To the untrained eye, the title of this blog post might simply look like a jumbled collection of meaningless techy jargon.
And, to be honest - that’d be a fair assumption. But behind those words lies a debate that continues to dominate conversations among hoteliers looking to refresh their property management system (PMS).
With so many options on the market, choosing between vendors is hard enough, and that’s before you get to the thorny topic of how the system itself is delivered.
Do you go on-premise, hosted or cloud-based?
We’d like to help you get to the bottom of this conundrum with a no-nonsense guide that will lead you to the only conclusion worth making…
What is an on-premise PMS?
Remember when you used to buy software and receive it in DVD form? In the age of app stores and immediate downloads, it seems like an age ago, doesn’t it?
Yet, this is pretty much exactly what an on-premise PMS is (only, the delivery is usually undertaken by the vendor, along with a bout of on-site training).
A hotel booking system that’s installed on-premise relies solely on the hardware available at the property. That usually means you’ll need an expensive server and bunch of networked computers, each with their own ‘client’ copy of said software installed.
You’d do well to find an on-premise PMS to purchase these days, but if you haven’t upgraded your own system in a number of years, there’s a good chance you already have this form of PMS.
So, what’s a hosted PMS?
A hosted PMS sounds well and dandy - particularly when described by a talented sales person.
“All of your data is hosted on the cloud,” they say, pointing to the sky. And that’s absolutely true, but what you often don’t hear during that sales pitch is the fact the software itself is still installed on-premise at the hotel.
That means you’ll still need a local installation to take place; any computer on which you’d like to access the PMS will need to have the client software installed.
Hosted property management systems are often mis-sold as cloud-based. In truth, they’re part cloud-based, because it’s only the data that sits off-site.
Ok, so a cloud PMS it is, then…
Put simply - yes!
A proper cloud-based PMS is, as you’d expect, located entirely on the web. All of the data and software is accessed via a web browser (such as Google Chrome or Apple Safari) with no physical installation of anything PMS-related at the hotel.
This completely removes the infrastructure burden from your business in exchange for a monthly fee that covers the hosting of the PMS itself. You basically pay the vendor to look after your data and provide access to it no matter where you are or which device you have to hand. And, if they’re really worth investing in, you’ll be treated to constant innovation for no extra cost, too.
Cloud software isn’t the future - it’s what we should all be using now. In the battle of on-premise versus hosted versus cloud, the latter is the clearest of winners.