The Silicon Review
The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest-hit industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hotels and businesses related to this industry have had to shut down or dial-down their operations to adhere to the new norms or survive. But things are picking up – with caution. While social distancing remains critical to curbing the spread of the coronavirus, innovation is crucial for the hospitality industry. Guest Engagement Platforms have suddenly become the beacon for the industry, which was previously highly dependent on addressing its customers upfront.
Özgür Zan-led WeBee is one of the leading companies that are helping the hospitality industry through these troubling times. How is WeBee doing this? By delivering the latest technology in Mobile Applications / Guest Engagement Platforms for hotels, which supports their business. WeBee has helped hotels receive high ratings of 4.8 and 9.4 on premier Travel Rating Platforms like TripAdvisor and Booking.com. It has also enabled hotels to increase their revenues (F&B, SPA, Laundry, Tour Sales and etc.) by an amount up to 36 USD per room per month.
We wanted to learn more about WeBee. In an interview with us, Özgür Zan, CEO of WeBee, talked about how the company delivers these results for hotels and businesses. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. What was the motivation behind establishing a smart company like WeBee?
The main motivation was to create a seamless and convenient experience for hotel guests and to provide a compelling solution in global markets to create outstanding values for hotels.
Q. What are these experiences in terms of hotel guests?
Hotel guests can manage all their needs via their smartphones. They can view hotel, rooms and book a room, send their preferences before they come, arrange their transfer, mobile check-in before they arrive at the hotel. And during their stay, they can open their room doors with their smartphones, order in-room dining, request any housekeeping needs, call a taxi, reserve a SPA, reserve a restaurant, request dry cleaning, concierge needs, tray collection or chat with the hotel staff for any other need. All this can be done through their personal mobile phones remotely (no need to see any personnel), which is a wanted feature during the pandemic. Also, all this can be done in their native language without any need to talk in the language of the country they are visiting.
Q. What about the value you provide to the hotels?
First, hotels benefit from increased reputation scores of their hotels because of our survey and satisfaction monitoring system. Second, the return on investment is immediate and huge. They increase their facility revenues (in-room dining, SPA, concierge, restaurant, dry cleaning) on average 36 USD/room/month. We have customers who earn 60x to what they pay us in a month. The system also provides cost-cutting such as providing digital menus, which eliminates the need for printed menus.
Q. Do you have any other global awards?
Yes, in 2019 we received “Guest Engagement Platform of the Year in Europe” by THA. In 2020, we were selected as one of the 6 Most Disruptive Start-Ups Healing the Tourism Industry by United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO), and CIO Awards selected WeBee as one of the best Customer Experience Management Provider and announced this on their cover.
Q. Bigger the network, bigger the issue. Do you think your services are ready to cater to the needs of the never ending digital transformation?
We have state-of-the-art technology. We use microservices and use cloud features of Amazon Web Services. These make our system scalable. Our company always monitors new technologies, upcoming trends and does R&D to provide better solutions for current problems and challenges. We are passionate about solving the problems of the industry by developing state-of-the-art technology. We are fully aware of Big Data's importance and creating meaningful predictive solutions using Artificial Intelligence on cloud systems for affordable prices and provide them globally in verticals.
Q. In which regions is WeBee available?
We are available in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and now growing in Europe. Tourism destinations such as Maldives, Mauritius, Venice, Istanbul, Antalya, Alanya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Dubai, Doha, Dubrovnic, Astana, and Cairo are already using our solution.
Q. Developing and maintaining smart technology needs extremely dedicated talent and creative individuals in the house. How did you manage to form your dream team?
We work with top professionals both in our company and also with our consultants and mentors. We have a good reach to top talent because of our network and, more importantly, our vision and global ambition of attracting talents. Another thing is we have a great collaboration within our A-Team.
The Leader Upfront
Özgür Zan, CEO
He is an avid entrepreneur who is highly involved in the areas of innovation, incubation centers, R&D, sales, marketing, business development, top level management, strategic management, EU Funds & Grants. He has a Ph.D. in Organization and Management and a MBA from the Yeditepe University. Özgür Zan, graduated from computer engineering in 1999, became the Co-Founder of Done, the first mobile development company in Turkey.