IQware’s Global PMS helps The Sofia Hotel Tether its Historical Charm to Leading-edge Technology

  • IQware, Inc.
  • 09.02.09
Seamlessly combining old-world charm with the best of today’s technologies and amenities, The Sofia Hotel is a premier chic boutique lodging destination in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

“Our philosophy has always been to leverage the best technology to optimize guest experiences,” said John Maclean, assistant general manager at The Sofia Hotel. “The IQware Global Property Management System not only fits right into this mission, but it also gives us a distinct edge over much larger competitors.”

“We worked very closely with The Sofia Hotel to ensure our IQware Global PMS gives the property, and its valued associates and guests, all of the tools they need to stay connected,” said David Perkins, president of Deerfield Beach-based IQware. “We even tinkered a bit with our proven PMS to further customize and expand IQware’s functionality and flexibility. Let’s face it: One-of-a-kind, award-winning properties like The Sofia Hotel demand and deserve like-minded technology partners — and that’s where IQware comes in.”

“The Sofia Hotel is a unique, independent brand that the ownership created, blending traditional hotelier values with the latest technological advantages,” Maclean said. “We leverage the Internet to directly market to our customers, and use IQware’s high-touch/high-tech customer relationship management tools to stay in touch.”

“Nowadays, a lot people prefer to book their rooms online,” Maclean said. “I don’t blame them: A lot of times, it’s faster, easier and cheaper. Thankfully, with all of the functionality we have through IQware, we can provide high-tech reservations, yet still maintain our high-touch ways. IQware gives us the best of both worlds.”

The Sofia Hotel uses IQware for property management, online reservations and back-office operations.

“As an integrated solution for GDS, WEBRES and Expedia Quick Connect, IQware improves our inbound marketing and allows guests to book directly into our PMS without having to interact with our associates,” said Maclean.

Automated room booking functionality also lets the hotel control inventory and rates in real time across different distribution channels, resulting in significantly improved revenue per room.

“Our guests cover the gamut, from leisure to business, and we host a lot of international guests as well due to the closeness of the convention center,” said Maclean. “The wide variety of guests coming into our hotel requires we do an extra good job of matching their needs. With the IQware Global PMS, not only can we meet and exceed guests’ expectations, we also can anticipate them. Nothing WOWs guests and builds loyalty like a need recognized and met before it’s voiced.”

IQware's outbound CRM solution allows The Sofia Hotel to communicate with guests automatically and keep close tabs on amenity preferences, reservation statuses and other information critical to guest satisfaction.

“With IQware, we can cost effectively launch personalized e-mail marketing campaigns in just a few clicks and track our results with real-time reporting,” Maclean said.

The high-tech functionality of IQware makes high-touch easy, according to Perkins. “A lot of what our customers need to be successful involves keeping in close touch with their guests, and we are constantly focused on adding more functionality to do this,” Perkins said.

“The vast majority of our guests are technologically savvy, and they expect us to be the same,” added Maclean. “We’re moving in the direction of letting guests do everything through their smart phones. It’s all about our loyal guests having instant access to our open inventory and their information, and our associates having anywhere access to real-time business intelligence.”

“We defined our needs up front as a brand new property, looking at what we needed to run our business most competitively,” said Maclean. “IQware has exactly what we need, and it’s a great value."

“Even though it’s packed with modules and features, IQware is extremely easy to use. We have no problem training our people,” said Maclean. “Just as important, IQware keeps getting more user and guest-friendly.”

The Sofia Hotel uses IQware’s merchandising module to tap another incremental income stream. “We sell logo merchandise, various chocolates, spa treatments, you name it — even our acclaimed mattresses — online,” Maclean added.

“IQware stands right beside us on the front lines, day in and day out helping us get things done,” McLean said. “Whenever we need something, we can just pick up the phone — at any time, day or night — and they are ready to help us. We have 24x7 access to IQware’s people who provide immediate, professional assistance.”

“All of the the people I’ve worked with at IQware are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. IQware truly gets it — that the relationship begins, not ends, with the sale,” Maclean noted.

“IQware pretty much runs on its own. And if anything does happen, IQware is on top of it right away and helps fix the minor issue quickly,” added Maclean.

“We compete successfully against five worldwide chains, and the major reason we can do this is by leveraging the technology in IQware,” said Maclean.

IQware professionals know the lodging industry inside and out, so Perkins says he’s not surprised at The Sofia Hotel’s success using the highly functional, ever-evolving software.

“Even in this economy, we continue to grow on a monthly basis, and we attribute a lot of this growth to the capabilities IQware makes available to us,” said Maclean. “With the built-in functionality of IQware, we gather information about our guests and then use e-mail to offer them special direct deals — personal attention they appreciate — helping us simultaneously build relationships and revenues. IQware is so much more than just another PMS.”

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