July 27, 2018
As hoteliers ramp up the urgency around upgrading their nerve center – the PMS – to better meet the challenges of guest expectations, rising labor costs and OTAs, vendors are speeding to market.
Unfortunately, with a large percentage (27 percent) of hoteliers saying they are looking at upgrading their PMS this year, some technology sellers are taking shortcuts when it comes to offering a true cloud solution. We call that cloudwashing.
A recent white paper from Infor and Starfleet research, Built for the Cloud: A Blueprint for Hotel Technology Success, outlines what hoteliers should look for in evaluating a new PMS. It explains that a true, cloud-based system provides the simplest and least risky technology investment for hoteliers – both large and small – needing to bring themselves into a 21st century infrastructure. It also explains what that true cloud system looks like.
First of all, a solution built specifically for the cloud tends to be more cost-effective and requires less up-front investment. Once installed, it is hosted on shared application servers in a public cloud environment. It has the advantage of being more agile, flexible and open to multi-tenancy and helps yield the business results we’re looking for:
- Improving operational efficiency and staff productivity
- Optimizing mobile access for both guests and staff
- Consolidating guest accounts, managing rates and availability across distribution channels
- Integratung with other key systems, such as central reservations and revenue management
However, how do you avoid “cloudwashing”? Put simply, a cloud washed system is one where cloud capabilities are an afterthought or adaptation, built on a system that was originally developed to be deployed on-premise and may not deliver the benefits of the cloud, at all.
In contrast, a web native system poises hoteliers for the future, not just in terms of functionality, but also in ease, speed and frequency of functionality upgrades. It levels the playing field – in terms of advanced capabilities – for even the smallest properties. It also provides less risk of performance issues, automatic upgraded documentation and no in-person trainings.
In the end, making the business case for a true cloud system is easy – and necessary. Our industry has lagged behind others in terms of embracing the smart data produced by such systems. So the decision isn’t if moving to a cloud-based PMS is the right answer, it’s when. The key is making a careful choice.