SHIFT + DEL! Do we need a massive reset?
— 22 experts shared their view
From the days of holidex, Fidelio v6 and Micros 2700 we have for the last 30 years been adding technology upon technology in hospitality. In my last classes with my students (online), one reoccurring question was always, "why is there not one solution that can do everything". Once we discussed this more (language requirements, local fiscal reporting, support, etc…), the students got the complexity of using software and systems to run businesses. But moving forward, future managers are going to want their hospitality software to behave more like WhatsApp, Instagram or Snapchat. Download, install and work. No training or massive configuration to be done. So, where does this leave the hospitality industry? Do we keep on going with our "Lego" approach or do we need to say hold on, that's enough? Let's restart from scratch and what would that look like and how could we conceivably even do that.
WhatsApp and the likes are B2C apps, so to make the comparison fair hotel software should be compared with the likes of Salesforce, Workday or Hubspot, all applications that today are fairly easy to activate, but to maximize their potentials, they suggest/require some training and implementation effort.
As for hotel software...
The reset is already underway. New PMSs are much easier to install, active and require very little training. They have connect guests applications enabling the guest to checkin, obtain a key and buy an upsell, all without the need for training. The integrations of other hotel software, thanks to up to date technology around APIs, market places (StayNTouch, Mews and apaleo for example), connecting new innovations is virtually free and now very easy.
I was involved in the development of Fidelio v6 and lead OPERA Product for many years, then StayNTouch PMS and now ROOMDEX, it's amazing how technology has evolved, also in hospitality. I came to realize it just this week again, when we were trying to connect ROOMDEX to OPERA PMS legacy v5.5, that's tough and expensive to do. What 20 years ago looked like a great design, is now obsolete, and hard to implement and train. Compare this to doing the same integration with for example StayNTouch, once the development was completed, all the hotel needs is a simple approval to connect anything to a new Cloud PMS, mostly at no cost, and very little if any training. The same applies for many of the new core and add on hotel software applications.
So in my opinion, the reset is underway, technology vendors started that some years ago, Hotels just have to continue to embrace and convert to it! (Now is the time).