TravelDaily – TravelDaily has learnt exclusively about Ctrip’s recent acquisition of Changsha-based Property Management System (PMS) developer Jiachi Software. Both Jiachi’s CEO Xiaokun Chen and Ctrip’s PR department declined to comment on the report.
Prior to acquiring Jiachi Software, Ctrip had acquired CSHIS and invested in BrandWisdom to assemble a “hotel tech trio”, which Ctrip aims to leverage in the development of a new “mega-data” project, in addition to controlling hotel inventory and direct links.
Jiachi Software to go cloud-based
Jiachi Software was established in 2007. Its core product is the “Tengyun” hotel system management software. Its current version has applications for management system for independent and chain hotels (with a Wechat booking function), membership management system, self-check-in system, catering management system, spa management system, and iPad e-menu etc.
Its official website announced that the number of hotels, restaurants and spas using the Tengyun management software series has surpassed the 10,000 mark as of May 2009.
Jiachi Software’s PMS products are all based on server-side development with main distribution via agents in different regions. The company will most likely accelerate the transformation of its products to cloud-based systems to adapt to the needs of online distribution and to start introducing free offers. Last July, Ctrip and CSHIS jointly launched a PMS software for guesthouses called “Inn Master” offering “lifelong free use”, prompting rival eLong’s PMS developer Zhuzher to also release similar free software.
PMS software companies become trophies for OTA
Jiachi Software is the second PMS developer acquired by Ctrip and is slightly smaller than CSHIS that was established in 1995 and acquired in 2008. Jiachi’s market distribution is concentrated in second- and third-tier cities. However both companies have a degree of overlap in distribution, indicating that Ctrip made the acquisition primarily for improving control over hotel inventory and direct links, effectively creating a buffer between itself and rivals.
PMS developers are prize possessions for OTA giants, as in the cases of eLong’s Zhuzher and Alibaba’s Shiji Information, because PMS is the most vital management system for hotels and provides direct access to the inventory interface. Against this background, Ctrip’s strategy for acquiring a small-scale developer makes good business sense.
Ctrip wants to get ahead with “Mega-Data” project
TravelDaily believes that Ctrip has been working towards building a consolidated base for developing a mega-data marketing service for hotels with its low-key acquisition of CSHIS, the development of the Inn Master project, and investment in hotel review monitoring website BrandWisdom. The newly acquired Jiachi Software will be integrated into this entity and enabling it to offer multi-faceted PMS hotel services.
Through consolidation, the definition of traditional PMS Service is taking on a new meaning and now it will be interesting to see how Ctrip’s “mega-data service” move will play out.
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(Report by Xianhao Zeng)
(Translation by David)