Contactless technology, hospitality services, and the cloud

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June 3, 2020

Cloud technology in the hospitality industry is changing the way that hotels, resorts, and gaming organizations serve guests. The deciding factor to success is in how simple it is for a guest to get what they want from a hotel via their own personal devices even before they arrive at a location. Essential mobile-based technology enables them to book a room, to set arrival times, to upgrade a room, add services, and more, all without necessarily having to make contact with staff.

That call for contactless solutions delivered via cloud PMS is a priority for the industry right now. This is for convenience reasons. Yet it also has social implications in an era of maintaining distance and limiting contact. How do cloud-based solutions make that easier than legacy on-premises solutions? Let’s take a look at some of the details.

The call for contactless technology and process in hotels

Limiting contact between guests and staff has become a defining characteristic in our new decade so far. The cultural implications of new generations of guests wanting more control over their experiences via their mobile devices has been in place for some time. Lately though, the health implications we’ve seen since the start of 2020 have only underlined the need for self-driven processes that enable web and mobile-based check-ins, add-ons, upgrades, check-outs and other services via mobile devices with little or no contact with hotel staff.

Rolling out this functionality simply and easily in a short period of time across multiple locations is challenging when each of those locations is essentially its own data center in relative isolation. That’s really what an on-prem PMS is. For sheer scalability, cloud-based infrastructure is necessary to enable the kind of environment in each hotel property that will make the guest feel empowered with both the functionality and distance they’re looking for in a modern hotel stay experience.

Avoiding literal contact at the payments stage

Payment technology is evolving at a rapid pace too, which is preferable and sought after during an era when touching surfaces should be minimal if not completely avoided. This means making sure that the payment process is supported by a scalable and adaptive platform to allow guests to use their mobile devices to pay remotely on web-based applications, via a mobile-based payment method (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.), or in person via EMV technology such as chipped credit cards and debit cards to reduce contact.

Having the right technology in place to help do that is what makes the difference here. This is both for practical reasons and for cultural ones, too. Cloud technology that supports these kinds of payments across a number of properties in a more cohesive and inclusive way adds dimension to this part of the guest experience. It also helps to meet some very real-world physical requirements to making payments easy and stress-free.

Empowering staff to redefine their jobs, and the way property space is organized

When it comes to contactless solutions for guest bookings and services, hotel teams need many of the same things that guests need – simplicity, ease, and distance. Contactless technology enabled via the cloud means more flexibility on the kinds of activities in which hotel teams can engage when they’re at work. Fewer interactions at the front desk to check guests in and out and dispensing keys means more time to focus on other tasks that raise the quality of a stay and the value of their work. This might mean better response times to special requests. It could be a chance for them to conduct more frequent maintenance checks and adjustments around the property, or just catching up on back-office tasks.

A cloud-enabled hotel PMS platform that allows this functionality to be applied easily and quickly to all locations allows hotel teams to help redefine what great service means in a new era, and that makes staff contributions to the guest experience more enjoyable, constructive, proactive, and generally more meaningful for them. Importantly, this can mean re-thinking and creating dedicated spaces in the property beyond guest rooms for guests to work, dine, read, think, be, without guests having to manage distance from others wherever they are while at a hotel property.

Why the cloud matters for hospitality

This era has taught us that flexibility to allow for greater innovation with a short turnaround time can set the stage for success. Contactless technology in the sense of keeping distance between staff and guests, avoiding the literal contact of surfaces at the payment stage, and having the freedom to re-think tasks and environments while we do it too are enabled by an emphasis on mobile technology that is supported in the cloud.

Hotels, resorts, and gaming organizations need to move faster than ever now. For innovation, the cloud is important – essential in fact – to the hospitality industry in this era of radical change.

To learn more about the Infor HMS hotel property management solution and how it supports contactless processes and other essential operations, click here.

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