Hospitality software has gone a long way since the days of manual rate updates and sparse data gathering. Legacy hotel solutions while useful to a degree were little more than a way of grasping for tangible information in complete darkness.
But with the commoditisation of the internet software companies have found a whole new way of looking at data, and realised that the way to creating competent hospitality solutions is through integration.
But how do hospitality solutions integrate and how does it affect data acquisition?
Hospitality solutions can achieve integration with the help of an open platform, also known as an API. What an API does is it allows for PMS users to communicate and exchange relevant information with outside applications, resulting in the creation of an integrated data system.
Open platforms essentially perpetuate the evolution of integrated property management systems, as with the help of an API it is easy to develop a customisable fully integrated property management system.
Debunking the Issues of Hotel PMS
- Software providers are not interested in the integration
This myth stems from the idea that a company would not be willing to integrate and import data from a competitor’s software but in fact, this would be a terribly unsustainable business model for both sides.
Developers have welcomed open platforms as they enhance their own product, and at the end of the day, it allows for hospitality management software to be fully integrated and accessible to a wider client roster.
- It costs too much
Indeed there was a time when PMS required a dedicated team of in-house IT to support the software and its functions, making the system itself wholly impractical for smaller chains and independent hospitality providers. But cloud-based property management systems effectively eliminated the extravagance of legacy solutions, by reducing the need for complicated installations and on-premise servers.
Any further need for updates and maintenance would be satisfied by the company provider and hotel management could decide which solutions to invest in and which to drop entirely, further reducing unnecessary cost.
- It’s time-consuming
APIs have paved the way to faster and easier integration between cloud-based property management systems and outside applications. This has allowed hospitality providers to customise the software’s features to fit their establishment’s needs, cutting down significantly on the time needed to build an on-premise tech-stack.
- It’s technically challenging
One of the most recurring queries towards hospitality software providers is whether the data is easily transferable between solutions. In the early days of the technology transferring information from legacy solutions to a newer PMS was a task that required actual manual labour to complete.
Tech-companies have since then found a response to this query by ensuring that cloud-based property management systems can easily connect to other software solutions, regardless of the solution belongs to the same company or not, allowing for a data transferal at minimal effort.
Benefits of Hotel System Integration
A property management system is only as good as its ability to adapt and integrate. Most hospitality providers rely on a host of solutions from different vendors and in order for the hotel’s daily business to run evenly the information between these systems needs to be shared in a timely and efficient manner.
An integrated property management system is intended for this purpose and many others. For instance, a hotel PMS can support the profile of a guest which has previously stayed in another location of the same hotel chain.
The information gathered from that stay would be easily accessible to the staff at the new location and they would be able to acquire a better understanding of what their loyalty metrics are as well as their guest retention rates and according to productivity.
Rate management across various distribution channels is another such benefit. An integrated channel manager can use the data gathered in their system to make calculated predictions of ideal room rates at a given time, which can then be automatically updated across all channels.
Integrations listed in accordance with their current value to hospitality providers:
Distribution Channel Managers – Rate management has become a pressing point for hoteliers as the network of online travel agencies and marketplaces only keep growing. Integrated distribution channel managers are utilised by hoteliers to cover some of the most pressing revenue management points, namely:
- Auto-suggested effective pricing strategy;
- Simultaneous rate and inventory updates;
- Automated reservation/cancellation updates;
- Eliminating double-booking.
Direct Booking Engines – hospitality providers are using the visibility created by OTA listings to encourage guests to book directly through their hotel’s website. What follows is that hospitality software now matches in design and features OTA booking engines. These are some of the requirements it needs to meet:
- Sells the full inventory of services provided by the establishment;
- Suitable for mobile use;
- Adaptable to both independent and chain hospitality providers.
Point of Sale Solutions – Ancillary revenue optimisation tools have been increasingly in demand since the OTA power struggle has made the room-rates drop in favour of better listings and occupancy quotas.
How Integration Software Improves and Simplifies Hotel Management?
In the month of May, Clock Software has continued to expand their integration portfolio, which has further improved the capacity of their brand’s cloud-based property management system. This move was prompted by the growing hospitality market’s desire for intuitive and fast hospitality solutions that can only be provided with the help of a fully integrated cloud-based PMS.
The following are the notable additions:
Integrating with CartStack
Cartstack offers a solution to reservation abandonment, by using their recovery tools hoteliers can recover up to 15% of all reservations. Once Cartstack is integrated with Clock Web booking engine it begins to track visitor shopping behaviour and it sorts out the ones to complete the booking if given a second chance. They engage guests based on which part of the booking process they were on.
For instance, their Booking Abandonment Email Campaigns, are sent out auto-personalised offers to travellers who have gotten to the booking stage but have for whatever reason abandoned the idea.
On the other hand, the Browse Abandonment Email Campaigns are aimed at rekindling interest in guests that have given up on the browsing stage. And finally, CartStack’s Exit Intent Campaigns are aimed at driving up direct bookings by making onsite offers and collecting additional email info for booking abandonment campaigns.
Integrating with Qualitelis
Qualitelis is a marketing management tool which integrates with Clock PMS+ and it automates customer communications via a host of surveys. Qualitelis is a PR tool which helps improve guest satisfaction by improving communication with guests and relaying positive reviews across hospitality reviewing platforms.
Integrating with SiteMinder
SiteMinder integrates fully with Clock PMS+, allowing for smooth automated rate updates and inventory checks. With more than 35 000 hotels worldwide SiteMinder is one of the most recognisable hospitality solution providers on the market.
By integrating with SiteMinder PMS hospitality providers are given the opportunity to lower the cost of acquisition and improve retention rates.
How Does Software Integration Affect the Big Picture?
In a business climate as changeable as hospitality, having a stern hold on all sources of revenue is crucial to building a successful hotel revenue strategy. API integration now plays an active part in the daily operation of millions of hotels all across the globe as hospitality providers have found that using integrated solutions improves guest service and on-site daily operations.
APIs are a form of a digital skeleton key which means that the only question a hotelier needs to ask themselves is “Which doors do we need to unlock?” or in other words, what kind of revenue streams do they need to tap into.
By using a PMS built for integration hoteliers have effectively created a network of services and tools which can be used to eliminate friction from both the staff’s workflow and the guest’s stay. As such integrated software is one of the few investments in the industry that practically guarantee ROI while improving guest satisfaction and retention rates, resulting in the steady growth of profit margins.