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  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Guest Registration Cards

    This document offers recommendations for guest information collection on the guest registration card along with consent for use. It can be used as a guideline for loyalty cards, health data, export of data outside of the EU, privacy policies and direct marketing.

Article by Jos Schaap

The Critical Alignment of Systems: The History of Hospitality API

StayNTouch Inc. ·16 August 2018
It's no secret -- providing a high-level guest experience requires the support of high-level technology. As we shift into a mobile-centric, hyper-personalized era led by the digital demands of the modern consumer, the pressure for hotels to continuously introduce new technology and advance their existing offering(s) is staggering. While the adoption and timely implementation of new technology is undeniably paramount in a hotel's appeal to the modern consumer -- the success of this new technology relies largely on whether that technology is built on an open API. Think of it this way: imagine there are two great minds sitting in one room, with the knowledge and insight to solve a major problem for a company. The only catch? They speak different languages. Without a translator, they can't work together to solve the problem at hand. An open API acts as that translator, ensuring all systems (with their various purposes) can communicate openly to ensure a seamless operational model.APIs (Application Program Interfaces) act as the integral backbone of a hotel's digital network, connecting hospitality software, applications and programs that keep operations running on any given day. In simpler terms, an API is a way for applications or programs to interface or connect and communicate with each other effectively.Unfortunately, technology integration between systems has always been somewhat of an uphill battle for hoteliers and tech providers. The complexity of connecting two different systems together in order to not only communicate, but to transfer data in an intelligent way, has proven to be an industry-wide challenge. Why? Because different clients often express interest in different data sets or information, and the act of connecting two systems has traditionally been associated with high costs. Rather than paying one fee to ensure seamless integration, the PMS vendor would charge an interface fee as well as the secondary system provider. This likely attributed to the slow pace at which the hospitality industry has traditionally adopted new tech -- it was, at times, simply too expensive a venture. Luckily, we've shifted into a time where open API's are becoming an industry-wide gold standard, with technology providers offering an advanced solution without the hefty fee for connectivity.So, in this world of API and robust technology demands, where did we begin, where are we at now and where are we headed? In the early days, interfaces were hard wired via serial interfaces. High-Speed Serial Interface (HSSI) was a short-distance communications interface that was commonly used to interconnect routing and switching devices on local area networks (LANs) with the higher-speed lines of a wide area network (WAN). Typically, HSSI is used to connect a LAN router to a T-3 line. A great deal of computing power was required and sometimes a little black box was in place to enable the transfer of data. After that came XML and thus API's and the capability to utilize the Internet to complete interfaces and speed up the connective process. While this was a much-needed step in the right direction, it did not come without its challenges. Namely, companies saw this movement as an opportunity to monetize the integration process at the expense (rather than the benefit) of the hoteliers. Combine this with the unavoidable challenges that come with the adoption of new technology, and many hoteliers found themselves rightfully skeptical of the introduction of new systems (PMS, CRM, CRS and more). Sure, connectivity was now possible, but those APIs were far from open -- rather, that kind of access was trapped behind expensive processes. With the shift to an open model (which is finally being embraced by the hospitality industry) developers can freely access API's in order to link systems seamlessly and create a streamlined experience for hoteliers which translates to an enhanced guest experience. With the power of readily-accessible API's, hoteliers can cultivate a data-driven, guest-centric experience utilizing shared data across all applications, therefore curating a unique, personalized offering. This is the future of the hospitality industry, as the modern guest demands a more personalized relationship with the hotels they frequent and demand communications, upgrades, offers and on-property experiences that go that extra mile.In fact, open API's aren't just the progressive 'gold standard' of connectivity-- they are shaping up to be the only way in which hoteliers can truly keep up with the technology demands transforming the hospitality industry. With the constant bombardment of new entrants (apps, data and revenue streams, engagement opportunities) the only way to utilize the data from these new platforms will be through the use of APIs. Of course, there are a number of issues that still stand between the hospitality industry and total hotel system integration, including: security, legacy vs. modern system versions, lack of unified standards between systems, cloud-based vs. on-premise systems and more. But with this shift to an open API infrastructure and reduced implementation costs, in combination with the increased adoption of cloud-based, mobile-friendly software and modern (versus legacy) PMS technology, the hospitality industry is making major strides in the right direction. After all, with so many different hotel systems (by various technology vendors and developers) frequently running at a single property, the need for a fully integrated, cloud-based and data-driven operational experience is paramount now more than ever before.
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The Evolution Of Online Travel Distribution & Its Impact On Hotels

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·13 August 2018
It’s easy to forget that we didn’t always complete bookings via the internet. Before the advent of online check-in and price comparison sites, airline tickets and hotel reservations usually involved booking via tour operators or travel agents. If you wanted to make a hotel booking independently, you would have to research the one you wanted through a guidebook, more than likely make an expensive international call, and follow up with a letter!
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Technology-Based Hotel Amenities: What Do Guests Care About Most?

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 7 August 2018
Hotel amenities have evolved immensely over the past 40 years. Guests now expect so much more and hotels are facing a constant need to add or update amenities to accommodate guests’ ever-changing expectations.
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How Mobile and Self-Service Technology Can Set Your Hotel Apart from the Competition [Guide]

StayNTouch Inc. · 2 August 2018
To help hoteliers meet the emerging needs of modern guests, StayNTouch has released their latest guide, titled, How Mobile and Self-Serve Technology Can Set Your Hotel Apart from the Competition. "Most hoteliers are aware that mobile can be a powerful tool to reinforce the guest experience and promote loyalty," explains Jos Schaap, the company's CEO. "But mobile can also be used to address pain points in guest service and interactions, such as long wait times or special requests. In fact, opportunities for hoteliers to harness mobile tools arise throughout the entire guest journey, including booking, pre-arrival, on-property, and post-stay."To derive maximum benefit from mobile, hoteliers will need to select and integrate solutions that encompass not only the guest experience, but that also increase staff efficiency and operations, creating a unique stay that is reflective of their brand promise. This unique guide reveals the actionable tactics that hotels can use to stand out from the crowd and keep guests coming back.To download How Mobile and Self-Serve Technology Can Set Your Hotel Apart from the Competition CLICK HERE.
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How Travelers Use Online & Social Media Channels To Make Decisions

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·31 July 2018
The world is on the move. The global travel economy of $5 trillion (and growing) is one of the world’s largest industries and according to a report by World Tourism Organization people are traveling more than ever. Globally, on average, every day, more than 8 million people fly and it is estimated that by 2030 a global population of 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international trips.

Response to the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study: Hoteliers & Technology Vendors Must Work Together for the Greater Good

StayNTouch Inc. ·24 July 2018
The answer to the question can be found in the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study (available for download here) conducted by the leading hospitality technology brands Fuel Travel, Flip.to, and StayNTouch. Over 358 respondents, responsible for buying or selling hospitality technology were asked to identify common priorities along with potential divides among hoteliers and suppliers.Some of the key takeaways:Guest experience is a top priority; leveraging technology is how we accomplish this.The industry is lacking technology integration; educate, improve, and invest wisely.Hoteliers and vendors are mostly on the same page; can we save time and money?Hotels struggle with data; they're asking for supplier support.Don't believe the hype; the next best shiny tech isn't always the next best shiny tech. Again, take advantage of the tools and the research in order to invest wisely.When asked about their top three hotel technology challenges, it was no surprise to me that both groups agreed that the number one challenge was a lack of integration between products (note that twice as many suppliers chose this). In the number two spot, hoteliers cited increasing costs, while suppliers cited a lack of innovation. Both of these ideas are true and have everything to do with the lack of integration . Finally, both groups agreed that meeting guest expectations was the third largest challenge in terms of new technology.Overwhelmingly, 55.2% of hoteliers were not satisfied with their current PMS provider. My guess is that this is because many hotels are reluctant to move from legacy PMS systems to more modern ones. Other hotel technologies rated a bit higher for the most part. However, based on other questions in the survey related to provider support - it would make sense that hoteliers may feel good about the technology but not as good about the service they're receiving to support the technologies.When considering the most important factors for choosing new solutions, both groups agreed that ROI, integration to current technology, and ease of use were top priorities. Support, price, and mobility were also top priorities. As our industry evolves to the new open architecture environment, the period for transitioning and connecting systems can take less time and should not add recurring expenses. Hotels are now able to transition to a new cloud-based PMS seamlessly, with no large upfront hardware investments as we finally see the trend move away from the old model of proprietary systems and costly integrations.Download the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study Top priorities for booking engine solutions were: integration with PMS and website, ease of use for guests, and mobility. But herein lies another difference. Hotels were focused on ease of use for their systems while suppliers were looking at ease of use for the guest. Still, mobile friendliness held a much higher priority for hoteliers, and in turn for their guests. Ease of use with systems translates to ease of use for guests so in the end, these two priorities are more closely aligned than the survey responses might suggest.The overall shared consensus provides the best starting point for both groups invested in building open solutions that will continue to redefine the technology landscape over the next few years. Further down the list of priorities: chatbots, virtual reality, and blockchain, all of which came in last place. Whether this is because of a failure to deliver on the promise of this technology, or a failure to understand the value of it, no matter: AI is likely an important advancement for both hoteliers and suppliers alike. Voice search was also determined to be another major disruptor on the horizon.To me, the survey results are very encouraging. There should definitely be a continued honest exchange of ideas and dialogue between hotels and technology leaders for the greater good of our industry. As we narrow the gaps and come together toward an even more dynamic and integrated technology future, we look forward to building stronger partnerships with greater communication around creating the most flexible solutions, designed to satisfy guest and hotel business needs today and for years to come.Download the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study
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How Millennials Are Influencing Change In The Hospitality Industry

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·17 July 2018
Each generation has an impact on society and millennials seem to be an unstoppable force. Poised to reshape the economy, millennials are influencing changes in industries across the board and are forcing companies to change how they do business.
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Hotel Technology: Trends Impacting the Hotel Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 3 July 2018
While not all guests (yet) are digital natives, the majority of them use their mobile as their primary way of interacting with the world around them. So, not surprisingly, when it comes to their hotel stay and travel technology, consumers have high expectations – they want hotels to make their life easier and less stressful. Not only that, but they expect to be recognized and seek a high degree of personalization throughout their entire journey; pre, post stay and mostly importantly during the actual onsite experience itself.
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Fuel Travel, StayNTouch and Flip.to Examine the Alignment Between Hoteliers and Vendors in New 2018 Hospitality Technology Study

StayNTouch Inc. ·18 June 2018
Fuel Travel, Flip.to and StayNTouch joined forces to conduct an extensive study of hundreds of hoteliers and suppliers to learn where the industry can improve from a technology perspective. Exclusive copies of the comprehensive study will be available at this year's HITEC in Houston at booth's #1003 and #1133. The study addresses technological shifts and trends, highlighting critical issues the industry faces. Moreover, the study identifies where hoteliers and vendors are aligned, and where they differ, in the perceived priorities and challenges the market faces. The results are compiled from 358 respondents, all of whom are involved in the process of purchasing or selling technology within the hospitality industry.The study's insights show that improving the guest experience is a top priority amongst both suppliers and hoteliers, and there was a consensus between hoteliers and suppliers that the need to improve integration between existing products is imperative when selecting a new provider.In addition to the strategic focus, the study also sought to understand what emerging technology and tactics would make an impression in hospitality in the foreseeable future. Artificial Intelligence stood out, with 43.5% of hotels wanting to increase spending on this evolving tool in the next 2 years."This study really gets at the root of how hoteliers and vendors view the state of the market today and where they believe the investment and priorities should lie respectively," said Stuart Butler, Chief Operating Officer of Fuel Travel. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to partner with StayNTouch and Flip.to and share this vital information to both hoteliers and suppliers."To get an exclusive early copy of the study, stop by booth #1003 or #1133 at the HITEC Houston conference from June 19-21About FuelFuel is a full-service online marketing agency that specializes in providing simple and effective software and digital marketing solutions to the hospitality industry. Our standard is to provide quantifiable results, strategies driven by direct revenue, and exceptional customer service and support.About StayNTouchStayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" mobile hotel property management system (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long-lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require.About Flip.toFlip.to, the advocacy platform for hotels--Reach, inspire and convert an entirely new global audience of travelers every day with Flip.to.Flip.to lets your guests introduce your hotel to the world, combining trust with massive reach and introducing your hotel to travelers just one degree away--warm leads who are the perfect fit. Start building your ever-growing team of advocates who turn meaningful moments into measurable ROI, and instantly see the unmatched impact when you switch on this entirely new channel. http://flip.toEditorial Contact:Frewoini GollaDirector of Marketing frewoini@stayntouch.com301-799-3280
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StayNTouch to Liven Up HITEC with a PMS Technology Showcase and an Exciting Game of Jeopardy-The Hotel Maven Edition! (Booth #1003)

StayNTouch Inc. · 6 June 2018
Tuesday, June 19 - Thursday, June 21One-on-one Consultations with our Hospitality technology experts and a game of Jeopardy: The Hotel Maven Edition, George R. Brown Convention Center | Booth #1003Stop by Booth #1003 to see our PMS product suite in full force and learn why Hotels from MGM international to First Hotels have partnered with StayNTouch to enhance their guest experience from end to end, improve operational efficiency and increase incremental revenue. We encourage you to book a meeting time in advance.See our intuitive and fully featured Mobile PMS in real timeTest Drive our Zest-Station Lobby Self-Check-InExperience an intuitive mobile check-in in under 30 secondsLearn how you can reap the benefits: 10%-20% Increase in Revenue; 20%-30% of Cost Savings and More.Plus, for the first time, you can play Jeopardy: The Hotel Maven Edition with your peers at Booth #1003. Test your hospitality knowledge to enter-to-win a prize and the bragging rights that come with victory!Wednesday, June 20 | 8:30 - 9:30 AM | Level 3 Meeting Room 370-ATechnology Showcase: Your Guests are Changing, So Should Your PMSGeorge R. Brown Convention Center | Level 3, Meeting Room 370-A Jos Schaap, CEO, and Founder of StayNTouch will be leading a demonstration that will examine the impact that a Mobile PMS is having on hotel operations, revenue generation and guest satisfaction.Throughout the presentation, attendees will learn why it is essential for hotels to arm their staff and property with a modern PMS that will future-proof their hotel to respond to today's digitally driven consumer. A new guest engagement reality is here and those who stay ahead of technology trends will come out the winners.Jos will be joined by special guest, Area General Manager of Modus Hotels, Washington DC, Marco Burlimann. Modus Hotels is a customer of StayNTouch and have deployed Rover PMS in all of their hotels.Tuesday, June 19th | 7:00 PM Customer Appreciation PartyHotel Alessandra | 1070 Dallas St, Houston, TXAfter the inevitable information overload, you're bound to endure on the HITEC exhibition floor, come and wind down at Hotel Alessandra and enjoy a breathtaking view of Houston."We're excited to host this event for the customers we've come to know as invaluable partners. This is a small token of appreciation for their commitment to building a lasting relationship with StayNTouch"-Jos Schaap, Founder, and CEO.StayNTouch offers hotels the opportunity to integrate multiple cloud-solutions on one platform:Rover PMS: Next generation Hotel PMS, fully cloud, fits on every device, optimizes hotel operations from front desk, to groups, to housekeeping to revenue management. Simple monthly pricing that includes training, integrations, and configuration.Zest Web: Guest mobile check-in and checkout from their smartphone resulting in fewer guests waiting in line. Drive upgrade revenue & monetize early check-in and late check-out requests. Upsell opportunities, Review bill, preferences collected. PMS-integrated. White-labeled for your hotel.Zest Station: Operational efficiency and guest satisfaction delivered in one package, the PMS-integrated Zest Station streamlines the lobby-based check-in, key retrieval, and check-out processes by letting guests skip the line and get on with their stay. Integrates with Manual Key Encoders, Payment Terminals, and printers as required. Provides an opportunity to collect guest e-mails. Branded to your hotel's standardsRover Connect: Build better bespoke products with StayNTouch APIs. Now available, guest service APIs bring StayNTouch guest interface features to any custom development project. Features include Check-In and Check-out, Early Check-in Management, Late Check-out management, Upgrades, Add-ons, Guest Profiles, Availability, Reservations, Sign In / Authentication and more.About StayNTouch Inc.StayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long-lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 85,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connects with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward-thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, First Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.To learn more watch our video "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"Twitter: @StayNTouchIncFacebook: facebook.com/stayntouchLinkedIn: LinkedIn/stayntouch

Why Can't We All Just Get Along? The Future of Hotel Technology Integrations & APIs

StayNTouch Inc. · 5 June 2018
"A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures."Ben Shneiderman, Professor Computer Science at the University of MarylandThe capability to have an open platform/solution or software product that is truly agnostic when it comes to integrating with third-party systems in today's hotel technology space is paramount to the success of a well-run hotel. After all, ensuring that each guest enjoys the highest level of guest service available is the primary responsibility of every hotel. Behind the scenes, hotel systems are busily chugging away to support the operational demands of the hotel, including the pre-stay and post-stay experiences that the guest receives.In the past, an "everyone for themselves" mindset seemingly ruled the hospitality landscape. Those technology providers would often nickel and dime every tech weary hotelier they supplied their solutions to, hoping to maximize their profit. Not only could hoteliers expect CAPEX costs associated with a specific integration from both tech providers to connect their systems together; on top of this, each provider would charge a maintenance and support fee per annum for the interface itself. These charges could range from 15% to 25% per annum.We now live in a world of API's (Application Programming Interface) or, back in the day, "interfaces". Some technology providers may focus on integrations. Unfortunately, these integrations can be much more cumbersome and costly due to their legacy nature in which systems need to be tweaked in order to communicate with each other fully. However, in most cases, it is just an interface that needs to be put in place for two systems to communicate. Ideally, hotels require open communication streams between systems to ensure the property management system (the technological backbone of the hotel), can do its job efficiently. These interfaces have become increasingly more complex due to the nature of our industry and what the modern guest expects. New entrants can complicate the interface landscape when they develop their apps/platforms or solutions on architecture that is far ahead of some of the legacy systems that truly run a hotel.There have been a number of associations that have tried to tackle the complex world of integrations. The Open Travel Alliance, HTNG, IATA in the air industry and its New Distribution Capability (NDC) have worked tirelessly to try and deliver an "open" environment, where it is easier for each technology provider to communicate hopefully lowering the costs and barriers of these interfaces. Using mainly the same schema (language) should help with the delivery of seamless integrations, but unfortunately, some providers of technology have a legacy mentality where even though there may be standards available that simplify interfaces and thus making them theoretically cheaper to develop. Unfortunately, these interfaces are still seen as a source of revenue for the hotel technology provider, and the game continues.There is a solution on the horizon regarding this confusing and costly integrations environment that we, as an industry, have established. New entrants into the property management space will push the envelope to ensure that there is a change to this burdensome integration landscape. It starts with offering a property management cloud solution that is surrounded by open API's that allow any application to connect to their platform. In this interface methodology, there is no longer a need for systems to charge excessive, ongoing fees to hoteliers to establish connectivity between platforms. This should, in effect, reduce the chaos of having thousands of available hotel specific systems in the market today.According to David Turnbull, the CEO of Snapshot, a company that is focused on hotel data aggregation and innovation, within the next five years, hotels will only work with vendors that permit interoperability, flexibility, and open access to the data needed to power their guest experience. My take is that interoperability, flexibility, and openness will be the future of our industry. Technology companies can no longer compete within a proprietary, closed ecosystem. Hoteliers do not want to deal with companies that have a myopic viewpoint on the future of our industry and its relevant technologies. Rather, they want to work with companies that understand what the future will bring to our industry. They want to work with companies that understand the financial pressures on today's hotelier and ensure that they are developing great solutions to enhance hotel operations through the delivery of open API's, while also decreasing costs.This is not to say that the delivery of open API's will fix everything -- hoteliers will still hang on to an old, antiquated system that works because in their viewpoint it does not need to be replaced. Until each system is cloud-delivered or developed, we will undoubtedly still face some challenges, but rest assured that the days of proprietary, costly integrations are finally coming to an end.In the case of StayNTouch, we are looking at this problem in a very different manner. We know that connecting systems is difficult, but we also know that this should not be a recurring expense for hotels. With this in mind, not only does StayNTouch have open API's - but we also offer traditional interfaces for free. This enables the hotel to transition at its own pace ensuring a successful implementation of your new cloud property management system.
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Next Gen Tech You Shouldn't Miss at This Year's HITEC in Houston [CHECKLIST]

StayNTouch Inc. ·10 May 2018
StayNTouch will be at HITEC in full force, and in addition to showcasing our latest innovations at our booth #1003, we've broken down the top things to explore to make your HITEC experience a success. As our excitement builds for another year of incredible innovations and industry expertise, we've rounded up a list of what technologies and events you should look for at HITEC Houston 2018. You won't want to miss these...CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD this free checklist to learn more about:Voice TechnologyMobile InnovationsAI, IOT & VRNext Gen PMS SystemsMust attend eventsAnd much more...Not going to make it down to HITEC this year but want to learn more about our platform? Visit us at StayNTouch.com to request a demo.

5 Signs It's Time to Change Your Hotel Property Management System

StayNTouch Inc. · 2 May 2018
Sticking with an outdated solution only leads to a drain on resources and the loss of opportunities while making a change to your hotel PMS can reinvigorate your brand, increase revenue, and drive loyalty. Here are five signs that it is time to change your PMS to ensure it remains and/or becomes a profitable investment.1. Your current PMS is showing its ageA common complaint about a PMS is a failure to integrate or fully implement essential new features and communication tools. Systems have gone a long way since they first emerged. Guest engagement functionality and mobility, for example, have become increasingly popular in modern systems, but legacy solutions often don't offer it. Look for a system that is cloud-based and has data accessible to every department in real-time. If your current PMS does not have the mobile, self-serve, automation, or SMS features you need, then it is time to shop for a system whose functionality matches your current requirements.2. Your employees are always frustrated with itThe true value of your PMS is fundamentally defined by the folks who use it on a daily basis. If your employees express frustration because the system is overly complicated and requires extensive onboarding or is unstable, slow and buggy with poor support offered by the vendor, it might be time to look for a new provider whose uptime and user experience is highly rated.3. You need integration with more third-party appsIn theory, any software platform can integrate with another. However, if your periphery systems don't communicate in real-time with your PMS, and data from third-party solutions needs to be entered manually, you are putting a drain on resources, productivity and risking errors. Legacy systems require expensive and time-consuming interface development that could take months (or longer) and need constant updating every time you add a new app or features change. To maximize your scalability and future-proof your operations, look for an open-source, cloud-based PMS with configurable modules like StayNTouch Rover PMS.4. Vendor support and maintenance is costing youYou know it's time for a change when your PMS when service and support is costing you time, money and productivity. On-premise systems entail constant upgrades which can get expensive, and many providers tack on hefty monthly fees for support, performance upgrades, and customizations of their software. If you invest in your own hardware, you have to put forward capital upfront. That is not the case with the cloud. A cloud-based PMS is built for high performance, data backups, reliability, security and turn-key monthly pricing which includes customer support, upgrades, monitoring, hosting and more. The cloud is also more energy-efficient than legacy infrastructures.5. You want a better return on your investmentYour PMS should not only save you time and money but also generate revenue for your business. From automated upsell and marketing to revenue management and analytics, you need a system that delivers a high return on your investment. If your system does not offer marketing automation, integrated booking engine, guest history/stay data, and simple dashboards with KPIs to better understand guests - you are missing out on reduced costs through better staff productivity, and higher revenues via better sales and more satisfied, loyal guests.Replacing your PMS may seem like an extensive undertaking, but, if you are running into one or more of these roadblocks, the decision to delay the change may well cost you more than the investment required to make a strategic update. If your property management system is holding you back and obstructing opportunities for innovation, take a fresh look at what a more modern PMS from StayNTouch can achieve.

Shifting Your Hotel Staff from Task-Oriented to Guest-Oriented [Guide]

StayNTouch Inc. ·26 April 2018
In the world of hospitality, there exists a crucial difference between simply servicing a guest's demands and providing truly outstanding guest service. Hotels that are able to focus on the latter will reap the rewards with increased guest loyalty and, in turn, an undeniable ROI in their business model. Why? Because great hospitality is about great service, and at the root of that understanding exists the realization that hotels need to be guest-oriented rather than task-oriented. So, the question becomes, how can hoteliers empower their staff to shift their customer service model to one which is personalized, attentive and responsive in nature, rather than reactive and task-focused? How can hotel owners free up their staff to provide their best service and connect with guests on a deeper level?Believe it or not, the answer lies in your hotel PMS system.Much of the frustration experienced by hotel staff as it relates to daily operational duties, can be correlated to limited technology or software that fails to enhance or streamline their day to day duties. This often starts with the PMS system, and whether it is intuitive, user-friendly, full-featured, mobile-centric and comprehensive. After all, technology should enhance operations and productivity, not act as a burden or limitation to your team. You can't expect your staff to step up their game if you don't provide them with the tools to do so. With the right mobile-centric PMS technology in place, your staff can experience the freedom to excel at their jobs with anytime/anywhere access to improved communications, real-time property updates and vital guest information at a glance.To download the free guide, Shifting Your Hotel Staff from Task-Oriented to Guest-Oriented, CLICK HERE or go to http://www.stayntouch.com/resources/shifting-your-hotel-staff-to-staff-oriented/?utm_source=Hsyndicate_HSMAI_HospitalityNet.

Evaluating the Hype Behind Mobile Keyless Entry for Hotels

StayNTouch Inc. ·19 April 2018
With the ongoing evolution of technology and consumer preferences, we frequently bear witness to a trend of forced adaptation amongst businesses, both large and small. Across industries, business owners can often recognize the tides of change rapidly approaching their service offering. Hoping not to be left behind, they fervently work to prepare for those impending upsets by adopting responsive, small-scale changes to ride the wave of the bigger vision and more innovative players. Adapt and evolve is the key to survival in a competitive consumer market, after all. The only problem is, in today's marketplace -- with the hospitality industry being no exception -- guests are as smart as they are selective. They know better than to bite at small change, when the more innovative brands are willing to go all in, and offer their guest a more complete, improved experience. They don't just want a piece of the cake - they want the whole cake baked to their exact preferences each and every time. Let's use this understanding to take a closer look at the mobile evolution. Across the hospitality industry, we're seeing the rapid implementation of mobile functionality solutions based on guests' demonstrated preference for mobile engagement and convenience. Within this trend, hotels are investing in apps, improved mobile booking technology, mobile keys, mobile kiosks/concierge and more. Mobile keys have captured the interest of hoteliers and guests across the industry. There are a number of reasons for this, including the environmentally friendly and sustainable nature of an app-generated key in place of a plastic keycard, increased security and front desk by-pass. In fact, a study released in March shows that 73% of guests want to bypass the front desk, and 63% would prefer a mobile key solution. However, it's important to realize that capitalizing on the true power (and ROI) of mobile extends far beyond just installing a mobile key solution, and stopping there. Without the underpinnings of a strong, versatile and mobile PMS, just having a mobile key solution may only fix a small portion of the guest engagement challenge that hoteliers face today. Basically, it might just be a piece of the cake, while your guests are left still hungry for more. Rather, hoteliers need to adopt a holistic approach to mobile and the way in which it can (positively) impact every fact of a hotel's operations. This approach should focus on an intuitive PMS system, seamless mobile check-in/out technology and guest self-service stations, as well as mobile keys. A genuinely intuitive hotel PMS system should effectively enhance the daily workings of your front desk operations, rate management, group management, reservations, housekeeping's and financials, all at a glance. While an upgraded PMS may not be immediately recognizable to a guest, you can trust that they will quickly appreciate the service advantage it provides. Why? Because an empowered, mobile staff removes barriers and services guests where they are, 24/7. By freeing your staff from the limitations of a task-oriented service model, you are enabling them to connect with guests in a valuable way and provide enhanced, personalized service. They can interact with the hotel property and guests in an interactive, responsive way while also increasing revenue opportunity with upsell prompts from the PMS. These upgrade and package prompts can even be built-in to the guest self-service stations, ensuring each guest is in complete control of their experience. With this functionality in place, you can cater to those guests who prefer a low-touch, efficiency-based service model as well as those who prefer a more personalized experience. Further, your mobile check-in/out solution is just as critical (if not more so) than your mobile key. The check-in and check-out process represents each guests' first and last impression of your hotel, after all. A comprehensive and foolproof mobile check-out solution should not only work seamlessly each and every time, but it should empower the guest with choice of service, provide a sense of exclusive connection, differentiate your hotel, offer upgrades and monetize late check-in/out. When it comes to mobile, it's about the whole picture -- not just part of it. Ensure you are setting your hotel up for long-term success with a complete, multi-faceted mobile solution in place. With this approach, you can not only weather the tide of change, but you can continuously get ahead of it to offer a truly innovative experience for your guests.
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How Future-Proof is Your Hotel PMS? Download Free 10-Point Checklist Now

StayNTouch Inc. ·12 April 2018
In many respects, a hotel can only be as future-ready as it's PMS system. The PMS system acts as the integral framework to a hotel's internal processes, paving the way to a positive experience for staff and guests alike. Of course, as the PMS technology available continues to advance and evolve, hotelier's may find themselves reassessing current platforms and tools in favor of more modern, updated options.So how, exactly, does one go about future-proofing investments in hotel technology when there's no certainty what the future holds? Luckily, we've compiled a 10-point checklist to help you determine the answers to that question.1. Is Your PMS Cloud-Based?On-premise solutions can often be left behind as technology advances. Of course, some updates are available, but many hotels choose not to upgrade because of lack of compatibility with their other systems, as well as fear of loss of data or disruption to routine. Migrating your PMS to the cloud should be top of mind for every hotelier. Cloud-based software doesn't rely on costly hardware upgrades, and automatically installs new updates to maintain security and limit on-going maintenance. And because of the simple subscription-based SaaS pricing of cloud-based PMS, there are no unwelcome surprises - and budgets are predictable year after year.2. Is Your PMS Optimized for Mobile?If your PMS is missing mobile functionality (check-in, upgrades, key encoding and more), it's missing out entirely. The modern hotel guest expects to remain connected 24/7, while also addressing most of their travel needs right from their smartphone. In fact, 60% of guests across all demographics stated that they are "more likely" to choose a hotel that allows guests to check-in with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn't.To download a free copy of the 10-point checklist CLICK HERE or go to http://www.stayntouch.com/resources/how-future-proof-is-hotel-pms/?utm_source=Hospitality_HSyndicate_HSMAI.

How Self-Service Is Replacing Traditional Guest Service In The Ideal Guest Experience

StayNTouch Inc. · 3 April 2018
Traditionally, the guest experience with a hotel is defined by their interaction(s) with hotel staff, the upkeep of the property and amenities, and the provision of a room which meets or exceeds expectations. However, as any savvy hotelier knows, the current hospitality landscape has outgrown that tradition to make room for improved technology and an enhanced, personalized guest experience. Where guests previously expected to be greeted with cheerful front desk staff, they now prefer mobile check-in, allowing them to bypass lines and interact with the hotel freely (and immediately). Moreover, guests, today expect customized service with a low-touch flair, allowing them to express complete control over their hotel experience. In fact, self-service is on pace to replace traditional guest service entirely.Convenience is ParamountThe self-service trend is leading the way to a future which prioritizes convenience at every turn. Earlier this year, we saw the debut of Amazon Go's first automated retail store in Seattle which allows customers to enter, shop and check-out their purchases without any interaction or physical cash/card exchange. Instead, when you arrive at the store, you scan your phone, and the store's automated systems track what you grab with 100 cameras before automatically charging you the correct amount upon departure. This proved to be an incredibly exciting retail model for customers who prefer a low-touch, time-efficient shopping process which allows them to get in and out with no time wasted. Large-scale examples such as the Amazon Go store, Uber Eats and purchase kiosks, demonstrate the way in which customers are increasingly embracing this kind of technology and widespread shift to the self-service model.As we turn our sights to the hospitality realm specifically, we see the influx of millennial travelers who prefer to make reservations and check-in by smartphone or kiosk, access a virtual key from their mobile device and communicate with staff via text messaging. In a recent study, participants were asked to estimate how much time they waste standing in line or waiting for service. On average, respondents said they waste about one hour standing in line or waiting for service in a typical week. In fact, according to a recent study by Zebra Global Hospitality, 70% of guests want to use their smartphone to speed up check-in and services. After all, who wants to find themselves stuck in a front desk line cluttered with tired tourists, families and business travelers, waiting for check-in after a long flight or day or travel?The Room of the FutureThe self-service model and the convenience it implements extends to the in-room experience as well. With the constant evolution of in-room technology, we are seeing hotels implement iPad and mobile-based room controls to provide direct control of temperature, lighting, bathroom amenity settings, voice-activated AI devices, streaming services, mobile concierge and more. In today's modern hotel room, guests no longer have to ring down to housekeeping for more towels, to adjust their room temperature, restock the minibar or order room service. Instead, they can tell the in-room iPad to cool or warm the room and send housekeeping or room service requests with a few taps within the app. It's simple, immediate and most importantly, entirely convenient and conducive to the ideal frictionless guest experience.PersonalizationAn increase in self-service technology also translates to an increased opportunity to gather guest data for improved personalization. Within an app on their mobile device, guests are free to engage and make requests or purchases in an uninhibited manner, without any influence or hesitation they may feel within interpersonal interactions. In fact, evidence indicates that investing in technology ups in-room sales revenue by 20%. Hotels can then use this data to create guest profiles and save preferred settings to ensure guests' expectations are immediately met (or better yet, exceeded) every visit. This also helps to remedy guest complaints and ensure those mistakes aren't repeated, as studies note that 89% of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. Moreover, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.A Different Kind of Engagement While self-service may seem to be a model that decreases engagement with staff, this actually isn't the case. Rather, the self-service approach encourages a different kind of engagement -- allowing staff to be less transactional and focus on establishing genuine connections with guests. By making the requirements of your staff more streamlined and hands-free, you're providing them the freedom to excel in their customer service. With this technology in place, hotel employees will no longer be confined to stationary positions within the lobby or left to guess what guest expectations might be. Mobile and kiosk-based check-in (and more) allows staff to move freely around the hotel, offer entirely responsive service and access guest profiles at a moment's notice. Some hotels are even testing out rooms with sensors that detect body heat so that housekeeping knows not to enter when the room is occupied. Other hotels are experimenting with robots that can do everything from deliver luggage to check guests in and answer questions.As self-service technology continues to evolve and gain popularity, we can expect improved cost efficiency, personalization and a smoother, more seamless experience for both hotels and guests, as traditional service becomes a thing of the past. With this in mind, we are confident that mobile and self-service is the new way to hotel

Navigating Hotel Industry Changes With A New Mobile PMS

StayNTouch Inc. ·28 March 2018
While the traditional, legacy PMS was confined to a dedicated desktop behind the front desk, mobile and cloud-based PMS frees that technology (and your staff) from those previous limitations. Right from a tablet device, staff can access guest info, manage rates and groups, check on housekeeping duties, access financial information, process guest payments and more. This allows for real-time hotel updates from hotel staff, while also offering the capability for self-service stations for those guests who desire a more low-touch experience. Ultimately, the modern PMS should empower your staff to remove those physical barriers between their service and your guests, for a more mobile and personalized experience. So how should your hotel prepare to best utilize the competitive advantage of a mobile PMS system, while shifting away from old, restrictive habits?Implementation - Out With the Old, In With the NewEmbracing a mobile PMS doesn't just free up your staff from a physical standpoint, it frees up your hotel from the complicated nature of old processes and interfaces. Out with the old, and in with the new (and improved). Once you've updated your management software, take advantage of the features and simplicity of the new, mobile and cloud-based format. Seize the opportunity to clean up your hotel's data and optimize the visual display of relevant information to your staff (daily financials at a glance, upcoming reservations, on-property maintenance reports and more). You can also streamline your lobby layout with the inclusion of self-serve stations hosted on easy-to-use tablets which help to create an inviting and efficient environment for guests hoping to bypass the front desk line. Since your staff will no longer find themselves confined behind the front desk, you can allocate individuals to act as concierge staff (greeters) while having others walking throughout the front lounge, freely interacting with guests.User AdoptionWhen considering the high staff turn-over rate that exists within the hospitality industry, training staff on hotel systems can become a time consuming and costly endeavour. Luckily, the implementation of a mobile PMS system removes the need for dedicated, off-site training staff to come in and host training seminars on an outdated, traditional system.The user interface of the mobile system is incredibly easy to learn, updates automatically and appeals to younger staff who prefer mobile and tech-savvy solutions. The system is specifically designed to enhance productivity through ease of use, which makes your staff's job easier and, in turn, helps to empower their job satisfaction, teamwork and guest service. Further, the streamlined on-boarding process will reduce the pressure felt by management to set aside additional time for extensive system training whenever a new employee joins the team. Mobile Best PracticesThe future is mobile, and hotel staff should no longer be restrained behind old technology. Tapping into the advanced offerings from a mobile PMS system, your staff can readily develop new process and best practices to optimize the benefits of mobile.At check-in, staff can now welcome guests by name and effectively gather important insights through genuine face-to-face interaction, instead of having their service hindered by a physical system behind the desk. This allows staff to focus on a personalized experience for each and every guest, rather than a transactional one, while effectively increasing productivity, efficiency, and true guest engagement. Furthermore, the mobile PMS system is built to help your staff upsell and interact with each guest. Upgrades and dynamic packages are built directly into the interface, meaning staff won't need a script to remember to up-sell. Those same, tailored prompts are built into the self-serve stations as well, empowering your guest to choose their level of experience. The design of the system pushes guest-focused upgrades, provides integral guest insights, reduces front desk lines, daily at-a-glance status updates and so much more.The hospitality industry has so many exciting improvements in store, as industry leaders continuously work to transform the guest experience at every opportunity. So the question becomes -- are you ready to tap into this industry-wide momentum, starting with an efficiency makeover to your PMS system?
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10 Step Guide to Attracting the New Digital Traveler

StayNTouch Inc. ·21 March 2018
Implementing a strategy to nurture the next generation of guests is essential for any property, and the task of winning the hearts and minds of this highly profitable guest is really much easier than it sounds. It comes down to taking care of the details and using trusted tools. As we head towards an ever more tech-centric age to come, hotels that will succeed are those that adopt or continue to actively embrace all that the latest technology offers.With this in mind, StayNTouch has compiled an exclusive 10-step guide to ensure your hotel is best equipped to attract the modern, digital traveler.1. Invest in TechThe digital traveler has their finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest tech trends. Appeal to their penchant for technology by equipping your hotel with advanced offerings such as AI personal assistants, complimentary streaming services, in-room mobile controls, mobile room keys and more.2. Personalized ServiceThe modern guest wants their hotel to anticipate their needs, expectations and values, in order to curate a truly personalized experience. Ensure you have an advanced, insight-focused PMS system in place that allows you to better understand (and engage with) each guest.3. Utilize Machine Learning TechnologyIn order to personalize your guests' booking and on-property experience, your PMS system should utilize machine learning technology to track online navigation patterns, geographical location, and seasonality data. With this data, the software you have in place can strategically tailor content based on each traveler's buying or guest journey, in real time.4. Mobile FunctionalityHelp your digital guest stay connected 24/7, right from the palm of their hand, with mobile-optimized features such as booking, check-in, check-out, concierge and self-service stations. Arm your staff with tablets and a mobile device so that they are free to engage with guests anywhere on-property.5. Make Sure There Is an App For ThatThe digital guest readily embraces any opportunity to increase efficiency while on-the-go. By creating an app for your hotel, you can better connect with your digital-savvy guest, create a central hub for hotel information and offer app-specific perks or exclusive promotions. Ideally, your mobile app should be a one-stop solution for all your travel needs. CLICK HERE to download the full guide or go to http://www.stayntouch.com/resources/10-step-guide-to-attract-digital-travelers/?utm_source=HSyndicate-HSMAI-HospitalityNet

If Your Hotel PMS Doesn't Include These 6 Things, Your Competition May Be Winning

StayNTouch Inc. ·15 March 2018
The world of hotel property management systems (PMS) has become somewhat confounding lately. There are a myriad of new entrants, and the legacy systems are trying to hang on by wrapping their old solutions in new costumes (a.k.a. putting lipstick on a monkey). One thing is sure - the guest is evolving and becoming more educated, on-demand and needs instant gratification, that's why offering your guests with the latest hotel technology is paramount.Competition for the guest is fierce. Hotels struggle with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), Airbnb, the review ecosystem that is TripAdvisor and many more elements that affect the hotel PMS decision. These external pressures can sometimes feel daunting, but hoteliers can control one incredibly important aspect of their operations that every hotel has in place. The control can come from the PMS and its capability to amplify the guest experience. So, here are five things that your PMS needs to ensure that you are outperforming your competition.MobilityIn our instant-access world, guests expect quick responses. Gone are the days where hotel staff need to be chained to their desks and your guests are aware of this! The front desk idea is old and antiquated, and it creates a barrier between hotel ambassadors and the guest. The new PMS world should be focused on mobility enabling your staff to roam the lobby - or anywhere for that matter - and help guests upon arrival and even encourage some upselling. Mobility should also place power into the guests' hands by empowering them to book, check-in and out as well as order anything via their mobile device. Mobile hospitality is the future of our industry, and it should be at the top of the list.Design Flexibility & UsabilityOur industry experiences a great deal of turnover when it comes to staffing hotels. Even the best PMS system is useless if your employees don't know how to use it. The hotel PMS technology needs to be easy to use, easy to train and more importantly - be flexible enough to address all the changes that are occurring in the new hotel technology ecosystem. These changes can include new interface requirements, new additions to the application itself, as well as the capability to be open. Older PMS's are closed, and third-party vendors and their hotel clients can wait months, if not years, to get their system integrated. This can be debilitating to your operation, so make sure that your new PMS has this capability and overall philosophy. A good PMS doesn't just fit your hotel's current needs, but also has the potential to grow with you: it should include multiple modules, features and endless possibilities for integration.Cloud & SaaSThere has been a great deal of focus on cloud developed platforms because this delivery method is the future. If your PMS is not cloud-based, then you will be lagging behind. Your PMS of choice should not require you to put in a lot of work upfront. Also, ensure that the PMS company offers a SaaS pricing that includes not only the platform but critical updates as well. When it comes to SaaS from an investment perspective, it makes a great deal of sense as the cost implications to the hotel are much lower than the older, tradition license, maintenance and support model. SaaS service makes administration easier; provides automatic updates and management; ensures compatibility; enhances collaboration and provides access to users from any device capable of accessing the internet.Service & SupportHoteliers need to feel secure that we, their technology providers have their back when it comes to maintaining, supporting and servicing the solutions that they purchase from us. Hoteliers cannot wait on hold. Imagine if hoteliers asked their guests to continually wait for the delivery of extra pillows from housekeeping or a martini at the lobby bar. Hotels are in the service business, and hotel technology providers need to emulate this level of service. Do your homework on possible new PMS companies and make sure that they have a stellar service reputation.Guest EngagementWe hear a great deal about guest engagement these days in the hotel world. Your PMS should enhance guest engagement and improve your guests on and off property experience. If your guests' want to purchase something that they want placed in their room before arrival; they should be able to do so. If they would like to schedule a spa appointment at the same time, the system should enable this to occur. The guest is in charge, and the system that you choose should empower the guest to decide how they want to manage their stay and how they want to interact with the hotel and its employees. True guest engagement is letting the guest do what they want when they want with as much support from the hotel as they need.Data & ReportingThe truth is that every guest you have really is your only guest, at least as far as they are concerned. They expect you to treat them with unsurpassed care as though your entire success depends upon their ongoing satisfaction -- which it does. A PMS should also enable your staff to easily answer guest questions, access and gather data as well as offer relevant services. This way your PMS not only facilitates personalized service, but also positively affects your revenue. Anticipating shifts and trends is much easier when your PMS provides forecasts, past performance levels, guest stay cards and so forth.There are most likely ten to twenty more specific items that a hotelier should be looking at when they are choosing their new PMS to stay ahead of their competition - but these top six areas should be prominent in the decision-making process. If you are not currently using an advanced mobile PMS system, chances are you are giving up an opportunity to further differentiate yourself among your competition. Now may be a good time to consider the many ways your hotel brand would benefit by implementing an innovative new hotel PMS technology.
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7 Reasons Hotels Choose StayNTouch Over Other PMS Solutions

StayNTouch Inc. ·13 March 2018
If you're in the market for a new property management system and have done any research, you might have begun to feel that you know less than you did before. That's why StayNTouch has put together a helpful guide to help you compare and learn why their Rover PMS has quickly become the preferred PMS solution for both independents and chains alike.Here are just seven of the many reasons why hotels of all sizes and service levels choose StayNTouch Rover PMS over other PMS solutions.1. Full-Featured PMS FunctionalityStayNTouch offers next-generation PMS technology functionality without the restrictions and overhead costs of being tied down to large, complicated legacy systems. Features and capabilities available in Rover PMS include: integrated booking engine, reservations management, rate and revenue management, group management, housekeeping, distribution/channel management, custom dashboards and analytics, reporting, multi-property management, back office/accounting, , payment integrations, mobile check-in and check-out, self-service stations, marketing automation, PCI Compliant, digital signature capture, and much more.2. Ease of UseSavvy hoteliers know that the goal of PMS technology is to provide the executive management team and front-line employees with tools to run the hotel profitably, not to spend their time learning and managing the technology. StayNTouch offers a high-performing, intuitive and easy to use system so that employees can focus on what matters most - guests. Unlike many other hotel systems on the market, StayNTouch PMS requires minimal training and provides a touch/graphic user experience. Moreover, in an industry with such high turnover rates, the StayNTouch PMS doesn't require excessive training and can avoid frustrations, errors, and costs associated with more cumbersome solutions.3. Cost SavingsThere are definitely cost savings when implementing StayNTouch PMS, and the lower total cost of ownership (TCO) allows hoteliers to re-invest in innovative ideas rather than technological infrastructure. StayNTouch Rover is a cloud-based PMS that can be implemented quickly with the least amount of disruption to the workflow. Unlike on-premise solutions, the cost of entry is substantially lower, and when you grow as a hotel - the scalability and flexibility of the StayNTouch PMS makes it the preferred choice of forward-thinking hotels. Because it is offered on a SaaS pricing model, everything is combined into an all-inclusive monthly fee. That means no more maintenance fee surprises or extra support charges. The investment is also highly manageable from a budgetary standpoint due to the predictable nature of the cost structure.4. Mobile & Self-Serve:StayNTouch Rover mobile PMS enables hoteliers to meet emerging expectations while creating more meaningful interactions between hotel guests and employees. Staff can move about the hotel and still have access to the PMS on their tablets. Accessible and fully functional on any tablet device, a mobile PMS eliminates inefficiencies in the guest experience, like waiting in line at the front desk. Beyond front desk services, a mobile PMS can streamline and improve other functional areas of the hotel. Employees can access the PMS from anywhere on property and use the data to make more informed decisions or resolve issues quickly. Guests can also have a choice in the way they interact with the hotel. With Rover, they can self-check-in or engage with a welcoming staff member face-to-face using a tablet. This includes integrated secure mobile credit card swipe and mobile guest room key encoding. Guests can also reach out to for on-property requests using their preferred methods including smartphone, text, and mobile. Management can monitor guest activity and revenue performance on a tablet, even off-site. By providing more self-service options, hotels can create more touch points with the guest - each one an opportunity to capture valuable data that improves the guest experience and drives more revenue.To access the full guide CLICK HERE or go to http://www.stayntouch.com/resources/7-reasons-why-hotels-choose-stayntouch-over-other-pms-solutions/?utm_source=HospitalityNet_HSyndicate_HSMAI.

Why a Mobile Cloud PMS is a Perfect Fit for Independent Collections, Groups, and Brands

StayNTouch Inc. ·27 February 2018
When was the last time you gave your hotel a makeover? I'm not referring to the property itself; rather, the internal systems you have in place to maximize critical day-to-day efficiency. After all, ensuring you have a seamlessly integrated and user-friendly hotel property management system (PMS) in place can, in many ways, make or break the success of your hotel. The traditional hotel PMS systems that have been the go-to choice for independents and multi-properties in the past are quickly being overshadowed by more modern cloud-based PMS systems. Legacy systems require on-premise hardware, on-site manual assistance and (often costly) hardware and maintenance updates. These systems are also reliant on desktops to use applications. Though they may have met the needs of hoteliers in the past, the future favors modern, cloud-based and mobile PMS solutions.Modern PMS systems offer easier implementation and integrations, are more flexible, and are accessible on any device - effectively freeing up your staff from the limitations of the desktop-confined software. In fact, advanced cloud-based mobile PMS solutions aren't just becoming the preferred choice for single property independent hotels, but they are also making their way into the lobby of high-end brands, multi-property groups and big chains alike.Here are just a few key reasons why a future-proof, cloud-based PMS platform can help meet the unique needs of any size and type of hotel organization.Ease of ImplementationWhen it comes to a hotel's internal processes, a few primary objectives come to mind: improve the level of service, drive revenue, reduce cost and enhance the guest experience. With this in mind, hoteliers aren't just looking for a PMS system which can effectively check all those boxes, but one that can do so while also offering cost effective, seamless implementation and integrations. If the implementation process of a new PMS system isn't intuitive, it can make for high costs and complicated training sessions for employees and management. While considering the notoriously high staff turnover rate that exists within the hospitality realm, whether a small chain hotel or a multi-property brand giant, the efficient onboarding process of new technology is always top of mind. Cloud-based PMS systems boast lower implementation costs over legacy systems. Also, choosing an intuitive, multi-platform, multi-device, cloud-based PMS technology eliminates the need for external trainers and increases adoption by hotel staff.When it comes to integrations, a modern PMS solution built on Open API architecture enables hotels to connect seamlessly to other systems - now and into the future.With a turn-key monthly SaaS pricing model, a cloud-based PMS reduces the on-going need for IT resources and expensive hardware updates. Additionally, without the need for on-site services dedicated to the PMS system, management can free up space, staff and decrease costs. Ultimately, the less time and resources dedicated to complicated implementation and training measures means more time devoted to what matters most: the provision of exceptional guest service and engagement.Mobility These days, mobility is a top priority for hoteliers. Since many core features of hotel PMS solutions are similar, many are basing their final decision about PMS based on the strength of their mobile capabilities.As the hospitality industry becomes more competitive, the ability of staff to engage with guests and run daily operations on-the-go, anywhere on the property, is essential. By enabling immediate access to guest data and information from anywhere, a mobile PMS empowers hotels of all sizes to reinvent and automate processes, be more responsive, and most importantly, deliver more personalized service. A centralized, mobile-friendly system also encourages staff and inter-departmental communications, making operations more efficient.Cloud PMS = Increased Peace of MindFor all types of properties, information security is an on-going, grave concern. If a system goes down, or internal information becomes compromised, the entire operation (and hotel reputation) could be at stake. Unlike the traditional, legacy systems of the past, cloud-based PMS offers advanced, worry-free security for hotels of all sizes and varying needs. While some of us may still express some confusion towards the infamous "Cloud" (where does it all go?), it is actually known for its increased reliability, data security, processing speed and more. Amplified built-in security means uninterrupted service, for hotel staff as well as guests, and mirrored data which ensures all critical information is backed up and stored. Further, security updates are installed automatically, without the need for on-property IT assistance. As a hotelier managing multiple properties, departments and employees - this kind of peace of mind should be paramount. Keep Your Operation FlexibleWhether an independent hotel, a multi-property boutique chain or a large brand chain, your priorities as a hotelier will likely vary and evolve, especially when adapting to changing demands of your guests. With this understanding, it becomes increasingly important to invest in a PMS system that is flexible enough to not only enhance your process but grow with your hotel. The advantage of a cloud-based PMS lies in its flexibility to offer high touch service functionality, mobile engagement and self-service options like a mobile PMS. Many hotel brands will have properties with more demands for the high touch service model, while others may cater to guests who prefer the low touch experience such as traveling on business. A scalable, flexible PMS system can enhance your service offering within each property, based on individual guest analytics, while sharing guest data and preferences from a centralized PMS. This not only empowers you to enhance your guest service and personalization - but can also help you to drive your revenue and marketing efforts. At a glance, it could seem that the cost of changing PMS technologies may cause a deficit in the hotel's expenses. However, the increased productivity and revenue potential can easily outweigh the investment and effort it would take to implement a cloud-based, mobile PMS. Independent collections, groups, and brands that invest in competitive, tech-forward solutions to enhance guest experience and operations will, without a doubt, continue to become the preferred brands in guests' eyes.As a forward-thinking leader, push the envelope of the hotel industry and embrace every opportunity to expand your levels of service, efficiency, and productivity through technology. So, ask yourself, is your hotel ready for the modern PMS makeover?
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The 9 Biggest Mistakes Hotels Make When Choosing a PMS and How You Can Avoid Them

StayNTouch Inc. ·22 February 2018
The problem is that this is a high-stakes game - picking the wrong tool can undermine your entire guest service strategy and prove to be a very costly mistake. So how can you ensure that you end up with a solution that's a perfect fit for your needs, rather than an expensive round peg for your square hole?By avoiding the following 9 pitfalls, your hotel can be confident that your final PMS investment decision is one that will serve your hotel and guests - today and well into the future.1. No list of requirementsBefore selecting a PMS system, you should understand your hotel's unique goals. Searching for a system without this preparation can result in issues ranging from a PMS that doesn't meet your needs to one that is overly complicated to use effectively.2. Choosing a system that does not scaleMany hotels choose PMS solutions 'in the moment,' that is, looking at the current state of the business. Your business needs will grow and change over time-- including your PMS needs. Adopting an inflexible solution that can't scale with you can mean that before too long, you are again looking for a new system that fits your new business conditions and requirements. This can be an expensive process, especially in the loss of additional time searching for and implementing a new solution.3. Favoring legacy technology architectureYou likely want to go with 'old faithful' when it comes to your PMS but choosing a legacy solution comes at a price. Most legacy PMS systems have an on-premise model, which can be costly when it comes to implementation, training, integrations, and maintenance. Consider a modern PMS that is technologically advanced and scalable for the future (cloud-based, SaaS). An added bonus is that cloud-based PMS solutions offer turnkey pricing which includes updates, maintenance, and support.To access the full checklist of the 9 biggest mistakes that hoteliers can make when they move to a new PMS system, CLICK HERE or go to http://www.stayntouch.com/resources/9-biggest-mistakes-hotels-make-when-choosing-a-pms/?utm_source=HSyndicate-HSMAI-HospitalityNet.
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The Deadline for GDPR is Approaching Fast. Is Your Hotel Ready?

StayNTouch Inc. ·20 February 2018
There are only a few months to go until the May 25, 2018 compliance deadline for GDPR, which is a game changer for hoteliers as it introduces a new and comprehensive set of strict data protection regulations. By this date, all hoteliers will be required to demonstrate a "reasonable level" of personal data protection. When it comes to data security, there are few sectors as vulnerable to threats as the hotel industry so as hoteliers face a need for new systems, processes and technology, many are in need of some support.If you haven't yet started - or if you have and you are still working on it - now is the time to put your GDPR readiness plan into action. To help, StayNTouch and TrustYou have created this GDPR Readiness Checklist to guide you and your team.The key areas the GDPR checklist covers include:Awareness & PlanningProcesses and SystemsData Privacy, Notifications & ConsentTechnology and ControlsPolicies, Training & ProceduresTo download the Free GDPR Readiness Checklist for Hotels, CLICK HERE or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/GDPR-Checklist.html?utm_source=HSyndicate-HSMAI-HospitalityNet.About StayNTouchStayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today's guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.Powering over 85,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward-thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, First Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.To learn more watch our video "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"About TrustYouTrustYou, the world's largest guest feedback platform, empowers hotels with solutions to drive more bookings and improve their hotel product. Through each phase of the guest journey, hotels can utilize guest feedback to enhance marketing, improve guest experiences, and achieve operational excellence. Guest feedback influences 95% of booking decisions. TrustYou Meta-Review, which incorporates hundreds of millions of hotel reviews, surveys, and social posts for over 500,000 hotels worldwide, powers guest reviews on dozens of travel sites, including Google, Kayak, and Hotels.com.*These reviews help hotels to manage and improve their performance along each step of the guest journey, from booking and pre-stay search queries, to real-time guest requests via messaging, to post-stay feedback in the form of reviews and survey responses. Through the TrustYou partner program, PMS, CRM, IBE and other hotel software providers can integrate TrustYou's guest feedback platform into their products to help their hotel clients positively influence bookings and revenue.Find more information on TrustYou and the guest feedback platform on www.trustyou.com.*TrustYou Meta-Reviews only contain verified reviews and do not include reviews from TripAdvisor

Training Your Hotel Staff On A New PMS Should Take Minutes, Not Days

StayNTouch Inc. · 6 February 2018
Time is an incredibly valuable currency, especially in the hospitality world. Running a hotel effectively requires efficiency and guest-focus to always be top of mind -- which means your staff, internal processes, guest observations (and more) all have to be firmly intact, supported and operating smoothly to ensure ongoing success. While aiming to work smarter, not harder, hoteliers frequently find themselves searching for advanced solutions to enhance daily operations and streamline management efforts. After all, the more time these solutions can save a hotel, the better. This is where the consideration of PMS solutions comes into play, as hoteliers are faced with the choice between the new generation of property management systems and older, legacy systems. The ideal PMS system will help you raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way you connect with your guests. So which PMS will achieve that most effectively? New school hotel technology. High Turnover Calls For PMS Tools That Make Onboarding Easy The hospitality industry has long been known for high staff turnover rates and a high volume of employees fitting a younger demographic. Some studies measure the turnover between 31% and 34% as the industry norm. Other studies show employee turnover rates level among non-management hotel employees are up to 50%. This places additional importance on the on-boarding process each hotel has in place, demanding systems and processes that are easy for new staff to learn and master as they embrace their new role. Legacy and current PMS solutions are often limiting in this capacity, as they tend to be rather difficult and time consuming to learn, even when these solutions offer cloud-based or mobile versions. This creates a need for external trainers to come onsite simply to train staff on a solution that, quite frankly, often isn't intuitive enough to keep up with the demand of modern day hotel infrastructure. In fact, this has become a common complaint amongst industry professionals over the years --. Hotel staff are increasingly younger and more tech-savvy- with a preference for mobile devices. They will not only respond and adapt positively to technologically forward solutions that prioritize ease-of-use, but it will reduce the pressure on management to set aside additional time for extensive system training whenever they bring on a new hire. After all, training your staff on your new PMS should take minutes, not days. The new generation of PMS software is easy to use and created specifically to streamline processes such as front desk demands, rate management, reservation, housekeeping and financials. This helps to increase revenue, reduce costs, increase guest service and increase staff efficiency, all whilst also ensuring that your PMS software can connect to all technology partnerships that your hotel has in place (web booking APIs, channel management software etc.), or hopes to implement in the future. Support Your Team with Ultimate Ease-of-Use In today's hospitality landscape, ease-of-use becomes the primary factor predicting the internal adoption and success of your PMS tool. So it comes as no surprise, that a recent study conducted by Capterra revealed that 74% of field service companies counted functionality or ease of use as a top priority for choosing new software. This means the emphasis of modern-day software and technology should be usability -- hoteliers need a system which enables fast implementation, quick learning curve, great support and comprehensive training materials to support ongoing adoption. The PMS system in place should either enable the user to do something they weren't able to do before, or allow them to complete a certain activity in less time and with less expended effort. If the tool in place doesn't meet these standards, your employees will not perceive the system as being easy to use or efficient. Ultimately, your employees want to feel supported, and providing them with the right tools will not only enable them to do their best work, but will help to increase internal morale, job satisfaction and productivity as they feel confident and well-equipped in their role. An Easy to Use PMS Will Enhance Guest Service In a recent study, 70% of staff said poorly performing technology is a drain on their productivity rates. Poor technology is also demotivating and results in a drain which directly alters the level of guest service they feel enabled to provide. With a high-performing, intuitive and easy to use system in place, your employees can spend more time focusing on what matters: your guests. With advanced, mobile solutions, you can free your staff from the front desk or their respective posts and allow them to interact with guests on a more personal level. This not only enhances guest service, but also allows for efficient, responsive action when unique needs (or even set-backs) present themselves.Here are some hallmarks of usability you should look for in a hotel property management system:Instinctual and easy to learnSpeedQuick implementation and setupMobile and cloud accessEasy integrationsReliability without disruptions With these integral considerations in mind, the choice between old and new generation PMS technology becomes simple. Enable your hotel to reach optimal functionality and efficiency with an easy to use, intuitive solution that will grow with you -- not slow you down.
Article by Jos Schaap

Going Safe May Leave You Sorry When It Comes to Your Hotel Technology Decisions

StayNTouch Inc. ·30 January 2018
It has long been said that making the safe choice when investing in a hotel technology partner is always the right decision. This is a recognized phenomenon, epitomized by the traditional axiom of purchasing agents that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment." While it is true that large well-established tech brands tend to be more widely adopted and influential, they may not be the best choice for every business, and in fact, could leave you regretting your decision in the long run.We see a substantial amount of consolidation with the operations side of the hotel industry lately. Just a week ago, Wyndham Hotels purchased La Quinta, and late in 2016, Marriott added to its portfolio by purchasing Starwood Hotels. The same is true for the hotel and travel technology industry. There has been a plethora of acquisitions over the past few years. Some very large purchases have taken place within the Online Travel Agency space and the hotel technology category. One of the most significant and mystifying purchase decisions I can recall was the acquisition of Micros systems by Oracle. This purchase included the Opera platform which arguably runs the largest base of hotels in the world.In a Skift article titled "Oracle Hospitality Stumbled in Micros Integration but Says It Has Recovered" there were undoubtedly some hiccups to be felt along the way. One of the main stumbling points was actually getting anything done in the wake of this marriage between two large companies. Oracle is a huge company, world renowned for developing the best in ERP solutions. Micros/Opera, in its own right, is a huge company as well. Trying to uphold standard service practices to its base of hotel clients, whilst also indoctrinating itself into Oracle's pre-existing culture and process, proved challenging.There are countless users that are very vocal about their dissatisfaction with the level of support and innovation that has been delivered by Oracle Hospitality. One quote, echoed by many, summarizes the dismay: "A large number of hoteliers are unhappy since the reorganisation of ORACLE upon the takeover of OPERA FIDELIO. Why? Because the solutions proposed by ORACLE do not correspond to our needs."Using this large-scale acquisition as a prime example, hoteliers are reminded of the challenge that exists when trying to combine two companies together, that likely have different operational trajectories and culture. Unfortunately, in this case, Oracle miscalculated the hospitality industry and its requirement to have services delivered to them in the same responsive, professional fashion as would be expected by any hotel guest. After all, hotel tech providers, hoteliers and their partners are all in the service business and most importantly, in the innovation business.Today's guest is ever-changing. Their requirements on-property and off-property continuously evolve in complexity and older/larger companies cannot be as nimble or flexible as smaller, innovative firms. Larger companies are also constrained by internal processes and bureaucracy that can ultimately have a detrimental impact on their clients. There is an indisputable need to be quick -- very quick, in fact -- as it relates to the development of platforms within the hotel industry. Not only that, but tech solutions need to be built with a full understanding of where the market is headed to ensure that the solution delivered addresses the needs of the gusts and the hotelier.The world of property management systems development, sales, service, and support is quite competitive these days. New entrants are everywhere, and this trend will most likely continue. However, there are a few companies that have learned from the mistakes of others and have asked the hard questions regarding what today's guest really wants. And guess what? They might not always be the most prominent players, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, these companies are the ones that you may want to partner with. The advantage of small company culture, as it pertains to hotel technology providers, is that they have not fallen victim to the constraints of scale. When a company undergoes a period of extensive (and at times, rapid) growth, they are forced to scale accordingly. While this is great for the growth of their business, something has to give in order to make that growth and movement possible. In most cases, it means their customer service model will have to adapt. While working with these smaller-scale companies that have forged their way into the marketplace with disruptive and innovative solutions, you can rest assured that you support calls will be answered, your development requests will be handled, and you will never feel like a number or just a meal ticket.Ultimately, it's more important than ever to investigate every aspect of the hotel technology that you would like to implement. Open up a strong dialogue with your prospective technology partner during the due diligence phase and ask for open, honest answers, talk to their clients and remember that sometimes 'playing it safe' may not be so safe after all. Rather, the focus should be on playing smart -- joining forces with companies who will not only progress the technological future and adaptability of your hotel, but will provide high-level care, service and support every step of the way.

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