“The Cloud” has been around a long time; it dates all the way back to the 1950s! In the mid 1990s the term ‘cloud computing’ was coined and a few years later in the 2000s, cloud use and adoption, at a commercial level, grew rapidly.
In the hospitality sector, the hotel PMS is one such system that has had a cloud “make-over”. The benefits are endless, including cost savings, improved day-today operations and increased guest satisfaction. But many hoteliers still have a way to go before being convinced to make the switch. According to Hospitality Technology’s 2015 Lodging Technology Study, 22% of hotel and hospitality providers said that moving their on-premises technology to the cloud was a top priority; in 2016, Wi-Fi360 reported that this number had climbed to 31%. While these figures show an increase for cloud migration it also highlights that not all are ready to let go of their legacy systems… but, we’re about to tell you why a cloud PMS beats your current hotel PMS – so read on!
Set up and Maintenance Costs: Cloud based PMS beats legacy PMS every time when it comes to set-up and on-going maintenance costs.
First off, all that physical hardware equipment that legacy PMS require (which comes with an high investment cost) Cloud based systems do without. With a cloud PMS there is no need for on-site servers and their cooling equipment and cloud services are flexible meaning that you can scale up or down based on your requirements. So not only do you save financially, but you also free up some space in the office where all “that” equipment use to live and you also do your bit for the environment by greatly decreasing your energy costs.
Similarly, there are no recurring upgrade costs because they are completely automatic and the benefit is passed onto the customer. Therefore your PMS does require any onsite visits from specialised technicians to oversee fixes, patches or upgrades and there is also no need for in-house high level, expensive IT staff to babysit your old system.
Basically Cloud PMS eliminates the costs associated with purchasing, servicing and powering expensive equipment, allowing you to move from CapEx to OpEx; there’s no IT required and reduces the overall cost of ownership.
Security: In the early days there was a little bit of fear mongering regarding the security of the cloud and despite its wide scale adoption (more than 90% of enterprises and 52% of all SME use cloud services in the US) many still have mixed feelings about cloud security. According to Brian David Johnson, futurist at Intel, our reluctance to fully accept the cloud is due to our perception of new technologies and our tendency to fear what we do not understand.
However, Cloud is known for it reliability, data security, processing speed and PCI compliance; it runs on secure servers with multiple failovers to give uninterrupted service, all your data is mirrored and backed-up continuously so there is no risk of losing important data or files in case of any damage to the system and data transfers use the same encrypted protocol that is used by banks! Compared to on premise backup, storage and computing systems which has legacy security that is unreliable and difficult to implement!
Also Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are specialized in keeping data safe – that’s their job! So by switching your legacy PMS to Cloud PMS, not only do you get access to the best data centers but also to highly skilled IT professionals looking after you. “Legacy systems are more difficult to keep updated because enterprises may have to go around to several hundred thousand platforms to check and update security systems. It’s easier for legacy systems to fall behind.” — David Linthicum, Senior Vice President, Cloud Technology Partners
It’s official; cloud is more secure than an on premise backup, storage and computing system.
Flexibility / Usability: With countless systems and multiple departments, managing a hotel today can be challenging and complex; with the hotel PMS making up the backbone of the day-to-day operations, a lot more is expected from a hotels PMS than just handling reservations and billing.
With a legacy hotel PMS, due to their very nature of being a “fixed” system has meant that hotel staff have always been tied to their desks; any information related to guest was/is only available in the PMS running on desktops and therefore staff had/have to access this PMS for every single guest related information or operation – which all sounds very archaic. Couple this with the fact that the new age traveller comes with high expectations for mobile enabled options and demands efficiency and simplicity from the moment they book – legacy systems just cannot keep up or compete.
Cloud-based PMS however can make an hoteliers life much easier; they are agile and business enhancing. They can streamline operations by simplifying day-to-day task management, automate critical operations and save time by reducing manual dependency. They can help to eliminate errors by avoiding overbooking and reservation related mistakes caused by manual inputting. And managers are also able to monitor operations, access reports and measure staff performance – all of which can be completed and managed remotely, on the go, anytime, anywhere.
One of the greatest advantages of cloud PMS over a legacy hotel PMS is the ability to access data using any device at any time meaning staff can freely move around the hotel servicing guests directly resulting in more face-time and enhancing their overall guest experience.
Cloud based property management services are the ideal tool to reduce costs, streamline operations and stay connected with the new mobile traveller – in a fast paced business environment, those that still have legacy property management systems in place are hold themselves back from reaching out to their customers in time.
… So, when are you moving?