Having set up their business in the Middle East 27 years ago, Key Information Technology (KIT) were finding the market slow for their educational IT solution, but 20 years ago they came across Micros.
"Our company expanded into the hospitality industry and completely by accident we found Micros - it was an independent company then, not the current Micros Fidelio - and they had a solution for restaurants, so we took on the product and found our first customers in the hospitality industry," says Adnan Yateem, consultant to the board of directors, KIT.
To my knowledge there are no superior systems so far, but that only means that we need to work twice as hard to stay on top.
Key Information Technology later teamed up with a German firm called Fidelio, which produced new software for PC technology, and became one of its first distributors. Now Key Information Technology is Micros Fidelio's biggest supplier in the Middle East.
"Micros Fidelio is a management system that provides hotels with overall support. The hotel is a dynamic environment, and Micros Fidelio prides itself on research and development. What a hotel is looking for today is very different to what they were looking for 20 years ago," explains Yateem.
The company has three offices in KSA, one in Jordan, one in Kuwait, one in Qatar, one in Yemen, one in Syria, one in Pakistan, one in Oman and one in Dubai, and the Micros Fidelio management system is in use throughout the Middle East in 99.9% of five-star hotels, and 80% of four-stars, according to Yateem.
"It's because it's a complete solution. We look into front and back office, food and beverage, inventory, the central reservation system. We also interface with most third party systems like locking, TV, telephone systems, banquet display systems and minibar systems," he explains.
The system will also allow the hotel to improve its level of service, by giving staff all the information they require to cater to a guest's needs.
"The information on the system will allow hotels to provide their guests with an efficient service. They will know if a guest requires an extra pillow, a smoking or no smoking room, or especially in this region if they want alcohol removed from their room. Before the guest gets to the hotel the staff knows if he wants ABC or D because it's been logged on the system," Yateem explains.
"It also maximises profit by catering to the needs of the GM and the financial controller, which nobody had thought of 10 years ago."
Not as many of the mid to low-end properties use the solution, but Yateem believes this could change as three-star properties start receiving more guests due to the expense of five-stars. After all, the software can be used in budget hotels - and already is in a few cases.
"They use the same software but with different modules, some of the functions aren't required by a budget hotel, so we can switch them off. And it's the same with major accounts - the five-stars - some of them choose to limit the functionality because they don't require it," he says.
Yateem is confident that Micros Fidelio will remain the most popular management solution, not just because of its adaptability and understanding of the market's changing needs, but for reasons of practicality.
"It's popular because everyone knows how to use it; with our competitor's solutions it will take much longer. Plus staff already know it, so hotels don't have to spend a fortune on training their people," he says.
He added that the firm's focus is keeping the cost low for hotels and providing a user friendly global service available at all times.
"We offer installation, training, consultation and 24 hour support. We run in house customer satisfaction days, provide up to date news information on Micros Fidelio's suite of products," he says. "We have a centralised Middle East support centre, which is accessible through a toll-free number. We also have a Fidelio Academy that trains hotel staff all year round and a centralised data centre."
KIT currently has 120 staff in the UAE and a total of 350 across the Middle East.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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