Installing, Implementing, and Integrating Hotel Operations Software for Small Hotels
Read Part 7 of 8 of our Complete Guide to Small Hotel Property Management Software to learn more about installing and implementing hotel operations software, hotel PMS integration, and more.

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1. Installing Hotel Operations Software

So you’ve found the perfect hotel property management software—otherwise known as hotel operations software—now what? How do you get your new hotel operations software up and running?

The first step to implementing a hotel PMS at your small hotel is to install it—or, more accurately, not install it in some cases.

For cloud-based hotel operations software, which we always recommend for small hotels, there is no actual “installation” required to get started with your hotel PMS. All you need is a connected device with a web browser. Simply open your PMS on your browser, log in, and you’re good to go.

On-premise hotel operations software, on the other hand, does require installation, and it also usually requires an IT expert. In addition to installing the software on every device you want to access it on (not to mention purchasing licenses for each device), you’ll also need to install and maintain dedicated on-site servers to store your property management data. That’s a lot of work for small hotels that may not have the time (or cash flow) to support such an investment.

INNROAD TIP: With little to no installation requirements, cloud-based hotel operations software is easier, faster, and cheaper for small hotels to implement.

When to install new hotel operations software

Even without requiring complicated and costly installation, installing cloud-based hotel operations software does require some consideration. How do you know when is the right time to get started with your new PMS?

The worst time to install new hotel operations software, regardless of how easy it is to implement, is when you’re under a time crunch—such as when your current software is suddenly woefully outdated, your contract is expiring, or you’re otherwise forced to replace your current system.

The best time to install a new hotel PMS is when you’re not under any other pressure, such as during your off-season. Without the pressure of peak-season guests, security vulnerabilities, or a looming loss of important reservation and property management data, you’ll have more time to research your options, plan the transition, and train your staff.

2. Implementing Hotel Operations Software

Implementing cloud-based hotel PMS software may seem complicated if you’re brand new to hotel operations software, but it doesn’t have to be. To help ease the transition and ensure a smooth implementation for your entire team, look for a cloud-based PMS provider that offers these key aspects of implementation:

  • Dedicated implementation advisors who will walk you and your staff through the entire process and provide one-on-one training so everyone knows how to use the new software.
  • Live demo periods so you can test your new software before you commit.
  • 24/7/365 ongoing support. No matter how well planned your installation and implementation process is, there are bound to be some bumps along the way. With around-the-clock access to support, you can eliminate downtime and rest easy knowing you have the tools you need to keep your hotel operations moving smoothly any time of day.

INNROAD TIP: Ask your implementation advisor to show you how to do the specific tasks you hope to do with your new software so you can get a real sense for how the system is designed and how it will work for you.

During innRoad’s implementation process, your dedicated implementation advisor will help you set up your rooms, set room rates, and adjust rates by season based on the information you provide. You will take over management of your rooms, rates, and seasons after implementation is complete, but if you need help at any point, innRoad’s support team can help you troubleshoot any issues and even walk you through solutions remotely.

What about your reservation data?

When you implement a new PMS, the last thing you want is to lose all of your key reservation data. Migrating your past and future reservation data is a key component of successfully implementing a new PMS, so be sure to look for a provider that offers free data migration.

3. Hotel PMS Integration With Other Key Systems

While some hotel operations software comes fully loaded with every tool and feature you could possibly need, other providers offer a more streamlined base package with options to add on more tools if you need them, such as a hotel PMS and channel manager, online check-in, access control systems for smart locks, and guest communications.

If your PMS doesn’t offer the tools you need (either natively or as an add-on), most hotel operations software can also be integrated with other key systems and property management functions so you can operate your property seamlessly with all the information you need easily available at any time.

Cloud-based hotel operations software like innRoad is typically easier to integrate because it often has an open API. On-premise software can usually integrate with other systems, but it requires more tech expertise (and usually more money) to set up.

INNROAD TIP: Fully loaded systems are often ideal for larger hotels and chains, while streamlined systems with add-on features and easy integrations are typically better suited for smaller hotels. With flexible hotel operations software, small hotel owners and property managers can pick and choose the features they need without paying for the ones they don’t.

Key hotel PMS integrations

Not knowing what features and integrations you might need is a common mistake small hotel owners make when choosing a hotel PMS. When you’re shopping for hotel operations software, start by making a list of the features you need now and which you might need in the future. Consider your current pain points, and think ahead about your future plans so you can factor these into your choice. If your provider doesn’t offer the features you need as part of their software suite, make sure they can be integrated before you commit.

You may not need your hotel operations software to integrate with any external systems, especially if it comes loaded with all the features you need. If you aren’t certain, here are some key hotel PMS integrations to consider:

  • Hotel PMS and channel manager: Hotel PMS and channel manager integration is especially important for properties that list rooms on OTAs and GDSs. With a hotel PMS and channel manager, you can adjust room rates, availability, and key property information right in your PMS and automatically sync the changes across all your booking channels. Some hotel operations software comes with channel management tools installed, while others (including innRoad) offer channel management as an add-on.
  • Guest messaging: Integrating your hotel PMS with guest communications allows you to reach out directly to guests who have upcoming reservations. innRoad integrates easily with Akia guest messaging and other guest messaging platforms so you can communicate with your guests before they arrive and keep in touch throughout their stay.
  • Accounting: Some hotel operations software can integrate directly with your accounting suite, allowing you to handle key bookkeeping tasks like creating journal entries based on your PMS activity. innRoad integrates directly with QuickBooks Online and Desktop so you can feel confident your bookkeeping is accurate and never miss out on important charges again.
  • Point of sale: By integrating your hotel PMS with your point of sale system, you can send room charges from your on-site restaurant, bar, or spa directly to your guest folio, as well as store fees not paid through room charges in your PMS for easier accounting. innRoad integrates seamlessly with Lightspeed L Series POS, Uniwell Systems, Springer-Miller, Squirrel, Positouch, and many other POS systems.
  • Remote door locks: Send reservations from your PMS to your remote door locks so guests can enjoy contactless access to their rooms. innRoad integrates with RemoteLock, Saflok, ONITY, and several other remote door lock systems.

4. Checking Out

Installing, implementing, and integrating hotel operations software can be a daunting process. Choosing a cloud-based hotel PMS software can simplify the process, along with selecting a provider who offers dedicated implementation advisors, 24/7/365 ongoing technical support, and free data migration.

innRoad’s all-in-one property management system for small hotels requires no installation—just a web browser and a connected device. With a dedicated implementation advisor on your side, one-on-one training and year-round technical support, free data migration, and hundreds of available integrations, you can ensure a smooth, seamless transition to your new innRoad PMS with as little downtime as possible.

Discover innRoad's Small Hotel PMS

Request a free customized demo to see how innRoad's small hotel PMS can help you get more bookings, streamline operations, and increase your revenue.

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