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Identifying The Essential Hotel Tech Stack

At, we have an internal framework that we call the HTStack Framework that is used as a guide to understanding what tools should be adopted by hotels.

It identifies essential and core tools, platforms, and the ‘nice to have’ technology that larger properties and brands may wish to add.

At the core, is the Property Management System. The PMS is the central repository of reservations and has a great deal of functionality to facilitate all the other tools and processes around it. It is the hotel’s core OS – operating system.

Once they've selected their PMS, they need to add on their base tools. These are the core tools that hotels need to run a modern business that operates efficiently.

First, is a Revenue Management System, such as Duetto. Other revenue and financial tools include a CRM (customer relationship management system), accounting software, and payment processing tools. Sometimes the payment processing tools are embedded in the PMS, sometimes it's opted into as a third-party partner.

The next thing that hoteliers need to do is select their essential platforms. These essential platforms are the different facets of a hotel operation on top of the core OS and the base tools that deliver specific jobs to be done, depending on the department and the interface with guests.

The first essential platform is an e-commerce platform. An e-commerce platform essentially helps hotels bring their inventory online. An e-commerce platform needs to be able to create a web presence for a hotel. You need to have a website, you need to have a booking engine to accept payments, and you need to be able to sell indirectly through a channel manager or CRS.

The next platform that we view as a mission-critical platform is an operations platform. This enables any hotel to communicate and manage tasks among staff, manage housekeeping workflows, and monitor and preserve the property. There are three categories on our site that cover this area: staff collaboration, housekeeping, and preventative maintenance.

The final platform that we view as critical to a hotel in today's market is a guest experience platform. Previously, this category in many hotel environments was viewed as a nice to have, but this has increasingly become a central data warehouse, improves the guest experience, and is able to drive additional, incremental, highly profitable revenue.

A guest experience platform consists of:

  • Contactless check-in - the ability for the guest to check in themselves. This is where the guest gives their information. It creates operational efficiencies as well.
  • Communication. The guest needs to be able to communicate with the hotel on their own device through messaging, SMS, or through a guest application. Most of the time this is a web app so that the guest doesn't need to download anything.
  • Upselling. The guest needs to be able to purchase or reserve ancillaries, through upselling, mobile ordering, or a guest app.

On top of these base tools and essential platforms, there's a suite of tools across every single department in a hotel.

We are seeing an increasing need for HR management tools, and applicant tracking systems. And for business and corporate hotels we see increased demand for a sales platform. This sales stack provides the ability to capture online bookings, and real-time requests for meeting spaces and large group packages.

This is something that's critical for these hotels. One of the things that we've seen in the wake of COVID-19 is that business travel has not fully recovered and is unlikely to ever fully recover to 2019 levels. And so, hotels need to be much more efficient, and much savvier in how they go about getting that group business.

They need the technology tools to be able to identify new accounts, and then go after them in a proactive way.

Discover more about the role a Revenue Management System plays in your hotel tech stack. Download the Hotel Tech Report Ultimate Guide to Revenue Management Systems here:

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Jordan Hollander, Co-founder, Hotel Tech Report

Jordan Hollander is the co-founder of Hotel Tech Report. He was previously on the Global Partnerships team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his work with SPG, Jordan was Director of Business Development at MWT Hospitality and an equity analyst at Wells Capital Management. Jordan received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he was a Zell Entrepreneurship Scholar and Pritzker Group Venture Fellow. Jordan received his bachelor's degree from Williams College in Political Science and Philosophy.

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