PMS, OTA, CM, API, iCal, UX – JULIA creates order in the terminology jungle!
“More and more hotels are using OTAs that are managed by a PMS through an API or iCal -connected to a CM to avoid duplicate bookings and provide guests with optimal UX.” Well bravo! Does this sound familiar to you? You are surfing the Internet, looking for information about how technology can help you to improve your business and increase your bookings, when all of the acronyms and special terms begin to take over? That can change! Our JULIA explains the most important terms with which she comes in contact during her daily work as a virtual receptionist.
PMS (Property Management System)
The property management system is a software solution for the administration, marketing and rental of accommodation units such as rooms or apartments. The term PMS can also be referred to as hotel software, hotel system, booking system or reservation system. This covers the functions that happen on a day-to-day basis within the business: the room planner/calendar, recording booking and guest details, the reporting and accounting system. These replace the classic paper room plan, bookings are entered automatically or manually into the digital room plan and processed from there. The different systems on the market vary in their functions – with room, booking and guest management as well as accounting as the core functions.
How does JULIA work with easybooking?
In addition to the core functions mentioned above, the easybooking hotel software has other important features such as; automated guest communication in up to seven languages and price management. Plus, for countries where applicable, we support the requirements of national guest register and cash registering initiatives.
OTA (Online Travel Agency)
Online Travel Agencies are booking platforms which, as online travel agents, offer tourist services such as accommodation, flights or rental cars to their users through a website or app. OTAs play a special role as an online sales channel, as users can apply filtering to find individual and needs-oriented offers. For example, the customer can choose to display only offers that meet certain criteria, such as offering full board, having a swimming pool or free parking. Another advantage of the online booking platforms is that searchers can access them anywhere and anytime – so they do not have to adhere to the opening hours of a classic travel agent, but can also look for and book their holidays late at night in their own home. The feedback functions available on booking websites are also of particular importance. Customers are asked to rate their stay at the accommodation after their holiday. Providing appropriate feedback helps to guide future customers in their decision-making. The largest OTAs include Booking.com, Expedia and HRS.
What is the significance of OTAs for JULIA?
In her work as a virtual receptionist, JULIA receives countless bookings via online booking platforms every day. For many years there has been a close collaboration between easybooking and Booking.com to jointly educate on important topics such as maintaining visibility for accommodation providers on the web and improving the sharing of availability on online booking platforms.
CM (Channel Manager)
The presence on booking platforms is just as important for landlords as it is time-consuming: the use of different platforms requires a high level of maintenance. This is precisely where channel management systems are used to control the quotas and availabilities on each platform and avoid duplicate bookings. Information about prices, availability and restrictions is maintained using a software solution, and this is automatically sent to the various portals via programming interfaces (APIs). These quotas can be split automatically as required to optimize the coverage across connected channels.
How does JULIA manage the individual sales channels?
The easybooking Channel Manager is controlled directly from the PMS and includes price and restriction management, overviews of existing bookings and revenue analysis information.
API (Application Programming Interface, Programming Interface)
A programming interface is used to connect different software systems to each other. This enables the exchange of data between separate systems. For example, programming interfaces allow the automatic synchronization of room availability stored in the PMS for an accommodation business with the bookable units of the same accommodation business on an online booking platform.
Which APIs does JULIA have?
The easybooking Channel Manager is connected via direct interfaces to the most important booking platforms such as Booking.com, Expedia (with venere, hotels.com, trivago, travelocity), the HRS Group (HRS, Tiscover and HRS destinations), Intobis and Capcorn. JULIA also has interfaces to destination management systems such as Feratel or Tomas. These interfaces are used to access other platforms that are not directly connected to JULIA but to the respective destination management system. For example, another 40 booking platforms are connected to JULIA via the feratel API. The easybooking hotel software can also be linked with other property management systems via interfaces such as Casablanca, Elite or Protel.
If software systems do not have a programming interface, it is possible to exchange calendar information using the iCalender data format. In contrast to the API method, there is no real-time synchronization of the data, but rather an exporting of the current state of the data at the time that the process is run.
How does JULIA use iCal links?
If there is no API for an online booking platform, the data exchange can be done via an iCal link for synchronization between the platforms and the easybooking room calendar/planner. Each room is provided with a link and this link can be used for individual portals, which align their calendar with the easybooking voucher plan for booking requests. JULIA can be connected via iCal to countless portals such as Airbnb, Apartments Unlimited, Dream Apartments or Wimdu. JULIA customers can find instructions on how to do this in the easybooking academy.
UX (User eXperience)
User exerience is the perceived quality of a user interacting with a digital application. The user experience is subjective and dependent on various factors that affect the user at the time of the interaction. These include, among other things, the familiarity and intuitive handling as well as the functionality of the system.
How does JULIA take care of the guests’ user experience?
The easybooking online booking route is optimally adapted to the needs of the user – with just a few clicks (or taps) they can request an individual offer or book directly. Plus, JULIA is available for your guests around the clock – no matter if they make a request online or book with you directly, JULIA immediately sends a personalized offer or the corresponding booking confirmation to the guest. Therefore the first contact that the customer experiences with the accommodation provider is impeccable!