Hoteliers are struggling with data silos thanks to the different types of software, built to serve different purposes. Being able to leverage this data is crucial as growth in the volume of travellers isn’t anticipated but a growth in spend among those who are travelling is expected. The industry is in effect moving from a revenue model based on an individual room to a model based on the value of the guest. Donald Gasper on the tools available to the hotelier to make revenue management more effective by integrating internal and external data.

“Data is changing the way everyone does business today. You have to interpret it and make it usable and beneficial for your enterprise,” says Stan van Roij, vice president, Hospitality Solutions & Program Management at Infor. “Data needs to be meaningful and relevant. Not all data complies with these two for all analytical situations. Technology has been getting better at arming users with actionable insights from their data and predicting the needs of the users and changes in the market. I would say the most important step that hoteliers can take to ensure they are making the most of their data is to clean their data. From there, they can work more closely with their vendors or consultants to better understand what that data means and how to better their operations and revenue management. Your vendor should be more than just someone you work with one time, they should be there to help guide you through the changes in the business and technology.”

Data from multiple sources 

Rachel Grier, managing director Asia-Pacific for qq, says that there is a recognised need to incorporate clean and relevant data from multiple sources, which, through sophisticated analytics, supports optimised profit performance and drives the convergence of revenue with departments such as marketing, sales and conferencing / events. “As these teams work towards unified and granular goals, they’ll maximise profitability via an analytic approach that moves their business from predictive to prescriptive.”

New analytics and prescriptive modelling has entered the market due to the emergence of future-casting – or the deployment of forward-looking predictive demand intelligence. This deep geo-persona-centric market data gives hotels the ability to develop more comprehensive and laser-targeted strategies – well beyond the traditional generic data sets of reservations data and competitor rates.

Tools such as nSight for IDeaS, aggregates consumer search (or travel intent) data to determine the days which present the greatest opportunity, in addition to identifying consumers with the highest likelihood of booking, thus maximising return on investment levels for marketing spend, Grier says.

“A total optimisation, profit-based approach for both rooms and conferencing / events is only possible with the integration and deployment of both internal and external data – from the past present and future.”

The more established automated solutions available today enable the execution of strategies across both rooms and meetings/events to deliver optimal profitability. “These advanced revenue management solutions go beyond pricing to incorporate guest value perception, facilitate tailored and targeted guest experiences, which in turn drive revenue and ultimately a heightened guest satisfaction result.”

Filling a gap

One problem facing the hospitality industry is the virtual non-existence of PMS platforms that cater to properties outside of the industry’s large-scale and high-end segments.

To address this issue, FCS Computer Systems (FCS), a leading provider of operations-enhancing technology solutions and services, announced on 1 June, 2017, the integration of its FCS Unicorn call accounting and interface gateway solution with CosmoPMS, a cutting-edge SaaS-based property management platform designed specifically to meet the needs of smaller properties.

“As a solution that provides these hoteliers with the tools needed to streamline operations such as guest reservations, rate pricing and room availability, CosmoPMS’ compatibility with FCS Unicorn now further ensures the ability to attain full operational efficiency via seamless communication and management of backend systems and services. This exclusive new feature not only offers instant connectivity and integration with FCS’ full line of operations enhancing solutions, but also provides streamlined and centralised access to data from a host of third party platforms.”

CosmoPMS’ new integration represents a continuation of the solution’s mission to provide underserved hoteliers with the same high level of efficiency across their operations. Now capable of directly communicating with a host of third-party property systems such as PABX, guest internet and keycard issuing platforms, CosmoPMS’ integration with Unicorn ensures that all data can be seamlessly accessed and stored within one solution for enhanced productivity and quality in service.

“This functionality provides several advantages once out of reach for small scale hoteliers, including the ability on the way to automatically charge guests for using a property’s Wi-Fi services or when consuming guestroom minibar items,” says FCS. “The integration also equips CosmoPMS with the ability to share data such as guest check in/out status or room occupation status with third-party platforms, ensuring all departments remain updated with the latest information necessary to maintain high service level standards. As a result of relying on just one platform for the flow of information, hoteliers can additionally benefit from simplified support services, as only FCS needs to be contacted should any sort of issue arise.”