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Software: from remote management to billed service

Ownership, remote management or ASP mode, or the more sophisticated SaaS: which solution? While the independent hotelier is still inclined to keep computer management local, many opt for having their server hosted by their software provider, particularly small hotel groups that want their management centralized, controlled and secured. “They tell us: I want to have my own server, but I do not want to worry about security updates and new versions, because that is not my job,” explains Eric Blat of Cegid. “In these small groups, we are seeing a development of servers hosted at one of the properties. Several hotels may share the same information and the same files. Consequently, it is easier to consolidate results,” explains Pierre-Alain Magat, of Jazotel.“We bill the classic service of a PMS, which assures billing of accommodations and F&B through office automation, at a lower price than the cost of the room’s welcome products,” insists Christian Condomines of Amadeus Hospitality. By sharing the use of servers between several properties of a same group or several independent hotels, the costs of maintenance and security are reduced. Sharing costs through SaaS mode places decision-making tools within the reach of small hotel groups or individual properties by allowing them to compete with the apparently more powerful competitors. Closing accounts and making analyses is fast and opens new horizons for marketing and distribution strategies.Nonetheless, with the development high-speed secured telecommunications, the new software is increasingly being managed by the software publisher in ASP mode. It is no longer necessary to own the software, it is enough to have a highspeed connection to transfer information and recuperate processed data. “We are doubling up all our lines with two different operators. If one line doesn’t work the system automatically shifts to the other,” guarantees Frédéric Gilliard of Micros Fidelio. This offers an important advantage: whether the hotelier owns one or many hotels or a group such as Louvre Hotels which adopted this solution, the consolidation of accounts is natural and immediate and allows for a veritable strategic analysis of individual and collective performance as well as client follow-up.“The model for local implantation has no future. Today the ASP mode is developing rapidly,” observes Frédéric Gilliard who recognizes: “two years ago I would not have made the same argument, mentalities are changing. As are the technical solutions. We have implemented a shared server infrastructure hosted at our center in Germany through which we are able to offer individual access using a simple internet connection to hotel chains and groups as well as to individual hotels, which may thus take advantage of economies of scale”. An additional level was surpassed in the “dematerialization” of the software package. After conquering other sectors, the practice of SaaS, Software as a Service, is beginning to take hold in the hotel and restaurant sectors. A major trend in computer technology, the principle of SaaS offers an economical solution. The hotelier no longer even rents the software. Payment is by the transaction for each night billed to the client. A new approach to financing technological solutions is currently appearing with this variability of costs. Until now, the equipment and software have always represented fixed costs, regardless of the volume being managed.“We bill the classic service of a PMS, which assures billing of accommodations and F&B through office automation, at a lower price than the cost of the room’s welcome products,” insists Christian Condomines of Amadeus Hospitality. By sharing the use of servers between several properties of a same group or several independent hotels, the costs of maintenance and security are reduced. Sharing costs through SaaS mode places decision-making tools within the reach of small hotel groups or individual properties by allowing them to compete with the apparently more powerful competitors. Closing accounts and making analyses is fast and opens new horizons for marketing and distribution strategies.

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