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10 Years On: Why Duetto Is A Rock Solid Instrument

Duetto’s CEO, David Woolenberg, chatted with Kevin May, Editor-In-Chief at PhocusWire, earlier this week.

Here’s a quick summary of the conversation, which covered many varied topics including the acceleration of tech adoption in the hospitality industry, plans for Duetto’s 10th anniversary year, and if Duetto was a guitar, what guitar would it be? (Yes, you read that right!)

Read the summary or catch up on the video interview on PhocusWire here: https://www.phocuswire.com/Strategy-more-important-than-management-hotel-revenue 

You joined Duetto in 2018 and became CEO of Duetto in January 2020, just two months before the pandemic. How did you have to adapt your personal and professional ambitions?

Timing is everything in life. You don’t get to choose the environment in which you operate, but you do get to choose how you act and adapt.

I got focused on confronting the reality of what we were facing. Most important was setting a strategy that encompassed our company and our employees and our customers. It was about meeting our customers where they were on what we knew would be a difficult journey.

How did Duetto adapt its product offering to better serve customers at that time?

We were quick to observe that STLY wasn’t going to be a helpful metric for our customers. One of the great things about Duetto’s application is we have the flexibility to adapt our algorithm to meet the short-term demand, so we adapted to a shorter time frame to help our customers price and forecast within that 30-day booking window which was becoming the norm.

How did tech adoption accelerate during the pandemic?

Everyone in hospitality tech is seeing that forward-thinking companies used the downtime to upgrade systems. We’ve seen that in our business. The idea of digital transformation goes beyond hospitality and is going to be a trend that happens for a long time. Particularly in hospitality, you do have a lot of legacy systems and it’s still relatively early in the adoption of systems such as Duetto. There are still a lot of hotels still managing revenue

2022 marks Duetto’s 10th anniversary. What plans do you have to mark this?

I’m a very upbeat and positive person so my hope is that we can get together in person as a team more frequently. We just had our annual kick-off event, which we did virtually again this year, but hopefully, we can have an in-person event later this year or early next year.

Given what is happening in the world, we are trying to do things in the communities in the regions we operate in.

And we will plan little celebrations and social events in-region.

10 years is a big mark but we’re going to keep our heads down and keep building the business.

What are the biggest industry milestones Duetto has observed over the past 10 years?

One of the biggest things we’re seeing is the widespread adoption of cloud computing. Duetto is a multi-tenant, software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. That makes us very unique in the industry. We were one of the first, the most scaled, and most successful that has that [cloud-based] characteristic. I think future investments in this space will be contingent on companies like Duetto who have one version of the system that allows people to adapt to a very dynamic environment.

Finally, I know you’re a keen guitar player. If you had to compare Duetto to a guitar what type of guitar would it be?

I’m a bass player. I love rock and roll and heavy metal. If you think about the guitars people associate with popular music: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, or Fender precision bass or Fender Jazz Bass, these are the foundation of electric guitars. Now in our 10 years, I think we’re a combination of those foundational instruments that bring so many great memories and images, such as when you think of Jimi Hendrix with his Stratocaster or Stevie Ray Vaughan with his Stratocaster. Those are rock solid instruments and when you think about us as a company, we are rock solid, doing the right things, doing things step by step.

But my personal collection includes unique guitars, custom-designed for me. That is very much Duetto, that’s Open Pricing, that’s thinking about doing revenue management in a unique way that’s not the norm in the industry.

We are a combination of both things: being able to customize your instrument to meet your unique needs but having a very strong foundation.

Catch the full conversation between David and Kevin on PhocusWire here: https://www.phocuswire.com/Strategy-more-important-than-management-hotel-revenue 

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Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Marketing Communications.

Sarah joined Duetto in 2015 as a contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). In 2017, she was promoted to Director of Content, EMEA, and in 2022 promoted to Director of Marketing Communications. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.

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