RLH Corporation's desire to push the technology envelope is no secret—it just introduced a housekeeping robot in December—and now the company is making additional moves in that direction.
The hotel company is introducing a new subsidiary, RLabs, that is focused on creating travel technology and products like RLH’s RevPak revenue-management software. RLabs eventually will develop more elaborate technology for hotels including robotics and artificial intelligence.
The first white-label product, Canvas Integrated Systems, is a cloud-based hospitality-management platform that includes basic revenue-management tools and a switch for distributing rates and inventory to online travel agencies and other sales channels.
RLH said it uses technology currently accessible by most independent hotels for revenue management, channel management and global sales at a fraction of the price independent hotels are able to secure on their own. Canvas Integrated Systems also provide additional platforms such as personalized loyalty programs and keyless entry.
RLabs also will be able to offer third-party management companies the capability to bring brand-level resources, pricing and technology under a white label to independent hotels.
“We see the industry moving toward being transaction-based in the future and believe Canvas Integrated Systems can provide a savings of up to 50 percent over what typical independent hotels are currently paying, and potentially even more for hotels that are part of a soft brand,” RLH President/CEO Greg Mount said in a statement. “We believe there is a real opportunity to use our technology platform in a more vertical way by building a subscription-style offering of technology on a transaction-based billing format.”
The system is customizable so hotel owners can choose components they need and avoid paying for unnecessary items. It uses a transaction-based model that charges independent hotel owners for actualized transactions for service comparable to what a large-brand hotel might receive. Each client gets a support team as well.
“We built Canvas Integrated Systems to allow independent hotels to benefit from best-in-class systems and technology while remaining independent,” said Mount. “Hotel operators will receive many of the advantages and transactional costs of a well-established larger system structure without having to incur costs and meet expensive brand standards required by soft brands. Canvas Integrated Systems is not a hotel brand, has no brand standards and you only pay based on actualized transactions.”
RLabs migrated the first independent property, Monterey Tides in Monterey, Calif., to its Canvas system in December. It has deals to provide services for “up to seven hotels.”
“Canvas Integrated Systems has given us the ability to quickly manage our channels without the day-to-day grind generally associated with the back end of running a hotel,” said Ted Darnall, CEO of HEI Hotels & Resorts Lodging and Technical Services Company, which manages Monterey Tides. “The fully automated system has saved us both time and money, and we have felt the impact of the benefits of being with a large brand without having to sell out our independence.”
It’s not the first time that a major hotel group has launched and marketed a new technology solution. Choice Hotels International has made its hotel property-management system available under its SkyTouch Technology subsidiary to any hotelier in the world, including its direct competitors. So far, more than 750 non-Choice hoteliers have become customers.
The InnDependent Boutique Collection, which originally was introduced for independents, now white-labels its central-reservation system for brands, soft brands and management companies.