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Next-Generation Hospitality Technology: Automating for Success

Posted August 15th, 2016

Hospitality technology has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years. In fact, until recently, there was no single software application for managing, let alone automating, all of the different functions that take place at a hotel or resort in a unified and integrated fashion. Instead, hoteliers typically used function-specific software programs — often in conjunction with Excel spreadsheets and age-old manual processes — to run their day-to-day business operations.

Fast forward to today and next-generation property management systems are empowering hoteliers with the ability to drive ever-increasing levels of efficiency and effectiveness in ways that may have been difficult to imagine only a decade ago. The scope of the platform capabilities has expanded beyond core functions like guest registration, room inventory maintenance, financial accounting and housekeeping assignment to encompassing virtually all aspects of hotel operations. With many systems, the capabilities have also become increasingly sophisticated and flexible, and even more easy to seamlessly integrate with third-party technologies.

starfleet research - hotel PMS

To that point, next-generation systems now generally offer integrated channel management capabilities, including connectivity with web booking engines and global distribution systems to automate transactions with booking agents. Many systems now integrate with third-party point-of-sale (POS) software for retail and restaurant operations. Many systems also integrate with accounting software, keycard and access control systems, self-service kiosks, internet and telephone systems, including voicemail, and in-room refreshment (minibar) and entertainment applications. And the list goes on.

Some of the advances in features and functionality of next-generation systems now often include specialized marketing and sales capabilities for running targeted promotions and campaigns. Some systems tout robust data analysis tools and performance dashboards for generating business intelligence, including insights into emerging trends and guest behaviors by segment. Some systems have guest relationship management and personalization features that engender higher levels of guest satisfaction, leading to more repeat stays and higher volumes of positive brand advocacy.

In short, there are plenty of reasons for hoteliers to migrate from a legacy PMS to a state-of-the-art system designed to meet their current and future market needs. In fact, according to research conducted for The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, more than one-quarter (27%) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past 3 years indicate that they plan to do so in the next 12 months. For them, this new Smart Decision Guide offers a roadmap to success.