On the beauty of software, and digital freedom – Mr. Hehn, can you see the future?

3 min read
Apr 1, 2022 2:40:00 PM

Looking into the future ... everyone has wished for that at some point, right? Actually, it's not that far-fetched – after all, we're constantly trying to do so, says Roland Hehn, HQ revenue's founder and CEO.

Chatting with GRANT, however, he also looks back at the past – and reflects on how he got into the hotel industry, what 'digital freedom' might actually mean today, and how 'beauty' and 'software' are linked to each other.


GRANT: Mr. Hehn, can you foresee the future?

Roland Hehn:  Everyone has wished for that, right? At first glance, it sounds impossible. At second glance, we do it all the time. Everybody does it. When we go on vacation, for example, we check the weather forecast for our destination. I also like to use my navigation system for familiar routes because it tells me whether I can expect a traffic jam. The real prospect of the future is a thoroughly scientific matter: From the information available to me from the past and present, I form scenarios that give me information about what the future may look like. As an individual, I merely have to take the time to develop these scenarios.


GRANT:We often don't take this time to...

Roland Hehn: Those who run rashly through life bump their heads more easily. Looking into the future has a lot to do with experience and the right information.


GRANT: HQ revenue does look into the future. How does it work?

Roland Hehn: Essentially the same. But on a much larger scale. We collect all the data that is important for the hotel industry. We don't just do this for specific areas or countries, but worldwide. Starting with the weather and ending with the prices of the competition. Data science makes it possible to calculate concrete scenarios from the abstracted data. It's like looking into the future - if you always include ongoing changes. And that's what we do.


GRANT: Why is looking into the future so important for revenue management?

Roland Hehn: Because room rates are not static. Because they do not depend solely on the quality of a hotel. Demand determines the price. And it changes from day to day, for example, because it rains or the sun shines. or because the summer vacations in California coincide with those in Baden-Württemberg. or because Billie Eilish is giving a surprise benefit concert in town. For revenue managers, it's about regaining control over their own prices to make informed business decisions. To me, it means digital freedom, when my tools give me the information I need to make the right decisions.

However, digital freedom means more than that. It means providing all market participants - including small and medium-sized enterprises – with all the data they need for their business. This data must be up-to-date and highly available.



Which changes are we facing? What new distribution channels will the future bring? Which technologies will play a role in the selection of travel and hotel offers in the future? What tools will we hoteliers have at our disposal to hold our own in the market?

We are launching GRANT Magazine to find answers to these questions. After all, the English 'to grant' means to provide insights and meet desires. Together with you, we want to further develop the topic of revenue management.

GRANT Magazine Download


GRANT:How did you come up with the idea for HQ revenue?

Roland Hehn: That was many years ago, long before I founded HQ plus. I was working in the reception of my hotel and I wanted an Internet portal where I could immediately see all the events and the prices of the competitors. Because back then, getting this info cost me a lot of time.


GRANT: How has the hotel industry shaped you personally? 

Roland Hehn: It has given me a good idea of what customer satisfaction means. Because for anyone working in the hotel industry, satisfied guests are important. Transferred to a software, that means: an all-around good user experience! And we hear so frequently from our customers how close we are to their needs! By the way, work should also be fun: This includes user interfaces that are state of the art. Software has to be beautiful!



GRANT: What does beauty mean in terms of software?

Roland Hehn: Beauty in industrial design serves the most intuitive usability possible. Without intuitive user guidance and an appealing design of the data areas, this is not possible. A good user interface can also adapt to the needs of the user..


GRANT: How did you actually get into the hotel business back then?

Roland Hehn: Before the turn of the millennium, I had the chance to take over a hotel that had gone into insolvency. That sparked something in me right away. And I was suddenly challenged in so many areas at the same time - that was a great challenge. I still feel very connected to the hotel industry today. I love the hotel industry.


This article is taken from GRANT#1 – Digital Freedom?

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