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?
Yes, the day where the PMS is the center of the ecosystem is shifting and should have never been but it was the only system that could do a little of everything so by default it turned into the core system. Going forward, let's break this into 3 core areas:
· The PMS needs to play an important operational role in delivering the experience when the guest gets to the property. It needs to be able to consume data from the CRS and CRM system and inform the hotel staff so they can deliver and offer the right services.
· When it comes to inventory management and the merchandising process and whether that's pre-stay or during the stay, this again is not something that should be managed out the PMS but out of the CRS in conjunction with the CRM and RMS.
· Let's talk data… data silos absolutely cannot exist going forward. All customer data needs to end up in a CRM system and all guest facing/touching applications need to be able to consume this data and take actionable insights.
When you think about the road to making this change and putting in place a tech stack that would facilitate your digital needs moving forward, this isn't 20-120 different applications. In recent years we have seen some large companies enter our space that are bringing one unified system (ERP approach) to the industry. Does this mean you may not get absolutely the best PMS or the best POS or CRS, possibly yes, but what you gain far outweighs the cons. You now have one single database versus various databases so your starting point already gives you an advantage.
Is the road to get there painless? Absolutely not. I describe this as not just taking out a heart or a lung but a full organ replacement and can take 2-3 years to make a reality. However, once completed, the ability to make the entire customer journey digital and in the cloud integrated with a powerful CRM, allows you to streamline your operations and serve the guests in ways you haven't imagined.