Travel Technology US deep tech firm promotes data sharing among hotels, aviation businesses By Cheryl Ong / Posted on 25 January, 2022 2:51 LA-based LEDR, a deep technology company which harnesses the power of collective intelligence to aid decision-making, is planning to set up the company’s headquarters in Singapore and use the city-state as a springboard for its next development phase. LEDR was founded to commercialise cutting-edge technology that first originated from US national intelligence agencies. Lau: LEDR has signed a multi-year engagement with a hotel chain to digitally transform its operations The company creates an up-to-date digital representation of the organisation that gives companies full control of their knowledge assets when collaborating around analytics. This allows companies to generate insights for decision-making without having to centralise or exchange any data. Last year, LEDR participated in the fourth cohort of the Singapore Tourism Accelerator (STA) programme, partnering with SATS to develop a deep tech system that promotes data sharing and collaboration among businesses in the aviation sector. The company’s participation in the programme was “to enable the transition from building up our general capabilities to applying those capabilities to solve business needs in different industries, for example, hospitality,” shared Edwin Lau, CEO, LEDR. “The programme also served as a launchpad for us to meet with multiple hotels and F&B companies.” Since then, the company has signed a multi-year engagement with a hotel chain to digitally transform its operations, and is currently in similar talks with other global hotel chains and F&B businesses, said Lau. The company has also held several discussions with other prospective stakeholders to apply its technology in smart buildings, cyber security, supply chain, financial services, and healthcare. “Our expertise and innovative solution are brought into the spotlight in cases where there are disparate sources of information,” said Lau, adding that the company’s approach “makes insight and intelligence a lot more accessible”. He explained that with growing demand for personalised services and instant gratification among consumers, companies like aviation businesses can harness technology to enhance guest experience and automate mundane and repetitive tasks, freeing staff to focus on customer relations and value-added activities. “Companies need technologies that not only help them understand macro trends and patterns, but also, the micro details about each of their customer. All that insight needs to be utilised at every customer touchpoint – whether it is an automated chatbot or when flight attendants serve passengers on board flights,” he said. In explaining why data sharing and collaboration among aviation and hospitality companies is vital for the future of the industries, Lau said that “the power of analytics is driven by the diversity of information sources you have access to”. He noted that Gartner predicted that by 2025, 70 per cent of organisations will shift their focus from big to small and wide data, providing more context for analytics and making artificial intelligence (AI) less data hungry. “No individual company will be able to have all the information they need. A diversity of perspectives matter in our increasingly connected world,” said Lau. “Deloitte has found that organisations with diverse ecosystems are significantly more likely to have a transformative vision for AI, enterprise-wide AI strategies, and use AI as a strategic differentiator.” Thus, collaboration and the sharing of information are important if industries such as aviation and hospitality want to maximise the value of their data assets, said Lau, but he pointed out that the process can be “difficult, expensive and risky if a company utilises conventional approaches”. “A key problem is that conventionally, collaboration means that one party must give up control over their data. As one of the most valuable assets to any company, why would anyone willingly give it up?” he said. “In addition, having to extract and replicate data makes it hard to keep things synchronised, and out-of-date data can often be more misleading than having no data at all.” This is where LEDR comes into play. Unlike solutions that require businesses to centralise data or information – for example, in data warehouses, data lakes or data exchanges – LEDR’s approach minimises the movement or replication of data, while enabling ecosystems to collaborate on insights and knowledge without the need to exchange data. LEDR has created new capabilities that conventional approaches are unable to provide customers with, particularly pertaining to intelligent systems, said Lau. Following its participation in the STA programme, which acted as the company’s platform for a market test, Lau said it has been getting “good reception” from almost every company that it has approached across a variety of industries. With that traction, Lau is building a team and establishing the company’s headquarters in Singapore. “We believe our technology is transformational, and we plan to use Singapore as a springboard for the next phase of our journey,” he said, adding that the company’s efforts are in alignment with Singapore’s national technology agenda.