The problem that SmartDigital Plug wants to solve is the reluctance of travellers to choose accommodation in which they will have contact with other customers or employees and do not have a guarantee of professional cleanliness, given the fear of contagion from COVID19.
What it does
The solution is the only complete and integrated platform for small independent hotels and alternative accommodations which digitalizes and professionalizes the operations, covering all stages, from registration, access to the property, check-in/out, and even includes a professional cleaning, customer service and private shuttle services.
How we built it
We have coordinated the efforts and interests of 5 European traveltech B2B startups (Chekin, Doinn, Servantrip, Staymyway and Visor.ai) to design a unique platform, SmartDigitalPlug, for offering and operating their services, which is a solution almost ready to be offered to the market.
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge was to reinterpret the traveller journey from the perspective of the “new normal” that COVID19 has provoked. We have addressed the issues from the COVID19 impact, trying to eliminate its negative consequences. Basically it has meant to design and apply different technologies to eliminate all the physical contacts between the travellers and the employes of the Property; eliminate sources of contagious (i.e. keys); guarantee professional cleaning standards; and even facilitate private transfer in/out.
Thus, we have had to consider the whole experience of the travellers since the traveller is reaching the Property until is leaving it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are especially proud of how each of the 5 startups behind SmartDigitalPlug has forgotten their private interests and collaborated wholeheartedly, convinced that SmartDigitalPlug could really make the difference for small independent hotels and alternative accommodations.
We are also proud of being capable to integrate smoothly five different technologies under one common platform, which itself is prepared to communicate with PMS, Channel Managers, etc. And, in these times of urgency, we are proud of being capable to polish the platform and make it fully operational in less than 2 weeks.
What we learned
We have learned that working together, combining the vision of different companies from different countries, creates a fluent innovation space where all the developments are much faster as the strategy has a larger scope instead on being focused on a small part of the problem.
What's next for SmartDigitalPlug
In order to carry on and complete and launch the platform, there are several lines of activity that need to be completed and would require additional funds and a full time dedicated team. Main lines of activity are:
Improve the usability of the user interface across the platform, and translate it to all EU languages.
Improve the integration of the 5 subsolutions to enable better data sharing and single sign-on. All of them are operational and have a significant client base on their own, which means they will continue their operations as independent companies, improving their technology, what would affect positively SmartDigitalPlug as well.
Define and agree on the pricing model and the commercial strategy.
Build up an operations team for SmartDigitalPlug, which at the end will become an independent company owned by the five startups launching the project: Chekin, Doinn, Servantrip, Staymyway and Visor.ai