Tech Talk

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Love
Posted: 10/23/2020

"Friendship often ends in love, and love in friendship never ends. "

We’re hardly out of the woods with COVID-19, and that means many properties will have to make do with a customer base mostly derived from local leisure, staycations and workcations from drive-to markets. With fewer overall guests, outside of cost savings efforts we must simultaneously look at maximizing the revenue per available guest (RevPAG), and there’s no better way to go about this than by sharpening your use of the PMS.

This is the last issue of Siegel Sez before this year’s CYBER HITEC event. HITEC is an event I have not missed in 30 years, and historically it has always been a great place to find innovation.

Toxicity Kills
Posted: 10/07/2020

It doesn’t matter if it is toxins in your physical environment or toxins in your mental environment. This stuff kills! 

It’s said that when someone’s mindset shifts, everything around them can change at the same time, and in our current setting, the importance of being in the right headspace, both personally and as an organization, can’t be discussed enough.



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Property Management Solutions – A HITEC 2017 Review

08/15/2017
by Terry Price, CPA, CHAE, CHTP
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.

 
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