Hotel Management is simplified today thanks to cloud Property Management Software (PMS). Not only does it work as an end-to-end solution for hotel management, but also helps hotel brands provide seamless customer experience. Exemplified as a value creator for a flawless customer journey, PMS market is valued at US$ 145.5 billion in 2021 as per Finance Online (Link to article 1). This is expected to grow to US$ 172 billion by 2022, as per Statista.
Creating customer value is the core objective of a PMS. Moreover, PMS provides data management on the go, delivering features such as accessibility to information virtually, monitor activities in properties, monitor teams, gain access to vital information to make decisions, and as well as real-time access to files and login credentials to make all tasks to be completed on a timely manner.
Cloud vs on-premise PMS for hotels: Which is preferable?
The key difference between loud PMS and an on-premise PMS is that cloud PMS is a virtual solution as opposed to the traditional on-premise PMS, which is an offline solution catered to the needs of individual hotels. Could-based PMS is accessible through omnichannel devices, whereas on-premise PMS require the physical presence of the user. With the switch to hybrid work culture and the development of virtual business models, cloud PMS offers the opportunity for users to best manage its hotel operations and property management needs from a virtual perspective, optimising operations to best fit today’s business needs.
In an on-premise PMS, the responsibility of the maintenance of hardware and security lies solely with the property, whereas, in a cloud-based solution, data is housed in a vendor’s data centre secured with user login. Access to logins can be managed and controlled as to what information can be accessed by each log in pertaining to various divisions, allowing a high level of data security. Data breaches are minimised through cloud PMS solutions offering the ability to a hotel management to safeguard the privacy rights of its customers.
Importance of cloud PMS software
Moreover, PMS software relates in the creation of guest satisfaction through a number of areas of concern such as the ability to keep records of guest needs and guest information, envisage a positive guest experience and also provide smooth operational excellence in hotel management, providing the opportunity for hotels to make major cost savings.
Any software or technology is geared towards achieving high customer satisfaction and user experience. Through PMS, automation of processes, customisability of software and ease of navigation can facilitate users with convenience. This allows the development of positive user perception and attitude towards the hotel brand.
Why cloud is better than on-premise PMS software
From the perspective of required investment for on-premise and cloud-based system, an on-premise system is more costly than a cloud-based system. An on-premise system requires a software license, cost of maintenance, hardware and software requirements which add to its cost structure. On the contrary, cloud-based solutions has the ability to offer pricing based on subscription model, offering the option of pay-per-use, making it a more viable option for independent property management.
The second contrast between on-premise and cloud-based system is its integration, a vital element of a system. For on-premise systems, integration requires to be made through an external system that makes use of manual technical functions and extensive use of hardware. This requires a number of integrations such as accounting software, point-of-sale, and use of in-room entertainment.
On the contrary, in cloud-based model, the integration phase is seamless with external systems that are minimising the need for hardware and can automate processes ensuring high level of efficiency. Such integrations make it possible for property management to be linked with Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and open application program interfaces. In addition, cloud-based systems are also accessible on the go, allowing high mobility, revolutionising property management systems.
Therefore, cloud-based systems make property management more meaningful and humane in hospitality management than focusing solely on technology.
Provide better and constantly updated security features
Data security and privacy can be categorised as an important element of any system in concern for hotel management. In comparison, when making use of a cloud-based system, the vendor offers data security measures which is not the case for an on-premise system. Rather, with the latter, the data security is the sole responsibility of the property. In a cloud-based system, data backups are also automated, whereas in an on-premise system the property has to ensure numerous safety measures are required for data security.
Having a collective security point provides a better atmosphere for cloud-based systems to be more effective and safer to use over on-premise systems that require extensive manual operations and more manpower to control and monitor the systems. For instance, cloud-based systems are secure to make use of private networks, restrains access to server rooms and offers a flexibility to use data back-up servers, computers, drives and power generators. Moreover, while many may believe the myth that property management systems require to physical presence at the property, this myth is challenged extensively by cloud technology, which is proven to be more efficient, reliable, and safe to use than an on-premise system.
Fewer costs due to not needing a development team
Switching to a cloud-based system can provide greater reliability for property management, offering a high service capacity and value to its customers with uninterrupted services even during a power outage. This also protects the hotel from possible security breach, loss of data and increases the sales revenue as a result. The most important element is that it dismantles the myth of “high cost”, as cloud-based systems can be purchased within a budget and be scaled and managed efficiently than using an on-premise system.
All-in-one solution and upgrades
PMS offers automated workflows, contactless operations, user-friendly interfaces, customisable and attractive dashboards, centralised operations, integrations with other software solutions, reporting and statistical records and as well as 24/7 support mechanism that allows it to be utilised based on the concept of “software-as-a-service. PMS also provides constant and timely system upgrades that takes place and enhances the scalability of the software to grow with the needs and wants of the hotel.
New guest experience trends
In terms of guest treatment, it is essential to provide them with a flawless experience. A flawless experience can add to the total customer journey with the brand, which is an essential element in developing brand reputation, identity, and image.
Hotel management or property management can be a tiresome job with a number of aspects to monitor and control, requiring multiple individuals and teams to be recruited to complete various tasks. Regardless, most hoteliers may not know until a problem surfaces, that a cloud-based PMS is required. Thereby, a cloud PMS will simplify processes as it connects several departments within a property, which makes the jobs of employees and tasks allocations easier. This will enhance the total guest experience, offering a variety of top-quality services with individuals with the right skills allocated to perform each task (Link to article 2).
Dedicated support team
Cloud-based PMS also comes with a dedicated team to look after various needs of its users. These teams are responsible to look after the PMS and make constant updates and amendments as and when required, offering a seamless service to its users.
Moreover, the support team is geared to make use of data and produce various reports, analysis, and comparisons to understand various performance aspects of the system. This makes decision-making of users more accurate.
Data management which helps decision-making
Cloud-based PMS is enriched with abundant sources of data that can be utilised to make effective decisions backed by evidence. For example, a cloud-based PMS has the ability to schedule maintenance work in a timely manner so that the negative impact can be minimised when machinery is maintained as required. Similarly, sales managers will not face overbooking of events and the front office will not be held responsible for issues within banquet sales.
Scalability is another most important feature of a system, where it is essential for the PMS to grow with the organisation, so that it can also change and grow based on the information system needs and wants. This includes the addition of new features, enhanced functionality and as well as the ability to grow as a system.
This can be monitored through number of software updates a cloud-based PMS would have per month. If the system is not updated frequently, it is more likely that the property would outgrow the PMS. Thinking and planning ahead is a trait of a successful entrepreneur, thereby, it is essential to install a PMS that has the ability to grow and cater to the growing needs of the property.
Operations downtime reduced
As discussed earlier, when comparing cloud-based systems to traditional on-premise systems, it is clear that an on-premise system would have more down time as it is solely controlled by the property, an uninterrupted power supply is essential to keep the servers operating and the risks are higher. Unlike cloud-based PMS that has been tested and used by other hotel brands and users, an on-premise system would have more complications, issues and bugs that may occur for the first time. These makes downtimes unpredictable.
As a result, the downtime is more for on-premise PMS in comparison to cloud-based systems. The maintenance of cloud-based systems is in sole responsibility of the service provider. This provides high reassurance of the quality of the systems and minimises downtime to a greater extent (Link to article 4).
How to choose the right PMS solutions provider for you?
Selecting the most suitable service provider to purchase a PMS can be dependent on a number of factors.
Firstly, it is essential to set up goals and objectives as to what is expected of the PMS to achieve. Based on the functionality of the property these objectives can be set. It is also essential to do some ground research to understand the current software available in the market and set objectives based on features of each system on offer. Thereby, an efficient PMS system follows a number of functionalities including easy-to-set-up platform that is also adaptable towards the requirements of the property management.
Similarly, it should also consist of a centralised system, allowing user integration across departments, services, management of rates and as well as connecting all members of the supply chain.
Remote accessibility is another key feature of a PMS alongside with contactless check-in and check-out capabilities for customers and reduced waiting time at the lobby. In addition, housekeeping, front office management and maintenance activities can be optimised as key objectives of a PMS.
Things to look for in a good cloud solutions provider
When selecting a cloud-based PMS, it is also essential to seek for a user-friendly interface, with easy navigation and high user convenience. Implementing a new PMS would mean that it is a change for an organisation. Purchasing a software that has high ease-of-use helps reduce employee resistances. This can help cut back on cost of training and costs of amending errors when practicing the new software at workplace.
In addition, it is also important to opt for a support service that is 24/7. Property management cannot be limited to a 9 to 5 job; it is continuous and can take place any time of the day. A PMS service provider has a dedicated support team to cater to recurring needs of a hotel’s PMS, thereby, service provider with 24/7 support will be able to solve any discrepancies within the system (Link to article 4).
Contact IDS Next for innovative solutions and free consultation
IDS Next provides total solutions for cloud-based PMS and is an all-round service provider for all your hotel need, offering exclusive software solutions to make your property management processes smooth, efficient, and effective. IDS Next solutions are capable in creating revenues, managing firm reputation, optimising front-desk activities, handling bookings, managing supply chain as well as allows for timely printing of reports, including various other integrated solutions to contribute to an innovative all in one solution.