Travel specialist software developer JFA has unveiled a rebrand as it seeks growth with the specialist OTA sector one area it has its sights on.
JFA is also developing a new Customer Relationship Management platform it hopes to have live by the autumn and is seeking connections with bed banks to increase the supply of hotel stock through its system.
The firm’s new-look website went live yesterday with updated branding meant to better reflect the modern technology it provides.
JFA, which is based in Horley near Gatwick, sits behind a number of well-known travel firms including a number of Tui specialist division operators particularly in ski, Disney’s consumer site in the UK, Peak Retreats and Anatolian Sky.
Earlier this year it brought in Adam Greghni, who formerly worked at Disney, as managing director to grow the business and raise its profile in the trade.
“Our old image and branding did not reflect what I felt the company was all about or the product we provided, said Greghni. “My view was the technology was modern, the branding was not.”
The new branding, with its diamond-shaped logo, reflects the firm’s core Amethyst system.
Greghni said the new CRM would replace JFA’s existing functional but clunky system with something that provides all clients’ customer facing staff the same information about their customers whether in a contact centre or sales teams in resort.
“People who are consumer-facing will be able to see immediately the value of that customer, where they like to stay and their preference requirements.
“The big players are putting a tonne of money and a lot of effort into customer contact systems across the board so we want to make sure our small as well as large customers have the tools to compete.”
The system will be integrated with popular third party tools like Survey Monkey so it can be used to market to customers.
JFA says its systems are particularly well adapted for travel firms that contract and load their own product and Greghni believes there is an opportunity to drive OTA business as they increasingly look to differentiate themselves by contracting their own hotel stock.
However, he accepts JFA will also have to offer feeds from the key bed wholesalers too, so the intention is to integrate major bed banks like Tui’s Hotelbeds with whom talks have already started.
“All our current clients negotiate their own contracts so the system’s geared to that and that’s been its core strength,” he said.
“But because of how flexible Amethyst is if you have an OTA doing a bespoke integration to their choice of bed banks it’s not a big job.
“OTAs want access to a lot of third party stock and then they start specialising and want to start doing their own contracting to access higher margins.
“There are some great generalist OTAs out there but you are now starting too see more specialist OTAs spring up, that’s who are system can be geared perfectly for.”
Greghni sees scope for JFA growing in the UK by raising its profile and becoming one of the systems that firms have in their consideration set when they are looking to switch supplier. But he sees potential opportunities overseas for the future, specifically in the US.
“One thing we are absolutely clear on is we want to work with the right customers, we don’t necessarily want run after an overly-aggressive growth strategy.
“We have one shareholder, the founder, and are not owned by a private equity investor so we have no financial pressure to grow aggressively and look for the wrong kind of growth which is good for us and for our customers.
“It might be after working closely with a potential customer they decide what we have is not for them but I just want to make sure we are being considered. JFA has been under the radar for such a long time because we have been focussed on our current customer base.”