No matter what PMS software you choose, it is essential that it is able to link with other systems in your hotel.
Interfacing a PMS with other hardware and software is one of the most powerful things you can do from an operational standpoint and as you’ll see it, can also positively impact the guest experience.
We’ll spend this post talking about common interfaces and why PMS shouldn’t just exist as a standalone system, isolated like an island in the middle of the sea.
Why PMS Connectivity is So Important
Typically your property management system will house the bulk of your guest information. It’s where you’ll go to determine who is at your hotel and who has stayed there. You’ll also find RevPAR and other essential metrics in your PMS. Put another way, it’s the primary data-house for your property.
Your PMS is also the central point of your hotel’s operations. It’s the first place your staff will go to manage guests, reservations, and more.
We bring up these two points to highlight the importance of PMS software within your hotel. Since it stores the bulk of your hotel’s data and is the central point of operations, from a connectivity standpoint virtually any system you connect to it will create real benefits to your hotel’s operations and the guest experience.
This sounds a little ethereal so here are a few tangible examples:
- Two of the most common types of software you’ll find in a hotel are a PMS and a POS (point of sale software). On their own these two systems will work just fine. However, when your POS and PMS are connected, you can do things like post charges to a guest’s room with the press of a button.
- Interfacing your booking engine to your PMS completely eliminates manual entry and reduces the risk of overbooking. The same goes for channel managers where overbooking can be a very real problem without a real-time PMS connection.
- Some of your property’s hardware should certainly connect to your PMS software. At the most basic level this means hooking up a printer to your PMS. More advanced options include linking the system to room safes.
- Mobile apps are becoming more and more important as they deliver a truly superior guest experience while maximizing revenue for the hotel through upgrades via a mobile check-in process. Processing these upgrades is a lot less efficient without a PMS interface – if customers pay to upgrade to a room that’s not available, that creates a terrible guest experience before they’ve even walked into their room.
Not Connecting Other Systems is Rather Limiting
Your PMS will work fine on its own, that’s for certain. You’ll be able to take reservations, check guests in and out, and bring up room rates. However, interfacing with alternative systems is very powerful. If you read through those above points again you can quickly see how your hotel will simply be better with PMS connectivity in place.
In some cases, not having connectivity defeats the purpose of using some software altogether (for example, a mobile app isn’t much good without the PMS interface – it’s too limited). At other times, the interface will massively streamline your operations. Interfacing your email system with your PMS means you’ll never have to export another csv list again (ask your marketer what they’d think about that). Interfacing a channel manager to your PMS means never having to manually enter a reservation from an OTA again. Both of these examples are huge time-savers.
It’s for these reasons we say that it’s essential a PMS system integrates with your hardware and other software – because while you can use a PMS on its own, it’s not a great way to structure your hotel’s operations.
That’s not to say that everything in your hotel should be connected – that might prove to be too costly or the potential benefits would be too minimal to your hotel. Still, as a general rule the more that connects the better. At the very least you want to have your POS, booking engine, channel manager, and CRS integrated with your PMS.
How IQware Connects with Other Systems
Our PMS software is able to integrate with more than 500 systems, thanks in part to our partnership with Comtrol. Comtrol is a 3rd party vendor that works to connect otherwise disconnected systems together (it’s a pretty amazing technology). You can see a list of the systems Comtrol integrates with by visiting this link.
There’s one other thing we do at IQware that helps our PMS connect with other systems: We build a lot of our own software and we make sure it communicates with our PMS.
IQware creates PMS, POS, booking engine, a channel manager, CRS, asset and guest management software, and more. You can see all our software here, and yes all of these platforms communicate with our PMS software.
Some of our integrations run pretty deep. Our channel manager, for instance, sits right inside the PMS which makes extremely easy to use.
When choosing a PMS be sure to take a second and make sure it integrates with your other platforms – you’ll be glad you did.