There has been a lot of talk about the pros and cons of on-premise and cloud-based Property Management Systems and have turned out to be the debate of the decade in the hospitality space. With even the leaders in on-premise systems slowly shifting their focus on developing their own cloud-based platforms, it’s safe to say that cloud has captured the industry due to the utility it brings in and the ability to grow in the space.
Just for the record, we are not here to light a match and pick a side to set fire to. Any reference of an on-premise system that I might use in the course of this blog will be only for reference purposes. A majority of chain properties are still stuck on the traditional PMS, AKA the on-premise systems, and to highlight how effective a cloud-based property management system can be, we will cover a few aspects in which the cloud-based system excels.
Better control on group operation:
If you have been looking at cloud systems as incompetent when it comes to managing bigger properties, chances are that you have surveyed systems that were built for smaller hotels, or you’ve been grossly misinformed.
Having a cloud system ensures that you can manage several properties from anywhere in the world. Meaning, you do not have to be in the property to access the data that you need. Centralized control, as we call it, will help you manage any of your properties from any location, provided you have the required access rights.
Modify room rates, keep an eye on inventory or access reports of any of your properties centrally. Cloud systems give you a bird’s eye view of all your properties and give you the freedom to customize operations based on your needs.
Doubles up as a stellar Management Information System (MIS):
Waiting on reports from the individual properties under your group should be a thing of the past. Be it a single property or the group, a cloud-based system enables you to generate reports remotely. It gives your clear picture on property-wise or group-wise performance.
It is another feature to help offer your guests the hospitality they crave for. Personalise your guests’ experience based on their spending patterns and preferences. Engage with repeat guests on a more personal level to win their side and have them visit your hotel as a preference. Upgrade their stay packages and nurture them, so they become loyal guests who keep coming back for more.
Customizable as per your needs:
Cloud-based systems bring in a wide range of integrations to help you better in every aspect of your business.
- Revenue Management: Integrate with the best revenue management systems that will give you insights on how to price your rooms and the allocation of inventory, giving you an edge over the competition.
- Reputation: In today’s age, a major differentiator between a good hotel and a great one is the way in which a hotel maintains its reputation. What’s visible to the outside world is what customers will think of your hotel. Integrate with reputation management systems to drive up your online reputation and score.
- Loyalty Programs: Having a chain of hotels and not having a loyalty program in place for your guests to take advantage of, simply means that you are losing out on a lot of business. Loyalty programs integrated with your PMS to drive these benefits and manage it centrally could be your first step to take maximum advantage of the situation.
For a chain of hotels, when it comes to a cloud-based system, there is a lot of money to be saved. For starters, with an on-premise system, you’re looking at it as a capital expenditure. The need for servers in your hotel and the licensing cost involved in using this system will be a major chunk of your expenses. Moreover, a dedicated IT department and the additional cost for every other module, is just going to drive that price through the roof.
On the other hand, the cloud system gives you a pricing model more on the lines of operational expenditure. There is no need to spend on a server and on additional licensing fees. The pricing is subscription-based and the system can be accessed with a PC/ laptop and a stable internet connection. The advantage here is that you only pay for the features you use and not for the additional add-ons that come with an on-premise system that might not be of any use to you.
Setting up unlimited Points of Sale is another advantage of a cloud-based system. Be it your restaurant, spa or your gift shop, set up any number of POS outlets to increase non-room revenue your hotel is earning. What would otherwise cost you per POS module, on a cloud system comes at the fraction of the cost.
Now, this could be a most debated point, but just because your data is hosted on a cloud server, it does not compromise your hotel’s data security. On the other hand, a cloud system backs up your data on a minute-to-minute basis, ensuring none of your data is lost in case there is any downtime. With dedicated teams working on securing your data, chances are that these cloud systems are likely to be more equipped in detecting data breaches and thereby, tackling the problems with better efficiency than your internal IT department.
This should be one of the biggest advantages of owning a cloud system- it is accessible from anywhere in the world on any device that has an internet connection. The real advantage is that all the data is accessible in real-time. Though some on-premise systems claim to give you data in real-time, they will never really be in real-time because of the time taken to upload the data from any one system to finally reach your hands.
Here are just a few of the benefits that a cloud-based system has for chain properties. The fact is that cloud systems are growing in popularity purely because of the level of customizability they cater to hotels and all the additional features they offer.
Have more questions on the hows and whys of a cloud-based system? Drop a comment or get in touch with us and we’d be glad to help you out with it.
Interested to know how a cloud-based PMS can technologically help an independent hotel? Read more here.