Thursday
Feb092012

Reaction to "CRM: Go Vertical, Customize or Integrate"

A bit ago I read a great blog post by Lauren Carlson at Hospitality CRM Software Advice titled “CRM: Go Vertical, Customize or Integrate?”  I couldn’t help but relate Libra OnDemand to what Lauren was discussing.

Libra OnDemand is without a doubt a powerhouse for the hospitality sector.  With the offerings of CRM & Analytics, Concierge & Guest Relations, Sales Groups & Events, Loyalty Management & Rewards, Email Marketing Campaigns, Customer Portal, and HMS Portal, Libra OnDemand is truly a robust solution.

In reading, I realized that our solution built completely in the cloud fits into the categories Lauren mentioned. Taking a “verticalization” perspective, our solutions are very specific.  The hospitality industry, including hotels, resorts, nightclubs, restaurants, and event venues would all be quite familiar with the terminology and functionality included.  Lauren mentioned some of the drawbacks found in vertical solutions, including technical obsolesce and lack of customizable freedom.  Neither of these are found in Libra OnDemand!

Being built on top of the Force.com platform allows for real-time updates and continuous development of the Libra OnDemand application.  Likewise, in house development continues to roll out new features as part of a managed package the user does not need to worry about.  Being a cloud based SaaS solution, updates are able to be pushed in real time to clients.  This eliminates any concern for “old” or “outdated” software, and removes the need to purchase a new version just to obtain a feature.  Clients are subscribing to service, ensuring they always have the most up to date solution possible.

On the same note, users can attest to the fact that Libra OnDemand is an extremely customizable package.  Not only is multi language and multi currency support built into the platform, custom solutions and workflows are intuitive enough for clients to develop themselves.  Plus, when a bit more customization is needed (or just a bit of help), our world class support department and team of in-house developers are available to assist.

Overall ,it is important to ensure whatever platform, solution, or service researched is going to be adaptable enough for the client.  Having a managed package, with customization options, high caliber support, and cutting edge development is a good place to start.

Interested in this type of solution? We should chat.  Reach out to Libra OnDemand at info@libraondemand.com.  Want to see what all the chatter is about?  Sign up for a free trial at www.libraondemand.com.

 

Monday
Jan302012

New Libra OnDemand Package Update

New enhancements have been added in our recent package of Libra OnDemand!

January 2012 Release Notes:

  • Added support of Interest Categories 
  • Owner name designation on Functions
  • SurveyRedirect VF page to integrate LOD Survey functionality with external systems
  • Loyalty Module Enhancements

In order to ensure any custom implementations are compatible with this release, fill out a support request to be updated!

Thursday
Dec152011

How to Submit a Support Services Case

Libra OnDemand Support Services provides expert-level technical support, advanced web-based tools and best practices training to its valued customers. Users can easily receive assistance by submitting cases to Support Services via the Libra OnDemand Support Portal

 

A Support Services Consultant or your Customer Success Manager will provide you with a Username and Password to the Libra OnDemand Support Portal. If these credentials have not been provided, please contact support@libraondemand.com. Please note that the Username and Password for access to the Support Portal are different from your Libra OnDemand (salesforce.com) Username and Password used to access the Libra OnDemand HRM system. 

 

The following steps outline the process for submitting a Support Services case:

 

  1. To access the Support Portal, go to the Libra OnDemand website at www.libraondemand.com and click the “Login” button at the top right of the screen.
  2. Enter your Support Portal Username and Password in appropriate fields.
  3. Once logged in, you now have access to the Welcome to Libra Support Portal screen.
  4. To submit a Support Services case, click on the “Log A Case” tab, complete the required fields, and click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Once the case has been submitted, you will receive an auto notification email, confirming that your case has been successfully logged in the Support Portal. A Support Services Consultant will then contact you for assistance, pursuant to the terms of the Libra OnDemand Service Level Agreement (“SLA”) described at http://www.libraondemand.com/support_policy.

 

A brief video tutorial may be viewed here. 

Click on image to view video tutorial.

 

Friday
Jul082011

Libra OnDemand Executive Interview | 2011 HITEC

While at HITEC 2011, CRM Analyst Lauren Carlson from Software Advice met with Gregg Hopkins, President & CEO of Libra OnDemand, to discusss CRM trends in the hospitality industry. During the interview, Gregg talked about the different disciplines of CRM and how they “talk to eachother.” He discussed the “hot” trends in the market, including cloud computing and mobile applications. Gregg shared the importance of reputation management for hotels through social media. And, he discussed the unique qualities of Libra OnDemand that are being embraced by members of the hospitality industry.

Monday
May302011

Why the Cloud is Right for Hospitality

By offering a fundamentally faster, less risky, and more affordable solution to on-premises applications, cloud computing will forever change the economics of hospitality information technology. With cost-effective alternatives for application enhancement and development, cloud computing provides innovative ways to create competitive industry advantage. Why are cloud solutions the right technology strategy for 2011 and beyond?

1.  Delivers faster time to value

Cloud computing affords hospitality organizations a return on investment within weeks, not months or years. Since cloud computing streamlines all stages of the application development cycle, with complete, pre-built applications and project management services, developers can immediately focus on customizing features and functionality.

Additionally, cloud applications are much faster and less expensive to scale to multiple applications since there are no additional costs to deploy more to existing users. And because all applications are built on the same platform, pre-existing capabilities and services can be reused across multiple applications.

2.  Requires no up-front capital expense

Cloud computing platforms are based on subscription pricing. Companies can start small, with virtually no up-front costs, and instantly scale to meet broader business needs. The ability to pay-as-you-go is categorized as a service rather than a capital expense, making it a compelling option for financial predictability and project accountability. And because there is little risk, cloud solutions allow hospitality organizations attain better information technology despite reduced capital budgets.

3.  Minimizes operational costs

Cloud environments are immediately available and vertically integrated with ready-to-use services for developers, administrators and end users, cutting project time and cost. Cloud technology providers even manage the burden of operational maintenance and support. Performance tuning, patches, and upgrades are delivered as part of the service, requiring fewer technical resources and minimal demands on the customer.

Such operational efficiencies are the result of a true multitenant architecture where users share the application’s physical instance and version. Individual deployments of applications occupy virtual partitions rather than separate physical hardware and software stacks. So every time a major innovation is released, every customer instantly benefits, resulting in lower risk, rapid innovation and reduced costs.

As hospitality organizations reap the benefits of placing their technology in the cloud, what do industry professionals need to consider to stay on top of this growing trend?

1.  Is the cloud reliable and secure?

In contrast to an on-premises system, data maintained in the cloud is securely stored elsewhere. Gone is the fear of losing information if a localized computer network crashes; and it is accessible from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

Additionally, cloud technology providers offer secure infrastructure and reliable development platforms using such enterprise-class security as firewall protection, intrusion detection systems, and SSL encryption. Because it relieves the cost, burden, and liability of maintaining security compliance and certification from the customer, cloud computing saves customers both time and expense.

2.  Does the cloud simplify integration?

Gartner estimates that up to 35 percent of the implementation costs associated with on-premises application development is for integration. In comparison, cloud computing makes it faster and easier to integrate and extend legacy environments as well as connecting to other cloud services. And because of the cloud multitenant architecture, integrations no longer “break” during upgrades, require intricate technology dependencies, or lead to vendor lock-in.

3.  Are all new technology providers truly in the cloud?

Beware of the “false cloud”. Cloud computing might sound like network computing, but it isn’t. With network computing, applications and data are hosted on a single company’s server(s) and accessed over the company’s network. In contrast, cloud computing encompasses multiple companies, multiple servers, and multiple networks.

So when considering a cloud computing solution, distinguishing criteria should be carefully evaluated. A true cloud technology provider:

  • does not try to sell hardware
  • does not need to install software
  • will have open APIs
  • does not need to re-architect systems
  • does not require a specific number of machines upfront
  • does not run on only one operating system
  • does not store data in on-premises machines
  • will connect to any computer or personal device

With limited budgets and a highly dynamic market, it is critical to stay ahead of the hospitality information technology curve. With cloud computing, organizations can extend the life of their existing systems with new innovations, improve time to market of new systems through affordable pricing, and ultimately gain competitive advantages in the hospitality industry.