2023 was a year of remarkable feats of engineering for Ocra.
From the first day of Ocra’s inception (back in 2018, as an event parking operator in Los Angeles!), the same three practices have been driving forces in our success:
- Learning about real pain points from the people who experience them
- Incorporating user feedback into our roadmap
- Keeping a finger on the pulse of trends in the parking industry and adjacent ones (events, travel, commercial real estate, PaaS, etc.)
These practices are how we prioritize integrations, develop cutting-edge features, and build true partnerships with companies in all sectors of the industry to realize a connected future.
This year’s platform updates were not just for you, but driven by you.
We’re excited to recap the top 5 product innovations…
…and reveal something big coming in January 2024!
1. Introducing the Partner API (Q1 2023)
The Partner API is actually a collection of APIs, or, in other words, Ocra’s “rails”.
Our rails enable a one-to-many connection via Ocra, allowing data to pass to and from our system as middleware to standardize and share data within the parking and data industries.
Here’s a practical application of the Partner API:
How it works:
- When a customer using an online reservation experiences friction with access or redemption on site, they hit the call button for assistance.
- Prior to the Partner API, Parker Technology and Umojo reps would typically vend the gate and instruct the customer to cancel their online reservation, which cuts into margin for both the operator and the online reservation company.
- With the Partner API, the Parker Technology and Umojo rep on the other end of the line can swiftly diagnose the issue by asking for the last 4 digits of the customer’s reservation ID and pulling the reservation info from Ocra’s connected network.
- By reviewing essential reservation-related data (ex. start time, end time, facility ID, etc.), the rep can then resolve the issue in accordance with the operator’s practices.
Overall, the Partner API lets operators and other companies who build their tech in-house to jump on our rails to enhance the functionality of their internal platforms with Ocra’s solutions for reporting, blackouts, rate management, and inventory management.
Want to dive in? Click here to download a free overview.
2. Enhanced User Interface & Mobile Friendliness (Q2 2023)
Our team introduced a full user interface (UI) overhaul in Q2 to make our platform cleaner, more intuitive, and friendlier for the mobile user.
The new UI makes it easier for operators to adjust rates and inventory on the fly based on market events and channel performance.
This caters to the needs of Ocra users who don’t spend as much time at their desks as they do walking facilities and managing on-site operations.
3. Integrating Drive-Up Digital Payments (Q3 2023)
Operators and asset owners can now centrally manage rates and view inventory counts for active transactions through drive-up digital payments (tap-to-pay, scan-to-pay, etc.) from within the Ocra platform.
Like Ocra aggregates the aggregators for centralized rate and inventory management, we now have the ability to aggregate data from drive-up digital payment solutions.
4. Integrating SpotHero IQ (Q3 2023)
In Q3, we continued to add more rate controls to our platform!
Ocra teamed up with SpotHero’s development team to integrate SpotHero IQ rate management into our centralized management platform, building on the pre-existing ability to manage standard rates.
With this integration, operators leveraging SpotHero IQ for dynamic pricing can set Floors and Ceilings (i.e., minimum and maximum pricing thresholds) from within the Ocra platform.
Upon configuration in Ocra, Floors and Ceilings are immediately applied to SpotHero IQ.
5. Instating Per-Channel Pricing
In Ocra, operators and owners can set and adjust rates for multiple demand channels (like SpotHero, ParkWhiz, Airport Parking Reservations, and many more) all within one platform.
With this rate management enhancement, in addition to applying pricing across the board to multiple channels in one fell swoop, operators can configure per-channel pricing.
This functionality, layered on top of Universal Inventory, further enables demand channels to compete at the most optimized rates.
One possible scenario for this:
In a market where one demand channel has higher consumer utilization than the others, operators can increase rates on that channel to move more inventory at a price point that maximizes yield.
Up Next: Event Rate Tiering – Coming in January 2024!
One of our standout achievements of the year was the introduction of sophisticated event management with rate tiering.
This feature will be broadly available in January 2024, and we’ll be progressively rolling it out and iterating with a few partners ahead of time.
In 2023, the industry saw event parking sales skyrocket (Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, anybody?) and new consumer purchasing patterns emerge (like booking parking for an event scheduled for 15+ months out).
This upcoming release will transform how operators manage parking reservations for major events, ensuring optimized rates and tiered pricing during the booking period.
Our Ongoing Commitment: Addressing Evolving Industry Needs
To wrap it up, 2023 has been a groundbreaking year for Ocra, marked by innovation, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to addressing the evolving needs of the parking industry.
As we motor into 2024, we’re eager to continue building on this momentum and working with our partners towards more incredible outcomes.
And if you want to learn more about our team, our platform, or our roadmap, you can reach out to us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.