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PMS and CRS: must haves for a happy marriage

The central role of Internet in hotel distribution is confirmed each day. Now representing 30 to 40% of reservations and probably even more tomorrow, this channel is strategic in more than one way. Hoteliers have taken control over it and must not allow the other distribution players to lay down the law: GDS, reservation centers. Managing the hotel’s real availability and directly integrating reservations from these different sources proves to be essential. It is the great challenge of an efficient and practical interface. Most software publishers and hotel distribution players are trying to smooth out the flux of information and exchange between two different environments: management software and reservation systems. “The goal is to fully automate the process. The hotelier must be able to develop his own sales on Internet while easily distributing rooms to other middlemen on the market. This frees up time to take care of telephone reservation and walk-ins,” explains Pierre- Alain Magat of Jazotel.With the growing weight of electronic hotel reservation players, the risk of sales being overly concentrated on one or two of the hotel’s distribution channels is high. Total automation involves risks and maintaining control over distribution can prove to be strategic. “Everything will be automated in the long run, but it is necessary to prioritize functions first,” emphasizes Jean Carel of the company Topsys, which publishes the solution Top Pilote. “It is necessary to first take action within trade intelligence before shifting to automated connectivity. First build the body and then add the arms.”Interfacing PMSs with reservation specialists makes it possible to authorize management of inventory. “Any PMS can be interfaced with our solutions,” explains Jean Louis Boss, manager of Fastbooking France. With a goal to boosting their Internet sales – which are the most profitable- this booking engine is evolving towards a role as a full service provider. In addition to its GDS code, its Checker watch tool and Updater tool that updates rates, FastBooking also offers an “all inclusive” package. With no fixed fees, but a 15% commission per reservation, the hotelier or hotel collection can access these solutions as well as create its own web site and referencing.At PMS publishers, the time is also one for more integrated solutions that include online reservations from the start. The Internet-PMS dialogue is in the genes of new programs: “We no longer sell a PMS but a PRS,” remarks Frédéric Gilliard, of Micros Fidelio France. The fourth version of Opéra integrates Micros Fidelio’s CRS module myfidelio. net from the beginning. The result leads to an authentic “Property Reservation System”, since the hotelier is able to manage his property’s availability on the different distribution channels from his PMS. “It isn’t even necessary to define an allotment per channel. The tool makes it possible to directly allocate the number of rooms to be sold on the GDSs, Internet distributors and the hotel’s own website with individual rates for each source,” explains Frédéric Gilliard. The ho lier may also impose restrictions: “the hotel may decide to automatically close Internet super premium rates beyond a certain volume of occupancy”. At Amadeus Hospitality, the will is identical: “We are working on a CRS, reservation center tool that will include a PMS application that will directly insert the reservation in the hotel’s planning and invoice the client. It will be called HDP for Hotel Distribution Platform,” explains Christian Condomines.With increasingly integrated solutions, the importance of one subject is growing: channel management, meaning optimized management of distribution channels. The management of different intermediaries and commission rates requires the hotelier to make strategic choices between the possible sources of reservations: GDS, distribution centers, Internet… all considered decisions that need to be made in function of performance indicators, distribution costs and indicators that provide the tools for yield management.With the growing weight of electronic hotel reservation players, the risk of sales being overly concentrated on one or two of the hotel’s distribution channels is high. Total automation involves risks and maintaining control over distribution can prove to be strategic. “Everything will be automated in the long run, but it is necessary to prioritize functions first,” emphasizes Jean Carel of the company Topsys, which publishes the solution Top Pilote. “It is necessary to first take action within trade intelligence before shifting to automated connectivity. First build the body and then add the arms.”

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