Hotel Tech Partner vs. Vendor: Knowing the Difference and Why It Matters
By Glenn Wirick, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Pegasus Solutions
As leaders in the hospitality industry, we’re in the business of building and cultivating relationships. Not just relationships with guests, however — also relationships with the technology providers that hotels, resorts, chains and management companies align with to enhance their service offering.
The software providers that lodging operators work with can play a pivotal role in the on-going success of their hotel. When in the market for new software, hoteliers should be vetting potential partners — not just vendors. Why? Because the software you use within your hotel represents an on-going investment and should never be solely transactional in nature. As a hotelier, it is ever-important to know the difference between these relationships and, more importantly, understand why it matters. With this in mind, we’ve broken down the difference between a hotel tech partner versus a vendor to better guide your next software evaluation journey.
Vendors and Partners Aren’t Selling the Same Thing
Let’s cut to the chase — a vendor is in the business of selling you a product. With large quotas to meet, vendors are looking to close sales in higher volumes and then walk away. This is representative of a quick sales cycle which, while common across various industries, isn’t conducive to an on-going relationship benefitting both parties within the hospitality industry.
Partners, however, are selling you a relationship-based service. Abandoning the hands-off, sell and release approach, partners are invested in your business, understanding your unique set of needs, and view their success as being dependent on your success.
Technology Doesn’t Stand Still
Technology is continuously evolving — if hoteliers aren’t ahead of the trends, they're behind. When purchasing technology from a vendor, your hotel is at risk of investing in a product that could soon be outdated or in need of expensive updates with limited support. Partners, on the other hand, will remain aware of tech trends that affect their product offering and provide insights into the best way to leverage new technology platforms, updates or services.
Not only will partners take feature functionality input from their client in a collaborative effort to improve upon their service and cultivate a long-standing relationship, but they will continuously deliver new features within product releases.
Vendors Sell to You, Partners Work with You
A vendor interested in simply closing a sale of a product isn’t necessarily invested in training your team on the best way to use that product. Once the deal has gone through, their job is done. Of course, new technology can only be successfully implemented with a staff-wide understanding of best practices, which means the onboarding of new software and training amongst staff should go hand in hand.
Rather than merely sending an instructional manual or redirecting you to a website, partners will provide you with a support system of peers to implement training and offer specialized support.
Vendors Have an Eye on Their Product, Partners Have an Eye on The Industry
With sales driving their efforts, vendors have their eye on their product and quotas, while partners offer on-going, in-depth industry analysis, and guidance where it is relevant to the system/platform the client has purchased. They understand that hotels are in the business of delivering exceptional services to their guests, which requires the same treatment from their tech partners.
Further, vendors often offer a standalone product and aren’t necessarily open to referrals to other vendors for products/services they can’t offer your hotel — since this may be viewed as lost business. Partners, however, understand that technology is rarely a ‘one size fits all’ solution and are more than willing to tap into the ecosystem of vetted products and experts to make recommendations for your hotel’s evolving needs. This will ensure your hotel has uninhibited access to the best software on the market, that can integrate seamlessly with your current (and future) offerings. At Pegasus, we have partnered with leading industry suppliers like Duetto and IDEAS, working together closely on integrations, acting as a seamless team to support our clients, every step of the journey.
In the hospitality realm, our success with our nearly 5,000 hotel customers is defined by the relationships we create and maintain. To ensure your hotel is supported by the best technology and service offerings, actively seek out collaborative partnerships when purchasing new software. This investment in relationship-focused technology partnerships rather than vendor-based sales cycles will empower your hotel to remain at the crux of hospitality innovation both now and in the future.