Why is integration capability important?
An establishment’s hotel management system (PMS) lies at the heart of its operations. While it’s true that a PMS covers most of the trades found in a hotel on its own, it isn’t an island onto itself. Sometimes, it needs to integrate with specialized partners to meet the hotelier’s needs.
For instance, take the case of the booking engine, an online sales tool that can be a real challenge for hoteliers. Many engines offer tempting PMS/booking engine conciliation deals. However, online sales is a distinct profession. Often, hotel management system developers don’t have the expertise in this field. A booking engine may seem simple, but a host of special features lie below the surface, including overall efficiency, ease of navigation, response time and OTA connection time.
When choosing a PMS software, make sure the package offered includes a powerful booking engine that’s designed by a company specialized in online sales. Here, of course, we’ve only considered the importance of connecting a hotel management system to specialized booking engines, but the same applies to all PMS add-on systems.
Which systems should your PMS integrate with?
A nearly infinite number of systems can integrate with your hotel management system. The ones you pick must truly meet your hotel’s needs. Some hoteliers have a short list of integration requirements. Others have a long one because many hotel industry aspects may require PMS integration, including key systems, payments and room entertainment systems.
Among the most recent are customer relationship management (CRM) systems that let hoteliers build a precise profile of each guest and find them on social media so that offers tailored to their profile can be marketed to them.
Many CRMs provide sales teams with a tool dedicated to their activity, while also retrieving the information in the hotel management system. PMS/CRM integration can also be leveraged by marketing teams, who can mine the customer data collected by the PMS from their e-marketing platform for targeted marketing purposes. For marketing ends, the hotel management system can also integrate with platforms that manage the hotel’s online reputation.
You can also link a PMS software to innovative autonomous terminals dedicated to electronic check-in check-out. These terminals collect all the information the hotel management system requires to function. The same holds true for online check-in check-out. No matter what type of software you want to integrate with your PMS, it’s nice to have the luxury to choose which vendor you want for specific features.
Integration takes you where you want to go!
The first hotel with a robot dedicated to room service opened in Canada. The robot allows customers to order food and drinks directly from their room. The robot moves around the hotel on its own and requires a great deal of information to do its job properly. It needs to know the guest’s room number, what they ordered and their name to offer personalized service.
Even though the operation isn’t a simple one, thanks to PMS integration and the integration potential of other software applications, the information the robot needs can be accessed. First, the guest in the room must be identified based on the entertainment system they used to order. This data returns to the hotel management system so that the guest’s order can be sent to the restaurant, for instance. Next, the restaurant will prepare the order and bill it to the room using the PMS software. Then, only after retrieving the guest’s order and information, can the robot deliver the order to the room. Several systems must connect to the hotel management system to enable the exchange of information required for the robot to do its work.
When the time comes for you to choose a hotel management system, be sure it offers the requisite connectivity. Otherwise, you might not be able to connect an external system you like to your PMS software. Some PMS providers have agreements with external system providers, so you can select and add them to your hotel management system. Before switching to a new PMS software, remember to check whether its connectivity is adequate for your needs.