Development of the two-way interface between the MSI’s Nova Plus property-management system (featuring Version 3.0 software upgrade) and the Best Western central-reservation system is nearing completion. Deployment of the enhanced solution is expected for first quarter 2007.
“We are proud of the strong relationship we have maintained with Best Western for so many years,” said MSI Chief Operating Officer Tim Tiller. “The purchase of the Nova Plus private-label PMS from Pegasus Solutions nearly a year ago has solidified our commitment to the brand as we work side-by-side with Best Western members to implement requested Nova Plus software enhancements designed to save each property considerable time and money while providing a faster return on investment. With our development group deep in two-way unit testing and our new dedicated Nova Plus support team ready to provide support, we are confident that beta testing for the two-way interface with Version 3.0 software will begin before the year’s end.”
In addition to software enhancements, Best Western hotels also can receive new IBM hardware as part of the Nova Plus upgrade. The new IBM equipment is provided by MSI to improve the speed and accuracy of audit and back-up processes, and the sleek hardware design is aesthetically pleasing and offers additional work space for compact front desk areas.
Nova Plus 3.0 Enhancements
“The unique design relationship between Nova Plus V 3.0 and the Best Western CRS is a huge advantage for any hotel using this solution,” said Teresa Galler, VP of operations for MSI. “Nova Plus V 3.0 offers features that no other PMS on the market has.” For example, Galler said the interactive Revenue Management “Quick Update” functionality tool gives Best Western users a calendar view of current status and the ability to change the allocations, restrictions and rate tiers from the same screen.
“We heard loud and clear from V 1.5 Nova Plus customers how critical providing ‘Quick Update’ functionality would be to their bottom line,” she said. “Version 3.0 now offers a more user friendly layout. By using the ‘Click for Legend’ feature, our customers can easily access a map of the information on the screen. With Nova Plus 3.0, Best Western hotels won’t have to hunt for ways to increase their revenue. The system will automatically make these decisions easy to implement!”
Nova Plus V 3.0 also offers great group features and functionality, she said.
“Providing ‘Group Shoulder Date’ functionality in a two-way environment can be tricky,” Galler said. “A hotel usually wants to offer a guest the opportunity to stay before and after a group conference, usually at different rates and with different rate codes. Nova Plus allows this functionality using a shoulder date field in the group. Using multi-segment reservations, the system automatically creates the messages to host that will split the reservation on the host side so that the inventory within the group is protected and the rate and market segments quoted remain intact. In order to protect the reservation status in a system that does not have this shoulder date functionality, the hotel would have to check the guest out and check them back in on the group arrival date, or change the arrival and departure dates on groups to allow the guest to use the group code for the length of their stay.”
Nova Plus V 3.0 with the two-way interface also allows rate, allocation and restriction updates to existing rate plans.
“The Nova Plus V 3.0 interface includes a utility that allows hotels to automatically compare the rate plans and room types being offered in the PMS with what is offered in the CRS, making it easy to audit this information,” she said. “Hotels will find this tool invaluable for use in determining when changes are made in Member Web, allowing them to maximize inventory. As an added benefit, Nova Plus V 3.0 offers an easy way to insure the reservations made at each property are updated in Member Web without error.”
In addition, rate tiers are used to define rates that can be applied to multiple rate codes, making rate updates easy, she said. Patterned rates, such as having different rates for each day of the week are supported.
“Quick Update is an easy way to apply the changes for an entire season,” Galler said. “If you are looking for a system with the features of Nova Plus V 3.0, be sure to inquire about rate entry - Nova Plus is unrivaled in this critical functionality.”
Nova Support Team in Training
Last month MSI announced a new Customer Assistance Center (CAC) initiative whereby each hotel chain or independent hotel is supported by a dedicated Brand Support Team. The Best Western Support Team for Nova Plus, comprised of approximately 15 to 20 brand-specialist technicians, is now led by Glenn McDermott.
“The Nova Support Team is currently undergoing specific training to make them specialists in Nova Plus 3.0 software and on two-way CRS interface standards,” said July McKinney, MSI VP of Customer Success. “This will result in faster resolution to customer issues, resulting in shorter hold times and fewer open issues for MSI’s valued Best Western customers. This is a win-win paradigm for both MSI’s Technicians and all Nova Plus users.”
According to Adam Williams, MSI director of sales, the Best Western Oak Manor Motel in Biloxi, Miss., went live with the most recent version Nova Plus last week. The hotel had been using a competitor PMS on a temporary basis after its early version of Nova Plus system was destroyed by hurricane Katrina, along with the first floor of the property.
“The wrath of Hurricane Katrina left the front office of property under 15 feet of water,” said Lori DePauw, general manager of the Best Western Oak Manor in Biloxi, Miss. “We lost a number of critical pieces to run our hotel efficiently including our Nova Plus property-management system. In the interim, we used a temporary system from the Internet, however, could not wait to get back to Nova Plus and its feature-rich functionality.”
DePauw added, “MSI returned to our property in September to install the new version of Nova Plus. The installation was smooth and the training was stress free. Nova Plus is now more robust than ever through the upgrades made available from MSI. Special thanks to Adam, Rick and Brain for helping our property become more efficient than ever before!”
If your Best Western hotel would like to be among the first to receive the Nova Plus Version 3.0 upgrade with two-way interface functionality, call MSI at (800) 331-7890.