Hospitality Trendz & A Q Can you tell our readers about your journey so far in the hospitality industry? I came to the U.S. from Colombia when I was seventeen years old. Shortly after settling in Miami, I landed my first job: guest services for The DoubleTree in downtown Miami. It was in that position that I first became enchanted by the hospitality industry and what it offers its guests. I was inspired by the idea that perfected hospitality service can provide unforgettable memories for guests, and I sought a hands-on education in the field. I then landed a job at the Delano, a boutique hotel in Miami that is part of the Morgans Hotel Group, known worldwide for their exceptional customer service standards. Here, I held a number of positions: rooms coordinator, night manager, housekeeping manager, purchasing manager, and, ultimately, front desk manager. I consider myself forever a student of the hospitality craft and feel that my growth in the industry has helped me grasp a holistic and insider’s view of hospitality that has better helped me develop the Nuvola platform. As an entrepreneur, how difficult was it to get the right kind of funding and support? Nuvola grew organically until the company reached its break-even point. One of the biggest challenges was focusing on sales, which was the number one priority at stage one, while at the same time having to wear many hats to grow the company and develop the platform. However, this challenge turned into a huge benefit for me, as I was able to have a direct dialogue with hoteliers. This gave me access to client feedback, an essential tool to quickly improve the Nuvola product offering, while also having the ability to strengthen the relationship with our partners and clients to expand our customer base. What are some of the major challenges that you faced, and how did you overcome them? Closing on the first 50 clients was definitely the biggest challenge due to the lack of references/case studies available to share with our prospects. We were starting from scratch, so we had a lot to prove and little evidence to show that our program actually worked or was applicable in the real world. However, over time and with some excellent contacts from my time working within the industry, we were able to win them over and gain the references we needed to continue to grow. Additionally, from the beginning we wanted to make sure that Nuvola offered superior customer service to our clients that rivaled our competitors. Aside from this obviously being a good business practice, we feel responsive customer service is lacking among other platforms in the field, and we wanted to For great guest service, GET YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUD Juan Carlos Abello, the founder & CEO of Nuvola, the guest service management software, shares some insight from the industry with hT’s Dhwani Pathak Dave. TECH TALK

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