Hotel 2.0 Architectures
The emergence and development of new Web 2.0-based technologies, the emergence of mobile devices and the unprecedented development of social media over the past two decades has made the tourism and hospitality industry experience real convulsions in the way of doing business, and we can say that this trend of innovation and rapid implementation in practice does not seem to diminish, on the contrary.
We believe that all these new aspects that intertwine at the technological and business levels have created the premises for the emergence of the new Hotel 2.0 architectures designed to integrate as flexible as possible the various systems that make up modern hotel management solutions. These distributed architectures can include front desk, channel manager, booking engine, or revenue management modules. These systems can also be integrated with personalized web solutions having direct booking facilities, or with third-party access control and monitoring systems.
And, in order to get a more accurate picture of the diversity and complexity of these new architectures, we add that these distributed systems integrate client-server apps, access and integrate the Internet with everything it can offer, from Web 2.0 applications and SaaS web services, up to social media and cloud, offering the functionality on mobile devices as well.
In view of the above, the shared conviction among hotel management staff is that IT is changing, and if the hotel industry does not keep up with these changes, it will suffer serious business limitations.
This 2.0 Hotel blog aims on one hand to inform the community interested in the new hospitality software systems and the new trends in hotel business and, on the other hand, to offer hotel management staff a deeper understanding of how the new technologies and software systems that appear, deliver increased functionality with direct impact at operational, marketing, or even overall hotel business levels.
Are we moving in the cloud? (Part One)
Lately, a number of articles have appeared in the specialized press, especially in the online blogs and journals, on the advantages of cloud-based hotel management solutions over the old, “legacy systems”.
Obviously, this question only makes sense if the hotel or property already benefits for some time from an operational software installed on-premises.
Interestingly enough, these articles are, in most cases, published or initiated by cloud-based PMS service vendors who are new to this industry, and who usually do not have software solutions that can be installed on-premises.
In the case of this mini-series of three articles, we will try to present the whole issue, to show that this move is in fact a major business decision and as such must be dictated by reasons derived from the business strategy that is, or it should be, specific for each hotel. We hope that by the end of the mini-series, the hotel business manager will be able to answer the following questions knowingly:
· Is it necessary we move to the cloud and, if so, when would be the right time for this move?
· Do I know the risks associated with this move?
· Do I know what functionality I lose and what functionality do I gain?
· Are the transition costs reasonable and justified according to the ROI analysis?
The 10 most important trends in hospitality business
In the last two decades, we have all witnessed the profound, disruptive changes, true paradigm shifts that have taken place in the field of hospitality business.
By consulting statistics published on proeminent travel and hospitality sites from which we mention Statistic Brain, TripBarometer, Hotelmanagement.net, Hospitalitynet.org, Travelport.com, 4hoteliers.com, TripAdvisor, or Forbes, we can discover the following ten major trends in the tourism and hospitality industry:
1. More and more reservations are made from the Internet;
2. The continuous increase of the online travel agencies' (OTA) popularity.
3. Travels are becoming younger and more versatile in technology, with the forecast that by 2020 50% of travel expenses will be attributed to Y generation (born between 1978 and 1994);
4. Travelers are increasingly using mobile platforms to book hotel rooms;
5. Increasing dependence of new travelers on social media for information, choice, planning, or even booking (Facebook) of excursions;
6. Social media and online reviews will continue to grow in importance and have an increasingly direct impact on hotel earnings and profitability;
7. Increasing number of international travelers;
8. Increasing the rate of change of jobs in the hospitality industry;
9. Increase of ecotourism.
10. Increased attention to travelers, increased focus on customer satisfaction and implementation of loyalty programs.
From the above trends we can see the increasing importance of the segment of travelers using Web 2.0 specific technologies for informing, choosing, planning and booking trips. This segment is also very vocal and it shares its impressions freely without fear or prejudice.
Moving into the cloud is likely to boost Hotel 2.0 technologies and as such, there is a new question we need to be able to answer, important for making the migration decision:
· Is the Y-segment a business priority for the hotel?
Try filling out this questionnaire now, before reading the following articles in the series!