By now you should have had an opportunity to read through my first tip for HITEC 2021, and hopefully you shared it with others on your team.  I can't stress enough the need to consider having key members of your team attending this event based on the organization’s priorities. The individual will benefit and so will the organization.
Today’s tip is all about revenue management systems (RMS). My definition goes beyond RMS as an application. For purposes of this article, RMS includes:
  • Revenue management applications
  • Property management systems (PMS)
  • Point of sale (POS)
  • Sales and catering systems (S&C)
  • Customer relationship marketing (CRM)
  • And all those tools used for online marketing, benchmarking, and data intelligence.
Key members of your team who should evaluate your current environment include those in revenue management, sales, marketing, reservations, web development, etc.  If their role has anything to do with attracting and capturing a customer sale, then consider them to be part of the revenue management system.
For many, evaluating new PMS, POS, and S&C applications may come with chain affiliation restrictions.  For all of us though, making a change to any of these three core systems will require extensive planning.  If you are still operating one or more of these applications through an on-premises installation, give serious consideration to migrating to the cloud.  You will gain in operating efficiency and integration while reducing datacenter overhead.
There are several amazing initiatives underway in hospitality software integrations.  Recent web events have been eye-opening to the level of collaboration taking place amongst the vendor community.  Not long ago you needed to beg vendors to work together on interfaces, and you paid a fee for the pleasure.  (At the end of this article are three web events I found remarkably interesting.  Replays are available online.)
There appears to be a sincere interest by vendor community to increase operability with other vendors for the benefit of their customers.  But make no mistake about it, cloud-based applications are ahead of the curve with their use of open API architecture.  A great deal of this collaboration is focused on revenue-related applications involved in:
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Channel distribution and central reservations (CRS)
  • CRM and other direct marketing tools such as pay-per-click campaigns
Smart enterprises don't limit their analysis of business to the broad market segments defined in the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI).  They are busy interpreting the wealth of metadata that exists in an online world helping to further define their customers.  The more intelligence you have about the sources of business, the more focused you can be on cost-effective marketing.
Remember the list of applications and online tools I discussed in my first tip?  Look at the list for those associated with RMS.  Make sure your list includes all those costs related to market intelligence reports, group prospecting, etc.  It is likely that the total costs are significant, especially if you are not effectively using what you pay for.  And there may be an opportunity to consolidate these tools to fewer vendors.
Data sharing among revenue-related systems should be happening in real time.  This enables the enterprise to dynamically yield pricing structures based on market data and the booking pace seen by the hotel.  However, with the mountain of data available that should inform these decisions, developers are looking for ways to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) in the process. 
My final suggestion as part of Tip #2 is to carve out some time and listen in on the numerous web events taking place around RMS integration.  You won't be disappointed.  Below, is one of my favorites from just the past two months available as replays. Beyond Recovery: How Modern Integration Strategies Drive Revenue, Efficiency