World Panel
Viewpoint 3 June 2019

The Death of Yesterday’s PMS: Embracing the New Normal

Information Technology

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The Death of Yesterday’s PMS: Embracing the New Normal
Getting to know the NCR 4200 at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne back in 1956.
This viewpoint was created by
Henri Roelings, Founder & CEO at HospitalityNet
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Mark Fancourt
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH

So we keep hearing and yet a new round of players are building new PMS products and a market is excited about buying them. I'm not sure that suggests the death of yesterday's PMS. Just the next round of the same thing with current technology in the stack. Cloud and API based technology is not exclusive - it's available to anyone. New and incumbent providers. The future holds promise, but there is still some way to go.

The role at the core of the PMS is the repository of pricing and inventory. At a minimum all hotels/motels etc. have room product. The need for the storage and management of that information is not going away. My view is that capability needs to become broader to cater for all product and service inventory. If 'Property' means anything then it is the entire property. A solution that encompasses the breadth of hotel operations is the next 'PMS'. Some call it HMS - Hotel Management System. Semantics, but the same thing.

The industry cannot redevelop customer oriented operational models and job scopes and provide across business visibility of the guest journey with more of the same silo-based technical solutions. That is what is coming to market, with even more additional slivers of capability in each new app or system bolted on to this model from another provider. 

A casual review of new to market products demonstrates the same. The jigsaw puzzle is not going away.

Some argue that because systems are more 'open' and in the cloud, this is operationally a better solution. Technology operations certainly. However, If staff is forced to bounce around multiple applications to deliver product and service then the tools of today are not moving the operation forward any further than yesterdays.

Regardless of where the back end sits, the front end requires a unified operational experience. This is achieved in two ways. A single architecture product OR a skin or additional layer across a siloed line of business applications connected behind the scene with API's.

How does the future look? Modern CRM and ERP platforms will play a much greater role in our industry. CRM - because the guest demands we understand them more deeply across the business and engage. ERP - because as the supply chain becomes more electronically enabled it will be necessary to gain visibility, efficiencies, and speed of process through full automation. The remaining pieces for hotel operations address traditional line of business systems - PMS, POS, Lifestyle, Sales & Event Management and Service optimization migrating upwards and consolidating into a single solution across property or portfolio - a CRS/PMS style solution above and across the enterprise, but for all pricing and inventory. Exposure of the necessary customer facing and mobile capability a given, unlocking the Digital Guest Journey.

Without such organizational capability, the multitude of third parties will own the customer relationship and the journey.

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