In the past, when legacy hotel software was the only available choice, a collapse of the management system was one of the worst scenarios to happen in a property and a true nightmare for hoteliers. Such crashes forced hotel staff to improvise and do everything manually from a few hours to several days. At the same time, the IT-people took costly and time-consuming actions to resume normal operations - repairing or replacing hardware, installing and updating software, patching the hotel PMS to the last version to restore data and so on.
What changes when you switch to a cloud based property management system?
With cloud computing, the whole architecture of the hotel management software is completely different. The application itself, with all data, system files and patches, is installed on a remote virtual server that is under higher protection than any single property can afford. Customer hotels access their part of the application via Internet and work in real time no matter the technical issues they might face at the property. The only thing they have to care about is a reliable Internet connection. Hospitality businesses become less hardware-dependent and do not need to spend huge amounts for IT and system administration.
Most popular troubles that were extremely detrimental for legacy PMS but can not harm your cloud hotel management software (if it is Clock PMS) are:
Virus attackIf, unfortunately, a virus attack reaches your computer and network, you need to initiate a cleanup process. The good news - you can take any Internet-enabled device, like your phone, and keep working with your hotel PMS from there while your other devices are back to normal. Better news - even if you can not find a proper device for a while, your hotel management system keeps working in the cloud, including synchronisation of inventory across online channels, and the guest self service portal. Even better news: your device might have been infected with the virus, but it won't be able to transfer it to the virtual server that stores your cloud PMS and data due to the higher level of protection.
Hardware breakageIf you use the cloud based Clock PMS to manage your property, just call the service that takes care for your hardware, grab the nearest tablet or phone and keep doing what you were up to. No data will be lost or damaged, even if the computer in question is totally damaged and will never be able to resume operations. Hardware independence is one of the best benefits of cloud based hotel management systems such as Clock PMS - they run on anything you have at hand and a broken device can not do any harm on the software application.
Power outageWell, if you run an accommodation property, it will definitely be a problem for you and your guests. Not for your hotel management system, though. While you are still able to find a phone, laptop or tablet with a charged battery, you can connect to your hotel software and do what is most important. Finally, you could move to another location and continue working from there.
Internet connectivity failureThis is actually the one problem you might face when using a cloud based hotel management system. However, there are several solutions that are going to help you in that case and that are more cost-effective and less time-consuming than any protection measure you would need with legacy software.
Here are some best practices applied by real Clock PMS customers to protect their connectivity:
- Back-up connection. Almost all of our clients have a second Internet service provider to switch to in case of interrupted connectivity. It does not have to be a large package with unlimited data transfer and traffic, just a limited service to use as a spare connection would suffice and it should not cost a fortune.
- A router that switches connections automatically. This device monitors the default Internet connection and switches to an alternative whenever there is an interruption of the service. When the suspended service is reinstated, the router automatically switches the connection back to it. The solution is appropriate for properties that are using more devices to access the hotel management system, e.g. from different departments like call center, housekeeping, management, F&B and so on. Or in the case when the default service is unstable but much cheaper. Instead of switching connections manually and constantly checking whether the main service is already available, the router does the job automatically and optimises the traffic and the costs.
- 4G mobile Internet access. This option has more than one benefits. Not only will it connect you to the cloud hotel software when other connections are down, but it will also enable the staff to provide real mobile services to guests. A tablet with 4G connectivity is the perfect way to check guests in on the way to their rooms or provide other services anywhere else away from the reception desk or even away from the property where wi-fi could not be accessible. Affordable mobile Internet plans are already available everywhere around the globe and such an investment pays off in the form of improved guest experience and back-up connection.
By applying the above good practices, Clock PMS customers are happy to report great improvement of operational uptime and system administration costs. Compared to their previous legacy systems, with the cloud based hotel software they neither lose data, nor do they have to wait for hours or days to have their PMS up and running again. Not to mention the reduction of costs our clients enjoy thanks to the decision to switch to a cloud based hotel PMS that does not require any upfront investments or special hardware. However, not all cloud softwares are the same. Being powered by AWS, Clock PMS delivers all the benefits of the top-level cloud infrastructure. As such, Amazon is providing highest level of protection and disaster recovery services by replicating servers between data centers and other sophisticated measures.
While taking care only for their Internet connectivity, the hotels that choose the cloud based Clock PMS for their property management system enjoy the following benefits:
- Flexibility - use of different devices and operating systems to provide mobile services wherever they are needed
- Scalability - turning long term expenditures into operational costs and paying only for features in real use
- No maintenance - eliminating software installations and updates as well as system administration and hardware requirements
- Fast employment - no installations, quick initial setup from one place and simultaneous deployment in multiple location
- Location independence - managers can work from everywhere and manage multiple properties from one single device
- Efficiency - more time and energy to focus on the most important things - guest experience and revenue optimisation