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News Springer-Miller Systems: Premium Hospitality Software with Untouchable Loyalty, Inside and Out

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It’s hard to spend any length of time in the travel industry and not hear about Springer-Miller Systems (SMS). One of the great technology brands in destination travel, they’re also backed by one of the most loyal, hard-working teams you’ll ever find. Inntopia is coming up on our 20-year anniversary, but there are current SMS employees who joined their cause long before the word Inntopia even existed.

One of those people is SMS’ General Manager and native Vermonter, Chris Donahue. While we’ve known this talented group for years and always look forward to seeing them at our user group and other events, we realize not everyone gets this opportunity. So we sat down with Chris to learn more about their story and what they’re up to.

Chris, Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, and how did you end up with SMS?

I am a native Vermonter that left the state to attend hospitality school in Providence, RI. After graduating, I began my career in the industry managing various inns and hotels across Vermont. After five years I was afforded an opportunity to join SMS as a Software Trainer. Fast forward 24 years and multiple roles, and here I am!

I love stories like that because you know the company, product, and market better than anyone. Speaking of the company, give us a quick version of how SMS was founded?

SMS was founded by John Springer-Miller back in 1984. John began his software venture by developing attendance software for area schools. As the story goes, John was later approached by a couple of local innkeepers on the Mountain Road to create a Property Management solution that would help them run their businesses, and the rest is history!

You don’t have a legacy like SMS without solving a real need in the market. What do you see being SMS’s niche, and why is this where your team focuses their energy?

SMS’ niche ‘space’ has always been in the complex, luxury end of the hospitality market. As such, we’ve focused on creating full-featured solutions to run these amazing businesses. Our SMS|Host software has always been designed around the guest experience. Our customers aren’t simply providing a guestroom – they are providing a unique experience. SMS|Host drives guest loyalty and delivers the functionality needed to run some of the finest resorts in the world.

It’s a competitive market, but SMS certainly stands out. What sets SMS apart for everyone else?

It would be disingenuous to claim that we are doing something that no other company is attempting. We operate in a market with some really strong competitors, and it’s this competition that drives us to be better every day. I believe that we have a team of amazingly intelligent, innovative, and professionally driven employees that want nothing more than to see our customers succeed. It might be a biased opinion, but this is what sets SMS apart!

Having met many of SMS’ers, I can confirm you’ve got a great team. You’ve seen SMS’ journey from a perspective and on a timeline that few have. Any milestones or moments or clients along that journey that you’re especially proud of?

SMS is extremely proud of our heritage and lengthy service to the hospitality industry. Our founder is a member of the Hospitality Hall of Fame, and today we have an average employee tenure of fifteen plus years. Many SMS’ers have grown with this business and developed deep relationships with each other and our customers.

Additionally, most of our customers are long-termers as well. Many of our customer relationships span decades, and we believe this speaks volumes about our company!

Having been in the travel software game for a decade now, that’s no small thing and really impressive. So what’s next for SMS? What does the future look like?

Every day presents new challenges and exciting opportunities! We plan to continue to grow the SMS business through exceptional product and service delivery. We are continually advancing our solutions to meet the ever-changing market demands.

Additionally, our parent company, Jonas Software, is quickly growing its hospitality portfolio through acquisition; these strategic additions provide SMS with opportunities to add tightly integrated functionality to our solution suite.

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Have a question? Just ask.

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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