Tech Talk

Recent posts

People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

Property Management Solutions – A HITEC 2017 Review

08/15/2017
HITEC, eh? In preparing for HITEC this year there were discussions concerning vendor participation and attendance due to having to cross the border. Passport issues, customs issues, etc. all pointed to a diminished attendance. The critics were proven wrong. Attendance was up, vendor participation was up and the show floor was full and busy. Great job, HFTP.
 
My focus this year was to see the progress in the property management system (PMS) arena. Prior to attending, I reviewed the exhibitor floorplan on the HITEC website and found 34 vendors that have indicated PMS as one of their categories. The categories are selected by the vendors themselves, so review the details about their products as they may only provide an interface to a PMS system. One example, a payment card vendor flagged PMS as a category because they provide card processing for PMS.
 
My mission was to visit as many of these vendors as possible in the 15 hours of show floor time available while allowing a bit of time to at least tour the floor to see if there was anything new and exciting. Doing the math, you can quickly see that it would be impossible to spend the appropriate time with a vendor to get a feel on their status and direction. At the end of the day, I met up with around 10 PMS vendors with a mix of large, small, new and mainstay.
 
I will not keep you in suspense. One of my findings is that property management systems are still just property management systems. They store your guest information, take a reservation for a stay, and check them in, check them out, and get your money. People say that the PMS is dead and disappearing. Not sure how possible that would be. It may be called something different at some point, but you still must store your guest information, take a reservation for a stay, and check them in, check them out and get your money. That will never change.
 
So, what was new? First and foremost, CLOUD. That was (still) the buzz word. We have been talking about it for quite some time, so most all the PMS vendors are providing what they call a cloud solution. Cloud has become one of the words that have a broad definition. Remember the whole integrated vs. interfaced discussions? Cloud has come to mean that the server is not on site. We used to call that “hosted”, but it is always good to have a new term, right? Wrong!! It becomes very confusing to the consumer and ultimately the property is not satisfied. Examples of a true-cloud solution are Office 365, Gmail, and Quickbooks OnLine. Currently, there are not very many PMS solutions that offer this. The few providers that do offer true-cloud are currently for small operations and do not provide a large feature set. If you are looking for a cloud PMS, you will most likely end up with a hosted PMS which most all the providers are offering now. I am not saying that is bad, but call a spade a spade: “We CAN handle the truth.”
 
We have all heard the phrase, “Go big or go home.” In PMS, it is just the opposite, “Go small or go out of business.” Mobility was also a major direction for most all the vendors. Mobility for both the internal operational use, as well as, apps for guest-facing features. As we have all become so dependent on the technology we hold in our hand, the hotel wants to be part of that space. Hotel groups both large and small want you to carry them around with you always with their app. So, most of the PMS providers are providing this functionality to assist in keeping in touch with your guest and provide them with features such as remote check in and check out. Layered in with this technology is the internal use such as housekeeping, maintenance, security and management tools to help keep your staff informed and effective while not being chained to their desk. Hospitality is still a “people-person” business and this allows the staff to be out with the people.
 
There were a few new faces this year. Some well-established PMS companies are venturing over into the North American market from other regions such as Europe and Asia. These solutions seem to provide a robust feature set on top of solid future-facing technology. Take a look.
 
The mainstay solutions are still investing into their core products. This was very reassuring for the marketplace. Just a couple years ago, many of these providers were planning to sunset their main products and move toward a new solution causing a big wave of uncertainty to all the current customer base. It was great to see that this trend seems to have calmed down and current customers can still get new features and upgrades to their existing systems.
 
HITEC was a great success “North of the Border.” Toronto was a welcoming and hospitable city and I look forward to returning for another successful event. On to Houston … (home of the 2018 HITEC).
About The Author
Terry Price, CPA, CHAE, CHTP
Principle Owner
HFT Consulting Group


Terry Price, CPA, CHAE, CHTP is a principle at HFT Consulting Group and is part of the DANNI Enterprise team. He can be reached at Terry@hftcgroup.com.

 
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code