By Ardalan Zandian on August 19, 2015 at 7:30 AM
Cloud-based tools represent an upgrade in virtually every aspect of business systems, by not only removing the need to install and manage servers and software directly, but also by introducing new features that simply aren't available in many legacy systems. For independent hoteliers, the issue of cost is much more important than the resistance to change. Therefore, independent hoteliers tend to do anything they can to save money and increase their revenue for even a few percentage over a year.
Moving to the cloud, has it's own pros and cons for hoteliers. But there is always these 4 main advantages of cloud-based tools regardless of what the tool is really about:
[fa icon="pencil"] 1- Built-in Integration:
Legacy systems require integration between the back-end systems, web front-end, and all the other clients that connect into the server. Likewise, any third parties or partners must also go through a process to connect into the same system, along with any hotels that might be acquired at any point in the future. Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, only require computers or devices with browsers, and Internet connectivity. Users of the system, whether internal employees, guests, or partners all have access to the same platform, and while the interface for each might differ, the core integration process is identical, and typically very simple.
[fa icon="pencil"] 2- Simpler to Support:
With cloud-based models, there are no servers to maintain, and no software to manage. All supporting infrastructure is managed and supported by the provider, including server acquisition, support and maintenance; software and server OS patching and management; code updates and uploads; and version control. All the hotel needs to do is establish Internet access for all connected machines.
[fa icon="pencil"] 3- Easier to Access:
Many independent hotels, through the use of cloud-based property management systems, have begun to phase out all PCs within their environment. Using a cloud-based system means that no clients need to be installed on a desktop, and access is just as easy from a tablet as it is from a PC. And because of that, many hotels have begun to issue tablets and kiosks to their front-desk personnel, which are cheaper to both acquire and maintain.
[fa icon="pencil"] 4- Better Analytics:
One of the great strengths of cloud-based tools is their ability to not only store information gathered from hotel operations and guests, but to integrate that information with other sources to provide better analytics that aid in forecasting and revenue optimization. For example, a good cloud-based system will not only look at historical data related to a popular nearby event, but will also cross-reference that with weather information that's pertinent to this year's event, to let the hotel operators know whether they should run a promotion for that weekend. These kinds of analytics and recommendations are one of the key features of cloud-based systems, and they directly impact the bottom line.
As hoteliers, you always look for ways to save money and time. Especially when it comes to competitions, saving a few hours per week could help you improve your hotel services quality or lots of other important aspects of your business.