers and organizations that give or do not give them business. Ultimately, can provide a hotel sales and marketing team the exact information they need to effectively strategize, target and execute sales and marketing campaigns to their ideal target audience, for example, business corporate travelers in the Western region or middle class families within a 50 mile radius.

And, here's one final piece of news that yet again proves the flexibility and accessibility of Salesforce: Data Residency Option. In response to customer requests, this formidable option will allow companies that want to take advantage of the cloud computing model, but have requirements, policies or concerns that may prevent them from gaining these benefits, to store sensitive data in their own environment. This means that hospitality companies will now have the choice to keep private customer profiles or confidential accounting records in their on-premises data centers and/or in the cloud, based on their organizational needs.

Pretty awesome! And, this is the part that is "awesomer." As the ONLY provider of customized hospitality solutions natively built on the platform, Libra OnDemand will be bringing all of these new Salesforce features into hospitality by automatically incorporating them into the application. This just reconfirms that Libra OnDemand, through the power of, is the best system for today's hotel business needs. You certainly can't do all this on a client server platform; you just can't.

For current Libra OnDemand customers, these revolutionary enhancements will come automatically with their subscription. For those hospitality organizations that have been hearing all "the buzz" and have been considering CRM and cloud technologies, now is the time to improve your business and be part of "a whole new world" of technology.

NOTE: The hospitality cloud is growing and Libra OnDemand is currently hiring. Join Libra Larry and the rest of the crew in the cloud. Visit Jobs for a listing of available positions.

About Gregg Hopkins Gregg Hopkins has over 30 years of experience in hospitality management and technology. He has worked with and for a wide variety of leading enterprise property management providers, central reservation system providers, and online travel agencies. He has also provided consulting services to hospitality organizations on reservations, electronic distribution, e-commerce, CRM initiatives, sales, marketing and business development. Gregg is a subject matter expert and speaker on hospitality management systems, CRM, Cloud technologies and social media for the hotel, travel, entertainment and gaming industries. He also participates as a committee or board member of several hospitality associations. Gregg can be reached at [email protected].

Gregg Hopkins

Gregg Hopkins is known as a subject matter expert on marketing, hospitality technology, guest and customer loyalty, sales strategy, and business growth development. He has served, or currently serves, as a committee member of select organizations and industry associations including the MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees, the HFTP Executive HITEC Vendor Council, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and as a member of various Board of Advisors for hospitality technology organizations.

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    Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies).

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