Volara Breaks Language Barriers; More in Tech

NATIONAL REPORT—Companies are making moves to improve the hotel guest experience with technologies. Improving accuracy, connection, messaging—and even ordering food—are all among some of the recent tech updates:

Volara Adds Accuracy Engine to Better Interpret Alexa

Volara has developed a patent-pending technology that will help Amazon’s Alexa excel in the complex hotel environment. As hotel guests bring their own colloquialisms, accents and verbally convey their intents to hotels in myriad ways, Volara’s new Accuracy Engine enables Alexa to satisfy their commands appropriately and with greater precision. Volara’s Accuracy Engine leverages robust data sets, contextual awareness, AI and Machine Learning to reduce errors and increase guest satisfaction, according to the company.

“Volara’s technology does not process what a guest says. Volara interprets what Alexa hears,” said David Berger, CEO of Volara. “For example, our data shows that Alexa sometimes hears the word ‘shuttle’ as ‘shudder’ or even ‘should hill’. With our Accuracy Engine, ‘shudder’ will trigger the appropriate action or integration, like calling the hotel shuttle. Volara’s Accuracy Engine provides a translation layer between what Alexa hears and what action a guest is asking of our client hotels.”

Volara’s software benefits from what it calls SmartSlots—which represent common terms used across hotels. The data on what Alexa hears when a guest uses one of these terms informs and improves the SmartSlots across all properties in each portfolio.

“Volara’s Accuracy Engine with SmartSlots is ideal for hotels that are part of a larger brand or portfolio,” Berger said. “When a SmartSlot is updated at one hotel, the interaction models driving the conversations will be updated across all hotels within that group or brand. As Volara’s client base continues to grow, so will the frequency and granularity of these updates, thereby improving the likelihood that a guest will be well satisfied by his or her interaction with Alexa.”

Revinate Joins SiteMinder Exchange

Revinate has partnered with SiteMinder as the latest hotel application to connect into SiteMinder Exchange. The connection will make Revinate Marketing accessible to the multitude of property management systems (PMSs) integrated into SiteMinder Exchange, a solution launched this year to solve the connectivity problem for hotel PMSs and hotel applications everywhere.

Through the connection, Revinate can now broaden its addressable market, expedite its speed to market and increase adoption of its marketing service among hotels globally.

SiteMinder Exchange has attracted nearly 100 publisher (PMS) and hotel application partners since its launch in June, with more in development. Designed to address the historical connectivity challenge for developers of hospitality systems, SiteMinder Exchange acts as a data layer that sits between and connects hotel PMSs and applications, which range from CRMs to upselling tools, revenue management systems and guest messaging.

Agilysys to Improve Guest Ordering 

Agilysys Inc. has released rGuest OnDemand, a new mobile solution allowing guests to place food and beverage orders directly from their personal mobile device.

rGuest OnDemand provides a guest-facing, self-service ordering experience from beginning to end. The solution supports different types of outlets and a variety of ordering concepts including non-food items. With rGuest OnDemand, guests can place orders using their own mobile device, phone or tablet.