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Choice Hotels is an independent group of five properties based in Blackpool and the Lake District.
As part of Choice Hotels' operations they also have a head office located in Blackpool that is responsible for reservations, rate management and all financial functions. The Central Reservations Office is staffed by a team of 17 who deal with enquiries for all the hotels within the group, allowing the individual properties to focus on customer service.
For a number of years Choice Hotels had used an industry standard Property Management System (PMS), utilising a VPN connection to link the Central Reservations Office to each hotel's individual on-site server.
In late 2008, Choice Hotels were informed by their PMS vendor that support for the current system was being withdrawn. This meant that the group either had to upgrade to their existing supplier's latest system or investigate alternative solutions. Rather than proceed down the automatic upgrade route, Choice Hotels took the opportunity to investigate which other systems and innovations were available in the marketplace.
Any new system implemented by the group needed to incorporate a centralised Property Management System, full Central Reservations Office capabilities, real-time head office management reporting, seamless cross-property bookings and live online reservations through the Choice Hotels website and online channels.
A core requirement of the project was that any replacement system must be a totally hosted solution, eliminating the need for Choice Hotels to invest in expensive new hardware.
After careful consideration, Choice Hotels took the decision to install Guestline’s Web-Based PMS. This was combined with Guestline's Distribution Channel Manager for online channel management and PCI Compliance Solution to provide full PCI-DSS compliance.
Guestline's Property Management System is 100% Internet-based and designed around a single, centrally-located data source that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via a standard secure web browser. The PMS incorporates full functionality including front of house, reservations, conference & banqueting, back office, sales ledger, business analysis reporting and an extremely powerful sales & marketing tool.
The fundamental principle behind the PMS is that the software is not installed locally at the hotel. Instead, it is hosted remotely on Guestline’s dedicated servers and Guestline are responsible for the security and backup of the hotel’s data, as well as the resilience of the hardware on which the software and data is stored.
Choice Hotels' requirement for the automatic processing of online bookings from their own website or major online booking agents is handled by Guestline’s Distribution Channel Manager.
The Channel Manager streamlines the online channel management process by actively connecting the group's hotels to the leading online travel agencies such as LateRooms, Booking.com and Expedia.
This powerful two-way interface enables Choice Hotels to manage its online rates, inventory and availability directly from their Property Management System. It also facilitates the seamless delivery of reservations from all online sales channels directly into the PMS without the need for manual data entry.
The implementation of Guestline's PCI Compliance Solution ensures that the group fully complies with the latest PCI-DSS payment card security standard. It provides solutions to the key problem areas of the standard, such as wireless security scans, external vulnerability scans, personal firewall & virus protection audits and creating policies & procedures. The PCI Solution connects the PMS to the card acquiring services to provide a secure method of card data storage.
Guestline's ability to offer a fully integrated, hosted solution that incorporates channel management was a key factor in our decision to select them as our preferred supplier.
Sally Carpenito, Director, Choice Hotels