OYO and Microsoft announce strategic alliance to digitally transform the travel industry
Microsoft and global travel technology company OYO have entered a multi-year strategic alliance to co-develop next-gen travel and hospitality technologies. OYO will adopt Microsoft Azure as a key enabler to drive cloud-based innovations and reimagine the hospitality and travel tech industry. The solutions will be geared to benefit small and medium hotels and homestays. Microsoft has also made a strategic equity investment in OYO.
Small and independent hotels and homeowners across the world will have access to OYO’s latest technology to manage their guests’ experience, increase revenue and run operations seamlessly with the security and scalability of Microsoft Azure. The pandemic has brought about massive shifts in consumer behaviours while booking travel, including preferences for platforms that enable social distancing, local travel, flexibility, faster booking and improved customer experiences. Such changes have accelerated the way small and medium hotel businesses operate, leading to a slew of pioneering technologies and higher tech adoption, which will further shape the future of hospitality.
Abhinav Sinha, Global COO & Chief Product Officer – OYO Hotels & Homes said, “We are excited to join hands with Microsoft in our constant endeavour to improve business opportunities for the small and independent hotel and homeowners, and to redefine experiences for travellers. Our partner app ecosystem provides a ~2X lift in revenues for new hotels and homes that join the OYO network. We do this through our products, and application of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), be it running millions of pricing optimisations per day to increase revenues or enabling users to book an OYO within seconds. Our technology and products have helped our partners drive operational efficiencies and continuously improve the experience for guests. This alliance with Microsoft will accelerate the deployment of our products in the hands of small businesses we work with, allowing us to create even more impact through an integrated technology ecosystem available on the cloud for businesses in the remotest corners of the world. For our guests, this alliance will mean more personalisation, better choices, differentiated experiences and an improved guest experience in the future. Microsoft’s commitment is further strengthened by the equity investment in the company.”
As part of this alliance, OYO will develop Smart Room experiences for travellers on the OYO platform, such as premium and customised in-room experiences for its guests. Using Microsoft’s Azure IoT, the experience will include self-check-in supported by a digital register of arrivals and departures and self-Know Your Customer (KYC) along with IoT-managed smart locks and virtual assistance.
“Combining the power of Azure with the tech and product stack developed by OYO, we are looking forward to accelerating innovation in travel and hospitality,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India. “It is inspiring to see how the Microsoft cloud is empowering digital natives like OYO to accelerate industry transformation and innovations, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future.”
The alliance includes deep technological engagement between the two companies. Besides co-innovating, OYO will also begin to share existing workloads to Microsoft Azure, adopt the Microsoft 365 suite for better collaboration and productivity and switch to Github Enterprise for accelerating tech development in a secure manner. In a bid to make OYO’s technologies easily accessible across the world, the company is also working on several products to ease partner onboarding.
The global rollout will also see the innovative software solutions introduced in Malaysia. Tan Ming Luk, Vice President & Head, OYO Malaysia & Singapore, commented, “In the crowded hospitality sector, like Malaysia, OYO has made a name as an asset-light, tech-centric platform that empowers hospitality SMEs by providing full-stack technology that can be implemented with ease to increase earnings and ease operations, besides making it easy and safe for travellers to discover and book affordable and trusted accommodation.”