Summer 2020 was a particularly tumultuous time for the hospitality industry. The global pandemic had decimated travel; the business model was workforce-heavy and expensive; and the entire industry was dealing with technology limitations that prevented them from offering a seamless data driven digital guest experience nor an intuitive employee solution. In short: hospitality providers needed to evolve to survive.
That’s why SV Group, a leading hospitality company operating in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, turned to Camunda to help support their vision for a disruptive, end-to-end digital guest journey and all-encompassing employee solution. By making it seamless for guests to book, check-in, enjoy their stay, and check out, SV Group created a superior customer experience. At the same time SV Group provided their employees with a one-stop-shop solution that allowed their employees to service their guests in a proactive way.
In just six months, SV Group was able to successfully provide a seamless & superior digital guest as well as employee experience at its first Stay KooooK property in Bern. Since then, a second Stay KooooK property has gone live. Their digital one-stop-solution for Guest, Employees & Operators delivered great results: a 95% self-check-in / out rate; a 9.0 Guest happiness score out of 10; and employees reporting that they can perform 70-80% of their daily tasks with one solution.
SV Group quickly realized that their solution, called likeMagic, was able to solve key challenges in the hospitality industry. Hence, they decided to share likeMagic with all hotels as well as serviced apartments in a white label model.
The SV Group and likeMagic teams tasked Camunda with end-to-end process monitoring and orchestration, ensuring that their best-in-class SaaS solutions integrated perfectly to create a guest as well as employee experience that feels like magic.
The vision for the Stay KooooK guest experience was all-encompassing. Guests would be able to book through a variety of platforms, such as Airbnb, Expedia, or Booking.com. Upon arriving at the hotel, they would use their web-based mobile app to effortlessly check in and complete all the necessary tasks online. Next, they’d unlock the front door as well as their room using a digital key via their mobile device. From there, guests can enjoy their stay, easily requesting guest services via the same mobile experience. When their stay is over, guests would quickly check out via mobile without having to wait for a receptionist’s availability.
The entire property runs efficiently, with guests having instant access to everything needed at their fingertips, staffed with only two full-time employees, as opposed to the industry average of five to six needed to provide the same level of service.
likeMagic doesn’t just benefit guests; it also supports employees and operators as well.
This digital solution meant that employees would no longer need to focus on repetitive administrative tasks and could instead focus on maintaining the customer’s experience through friendly and helpful human interaction.
The biggest challenge of an ambitious project like this is orchestrating various cloud microservices to ensure critical processes run without issue to deliver a consistently exceptional guest experience. To deliver on that experience, a modern event-driven microservices architecture was implemented. When someone checks in, a process opens the main door, followed shortly by a second process that authenticates the guest room door. The team wanted to observe the time between processes, to minimize potential incidents and equip the likeMagic team to act quickly on guests service requests.
The team realized they needed to build a digital hospitality platform to operate a multiple-property brand like Stay KooooK with many properties in an efficient way while offering a seamless, best-in-class digital guest experience.
When building that platform, one of the central KPIs set by the team was the self-check-in / out rate. This KPI was set at 90%.
“We realized this would be quite challenging when we saw the actual conversion which exists on the existing solutions,” says Robert Blust, CTO of like Magic. “But challenge accepted.”
To accomplish this, Blust and the team quickly realized that the team could not build everything themselves to create a digital solution and instead decided to use best-in-class cloud services to accelerate the time to market.
In terms of architecture and technology, the team wanted to build a real-time platform with an event-driven integration, and implement pattern events over CQRS. A cloud native, polyglot microservice architecture was also critical to success.
While building the digital experience that would drive Stay Kooook, the team had the vision to go one step further and build a SaaS platform to offer as a solution to other hospitality brands. With this decision, likeMagic was born. Now, the team needed to bring all of these systems together, orchestrate them, and carefully monitor the processes.
“Stay KooooK Bern was set to launch in 2020 with a simple digital guest journey,” said Blust. “But there were a few early challenges with getting booking processes from the various microservices integrated with hotel onboarding processes. That’s when we knew we needed process monitoring to detect potential points of failure quickly.”
“If failures are not detected in time, it could be devastating for us,” said Markus Feller, CEO of likeMagic. “That indicates we have no control over our process or our data. Instead, we like to know about potential issues before the customer realizes anything is happening.”
SV Group turned to Camunda for likeMagic’s end-to-end process monitoring and orchestration. The team chose to use the fully managed Camunda Enterprise edition to support the team’s aggressive go-to-market goals for Stay Kooook and the likeMagic platform. With Camunda, the team was able to achieve a faster time-to-market, and easily calculate their overall cloud operating costs.
“We were able to go live with the platform in September 2020, and feel like we had full control over our process monitoring,” Feller said. “Our guests don’t see any of the complex processes happening in the background, which is hugely important for us. Camunda gives us peace of mind and lets our hosts be proactive with our guests. At the end of the day, our excellent guest and client reviews and satisfaction scores speak to the platform’s success.”
Today, Camunda continues to monitor critical points in the guest journey, ensuring that processes are automated and operating correctly within predefined time periods. In the event of a failure or delay within a cloud service, Camunda automatically alerts the likeMagic team 24/7 of the issue.
SV Group and likeMagic were able to outperform their aggressive goals in the first year of operation, and created 2,000- 2,500 process instances per month, directly correlating to the number of stays produced within their hotels and hotels using likeMagic’s digital platform. That number increased significantly in the first quarter of 2023, with likeMagic’s hospitality vendors creating a monthly average of 7,000 process instances.
The likeMagic experience is delighting guests, employees, and operators, generating a 95% self-check-in/out rate for guests and a 9.0 guest happiness score with likeMagic’s digital solutions. Employees at likeMagic-enabled properties now only use 1 solution for 70-80% of their work, and operators can wow their guests thanks to automatically generated guest profiles.
These superior results have helped likeMagic’s business prospects as well; within 10 months in 2022, likeMagic has grown from 2 customers to more than 30 in the DACH region, with further expansion targets in Europe.
While SV Group and likeMagic started with passive process monitoring on Camunda, they plan to move to active process orchestration so they can easily and seamlessly integrate new cloud services into the platform’s automated BPMN workflow. This will allow them to iterate on the platform continuously, further improving the guest experience.
With more and more 5-star reviews each passing day, likeMagic plans to further extend its geographic reach, expanding into new regions and increasing the number of rooms that can offer the superior customer booking and stay experiences supported by likeMagic.
“In 2023 we are expanding beyond the DACH region; we are targeting the UK as well as Benelux,” Feller explained. “In terms of signed rooms, we are pursuing a target of 15,000 by the end of 2023.”
“The future is incredibly bright,” Feller said. “We could not be more pleased with Camunda’s SaaS offering, which gives us the confidence to scale quickly, allowing us to replicate this experience to millions of guests worldwide.”