An integration is connecting systems, applications, and devices together so that you have a better flow of data and processes. For many hotels, the property management system (PMS) acts as a central hub, to which core systems like the central reservations system (CRS), booking engine, and point of sales (POS) system are connected.
Other integrations may include online check-in software, a payments processing solution, and a customer relationship management (CRM) system, as well as solutions for guest surveys, hotel reputation management, guest messaging, and case management. The combination of systems and applications a hotel uses is called its tech stack.
How Does Your Tech Stack Add Up?
During a recent ReviewPro webinar, attendees were asked how integrated their hotel’s technology is. Here are the results:
- Some or most of our software is cloud-based – 43%
- Our PMS is integrated with most of our major tech software – 33%
- We have very little integration among our software systems – 21%
- We have big plans this year when it comes to integration – 18%
- Not sure – 6%
What Is an Application Programming Interface (API)?
Integration is made possible by an API, or application programming interface, a device that connects software programs to one another and allows them to share data and communicate with one another. Connectivity can be one-way, in which one device sends information and the other device receives it, or two-way, in which both devices can send and receive information.
In other words, an API is like the Google Translate of integrations, helping to connect systems and translate data so they understand one another. If you speak to someone in Italian and they answer you in English, Google Translate can act as an API to automatically translate your words so you can understand each other.