If I were to ask an independent hotelier if they wanted a “Hotel In A Box™” property management system for their property, they may have no idea what I’m talking about. At first glance, any promise of a simplified, end-to-end solution may bear the trappings of a platform that over-promises and under-delivers or, perhaps, a costly solution that only big-budget chains can afford.

Independent properties often rely on legacy platforms lacking scalability and integrations, while large hotel brands adopt enterprise-level software. This is one of the biggest competitive advantages enjoyed by large hospitality companies. Independent hotels may be able to compete on guest service or amenities, but they don’t have the bandwidth to invest in expensive technology solutions to streamline and scale operations.

That is until Above Property® Services (APS) introduced Hotel In A Box™, a game-changing system that enables independent operators to run everything with one platform. This is something that used to be out of reach for smaller properties and only made available to large enterprises/big chains.

The Modern Tech Stack

When it comes to hotel technology, we've noticed several emerging trends, including bundling and the creation of tech stacks. Bundling can be defined as combining two or more products or services together to create differentiation and value; think WiFi, cable, and cell phone plan bundles. Tech stacks, on the other hand, are composed of smaller, disparate systems that each offer a different function or benefit and make up the collective whole of a hotel’s digital ecosystem. A tech stack could be made up of a plethora of solutions such as PMS, RMS, CRM, POS, booking engine, back office, sales and catering, loyalty, and more – all provided by various vendors.

Compared with the past's monolithic legacy platforms, modern tech stacks boast a great deal of promise. However, there is a caveat to consider; too many tools from too many vendors can result in an influx of data silos, workflow inefficiencies, security risks, ‘pointing the finger ‘ support, and cognitive strain amongst staff. As the saying goes, more isn’t always better, and independent hotels often find themselves caught in the operational purgatory between a system that doesn't do enough and a tech stack that is overwrought with too many overlapping applications. And so, the idea of a ‘Hotel In A Box™’ was born, as we set out to build a turn-key solution that is horizontal – and more importantly, infinitely – scalable.

The Microservice Advantage

Anyone looking at the history of hospitality technology would likely discern the same takeaway – for a long time, hospitality platforms failed to reinvent the wheel. In fact, it didn’t seem like anyone was even trying to reinvent it in the first place. The feature lists of key platforms all sounded remarkably similar, and, for the most part, the technology was built upon the same limited infrastructure. Perhaps this could be attributed to the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” sentiment – except we all knew it was broken. The hospitality industry’s stagnant technological landscape was the elephant taking up residence in nearly every guest room and lobby.

Fortunately, microservices flipped the traditional hospitality technology model on its head at a time when the industry was in desperate need of innovative disruption. While monolithic platforms are developed and deployed as a single unit, microservices are a single application composed of small services – much like an iPhone is powered by various, seamlessly integrated applications. Each loosely coupled service acts as a digital building block that runs as a separate process but can facilitate data exchange through open APIs. It is precisely these building blocks, complete with their independent, plug-and-play functionality, that allow for the creation of a Hotel In A Box™ – an all-in-one solution for independent hotels without the EAS price tag.

With an emphasis on flexibility and scalability, this all-encompassing solution offers hotels an Internet Booking Engine, GDS connectivity, Channel Management, Inline Revenue Management, and Property Management. It is as powerful as it is simple and as impactful for the guest experience as it is for the staff experience. With Hotel In A Box™, independent hotels can benefit from technology that was imagined, built, and organized around the unique needs of the hospitality industry and offers improved productivity, speed, functionality, automation, security, integration, and more. Not only that, but the flexible infrastructure ensures that the platform can seamlessly integrate with other platforms delivered from outside vendors. More importantly, the Hotel In A Box™ solution adapts to the needs of the hotel rather than requiring the hotel to adapt to it. Perhaps, we have finally found the technological sweet spot between enterprise solutions and tech stacks. The benefits of centralized enterprise end-to-end functionality, paired with the customization of tech stacks - but enhanced by unparalleled interoperability and affordability.

Finally, independent hotels have access to the digital advantages and operational efficiencies that were once out of reach. Breaking down the competitive barriers that kept independent hotels out of the arena of larger chains allows us to establish a new era of hospitality, where operational excellence and service quality are prioritized and maintained in equal measure.

So, what in the world is a Hotel In A Box™? Well, if you ask me, it’s the future of hospitality.

About Above Property Services (APS™)

Above Property® 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. Above Property Services (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.

Steve Lapekas
Above Property Services (APS)