Independent operators in 2020 have a decision to make. Many have older property management systems (PMS) that are fully depreciated, but theirdoes not leverage current technologies, such as mobile browser or self-hosted environments. In some cases, vendor upgrades may force operators into a vendor supplied option.
Often, legacy systems do not meet the newest mobile guest experience and communication technology requirements. Also, many legacy systems lack the flexibility to interface easily through APIs with the hundreds of modern 3rd party systems in use today. Flexibility in deployment alone can be a driving factor for hotel software decisions. Other factors shaping system platform decisions may be based on communications reliability, security in where hotel data is stored, as well as the need to use existing network infrastructure versus the extra cost associated with a full platform change.
With continuing concerns over security, data privacy and operating system and hardware obsolescence, their decision is not ‘whether to upgrade,’ but if they should upgrade their current PMS, even if this means moving to vendor-imposed hosting platforms, or explore flexible options in the market.
All platforms have advantages. This viewpoint article looks at why some independent operators made the choice to move their property operations to the cloud or remain on-premise.
Independent multi-property operations in the Cloud
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, and the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas have relied on Maestro’s Multi-Propertyfor more than five years. How has it worked for them? Jack Moyer, Vice President and General Manager for both properties said, “Our hotels are unique destinations. We run each as a separate independent brand on one Cloud Maestro PMS with one database. One big Cloud benefit is that Maestro hosts our system so we don’t have to worry about servers, backups, or system maintenance.”
Moyer said another Cloud benefit is that he can operate his two hotels as one business with one call center, one sales office, and one accounting office without complex infrastructure. “Managing both properties in the Cloud simplifies our entire operation. Maestro Multi-Property Cloud PMS is a powerful system with excellent support.” But the Cloud will not be right for every operator.
Business and operational requirements must drive your decision
Choosing a tech partner and functionality that fulfills your operational requirements is the most important system decision criteria – the platform must support this. “If a property does not have a reliable high-speed Internet connection, an on-premise system will be best,” said Warren Dehan, Maestro PMS President.
“Our company provides a flexible PMS with a browser user interface option that runs on a property’s on-premise network. This option simplifies infrastructure needs for an on-premise system and gives you the best of both worlds without compromising PMS features.”
Dehan noted that Maestro is also available as an on-premise Windows-based solution. Maestro PMS offers a sophisticated feature-equivalent browser-based cloud solution. “Maestro is Maestro, with the full complement of features and capabilities, whether a hotel is using it on-premise or in our hosted cloud.”
Self-hosted multi-property operations on a centralized corporate server
The Canadian Rockies of Alberta Canada may not have the same high-speed internet reliability as other areas. “Banff Lodging Company uses Maestro’s multi-property centralized on-premise single-image database system. We are a heavy group company and Maestro’ssystem has been excellent,” said Arjun Gersoppe, General Manager at Banff Lodging Company.
“We operate 11 properties on one Maestro multi-property hotel software database. This enables us to have one call center for all our properties, which simplifies cross-selling and lets us book larger groups. Maestro’s networked single-image database lets us recognize guests at any property whether they are with a group or on vacation, and deliver personalized service when they return. Today’s travelers want a special guest experience and Maestro helps us deliver that.”
Where Cloud is best: Mobile operations across a large property
“We are on 723 acres with six separate lodging buildings, each with its own amenities,” said Dace Starkweather, General Manager of Glen Eyrie Castle & Conference Center. “Most of our guests are repeat visitors with specific requirements. We wanted a Cloud system based on the latest technology that would make it easy to provide the highest level of guest service and create the most efficient operation. We selected the Maestro Web PMS.”
Since many of Glen Eyrie’s buildings are separated by long distances, Wi-Fi communication between each check-in point and the property’s central database was essential. “We installed the Maestro Web Cloud system because the company has a track record of successful installations with independent operators and strong North American support on a flexible platform,” said Starkweather. “Maestro Web PMS was better for us than an on-premise system. It reduced our overall IT requirements and ensured that all data was securely managed and backed up in the Cloud by a proven system company.”
Maestro Web Suite transformed Glen Eyrie’s entire operation and improved their guest experience. Starkweather said. “We use Maestro in the Cloud to simplify our processes. I can remotely monitor property operations from anywhere on my mobile device which saves time. Plus, we are able to offer guests more personalized service from our many buildings and provide online communication so they rely less on the telephone.”
Cloud or on-premise – Select a proven tech partner that has experience with both platforms
“It is important to have options when you make a crucial property management system decision. Do your homework and focus on tech companies with experience in both Cloud-based and on-premise property software systems,” said Maestro’s Warren Dehan.
“Evaluate the feature capabilities and services each company offers to ensure it’s the right tool for your operation now, and that it will meet your future guest and staff mobility needs. Verify that the company’sdelivers full-featured PMS functionality. Some providers offer a limited ‘lite’ front office system that does not have the features or expansion capabilities you may need in the future. Make sure your provider has a proven track record of deploying on either platform, and has the infrastructure to support you with the requisite services. Equally important, verify the system’s security and credit card service processes are compliant with your GDPR and PCI obligations.”
Maestro PMS offers scalable cloud, self-hosted, and on-premise that leverage the latest mobile and web-based technology. Maestro’s systems enhance the digital guest experience, integrate and improve staff productivity, and provide independent operators with complete autonomy in selecting the best system and platform for their operation.