Channel management

One of the things we're doing right now is building a big new feature in Roombler, namely channel management. Some of you are aware of this and are waiting for us to finish it. This is a very sought after piece of functionality and we're trying really hard to make it available as soon as possible.

I wanted to take some time to give you a sense of where we are in the development cycle and why we think it such an important piece.

What is it?

Channel management can mean different things. But at its core it deals with the problems that occurs when we have multiple places that holds the same piece of information.

For example, say you use Roombler as your hotel management system. You also sell your rooms through Booking.com and Hotels.com. In this situation you will have a lot of information in three different places. So, when something happens in one system, the other two needs to be updated accordingly.

For most hotels, this synchronisation activity is a manual process. The most critical piece of information that must be synchronised as fast as possible is bookings and availability. Lets say someone decides to book a room on your hotel on Booking.com. You will then get an e-mail with the booking information from Booking.com. Then you will have to enter that information into Roombler. Also, you have to remove availability on Hotels.com for that room type on the given dates. All this needs to be done as fast as possible so that double bookings can be avoided.

With channel management enabled this would all be automatic. The booking made would immediately appear in Roombler and the availability on Hotels.com would automatically be adjusted. No action would be needed of you.

Current status

Building channel management is very tricky from a technical view point. We want to remove as much details as possible for you, making the system do most of the work. Also, things are made hard by the fact that it is very hard to test. Basically, we need to do all of our testing against live accounts. So if we building support for Booking.com, we need to do so in cooperation with one of our customers, giving us access to their account on Booking.com.

We're expecting to be releasing support for Booking.com at the beginning of November. After that we will roll out support for additional channels continuously. I'll will keep you posted on how we're doing.

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