Industry Update
Opinion Article19 March 2020

COVID-19 is hitting the beating heart of every hotel hard

By Manfred Osthues, Managing Partner at protel and Ingo Dignas, CEO & Co-Founder at Protel

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Manfred   OsthuesManfred Osthues
Ingo  DignasIngo Dignas

Sitting remotely, looking out at the sunshine bouncing off the rooftops in early springtime here in Germany, you might be forgiven for thinking all is well. With the real possibility that by this time tomorrow, we will not be allowed to leave our homes, the idyllic scenery is smashed. We are at the beginning of a new time, and all need to act responsibly to ensure this virus health-hazard is stopped in its tracks.

Hour-by-hour, restrictions on travel and recreation are becoming tighter around the globe. It does not take much foresight to see how many businesses are going to be severely challenged over the coming months. Tourism; over. Business travel; over. Even going out for a meal with friends; over for now.

How will hotels pay their staff when nobody is booking their services, and cancellations are the new order of the day?

And, as we well know, behind every great hotel is a multitude of excellent software. All connected together, a technological ecosystem from a host of vendors, all supporting that hotel's critical business operations.

What happens when these services can no longer be paid for?

Are all the connected vendors financially robust enough to ride out the storm, regardless? Or will part of the infrastructure cease to function? Who will step up and monitor this new, challenging landscape to let the hoteliers know what they need to be watchful of?

These are very real and very tough questions that all hospitality-based business owners need to be asking themselves. We have a duty of care to both our customers and also our workforce. Being forced to choose between these two central pillars that our businesses are built on will be no easy task.

These are tough times, and we are doing all we can to reach workable, stop-gap solutions that keep everyone as happy as possible. This is, above all, a time of personal sacrifice, and we genuinely hope those sacrifices stay as insignificant as possible.

So, maybe not being allowed out for a meal with friends tonight is a small price to pay?

The daily business at protel has already been impacted. To protect our workforce, we are all working remotely, our teams hooking up via their permanent video links. We now only have a minimal crew in place at our global HQ in Dortmund, Germany. Our Customer and Partner Support Teams are online 24/7 as ever, and so far, the stats are looking good: we are 100% up and running.

Like ourselves, our global network of resellers and technology partners are also all open for business "as usual." Online meetings are replacing face-to-face, and most installations and integrations these days are performed remotely in any case.

What can we say? protel is ready and waiting to act on any changes the current health pandemic may demand from us. Our stress-test has proved decisive - our business continuity planning has paid off:

Our doors are open (virtually!) to any new and existing business.

As hospitality technology vendors and business owners who have been in the game for the last 25+ years, we have seen a lot of change. One thing has always given us hope and faith to keep on keeping on. That thing is the industry itself - it has never ceased to overdeliver, overcoming any hardship placed before it.

Hospitality is a people business where the people look out for each other. That is what has given this industry the edge over the last several thousand years. Today, we are all standing by to be of service, and to step up to tomorrow's big asks. Together!

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Manfred Osthues

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Ingo Dignas

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About protel | Hotel software made in Germany

protel solutions form a robust technology stack for all hotel business types, with a worldwide team of local partners to support it. The ground-breaking app store, accessible directly via the protel PMS, has rapidly changed the way hotels and their technology vendors do business.

Formed 25 years ago in Dortmund, Germany, shaped by one of the most dynamic overseas investment markets in the world, the beating heart of this modern software company serves only hospitality.

The first cloud-native PMS and apps went live in 2009, and two consecutive Olympic villages - "the largest hotels on Earth" - were built on protel. Operations expanded internationally to over 90 countries, leading to branch offices in Dubai, Vienna, and Atlanta. Currently, more than 14,000 hotels worldwide choose to power their business with protel.

Continuing to influence the technological change collectively known as "the hospitality industry," protel speaks fluent hotel. Talk to us today

Jeremy Armes
Director Marketing
Phone: +49 231 915 930
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