More than ever, the property management system is the hotel’s brain. It’s the all-in-one place that not only manages a property’s guests, but more often, is the most important system operating the entire hotel.

Hotel based property management systems that work up to their potentials have myriad interfaces with a panoply of products. It’s a way to ensure seamless hotel operations. Otherwise, many hotel staffs end up using different systems to properly run their properties.

The need for a single screen solution means a property management system is only as good as its interfaces. If it doesn’t have them, then the system simply is not likely as effective of a solution.

Interfaces are the little discussed but critical technology backbone and workhorse behind the scenes in hotels. According to HTNG, interfaces “reduce requirements for onsite IT support at hotel properties through central hosting of applications and remote monitoring and management of devices wherever feasible.”

HTNG stands for Hotel Technology Next Generation, and they foster industry supplier collaboration when it comes to forward thinking technologies for the hotel industry.

Interfaces also serve to make it easier for hoteliers to upgrade to a cloud based property management system. That’s because when a hotel interface is in place, already purchased products can still be used. And if they’re integrated into the hotel’s PMS, these products can all be tied together centrally.

Therefore, when researching a new property management system product,  it would be a good idea to inquire if the product interfaces with other critical systems such as POS, booking engines and energy management systems.

SkyTouch Technology offers a number of interfaces, and the company is adding more all the time. A complete list of interfaces is available here.

Some key interfaces for PMS include:

  • Booking Engines enabling seamless, two-way connections to the world’s leading booking engines. This helps hoteliers manage inventory and gain visibility.
  • Easy Inventory Management Channel Manager, to optimize online exposure and easily and efficiently manage inventory.
  • Credit Card Point of Sale (POS), essential to process credit cards directly and securely through a cloud based hotel operating system. It also helps unify outlets such as the gift shop, spa, and F&B outlets to the guest’s folio.
  • Call accounting system that ties directly into the PMS for seamless billing. Guestroom telephones aren’t used as often as before, but you should still seek a call accounting system. SkyTouch also offers voice mail activation interfaces.
  • Link to major CRS (Central Reservation System) connections. This enables the PMS to receive reservations from leading booking engines.
  • Connectivity to sales and catering systems for full service hotels to the cloud based PMS to keep better track of group spend. .
  • Energy Management system connectivity that allows the PMS to manage pre-set room temperature controls.
  • An electronic lock interface that communicates guest room numbers and arrival/departure information to your properties’ key systems. This ensures guests have room access only when as permitted.
  • A back-office accounting interface that helps transmit financial data from the cloud based PMS to the accounting system.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity permissions and in-room movie charges interfaces for guest convenience.

Finally, a proactive hotel PMS provider will also work with you to develop new interfaces for products a hotel may have, but are not covered by existing solutions.

In the end, a hotel PMS must be held to the test of how well it integrates with a typical hotel’s technology . Be sure to know who your vendors are for technology products and be sure there are existing interfaces already in operation or development.

The hotel PMS is probably the most important piece of technology in the hotel, but only if it can communicate with the rest. Be sure it does!