As the hotel industry expands and becomes more reliant on the increased operating potential of technology and software, the issue of connectivity becomes more apparent.
A problem that’s reared its ugly head for some time is the existing connection frustration for hotel applications and property management systems (PMSs). It’s one thing to build great technology solutions, but it’s another to create connections and integrations across different systems with many partners.
SiteMinder is offering a much-needed tonic for this connectivity fatigue with the recent launch of SiteMinder Exchange at HITEC in Houston, Dallas.
To discover why the platform is such a great enabler for the industry and why hoteliers should be excited too, here we chat to SiteMinder’s business development manager Tom Kirkham, who delved into the benefits of this development.
Technology companies in the industry have long been troubled by the time and effort it takes to build integrations between systems. PMSs and hotel applications alike would prefer to focus on the exciting work of building great products, but suffer from the crippling challenge of getting their technology to seamlessly communicate.
SiteMinder Exchange is the balm to these headaches, as Tom explains. “Fragmentation and connectivity roadblocks has plagued the hotel and hospitality industry for a long time, affecting hotels, their PMSs, and new technology applications. Innovation has been thwarted constantly along the way and this is where the concept of our solution was borne – upon our desire to provide a solution to connectivity fatigue.”
“SiteMinder Exchange is a ‘data-as-a-service’ platform that allows hotel technology applications to connect with property management systems and their hotels”, he continues.
“It’s based on a ‘one-build, connect-to-many’ API that makes life much simpler for the hotel tech developer.”
SiteMinder Exchange is big deal for the industry’s technology and hotel segments
It can’t be understated how refreshing SiteMinder Exchange is for an industry that has been looking for just such a solution, Tom says.
“It’s a big deal because direct integrations between applications and PMSs (and hotels) is such a drain on development resources. By removing the need to build bespoke integrations time and time again, these businesses can refocus on making their core products even better,” he explains.
For a PMS this means increasing the tech stack it can offer, providing hotels direct access to innovative technology solutions. For applications it initiates an immediate connection to the ever-growing PMS market, and integration with hotels becomes much easier.
“A PMS can provide a stickier offering to their hotel customers while focusing resources on being a great PMS and not integrations. An application’s total addressable market significantly grows and can now connect with PMSs and hotels without the need for continuous bespoke integrations, reallocating finite resources to their core product,” Tom clarifies.
Why hoteliers should care about this development
It might seem like SiteMinder Exchange is not directly related to hotels but “everyone’s a winner” according to Tom, with hotels able to reap the benefits.
“A hotelier would want to see their PMS connected to SiteMinder Exchange because it gives their property access to every application on the platform,” he says. “These applications provide a variety of ways to enhance the guest experience and hotel operations, including communication platforms; online review management; revenue management and optimisation; upsell and experience solutions; CRMs and marketing automations tools; and property technology.”
What kind of impact will this have on the industry?
With the launch of SiteMinder Exchange at HITEC, excitement quickly spread among attendees along with a tangible sense of relief to many. It’s expected that adoption will be widespread.
“Responses from HITEC were overwhelmingly positive,” Tom says. “The ability to reduce time and resources spent on bespoke connectivity is seen as a huge benefit to PMSs and applications on how they operate. As hotels start using the infrastructure and experience the ease of connectivity, we expect to see widespread adoption in the market.”
There are some great applications already live on the Exchange, which hoteliers can use to enhance their business. Tom picked out two shining examples:
“Oaky is a terrific upsell tool. You can automatically send personalised offers to arriving guests for additional services, experiences or upgrade options. This will enhance their stay and could also provide the hotel with added revenue.”
“Another one is TrustYou – the world’s largest guest feedback platform. It works by providing feedback during each stage of the guest journey in order to increase online visibility, improve operations, and drive hotel revenue.”
Click here to find out even more about this new industry ecosystem and what it means for the respective parties, including hotels.