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The New Architecture of a Hotel Operating System with an Open API

A PMS (Property Management System), also known as a Hotel Operating System, is software hoteliers use to manage their businesses efficiently. A properly built and customized PMS is often the key factor to the success of a hospitality company.  As of 2019, the revenue of property management systems on the hospitality market amounted to $761 million.

This income is expected to grow even more and is set to reach $1,249 million by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.6% over the next five years. The upshot is clear: the industry needs a more effective and profitable management system and it is ready to pay it.

The post-pandemic reality has forced hospitality business owners to use novel methods to ensure their customers are provided with top-notch accommodation. The respective market is now determined by a suitable set of innovative technological solutions. That is why centralized computer systems continue to develop and improve, delivering greater flexibility to players in the hospitality sector.

The Benefits of a PMS with an Open API

A PMS enables hotel owners to organize and handle the daily functions of their businesses effectively. Recent advances in technology deliver even more opportunities for hotels and restaurants to streamline their internal processes, improving the customer experience, and thus, in turn, increasing overall revenue.

Modern technology vendors offer various solutions that can be used to complement existing PMS functionality instead of replacing it with a brand system. So, if a hospitality company strives to reach the next level of scalability by reacting promptly to the rapidly changing digital needs of its clients, it should keep track of the latest updates. Using an open API and integrating new features in accordance with the most recent market trends is an intelligent strategy. 

An open API (application programming interface) is a publicly available interface that enables developers to integrate other software apps with their existing systems. APIs govern the way one app communicates with another and provide a stable data exchange. Which crucial features only become available through the use of an open API:

  • Automation of most processes
  • Digitalization of some offline services
  • Digital check-in/out
  • Contactless booking
  • Multichannel booking
  • Self-service payment system
  • Use of electronic signatures
  • Integration of social media features
  • Integration of additional services from business partners
  • Availability of digital documentation via different sources

For example, one can use information about bookings stored by the PMS with an open API and share it with other apps. Therefore, when multiple apps are linked to the same database, managing the workload of staff and automatically scheduling shifts becomes a reality. A PMS can also be linked via an open API to the applications that calculate employees’ salaries. 

Closed APIs significantly complicate the process of adding new features and may even cause problems such as duplicated bookings. For instance, when a mobile app (or any third-party booking service) and PMS are not linked to the unified database of a property, the staff will either have to fill in the booking requests manually or deal with consequences that may affect the good image of the company.

How to Set Up the Ideal PMS for a Hospitality Business?

The architecture of the tech solutions that can be modified provides enterprises with a certain degree of freedom. Modern companies don’t have a good chance of surviving without a clear understanding of the fact that their PMS must be open to constant technological improvement. However, this becomes an option only with an open API, whereby a company can profit from new technologies by integrating them into their existing system. 

Speaking from experience, approximately 90% of all operating hotels still use traditional PMS setups. The main reason for this is a lack of knowledge; sadly, most CEOs don’t pay much attention to the need to adjust the applied architecture to achieve the necessary freedom. Even though the pandemic has clearly pointed out the weaknesses of existing systems, hotels aren’t in a position to focus on the automation and digitalization of their services. They hit a wall due to the limitations of the PMS they use. Today, any PMS with a closed API is rightfully considered obsolete, as it deprives hoteliers of the tools they need to enhance their business. What are the main drawbacks of systems with closed APIs:

  • Predominance of manual labor that leads to the slow processing of information
  • Mistakes caused by the lack of automation (human factors)
  • Complexity or inability to integrate with external services 

Intetics helps business owners get rid of the restrictions by providing the services of skillful architects who possess extensive knowledge in legacy system migration and niche development. As Intetics say: “Let us think about technology. And you focus on your core job – serving guests.”

The Final Note

Outdated property management systems are a major obstacle to the effective functioning of hotels. It’s impossible to maintain a business approach based on innovation and agility without the flexibility delivered through the features of an open API. Not only does this represent a viable future investment by implementing modern cloud-based management solutions, but it also helps improve the customer experience which strongly depends on automation and convenience for most of the B2C services being provided.

Find out more on Hospitality Software Solutions.