Australian travel tech company Hirum Software Solutions has upended its business and is claiming a game-changing technology breakthrough with its new mobile-first product Hirum Anywhere, which can operate live without internet or power.
How can that be? Hirum is not saying nor has it filed a patent for the new technology to ensure the machinations remain confidential.
Founders Sylvia and Philip Johnston says they have put in too much time and money to let a third-world hacker take it from them.
The technology has been three years in development after a frustrating series of minor projects for Hirum – which has more than 1600 clients using its property management software – convinced them to think big.
“It’s been three years in development and where it started and where it finished are two completely different spaces,” says Sylvia.
Where they began was building a mobile check-in app based on iOS. “But that was a mistake because a lot of places have terrible internet.”
Later they worked with a 300 room property that had issues with staff rostering so they started building an app to fix that problem. However that was a dead-end too.
Then there’s the infamous cloud.
“Everyone has got caught up in the cloud but people are finding that it’s not the answer because at the end of the day if you have no internet you’re dead in the water, you can’t do anything,” Sylvia says.
“We said enough of playing in the toy shop, let’s sit down and get serious.
“The problem was everyone is doing apps for this and that but not looking at the bigger picture, which is where we decided to focus.”
And for them the big issue was absolute mobility – an app through which a property’s entire business could run, with or without an internet connection.
“We said to the team they needed to develop a true offline and online solution that worked seamlessly as one and independent of each other.”
The technology also had to be mobile platform agnostic.
Hiurum beefed up its tech team and dedicated five engineers to the project, while researching the market full-time.
“We killed ourselves travelling to all corners of the world to see what was out there and what people needed,” says Sylvia.
“It wasn’t fun except for a few days at the Marina Sands in Singapore and we got to know far too many Qantas staff.”
But the reward is a tech breakthrough no-one else has been able to crack.
Sylvia understands that there’ll be many sceptics who doubt the validity of the claim.
“I’m 100% happy to stand standing behind that statement – we’ve developed something that is absolutely a world first,” she says.
“What we’ve come up with is something we believe will change the way people do business around the world, not just in travel.”