In our latest influencer spotlight interviews we sat down with industry legend Mohammad Shoaib Ziaee, Director of Information Technology at Advanced Hospitality Technologies inc.
Mohammad has been a lifelong technology enthusiast, starting out in the technology management industry as far back as 1996. His passion for progress, innovation, and creating technology marvels has made him one of the top most hospitality technology consultants in the US.
As a young network & systems engineer Mohammed grew in ranks from site engineer, project manager, to maestro hotel technology consultant. He is a certified HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals) consultant. Mohammed is also a career coach and source of inspiration for his executive team.
He claims himself that his pursuit of perfection keeps him going to do better with each asset. Technology at hotels according to him should make time for more precious & cozy moments, it should leave a memory that you remember where ever you go.
Mohammad loves to read and study about new technologies. He is also a frequent traveler with quite a travel manifest tracing from North America across Asia and Europe. Mohammad also enjoys discovering new cuisines, although he longs for his favorites from home every day.
Advanced Hospitality: How important do you think technology is for hotels?
Mohammad: Like any other industry technology plays a major role in making hospitality business easier. It’s not even limited to a handful of tech solutions. There are diverse applications of tech including project management, cybersecurity solutions, mobility tools, ERP & CMS software, and various others. Technology makes hospitality functions simpler, secure, and faster, making service delivery better than being delivered by humans alone.
Advanced Hospitality: What are some of the advantages you have observed integrating technology in hotels?
Mohammad: Over 25 years of implementing tech solutions and upgrading technology infrastructure, I have noticed countless benefits ranging from financial feasibility, operational efficiency, enhanced service quality, to more sustainable business operations across different properties.
The emerging trend of big data & IoT has also intensified the applications of information technology for intelligent business decision making & strategy. Cutting edge cyber security solutions have also helped better data management and data storage at hotels.
We are also working relentlessly to radically improve POS payment system security. Increasing hacks and data breaches across hospitality demand more rigorous monitoring and defense tools. We are therefore innovating the payment security process with the latest practices, tools, and better management principles.
Advanced Hospitality: What challenges do you see in hotel technology and its integration at properties?
Mohammad: There are several challenges for technology application in hospitality and the most important one is, embracing the change from legacy tech systems by hotel owners. The synergy between business strategies & technology, the complexity of technology, available management skills, and integration of resources are major challenges for hotel owners & senior management.
Huge capital investments in technology do not necessarily mean cost-effectiveness and process efficiencies will start flowing like a river. Acceptance of technology, relevant staff training, proactive management, and compliance are essential towards making tech more lucrative for business. Every technology investment should be strategically evaluated, and aligned with overall business strategy.
Another major problem is hotel staff and owners believing that technology somehow eliminates the need for human interaction. In my opinion, technology should be looked at as a facilitation tool. Human interaction is essential to deliver world-class service and can never be overlooked.
Advanced Hospitality: What is your advice to hoteliers starting out in the industry?
Mohammad: For young hoteliers, it is essential to concentrate on delivering superior and undeterred customer service. Because that’s what hospitality is all about, delightful experiences that last in guests’ memories.