Cloud Solutions in Travel and Hospitality: The New Normal
The ongoing pandemic has impacted almost every sector of the economy. But few have been as hard hit as travel and hospitality. With the survival of many businesses now at stake, the pressure to innovate has never been greater. Because established on-site procedures are often no longer viable, players in the sector are increasingly seeking to handle information and processes remotely. This is where cloud-based solutions come in. Read on to discover the benefits of this tech for the industry.
Key to Success: Accurate, Timely Information
Travel firms and hotel operators have taken a massive hit during the current pandemic. Now more than ever, companies in the sector have to take control of distributing information about their offerings and communicating changes quickly and efficiently. The ability to publish accurate, up-to-minute information on the largest possible number of booking channels is one of many challenges faced by travel and hospitality players going forward.
Now, as in the past, it’s vital to manage and monitor this information and the associated processes effectively. Until coronavirus emerged, this was done largely using on-premise PCs. But with many staff no longer on site, travel and hospitality players need new ways of handling these critical tasks that don’t rely on on-premise computers. This is where cloud-based business services come in.
Cloud Solutions: Benefits for Hoteliers
Even before the pandemic struck, the hospitality sector had been quick to recognize the benefits of switching from traditional desktop systems to cloud-based solutions. In addition to enabling hoteliers to manage their core systems across platforms and locations, this tech delivers a winning combination of flexibility, reliability, and security. Plus, cloud-based business services make for quicker and easier customization while cutting costs.
Services of this kind offer particularly attractive benefits to hoteliers when it comes to property management systems (PMS) – the solutions that enable individual hotels or groups to manage the entire spectrum of front-office tasks, from booking reservations all the way through to billing. Cloud-based PMS allow hoteliers to access data on their properties remotely, from any location in the world with an Internet connection.
Greater Personalization = Greater Customer Satisfaction
Some of the business benefits of cloud-based solutions for hotel operators are demonstrated by Marriott International’s deployment of Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Services to power its PMS and POS systems. The hospitality giant leverages the Oracle solution to enhance personalization by collecting and analyzing guest data across some 1,200 hotels.
Built on these cloud services, Marriott’s mobile check-in and checkout services have been well received by guests, boosting customer satisfaction and enhancing the company’s image. This positive response is not surprising: The services allow guests to check-in via their smartphones or tablets instead of at the hotel front desk. What’s more, guests enjoy quicker and easier access to hotel products and services. And all of this adds up to a better customer experience.
But it’s not just customers who benefit from the tech. Cloud-based mobile solutions also have the advantage of freeing hotel staff from their fixed terminals, allowing them to work more independently and efficiently than was previously possible.
Cloud Solutions in Travel: Sabre Shows the Way
Hoteliers are not the only ones tapping the power of cloud-based services for their business. Major travel players are also getting in on the action. For example, Sabre recently embarked on a 10-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud aimed at creating a new marketplace for Sabre’s customers in the airline, hospitality, and agency sectors.
Key initiatives include migrating Sabre’s IT infrastructure and leveraging Google Cloud’s analytics capabilities to enhance products. Here, as in the hospitality sector, the information gathered by cloud-based services will drive more personalized customer experiences while boosting convenience and saving time.
Three Things to Bear in Mind When Moving to the Cloud
While the business benefits of cloud-based services are enticing, it’s vital to consider three factors before embarking on your cloud journey. First, you must identify the vendor that is right for you. Second, you have to make sure your cloud environment is set up properly. And third, you need to know that this environment will be reliably maintained throughout its life cycle.
Get any of these wrong and you run the risk of potentially costly downtimes and damaging data breaches. As a strategic partner, Accenture can help you address these key questions and find the cloud solution that best meets your specific needs. If you’d like to find out more about the expert advice and assistance Accenture offers in this area, please feel free to reach out to me.
As 2020 draws to a close, I’d like to thank you, the readers of this blog, for all your valuable feedback and support throughout the year. In 2021, I’ll continue showcasing the latest tech trends relating to M&A and in the travel and transport sector – both in this blog and at speaker events. Stay tuned for further news.
In the meantime, I wish you and your loved ones a relaxing and safe holiday season.