How Silverbyte adopted three key APIs in one business quarter
Silverbyte supplies hotel management software to the hotel and hospitality industry, with over 1,000 installations in 36 countries worldwide – including 85% of the hotel market in Israel. Their Optima line of hotel management software is installed in leading hotels and hotel groups such as Dan Hotels, Leonardo Hotels, Orchid Hotels and Premier Hotels and Resorts.
We spoke to Silverbyte's CEO, Einav Peleg Cohen and board's Chairwoman, Shir Moscona, about how they've adopted three key APIs and earned extra programme points.
How did you manage to adopt all three peak season APIs – Opportunities, Promotions and Guest Reviews – in Q2?
At Silverbyte, we made a strategic decision to adopt as many functionalities from leading booking providers as possible, so our properties can increase their revenue with an advanced interface that includes the latest features. We saw the Promotions API as beneficial because it had already been used in our own booking engines for hotel websites and local agents.
The Guest Reviews API was also worth adopting, as our hotels wanted to make their Booking.com rating available on their own websites. So as the software provider, we adopted the API, which retrieves score data from Booking.com and makes it available to be presented on the hotel website.
The Opportunities API was more of a gamble, since we developed it without our clients requesting it. We had decided to make a push to adopt as many opportunities as possible, so our hotels needed to have this option available in their PMS as well. After we completed the development and deployed it to our properties, we realised the risk paid off as the adoption percentage of opportunities using the API increased significantly every month.
Silverbyte worked hard this year to resolve property pain points through key API integrations. They’ve been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with in creating win-win-win situations for themselves, their properties and Booking.com. - Benjamin Levine, Partner Business Manager of Silverbyte.
What steps did you follow to adopt the APIs?
Firstly, it was strategically decided by management. Then, we broke the project down into smaller parts, created an example UI and did unit tests. Within 3-4 weeks we had pilots running in production hotels. Within 5 weeks all hotels had adopted retrieval of Opportunities and Promotions. Actual usage of opportunities depended on our marketing activities, which we worked on together with Benjamin, our Booking.com Partner Business Manager.
What has changed since you have adopted these APIs?
We now have a much better understanding of how opportunities, and particularly promotions, work on Booking.com. The functionality differs from the ones in our booking engine, so it took time to make the necessary adjustments in hotel operations in order to use the Booking.com APIs.
We saw an increase in opportunity implementation from allowing our properties to do so directly in their PMS, and by raising their awareness of it. We’re working on adopting the Booking.com Messaging API now, and this has given us an additional perspective on the communication between the accommodation and guest, the guest experience and guest satisfaction.
How are these new features perceived by your properties?
The feedback from properties has been extremely positive. For example, creating a promotion directly in the PMS makes it easy for hoteliers to do everything in one place. Plus, being able to present the Booking.com review score on the hotel's own website – with just one click – offers a significant marketing advantage and a chance to increase revenue on all online platforms.
How is this success reflected in your business performance?
In 2019, we were an Advanced Connectivity Partner and in 2020 we plan to reach the Premier tier. We’ve accomplished this by planning the adoption of APIs early in Q1 and throughout the whole year, and setting quarterly goals based on market demands and client needs. Our Connectivity Partner Programme points increased during the year due to the API adoptions and their usage, as well as Booking.com incentives like the Peak Season competition.
The feedback from properties has been extremely positive. For example, creating a promotion directly in the PMS makes it easy for hoteliers to do everything in one place. - Einav Peleg Cohen, CEO at Silverbyte.
How do you view your partnership with Booking.com?
The two-way integration between our Optima PMS and Booking.com was developed and executed in 2008. Since then we’ve processed millions of reservations, with almost 50% of online bookings at our client hotels coming from Booking.com. We quickly realised that as the market leader, the Booking.com interface had to be managed efficiently, using all the functionalities available.
We knew any changes and add-ons would only result in more bookings for our clients, allowing them to make more money and increase their overall satisfaction with our Optima solution. The Silverbyte and Booking.com teams have a great cooperation, and we see this collaboration as the ideal win-win-win situation for both companies, our mutual property partners, and the guests who use the services.
What’s next for Silverbyte?
With hundreds of hotels using Optima, Silverbyte is committed to supporting its clients and developing and promoting its systems. There are hundreds of unique features in the Optima Line, each one developed with an awareness of the progressive needs of hotel operations. Using the latest technology, we’ll continue to develop new and innovative solutions that allow accommodation of every size – from one room to one thousand rooms – to compete more effectively in an increasingly competitive market.
Optima will continue to offer high-level data analysis capabilities for generating business intelligence, including insights into developing trends. Over time, a property’s database will become more and more valuable, and by analysing guests’ behaviour and booking patterns, a property will be able to create advanced segmentation schemes, including forecasts and budgets that will significantly help to understand the demand for the property and the right pricing structure.
Do you have any advice on how your industry peers can achieve the success Silverbyte has?
Exploring industry trends, needs and pain points can help any company to plan their next steps, focus their energy and offer quality solutions. Plus, identifying potential collaborations with third parties can create opportunities for all involved – Booking.com was one we identified, and the results speak for themselves.