Channel Managers are so last year!
We have come a long way from Booking Engines to Cloud Based PMS Front Desk
We have come a long way since we released our Booking Engine in 2002. At the time we thought the ability to book and pay for something online was revolutionary, but times sure have moved on since then. In 2007 we sat with in a hotel on a dark winters night in the middle of the Donegal mountains listening to a customer moaning about updating so many different OTA's. 'Why doesnt someone come out with something that updates them automatically' she said. 'Impossible' said we, 'All the databases they use are different!' But after mentioning this conversation next day in the office the programmers contradicted me and said it was technically possible....hence the birth of our Channel Manager in 2008.
But back then we knew that a Channel Manager on its own, would not be the end solution. Would hotels really take all the bookings that come through the Channel Manager and type them into a PMS? Even then we knew that one day Channel Managers would have to be connected to PMS Systems and these are commonly available now.
Once again we were able to see over the horizon to the day when Channel Managers themselves would become obsolete...why would someone have to login to a system and tell it how many rooms they have for sale? Surely the PMS knows how many rooms they have, how many reservations they have and can subtract one from the other to work out how many rooms are available and automatically give this to the OTA's? And thats exactly where we are today with the AccuBook GuestDiary, drastically cutting out overbookings and reducing under-selling.
If we had a go at forecasting the future again, we can also see that one day credit card numbers will never be passed to a hotel for processing. The card details from a booking will sit in a Vault and the receptionist will simply click a button that automatically charges the card, without ever seeing the actual credit card number......and yes we are working on it!