The last couple of years have shown the value and flexibility cloud-based systems can bring as hotels looked for more cost-efficient ways to manage operations through the pandemic.
If you are one of the many thousands of hotels worldwide who have received notification that their legacy PMS is coming to ‘End of Life’ over the coming months – meaning there will be no more investment in technical support or sales and marketing activity – you would be forgiven for putting this straight on to the ‘to do’ pile as something to pick up later in the year. After all, travel is back on, and like many hoteliers, you may be operating with overstretched teams. After the chaos of the last two years, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think there are more pressing issues to deal with.
But while there is never an ideal time to embark on a large tech switchover and implementation, when it comes to your PMS, it is critical not to underestimate the time taken to manage a project of this size and scope. Start planning now and it will pay serious dividends further down the line. This is a huge opportunity for your hotel to upgrade and streamline operations. It is time to stop ‘making do’ and embrace the efficiencies and value a cloud-based system can add to your operation.
What is ‘End of Life’?
The last couple of years have shown the value and flexibility cloud-based systems can bring as hotels looked for more cost-efficient ways to manage operations through the pandemic. As a result, many legacy PMS providers have decided to cease investment in their systems in the near future. But what does this mean in practice? In essence, it means all marketing, selling, and updating of systems will stop – and for existing customers, there will be no further (or very limited) technical support, upgrades, bug fixes or security fixes to products. This will, of course, leave many hoteliers with property-hosted systems with little alternative but to look for a new PMS provider.
It can all seem overwhelming – but we are here to help!
What is the ‘cloud’?
While the pandemic accelerated the growth of cloud-based services in Thailand and adoption grew 50%, historically cloud adoption in hospitality is slower than other industries and resistance to change from legacy on-premise server-based systems is high. However, moving to the cloud can bring far-reaching benefits to your operation both for your team and your guests.
The automation a cloud-based PMS will bring will take pressure off your team and free up their time to focus on servicing guests. Cloud-based systems allow for better business understanding internally with teams having easier, more accessible, and more visual real-time insights into business performance. Systems can be accessed at any time and from any place, allowing for remote working which has proven especially useful over the pandemic. Ongoing maintenance costs are reduced – automatic upgrades mean you always have access to the latest functionality and won’t be let down by server failures, a problem with legacy systems. And for the guest, with processes streamlined and automated, the overall experience is enhanced, meaning happier, more loyal guests.
What are the risks of not changing?
Although hotels can continue with their existing server-based solutions beyond ‘End of Life’, this does not come without risk. The last few years have shown how volatile the market is and in the absence of upgrades and ongoing support, server-based solutions pose immense risks in the event of fiscal or legal changes. No business can afford to be suddenly non-compliant with fiscal regulations or legal regulations. Cloud and hybrid technologies allow hoteliers to react flexibly to fluctuating workloads and regulatory changes, or scale services as needed, thus balancing costs and revenues. The decision not to migrate to cloud solutions could be a costly one.
When should you start looking?
The sooner the better! A new PMS solution is the most crucial technological investment you will make as a hotelier and integral to the smooth running of your hotel. A rushed decision could be a costly mistake impacting both staff efficiencies and the guest experience. And don’t forget – you are one of many hotels who will be affected by this, all looking for a new PMS solution. There are sure to be backlogs, especially when you consider the staff shortages the industry is currently facing. The time to act is now to ensure you have adequate time to compile your requirements, research the market, conduct a comprehensive evaluation of available solutions, negotiate and agree terms and conditions, and implement successfully.
‘Whether you are operating a dated, expensive on-premise system with limited interfacing, or have previously got away with a basic ‘front office’ solution, the time is very much now to look at what is out there,’ says Matthew Emptage, Country Manager, Thailand, Guestline. ’Streamlining and automating hotel operations will not only enable you to find ways to stay ahead of the game in such a competitive market, but allow you to spend less time on your PMS, and more time with your guests.’
How Guestline can help
As the first cloud-based PMS, Guestline’s Rezlynx has benefitted from almost 20 years of product development and customer feedback. Find out more about planning your PMS switchover, why time is of the essence, and how Rezlynx can support your business here
And to find out more about how Guestline’s solutions can support your recovery, come and meet us at the upcoming Food and Hospitality Thailand Exhibition, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Bangkok on 21-24 September. More details here
Matthew Emptage is the country manager for Thailand at Guestline . Matthew was involved in several IT-based roles after graduating from university in 2006 before joining Guestline back in 2012 as a 2nd line support engineer. Over the last 10 years, Matthew has gained extensive experience in Thai hospitality and the Guestline portfolio.