What Improvements to Your Hotel Technology Are You Budgeting for 2019?

August 28th, 2018 Kent Howard Hospitality Trends

Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for hoteliers, but besides the increase in vacationing guests, outdoor events and wedding bookings, it’s also a great time to start preparing for budget season.

Once the summer has ended and fall arrives, savvy hoteliers will start to think about the investments they must make during the next twelve months.

When it comes to hotel technology, it doesn’t hurt to dream a bit sooner; therefore, we thought we’d take this opportunity to offer some investment ideas for your 2019 budget to boost your guest experiences.

New forms of payment

During recent years, contactless payment technology has gradually become more commonplace across the United States, but it still isn’t quite ubiquitous.

For consumers who are keen to swap cash for alternative, more convenient forms of payment, this is frustrating – so much so that the presence of an Apple Pay or Google Pay logo at checkout is genuinely exciting.

Is your hotel offering contactless payments yet? What about alternative forms of payments, such as loyalty points? Adding Europay, MasterCard and Visa (commonly referred to as “EMV”) to your payment processing will help considerably. EMV adds an extra layer of protection for guests and reduces chargeback liability for the merchant and these new devices include contactless payment options.

Guests must pay, and offering multiple technology options that enables them to do so quickly, conveniently is an opportunity your hotel should embrace to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Smart-room tech

Modern hotel experiences focus on personalizing the stay by providing guests with in-room hotel technology and facilities that enable them to relax and enjoy home comforts. Tech-savvy hotel companies, such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, have enhanced in-room services by adding smart features to control drapes, lighting, temperature and in-room entertainment options. These systems must integrate with your hotel PMS to provide a great ROI. For instance, Control4 has a solution that integrates with major PMS solutions, including roomMaster.

Smart-room technologies aren’t only guest-facing solutions, though. Smart-hotel solutions offer automated energy management systems that can detect room occupancy and set power and HVAC settings to save energy and even add an optional green feature during the guest’s stay.

Not all tech investments must be cutting edge. One of hotel guests’ top requests is easy, free access to Wi-Fi and to work seamlessly on their devices (i.e., no complicated log-in process or calling reception for the password). High-Speed Internet Access Gateway solutions are necessities in today’s tech-driven travel industry. Being able to provide automated access only to registered guests and segregating Internet network traffic from public and private hotel internal networks are musts. These systems can also provide your hotel with the option to offer guests a paid upgrade on Internet speed to help offset any hotel technology investments.

One of your top priorities for next year’s budget, therefore, may simply be to upgrade your existing guest-facing hotel technology to the latest versions.

A new PMS

Annoyed with your property management system continually crashing or failing to integrate with your other hotel technology? It might be time to upgrade.

Thanks to cloud computing, the modern cloud PMS is portable, feature-rich and startlingly easy to learn and use. Today’s PMS is also more secure, doesn’t rely on specific computers on which to run and benefits from a much faster upgrade cycle.

The PMS sits at the heart of your hotel’s many operations, and if it’s proving to be a regular topic of conversations in staff meetings (for the wrong reasons), then it’s time to allocate some budget to upgrade your PMS.

Point-of-Sale

Are you still using an outdated Point-of-Sale (POS) solution in your properties just because it works? Don’t resist the idea of installing a new POS system! We recommend that you should always bundle your hotel technology investments, looking for core systems from the same provider.

Sourcing your PMS and POS from the same provider will result in great operational efficiencies and increase the return on your investment quickly. The user interfaces are typically very similar, so cross-training team members is a breeze. Integration of the two systems will be native to the solutions, requiring no physical connections or separate interface software, so the two systems can communicate. This allows both the PMS and POS to offer tight and enhanced integration for billing-to-folio and reporting features.

Lastly, sourcing your PMS and POS from one provider will save your team considerable time, as they will only need the assistance of one support and sales contact that understands your entire operation. Plus, this lowers costs for support and software upgrades.

Are you ready to prepare your 2019 budget? Why not begin with the tech; it’s by far the most exciting element. Start a conversation with one of our specialist today!

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.