Hotel Technology is Finally Growing Up

April 3rd, 2018 Kent Howard Hospitality Trends

The first modern-day property management system in the hospitality industry appeared on the market in the 1980’s. We’ve come a long way since then, especially with programming code from the old days like Delphi or Visual Basic. Today we’ve evolved from on-premise software and hardware solutions to the Cloud where it’s all available; including guest bookings, guest profiles, OTA reservations, point of sale, sales and marketing, events, food and beverage, HR and payroll, maintenance & housekeeping management and much more.

Where Are Hotels & PMS Heading?

No doubt, Cloud PMS is probably the biggest advancement in recent years to hit the industry. This has been a game-changer for hoteliers, eliminating internal resources and costs to install software, maintain and upgrade solutions on-premise. Gartner recently noted that most companies would achieve a minimum benefit of being 36% more cost effectively in the cloud. The Cloud has turned PMS into an operational expense, not a capital expense, with minimal impact a hotels budget. Hotels and the PMS industry are rapidly changing and the PMS will remain as the core engine or hub of the hotel. Today’s new and improved PMS solutions need the flexibility, scalability and open API integration capabilities to interface with the hundreds of hotel product offerings and API requirements that are flooding the market.

The pace of change and evolution of the industry is happening to the point where many technology providers can’t keep pace. Hotel marketing is exploding, it’s being updated for SEO, and is becoming data driven because the numbers inside the data don’t lie. Chatbots marketing on hotel websites is emerging and the speed of information now needs to be a consideration in a hotels online business model. According to Chatbots Magazine, if you’ve managed to miss out on what a chatbot is, then you’ve also unintentionally drifted past the hottest hotel tech of 2017.

Mobile – Mobile – Mobile…….It’s Really Happening Now

Mobile devices and predictive apps are an emerging trend that will grow considerably, and fast. A hotel PMS gathers the data and can be integrated with travelers and their mobile phones, which have become basic every day communications tools. Travelers who are on route you your hotels right now are being data monitored, and unfortunately mobile phones were not designed for privacy and security. Travelers are relying on their phones to get suggestions when on the road with tools like Google Trips. Your phones GPS is also the technology behind you getting alerts when you are in certain geographic areas with offers and promotional specials. Hotels can now harness this by creating marketing offers and information about past and future hotels, restaurants, flights and taxi’s as examples to automatically pop up. It’s a hotels value added service and it creates customer engagement.

Mobile devices blend into hotel door locks and the old access card to gain room entry. That two-way interface with a hotel PMS allows a hotelier to provide room key access on the guest’s mobile phone. With a single download like OpenKey offers, guests can check-in and gain access to their hotel room and hotel amenities. This will improve guest reviews, and change the way they enter a hotel.

In an industry where technology has been slow to advance and ultimately be accepted, the hospitality industry is now changing quickly. Some hotels have already acquired and tested the technologies, others will need time and lower cost points to enter the space. Hoteliers need to jump on board with emerging technology and embrace change and data, or they risk being left behind and operating at a competitive disadvantage.