PurpleCloud Technologies Helps the Hotel Industry Rest Easier
The Baiada Institute company is making hospitality management more efficient — starting with a five-star hotel in their own backyard.
January 26, 2015
by Zach Epstein
“I've always been fascinated by psychology,” says Adria Bagdonavicius, a 2012 Drexel LeBow grad. “Color has a very interesting affect on people. The color purple is said to affect people in a wonderful way physically. It is known to be a very calming, uplifting color.”
The effect is similar to the one produced by arriving at a five-star hotel, she says.
“You walk into a luxurious lobby and you instantly feel calm and relaxed,” Bagdonavicius
says. “However, behind the scenes of a hotel is a chaotic, scrambling mess.”
That’s where the aptly named PurpleCloud Technologies comes in. The company, founded by Bagdonavicius in 2011, aims to use cloud-based software to make the back-end of hotel operations look more like the customer’s experience.
We caught up with the Shamong, N.J., native to talk about her eye-opening co-op, appearance at the first annual Drexel Startup Day, and PurpleCloud’s string of recent success.
Tell us about the origin of PurpleCloud Technologies. How did you come up with this?
The concept for PurpleCloud was thought of while I was working at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott and completing my entrepreneurship degree. I quickly became passionate about the hospitality industry and started working through Marriott’s management training program. Over the several years that I completed this program, I worked in every department within the hotel to learn exactly what all hotel associates and managers needed to be successful. While doing this, I also got a very thorough experience with just how inefficient the hospitality industry truly is.
Where does PurpleCloud’s platform come in?
PurpleCloud blends user-friendly software and data analytics to help hotel groups optimize their operations.
Our flagship product is called Cielo. It is one platform, consisting of four operational modules that work seamlessly together in real-time. The modules are built for the Housekeeping, Engineering, Front Office, and Management departments within a hotel. Hotel staff members access our program on a variety of mobile devices and desktops. They use Cielo to complete their tasks, communicate supplies that they need, and report items that are missing or broken. While the hotel associates complete their tasks throughout the day, hotel management has access to an interactive dashboard to ensure that their employees are on track and have what they need to get their jobs done well.
We also send the hotels' ownership groups high-level analytics to help them make more strategic decisions regarding their hotel operations. The reports provide insight into items such as individual and departmental productivity, most common guest requests, most common maintenance issues, and the status of these maintenance issues. From these reports, hotels can identify their major inefficiencies, make better purchasing decisions, schedule more efficiently, and ultimately save thousands of dollars yearly.
You finished up a pilot with the Rittenhouse, a five-star hotel here in Philly last year. How was that experience, and how’d it feel to have them sign on as your first official customer?
Our pilot with The Rittenhouse hotel was absolutely incredible. We couldn't have asked for a better hotel to mold our program to. They have incredibly high standards and expectations for guest satisfaction and their hotel's operations. We worked very closely with their staff and their management. The staff was key to our success with this hotel — they provided us with extremely valuable feedback on how to improve our platform and our analytics.
To have someone try your idea for free is one thing, but to successfully go through a rigorous 6-month pilot, win over the staff and management, and prove a valuable ROI is incredibly difficult. So when the hotel signed on as our first customer, I was ecstatic. It was the moment that my idea was finally validated.
You gave a great speech at Drexel Startup Day, and PurpleCloud has been a big part of the Baiada Institute and Drexel’s entrepreneurship community…
I loved Startup Day. I really liked the way that Drexel displayed all of their founders and innovations. I felt proud to be part of such an incredible community.
I enjoyed being a speaker very much. While attending Drexel, I tried to go to as many entrepreneurial events as possible to get inspired to start my own business. I loved having the opportunity to give back to the community that has motivated and supported me so much.
Can you tell us what’s next for PurpleCloud?
On tap for PurpleCloud are several more hotels!
Our pilot hotel's ownership group loved our program so much that they asked us to quickly begin installing it within several other hotels that they own. We also have another hotel group that asked us to begin working with their hotel portfolio. We are busy working with both of these groups on the next implementations, and are installing at four new hotels over the next couple of months.
Hopefully, you'll begin seeing our platform as you travel!