All-in-one or API? Modern PMS offers the best of both worlds
The impact of technology on hospitality has been transformative, but no one tool can do it all. This can be hard to cope with when looking for something as comprehensive as a hotel property management system, but that’s why APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) exist – to help operators meet to their needs by filling the gaps in capabilities offered by an established platform. Just as there are benefits to using an all-in-one platform, there are bonuses to using APIs to provide a more robust user and guest experience. Independent hotels especially need different levels of depth and functionality depending on the composition of their properties.
With technology investments at their highest level in recent memory, it’s good for hoteliers to know their options when it comes to integrations. All-in-one PMS platforms offer several benefits to most hotels and resorts, in part by reducing the overall number of technology vendors that hoteliers must work with. This typically results in better service levels from suppliers and seamless integration of the operation across all relevant departments. Fewer cooks in the kitchen often allows everyone to see the meal better.
However, the property’s needs sometimes go beyond the typical scope of a PMS vendor’s capabilities. This is a challenge often faced by specialty hotels, boutique properties and independents who commit to offering bespoke experiences or stay packages. These properties benefit from the support of select APIs to integrate multiple vendor solutions to help them stand out and succeed in their market. If so, there are a few things hoteliers should keep in mind.
less is more
The term “API” generally refers to software that is distinctly designed to support other pre-existing software, almost like the formation of a contract between the two. Sometimes it can be a simple plug-in, such as adding Wi-Fi or mini bar billing for simple billing. In other cases, the APIs can be incredibly complex (for example, for sales and catering or GDS/OTA integrations and their ilk). In these cases, the developers behind the API may be sensitive to the use and availability of proprietary information and programs, which could limit a hotelier’s ability to integrate them into broader hotel operations beyond. beyond their narrow focus.
For this reason, using APIs to implement the best solutions to fill gaps in your PMS’s operating capabilities is not always a wise decision. The industry is increasingly reliant on data analytics to keep hotels competitive, with more apps and services sharing information across departments than ever before. While the best technologies can outperform the others in some respects, it’s important that the developers behind the tool share the same goal of improving data transparency behind the hotel front desk.
The most important thing to preserve a healthy data strategy in hospitality today is to centralize all data and minimize an arena of diverse technology partners. No level of functionality is worth sacrificing agile decision-making, especially for independent hotels.
Buying a new PMS — or even potential new integrations — can be daunting, and replacing three to five systems at a time can be overwhelming. Independent hoteliers are urged to choose a PMS provider who is willing to meet with you and have a thoughtful conversation about your hotel’s needs. Some properties may benefit from an all-in-one package, while others may benefit from greater efficiency through a targeted PMS offering bolstered by a few select APIs provided by technology partners.
Are you a hotel with a few spa rooms that wants to improve its additional income? Or are you a spa resort with a few select hotel rooms available in special packages? The answers to these questions have a significant impact on your hotel’s technology strategy and how PMS should be implemented in your property. Hotels can best reach this conclusion by finding a PMS partner who is willing to look at an all-in-one system environment within the context of your property’s core business modules.
The best way for hoteliers to start on this path is to audit their property to understand their current environment to the best of their ability before purchasing PMS partners. The goal at this stage should be to clearly understand what is lacking in their current environment. All PMS on the market are capable of registering guest arrivals and departures, but today it is a question of finding the partnership that meets your specific needs, especially for independent hotels. Independent operators often have sophisticated needs that are best served through the operational nuances offered by mature PMS platforms and vendors. With the right partnership, hotels can achieve the service levels and capabilities they need for long-term success.
About Maestro PMS
Maestro is the preferred browser-based cloud and on-premises PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals and multi-property groups. Maestro’s PCI-certified and EMV-ready enterprise system offers a full web browser (or Windows) version with over 20 built-in modules on a single database, including mobile and contactless apps to support a digitized customer journey as well as staff operations. Maestro’s sophisticated solutions enable operators to increase profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations and engage customers with a personalized experience from booking to departure and everything in between. For more than 40 years, Maestro’s Diamond Plus service has provided unmatched support and education services in North America, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to keep hotel groups productive and competitive. for more information about Maestro. Click here for your free PMS buying guide.