We sat down with Ted Warring, Jonas Chorum’s Vice President of Technology and Chief Scientist, to help our partners get to know this key player in our team a little better. Ted sets the roadmap for our development and is the steward of our over-arching vision to be a better technology for the hospitality industry.
Without further ado, get to know Ted, the philosophy that underscores our product development, and how this outlook shapes Jonas Chorum as a whole.
First off, tell us a little about yourself.
I am a lifelong science and technology fan, with a fascination for artificial intelligence that started with Robby the Robot from the classic science fiction movie “Forbidden Planet.” I began with the goal of focusing on research but quickly found myself in the private sector to provide for my family.
I am the father of five amazing human beings, and proudly blessed with seven brilliant grandchildren so far. My fun mostly revolves around family activities and caring for various animals on my small ranch in Maricopa County.
What are you reading right now?
I follow several technical and scientific journals as well as computer and software engineering articles, and don’t read fiction anymore. Previously I preferred science fiction and some historical biographies for fun, and occasionally still listen to such audio books. Last I listened to for fun was Dune, the classic by Frank Herbert.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler” – this is a paraphrasing of a quote from Albert Einstein in a 1933 lecture.
Tell us about your professional history – what brought you to Jonas Chorum?
I wrote my first computer program 44 years ago and have been hooked ever since. I started my first software and custom hardware company 37 years ago.
In the years since then I founded a second software company as well as a research company. I took my first hospitality related technology job in 1998, spanning roles from Senior Software Engineer to Chief Scientist and CTO.
I retired from Jonas Chorum (then MSI) in 2014 and consulted for several years in the hospitality technology, before returning as VP of Technology and Chief Scientist for Jonas Chorum in 2019.
What brought you back to Jonas Chorum? What do you think makes us unique in the hospitality landscape?
Jonas Chorum is a uniquely nimble and effective team of people brought together in a one-of-a-kind culture focused on integrity and true innovation.
I say “true innovation” very intentionally. The Jonas Chorum definition of innovation does not compromise between delivering real value quickly, quality, and future-proofed, flexible technology that is able to move in any direction. The Chorum PMS suite provides premium features at very competitive pricing for the mid-market and extended stay segments, as well as enterprise features for chains and hotel groups. Our technology pushes the definition of mid-market upwards.
What do you think makes Jonas Chorum able to meet the changing hospitality landscape?
The culture and core principles of Jonas Chorum differentiate us. Our belief is that delivering excellent customer experience with integrity and humility is the number one job of every single person on the team. This has become part of our DNA at Chorum, which is manifested in technology and service uniquely shaped to this purpose.
We follow a problem-solving philosophy similar to “First principles” reasoning. This philosophy, which we call “Spry”, has directed the shape of our technology and business processes. It has led to our unique definition of innovation as rapid delivery of quality functionality fulfilling the real needs of our customers with simplicity and flexibility.
Too often we see technology driving business rather than matching the patterns and needs of the business their technology should serve. We often use the term “the tail is wagging the dog” when we see businesses trying to conform to the latest shiny technology. We deeply believe that technology should serve the business or it is simply wrong.
Can you tell us a little more about the Spry philosophy?
Our Spry Principles are specific applications of the knowledge that the default human impulse is to add complexity. People try to solve problems without first consciously identifying and stepping back from our own assumptions about the problem.
There is substantial scientific evidence that our default reasoning usually includes many underlying shortcuts and assumptions. One of the most common examples of this is when technologists begin designing software based upon specifications provided by an intermediary rather than an end user. This means they are translating the needs of the end user, rather than understanding the source and the real problem.
The Spry philosophy is based on understanding the real problem first, and then to apply solutions which do not add complexity and expense greater than the complexity of the problem itself. These determinations are based on a very scientific and mathematical basis. What this means to the customers we serve is that we recognize our job is to understand their real needs and only then provide optimal solutions that make their work easier, not harder.
What makes this philosophy better?
Far too often frameworks and platforms are chosen which multiply the complexity and cost of major technology projects. Our “Spry” approach centers on simplicity and flexibility which is the only real hedge against unknown future technical requirements.
This philosophy is about solving real needs and not creating technology that forces business direction. It is better and more empowering than what so many systems and platforms that never deliver or are already considered as technical debt by the time they are completed.
Jonas ARC was built using this philosophy. Can you tell us more about it?
Jonas ARC is an integration platform created with the same focus on rapidly solving the real needs with simplicity and minimal effort that is core to our Spry approach to technology and services.
This platform provides an open and simple doorway into the Jonas Hospitality and Club products and services, as well as third party systems and services. Many companies talk about simple and secure integration across products and systems. Jonas ARC has been providing it for years.
Who would benefit from Jonas ARC?
Any Jonas Chorum customer or partner can immediately leverage the benefits of Jonas ARC across existing integrations with Jonas products and systems as well as third-party integrations. This is true for customers wanting to connect their own internally built tools to their Chorum products, as well as anyone wanting to use existing applications in the Jonas ARC ecosystem.
The simplicity and flexibility of the secure Jonas ARC platform is something hoteliers can build with to realize their own visions of integrated solutions. And at a fraction of the cost and complexity of the massive confusing and specialized API approaches of some competitors.
Finally, what message would you give to the many hotels, management companies and chains out there about why they should consider Jonas Chorum as a technology partner?
I think the term “technology partner” describes the most compelling reason to consider Jonas Chorum. Many companies use the term partner but it does not really describe the relationship and experience delivered.
Our core belief is that delivering excellent customer experience with integrity and humility is the number one responsibility of every single associate. This is true partnership, with a focus on understanding the real needs and challenges of our customers. We know it is our responsibility to serve. We are not a technology company that has partners, we are a partner company that has technology.