Powering Scalability with StayNTouch Connect APIs
The hotel PMS sits at the heart of a technological ecosystem touching everything from hotel operations to the guest journey. The connections between a hotel’s PMS and their vast array of third-party platforms can mean the difference between a smoothly operating hotel, and one fraught with inefficiencies and disruptions. In this edition of StayNTouch Innovation-VIEW, we sit down with Sean Kline, the Product Manager for Integrations at StayNTouch, to discuss how StayNTouch Connect APIs facilitate seamless, real-time data exchange that promote better system connectivity, flexible operations, and a more unified and personal guest experience.
Describe the strategy behind StayNTouch Connect APIs. How is it different from the approach taken by legacy PMS systems?
Many legacy PMS systems were built on the premise that the relationship between a tech vendor and their clients was ultimately a narrow, transactional relationship. Consequently, they often would not make their APIs available to the open market, or easily available through their website. This “walled garden” approach would force customers to pay for costly proprietary integrations, or undergo lengthy verification processes to facilitate integrations with outside systems.
While the legacy systems might gain an additional short-term source of income, their customers would be saddled with a property management system that suffers from significant data silos, operational inefficiencies, and a general lack of technological flexibility.
StayNTouch’s Approach Provides Added Flexibility
At StayNTouch, we’ve taken a different approach. We’ve built our system on StayNTouch Connect-APIs, a native-cloud open-API architecture that allows for seamless and real-time data exchange between multiple platforms. Our APIs are powered by a simplified set of webooks that facilitate timely and automated notifications to outside systems, making them aware of new or changed bookings, guest data, and more, so they can retrieve the exact data they need, when they need it, in real-time. Hotels can even create their own hotel app, allowing guests to connect directly to the PMS and access booking information.
This shifts the power in the favor of hotels and gives them the flexibility to construct a technological ecosystem that fits their unique business needs. We also make all of our APIs available on our website so developers can access and explore the information without the unnecessary roadblocks. In addition, all of our API integrations can be viewed in the new StayNTouch Integration Hub, a centralized and searchable database where users can explore all of the direct and indirect integrations that can connect with StayNTouch Cloud PMS.
What are webhooks and how does StayNTouch Connect APIs use webhooks?
Webhooks are automated messages sent from one system to another. Our webhooks are simple but powerful. Rather than having thousands of end points that send out cluttered messages, we’ve narrowed them down to about 100 so the data being transferred is concise, and in real-time, eliminating the need to make multiple calls and combining different data elements. Instead of receiving messages in bulk, our webhooks exchange the exact data needed, when it’s needed, so that it can be actioned at the right time.
In other words, instead of dumping the entire haystack, our webhooks give you a thread that leads directly to the needle. For hotels, this is important because that means they can leverage data to deliver a more personalized experience for their guests.
How would this work in practice?
Let’s say your PMS is connected to a CRM and you want to pull up a guest’s reservation on a certain day. A traditional API would pull all of the reservations for that day, and would then require a secondary search to pull the specific reservation that you need. A webhook, on the other hand, would simply send a request for the actual reservation, so your system wouldn’t have to sort through hundreds of lines of data. Hotels can retrieve the data they need, when they need it, in real time.
How does StayNTouch Connect API promote flexibility and scalability?
The post-pandemic hospitality market will be fraught with uncertainty, and unrealized technological and business opportunities. A cloud PMS with an open-API system gives hoteliers the flexibility to navigate these shifting trends. To put it simply, every issue facing hotels in the next year, will have to be handled by an ecosystem of technological solutions, not just a single app or platform.
For example, contactless check-in allows your hotel to encourage social distancing, while also enhancing the convenience and personalization of your guests’ journey. A truly contactless check-in will appear to guests as a single momentary touchpoint. But this single touchpoint is actually created by integrating several different independent platforms: StayNTouch Guest Mobility (our mobile check-in solution), a contactless payment platform, a keyless entry platform, and usually a platform for mobile guest messaging. All of these systems must connect seamlessly一with real-time data exchange一to create a unified check-in experience.
PMS Software Unique to your Business Needs
StayNTouch Connect APIs, which are enhanced by webhooks, can provide hotels with an almost limitless potential for customization and scalability. Because webhooks allow developers to retrieve specific lines of data, they have maximum flexibility to build programs that fill unique business needs.
Hotels could literally commission their own tech teams to leverage our Open APIs and essentially build their own custom apps, while vendors can always access our API scripts and get all of the information they need. This gives hotels the ability to look ahead and be forward thinking with their technology strategy, and that’s what we want! We want to be a strong and reliable foundation for our customers and tech partners to explore new innovations.
How does this contribute to efficiency and personalization of the guest experience?
If your system can generate the same results by computing fewer lines of data, it will become vastly more efficient, offering your users a near real-time experience. But it can also provide a much more personalized experience for your guests.
Cloud-based PMS systems can pull guest data from numerous sources, consolidating them into an increasingly nuanced guest profile that can provide real insights into guest preferences and spending habits. This profile can then be used to inform highly targeted messaging which help to personalize your guests’ journey一 and provide your hotel with valuable ancillary revenue in the process.
Webhooks makes this process even more seamless. Tech Savvy hoteliers can use webhooks to design highly targeted messaging based on their guests’ preferences and activity during their stay. Say you have a guest that stays at your hotel, visits the spa, and eats at your rooftop bar and lounge. Instead of sending them a generic post-stay “thank you” email, you can use webhooks to send them a targeted spa discount that they can use in a future stay.
Do you want to learn more?
Open APIs enhanced with webhooks give hotels the flexibility they need to succeed in uncertain post-pandemic hospitality markets. By eliminating data silos and facilitating real-time data exchange, StayNTouch Connect APIs can promote operational efficiency and scalability, and deep personalization of the guest experience. Explore our Developer Page to learn more.