Accor doubled the size of its D-Edge software business during the pandemic
Accor is taking on tech companies Amadeus and Saber in selling software to hotels. Watch this place.
It is unusual for hotel groups to run technology services companies in parallel. It is even rarer for the company to gain ground. Choice Hotel’s SkyTouch division floundered and RLC’s tech arm stumbled. But Accor claims recent success for its subsidiary D-Edge, launched five years ago after two acquisitions.
The Paris-based hotel giant said D-Edge has roughly doubled its independent hotel customers during the pandemic, from 6,500 non-Accor hotels in July 2019 to more than 12,500 today, the D CEO said. -Edge, Pierre-Charles Grob.
In April, Accor, whose brands include Fairmont, Sofitel and OneFineStay, hired D-Edge to build a central reservations system for its 5,300 properties – which will allow hotel operators to manage room inventory and distribute content. to resellers. The project will take “two to three years,” Grob said.
Sebastian Bazin, CEO of the French hotel giant, recently described D-Edge as a “jewel within Accor” in a phone interview with investment analysts.
The provider – which offers hotels around 14 services ranging from website development to customer relationship management – beats rivals Saber Hospitality Solutions (with its SynXis product) and Amadeus’ hotel business (which includes what it used to be called TravelClick) in sales in Europe, Bazin said. .
D-Edge is in full hiring. Today, nearly half of its 450 employees work in software development, Grob said.
The company sells a la carte products. It is best known for its central reservation system, connectivity for online distribution, and studios for producing around 400 custom and template-based websites per year. But perhaps the fastest growing product right now is its guest data management platform, which gives hotels the ability to pull data from various solutions and cleanse it.
“We remove duplicates and errors and let hotels run their sales and marketing activities on a cleansed guest file,” Grob said.
The company grew its customer base in part because it didn’t lay off sales, account management and development staff like some competitors did during the pandemic, Grob said. Demand has also rebounded stronger than expected, with many independent hoteliers rethinking their digital efforts.
“We signed a good number of contracts,” Grob said.
He said no one else has the scale of D-Edge among independent hoteliers in Europe. The provider is currently developing features to appeal to the regional chain and enterprise market.
Grob declined to disclose financial information. But he said the business was profitable on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization basis.
Bazin lets his subsidiary operate independently, presumably hoping that a third party such as Cloudbeds, Yanolja or Shiji will one day come along and share ownership. Or maybe a financial company would want to buy it outright to earn third place in the world in hotel software sales after Saber and Amadeus.
” This company [D-Edge] deserves more resources, both human capital and technology capital,” Bazin told investors in February. “But I can tell you, fabulous success over the last five years and huge opportunities for the next few years to come for D-Edge.”