CRS has added speed and simplified the entire hotel management scenario. Today the next-generation, cloud-based solutions optimise customer engagement, distribution and brand experience. What more can central reservation systems offer? Donald Gasper takes a look at one example.

Any traveller will tell you that having a comfortable bed and a hot shower is a must for any good hotel stay. But the ability to add layers of personalisation to a guest’s experience is beginning to transform the hospitality industry more and more. For many hoteliers, the current fragmentation of IT systems is making it difficult for them to get to know their guests and thus meet their needs.

Fragmented IT systems and decentralised data are the biggest obstacles for hoteliers to truly deliver a personalised guest experience, according to Francisco Pérez-Lozao, Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth Business at Amadeus IT group.

“From the beginning, it has been our goal with the Amadeus Hospitality Platform to eliminate these IT barriers,” he says.

His colleague Hazem Hussein, CEO of Amadeus Hospitality, adds: “At Amadeus we see a steady demand for modern technology to be applied in the hotel CRS and distribution space. As the digital buying journeys evolve, technology adds complexity and volume to the underlying transactions. We feel that ultra-speed, security and stability are essential building blocks that will drive success in the modern, omni-channel hotel distribution marketplace.”

Building Blocks

There are two main perspectives to consider when analysing the state of Central Reservation Systems. These are the needs of the chain-oriented hotel companies and those of the independents.

Each of these two buying groups has distinct core requirements and supplemental needs, driven by a unique set of business drivers. For chain hotels, having flexible administration capabilities in their policies, rates, inventory and availability is a huge advantage and helps to automate administrative controls in dynamic fashion.

On the other hand, independent hotels are looking for more of a turnkey solution that they can rely on to be simple to setup and easy to use to reach the maximum number of distribution channels; in research Amadeus has noted that independent hotels value bundled capabilities that can be deployed with low effort, quick turnaround and with tangible ROI models.

“The common denominator that we feel will align these two categories is our design approach; a set of modular component-based capabilities built on a modern community platform,” says Hussein.

Technical Flexibility

A CRS should be constructed in a way that offers commercial and technical flexibility, something that everyone can appreciate in business. By allowing customers to pay for and deploy the CRS capabilities that uniquely solve their business problems, customers will be positioned to quickly pivot in the direction that their strategy takes them. This is one of the biggest benefits Amadeus aspires to offer to the market.

“In 2018, we’ll continue to advance with two great companies, IHG and Premier Inn.” Hussein continues. “Together, we’re shaping our next-generation central reservation system to revolutionise the technological foundations of the hospitality industry.”

Amadeus recently signed agreements with both companies to introduce its proprietary CRS. The one with Premier Inn will roll-out Amadeus’ combined CRS and property management system (PMS) across its 765 properties worldwide. Together these native modular capabilities will offer Premier Inn a 360 degree view of its properties and its guests around the world.The Amadeus hospitality platform was chosen as it claims to integrate seemlessly into Premier Inn’s system. The hotel chain will also be able to use Amadeus’ capabilities as a foundation for its digital marketing transformation programme.

Simon Jones, Managing Director for Premier Inn & Restaurants UK, comments that the decision to partner with Amadeus on the integration of a new hospitality platform underpins the hotel chain’s commitment to its guests to put them at the heart of everything it does.

Jones adds that the new, integrated cloud-based CRS and PMS will also have a real-time view of the chain’s business and will help it make more informed decisions. It will allow them to go on not only meeting but also exceeding their guests’ expectations.

“By giving our guests a slick and simple customer journey from booking to checking and paying we can ensure that all of the touch points that they have with us, whether they be digital or personal at the hotel, reflect our excellent service.”

“We are proud that leading hotel chains such as Premier Inn trust us to improve even further its business and offering to its customers,” says Pérez-Lozao. “This agreement is a testament to our vision of integrating key hospitality systems and marks a milestone in expanding and diversifying our business in the hospitality space.”