Less of a Blog and more of a WARNING! – please read
Yesterday one of the hotels that I work closely with rang me with a huge problem… Their server had crashed – actually not crashed but died. Literally had to be taken off site and given the kiss of life. Diagnosis is most likely terminal but what this meant in much less flippant terms was a complete shut down of their system. No email, no CRM, no internet and more importantly no PMS!
In basic terms this meant that not only did the hotel have to go back to the ‘old school’ way of looking after guests, they had to be more aware of their availability during what is a very busy summer season.
To cope with this they needed to close off all booking channels as they had absolutely no method of checking availability. So the owner and I made the calls… We called Tour Operators; Consolidators and OTA’s.
Now comes the scary part… Not one of these channels asked for confirmation of who we were. Not one! Not one asked for hotel ID numbers; not one asked for written confirmation that systems had to be shut down. Every single channel willingly closed all availability on the authority of a single phone call.
For me, this is a blatant lack of security on their part and as hoteliers, could leave you wide open to someone quite literally destroying your business overnight.
I am not for one moment suggesting that an unscrupulous competitor would make the same call but how about a disgruntled member of staff?
We absolutely insist on secure sites for our customers and rightly so and we expect our distribution channels to securely manage our availability and customer profiles but to get this wrong at such a basic level is shocking!
I would urge you today, right now in fact to contact your Account Manager in each of your distribution channels and to call for some level of security to be added. At no stage should anyone be allowed to call without any ID and shut down your business.
As hoteliers we are becoming more and more aware of adding levels of security to the management of social media channels etc, so why shouldn’t we expect OTA’s and other distributors to add a level of security to something that is absolutely fundamental to our business. I urge you to protect yourself and make that call today.
And on another note, this does also highlight the absolute need to invest in technology. Servers are not just a costly piece of hardware but are in fact what your whole business sits upon and relies upon. If you haven’t got the latest technology, then please future-proof yourself today.
I hope this helps… Adrienne