Answers to the Top Questions About Switching Hotel Property Management Systems

By Todd Davis Chief Executive Officer, SkyTouch Technology | December 31, 2017

You rely on your property management system (PMS) to help you run your hotel. It is the central nervous system of your property. Most of your hotel's technology runs through your PMS; more reason to have a modern system at your front desk. In fact, many hotels have migrated off premise-based systems for a cloud-based PMS for that very reason. Still, there is a tremendous opportunity to move more properties to the cloud. Nevertheless, there are important questions to ask before making the switch from a premise-based system or from another cloud-based PMS. Here are answers to some of the top questions hoteliers ask before making the switch.

Is it Accessible From a Mobile Device?

Selecting a solution that is cloud-based and is mobile-ready will pay many dividends. Your guest service will improve, staff will be more efficient and you will save on not having to purchase expensive hardware.

Today's top solutions can be operated using a tablet or even a smart phone. This will present the hotel with needed flexibility. For example, you could leave the front desk to greet guests and check them in anywhere in the lobby. Or a housekeeper can view the list of rooms assigned to him or her by logging in to their smartphone, updating the room status or add work orders without having to call the front desk.

For many hotel owners and managers having the ability to log in from anywhere and see how the hotel is doing at any given moment is a powerful feature. Add to that the ability to make rate changes on the go, and you are now adding dollars to the bottom line.

How Easy is it to Use?

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.