On the StayNTouch blog we are no strangers to the topic of, and talking about, the benefits of moving your legacy PMS to a SaaS Hotel PMS. And while many hotels are eager to replace their existing legacy property management systems with a cloud-based solution, they are equally hesitant to move because of multiple questions that go unasked and unanswered – like, just exactly how easy is it to migrate to the cloud?
While there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach there are a few pointers for successful migration to the cloud.
Before Migrating – Do your homework. There are plenty of SaaS providers on the market but before jumping in the deep-end in to pick a provider ideally you should thoroughly research your own requirements first. First, you should carefully study your existing IT infrastructure, needs and usage to best determine what is right for your operation and to achieve optimal cloud performance. Second, when it comes to a cloud hotel PMS solution you should consider a solution that provides the following key elements; an integrated, consolidated approach with easy access to key functions from a single login, along with seamless connections and interfaces with distributors and integrated reporting features that can be manipulated by the hotel manager with a few simple clicks.
D-Day – It’s time to let go!: Two things to note when migrating; First, while it might be tempting to manage the transition to your new hotel PMS gradually i.e. run the old and new systems simultaneously for a time this is not recommended. Yes, while it might be hard to bite the bullet and just “let go” to the old way to doing things, running legacy and new side by side risks data integrity, doubles your workload and ultimately distracts from, and delays implementation of the new system. Switching from your old system to a new one in an instant, rather than gradually, is more efficient and effective.
Second, while traditionally switching from one hotel PMS to another was quite a complex task that usually resulted in weeks of interrupted service, lost productivity and many headaches, migrating to the cloud is a completely new and smooth experience in that your new service provider is there to help you and will take care of the transition. When it comes to data, your new vendor will typically give you a format to follow and fill in regarding reservations so that there is no data loss when migrating to the new system – Most vendors offer a basic setup within hours so that the reservations don’t get affected and depending on the total amount of data that is required to be moved, users can be up-and-running with a whole new system in as little as one to two days!
Once you are up and running your SaaS Hotel PMS provider will typically provide on-site training covering every aspect of the system – along with remote training with 24×7 on-going support. But as cloud PMS solutions are easy to use and intuitive at the end user level, employees can be trained quickly – even the least tech-savvy members of a hotel’s team can easily gain access to the information they need at the click of a button!
Life in the Cloud: The journey to the cloud can and should be a smooth and easy one for hoteliers. Should you make the switch, you’ll find that you will have gained a faster, less risky, and significantly more cost-effective alternative to an on-premises application; due to the ease of connectivity between online systems, you will have created endless possibilities that can both enhance the guest experience and increase revenue; and should you want to move again in the future, switching to another PMS is significantly easier from this point forward.
Ultimately making the switch to a SaaS hotel PMS enables you to save time and money, enjoy increased flexibility and allows you to spend more time with your guests instead of being behind the system.
Whether or not you’ve already taken the leap for your property, when you do decide, we hope you have a successful migration and experience from start to finish.