Revenue Technology Needs to Take Risks

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When it comes to product evolution, intelligent risk-taking isn’t the only consideration for today’s tech companies

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The inherent nature of revenue management is mathematical and scientific. We tout complex formulas, data modeling, machine learning, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and the list goes on. The marketing department likes to tell me we literally have algorithms that could go for days. (I’m concerned they don’t know what “literally” means.)

We have scientists, researchers, mathematicians and analytical masterminds, and they all drive the engines behind today’s powerful industry technology. There isn’t any argument against how important this is for increasing hotel profitability in an interconnected and complex data-driven industry either. After all, it’s science.

But while revenue management and, specifically, the hospitality industry might drive forward with advanced principles of science and math, its survival depends largely on its heart. The heart of the hospitality industry lies in the diverse communities, the richness of culture and the selfless people who are proud to pour their energy into the most basic, instinctual act of helping another person.

The successful components of today’s technology companies are no different. Behind every ground-breaking innovation that makes us question how on earth we survived without it, is a person who took a risk because their passion, their heart and their belief was an idea that could change another person’s way of life for the better.

Intelligent risk-taking and passion are important to both new and established businesses. If you look at fast-growing companies like Airbnb and Uber, they are often described as disruptive for a (good) reason: they think differently, they act differently, and they took an intelligent risk on services no one else was providing.

“Heart” is at the heart of every single business, and it’s what drives the work we do at IDeaS.  It was our hearts that encouraged Sanjay and I to take an intelligent risk to change the hospitality industry with analytics. And it paid off. We were able to pioneer analytical capabilities that eventually became industry standards. Our calling was clear, and it was simple: we wanted to help others. This underlying company ethos has never faltered, and it’s something I’m told is felt in every product meeting, every hallway conversation and every interpersonal connection.

As a tech company, taking risks means that you’re innovating, you’re changing, you’re thinking and you’re rising up to the challenges of evolution. But with intelligent risk-taking also comes risk-responsibility, something also driven largely by heart and passion. Tech companies not only have a responsibility to evolve with the times to both the benefit of their business and their clients, but they need to also approach risk in another way. They need to consider the environmental risks their clients are facing and absorb those risks as much as possible.

The products, solutions and services IDeaS provides not only offer cutting-edge features and enhancements that rise to the current climate of emerging industry opportunities, but they are designed to shield hotels from taking on any unnecessary risks in their revenue strategy, data quality and bottom-line profits.

A common discussion we have is how all this emerging data is transitioning our industry from night to day. The heart of IDeaS, and the solutions and services we provide, is to take (and absorb) the risks needed for our clients to evolve with the industry while avoiding any unprofitable jeopardy along the way.

Ravi Mehrotra

Ravi Mehrotra

President & Chief Scientist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions

Dr. Ravi Mehrotra is the president, founder & chief scientist of IDeaS Revenue Solutions. Through the establishment of IDeaS in 1989, Dr. Mehrotra pioneered the “Opportunity Cost” approach that later became the industry standard for dealing with the complexities of the network or length of stay effects in revenue management.

Ravi’s research and founding involvement in IDeaS is a natural progression of his scientific background. As an assistant professor at North Carolina State University, he invented new models for parallel computing; designed and analyzed both asynchronous and randomized algorithms for distributed processing; and reviewed many proposals for key government scientific agencies. At Texas Instruments, Ravi played an integral role in the development of a real-time scheduler for a complex manufacturing company. As a scientist in the Decision and Technology Lab of Andersen Consulting, Ravi was instrumental in the development and implementation of a fleet planning, scheduling and load consolidation system for a major household goods transportation company. Additionally, Ravi co-authored and holds more than one dozen patents.

Today, Dr. Mehrotra remains an active and hands-on chief scientist at IDeaS. He continues to research increasingly sophisticated methods for dynamic pricing that optimize expected profits over longer time horizons, and is a widely-recognized leader in the field of predictive analytics, forecasting and dynamic price optimization.
Ravi Mehrotra

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