The Death of Yesterday’s PMS: Embracing the New Normal
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The PMS' role as the center of a hotel's technology ecosystem is coming to an end. Crucial guest data sits locked up in today's disconnected data silos, making it very difficult for hotels/brands to optimize and bank in on the 'digital guest journey'. True? If so, how could a future application/data infrastructure or migration path look like? What's your take?
If by inference we accept that "yesterdays" PMS is a limited capability tool designed primarily to take reservations, check guests in and out, provide some reporting and interface to a few in-room systems and perhaps an OTA or two, I would support the notion that yesterday's PMS is ineffective in meeting the data demands of today's sophisticated hotelier and the modern hospitality guest. However, as President of a PMS company focused on ensuring our PMS offering plays the role of a central data hub for our hotel and resort clients, I do not see this in our client environments nor in our road-map of product development.
Although it is reasonable to say that the average hotel has data disconnected in silos, this is an operational and visionary challenge, not a technical or product one. A key tenet at Maestro is that "we play well with others"; we recognize that robust data is collected not only in the PMS, but from complementary systems, and we employ specific initiatives to collect that data in the PMS data repository and provide advanced BI tools to leverage that data. Those hoteliers who understand the value of centralizing data in the PMS can leverage the capabilities of advanced PMS systems to bring all that relevant data together in one consolidated database, allowing for a consolidated view for email, loyalty, marketing, and guest specific targeting.
In fact, so many of our efforts center around enhancing personalization and the guest experience, that we are doing specific work to bring even more data into the PMS, from tracking purchase patterns and detailed history to providing guests the ability to select detailed guest preferences. I can speak to Maestro as an integrated solution that not only provides it's own single guest database for rooms, spa, activities, guest preferences, loyalty, purchases details, etc., but also integrates with third parties to bring all relevant guest data into the PMS guest profile, Maestro is uniquely suited as a PMS with a central repository for exceptional guest data mining and the foundation to feed a rich personalized guest journey. An advanced BI tool integrated with the PMS can easily allow hoteliers to exploit guest data collected from multiple guest touch-points whether that data originates online or on property. Coupled with integrations to third parties that can update guest data in the PMS, whether through API's or other integration avenues, the modern PMS can serve as a central point of truth to deliver the data needed to drive a targeted and personalized guest experience.