Agilysys Gives Hotels iPad Check-In with LMS 7.2
October 9, 2012 Alex Woodie
Hotels that use the IBM i-based Lodging Management System (LMS) from Agilysys will be able to check guests in and out of their properties with iPads when they upgrade to the latest release, version 7.2, which was unveiled last week at Global Gaming Expo 2012.
LMS is an ERP system designed to automate the business processes of large hotels and casinos. The core system streamlines common hotel operations, such as reservations, credit card processing, accounting, housekeeping, while add-on modules provide functionality in the areas of activities scheduling, attraction ticketing, food and beverage sales, online reservations, remote check-in, and spa scheduling.
With LMS 7.2, Agilysys says it has made improvements in virtually every functional, area, including accounting, housekeeping, online booking, operations, reporting and security, the company says.
The new function that will impact the guest experience the most is the new iPad check-in and check-out feature. In the past, guests at LMS-using hotels–such as most of the big casinos on the Las Vegas strip and many of the world’s largest hotels–could sneak a peak of the 5250 interface by poking their heads over the front desk. That will no longer be possible when hotel staff can check guests into their rooms with an iPad while seated in the lobby’s plush chairs or getting out of their stretch limousines.
Other areas of improvement are less glamorous and more back-officey, and will primarily generate enthusiasm among CFOs and operations managers. They include: new alerts that offer real-time notification of interface errors; the capability attach bill codes to LMS meal plans; passport scanning capabilities; additional guest search options; enhanced room attendant and inventory interfaces; compliance with the MasterCard/Discover partial authorization mandate; and new accounts receivable and reporting functionality.
This release also brings the capability to support a secondary casino ID within the Rainmaker yield management interface. The Rainmaker Group develops room scheduling and profit optimization software for hotel and resort chains, which we detailed in a January 2010 profile on the company and its products. Seeing as how most of Vegas runs on AS/400s, Agilysys and Rainmaker have partnered to streamline access to Rainmaker’s functionality from the LMS software.
Lately, Agilysys has been presenting an alternative to LMS with Guest360, a LANSA-developed product that offers many of the functions of LMS, but runs on Windows and not the IBM i server. Guest360 was developed in response to “resistance to the System i” and the fact that smaller proprieties “found it hard to embrace,” according to Agilysys senior VP Tina Stehle.
Guest360 is gaining traction, but that hasn’t spelled the end of LMS. “Our commitment to the LMS property management system is strong, exemplified by the product investment we made leading to this release,” Agilysys CEO and president Jim Dennedy says in a press release. “LMS has always set the property management bar very high, with 24/7 reliability and a wide range of features and functionality. With these latest enhancements, that bar is unequalled. This industry-leading system is more powerful than ever, and we are extremely pleased to make these advancements available to the market.”