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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.

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Registration Now Open for Webinar on How Top-Performing Hotels Maximize Revenue

Starfleet Research · 7 June 2018
The webinar, entitled "How to Evaluate and Select the Right Hotel Revenue Technology," will take place on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST. Click here to learn more and to register.Not only can next-generation technology provide an accurate window into future hotel demand; it can also automate pricing decisions to maximize room occupancy and overall revenue performance. For hoteliers, the investment in upgrading their revenue management capabilities generally pays off in spades -- with a 10 percent or higher increase in RevPAR for some types of hotels, according to the latest research (click here to access).Of course, not all hotel revenue initiatives are the same. Different strategies, technologies and resources lead to dramatically different financial results.Following are just a few of the questions that will be explored in this webinar:How can hoteliers maximize the value of their investment in revenue strategy?What are the biggest pitfalls with revenue strategy -- and how can they be avoided?What are the must-have technology capabilities and data sources?What organizational resources, business processes and performance metrics should be used to maximize success?How can hoteliers drive continuous performance improvement?Jeff Zabin, Research Director at Starfleet Research, an expert on benchmarking best practices in hospitality technology, and the lead author of The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, will address these and many other key questions in the live webinar.Joining Jeff will be Eric Stoessel, Vice President of Marketing at Duetto, who will share his perspective on the benefits of next-generation technology for maximizing hotel profitability. He will also share how success can be measured and provide a few examples of revenue management in action.Click here to learn more and to register for the live webinar.
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Get an Exquisite Hotel Clock for Getting Smart on Hotel Technology

Starfleet Research ·25 May 2018
For the next month, IT decision makers and others looking to get up to speed on the latest hotel technology can have a chance to win the oldest hotel technology -- and, indeed, no hotel technology is older than clocks.The two companies will jointly give away ten (10) Ferrum Quartz Regulator Wall Clocks by Hermle, one of the world's most prestigious clockmakers. Each clock has a list price of US$600.In addition, the companies will give away fifteen (15) gift cards, each in the amount of $100, redeemable at HotelClocks.com. A division of Timely & Timeless Exquisite Clocks Emporium, HotelClocks.com features a collection of more than 500 grandfather clocks, modern floor clocks, mantel clocks, table clocks, cuckoo clocks and astronomical clocks.All participants automatically receive a $25 gift voucher, good toward the purchase of any clock in the HotelClocks.com collection.To enter, simply download any publication that may be of interest from Starfleet Research. New titles include: The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management (click here to access) and Built for the Cloud: A Roadmap for Hotel Technology Success (click here to access).Your name and contact information will be automatically entered for the clock drawing. Your information will not be used for any other purpose.Winners will be selected at random on June 30, 2018. They will be notified in early July and can expect to receive shipment of their clocks or gift cards by the end of the month. Please note that clocks can be shipped to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom only, unless special arrangements can be made.Manufactured by Hermle, a century-old German company commonly regarded as one of the world's most prestigious clockmakers, Ferrum Quartz Regulator Wall Clocks are handmade and inscribed with the words "tempus fugit," meaning "time flies." The expression serves as a reminder to guests to enjoy every minute of their stay with the hotel. It also serves as a reminder to hoteliers that every minute is an opportunity to improve operational efficiency, optimize the guest experience and increase revenue performance.Exquisite clocks by Hermle and Kieninger are popular fixtures in upscale hotels, often adorning the lobby, corridors and executive suites and enhancing the decor of the property as a whole.Finished in elegant cherry, the Ferrum clock measures 23 x 10 x 4 inches and features a swan neck pediment, full-length reeded columns, and a turned finial and decorative shell. Each clock has an ornate brass and silver finished dial with black Roman numerals. The dual-chime quartz plays Westminster or bim bam melodies. The clock includes volume control, personalized night shut-off, a quarter hour chime and a full hour strike.Terms and Conditions:The HotelClocks.com giveaway is open to hotel industry practitioners who provide their email address and other contact information during the content download process. No purchase of any goods or services is necessary.Employees or agencies of Starfleet Media and HotelClocks.com, its group companies or their family members are not eligible to participate.Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted.Twenty winners will be chosen from a random drawing of qualified entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. The drawing will be performed by a random computer process on June 29, 2018.The winners will be notified by email on or before July 2, 2018 and must provide a postal address in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom to claim their prize.The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and not redeemable for cash or other prizes. Starfleet Media retains the right to substitute the clock with another prize of similar value in the event the original clock offered is not available.The $25 discount vouchers may not be combined or used in combination with any other discount offer.The winner may be asked to take part in a promotional activity related to the prize drawing. The winner consents to the use by Starfleet Media and/or HotelClocks.com and the winner's name and image for use in promotional material without additional compensation.Starfleet Media shall use and take care of any personal information you supply as described in its privacy policy and in accordance with data protection legislation, including GDPR compliance. By downloading a content asset from Starfleet Media, you agree to the collection, retention, usage and distribution of your personal information in order to process and contact you about your entry, and for the purposes outlined above.Starfleet Media and HotelClocks.com accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the HotelClocks.com drawing or accepting the prize.Starfleet Media and HotelClocks.com reserve the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this drawing with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). About Starfleet MediaStarfleet Media, a leading resource for the hospitality industry. Each year, Starfleet Research, our IT market research arm, benchmarks best practices in technology-enabled business initiatives across thousands of hotels and resorts. Starfleet Media industry publications now also include Hotel Technology News and Restaurant Technology News. To learn more, please visit starfleetmedia.com.About HotelClocks.comAs an authorized dealer of Hermle and Kieninger clocks, and with expertise in the hospitality sector, we specialize in serving luxury hotels and resorts, including some of the world's largest and most preeminent brands, with exquisite clocks. Whether you are in the market for one exquisite clock to adorn the lobby of a single property or a hundred exquisite clocks to enhance the corridor or guest room decor across multiple properties, we are committed to meeting your needs with outstanding personal service and guaranteed lowest prices. To learn more, please visit hotelclocks.com.

What Hotel Technology Decision Makers Need to Know About Cloud Solutions

Starfleet Research ·16 May 2018
"Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" is now available for complimentary access. Click here to access. The following is a brief excerpt.For well over a decade, hospitality industry pundits predicted widespread cloud adoption by hotels and resorts. Only in recent years, however, have cloud-based models begun to disrupt the established lay of the land, migrating on a large scale basis from peripheral point solutions to the core property management system.Importantly, cloud-based solutions are not, in fact, always based in the cloud. Some of the dominant PMS legacy solutions that are currently in place across Europe, North America and Asia have been merely upgraded with a web front-end interface. The interface provides access via an internet browser on a computer, tablet or mobile device to the back-end software, which remains hosted on a local, on premise server.This type of cloud-based hospitality software, in which certain critical elements continue to reside on-premise -- including, in many cases, the actual database housing the guest data -- are known as hybrid cloud solutions. A web-native "true cloud" solution, on the other hand, is hosted on shared application servers in a public cloud environment and has the advantage of being more agile, flexible and open to multi-tenancy. Another advantage relates to software release updates. With a true cloud solution, these upgrades are more seamlessly and frequently deployed and also included as part of the cost.With respect to system upgrades, the shift from on-premise installation to cloud-based deployment have caused hoteliers to pay close attention to service level agreements and up-time guarantees. This is no surprise given that the PMS handles virtually all operations, including guest-facing service functions. Hotels that experience technology performance issues generally pay a dear price.In the past, these issues have tended to arise most often during, or immediately following, system upgrades of on-premise, client-server software. Regardless of how much time and effort may have gone into quality assurance testing, new releases of hospitality applications with monolithic feature-laden code were bound to have performance issues. The problem was oftentimes related to the difficulty of simulating a hotel's customized software configuration, including the specific data streams that flowed into the PMS.To help reduce potential performance issues related to system upgrades, solution providers would commonly implement user acceptance testing processes. This meant creating a copy of the production database and installing an advance copy of the new software release on the hotel's servers. Hotel staff would rigorously test the new system, trying to identify defects and reporting any bugs or performance shortcomings.A benefit to this approach, in addition to reducing the risk of calamity, was that hotel staff could familiarize themselves with new interface as well as features and functionality prior to going live. Software fixes would be either installed as patches or incorporated into a new release, which, typically, would then be reinstalled and retested. The trial run process continued until all issues were resolved and the software was deemed to be relatively free of defects.The software upgrade process for a true cloud PMS is very different. In sharp contrast to the process involving legacy systems and even, to a lesser degree, hybrid cloud solutions, this process tends to be largely hassle- and worry-free for hoteliers, who, in past, were often held partially responsible for any performance hiccups. With single-version development, all hotel customers are upgraded simultaneously, putting the onus on the solution provider to ensure that the software is delivered with unfaltering quality and performs in an error-free manner.Multi-tenancy, storage arrays and the same data center hardware generally means that all hotel customers are in the same boat when it comes to technical performance issues. If a problem arises, the same problem will usually have already affected other hotel operations. The problem will likely have already reported it and the solution provider will already be working to resolve it. Single-version development and deployment benefits everyone."Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" is now available for complimentary access. Click here to access.

Fasten Your Seatbelt: Guest Personalization Allows Hoteliers to Soar to New Heights

Starfleet Research · 9 May 2018
Note: The following article is adapted from "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access; click here to access).Hoteliers today are increasingly focused on making their data actionable. This makes it possible to provide guests with relevant, personalized experiences. These experiences can run the gamut, from preselecting a guest's preferred room location, bed type and room temperature setting to presenting the guest with a welcome tray featuring their favorite snack plate and bottle of wine.The ability to deliver personized messages, offers and treatments is a function of being able to leverage an ever-growing mountain of guest profile data along with other types of data that reside in a centralized repository. This repository is best enabled by a true cloud technology infrastructure.With the advent of next-generation cloud PMS capabilities, hoteliers can merge all guest profile data, much of which the system automatically records, into a single dossier. The complete folio history of charges incurred and payments made by an individual guest or a corporate account during a stay, or over any specified period of time, and across multiple properties, can be readily accessed.The result is a comprehensive and detailed view of guest spending with the brand. A single consolidated view of each guest profile record, both at the property and multi-property level, means that information access can span all areas of the business and all parts of the organization.Ideally, each guest profile record within this unified repository would contain all demographic, psychographic and past purchase information for each individual guest, with the accumulated details of their stated and inferred preferences. The data would flow into the centralized cloud repository from across all parts of the property, and even from partners and other third-party sources, and be continuously updated.The data would originate from a diversity of sources. Some data may be generated through bookings and transaction channels or come from guest satisfaction surveys and even social networks. Some data may originate with the interactions that take place as casual conversations with the front desk, concierge or bartender. Some data may even come from observations recorded by the housekeeping staff and other guest-facing personnel.Advanced hospitality solutions use automated match-and-merge features to combine guest information, reducing inaccurate guest records and improving overall data quality. As a result, hoteliers can now manage guest profiles with far greater efficiency and accuracy.New capabilities also enhance collaboration for hoteliers with multiple properties by enabling them to store and manage a single instance of a unique guest profile across all parts of the enterprise. Regardless of where a guest may have stayed in the past, at what property or properties, a hotelier at any location can access their guest profile in its totality. They can know, in real-time, the guest's past purchase behavior, demonstrated preferences and any number of other details that may be pertinent in informing what specific offers, messages and treatments may resonate most effectively with -- and be appreciated by -- that individual guest.Just one of the advantages: A hotelier can know at a glance the current value of an individual guest. If appropriate, they can then escalate the guest to higher levels of service. A PMS built for the cloud enables hoteliers to better serve the needs of not only high-value guests, but, in fact, all guests. Consider the benefits of mobile access optimization that a true cloud PMS enables. Housekeeping staff can view room assignments, make status updates and track guest details in real time as they move from room to room through the property.The ability to interact with guests in relevant and personalized ways has fast become an expectation on the part of the guests themselves. Most guests are well aware of the fact that hoteliers are awash in data related to their past purchases and experiences with the hotel or with other properties under the same corporate umbrella. They expect hoteliers to recognize them, understand their wants, needs and preferences, and act on whatever information they may have collected about them to their benefit.And indeed, hoteliers have been rapidly evolving their approach to using personalization data in order to meet these rising guest expectations.It is reasonable to assume that guest personalization in the hotel industry is only in its infancy. Chances are, it will look completely different in the coming years as it continues to rapidly evolve. With big data analytics and technology innovation making it possible to soar to new heights in guest personalization, hoteliers should fasten their seat belts and prepare for the ride ahead.Note: This article is adapted from "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access; click here to learn more).

Hotel Technology Success Means Connecting Solutions and Integrating Data

Starfleet Research ·25 April 2018
Note: The following article is adapted from the groundbreaking study "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access):"Data is the new oil" has become a common refrain -- one that resonates strongly in the context of hotel performance improvement.To compete efficiently and effectively in today's environment, hoteliers need to get their data houses in order. The problem is that relevant data typically resides in many different silos. In the pursuit of advancing their technology capabilities, hotels have tended to proliferate standalone platforms, function-specific modules and guest-facing apps.The end result oftentimes is an ungovernable mass of data spaghetti.This creates an assortment of problems. One problem is the inability to create a 360-degree view across the business or a unified view of guest relationships in totality. Another problem relates to data drift, which is the idea that a copy made of the data will become stale almost immediately. The nature of hotel data is such that it needs to be continuously synchronized to keep from becoming outdated.This speaks to the need for a next-generation cloud property management system. The system needs to balance agility and decentralization with governance and centralization of data assets. Simply put, hoteliers need access to a single version of the truth. That means stitching together all of the data silos through the creation of a cloud-based centralized data repository.No longer a pipe dream, the grand movement to unify the disparate and fragmented technologies and data silos across an enterprise has become an achievable goal with the advent of a next-generation platform built natively for the cloud.At last, hoteliers can connect and seamlessly share data in the cloud across all parts of the property or properties and across all of the various hospitality solutions. PMS interface connections make it possible to manage virtually all crucial functions, from inbound reservation delivery from the central reservations system (CSR) or channel manager to the revenue management solution to the point of sale (POS) system to the guest response platform to the CRM and guest loyalty applications.With a next-generation platform, a hotel can increase vascularity across all functions and operations. That means flowing all relevant guest data streams into the centralized repository where the data then becomes readily accessible on an anytime, anywhere basis. The ability to combine all hotel data in a single place in the cloud -- by either physically migrating the data or by virtually connecting it to legacy systems through APIs, is a critical development in the annuls of hospitality technology and performance improvement.Hoteliers are acutely aware of the need for technology connectivity, integration and openness, even if they haven't yet made the transition to a next-generation platform built natively for the cloud. According to recent research conducted by Starfleet Research, 91 percent of hoteliers "agree" or "strongly agree" that technology platform interoperability is a key success factor for hotel performance improvement. That means deploying a cloud platform that is as open as possible with bi-directional APIs.Cloud connectivity eliminates disparate solutions and fractioned data, making the system as a whole smarter. Cloud connectivity also opens the door to new innovations, such as real-time optimized pricing, which can have a direct material impact on RevPAR. Finally, cloud connectivity sets the stage for future capabilities that may not yet be available or even imagined or invented.One thing is sure: A platform built natively for the cloud gives hotels a distinct and formidable competitive advantage over those that lack the same level of technology connectivity and data integration.This is also true with respect to OTAs, which have no visibility whatsoever into guest transaction activity or behavior inside a hotel property. An OTA cannot capture, analyze and act upon hotel guest data. It cannot glean insights into which spa treatments a guest prefers, for example, or how much money that same guest spends in the hotel restaurants. It cannot launch a campaign with specific promotional offers based on a knowledge and understanding of guest preferences.Only a hotel has the ability to capture interaction and transaction data at every touch point and create a unified view of guest behavior. Only a hotel can leverage that data to deliver a high level of customized experiences. Done right, those experiences should translate into increased guest satisfaction and loyalty.Note: This article is adapted from "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access; click here to learn more).

Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success

Starfleet Research ·11 April 2018
Note: The following is an excerpt from the new Starfleet Research report "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access):When it comes to hotel operations, no times are more interesting than these, to borrow that oft-quoted Chinese curse (or blessing, depending on your perspective): "May you live in interesting times."Competition in many lodging markets is more intense than ever. Guest expectations, particularly with respect to anytime, anywhere mobile engagement and information access, are through the roof.Hoteliers face a variety of other challenges, too, from rising labor costs and onerous OTA commissions to competitive threats from disruptive business innovation, home-sharing models being an obvious example. In short, the world is changing fast and hoteliers cannot afford to sit back and relax.Perhaps the biggest challenge -- and, also, the biggest opportunity -- relates to the increasingly large role that technologies play in enhancing the quality of the guest experience. Foremost amongst these technologies are next-generation cloud property management systems (PMS). Most hoteliers who haven't already upgraded to a cloud platform plan to do so shortly, if only to keep pace with others in the same competitive set.And while even the most advanced cloud PMS cannot address all the challenges hoteliers face, it can address many of them while setting the stage for continuous performance improvement.The allure of the cloud is undeniable. Oft-cited benefits include elimination of on-site server hardware (and the day-to-day maintenance that goes with it) and software that is continually updated with the latest features and functionality, without the need to purchase and install each new release.Also, with a cloud solution it becomes much easier to integrate data from different sources and integrate other technologies. What's more, a cloud solution usually allows for nimble technology stacks. If part of the integrated system becomes obsolete or fails, for whatever reason, new software can be readily plugged in to replace it.Hotels have come to embrace the cloud somewhat belatedly compared to other industries. Some of the "blame" for the lagging cloud movement lands squarely with the hotel brands themselves. On-property legacy system solutions, including proprietary technology stacks built by internal IT departments for exorbitant sums of money, have, ironically, become a hinderance to achieving optimal hotel performance.Having underestimated the need to migrate their product road map to the cloud, and hamstrung with legacy installations across thousands of customers, some major solution providers are also to "blame."Upgrading to the CloudAs if to make up for lost time, hoteliers are now upgrading to next-generation cloud solutions in record numbers. Today nobody questions the cost savings that come from streamlining operations across all hotel functions and all parts of the property (or properties).By now, everyone can agree that having a cloud PMS is a prerequisite to improving guest satisfaction, speeding guest services -- from check-in and housekeeping to concierge and maintenance response times -- and enabling guest-facing interfaces, including self-service options. Hoteliers know that only by harnessing the power of data and analytics -- core features of a cloud PMS -- can they present guests with relevant and personalized offers, messages and treatments, further engendering satisfaction and loyalty.But buyer beware: Not all cloud solutions billed as "next-generation" are worthy of that description. For that matter, not all cloud solutions are even truly cloud solutions. Fact is, some legacy on-premise solution providers, eager to jump on the cloud PMS bandwagon, engaged in what is commonly known as "cloud-washing."Even today, solutions billed as cloud-based may not, in fact, be true cloud solutions. It is important to understand the difference between a "true cloud solution" and a "fake cloud solution."Whereas the latter is built on software originally designed to run on-premise, a true cloud solution is built from the ground up, coded to perform as a fully-hosted cloud solution and optimized for tablet and mobile use. The solution provider hosts the solution across hundreds of servers and with multiple levels of data redundancy in a multi-tenant "pure cloud' environment. Customers typically access the same solution via an internet browser, allowing for instantaneous product upgrades.A customization platform maintains property-specific changes following these software upgrades so that customers can gain immediate access to the latest functionality without having to re-implement custom changes and integrations."True Cloud" Versus "Fake Cloud"Cloud-based solutions are not, in fact, always based in the cloud. Some of the dominant PMS legacy solutions that are currently in place across Europe, North America and Asia have been merely upgraded with a web front-end interface. The interface provides access via an internet browser on a computer, tablet or mobile device to the back-end software, which remains hosted on a local, on premise server.This type of cloud-based hospitality software, in which certain critical elements continue to reside on-premise -- including, in many cases, the actual database housing the guest data -- are known as hybrid cloud solutions. A web-native "true cloud" solution, on the other hand, is hosted on shared application servers in a public cloud environment and has the advantage of being more agile, flexible and open to multi-tenancy.Another advantage relates to software release updates. With a true cloud solution, these upgrades are more seamlessly and frequently deployed and also included as part of the cost.With respect to system upgrades, the shift from on-premise installation to cloud-based deployment have caused hoteliers to pay close attention to service level agreements and up-time guarantees. This is no surprise given that the PMS handles virtually all operations, including guest-facing service functions. Hotels that experience technology performance issues generally pay a dear price.In the past, these issues have tended to arise most often during, or immediately following, system upgrades of on-premise, client-server software. Regardless of how much time and effort may have gone into quality assurance testing, new releases of hospitality applications with monolithic feature-laden code were bound to have performance issues. The problem was oftentimes related to the difficulty of simulating a hotel's customized software configuration, including the specific data streams that flowed into the PMS.To help reduce potential performance issues related to system upgrades, solution providers would commonly implement user acceptance testing processes. This meant creating a copy of the production database and installing an advance copy of the new software release on the hotel's servers. Hotel staff would rigorously test the new system, trying to identify defects and reporting any bugs or performance shortcomings.A benefit to this approach, in addition to reducing the risk of calamity, was that hotel staff could familiarize themselves with new interface as well as features and functionality prior to going live. Software fixes would be either installed as patches or incorporated into a new release, which, typically, would then be reinstalled and retested. The trial run process continued until all issues were resolved and the software was deemed to be relatively free of defects.The software upgrade process for a true cloud PMS is very different. In sharp contrast to the process involving legacy systems and even, to a lesser degree, hybrid cloud solutions, this process tends to be largely hassle- and worry-free for hoteliers, who, in past, were often held partially responsible for any performance hiccups. With single-version development, all hotel customers are upgraded simultaneously, putting the onus on the solution provider to ensure that the software is delivered with unfaltering quality and performs in an error-free manner.Multi-tenancy, storage arrays and the same data center hardware generally means that all hotel customers are in the same boat when it comes to technical performance issues. If a problem arises, the same problem will usually have already affected other hotel operations. The problem will likely have already reported it and the solution provider will already be working to resolve it. Single-version development and deployment benefits everyone.Due to lower deployment overhead, new releases tend to be smaller and scope and more frequent. In general, there are no long downtimes for upgrades and maintenance windows are shorter. New features designed to meet current business challenges, and incremental improvements to existing functionalities, tend to be rolled out on an ongoing basis as they become available.Note: This article is an excerpt from the new Starfleet Research report "Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success" (now available for complimentary access).

The Checklist for Revenue Management Success

Starfleet Research ·23 March 2018
In fact, according to research conducted for The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management (now available for complimentary download), more than half (53 percent) of today's hotel operators believe that revenue management will become increasingly automated with further advances in data analytics capabilities.How can a hotel operator be assured that the solution they implement will best meet the needs of the hotel and enable revenue managers to achieve optimal results?The following are just a couple considerations for hotel operators to keep in mind as they compile their checklist of need-to-have and nice-to-have capabilities.Technology interoperability and data integrationHotel operators today can gain a deep, unprecedented understanding of their guests --who they are, what they do, what their preferences are, and how much they spend across the property. Combining the platform capabilities of a next-generation property management system (PMS) and an advanced revenue management solution, hotels can automate decision-making processes in ways that can make a world of difference in terms of pricing and inventory management.Technology integration is key to revenue management success. The PMS, the central reservations system (CRS) or channel manager, and the revenue management solution all need to seamlessly connect and share data --preferably, in a real-time manner. Inventory-related data needs to flow into all distribution channels, including direct booking platforms and call centers, as well as the global distribution system (GDS) and OTAs. The CRS needs to publish optimal pricing decisions and channel recommendations based on input from the revenue management system.In short, no revenue management solution can be treated as a standalone application. It needs to seamlessly integrate with multiple data streams. It needs to integrate with marketing, sales and distribution systems as well as with OTAs and other third-party channels. Internally, point of sale (POS) data needs to integrate with PMS data to provide a holistic view of a guest's stay, including their ancillary spending on food and beverages, guest services, spa visits, etc.Buyers need to know that all technology components and data sources are compatible with the solution and also that all historical PMS data can be readily extracted and validated.Cloud computing data processing powerAdvances in data processing power, largely enabled by the rapid growth of cloud computing, are enabling solution providers to develop capabilities that revenue managers have been striving towards for more than a decade. Advanced revenue management solutions are capable of processing increasingly large volumes of data, and faster than ever.With the advent of a next-generation hospitality platform built for the cloud, the grand movement to unify the disparate and fragmented technologies and data silos has become an achievable goal. Hotels can connect and seamlessly share data in the cloud across all parts of the property or properties and across all of the various hospitality solutions. For a large property, the totality of the data set may include dozens of guest segments, a dozen or more room types, several years of historical booking and reservations data, and upwards of a dozen length-of-stay buckets.Advanced processing power makes it possible to include real-time integration of customer lifetime value (CLV) into pricing and availability, modeling consumer behavior from click-stream data, and integrating loyalty and total property spend data. Add to the mix competitive rate data, demand data, multi-market economic data, and even air traffic and weather predictions, if desired.Combining all of these data sets for just one hotel could amount to several hundred million observations. Generating the pricing and distribution recommendations could easily require result in thousands of decisions being generated each day for every day into the future. Multiply that number for a hotel chain with dozens of properties and it quickly becomes clear that, more than anything, revenue management is a big data challenge. As an example, one major hotel brand recently revealed that it generates more than 45 million forecasts nightly for each hotel, segment, room type, and channel for the next 365-day period.Needless to say, the processing and algorithms require an enormous amount of data storage and processing capacity to accomplish this task. While even global hotel brands may not have data processing requirements that are in the same league as Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google, their data processing needs are certainly large enough to constantly stretch the limits of on-premise data storage and computing capacity, hence the need for cloud-based deployment.Prospective buyers need to know that any revenue management solution under consideration can handle the rigors of big data processing and optimize pricing calculations in highly compressed timeframes.A number of additional considerations, as shown in the chart, can be found in Chapter 2 of The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management. The new edition of this popular resource is currently available for complimentary access (click here to learn more and to download), courtesy of the underwriters and media partners.

Don't Buy a Revenue Management Solution Before Asking These Two Questions

Starfleet Research ·14 March 2018
According to The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management (click here to access), more than one-quarter (28%) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their revenue management within the past 3 years plan to do so in the next 12 months.By asking the right questions, decision makers can determine which hotel revenue management solution on the market best fits their needs and is most likely to deliver the benefits they seek, with minimal risk and expense. Needless to say, the hotel's revenue manager(s) -- people who know the nuts and bolts of inventory management and length of stay control and who understand, for example, how to calculate group rates and apply rate fences -- should be included in the evaluation process.According to the research, most revenue managers want solutions that provide visibility. They want to be able to look under the hood and dive into price sensitivity data and observe at a detailed level what inputs are behind the system outputs that are being made and how adjustments to the decision model would change revenue outcomes. They do not want to wait for actual booking numbers to come in to understand the impact of their strategies and determine whether they made the right decisions. In short, revenue managers need to be comfortable that the new solution will enable them to do their jobs with maximum effectiveness.The following are two must-ask questions that decision makers and influencers may wish to explore with solution providers to ensure that, once implemented, the revenue management solution will enable them to achieve their desired business outcomes.Will the solution provide the answers we need to our pricing questions?To be effective, revenue managers require tools that will enable them to answer all of their day-to-day pricing questions. These questions may be voluminous, and some may be difficult to always know in advance. Such questions might include: By how much should we increase or decrease our rates for a given type of room? How many groups, and what size groups, should we accept on a given day?How much should we charge walk-in guests? What should be the floor and ceiling for our rate range? Are the changes in demand and bookings likely to represent a short-term or long-term pattern - and, if the latter, what actions should we take in response? To what extent should we discount negotiated rates? What should our best available rates be for the coming year? What discounts and promotions, and to what target customer segments, are likely to perform well right now and in the near-future? What discounts would likely dilute profits and should we therefore avoid?To what extent should we mark up our premium rooms, based on the current and near-term demand patterns? What competitors' price moves would likely affect these demand patterns and how should we respond if those moves become reality? How can we counteract cancellations and no-shows, group wash, extensions and early departures to capture optimal profitability?Smart Decision Guide Tip: Compile a comprehensive list of pricing questions and verify that the solution will be able to address these questions in a straight-forward manner.To what extent does the solution offer depth and flexibility in data analysis and reporting?Revenue management is a quantitative puzzle with ever-changing numbers, patterns and results and a need for continuous refinement. Delving into the data, testing different if/then scenarios, and collating actual results requires a high degree of flexibility. Not all data queries can be anticipated. A significant percentage of pricing questions may, in fact, need to be investigated on an ad hoc basis. Out-of-the-box functionality may satisfy the needs of novice users or small properties with relatively simple needs. But it is likely to be insufficient for more sophisticated revenue managers and larger properties with multiple room types, customer segments and ancillary revenue streams.A solution should provide for flexibility, which is important when it comes to setting pricing, noting special events, adjusting segmentation schemes, etc. A solution should also make it easy to accommodate virtually any need, including the need to monitor and measure individual property, portfolio, and departmental performance, the need to create customizable hierarchies for different geo-markets, channels, room types, time periods and loyalty programs.Important questions might include: Once problem areas are identified, can the solution guide users on how to take appropriate action? Can tactical decisions, including the overall impact, be tested live? Can the dashboards provide exception reporting, identifying areas needing the most attention?Smart Decision Guide Tip: Verify that the solution is flexible in terms of keys areas of functionality, including custom reporting, and validate all of the vendors' claims. If customized reporting is possible, find out what is involved in the process of filtering and sorting data according to a specified set of parameters.

Upgrading Your Hotel Revenue Management Capabilities? These Considerations Will Help Ensure Success

Starfleet Research · 8 March 2018
The following is excerpted from The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, which is now available for complimentary download.Most hotel operators, particularly those with properties in popular destinations, have a lot to celebrate. In the United States, the industry has enjoyed eight straight years of RevPAR growth. Industry analysts agree that the party may be far from over. STR and Tourism Economics predict that U.S. hotel occupancy rates this year will increase to 66 percent, ADR will rise 2.4 percent, and RevPAR will increase 2.7 percent. The luxury and independent chain segments are expected to report the largest increases in occupancy, according to these research firms, while independent hotels are forecasted to see the most substantial growth in ADR and RevPAR. PwC forecasts occupancy to reach the highest level in more than 35 years.The steady climb in hotel occupancy rates and record-breaking RevPAR growth continues, albeit at a slower rate, even despite the emergence of some very real challenges to the hotel industry. These include the onerous commission structures imposed by online travel agencies (OTAs) and the effect of Airbnb and smaller online marketplaces operating in the so-called sharing economy. In addition, there is the simple fact that, in many markets, supply consistently outpaces demand, reducing hotels' pricing power. Many hotels have been hampered by internal challenges, as well, not the least of which, in some cases, is the limited number of rate codes imposed by legacy property management systems, constraining the number of price points a hotel can offer potential customers.The widespread adoption of data-driven revenue management strategies and advanced technologies no doubt deserve a lot of the credit. These capabilities make it possible for hotel operators to yield rates more aggressively than ever before. Data is the new oil, as they say, and analytics is the engine that converts the data into increased profitability, as evidenced by these record levels of RevPAR growth.Until recently, the idea of a revenue manager gazing into the dashboard equivalent of a crystal ball and generating precise demand forecasts for every night of the year across every room type and every guest segment was the stuff of fiction. Now, revenue managers have the tools to generate millions of new forecasts based on analysis of demand forecasts, competitor rates, market conditions, price sensitivities and demand drivers like seasonality, day-of-week differences and market dynamics.A state-of-the-art solution is capable of generating tens of thousands of optimal pricing decisions on a daily basis, and there is reason to believe that revenue management capabilities will get even better as the analytics continue to evolve. In fact, according to research conducted for The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, more than half (53 percent) of today's hotel operators believe that revenue management will become even more automated with further advances in data analytics capabilities.So, which technology solution is the right one? How can a hotel operator be assured that the solution they implement will best meet the needs of th hotel and enable revenue managers to achieve optimal results? The following are just a few key buying considerations to keep in mind.Technology interoperability and data integrationHotel operators today can gain a deep, unprecedented understanding of their guests --who they are, what they do, what their preferences are, and how much they spend across the property. Combining the platform capabilities of a next-generation property management system (PMS) and an advanced revenue management solution, hotels can automate decision-making processes in ways that can make a world of difference in terms of pricing and inventory management.Technology integration is key to revenue management success. The PMS, the central reservations system (CRS) or channel manager, and the revenue management solution all need to seamlessly connect and share data --preferably, in a real-time manner. Inventory-related data needs to flow into all distribution channels, including direct booking platforms and call centers, as well as the global distribution system (GDS) and OTAs. The CRS needs to publish optimal pricing decisions and channel recommendations based on input from the revenue management system.In short, no revenue management solution can be treated as a standalone application. It needs to seamlessly integrate with multiple data streams. It needs to integrate with marketing, sales and distribution systems as well as with OTAs and other third-party channels.Internally, point of sale (POS) data needs to integrate with PMS data to provide a holistic view of a guest's stay, including their ancillary spending on food and beverages, guest services, spa visits, etc. Buyers need to know that all technology components and data sources are compatible with the solution and also that all historical PMS data can be readily extracted and validated.Cloud computing data processing powerAdvances in data processing power, largely enabled by the rapid growth of cloud computing, are enabling solution providers to develop capabilities that revenue managers have been striving towards for more than a decade. Advanced revenue management solutions are able to process increasingly large volumes of data, and faster than ever.With the advent of a next-generation hospitality platform built for the cloud, the grand movement to unify the disparate and fragmented technologies and data silos has become an achievable goal. Hotels can connect and seamlessly share data in the cloud across all parts of the property or properties and across all of the various hospitality solutions.For a large property, the totality of the data set may include dozens of guest segments, a dozen or more room types, several years of historical booking and reservations data, and upwards of a dozen length-of-stay buckets. Advanced processing power makes it possible to include real-time integration of customer lifetime value (CLV) into pricing and availability, modeling consumer behavior from click-stream data, and integrating loyalty and total property spend data.Add to the mix competitive rate data, demand data, multi-market economic data, and even air traffic and weather predictions, if desired. Combining all of these data sets for just one hotel could amount to several hundred million observations. Generating the pricing and distribution recommendations could easily require result in thousands of decisions being generated each day for every day into the future. Multiply that number for a hotel chain with dozens of properties and it quickly becomes clear that, more than anything, revenue management is a big data challenge.As an example, one major hotel brand recently revealed that it generates more than 45 million forecasts nightly for each hotel, segment, room type, and channel for the next 365-day period. Needless to say, the processing and algorithms require an enormous amount of data storage and processing capacity to accomplish this task. While even global hotel brands may not have data processing requirements that are in the same league as Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google, their data processing needs are certainly large enough to constantly stretch the limits of on-premise data storage and computing capacity, hence the need for cloud-based deployment. Prospective buyers need to know that any revenue management solution under consideration can handle the rigors of big data processing and optimize pricing calculations in highly compressed timeframes.Channel management and optimizationRates and inventory information need to be reflected accurately across all systems and touchpoints, including OTAs and other partner- and guest-facing channels. Otherwise, the prices that are presented to prospective guests on some channels may be lower than desired or rooms presented on some channels as available may, in reality, be unavailable, and the property may be overbooked. Inputting room rate and availability changes manually can result in errors that damage the brand's reputation and lead to revenue loss. It is important to understand the extent to which room change updates are handled automatically rather than manually and what the average lag time is in implementing channel updates.Customization to user and property needs Because users have differing needs, any solution will invariably require some degree of customization. Revenue managers should be able to create notifications based on their own predefined triggers. They should be able to define the data inputs and dashboard views based on their own priorities and display preferences. Flexibility in configuration is needed to mine the right data and generate actionable insights. Prospective buyers should have a high level of confidence that any solution under consideration has flexibility and customization capabilities to meet the needs of the property as well as those of the revenue manager(s) and other end-users.Group sales optimization Buyers with group business goals should check that any solution under consideration provides group sales optimization. This means being able to evaluate group requests by forecasting the impact and displacement of transient guests while calculating ideal group rates. Some solutions offer pricing recommendations by room type to maximize inventory and can provide meeting planners with a blended price quotation. Some solutions suggest alternate dates for flexible groups based on projected demand and availability to drive business to dates where the hotel stands to gain the most profit. Some solutions offer simultaneous evaluation of multiple properties to identify which one would be the most profitable for the entire enterprise. Having profit-based price evaluation capabilities enables sales teams to understand unsold and undersold meetings and events space as well as less-than-optimal displacement of group business.Just published by Starfleet Research, The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management is currently available for complimentary download.
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Hotel Revenue Management: How to Maximize RevPAR with Next-generation Strategies and Technologies

Starfleet Research ·27 February 2018
Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices IT research and recommendations for the hospitality industry, today announced the release of The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management.Widely considered to be the hotel industry's most authoritative and comprehensive resource on this topic, the new edition is now available for complimentary access.Previous editions of this popular Smart Decision Guide have been downloaded thousands of times by senior hotel executives, general managers, revenue managers, IT directors and other decision makers seeking to upgrade their revenue management capabilities and have served as an invaluable resource. In fact, 93% of hotel executives rated last year's edition as "valuable" or "very valuable."The 2018 edition is completely revised, updated and expanded to highlight emerging trends, including an increased focus on total revenue management, and the latest breakthroughs in technology innovation and data integration. It offers a clear roadmap for achieving success with next-generation strategies and technologies as well as practical advice for implementing the right organizational resources, business processes and performance metrics to drive continuous improvement in RevPAR and other financial indicators."In a dynamic market characterized by ever-changing numbers, patterns and results, it is impossible to optimize room rates and overall revenue outcomes without the right data, strategy and technology," said Jeff Zabin, research director at Starfleet Research. "The good news is that next-generation revenue management solutions have become extremely sophisticated and effective, fueled by the rapid growth of big data processing, demand forecasting and pricing optimization models. The best of these solutions generate pricing strategies based on real-time analysis of all relevant data, automating the decision-making process for pricing rooms, driving increased RevPAR, and giving hotel operators the level of inventory management control that has long eluded them."The research is based on data collected from 167 qualified survey respondents. The content was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. The underwriters of the new Smart Decision Guide, all of which participated as underwriters of the previous three editions, are the following industry leaders: Duetto, IDeaS, Infor, Rainmaker and RateGain.The 2018 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management is now available for complimentary download. It can be accessed here.About Smart Decision Guides Smart Decision Guides produced and distributed by Starfleet Research serve as definitive resources and required reading for decision makers who need to make technology-related purchase decisions - and maximize the value of their investments. The content is independently produced, without editorial involvement from company underwriters, providing for unbiased, fact-based information and recommendations. Starfleet Research is the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, the leading provider of content marketing programs for B2B companies in selected niche markets, including hospitality, retail and healthcare IT. To learn more, please visit starfleetresearch.com.
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The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems

Starfleet Research · 5 January 2018
The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems has been updated and expanded from previous editions to reflect the key trends and technological innovations that have emerged over the past year. Published in Q4 2017 by Starfleet Reseach, the leading provider of best practices IT market research for the hospitality industry, it is currently available for complimentary download.This authoritative 47-page guide, from the leading provider of best practices IT market research for the hospitality industry, serves as a valuable resource for hoteliers seeking to implement a new PMS or upgrade their existing capabilities. Previous editions have helped thousands of hoteliers maximize success.
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Complimentary HotelClocks.com Gift Cards, Courtesy of Starfleet Research

Starfleet Research ·18 December 2017
A total of five hundred (500) gift cards are being made available on a first-come-first-serve basis. As an added bonus, everyone who redeems a gift card before December 31 will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes drawing for an Astrolabium (list price: $3,297), a museum-quality astronomical table clock (see rules and details on the gift card page).Getting the complimentary $20 gift card is fast and easy. Simply click here. Select "Add to cart" and enter discount code STARFLEET20. The gift card will arrive via email within minutes.Please note: This offer is limited to residents of the United States and Canada, unless special shipping arrangements are made. Only one gift card per customer may be used. Multiple gift cards may not be used in combination. Gift cards have no expiration date and may be transferred to friends and family.All clocks include a complimentary personalized plaque, free shipping within the United States, a lowest price guarantee and a 3-year manufacturer's warranty. A current holiday promotion also includes a free Black Forest cuckoo clock (or other timepiece of equal value) with all qualified purchases.HotelClocks.com is a division of Timely & Timeless Exquisite Clocks Emporium (a Starfleet Media sister company) and a leading provider of decor-enhancing timepieces for luxury hotels and resorts.Currently, HotelClocks.com is offering special end-of-year discounts on all grandfather clocks, floor clocks, wall clocks, regulators, table clocks and astronomical clocks in its catalog to hotel purchasing decision makers. To receive preferred pricing quotes, discuss volume discounts, or make other inquiries, please contact sales@hotelclocks.com or 800.390.4067.About HotelClocks.comAn authorized business-to-business Hermle clocks dealer with expertise in the hospitality sector, HotelClocks.com, a division of Timely & Timeless Exquisite Clocks Emporium, serves luxury hotels and resorts, including some of the world's largest and most preeminent brands, with decor-enhancing timepieces. To learn more, please visit us at hotelclocks.com.
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How to Achieve Success with Next-Generation Hotel and Restaurant Technologies

Starfleet Research · 4 December 2017
Starfleet Research has announced the availability of two new Smart Decision Guides on next-generation hotel and restaurant technologies. These authoritative "must read" resources are: The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems and The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems.Both Smart Decision Guides are now available for complimentary download by hotel general managers, restaurant operators and other hospitality IT decision makers.Independently produced by Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices IT market research for the hospitality industry, the new editions of these popular titles serve as invaluable resources for hoteliers and restaurateurs seeking to implement next-generation solutions to drive performance improvement. In a survey conducted last month, 90% of the industry practitioners who downloaded one or more Smart Decision Guides rated the resource(s) as either "valuable" or "extremely valuable" in the context of their current research objectives.These Smart Decision Guides run 45 pages in length and have been completely revised and expanded from previous editions to reflect the latest market trends, guest behaviors and technological innovations. Both resources offer a roadmap for success for decision makers and influencers looking to leverage next-generation hospitality solutions to their advantage.Restaurant Management and POS SystemsAccording to The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems, 79 percent of restaurant operators believe that advanced technologies hold the key to addressing many of their current challenges. At the forefront of these technologies are next-generation restaurant management and point-of-sale (POS) systems.Among the key findings of the new research:95 percent of restaurant operators view the ability to improve guest satisfaction and the quality of the guest experience as one of the biggest benefits one can expect to gain with the right restaurant management and POS system89 percent of restaurant operators cite the need for driving increased operational efficiency, including staff productivity, and reducing inventory waste as a key success factor78 percent of full-service restaurants, and 62 percent of quick service and fast casual restaurants achieved "significant" or "dramatic" improvement in both operations and revenue performance after deploying a next-generation restaurant management and POS systemNearly one-quarter (24 percent) of restaurant operators who have not upgraded their core restaurant management and POS system within the past three years plan to do so in the next 12 months.For most restaurants, the return on investment can be measured in terms of cost reduction, which is largely a function of increased staff productivity and resource utilization. It can also be measured in terms of revenue growth. This is largely a function of improved guest satisfaction and, in some cases, faster table turn times -- and, in certain venues, the ability to reach and serve a larger number of guests simultaneously. Additional selling points include the ability to improve financial performance with advanced inventory and labor management tools and better performance reporting capabilities.The resource can be accessed here.Hotel Property Management SystemsThe 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems highlights a number of emerging trends, including recent enhancements in analytics and reporting capabilities that are allowing hoteliers to generate more and better insights from their mountains of guest and operational data. It also emphasizes the importance of technology interoperability and data integration.Among the key findings of the new research:23 percent of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past three years plan to do so in the next 12 months89 percent of hoteliers believe that hospitality technologies are key to not only addressing many of their current challenges but also to catapulting their businesses to ever-higher levels of operational performance and guest satisfaction91 percent of hoteliers "agree" or "strongly agree" that technology platform interoperability and compatibility is a key success factor for hotel performance improvement96 percent of hoteliers believe that the biggest benefit to be gained with the right PMS is the ability to improve guest satisfaction and the quality of the guest experience87 percent of hoteliers view the ability to generate analytical reports that reveal actionable insights that can help drive performance improvement as a key success factor with PMSThe benefits of a next-generation PMS are multifold. Streamlining operations across the organization and providing better management controls should lead to increased staff efficiency and reduce operational costs. Enhancing Guest Relationship Management capabilities should improve guest satisfaction, loyalty and retention. These improvements should result in increased RevPAR and profitability.Better data integration and accuracy should improve revenue management and channel management capabilities, also translating into favorable financial outcomes. Robust data analysis and diagnostic tools for performing year-over-year evaluations, identifying emerging market trends, analyzing guest behaviors, etc., should generate actionable insights that help drive continuous performance improvement.The resource can be accessed here.Roadmaps for SuccessWith more than a hundred solution providers actively developing and marketing hospitality technology solutions, it can be difficult for decision makers to know where to start with the research and evaluation process. The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems and The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems offer a wealth of strategic guidance, practical advice and roadmaps for success for not only selecting the right technology solution but also for maximizing its value over time while driving continuous performance improvement.These Smart Decision Guides, were independently produced by Starfleet Research, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. Underwriting support for content development and distribution came from the following industry leaders: Agilysys, Infor, Lavu, Linga POS by Benseron, Maestro, Oracle Hospitality, Sabre Hospitality and TouchBistro.About Starfleet ResearchEvery year, Starfleet Research, the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, benchmarks best practices in technology-enabled business initiatives across thousands of hotels and resorts around the world. Starfleet Media also now publishes two industry trade resources for helping hospitality IT decision makers stay smart and keep current: Hotel Technology News and Restaurant Technology News. To learn more about Starfleet Research, please visit www.starfleetrearch.com.
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Next-Generation Hotel Property Management Systems: Everything You Need to Know

Starfleet Research ·18 October 2017
Last month, Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices IT market research for the hospitality industry, announced the release of The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems. It is now available for complimentary access.This popular and authoritative guide, now in its fourth edition, serves as an invaluable resource for hoteliers seeking to implement a next-generation property management system (PMS) or to upgrade their current platform capabilities.The new Smart Decision Guide has been updated and expanded to highlight a number of emerging trends, including recent enhancements in analytics and reporting capabilities that are allowing hoteliers to generate more and better insights from their mountains of guest and operational data. It also emphasizes the importance of technology interoperability and data integration.With upwards of a hundred solution providers actively developing and marketing property management systems, it can be difficult for hoteliers to know where to start with the research process. The best of these solutions are impressive by any measure. Still, different solutions have different features, capabilities and competitive strengths.How should hoteliers go about determining which solution best fits their needs and will most likely deliver the benefits they seek, with minimum hassle and expense? According to the research, there are many factors to consider, with some of them invariably carrying more weight than others.The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems provides a framework for weighing these considerations in the context of their property's specific needs and strategic priorities. It offers practical advice and a roadmap for success for not only selecting the right solution but also for maximizing its value over time while driving continuous performance improvement across all parts of the property.The research is based on data collected from 233 qualified survey respondents across different geographies, different types of lodging properties and different levels of the organization.Among the key findings:23% of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past 3 years plan to do so in the next 12 months89% of hoteliers believe that hospitality technologies are key to not only addressing many of their current challenges, but also to catapulting their businesses to ever-higher levels of operational performance and guest satisfaction91% of hoteliers "agree" or "strongly agree" that technology platform interoperability and compatibility is a key success factor for hotel performance improvement96% of hoteliers believe that the biggest benefit to be gained with the right PMS is the ability to improve guest satisfaction and the quality of the guest experience87% percent of hoteliers view the ability to generate analytical reports that reveal actionable insights that can help drive performance improvement as a key success factor with PMSThe 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. Content developement and distribution was made possible by the following industry leaders: Agilysys, Infor, Maestro, Oracle Hospitality and Sabre.Click here to access the Smart Decision Guide.About Starfleet ResearchEvery year, Starfleet Research, the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, benchmarks best practices in technology-enabled business initiatives across thousands of hotels and resorts around the world. Starfleet Media also now publishes Hotel Technology News. Other recent hospitality-related Smart Decision Guide titles include The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Guest Experience Management, The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management and The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems.
Article by Jeff Zabin

When to Upgrade Your Hotel Property Management System

Starfleet Research ·17 October 2017
According to The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (released last month and now available for complimentary access), the vast majority of hoteliers believe that next-generation hospitality technologies are the number one way to catapult their businesses to ever-higher levels of operational performance and guest satisfaction.Given that the property management system (PMS) is at the forefront of these technologies, it's no surprise that nearly one-quarter (23%) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past 3 years indicate that they plan to do so in the next 12 months.The most advanced of these solutions have evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years. Driving technology innovation has been a mass migration to the cloud. This has led to increased software interoperability, data integration and mobility.As a result, hoteliers can now manage, track, analyze and optimize the constant flow of information across all parts of the property - anytime, anywhere, and in a real-time fashion.By integrating with add-on modules and third-party solutions, a next-generation PMS allows hoteliers to readily create a property- or chain-wide system. They can centrally manage virtually all functions and departments, from concierge, guest services and banquet and conference functions to housekeeping, room maintenance and security management to golf, spa and other facility functions.According to the research, 91 percent of hoteliers "agree" or "strongly agree" that platform interoperability is an important success factor for hotel performance improvement. At long last, the grand movement to unify the disparate and fragmented technologies and data siloes that has been underway for years, even decades, is now an achievable goal.Standalone hospitality software solutions that fail to "talk" with one another are a dying breed. In their place, hoteliers are deploying technologies that can connect with the PMS and seamlessly share data in the cloud. These include the central reservations system or channel manager, the revenue management solution, the point of sale (POS) system, the guest response platform and the CRM and guest loyalty applications.A next-generation PMS also integrates with accounting software, keycard and access control systems, self-service kiosks and guest communication and entertainment applications. And the list goes on. Combined, these technologies can automate virtually all functions across the property -- and, if required, across multiple properties -- in a unified and integrated fashion.All of which begs the question: When is the right time to upgrade your PMS? The answer, as with many things in business and in life, is: It depends. For starters, different hoteliers will have different requirements of a PMS, depending on their property size, category and topography.A full-service hotel, for example, will likely require a far more robust and comprehensive system than a small, limited-service hotel, which may need only to automate basic functions like guest bookings, housekeeping, guest charges and maintenance management. A full-service hotel will likely have complex reservation, scheduling and inventory requirements, with a host of features they view as essential to support exceptional guest service. A small, limited-service hotel may have none of these requirements.Every hotelier under the sun, on the other hand, can benefit from more and better insights that can be used to drive revenue growth and improve the quality of the guest experience. The ability to delve into the mountains of PMS data to produce year-over-year evaluations, identify emerging market trends, analyze guest behaviors, etc., is a compelling benefit of a next-generation solution. In fact, almost three-quarters 73 percent of hoteliers view the ability to improve performance reporting and business intelligence as one of the biggest benefits one can expect to gain with the right PMS.What does the revenue forecast look like? How can we improve it? How are guests finding our property? What channels are they using to book reservations? Where are groups coming from? What are the margins on each channel? How well are we managing our labor costs? How well are we managing our reservation distribution channel inventory and pricing strategies? How can we capture more ancillary revenues?These are just a few of the mission-critical questions hoteliers should be able to answer quickly and accurately. If the current system falls short in enabling them to do that job due to technology shortcomings, then it may well be time to upgrade to more advanced platform capabilities.Before embarking on the research-and-buying journey, hoteliers should gain a clear understanding of their own technology requirements and weigh them accordingly. An Evaluation Checklist, such as the one provided in Chapter 2 of the new Smart Decision Guide (click here to access), is a good place to start.Hoteliers should also gain a sense for the extent to which an advanced PMS would likely improve operational efficiencies and the overall quality of the guest experience. This will help determine which solution best fits their needs and is most likely to deliver the benefits they seek.
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Guest Experience Management: New Definitive Resource Helps Hoteliers Maximize Success

Starfleet Research ·19 April 2017
Chicago, Illinois - Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices IT research and recommendations for the hospitality industry, has announced the release of The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management. It is currently available for complimentary access.This Smart Decision Guide serves as an invaluable resource for senior hotel executives, general managers, IT directors and other decision makers seeking to upgrade their property's Guest Experience Management (GEM) capabilities.Increasingly, the world's leading hoteliers are turning their attention to technology innovation in areas that can improve the guest experience. The fact that a growing number of hoteliers are striving to become guest-centric across all departments, functions and facets of their operations is not surprising. After all, improving the guest experience in ways that drive increased satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy can yield large financial benefits. According to estimates, a one-star increase in a hotel's rating can translate into a 10 percent increase in bookings and revenue.Improving the guest experience has generally meant offering better guest rooms, facilities and resources - and, also, providing better, friendlier and more personalized service. With the advent of next-generation technology solutions, GEM has reached new levels of efficiency and effectiveness, with personalization a primary focus area for improvement.According to the research (click here to access), the solutions that provide the technology foundation for enabling GEM include next-generation property management systems (PMS), service optimization / guest response management solutions, and department-specific modules or standalone solutions for concierge, spa, golf, housekeeping, etc., depending on the type of property.Yet technology by itself will invariably fail to deliver optimal outcomes when it comes to a GEM-related initiative. Data integration is critical. So, too, is analytic modeling, to map the guest journey, create actionable segmentation schemes, identify the drivers of guest satisfaction - and, ultimately, to present guests with more personalized and relevant messages, offers and treatments."Today, enhancing the guest experience means removing 'friction' from guest interactions across all parts of the property, all touchpoints, both physical and digital, and all phases of the guest journey," said Jeff Zabin, research director at Starfleet Research. "It's about recognizing guest preferences and enabling relevant and personalized interactions that make them feel special and appreciated. It's about anticipating and catering to their unique needs. It's about recognizing their differentiated value and responding immediately to their requests."Realizing this vision for GEM requires organizational commitment. It also requires technology investment, which hotels are increasingly willing to make. According to the research, overall hotel IT budgets, which were approximately 4 percent of revenue last year for small and medium-sized properties and 6 percent for large properties, are growing, with almost two-thirds (62 percent) of hoteliers indicating that their IT budgets have increased by at least 25 percent this year. These technology expenditures are largely focused on GEM-related initiatives.The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management features the latest research findings, insights and recommendations for enhancing the quality of the guest experience and driving continuous performance improvement.The research is based on data collected from 183 qualified survey respondents. The content was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. The underwriters of the new Smart Decision Guide are the following industry leaders: Agilysys, ALICE, Amadeus, Infor and Sabre Hospitality Solutions.The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management is now available for complimentary download. It can be accessed here.Starfleet Research recently released several other Smart Decision Guides focused on hospitality industry topics. These include The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems and The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems.About Smart Decision Guides Smart Decision Guidestm produced and distributed by Starfleet Research serve as definitive resources and required reading for decision makers who need to make technology-related purchase decisions - and maximize the value of their investments. The content is independently produced, without editorial involvement from company underwriters, providing for unbiased, fact-based information and recommendations. Starfleet Research is the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, the leading provider of content marketing programs for B2B companies in selected niche markets, including hospitality, retail and healthcare IT. To learn more, please visit starfleetresearch.com.
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The Right Property Management System a Key Factor in Hotel Success, According to Latest Industry Research

Starfleet Research ·11 September 2016
Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices IT market research for the hospitality industry, has announced the release of The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems. It is currently available for complimentary access.Previous editions of this popular annual guide have proven to be an invaluable resource for hoteliers in need of the latest research findings, insights and recommendations for streamlining their hotel or resort operations and increasing occupancy, revenues and profitability. The 2016 edition is updated and expanded to highlight emerging trends and new technology innovation, with a focus on the role of PMS in improving the overall guest experience.Hospitality technology has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years. In fact, until recently, there was no single software application for managing, let alone automating, all of the different functions that take place at a hotel or resort in a unified and integrated fashion.Fast forward to today and next-generation property management solutions are empowering hoteliers with the ability to drive ever-increasing levels of efficiency and effectiveness in ways that may have been difficult to imagine only a decade ago.The scope of the platform capabilities has expanded beyond core functions like guest registration, room inventory maintenance and housekeeping assignment to encompassing virtually all aspects of hotel operations. The capabilities have also become increasingly sophisticated and flexible as well as more easy to seamlessly integrate with third-party technologies, including web booking engines and point-of-sale (POS) and revenue management systems.It's no wonder, then, that so many hoteliers have come to embrace next-generation hospitality technology as a strategic imperative. In fact, according to the research, more than one-quarter (27%) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past 3 years plan to do so in the next 12 months.The research for this 44-page Smart Decision Guide is based on data collected from 212 qualified survey respondents across different geographies, different types of lodging properties and different levels of the organization. The content was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. The underwriters of this Smart Decision Guide include the following industry leaders: Agilysys, Infor, MaestroPMS, Oracle Hospitality and Sabre.The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems is now available for complimentary download. It can be accessed here.Starfleet Research recently released several other Smart Decision Guides that may also be of interest to forward-thinking hoteliers. These include The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management and The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems.About Smart Decision Guides Smart Decision Guidestm produced and distributed by Starfleet Research serve as definitive resources and required reading for decision makers who need to make technology-related purchase decisions - and maximize the value of their investments. The content is independently produced, without editorial involvement from company underwriters, providing for unbiased, fact-based information and recommendations. Starfleet Research is the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, the leading provider of content marketing programs for B2B companies in selected niche markets, including hospitality, retail and healthcare IT. To learn more, and to access related content, please visit starfleetresearch.com.
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Webinar: Using Technology to Enhance the Hotel Guest Experience

Starfleet Research ·19 April 2016
Enhancing the hotel guest experience means delivering more personalized and relevant messages and offers, based on individual guest wants, needs, situations and preferences. It means making guests feel special, appreciated and comfortable. It means treating each guest as though they were a celebrity.It also means harnessing the power of next-generation technologies and data analytics, putting guest-centric processes in place, and creating the right organizational culture across all parts of the property.In this webinar, Jeff Zabin, Research Director of Starfleet Research and an expert on benchmarking best practices in hospitality technology, and Luke Pfeifer, Program Manager for Agilysys, will discuss the critical role that guest-centric strategies and advanced technologies play in upgrading the hotel guest experience.Joining Jeff and Luke will be Ed Nickelson, Director of Information Technology at Pinehurst Resorts, an expansive property in the heart of the North Carolina Sandhills that includes three luxury hotels and golf courses that have hosted the U.S. Open. Ed will share some of his own experiences with using technology to enhance the overall guest experience.When: Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 2:00 PM ESTClick here to registerThe webinar will include preliminary research findings from The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, which will publish in June.The 2015 edition is currently available for complimentary download.So, too, is The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, which can be accessed here.About Starfleet ResearchStarfleet Research benchmarks best practices in technology-enabled business initiatives. Tens of thousands of senior executives and other business practitioners across multiple industry verticals read our premium content assets, which include Smart Decision Guidestm, benchmark reports, Actionable Insights Reportstm and co-branded eBooks. Starfleet Research is the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, the leading provider of content marketing programs for B2B companies in selected niche markets. To learn more, please visit www.starfleetresearch.com.
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Webinar: How to Select a Hotel Revenue Management System

Starfleet Research · 7 March 2016
It's no wonder that hotels and resorts are coming to embrace the technology solutions that enable next-generation revenue management with unprecedented zeal. Yet, implementation of the right solution is only half the battle, and getting from here to there can be a daunting task for even the largest, most sophisticated hoteliers.- What key concepts are important to keep in mind with next-generation revenue management?- What buying considerations should influence the purchase decision?- How can properties maximize the value of the investment?- How can they drive continuous performance improvement?Jeff Zabin, Research Director at Starfleet Research and an expert on benchmarking best practices in hospitality technology, will address these and many other key questions in a live webinar this Thursday. He will explain how top-performing hotels and resorts are achieving their desired business objectives with a new breed of revenue management solutions, based on the latest industry research.Eric Stoessel, Vice President of Marketing at Duetto, will share his perspective on the benefits of a next-generation solution for maximizing hotel profitability. He will also share how success can be measured and provide examples of revenue management in action.When: Thursday, March 10, 2016, 9 PST/Noon ESTClick here to registerRelated resources:Click here to access The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management.Click here to access The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems.
Article by Jeff Zabin

Predicting the Future: For Hotel Revenue Managers, It's All in the Data

Starfleet Research ·27 January 2016
and dynamically pricing room rates based on demand and capacity as well as competitor activity -- needs to happen in a near-real-time manner.According to The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management (now available for complimentary access), intelligent pricing means making decisions for how to maximize room occupancy at the best possible price while factoring in all the related revenue questions in a real-time or near real-time manner.These questions include: What is the optimal price to charge in order to maximize revenue, accounting for the fact that demand will change as the price changes? What is the best possible rate the hotel can hope to get for a guest room, taking into account the type of room as well as the length of stay? How can a hotel ensure that discounted price promotions won't dilute revenue and profits in the long run? Intelligent pricing addresses these questions by analyzing demand forecasts, competitor rates, price sensitivities and various other inputs and factors, including demand drivers like seasonality, day-of-week differences and market dynamics.Here it's worth noting that, until recently, the standard approach to pricing strategy has been a fixed-tier approach based on one overall best available rate (BAR) for each room and also on the expected supply and demand of rooms for a particular date. Ideally, when pricing multiple products, solutions should account for different room types and also for the impact of multiple public products on one another -e.g. advanced purchase versus BAR.Some hotels and resorts are now adopting a pricing strategy based on the idea is that different prospective guests should be offered different rates depending on which guest segment they fall into as well as which channel they're using for booking their reservation. As technology innovation makes it possible for hotels to price their room types, channels and dates independently of each other, the approach would seem to hold promise.References:To read The 2016 Smart Decison Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, please click here.To read The 2015 Smart Decison Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, please click here.
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eBooks: Hospitality Revenue Management and Hotel Property Management Systems

Starfleet Research ·25 January 2016
"Hospitality Revenue Management is fueled by the rapid growth of big data processing, advanced analytics, demand forecasting and pricing optimization models and next-generation technology platforms."To read The 2016 Smart Decison Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management, please click here."Ideally, a next-generation Property Management System should enable hoteliers to centrally manage, track, measure, analyze and optimize the constant flow of information across all parts of the organization in real-time."To read The 2015 Smart Decison Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, please click here.Smart Decision Guides: Unbiased, comprehensive and insightfulSmart Decision Guides from Starfleet Research are the #1 resource for educating industry practitioners in selected niche markets. Our reports have been downloaded by decision makers at more than 35,000 companies around the world over the past 12 months. These Smart Decision Guides were independently produced, without editorial involvement from the company underwriters. Our approach to content production provides for unbiased, fact-based information. To learn more, please visit www.starfleetresearch.com.
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Time to Upgrade Your Revenue Management Capabilities? New Guide Offers a Roadmap for Success

Starfleet Research ·31 December 2015
Starfleet Research, the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, today announced the release of The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management. The guide is completely revised and updated from the 2015 edition, which was accessed not only by revenue management executives at hundreds of leading hotels, resorts and other lodging properties around the world but also by other hospitality executives planning to upgrade their revenue management capabilities.As with the previous edition, The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management provides a detailed roadmap for achieving increased hotel occupancy, revenue and profitability by leveraging next-generation revenue management technologies and capabilities.The key takeaways include insights for understanding how the practice of revenue management is evolving with recent technology innovations. The guide provides frameworks for evaluating and selecting the right solution and/or services in the context of a hotel or resort's specific needs. It also offers practical advice, including perspectives from hotel executives, for putting the right organizational resources, business processes and performance metrics in place to help drive continuous performance improvement.The research is based on data collected from 137 qualified survey respondents across different geographies, different types of lodging properties and different levels of the organization. The content was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. The underwriters of the new Smart Decision Guide include Duetto, IDeaS (a SAS company), Infor and Rainmaker, all of which also participated as underwriters of the previous edition.The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management is now available for complimentary download. It can be accessed here.Starfleet Research recently released several custom eBooks on hotel technologies as well as other Smart Decision Guides that are also focused on hospitality industry topics. These include:The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, which can be accessed here.The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant POS Systems, which can be accessed here.The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Retail Management and POS Systems, which can be accessed here.About Smart Decision GuidesSmart Decision Guides serve as definitive resources and required reading for decision makers researching selected niche markets with the intention of making a purchase decision. The content is independently produced, without editorial involvement from company underwriters, providing for unbiased, fact-based information and buying recommendations. To access Smart Decision Guides and other valuable resources from Starfleet Research, please visit www.starfleetresearch.com.Media Contact: Alisha Levin Starfleet Media alisha.levin@starfleetmedia.com
Article by Jeff Zabin

2016: The Year to Upgrade Your Restaurant (and/or Retail) POS Systems?

Starfleet Research ·31 December 2015
and, ultimately, to reduce costs and increase revenues.The most obvious change in POS systems is the proliferation of tablets. New data security requirements along with a number of advances in features and functionality are also certainly factoring into the equation. These range from more robust data analysis and reporting capabilities to expanded payment processing options to handle the proliferation of chip-and-pin cards and e-wallet apps.Other key drivers include everything from CRM, marketing and customer loyalty program features to built-in inventory control and labor management capabilities. In short, there is no lack of compelling reasons for hoteliers to consider upgrading the technologies in use in their restaurant and retail operations.Of course, when it comes to any technology investment hoteliers generally have two primary objectives. The first is to streamline business operations with the goal of increasing employee productivity and overall efficiency, resulting in greater cost savings. The second objective is to improve the guest experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, brand advocacy (e.g., positive word-of-mouth, including favorable guest reviews on TripAdvisor and other social media review sites) - and, ultimately, increased growth and revenues.Can next-generation POS systems really help hoteliers achieve both these objectives with respect to their restaurant, bar and retail operations? The answer is a resounding "yes."Consider the efficiencies that are to be gained in table service restaurants when servers can place orders directly from a tablet to the kitchen printer or display monitor rather than from a stationary terminal that may be more than a few steps away and also bottlenecked by servers. Rather than waiting their turn to punch orders into a terminal, servers can spend that time interacting with guests and attending to other duties that would likely enhance the guest experience.Faster order placement and pay-at-table processing -- as well as more payment options -- can remove some of the most common barriers to guest satisfaction. This may be especially relevant in a poolside or beachfront setting where service expediency generally matters more than in a fine dining atmosphere. No hotel guest wants to wait longer than necessary for their strawberry daiquiri and French fries to arrive at their poolside table or for their bill to be processed so that they (and their family) can hurry back to their guest room or on to the next vacation activity.Importantly, pay-at-table capabilities can also enable a restaurant to turn tables considerably faster than before. And that can make a big difference in the amount of money coming through the door during the busiest times of the day.The business case for next-generation POS systems is easy to make, given the myriad of benefits. In most cases, return on investment can be measured in terms of cost reduction, which is largely a function of increased staff productivity, and greater profitability, which is largely a function of improved guest satisfaction and volume. Is 2016 the year to upgrade your hotel or resort's restaurant (and/or retail) POS capabilities?Note: This article is adapted from The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant POS Systems as well as The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Retail Management and POS Systems. Both guides are currently available from Starfleet Research for complimentary access.
Article by Jeff Zabin

Next-Generation Hotel Management Systems: Automation and the Cloud

Starfleet Research ·29 December 2015
in other words, the degree to which the PMS can automate different core functions and processes.For example: Can it automate the process of managing reservations and rates, checking guests in and out of the property, assigning rooms and managing room inventory, servicing guest requests and handling accounting and billing requirements? Can it automate housekeeping services, room service delivery and maintenance management? Can it automate routine tasks like deposits, cancellations, confirmations, wait listing and room blocking?Some prospective buyers may want to know about revenue management features -- whether the PMS can automate yield management processes, including setting and controlling room rates based on availability and anticipated demand.Most hoteliers will expect front desk features to include guest messages and wake-up call modules and back office functionality to include the ability to manage revenue transfers along with a host of analytic reporting tools. Most hoteliers will be interested in financial features related to cashiering (managing deposits, settlements, adjustments, etc.), accounts receivable (direct billing, invoicing, etc.), and night auditing procedures. Increasingly, hoteliers may expect the PMS to include features related to customer relationship management and sales and marketing (e.g., social media integration and loyalty and rewards systems).Traditionally, large, full-service hotels used locally-installed PMS. These systems require on-premise terminal and data servers as well as backup systems and in-house IT expertise. For some buyers, on-premise installation may have certain benefits compared to cloud-based deployment, including reduced concerns (whether justified or not) about data security. Some people maintain that these systems can provide more robust functionality when dealing with massive volumes of data.The main downside of on-premise installation lies in the fact that the lodging property is responsible for installing and maintaining the hardware and providing data security. While this may be of little concern to major brands with extensive resources and large IT operating budgets, it is certainly a consideration for mid-tier and smaller hotels. Cloud-based systems typically employ pay-per-use subscription models, which means that the cost can be treated as an operational expense rather than a capital expense. This is important if long-term technology commitment is a concern.As with most enterprise technology solutions, most systems are moving to the cloud, and even larger brands are benefiting from the global scale, the distributed access to interfaces and information, and the cost benefits that cloud deployment can provide, especially in support of growth in emerging markets. Importantly, cloud-based systems provide a common platform that is generally easy to implement and to which owners and franchisees can readily comply. Additional benefits include reduced stress on hotel technology infrastructures, and, in some cases, more seamless integration with other applications and modules.To download a complimentary copy of The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, please click here.
Article by Jeff Zabin

Hotel PMS: How to Measure ROI

Starfleet Research ·21 December 2015
for example, by increasing bookings via web booking engine integration, increasing occupancy rates through real-time inventory updates, and increasing average daily rates through integrated revenue management and advanced forecasting tools?Another key factor to consider pertains to reduction in losses, including losses related to errors in manual updates and mistakes in POS consolidations (guest purchases made across other parts of the property), as well as lower integration costs with third-party hardware and software.Finally, it's important to keep in mind that enhancing the quality of the overall guest experience through the deployment of a next-generation PMS should lead to a greater number of repeat guest stays as well as a higher volume and intensity of positive brand advocacy, including favorable guest reviews on TripAdvisor and other popular customer feedback sites. The correlation between favorable guest reviews and positive economic outcomes is obvious.Next-generation Property Management Systems tend to be significantly less expensive and require less up-front investment on the whole than their predecessors. There are many reasons for the shift to increased affordability, including the fact that installation is generally less complex and hardware is generally less expensive compared to, say, a decade ago.With some systems, the data is stored in the cloud, reducing (or even eliminating) the need for on-premise servers. Incidentally, most cloud-based systems also use a subscription "pay as you go" model, which generally means no long-term contracts and no upfront capital investment for the software. This may be an important consideration, especially for small hotels, motels and inns operating with a limited budget.In all cases, it is important to confirm which software features and modules, including future upgrades -- as well as which hardware components, if any -- are included in the base (recurring) price that is quoted so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.To download a complimentary copy of The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, please click here.
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eBook: The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems

Starfleet Research ·14 December 2015
This comprehensive and unbiased eBook features research findings, analyst insights and expert recommendations for deploying a next-generation PMS to streamline operations, improve guest satisfaction and maximize RevPar. What key concepts should decision makers keep in mind as they look to upgrade the technology capabilities at their hotels, resorts, casinos and/or other lodging properties? What buying considerations should influence the purchase decision? How can they maximize the value of the investment to drive continuous performance improvement? The 2015 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems addresses these and many other questions.To download the eBook, please click here.

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