I’m sure you’ve already heard about Public, or Open, APIs over the past couple of years and how they are fast becoming an essential part of Software and App Integration. Certainly you have an idea of what an API does and how Open Code has revolutionized Facebook and Google, but you may not understand what a Public API is, exactly, and what problems it solves for the Hotel Industry.
Let’s start with what is meant by Integration: If you are using a Property Management System on a dedicated in-house server, you are likely already aware of many of its limitations:
- Multi-step bookings:
OTA, phone and email bookings often require a staff member to manually input client data and for the client to keep track of confirmation numbers and associated paperwork
Crashing servers, user input errors, etc.
Data can be limited or difficult to retrieve, losing you valuable metrics
Often these systems can’t seamlessly integrate multiple levels of control within the hotel: room controls, scheduling, automated check-in or payment processing, etc.
Maintaining and supporting an in-house PMS can become costly
These systems cannot be accessed or edited except often through the in0house interface, costing time, costing money
These systems do not age well, nor are they often scalable to accommodate new developments
So what can you do about this?
The first thing, and you may have already done this, is upgrade from in-house to cloud-based PMS (potentially with an integrated Central Reservation System) in order to facilitate remote viewing and updating as well as allowing for easier data management, storage and future upgrades.
But the Second, and possibly more critical, thing is to consider employing a cloud-based PMS that utilizes Public API. There are a few very important justifications for this change:
- Plug and Play:
Public APIs mean you (or the company you hire) don’t have to design and code all software in-house, saving development time and redundancies
Clients can reserve, book, check-in/out and pay from many different sources, securely, through devices and apps with access to your Public API
- Control your Data:
Your PMS can easily integrate with booking apps and data analysis software to help you access, analyze and control your data
- Scalable: Your PMS doesn’t have to scale up to incorporate new apps or communicate with other software systems you may require because they will be able to talk to one another efficiently
- Profitability: Open APIs and Cloud-based software both allow for future expansion and embrace beneficial innovations by third-party developers
- The Internet of Things is here: with more connected devices coming to market every year, Public API will allow your core system to communicate with, collect data from, and even control appliances within your hotel
These may feel like predictions for the future, but these are all developments on the market today. Google, Facebook, and Yahoo have become leaders in dynamic and interactive web experiences facilitated by Public APIs. In addition, Smartphones, Fitbits and other connected devices are utilizing Public APIs to help direct their user, suggest purchases, hotels and landmarks. One doesn’t have to look too far ahead to see how a Public API can help to open up your PMS to the consumer world, other developers increasing overall efficiency, client satisfaction and profitability.
How can our cloud-based solution help you?