Is It Finally Possible to Change From Legacy Hotel Systems Seamlessly In Hours Not Months? — Photo by Above Property Services (APS)

Let’s consider a familiar scenario; after mulling it over for weeks, even months, you’ve finally decided to upgrade your iPhone to the latest model that has only recently graced the shelves. The upgraded camera quality seems too good to resist, and, admittedly, your phone hasn’t been working as well as it once did. On the contrary, the latest model seems to have all the bells and whistles; new colors, upgraded design, a “lightning-fast” chip, more storage options, and better battery – how could you resist?

As you make your way into the Apple store to finalize your purchase, a cheerful employee at the Genius Bar is quick to swoop in. Within minutes, your new device is placed on the counter before you, and the employee asks if you would like him to transfer everything from your old device to the new one. “It will just take a few minutes, and then we’ll get you on your way,” he assures you with a cool, confident smile. Just like that, your new device has been set up and loaded with the content and preferences from your previous phone, and, like the employee said, you’re already flicking through the new features and testing out the camera on your way home. Sounds pretty seamless, right?

Unfortunately, while this is the standard experience offered to consumers upgrading their beloved iPhone or computer, this is rarely the experience awarded to hoteliers in the midst of a platform upgrade. If upgrading your iPhone and transferring the contents from your old phone to the new device feels like a routine check-up, upgrading legacy technology to a new and improved platform often feels like open heart surgery. This is, perhaps, one of the foremost challenges hoteliers face as they seek to navigate an industry often chastised for its perceived resistance to digital innovation and trends.

Hospitality, at first glance, may simply seem slow to technological adoption and needlessly attached to legacy technology, but, often, it’s less about a hotels’ loyalty to platforms of the past and more about their justified apprehension to platform overhaul. Data migration from one platform to another has, historically, been a tricky and unnecessarily complicated process, which has left hoteliers feeling increasingly hesitant to upgrade their core systems, like their PMS, even when the demand for that upgrade is undeniable. Simply put, hoteliers want a routine check-up – not open heart surgery.

The Ins and Outs of Data Migration

Let’s begin with the basics – data migration is defined as the transfer of a system’s existing historical data to a new location (storage, system, or file format). While this may seem like a copy-and-paste job, it involves exceptional attention to detail, strategy, custom workflows, quality testing, back-ups, and pre-production efforts.

Usually, hoteliers decide to migrate to a new platform when they realize their current platform infrastructure can no longer scale and grow alongside the needs of their property. Whether it is due to legacy software limitations and costly upgrade/maintenance fees, the need for platform expansion, or the shift to a more centralized and cloud-based database, hoteliers frequently find themselves contemplating the adoption of new technology that will require careful migration of data.

But, as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. While the promise of increased functionality and scalability offered by new-age platforms boasts palpable rewards and benefit, the handling of that migration is best handled by a vendor that excels specifically in this process. Why? Well, according to recent Gartner data, about 50% of all data migration projects will either exceed predetermined budgets or harm the overall business due to flawed strategy or execution. Not only is it open heart surgery – but it’s open heart surgery with a 50% chance of complication and, often, a costly price tag rife with unexpected fees. Understandably, hoteliers don’t like these odds, and neither should hospitality tech vendors.

Streamlining a Historically Complicated Process

Hospitality is, at its core, a consumer-centric industry. The success of a hotel can be attributed mainly to the degree and frequency it meets and exceeds guest expectations. Often, the ‘secret sauce’ of exemplary service is personalization and convenience, both of which can only be achieved at scale via the meaningful collection and interpretation of data. As such, data is one of the primary assets of any hotel, and how it is handled can – in many ways – make or break a hotels’ success.

Fortunately, data is at the heart of what we do, and the seamless migration of legacy systems is one of APS's key strengths. With a simple but lofty goal to transform hotel operations via a unique and infinitely scalable microservices infrastructure, we knew we had to proactively address and mitigate any potential barriers to the adoption of our technology. With this in mind, we built out a foolproof process that handles the migration of data from legacy systems to APS in 5 key stages:

1. Strategy: Initial research is conducted, which allows us to formulate a comprehensive migration strategy in collaboration with the client

2. Architecture: To ensure success, the migration and adoption of APS are planned in detail, as are the current and target state architecture and operating models

3. Integrations: Once the architecture is developed, we design custom workflows and integrations, which are implemented using our Universal Message Translator (UMT)

4. Development: Next, we ingest legacy data using the APS Rosetta appliance. This begins the data migration process according to strict data quality rules

5. Pre-Production/Launch: Finally, we perform extensive UAT testing and automated data migration validation before launch. During this stage, individual modules can be launched independently of each other with a measured pace. Moreover, we perform the migration in phases to reduce the overall risk

This approach to migration, which we like to call our “little black box” solution – enables our team to take data residing within one of the world’s largest property management systems and effectively transfer it over to the APS solution in mere hours rather than days.

Finally, migrating to a new platform can truly be as quick, secure, and seamless as upgrading your iPhone with limited risk, little to no downtime, easy adoption, and absolute client satisfaction. Let’s face it, the complicated nature of data migration has plagued our industry’s technological evolution for far too long, and we have finally cracked the code.

About Above Property Services (APS™)

Above Property Services (APS™) is leading the charge to deliver innovative, scalable, and services-oriented platforms for the global travel industry and other related verticals. We think differently, and we are constantly innovating. APS offers the only platform that can evolve seamlessly in response to industry demands, with credit to a microservices architecture that empowers continuous development and refinement.

Built from the ground up, the APS ecosystem empowers continuous development and refinement of your critical business processes via a unique microservice architecture. Designed for performance, flexibility, security, and stability, the future-proof framework is up and running quickly, delivering a scalable, cost-effective solution that can work with or replace your existing tools and investments. APS is a platform that adapts to you – not the other way around.

Powering both large and small companies, we understand the industry's challenges in the past, and we have developed a platform that is suited for the future.

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Aaron Shepherd
Above Property Services (APS)

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