Microsoft and hospitality firm OYO have entered a multi-year strategic alliance to co-develop next-gen travel and hospitality products and technologies, the companies said on Thursday.
"OYO will adopt Microsoft Azure as a key enabler to drive cloud-based innovations and reimagine the hospitality and travel tech industry. The solutions will be geared to benefit patrons who operate the small and medium hotel and home storefronts," the companies said in a joint statement.
Microsoft has also made a strategic equity investment in OYO, it added.
Earlier in August, in an RoC filing, OYO had said that Microsoft Corporation has invested nearly $5 million (about Rs 37 crore) in OYO through the issuance of equity shares and compulsory convertible cumulative preference shares on a private placement basis.
"We are excited to join hands with Microsoft in our constant endeavor to improve business opportunities for the small and independent hotel and homeowners, and to redefine experiences for travelers," OYO Hotels and Homes, Global COO and Chief Product Officer Abhinav Sinha said.
As part of this alliance, OYO will develop Smart Room experiences for travellers on the OYO platform, such as premium and customised in-room experiences for its guests, the statement said.
Using Microsoft's Azure IoT, the experience will include self-check-in supported by a digital register of arrivals and departures and self-Know Your Customer (KYC) along with IoT-managed smart locks and virtual assistance, it added.
"Combining the power of Azure with the tech and product stack developed by OYO, we are looking forward to accelerating innovation in travel and hospitality," Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari said.
It is inspiring to see how the Microsoft cloud is empowering digital natives like OYO to accelerate industry transformation and innovations, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future, he added.
The pandemic has brought about massive shifts in consumer behaviors while booking travel, including preferences for platforms that enable social distancing, local travel, flexibility, faster booking, and improved customer experiences, the statement said.
Such changes have accelerated the way small and medium hotel businesses operate, leading to a slew of pioneering technologies and higher-tech adoption, which will further shape the future of hospitality, it added.