Industry Update
Opinion Article13 August 2021

Replacing Hospitality Software – How To Get out of a Sticky Situation

By Michael Schubach, Vice President of Product Management for Infor Hospitality

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Stability is important. Hotels, casinos, and resorts have guests they need to serve right now, today. Hospitality software solutions in place help them do that by taking care of the basics: reservations, check-ins, folios and check-outs, along with a staggering variety of in-house services and their associated charges. Essential software like hotel PMS is pretty “sticky” that way; it’s easier to stick to what you’ve got than it is to change. Why fix what isn’t broken?

Here’s the thing. Five years from now – perhaps sooner – the way guests engage with hospitality providers will likely look very different. Innovative solutions and platforms will be necessary to scale to that new paradigm, whatever it may be. So how do hospitality organizations know when it’s time to start planning for that? How do decision-makers know when it’s time to get unstuck? Here are 3 considerations to help answer that question.

1. Start with business needs, not new software features

With all the new products and features you read about in the industry publications, it can be easy to confuse shiny objects with important trends. One way to discern the difference is to decide what your goals are as a business.

What observable, measurable business problems are you trying to solve right now? Which challenges are you likely to face in the future, and when? Deciding where you are and where you want to be will give you a solid rationale for how much you need to change and how soon you need to do it.

2. Consider what’s best for guests

What factors make your offering attractive to guests? Where are you winning when it comes to things like online reviews, repeat visits, and increased guest lifetime value? Where are you not winning? How might new hospitality software measurably improve how well you serve guests?

Understanding the relationship between your software systems and the guest journey helps you envision your future need. Considering guest-centric factors like easy check-ins, self-managed ordering and upgrades, mobile-friendliness, and other elements will help you enhance your organization’s capacity to grow and meet continually evolving consumer expectations.

3. Maintain continuous communication with your technology partners

Your relationship with your technology partners should be another factor to help you decide on what to keep and what to replace. Technology partners can often be as “sticky” as the products they support. Like judging those products, considering the sticky situation of an established vendor relationship involves examining how well you and your partners are aligned with your goals.

What steps are your partners taking to develop and match product features to the business objectives you’ve outlined? Are they responsive to your suggestions and questions? These are important issues to consider, since your future business successes may rely heavily on your relationship with partners who can either enhance or hinder your efforts.

Don’t let technology lead. YOU do that

Here’s an important distinction; a hospitality software upgrade or replacement should not be a strategy. It should be a considered tactic that’s matched with the business objectives you have proactively identified. Your way forward is best when it’s led by you and other decision-makers in your organization, and not by third-party offerings and timelines.

Getting unstuck isn’t necessarily about technology. It’s about actively challenging your status quo. That process should involve honest discussions with partners and colleagues around how you will continue to competitively serve guests in a changing industry landscape. From there, you’ll be able to map out and act upon a dynamic plan to greet the future… whether that means a new system or not.

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Michael Schubach

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    About Infor

    Infor is a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry. Providing mission-critical enterprise applications to 65,000 customers in more than 175 countries, Infor software is designed to deliver more value and less risk, with more sustainable operational advantages. We empower our 17,000 employees to leverage their deep industry expertise and use data-driven insights to create, learn and adapt quickly to solve emerging business and industry challenges. Infor is committed to providing our customers with modern tools to transform their business and accelerate their own path to innovation. To learn more, please visit www.infor.com.

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