The content conundrum: It’s an issue that been vexing the hospitality industry ─ and many others ─ for years.

Industry consortia have tried in earnest to develop standards so that the systems of hotel suppliers and distributors could talk to each other about room types, pricing and amenities. And yet the issue has only grown increasingly complex with the rise of mobile and other new distribution platforms.

We at DHISCO Inc. are committed to continuing these industry efforts to make it easier for all of our systems to talk to one other. But it’s also increasingly clear that solving the conundrum will take a two-pronged approach.

I think most insiders now would agree that developing ─ and getting ─ full industry participation in a completely standardized coding system is unrealistic. It’s just too expensive for big companies to totally revamp their systems. Plus, many don’t want to, out of fear of losing personalization and their ability to differentiate.

That’s why it’s up to leaders like DHISCO to supplement the standards-setting process with intelligent new systems that can look at each hotel’s underlying data structure and map that information so it is easier for online travel agencies to decipher, for example, whether rooms are standard or suites and which hotels accept pets and offer handicap facilities.

This is no small task. There currently are some 900 unique hotel amenities. We are working on the data structure to map the different descriptors so OTAs and global distribution systems easily can read these descriptors and push more information out to the consumers.

At the same time, we will continue to collaborate with industry partners on developing standardized solutions. Last month, our vice president of content, Anne Cole, was elected to the board of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, or HEDNA, the industry’s global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

Thanks to her team’s work, DHISCO also was recently honored with the Amadeus Silver Award for their efforts to solve the conundrum of adapting content between supplier sources and demand consumption.

Anne is one the industry’s leading experts on content. With her leadership and collaboration, I am confident we can achieve our goal of being known, not only as the world’s leading hospitality distribution company, but also as the leading supplier of intelligent solutions for the industry.

– CEO Toni Portmann