The way travelers book their lodging has changed dramatically as Internet commerce has become more secure and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have grown in popularity. Customers benefit from speedy price comparisons and easy-to-read rating systems. Hotels, however, can’t always keep pace with the rapidly evolving virtual world and miss out on direct bookings while struggling to partner with third-party sites.

Enter Fornova, which addresses this gap in the hospitality space with technology that scans, extracts, and analyzes millions of pieces of data from the online marketplace. Since 2010, Fornova has used its technology to work with the world’s top hotels to attract new guests to their properties.

“We are able to help harness online business for hotels,” says Michael Rubanovich, co-founder and CTO of Fornova. “We created a product that shows our clients what the market looks like and how to make better decisions.”

Redistributing and strategically promoting room inventory either on OTAs or through direct bookings (i.e., Expedia/Priceline versus reserving on the hotel’s site) is among the ways Fornova is able to capture a larger share of online revenue for hotels.

Regular checks on the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns is part of this service model. Understanding how a company can respond to changes in the market with targeted, dynamic digital content is critical in promoting inventory or adjusting the allocation of their spending to boost returns.

“We find out how hotels are able to optimize the process of selling online and how to distribute their budget,” says Rubanovich. “We are also able to improve their management of relationships with partners who drive more bookings.”

Fornova incorporates several AWS solutions along with their internal systems to process millions of pieces of information. Amazon’s RDS and Redshift database technologies enable them to run multiple instances in parallel so that they can sample data simultaneously from different sources. They are then able to use queues to generate insights on what strategies clients can use to increase customer conversion and retention.

As the technology to process and evaluate troves of information becomes more sophisticated, so too will the automation of these processes. “Today we are using AI to understand anomalies,” Rubanovich says. “We are looking at hundreds of millions of data points on a daily basis, and AI can help us separate the good data from the bad.”

Through the recent acquisition of HotelsBI, Fornova is expanding on their current structure, which is focused on external data available online, to taking a deeper look at the data hotels collect internally. HotelsBI can help companies understand “guests profiles” through individual behavior trends across their network while Fornova tracks third-party and publically available sites. Eventually, combining these complementary systems will further optimize the process of allocating and selling resources online and how companies allocate resources. As the platform evolves, automation will assist clients in real time so they are able to take action quickly as trends in the market shift.

“We want to use AI to cross together the internal and external data,” says Rubanovich. “We can really help hotels compete, react better to changes, and make the market more transparent,” a significant improvement on how the market operates today.

from AWS Startups Blog