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?
The original PMSes were the equivalent of an ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning tool. They were monolithic bits of software that tried to do everything and failed in most things. Start from scratch and build outwards from the customer/guest and redesign processes around stays of varying durations (hours to months) and “hire” of assets and spaces. There is no need for a historical process such as check-in, checkout, night audit, key cutting, reconciliation etc.
A guest should be able to complete 100% of the hospitality processes before arriving and should be able to leave without touching the sides if they choose. Focus instead on the concierge, human or virtual, and helping a guest make the most of their experience when on and near the property. Five-star brands should have emphatic people on hand to deliver personal service, in the lobby or the restaurant. Three-star brands should exploit low-cost kiosks and mobile apps to link guests with nearby opportunities. Customer data remains the core asset, but the customer should own it and be able to take it with them and share parts with the travel brands they select.
Brands should vie to deliver loyalty and rewards to the best customers, not expect customers to be loyal to them. No PMS, no problem.