Imagine all the chaos if you had to hire a consultant to come to your home and set up ZOOM on your computer at the onset of beginning of COVID-19. This is the state of “cloud” PMS technology in the hospitality industry.
Coronavirus forced every one of us to take some time to reflect and, more importantly, reprioritize. I am confident that people put their relationships at the top of the list and without actively thinking about it, turned to technology. This was the solution to bridge the person-to-person gap while keeping each other safe and being more efficient. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that anything good has come out of the pandemic, it has pushed people to adapt to changes and get past their insecurities about being involved with technology. Through it all, people have shown the true creativity of the human spirit while also spread it online, bringing everyone just a little bit closer together.
That time for reflection spilled over into work, and the team at apaleo became much closer, suddenly spending our time in each other’s homes. We took a deep look at our “most open property management system” and found that the technology behind apaleo pms could help with flexible inventory management to temporarily converted hotel rooms. Our USPs of self-service, remote onboarding, and connectivity, meant that unlike any PMS out there, we really are the only one out there that offers a completely online experience from start to finish, as would be expected when you offer a true “cloud” product.
Reflecting on another of apaleo’s strongest opportunities, we were able to mobilize our community from the apaleo app store and rally together in order to provide a comprehensive list of solutions to hotels struggling to reopen. Digital registration and check-in/out, online vouchers, guest messaging, and so on are vital topics to properties right now. Unlike most other solutions, we don’t compete with the best-in-class solutions, we bring them into the hotel’s tech stack. On top of those extra features, collecting and managing more payments – both online and through contactless terminals – has pushed the need for integrated payment processes, like apaleo pay, to further automate the guest journey. Nobody likes to talk about it but being able to operate with as minimal on-site personnel as possible is the safest way to protect one another.
During this time of open creativity, we were reminded that we strive to be bold: we are much more than a pms, apaleo is an open software platform for everyone in the hospitality industry. The platform needed a name, which is why we want to start publicly calling it apaleo core, the name we have internally been using for quite some time.
Every accommodation provider has the power to integrate solutions into their ideal technology stack, including property management and integrated payment services as well as any kind of 3rd party or in-house application. Every tech-lover has the foundation to create innovative solutions based on a universal infrastructure. Every entrepreneur that wants to create a new hotel concept, hotel group, or app for the lodging industry can use apaleo core.
All of this is a roundabout way to say that the future of cloud property management systems is bleak. Offering “cloud” computing was a great step in the evolution of PMSs, but it was a band-aid for a closed system that will not work in the future. APIs were a tremendous next step, but the first generation of cloud PMSs ran into the same issues as the legacy on-premise or hosted PMS. Only when API-first structures became successful in other industries, did we realize how powerful a hotel tech platform could be that is based upon this approach. The difference is huge. API-first makes the platform fully available at any time to everybody, highly scalable, entirely self-service, and all of this without any up-front cost or even professional services. Sure, there are still going to be traditionalists who insist on staying with the technology they know just like I am sure there are companies who can still operate using MS-DOS, but those who are going to survive need forward-thinking solutions that are capable of reacting quickly.
The successful hotel of the future will not fear technology. Instead embrace it to run an efficient business while automating the manual processes that staff have to deal with in order to free up their time to provide better service for their guest.