Should the reservation platform fit the business or vice versa?

10th April 2014

From online travel agents to hotel aggregators, weighing up the needs of your business against the confines of your current system can produce some tough questions. For businesses looking to grow and expand their current product offering, understanding what you need from a new system can seem even more difficult.

But although every operator is looking for the perfect platform, the nature of reservation system development ensures that no system is going to offer a 100% solution immediately. But how much should you be aiming for in terms of system perfection?

Prioritise your requirements

Given the costs and restructuring involved in changing a reservation platform, many operators will be looking for a comprehensive system capable of fulfilling all of their requirements. In some instances however it’s better to understand which of those requirements are ‘must haves’ and which are ‘nice to haves,’ so that must haves can be prioritised and focussed on. This is particularly useful when timescales are tight and ‘nice to haves’ are delayed to a second phase of functionality updates. Being pragmatic and accepting the 90% solution rather than striving for complete perfection, can often be more effective in the long run.

Find the right balance

It can be easy to focus on all of the problems that you experience on a day to day basis with your reservation platform when thinking about a switch. Do not forget however about the way your system handles the bread-and-butter elements, those bits of functionality that it does well, you need to balance what you are carrying over, with what needs to be new.

For example, if your current system fails to handle multiple bookings or has a poor number of connections it’s important to prioritise these issues, but not for the sake of key back-end functions, such as financial reporting, that are operationally fundamental.

Don’t fight the fundamentals

It’s also important to realise that all IT systems are built on a certain fundamentals. But while adding innovative functionality and inventive new features is important, it’s equally vital to not start changing the foundations of what your system is already built upon. As well as adding friction to the process of changing system, comprehensive redevelopment can also see your organisation endure a far more time-consuming and costly process.

Although no system should prevent a business from growing, the nature of travel software development does mean that being realistic during a switching process is key. Ultimately, finding a balance between what you want from a system and your core functionality requirements, and adopting a logical approach to considering these needs will help to ensure that both reservation platform and business work in harmony.



Recent blog articles

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In a market sector as rapidly evolving as the travel industry, thinking two steps ahead plays a vital role in giving businesses a cutting edge. Yet despite the importance of a forward thinking strategy to delivering growth, many operators are failing to implement such plans as a key priority.

Is the user experience of your platform hurting your bottom line?

For many online travel businesses, conducting front end development can often fall by the wayside when making changes to a reservation platform. With the nuts-and-bolts of API development and system maintenance often being a core focus, optimising the user experience simply doesn’t always take priority.

Download our guides

Part 1: Is it time to update your reservation platform? A buyer's guide to planning for the future. Download here

Part 2: How a reservation platform can support business growth in a changing marketplace. Download

Part 3: Creating an RFP for a new reservation platform. Download here

About intuitive

intuitive is an innovative and dynamic travel software company based in South London. Through inspiring use of new technology and vast industry experience intuitive has redefined how technology can support and drive forward the business of tour operators, OTAs, hotel aggregators and hotel wholesalers to achieve their goals.

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