Sabre has embarked on a four-year roll-out of a new integrated technology system for hotels that will combine central reservation (CRS) and property management systems (PMS).
Kirstie Goshow, vice-president of marketing at Sabre Hospitality Solutions, said combining these core systems will provide hotel owners with a full, holistic view of the consumer.
She said: “We have embarked on a journey that will enable us to bring to market an entirely new approach. It will bring together services that have, until today, resided in those two core solutions.
“Today, a hotel manages things such as rates, inventory, availability, content and customer profiles in separate systems and has to rely on a number of interfaces for that.”
Goshow said Sabre’s customers want less responsibility for running IT systems. She said: “They want to go back to their core business and have less responsibility for the hardware, the interface and the support.
“If we move to a unified approach we are driving greater efficiency and product development to our customers. It’s going to take a while for our industry to let go of those terms, but the concepts of CRM and PMS will disappear.”
Goshow said two key principles are driving the way hotels are looking to develop technology: “absolutely everything is inventory” and “everywhere is a point of sale”.
“For many years the hospitality industry has built their business around managing and selling rooms,” she said.
“But over the years we have seen a change in hospitality developments, with hotels combined with residences, offices and shopping malls.
“Some hotels are driving almost the same amount of revenue from what we would refer to as ancillary products and services as from rooms.”
Talking mirrors, the in-room entertainment system, virtual concierge on iPads – hotels are starting to exploit many opportunities for communicating with their guests.
Hotels need to be able to track non-staying visitors who make use of the facilities such as the golf course, the restaurant or spa, but hotels can only create a customer identity if they stay.
Hotels want customer profiles distilled into a simple interface “so anyone in the business can use it with limited training”.
“In a hotelier’s world, staff time is better spent interacting with guests,” Goshow said.