Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 56

The latest tech tools minds in the industry, and collectively they can help you solve any problem at hand. Technology will save our industry, even if it's carried out one hotel at a time. Coming off my tradeshow euphoria, I'd like to offer you an overview of not only what I saw at HITEC but also a practical guide on how to assess each piece of technology and give you a basic understanding of the offerings. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOUR PMS Think of your PMS (property management system) as the hub of your property's technology tool belt. While at HITEC, I spoke with senior officers at Agilysys, Oracle, Infor, Amadeus, Maestro and Springer-Miller, easily representing most of the North American hotel installed base. Brilliantly conceived and expertly managed, all of these systems not only provide a foundation for the management of your rooms' inventory, but offer tremendous interconnectivity with other property operational systems. The foremost duty of a PMS is to integrate and streamline all revenue streams, not necessarily to manage them. A modern PMS helps hotels automate complex data sources, forecast all revenue types by market segment and predict future interactions so you can make better decisions. And ultimately, these systems are now designed to help the senior executive team make the best possible choices for the rest of their businesses. The sad fact, though, is that most property operators have barely tapped the surface of what their own systems are capable of. For example, PMS data automation can now anticipate customers exploiting the cancel-rebook loophole in search of lower price tags. Additionally, payroll management subroutines can highlight fruitful streams that are in fact underperforming when staff costs are recognized. By most estimates, the average PMS has under 10 percent total utilization, and there is a vast swath of features that managers would benefit from learning more about. Many of the modules designed to optimize various aspects of your operations are either already incorporated within the system you currently own or are in the development pipeline. So, before you whimsically surmise that you need a new system, talk it over with your PMS rep to discover how they can help you fully utilize the software. Moreover, shopping for a new PMS is not something you want to undertake lightly, as conversion can be an excruciating, labor-intensive affair. It's a nightmare, really, and there's also a chance of lost guest profile data. Linking to your PMS are a number of revenue, forecasting and channel management tools, all helping augment each department's profitability. This is a rapidly growing field with many entrants, which makes it hard to pick a clear best of show. Functionality sets differ, so your choice will be based upon your property type and business style. Among the ones that should be on your review list are Rainmaker, Duetto, TravelClick360 and Siteminder. FROM THE PMS TO YOUR GUEST Whereas the PMS is your inventory backbone, what matters to your guest is your website and that all-critical booking interface. Your customer doesn't see the PMS and will never interact with it directly. Instead of looking at tables and reams of data, they want simplicity, imagery and fluidity in how they are guided through the electronic experience. Technology in this regard has seen tremendous improvements, as the UX (user experience) has been at the forefront of all B2C software design. Given how tech savvy the average traveler is nowadays, if your website doesn't wow a potential guest with powerful visuals, fast page-load speed, a pleasing layout and interactivity, he or she will go somewhere. Most importantly, you have to think mobile, as this mode has crossed the 50 percent threshold of bookings and an even higher proportion of travel-related searches. If your property is branded, with a web presence limited to a corporate site, spend a few minutes to review your pages from both an iPhone and Android as this replicates what your prospective guests will first encounter. Make any necessary alterations to the web text and photos - which will be in your control and not bogarted by your corporate overlords - to effectively communicate your value proposition as best you can. Think keywords; think telling a succinct story; think giving customers the most pertinent information as quickly as possible. For independents as well as properties where the brand authorizes vanity sites, there is a plethora of terrific tools available to enhance your presence. For starters, do a competitive analysis to see how your website stacks up with the competitive from a UX point of view. Does your website fit a modern design with seamless animation, striking photography and everything accessible from the homepage? In more ways than one, websites are like cars; an old clunker can still get you from Point A to Point B, but it won't be turning heads There has never " been a better time to start shopping for additions to your hospitality tool belt. If you have a pain point, there is definitely a technology solution out there. 56  | OCTOBER 2016 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM " http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - October 2016

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
News Bytes
AAHOA Spotlight
Best Western’s New Frontier
Government Affairs
The Uneven Playing Field: Hotels & Airbnb
Finding Opportunity in the Old
Development & Renovation
Living Legends: Wisdom From Industry Trailblazers
Finance Q&A
The Latest Tech Tools for Hospitality
Guest Experience
AAHOA Events
AAHOA Founding Members
AAHOA Vendor Partners
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 3
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 4
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 5
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 6
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 7
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 9
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 11
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - News Bytes
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 13
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 15
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 16
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 17
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Best Western’s New Frontier
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 19
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 20
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 21
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 22
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 23
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Government Affairs
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 25
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 26
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 27
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 28
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 29
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - The Uneven Playing Field: Hotels & Airbnb
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 31
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 32
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 33
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 34
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 35
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Development & Renovation
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 37
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 38
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 39
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 40
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 41
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Living Legends: Wisdom From Industry Trailblazers
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 43
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 44
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 45
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 46
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 47
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 48
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 49
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Finance Q&A
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 51
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 52
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 53
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - The Latest Tech Tools for Hospitality
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 55
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 56
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 57
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 59
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 60
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 61
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Events
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 63
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 65
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Vendor Partners
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 67
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 68
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 69
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 70
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 71
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 72
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 73
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 74
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 75
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 76
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 78
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 79
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 80
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 81
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 82
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 83
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 84
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 85
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover4
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - outsert1
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - outsert2
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 91
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 92
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