Millili Leads Pegasus in New Direction
Utell Now Part of Pegasus Connect as Tech Company Evolves Under New CEO
Admitting Utell was no longer a “thriving representation company,” new Pegasus Solutions CEO David Millili recently pulled the plug on the brand with history dating back to 1930. Pegasus has evolved Utell into Pegasus Connect, which is available in three levels, beginning with the basic enterprise central reservation system offering connectivity to global distribution systems.
“Utell had been around for a long time, but hadn’t changed much,” says Millili, who stepped into the CEO role in June after serving as the company’s chief web officer and head of Open Hospitality, a company he founded before it was bought by Pegasus. “We weren’t doing a good job listening to our clients. It was no secret that Utell had not been a thriving company. We were getting beat up …This is more about giving hotels what they need to run their business and to drive more bookings.”
Pegasus will continue to honor existing Utell contracts, but no longer sell it, instead focusing on Pegasus Connect. The middle level, Pegasus Connect Gold, includes the GDS connectivity along with connection to TravelSky in China and more than 1,000 other online channels and the customizable OpenView booking engine. It also includes the monthly PegasusView Market Performance, a new business intelligence tool, a piece of business Millili says the company is looking to grow. Pegasus Connect Premium adds in a mobile site developed using Open Hospitality’s OpenFlex and additional sales support.
“In the past, the Utell offering was the same no matter where in the world,” Millili says. “And you had to take it all. Now we can give you just the connectivity and you’ll have an enterprise CRS at the lowest cost. And we’re offering to tailor it differently for a hotel in Madrid and New York City … It’s frustrating when someone comes in and tells you how you have to do things. Now we’re listening and saying here’s how you can use this platform with your business. It’s a changed mindset.”
The decision to evolve Utell into Pegasus Connect was a “no-brainer,” he says, and the goal now is to “take back a lot of the hotels we’ve lost.” Plus, “it’s a clearer message Pegasus is one company.”
Could that mean the same for Open Hospitality in the future? “There will probably be a time and place for that, but right now it’s not broke so I don’t want to fix it,” he says.
Beyond growing the business intelligence component, Millili says the company is still heavily focused on mobile. He says 15% of online bookings come through mobile channels and 80% of those can come from via the iPad.
Millili, whose company has almost 100,000 hotel clients and processed nearly a third of all transactions worldwide last month, says from his perspective he doesn’t see any major changes to the industry’s improving performance — “good or bad” — next year. “I think 2013 is going to mirror a lot of 2012,” he says, “and that can be good news.”