These solutions include SiteMinder's Internet booking engine, TheBookingButton, which, alone, generated over US$650 million for hotels via their own website. SiteMinder's co-founder and managing director, Mike Ford, says these numbers show increasing recognition that best-of-breed hotel technology is crucial to attracting, reaching and converting the modern-day traveller. "For a hotelier, the Internet economy is demanding more than ever before – with the continual emergence of new, alternative sales avenues such as TripConnect instant booking and the rapid speed at which today's travellers make their hotel bookings online through their own booking engine or through mobile apps like Roomlia," says Mr Ford. "Cloud technology such as SiteMinder's, which meets these demands, empowers hoteliers to have greater control of the web as well as significantly lower costs of guest acquisition which they otherwise would not have. The web presents infinite opportunities to attract today's traveller – both directly and using third-party sites – but it's about making sure you have the broadest reach possible, the strongest of system integrations, the most reliable of channel connections and the most secure of data. This is what SiteMinder offers to hotels. "There are tangible benefits of replacing the often-dangerous and costly process of manually managing reservations with complete real-time automation, and what these figures ultimately testify to are the fact that more and more hoteliers are realising these benefits are no longer nice-to-haves among the elite chains, but accessible necessities for all hotels." Mr Ford's comments echo Phocuswright and h2c's Independent Lodging Market Report, sponsored by SiteMinder, which found that dynamic rate and availability management across multiple channels is a foreign concept to most independent hotels in the US, while, in Europe, managing room rates and availability remain largely manual processes for hotels. Using the SiteMinder platform, hotels from across 160 countries have real-time, two-way connections to more than 250 distribution channels and more than 120 property management systems, central reservation systems and revenue management systems. Over the 12 months ending 30 June 2015, these hotels benefited from SiteMinder's local presence in all key markets as well as its groundbreaking connections with Ctrip and wholesalers such as Tourico Holidays, and its acquisition of Globekey to complement TheBookingButton. Related Link: SiteMinder