By Binu Mathews
The hotel Industry is constantly evolving. This evolution is being driven by the never-ending changes in consumer demand. A hotelier needs to accommodate today's pace of change and create a memorable guest experience. Thus, it becomes essential to support hotel operations with the introduction of technology advancements and innovation so as to keep up with the guest's preferences and choices.
Over the years, there have been technological advancements that have defined our industry. Changes regarding the operational aspects of a hotel, changes in the way hotel's market and sell their rooms and changes that now affect how hotel's build relationships with their guests. All of this, new and innovative technology is, at most times, disparate for each other. There is a need to connect all of these systems together and this can be a daunting challenge. When you're putting together the best technology solutions for your business, you often have two choices. Either you look for a provider of a platform that addresses most, if not all, technology aspects of your hotel or a "best of breed" approach that marries together many different systems.
Is a horizontal hotel technology provider preferable and advantageous than having a best of breed in emerging markets, where you have an array of choices in technologies and services?
Should we even debate about choosing one over the other?
Yes, we need to understand that even though what works for you may not work for others. Therefore, it matters because making the right technology decision for your hotel could mean profitability or loss.
Hoteliers need to be proactive and well-informed about the guest's preferences. They also look for service providers who can develop and deliver simple and uncomplicated horizontal platforms yet can integrate with various other technologies to provide meaningful solutions—and potentially revolutionize the entire hospitality industry.
The emerging markets have seen high staff turnover. There are many reasons for this and one of the prime reasons is high growth and demand. While it is great to have high demand, you seldom have enough time to fully engage and train all of your staff who interface with technology and with your guests. Horizontal solutions offer the comfort that there is one vendor to go to and undergo the technological training for all your hotel needs.
Hotels can focus on guest loyalty, guest retention and most of all, can focus on increasing profitability by opting for training their staff one a single platform rather than on multiple technology systems.
The integration of multiple hotel technology providers is expensive and time-consuming. Hotels today want to acquire open-platform solutions that reduce the friction between new systems and older systems. They also want to acquire new emerging technologies to plug and play with newer solutions.
Hoteliers are looking for software products that can seamlessly integrate with third-party systems. This way the communication can flow effortlessly between different units and the central platform.
A horizontal technology vendor is preferred for smooth functioning of primary systems such as PMS, Booking solutions, CRS and Distribution. Using a single solution provider could mean more timely support resolution as they tend to be more customer centric in their approach. This also negates the finger pointing of one vendor over the other for any discrepancies that arise related to interface problems and using a single provider enables the hotelier to hold one single vendor accountable.
In emerging markets, these challenges are amplified due to the location of properties, the lack of multiple vendors of horizontal solutions and the support readiness of product-based companies. All in all, looking towards the future, a horizontal platform provider of key technology elements will be a hoteliers best bet within global emerging markets.
Attendees and media are invited to meet with the IDS Next team at HITEC in Dubai. Come and visit us at stand number #C116 to experience the future of hospitality industry.