It goes without saying! There is a lot going on the world of hotel property technology. Hotels are re-thinking the position of PMS, thinking to move it to the cloud, and most importantly…. what to do with the mobile and smartphone trends.
Some hotels are a little further along than others, but most (95% + or so) still own a physical server sitting in a basement or closet running the hotels PMS system. Good old client server technology! But how good is it really…? No mobile device can get to it, no save back up exist, integration with guest service apps is virtually impossible as that requires extensive firewall and security protection. PMS when installed at the property, served hotels well in the 80-ties, 90-ties and maybe even a little into 21st century, a time when people called the hotel to make a reservation. That was than! Today nobody calls the hotel anymore, to book everyone goes to an OTA web site, hotel website, using a device handy to them at that point.
Jon Inge recently made a number of good points as part of his post on Hospitality Upgrade (hotel-online.com):
From a guest point of view:
“Marketers continue to explore new ways of gathering guest information, and so social media tracking and interactions are added to the mix. The shift to mobile technology is unstoppable, and mobile-compatible software is needed to reach guests on their devices of choice and to make those as simple as possible to use. More travelers use mobile devices to book on the spur of the moment, and hotel systems must get better at predicting booking trends with ever-shortening lead times, and driving revenue management decisions accordingly.”
From a hotel staff member point of view:
“Operational efficiency must improve, and housekeepers need mobile devices updated dynamically as room cleaning priorities shift during the day. Engineers need to be notified of work orders wherever they are and need mobile devices that can alert them of new tasks (ideally with photographs) to help them arrive fully prepared and return the guestroom to full service as quickly as possible. Guests’ past problems need to be tracked in their profiles so work orders can be created automatically to re-check the issue before their next arrival. Mobile devices also support more personal guest services, such as check-in from anywhere in the lobby or even in the guestroom.”
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