Insufficient support from vendors tops the list of concerns expressed by hoteliers about their property management systems in a new study, the Future of Hotel Management Systems.
The report, prepared by H2C, is based on a survey of executives and technology managers from 110 hotel chains representing nearly 40,000 properties and 4.9 million rooms around the world.
The project was sponsored by eight technology companies that serve the hospitality industry, including Oracle, Sabre, Shiji and Pegasus.
Property management systems can vary greatly from one hotel to another, but the report notes that hotels should address service and functionality gaps since “today’s guests increasingly expect hotels to recognize and meet their needs in a more proactive way.”
Based on the results of this study and its 2017 Global Central Reservation System study, H2C says it sees “a confirmed trend that PMS and CRS systems will increasingly merge in the future, either in the form of hybrid solutions or as entirely new hotel management platforms.”
When asked about their biggest concerns with their existing PMS, 30% of respondents say lack of support from their PMS vendor – mentioning it nearly twice as often as any other pain point.
More than half (57%) of hotel chains rate their PMS vendor as average or poor for their support services.
Technology deficiencies such as integration with third parties, functionality issues and lack of updates are also mentioned as concerns, while cost is at the bottom of the list (7%).
When asked what improvements they would like to see in the PMS in the future, 58% of all chains rank a deeper integration with their existing technology landscape as most important, followed by improved mobile functionalities (41%) and a more intuitive graphical user interface for operations (36%).
Close behind is enhanced business intelligence (34%) and personalization functionalities (33%).
And while 87% of respondents say they use their PMS to manage guest profiles, the majority expect that, within five years, guest profile management will shift to CRM systems and third-party integrations via open APIs.
When asked who should provide guest-facing technology such as in-room streaming, mobile keys and voice controls for lighting and temperature, respondents are split, with 53% saying it should be handled by the PMS vendors and 47% preferring third-party suppliers.
H2C says increased demand for cloud solutions, which offer flexibility and integration capabilities, will drive a shift in PMS strategy in the next few years. Chains based in Asia Pacific express the greatest interest in changing their PMS setup (39%), follow by European hotel groups (34%).
And as they consider new options, three in five hotel chains say they would prefer a “pay-as-you-go” license model, rather than paying for a complete suite of PMS services. Respondents say they expect “better cost efficiency, increased flexibility and customization” from a pay-as-you-go model.
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