Today marks the first TD podcast of 2020 and for the opening edition, I spoke to Brad Haines, the regional vice president of Asia Pacific (APAC) for hotel room reservation specialists, SiteMinder.
Not only is Brad still fairly new to the role but also to life in here in Bangkok, where for the last six months, he has been busy embedding himself into the leadership of the thriving Asia office as well as navigating the culture shock of relocating to a new city, in a new country.
To find out more about SiteMinders recent billion-dollar capital raise, the strategic importance of Asia to SiteMinder and much, much more. Click on the link below or, continue reading for the first ten minutes of this informed and insightful conversation with a driven exec at the top of his game.
TD: Hello Brad, welcome to the TD Podcast.
Brad Haines (BH): Hello, thanks for having me.
TD: Jumping straight in, SiteMinder announced some big news recently, which we headlined as SiteMinder passes the billion dollar mark, Aussie dollars that is — could you expand on that?
BH: Yes, so SiteMinder has recently taken on its latest round of capital raise which has taken business evaluations to over a billion dollars which has been a great milestone for us. And, though we don’t to like to use the term, you can now take us as one of Australia’s unicorns in the tech space. Which is great news for us and obviously very motivating for everyone internally.
TD: What does that mean for the success of SiteMinder in the immediate future… and a bit further down the line?
BH: I think the investment for us is key for continuing our expansion and growth. We have a vision for the next three years, as well as for further, for what we want to achieve as a business and how we want to grow.
There’s a huge unpenetrated market out there for us to continue to work in; there’s over a billion hotels now globally which allows us to really take on that market. This [in turn] helps to accelerate that growth more than anything.
TD: So, SiteMinder, I know who and what you are, but for those of our listeners who don’t know exactly how the company operates, could you open that up?
BH: SiteMinder is a distribution technology company, working with hotels — and the hospitality industry — helping to drive reservations, connecting them with third-party platforms and sitting as the hub of the technology system of the hotel.
TD: Right then, If I am a hotel and I’ve got some empty rooms, and we have an existing relationship, do I need to call you for assistance, or does it happen more naturally…?
BH: Exactly, essentially once you’ve implemented our solution it should really run in the background for you, depending on the configuration that you have. Typically we’re connected into the property management system of a hotel — which is really the cornerstone piece of technology they’re interacting with; they are checking people and cancellations are coming through et cetera.
Our system will be connected to all that, which enables us to drop reservations, whether it is from online travel agents, wholesalers or GDS, into the hotel and vice versa pushing your rental availability back out to those sites.
We’ve also recently launched the Hotel App Store, which allows the property management system companies to be able to link up through SiteMinder to some of those third-party platforms to provide up-sell technology or marketing to people in hotels. So we’re providing a bit more of a complex connection now for those different systems as well, not just the traditional online travel agents.