On the 14th of November, Ingo Dignas, our CEO took part in the IHTF “Technology Leaders Panel” about the core challenges that hoteliers are facing these days. We managed to capture parts of the conversion (via smartphone). Here are the highlights for you!

Feel free to add any questions you may have in the comments below. We’ll get right back to you.

What are the options for a hotel when the internet connection is poor?

We’re aware that there are still some regions where the internet is poor. However, there are multiple options today: Cloud-based systems are very lean in bandwidth usage. Often, it’s possible to run them over mobile networks. Despite that, you can choose an on-premise solution which can be integrated into the enterprise layer via our integration platform.

Do cloud-based solutions provide a better ROI compared to on-premise systems?

Basically, you can not compare these two products purely in terms of ROI (Return On Investment) because they are two different products delivering different services. A cloud-solution e. g. means that you don’t have to worry about your own backup security anymore, as it’s automatically built in. There’s also the old CAPEX vs OPEX arguments. If you’d compare them financially, cloud-solutions are much cheaper to run from a vendor perspective, because we don’t have to buy extra licenses for services. Hence, it’s much cheaper for us to run a cloud-based environment.

What are the minimum bandwidth requirements for a hotel that wants to buy a cloud-based PMS?

That’s very hard to tell because it depends on the number of users/workstations and the peak usage. But, normally, it isn’t a problem to run this service over a fast mobile network or a sophisticated internet connection.

What percentage of users worldwide are using an on-premise and cloud? Can you spot a trend?

Even though the cloud-solution sales increase every year, we’re still selling a lot of on-premise solutions. There still are many reasons to choose an on-premise solution – just like country-specific regulations i.e. in terms of data storage or hoteliers simply want to have it hosted in their own environment. Generally, we can see a trend towards a cloud-environment. On-premise PMS will certainly remain, however, in five years time almost 100% will probably be using the cloud-version.

Don’t you think that there will always be a gap between these two featured products since on-premise solutions have been on the market for 25 years?

There’s not only a rise of cloud. Our current main focus lies on providing a platform solution that allows a hotelier to choose from the best-of-breed of other solutions and to integrate them easily. This gives the hotelier more flexibility because he doesn’t have to choose every solution – such as the POS, CRM, or CRS –  from one vendor anymore and can replace it whenever he wants.

Where do you see PMS moving towards within the next five years?

10-15 years ago, it was fine to have some additional fields in the PMS profile. But today, there are loyalty systems working across brands using different PMSs. That’s why it isn’t easy to have all these features within one single PMS. As explained earlier, the future for an on-premise solution is more in using an integration layer to integrate best-of-breed products. Hence, the role of the PMS becomes less important. So the centre of the “universe” has changed from the PMS to an API management platform.

Do you see the willingness of PMS vendors to join the platform?

As a PMS provider, you simply can not be good at everything. You can not be the best CRM provider, and the best PMS or POS provider at the same time. Thus, we have to be open to external vendors connecting to the PMS. The PMS is the core of the hotel – storing most of the data – which is why it’s so important for data mining. However, you can e.g. use a third party for evaluating this data. So if you’ve got a BI system that you want to use, you can simply integrate it via the protel Hospitality Platform.
To know more about us head over to our website, or look at the other news from the #protelfamily in our blog.
If you have any comments or questions to add to the discussion, please feel free to join in, in the comments below.

Marketing Communications Manager at protel hotelsoftware GmbH, Germany.

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