At the start of the year, there was much conversation in the hospitality industry with annual forecasting reports, each one anticipating what 2019 would bring for this important sector. Many of those industry reports cite data analytics and mobility as two of the leading predictions, but an important piece that’s missing from that conversation is the groundwork that’s required to support both of these anticipated trends is how they can be more accessible to the average property.
The past several years has seen a rise in a new generation of hotel technology with the introduction of agile, cloud-based PMS systems. Cloud technology has found its way into many other industries where it improves business efficiency, while hospitality has been slow to adopt. A significant advantage of a cloud software strategy is its cost-efficiency with the elimination of on-property hardware, namely servers, and associated costs (people, time, etc.). Cloud also provides immediate access to information with remote logins – so managers can monitor daily operations with remote access to real-time operations data. Not to mention, the benefit of anytime, anywhere access is the ability to analyze that data in an instant. This means a cloud PMS can be an avenue to achieving data analytics as the industry research forecasted.
Whether or not the PMS is in the cloud, hotels and resorts should plan their ancillary integrations to solutions that will be around for the long haul and invest in those that appeal to all demographics. Meeting yet another trend, albeit from the guest perspective, integrations are becoming critically important and should supplement the guest’s experience. Integrations that support a seamless experience include mobile keys, guest communications and mobile payments. Mobile keys allow guests to check-in on their smartphones and head straight to their rooms if they choose, bypassing the front desk. Guest communication technology by way of two-way SMS provides resorts an opportunity to instantly interact with guests prior to, during, and even after their stay for that added touch of guest service. Mobile payments, especially digital wallets (i.e. Apple Pay), are essential for a future capable of accommodating both in-person and online payments; and satisfying the broadest guest demographics.