How to create a successful connection between distribution and reservations

This article is the first part of a three-part series on connectivity. Look to Thursday’s technology newsletter for the second part.

Connectivity solutions typically support rate and inventory management, two-way reservation processing and provide a means to manage content and digital assets. Connectivity can be obtained through a variety of options, such as a direct connection (usually mutually developed; through a traditional global distribution system; a switch or connectivity provider such as DHISCO, Derby Soft or HBSi; or via a channel manager solution, said Audrey Murante, senior director, global e-business development for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Americas.)

“As a hotelier and for our brands, our goal is to drive revenue and incremental business through increased distribution, reach and exposure,” she said. “This happens by providing efficient and effective connectivity between the distribution site and our [central reservation system].”

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Property-management systems often have to connect with possibly hundreds of distribution systems, so that’s why other systems have come into the picture, said Suman Pal, principal product manager for Agilysys.

“These are essentially connected services or hubs that are in between the PMS and distribution channels that can write to one connector,” he said.

Revenue is generated in the PMS and can be sent to the CRS or other systems, so history and consumption can be analyzed in many ways, such as geographical, market segment and channel, said Patrick Barfield, director of property management systems consulting for Sabre Hospitality Solutions.

According to Murante, this process is changing, but it is slow. Hoteliers continually look for ways to improve speed to market and increase reach.

“We want consumers throughout the world to easily find our brands and hotels,” she said. “It has become necessary for most larger brands to support all connectivity options in order to connect to the many available distribution sites.”

The Hotel Technology Next Generation is updating the standards for connectivity, which determine the way to communicate faster and make the data richer, said Pal from Agilysys.

“This way, hoteliers can have multiple views of the guest, no matter what channel they come in on,” he said.