Agilysys Adds Mobile Manager For IBM i LMS Customers
April 6, 2015 Dan Burger
Agilysys develops one of the most industry dominate applications in the IBM i ISV territory. Its Lodging Management System (LMS) has been the standard of the gaming industry for as long as those businesses have been computerized. Casino resort operations around the world use LMS for much of their business operations. A new software release from a dominate software company is a bellwether event for IBM midrange market watchers.
LMS 7.3, the first major release since 7.2 in October 2012, is highlighted by the long overdue integration with Insight Mobile Manager, a dashboard application that allows hotel managers to quickly and easily view key information about the property from Apple mobile device. The application contains data panels relating to arrivals, departures, number of guests, available rooms, and other operational and financial tracking information.
Insight Mobile Manager was introduced in June 2013, but was only available to Agilysys’ VisualOne property management systems users. VisualOne PMS is a Windows-based system. Almost two years later, LMS 7.3 brings an upgrade path for IMM capabilities.
The availability of Insight Mobile Manager, along with the debut of a PCI-certified payment gateway system (one of only two certified systems available, according to Agilysys) is expected to push software upgrades says Michael Buckham White, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Currently the LMS customer base is spread out over many LMS releases, which always makes software support of bigger chore for the vendors who would like to see more consolidation onto fewer releases. However, LMS tends to be a highly customized application making upgrades more difficult, so users look for must-have enhancements before entering the upgrade rodeo.
“The mobile element of LMS 7.3 will be a compelling reason for customers to upgrade,” Buckham White believes.
“There are customers who have been on the software for 20 years and have hundreds of modifications. We can uplift the customization that has been done and make sure it is compatible with this latest version.”
LMS users lean on Agilysys to help with the upgrade process and Agilysys has a managed services department to handle this work.
“We are invested in that area,” Buckham White notes. “We have the expertise and customers want us to do that work.”
Hardware upgrades are often part of the LMS implementation process and the managed services contracts have a hardware aspect to them as needed.
The services business has been a growing revenue stream for the company.
Another feature that’s added to LMS 7.3 is Agilysys Analytics, a business intelligence option that integrates data across disparate systems and multiple locations into a single source for comprehensive reporting, auditing and predictive analysis. It extracts data from the LMS that is running on IBM i and combines it with data extracted from the Windows-based Agilysys POS system to provide managers with a closer view of the entire customer experience. The analytics component runs on Windows, not on IBM i.
Agilysys Analyze is available as in the software as a service model, but that is taking some time to gain traction. Overall, SaaS revenues are up 13 percent in the first three quarters of the company’s current fiscal year.
There’s still work to be done in the SaaS area, Buckham White says. But he believes LMS customers are willing to entertain the idea of running SaaS offerings that are not on IBM i.
“Larger enterprises might have a broad-based BI tool like IBM Cognos on the i. The high end shops are looking in that direction for business intelligence. They could use both BI tools (Cognos and Agilysys Analyze) in combination, but those invested in Cognos will probably opt for that solution on its own. However, some may have a plan to use Cognos only at the enterprise level while local units of the company would use the Agilysys product.”
As a company Agilysys derives more than 50 percent of its revenue from its customers in the gaming industry, and the biggest chunk of that revenue comes from software that runs on IBM i. In addition to LMS, Agilysys also develops inventory and procurement software that is marketed under the Stratton Warren System brand name, which runs on i.
According the Agilysys investor presentation in February, 54 percent of revenue comes from the gaming industry.
The leading product in terms of revenue generation is the InfoGenesis point of sale offering, which represents 62 percent of revenue. Next in line are the property management systems that include LMS and VisualOne. PMS contributes 23 percent of the revenue.