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A great deal has been written over the years about the viability of moving a hotel’s property-management system (PMS) to the cloud to take advantage of the latest technologies, but hoteliers need to realize that it’s not the only viable option. All platforms have advantages, including self-hosted, private cloud and on-premise solutions that leverage the latest mobile, contact free and web-based technologies. Independent operators can still enhance the digital guest experience, support personalized and mobile check-in, deploy contact free technologies, and secure hotel/guest data even if their PMS does not reside in the cloud. It should not be a question of “Cloud or On Premise?” but rather “Does the PMS solve your business objectives in both technology and service?”

Much has been written in the mainstream hospitality press about the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the industry. Hotels are in more pain than at any time in our memories. Because of the extensive media coverage, I won’t dwell on this topic further in what is primarily a technology column. But it’s the background for this week’s column, and so merits acknowledgement.

Are You All In?
Posted: 07/27/2020

Imagine everyone in your organization engaged, aligned, and performing to their potential. Imagine everyone playing “All In.”

Great organizations have synergy. Their culture allows them to play to a rhythm at a different tempo than the average organization. How do you get that at your organization?

Many front-line hospitality workers rely on tips for a significant part of their paychecks. If not for tips, many hotel associates who serve as waitstaff, bartenders, housekeepers, bell staff, concierges and pool attendants would soon be looking for other jobs. This is a regional issue: in most of Asia and Europe, staff get higher base pay, and tips are either not expected at all, or are truly discretionary. But in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other countries, tips are an important reality, and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

As somebody who’s helped to grow a company from 13 people to nearly a thousand, I know very well the excitement that comes with having a mindset focused entirely on growth. Every newly acquired customer, every new office and every milestone means the gap between you and your nearest competitor is that much bigger and that much harder to overtake.



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The Distribution Landscape in 2015

01/22/2015
by Estella Hale

The recent shifts and changes in the landscape of distribution continue to take form in 2015. With fragmented distribution, fierce competition and better-informed consumers, guest loyalty is elusive and costly. Transactions via mobile are increasing exponentially and bookings shift from what we used to know as walk-ins, to mobile app bookings with a lead time of zero.

But even as distribution fragmentation continues, and even expands, also expect tighter integration of the entire landscape. It is now common to expect brand websites listing reviews from third parties, and those same third parties directing traffic back to brand sites, or even processing the booking. These integrations level the playing field for independent hotels, giving them the ability to engage and profile their guest from search to retouch if abandonment occurs, to booking, and even pre check-in.

The key to this new era will be significant content; integrations will mature from room and rate availability to descriptive content, images and other items that foster engagement. Traditional channels such as GDS will continue to remain steady as they work to bring additional qualifiers and indicators to agents. Alternative lodging sources, such as bedroom rentals, are here to stay and new distribution channels such as Alibaba and Amazon will need to be considered. 

Metasearch sites are very popular with guests so it is important for the hotelier to have an understanding of cross-context search in order to compete with OTAs. The consumer now uses multiple devices to complete a booking, so it will be important for hotels to ensure their own booking engines are responsive. This will also be a factor for the now popular mobile only rates, which will most likely disappear as technological advances make the more important cross-context booking easier for the multi-screen user.

The landscape of distribution is ever changing and understanding these opportunities with a mindset that our consumer is constantly connected allows us to use innovative technologies to reach them. Having associates or partners who understand this landscape and can help navigate the various channels and tools available will be crucial to a hotel’s success in 2015 and beyond.

About The Author
Estella Hale
VP of Products
Sceptre Hospitality Resources


Estella Hale is the vice president of products for Sceptre Hospitality Resouces.

 
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