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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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Enterprise System Pitfalls: Summary

by Mark Loyd
Today I’m wrapping up a series of posts on the broad topic of Enterprise System Pitfalls. In this series, my hope was to help shed light on the primary problems that cause us to miss budgets, fall short on capabilities, or completely fail when implementing an enterprise system. 
Complex enterprise systems have the potential to revolutionize our business, improving topline revenue and reducing operating costs. For hospitality CMOs, this may be a project intended to create a backbone for disparate connected systems, creating the ability to offer unique service offerings to guests, differentiating the brand. For CSO’s, the right platform can significantly improve data security and prevent damaging breaches. For COO’s, real-time connectivity and automation is a way to provide efficiencies in the field and improve consistency in the hotel operation. The right enterprise system has great theoretical potential for good! But at least as great of a potential to be at best a mediocre solution, and at worst a complete disaster.
When designing a new enterprise system, take these suggestions into consideration, and you will greatly increase your odds of establishing a solution that will accomplish on-time delivery of a secure, feature-rich platform.
Focus on feature code
Frameworks, libraries, layers, or any code that does not provide clear, eminent, and calculated functionality must be questioned. Error on the side of reducing code when in question. Too often, we take the opposite approach and include theoretical ideas, future-proofing, more logging, etc., because we feel they can bring some sort of certainty. Most additional, non-feature layers and code only bring more complexity, security holes, and poor performance. Though you don’t write a check for licensing another open-source library, you will still pay a price every time.
Solve problems by reducing, not by adding
Whenever possible, eliminate to solve problems rather than add. It is better to get something tested and working than to create more initially. Your team may be agile in process, but waterfalling in thinking. Many engineers will build massive infrastructure before a single feature is added.
Be OK with little uncertainty
Many of the complexities we add to platforms are intended to help us be certain of results. I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing. Nothing is certain. But our linearly processing minds walk us down a path that results in us thinking if we add one more control, one more pattern, etc., that we’ll make things more certain. In a small minority of cases this is true. In the vast majority of cases, we’ve solved nothing and simply added more things that can go wrong. Everything we add to a system exponentially increases the risk to outage, bug, or other failure.
Many companies have implemented enterprise platforms to a lesser or greater degree of success, and you, too, can be successful if you are intentional and wise. In addition to making sure you have the right team and clear requirements, keep an eye out for the pitfalls I’ve described in recent posts, and you’ll stand a much better chance to be on time and on budget. 
About The Author
Mark Loyd
Jonas Chorum

Mark has two passions… technology and the outdoors. Starting his technology career in the late '90s as a software developer for a property management system, he quickly worked his way through the ranks and entered his first leadership position in 2000, managing a team of 5 developers. Twenty years later, having served as COO, CSO, CTO, and now president, Mark leads a talented team of 120 people that follow his passion and vision in making Jonas Chorum a technology leader in the hospitality industry. 

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