Was your property management system installed years ago? Does it require regular maintenance and upgrades? Does it limit your hotel from connecting to emerging online technologies?
If you answered YES to all these questions, read on.
Why are smaller hotels with legacy systems considering Cloud PMS?
As the hospitality industry is evolving, hotels, especially small and mid-sized properties are realizing that opting for a Cloud-based PMS to manage their property is becoming all the more imperative to:
– Increase market reach by connecting to online channels and the growing number of businesses moving online
– Integrate seamlessly with all other enabling technologies and third party tools
– Save costs of system maintenance and upgrades
– Optimize human resources to enhance guest experience
Newer technologies and guest demand leading the shift
Hotels are finding value in the inherent ability of cloud-based systems to adapt to new technologies like TripConnect and review media sites, social media, mobile optimization, last minute booking sites and Google Hotel Finder.
The new-age guests demand quickness, simplicity and mobile-friendliness from the hotel booking and stay experience. As older legacy systems are still playing catch up when it comes to mobile optimization, cloud-based systems are offering hotels the ability to access the data using any device and enable guest bookings on mobile devices.
With cloud PMSs, managers are also able to remotely monitor operations, access reports and measure staff performance, while legacy systems still rely on age-old methods of inter-communication.
Automating critical operations to free up staff time is another important benefit that a Cloud PMS offers which directly results in more face-time with guests and enhanced experience.
Can your hotel afford to let these opportunities pass by?
The right time to switch to Cloud is now
As per Hospitality Technology’s 2015 Lodging Technology Study, 15% hoteliers are considering investing in cloud-based property management and point-of-sale systems in the coming 18 months. If there ever was a time to make the switch from your outdated legacy system to cloud, it is now.
How easy is it to make the switch?
Many hotels that want to shift from legacy to Cloud PMS are wary because of multiple questions that go unasked and unanswered. Choosing the right property management software requires consideration of multiple features and the budget. Some hoteliers have the perceived notion that it will take a lot of time to evaluate the new PMS, train resources and migrate the data.
We look at answering a few such concerns:
I am hesitant to make the switch because of the time it would take to evaluate the Cloud PMS, train my staff and understand a whole new system. It will be a big change!
It is understandable that there is uncertainty in every new process and change. But, if you are going to see the direct results of streamlining processes within months, then it is well worth it.
The time taken for adoption is not much – with many vendors offering a trial period and online demonstration, the evaluation time gets shortened. Vendors are also there to help you with initial transition, setup the system for you, train your staff and be with you while you understand the system.
How do I manage my business during the transition period?
The only biggest challenge for you would be to make sure you have your data in place. If the data is in place, transition wouldn’t typically take more than a few days. Most vendors offer a basic setup within hours so that the reservations don’t get affected.
What happens to the existing and future reservations? Who does the transition – the hotel or the cloud service provider?
Cloud service providers take care of the transition. They typically give hotels a format to fill the information about their existing and future reservations. This data is migrated to the new system by the Cloud PMS provider so that there is no data loss. Depending on the amount of data, the switch to a cloud based PMS can take place within 2 to 7 days by most Cloud PMS providers.
How about the bookings on Expedia and other channels?
The cloud PMS automatically links and transfers all your bookings to the Front Desk, and also eliminates the chances of double bookings. With cloud based PMS that is capable of distribution, you can expand your market reach without bothering about the overheads of updation.
Are there any risks involved in switching from legacy to Cloud PMS? Data loss?
Cloud based PMSs offer strongroom security. They run on secure servers with multiple failovers to give uninterrupted service to the hotelier. All your data is mirrored and backed-up continuously to ensure that nothing is ever lost. Data transfers use the same encrypted protocol that is used by banks.
How will the switch affect existing contracts with our sales channels/OTAs? Do we need any additional resource or trainee to manage?
Contracts with existing OTAs remain the same and get switched from managing manually using their extranets to getting automated via their backend xml. This is transparent to your hotel and is taken care of by the Cloud PMS provider. As good cloud PMSs offer an easy-to-use interface that is self-enabling, it would not require any extensive training. On the contrary, the switch would simplify the distribution and revenue management functions of your hotel by streamlining the process.
We suggest that when you decide to make the switch, figure out the worst and best thing that can happen. When the best case scenario looks better than worst case, you know that you are ready for the switch.
As a parting thought, getting stuck in the past may not be the right thing when the industry is moving into the future!
To ease a hotelier’s decision-making, Hotelogix is offering a Free Forever PMS plan. A hotelier can run all their hotel operations on Hotelogix Freemium cloud PMS at no cost. This single user plan includes the modules of Front Desk, Housekeeping, Unlimited Point of Sale, Website Booking Engine and Reports.