Introducing Focal Revenue Solutions
The day has finally come! Months after trading in life as a hotelier to explore a more uncertain path, I am excited to announce the birth of Focal Revenue Solutions.
The idea behind Focal is over a year in the making. While working as the Director of Revenue Systems Architecture at Two Roads Hospitality I grew concerned with the lack of robust, intuitive analytical systems available to hospitality management organizations. After gathering feedback from those both within and outside of the organization, I came to the conclusion that there had to be a better way.
And on January 1st, 2018, I left my role at Two Roads determined to find a way to build it. There were no Jerry Maguire moments– no righteous manifesto, no “who’s coming with me”…no stolen goldfish. Two Roads is a great organization, and it was tough to say goodbye. However, in the end I felt I could make a greater contribution to the hospitality industry by building the tools I wish I’d had during my time in revenue management.
In the months since I left Two Roads there have been many ups, and a few downs. By far the biggest highlight to date was forming our founding team with my partners Chad and Travis, who I’m thrilled to introduce below:
- Travis Nelson– Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer: An active leader in the Denver tech community, Travis provides over 15 years of technology development experience ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
- Chad Baudoin– Co-Founder, Chief Product Officer: Chad brings a strong background in web application development, user interface design, and product development spanning a number of senior corporate and consulting roles with Fortune 500 companies including JP Morgan, Bank of America, Nationwide Insurance, and Western Union.
I’m blown away daily by their strong technical acumen, adaptability to a new industry, and knack for cramming two weeks of work into a span of a few days. With their heavy lifting behind our platform, I’m confident we’ll continue to accomplish great things.
I must admit I have some anxiety as my finger hovers over the “publish button.” Is our baby ugly? Did we choose a dumb name? I can’t speak for Chad and Travis, but I know I’m pretty damn proud of what we’ve been able to do in just a few short months. That said– we’ve barely scratched the surface, and I look forward to everything yet to come.
As we embark on this journey, we’ve drafted some guideposts to keep us on track. For all you true nerds, feel free to read on and hold us accountable as we move forward.
For those that don’t, I promise this is my last post singing our praises. From here on out we will focus on delivering valuable content to aid you in your quest for advanced hospitality analytics.
Talk to you soon!
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Focal Revenue Solutions
Business Plan Executive Summary
“We’re in the business of serving guests, not building technology,” is a refrain Mike Medsker heard repeated often during his time as a hotelier.
This mentality has contributed in part to hospitality organizations electing to continue fighting competitive battles with metaphorical sticks and stones, while the likes of Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking Holdings continue to out maneuver, out market, and– most importantly– out strategize their more traditional counterparts using advanced technology. As an industry we’ve spent the last few years espousing theories about total revenue optimization and the alignment of sales, marketing, and revenue management, yet major underlying issues remain unresolved.
It was for this reason that Mike decided to leave his position as Director of Revenue Systems Architecture for Two Roads Hospitality after coming to the realization that he could have a greater impact on the industry by entering the business of building technology, not serving guests.
Hotel management executives have long spoken about the need for revenue management team members to become more strategic, broaden their focus, and become surgical tacticians rather than simple analysts. And yet, with 60% of their time devoted to data aggregation and formatting from disparate systems, it’s hard enough for them to keep their head above water let alone concentrate on any of the above.
Focal was founded on the premise that hospitality organizations should reclaim the power currently lying untapped in their siloed data. This power comes not by adding inordinate amounts of new data, but by becoming more proficient with the data that’s currently available.
The progression of revenue management will be driven through technological revolution, and Focal is at the forefront by helping organizations consolidate their data from disparate systems, build and analyze actionable reports at the hotel and portfolio levels, and change their collaboration and communication workflows to focus on strategic outcomes rather than static data points.
In short, Focal builds comprehensive reporting solutions allowing hotels, resorts, and management organizations to outmaneuver and outperform their competition.
We work with independent hospitality management organizations and hotels interested in evolving their strategic approach to include total revenue management, intelligent report design, and strengthened collaboration.
Our cloud-based technology architecture allows partners to maintain a low total cost of ownership, and our per key pricing model provides cost-benefit scaling in order to ensure a strong ROI regardless of property size. With nearly 1.5M independent hotel keys in the US alone, there is ample opportunity to gain traction domestically before targeting the international marketplace.
Focal’s leadership team consists of top talent from hospitality revenue management and non-hospitality technology to provide a fresh take on hotel analytics. Key executives include:
- Mike Medsker- Co-Founder, President: Having served in a number of revenue management leadership roles at the hotel and corporate levels throughout his career, Mike brings a wealth of expertise in revenue optimization, analytics, data management, and systems implementation.
- Travis Nelson- Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer: An active leader in the Denver tech community, Travis provides over 15 years of technology development experience ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
- Chad Baudoin- Co-Founder, Chief Product Officer: Chad brings a strong background in web application development, user interface design, and product development spanning a number of senior corporate and consulting roles with Fortune 500 companies including JP Morgan, Bank of America, Nationwide Insurance, and Western Union.
While there are already several well entrenched competitors in the hospitality business intelligence space including Rainmaker (RevIntel), IDeaS (Revenue Performance Insights), Duetto (Scoreboard), Datavision, and HotelsBI, Focal’s unique positioning will allow it to succeed as an upstart technology provider. Key advantages include the following:
- Results Oriented Reporting- We don’t believe in reporting for reporting’s sake. If you can’t take action after analyzing a report, you won’t find it in our turnkey hotel and portfolio level reporting suites.
- Improved Collaboration- Focal allows customers to break down data silos and collaborate across disciplines in real time using sharing and commenting features.
- User Driven Insights- For those who would like to explore their data further, Focal offers users the ability to build their own reports without advanced technical knowledge.
- Total Revenue Focus- We’re highly focused on analyzing data from all operating departments in order to help customers increase their share of wallet.
- Modern Technology Stack- We’ve selected the leading technologies for the modern age in order to provide a lightweight, performant, cloud based platform that eliminates the need for our clients to invest heavily in technology infrastructure upfront.
As an early stage startup Focal Revenue Solutions is currently midway through its first product development sprint, which will conclude in early June 2018 and allow us to unveil our platform at HITEC. In order to achieve our key success objectives for the current calendar year, we are focused on the following:
- Product Development- We are currently working with two top tier hotel management companies to pilot the Focal Business Intelligence Platform and provide feedback on key functionality, features, and reports.
- Industry Thought Leadership- We believe in sharing our take on revenue optimization through content publication, white papers, webinars, and educational sessions at key conferences.
- Enhancing Integrations- A robust revenue analytics platform requires data from disparate sources. We champion an open integration approach, and are currently working hard to add to our existing interface options.
- Adding Hospitality Partners- We intend to add a minimum of 150 hotels to our platform by the end of Q1 2019, which will come about as a result of partnerships with hospitality management organizations.
- Weighing Funding Options- We are currently taking a bootstrap approach to fund Focal’s progress, which gives us the ability to focus on building a great product rather than managing investors. However, throughout the back half of the year we will assess our options to determine whether it makes sense to take on outside funding to accelerate growth.