From humble beginnings in 1998, Atlanta, Ga.-based The Rainmaker Group has pioneered the use of analytics and risen to become a market-leading provider of automated revenue management and profit optimization software solutions for the multifamily housing, gaming and hospitality industries. Rainmaker software, coupled with professional business consulting services, helps operators of casino hotels and other hospitality enterprises secure the most valuable customers to increase their profitability.
An innovator and thought leader in the highly specialized pricing and revenue optimization field, Rainmaker leverages cutting-edge research to bring clients the most sophisticated systems and help them achieve the highest profitability from their assets. Gaming/hospitality clients include leading casino/hotel organizations such as Atlantis, The Palm Dubai, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Wynn Las Vegas and many others.
Tammy Farley, co-founder and president of The Rainmaker Group, recently took some time to answer questions from Casino Journal Editor Paul Doocey regarding the current state of the company and its plans for the future. Below are some excerpts from this exchange:
How did The Rainmaker Group come about? What is its core business offering and strategy?
Farley: The Rainmaker Group was founded in 1998, serving major clients in the gaming/hospitality and multifamily housing industries. Rainmaker grew into the premier provider of revenue and profit optimization solutions in both industries. Since our inception, we have focused on delivering the highest revenue returns possible for all of our clients, through the development and cultivation of a proprietary suite of products and consulting services. All Rainmaker solutions are designed to streamline operational efficiencies, enhance revenue optimization processes, and deliver increased revenue and profitability.
What products make up Rainmaker’s offerings portfolio? What industries does the company service?
Farley: Rainmaker delivers the gaming and hospitality industry’s leading revenue management platform. The platform consists of four products: guestrev, the premier revenue management application for the casino and resort market; grouprev, the industry’s only price optimization application for group business; revcaster, a highly innovative market intelligence platform used by more than 6,000 hotels worldwide; and revintel, a ground-breaking revenue management-focused business intelligence platform.
How did Rainmaker get involved with the gaming industry? What exact products does the company offer to this business segment?
Farley: Rainmaker’s involvement in the gaming industry stretches all the way back to the early days of the company. We delivered the first ever revenue management system that was specifically designed for the gaming industry. Casinos had struggled with conventional revenue management systems as they could not adequately account for the huge differentials in total customer spend. Rainmaker worked with Harrah’s Entertainment to deliver a unique application that modeled total resort spend and used that as the basis for providing customized pricing. As more casinos were added to the platform—which we now refer to as guestrev—Rainmaker acquired the customer base and expertise that make us the leading revenue management vendor for the gaming industry. We have leveraged that expertise to deliver a broader product platform to an ever-growing roster of gaming clients.
What are the company’s best-selling products in the gaming space? Why are these products popular?
Farley: Our best-selling product in the gaming space is guestrev, the leading revenue management application in the gaming industry. Increasingly our clients are also looking to grouprev, a unique group revenue management application. The volume of RFPs that casinos are receiving for group bookings has increased exponentially in recent years, making grouprev an attractive solution for revenue managers looking to maximize these opportunities and optimize the profitability of groups. This unique platform cuts down significantly on the time it typically takes for an RFP to be analyzed and responded to; allowing casino properties to win more of the lucrative group opportunities they receive. Our revintel solution is also very popular in the casino market, due to its ability to mine data at a granular level, producing actionable insights in every segment of a casino’s business—from the casino floor, to the event venues, to the retail space and beyond.
There are a lot of analytics products and systems on the market these days. What sets your offerings apart from these competitors?
Farley: As discussed above, Rainmaker’s unique approach to casino revenue management—based on total customer value—has long been our core differentiator in the gaming industry. Additionally, casino resorts are complex, and therefore generate complex data, all of which has to be factored into revenue management decisions. The acquisition of data—from PMS and other systems—and the need for revenue managers to execute decisions in real time calls for tight integration of systems. Rainmaker has the most mature integrations with gaming-specific PMSs of all revenue management vendors. Over the years, we’ve worked with a number of clients in this sector who came to us after attempting to implement another revenue management solution that ultimately failed due to its inability to integrate with the property or brand’s legacy systems. Ease of integration has long been a key feature of Rainmaker solutions that our clients appreciate the most, and that sets us apart from other offerings on the market.
Additionally, our longevity in the business and in the gaming industry specifically makes us a trusted name among casino resorts and brands around the world. We have relationships with many of the most prominent names in gaming, spanning more than a decade and have a proven track record of success with our products throughout our history. No other revenue management provider in the industry today has the longevity and level of specialization in the gaming and casino market that Rainmaker does.
How do you convince gaming operators to give Rainmaker solutions a shot? What is the ROI on your products?
Farley: We don’t have to convince gaming operators to give our solutions a shot, as they are tried and true in this sector. With decades of experience in the industry, we have a strong reputation in the gaming community. Many of our new and potential clients come to us having already seen the success we have had with other companies and brands, and the adoption rate we have among the largest names in the gaming industry.
What does Rainmaker do to keep its products up to date in the constantly evolving resort space? What new or recent solutions have you introduced for operators?
Farley: At Rainmaker, we are fortunate to have an industry leading stable of resort and casino clients. We have a Client Advisory Board that convenes regularly to discuss new developments in the market and their impact on revenue management, and on Rainmaker’s future product roadmaps. We also support and participate actively in industry research and thought leadership platforms, such as HSMAI, FIU (Florida International University) and the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. We hire experts with deep industry expertise to consult with our customers, ensuring that they get the maximum value from our platform, as well as ensuring a constant feedback loop that benefits future product development. We have the best science team in the industry, and participate actively in academic research, as well as forums, such as INFORMS.Finally, our annual OPTIMIZE user conference is an open forum that promotes both education for and feedback from our customers, creating a space where we can interact face to face to share and receive valuable information for propelling the business forward.
From a technology perspective, what are the biggest challenges facing The Rainmaker Group solutions and how are you overcoming them?
Farley: From a technology perspective, the biggest challenge in the gaming and hospitality technology market, overall, is the integration of disparate systems, to ensure that the appropriate data is being gathered and properly analyzed in order to provide our gaming clients with the exact intelligence they need to optimize profitability across the board. The casino industry is a multifaceted business and requires detailed understanding of every area and level of a property or group of properties. Casinos need a seamless and solid integration between their PMS, the revenue management system and any additional systems relevant to this process. We have made sure to build relationships and seamless integrations with other major software suppliers in the market to ensure that this is not an obstacle for our gaming clients.
What are Rainmaker Group growth plans going forward? What are the company’s plans for growth in the gaming marketplace?
Farley: We’ve had unprecedented growth across all of our product lines, as well as with our team. For the last six consecutive years, Rainmaker has ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies, and our plans for growth continue to expand. Following our acquisition of revcaster and revintel, we have continued working to propel our product offerings forward and will continue to bolster our rapid growth through a mix of organic product launches and additional acquisitions. We also plan to continue growing our team to meet the needs of our customers and the needs of our product production.