FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.
To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 130 Hotel Management products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.
Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).
Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.
FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:
Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.
Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 3.1 for capability and 2.6 for value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.
For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. For example, if you manage a small independent hotel and are new to software, you can find a system in the Masters sub-quadrant that offers core front desk and reservation tools to get you started. However, if you operate a resort with various amenities, a system in the Contenders or Pacesetters sub-quadrants could include the specialized functionality you need.
You can download the full FrontRunners for Hotel Management report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.
You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.
To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, they must include capabilities to manage reservations, check guests in and out and coordinate housekeeping staff.
From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.
For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:
Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You’re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.
Check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:
FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.
Providers listed as Runners Up were considered for inclusion in the quadrant, but were ultimately not included for one or more reasons: they did not have enough reviews; they did not meet the reviews score minimum; they did not meet the ultimate Value and Capability minimum scores; or they did not meet our functionality requirements for the market.
Hotel and hospitality management software performs essential financial and organizational functions for hotels, motels, resorts and bed & breakfasts, as well as condos, RV parks and other forms of lodging. These functions include reservations, employee scheduling, accounting, property/maintenance management and customer relationship management.
Here's what we'll cover:
Hotel property management systems should have strong reporting capabilities, as well as on-board business functions like accounting and employee scheduling. These features should be customized specifically for the hospitality industry to simplify and speed up your management and accounting processes—or, if they are not part of the software itself, should be compatible with the software you have.
Other essential features of hotel software systems include:
|Reservations||Hotels need an effective customer-facing site that not only lets their guests book reservations online, but also integrate seamlessly with third-party booking engines. Meanwhile, you need an employee reservations system that facilitates room scheduling and availability, making it easy to identify vacancies, reservations and occupancies visually and/or through custom searches.|
|Front desk & housekeeping||This includes organizing check-ins and check-outs, coding keycards, scheduling wakeup calls and tracking progress of cleaning staff, assigning them to specific rooms or tasks as necessary.|
|Point of sale (POS)||POS systems are typically used for restaurants and retail stores. In the hospitality industry it’s used to allow customers to pay for, or charge to their room, products and services like restaurant meals, room service, incidentals like mini-bar items or pay-per-view, Wi-Fi, health club/spa services etc.|
|Maintenance management||An essential function, it’s important that hospitality management software tracks the property ownership/rental information (leases, taxes etc.) as well as tracking work orders, scheduling preventative maintenance and communicating with maintenance staff.|
|Customer relationship management||Hotel CRM software takes all the information you have about a customer and uses it to support customer loyalty and retention. It allows you to monitor guest profiles, activity history and participation in loyalty programs to optimize rewards programs and sales and marketing tactics.|
Reservations screen in innRoad
Hotel management software buyers typically fall into one of the following categories:
Franchises. Many franchises have specific rules on what hospitality software can be used, while others, such as Holiday Inn, allow their franchisees to make the decision for themselves. Make sure you discuss your software options with the franchise to get their input on which products are recommended and why.
Hotel chains. At the other side of the table, if you represent a brand with multiple properties, you need to determine whether you want a single hotel PMS across them all or allow them to choose for themselves. Ask yourself how much—and what kind of—information you want to gather from each of your properties, and whether it needs to come in automatically or if manual reporting will be sufficient. If you do go with a single unified product, be sure to consider how the needs of each property differ—you may only have one hotel in Las Vegas, but it will need some of the features associated with Casino Management Software, which may necessarily impact your purchase decision.
Large hotels and resorts. The larger the property, the more robust a system you’ll need. Large hotels and resorts typically have lots of different products and services for people to buy, more maintenance requests and more complicated reservation and scheduling needs. It should be worth it to pay more for a robust hotel or resort product that can make all your processes smoother.
Small property owners. A bed-and-breakfast or a hotel with only a few rooms will have much less robust needs than a large resort. If you are just starting out, you may wish to consider a simple, but comprehensive system that includes property management and account capabilities. If you already have software that meets those other needs, be sure your new system is compatible with your legacy hotel management system.
Property managers. If you represent an RV park, a condo or some other form of communal living, you may wish to consider property management software instead of software for hotels. That being said, if there’s a lot of turnover at your property it may be easier to use this category of software, which is designed to handle reservations and accounting for high-turnover environments.
Software as a Service (SaaS). Most software is moving away from locally installed software and toward Web-based systems that can be accessed anywhere for a monthly fee. This drastically reduces the up-front costs of purchasing a system as well as the ongoing need for an IT infrastructure. The disadvantage is that monthly costs can add up over time, but most businesses prefer the flexibility associated with SaaS systems.
Market fragmentation. Because of the relative ease of developing software, there are lots of new companies entering the hotel management software market. Many of these come from Canada and Europe and are now looking to enter into the U.S. market. Though this will no doubt lead to better costs and quality in the long run, at the moment buying decisions may be even more confusing than they were a few years ago.
Pricing for hotel property management software is usually either per room/unit or per user. Keep in mind that for an on-premise system you’ll pay a single fee, likely with an annual maintenance upgrade, while Web-based systems (Software as a Service, or SaaS) will charge on a monthly basis.
Specific questions to ask when evaluating hoteling software include:
It’s important to consider whether you need something specific to your type of property (hotel, motel, resort), or something more generic and/or basic.
Trivago buys Swiss hotel software provider Base7booking. Trivago, the popular online travel agency, is hoping to get small and independent hotels to use the Base7booking hotel property management system. This is another example of OTAs moving toward selling B2B services to hotels in addition to their core consumer-focused business.
TravelClick estimates bright 2017 first quarter for group bookings. Even though transient bookings (short-term stays) remained flat in the last quarter of 2016, TravelClick’s November 2016 North American Hospitality Review shows an improved 2017, with a 6.8 percent boost in occupancy in the group segment.
New reporting tool CloudEnterprise simplifies analytics for hotels. CloudEnterprise, the newly released reporting tool from MSI, is supported by their TruCloud platform and offers a way to consolidate data from multiple properties automatically. This allows stakeholders to have the most important reports at hand in order to make decisions.
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