With the rise of the smart phone, consumers rapidly adopted newer technologies and radically changed how we interact with businesses and our expectations of services. Conversely, for some industries e.g. the hospitality industry, their operations and the technology used to deliver services to their guests have largely remained the same. However, in order to serve the new mobile traveler, it is vital for hoteliers to upgrade systems and adopt new tools to ensure repeat business, continued loyalty and guest satisfaction.
If your Hotel PMS software hasn’t been reviewed for a while, you run the risk of suffering from age-related issues such as security risks, a system that is no longer supported, poor and/or no integration options, performance issues, out-of-date designs that present usability and accessibility issues etc.
However, Cloud-based technology has seen rapid uptake in recent years and Gartner predicts that in 2016 it will account for the bulk of new IT spend. While switching to a Cloud PMS solution has many clear advantages (and is well documented) some properties are still reluctant to make the switch. Those that are still using a legacy PMS are doing themselves a disservice and it is ultimately holding them back – here’s how.
Decreases Efficiency: With legacy software solutions hotel functions are spread out across a variety of systems and are not easily coordinated, users are bound to the specific workstation where the system is installed, and managing and making sense of data from multiple sources is not only time consuming but extremely inefficient and can be painful and frustrating to complete.
A Cloud Hotel PMS will increase productivity and make your staff more efficient due to the high level of flexibility and accessibility these systems offer. Delivered over the Internet, and optimization for mobile, ensures ease of access anytime, anywhere.
Cloud systems simplify integration with other systems for improved operational efficiency via automated data exchange. Housekeeping staff can gain real time access to important room metrics and engage in two-way communication with front desk and management.
Management can also access the system remotely and view reports, key metrics and critical data in real time and make prompt educated business decisions.
Increases vulnerability: Onsite legacy software solutions have greater security risks. As technology evolves, old systems become vulnerable over time to hacks and exploits. Trying to support and keep up with the latest security on an older system becomes difficult to accomplish, resulting in guest information being increasingly at risk.
Similarly older PMSs require various manual processes and inputs from staff that can lead to errors and often put your hotel’s reputation in jeopardy.
However, with a Cloud based hotel PMS you can always feel confidant about the security of your data; data is always encrypted, is automatically and continuously backed up, stored in secure computer facilities, and monitored 24x7x365! Equally Cloud solutions allow you to automate and streamline crucial operations and as a result, errors can be avoided and eliminated while at the same time freeing up staff time.
Increases Costs: If you still have a legacy system in place you are more than likely aware that onsite software solutions are expensive and outdated. They require extensive technological infrastructure to set up, along with continuous investment to keep updated and maintained. They do not integrate well with other systems such as online marketplaces resulting in lost visibility and opportunities to increase bookings. Due to their cumbersome outdated design, they are not inherently easy to use, the more complex on-premise systems can require weeks of training and further training is required for any new additions or upgrades to the service. Moreover, a legacy PMS does not promote or give adequate support for capitalizing on revenue streams.
On the other hand, Cloud technology is not very expensive. A Cloud based PMS solution has cheaper up-front costs, is easier to setup and install and there is no ongoing maintenance or upgrade costs – you are always logged into the latest version of the software.
In terms of training, with a Cloud PMS, everything that requires technical knowledge is handled by the vendor and the system is easy to use and intuitive at the end user level meaning little or no initial or ongoing training is required.
One of the most intuitive and valuable functions a Cloud Hotel PMS is its ability to integrate multiple programs. Cloud can help hotels manage the complexities of online distribution through a single online dashboard, allowing them to monitor conditions in real-time to achieve the best pricing.
In addition, Cloud PMS has exponentially enhanced the possibilities of promoting and selling ancillary services. By consolidating pertinent guest stay information and preference data all in one place means hoteliers can sell customized, relevant and timely add-on services separately, or include them in tailored packages for a more personalized stay experience.
Almost every aspect of a hotel business can be hosted on the Cloud through a Cloud-based (PMS), from the front desk, POS, housekeeping, channel management, global distribution etc. The Cloud integrates easily with all other systems, provides your staff with a holistic real-time picture of operations – allowing them to work more efficiently, improves your bottom line, caters to your guest’s needs and not to mention that there are significant cost savings to be made.
Don’t let your property fall behind when it comes to implementing the latest technology. Now is the time to switch to a robust hotel management system.