How to connect your PMS to Leviy Housekeeping? | Integrations

After the publication of our latest video* showcasing our product in hotels and leisure parcs we received many requests for more information. This included inquiries on the technical possibilities to integrate PMS systems with Leviy, which is something that we have done multiple times already. In this blogpost we will provide you with a practical explanation as to how an integration with Leviy can be realised. It is important to note that the process of integrating two systems requires both business and technical knowhow. Because of this, we will cover the integration scenario from different perspectives.
Woman standing with phone in her hand
*Video available in English, Dutch, German and French


Use case 

We will start with explaining the use case from the beginning. Each modern hotel uses some kind of reservation software. Applications like these are often referred to as PMS, which is short for Property Management System. These usually serve as the main administration system to make sure everything runs smoothly. They are used for guest check-in and check-out and are often connected to online booking systems, purchasing devices in the hotel bar and restaurant, the pay-tv and keycard systems.

Anyone staying in a hotel expects their room to be clean and tidy. This is taken care of by the housekeeping department. The most common roles in this department are the room attendant, supervisor and the housekeeping manager. There is usually also a maintenance department to ensure all appliances are maintained and fixed where necessary.

To this day, many housekeeping departments in hotels still work on paper(!). This applies to both the housekeeping manager as well as the room attendants and supervisors. Once they have set off to start with their tasks, it is often hard to reach out to them in order to find out which rooms are ready for new guests. In order to gain insight into this information, housekeeping managers often have to call or physically walk from floor to floor to get an update on the progress of the cleaning. That’s a shame, because then a lot of time is lost.  To help the housekeeping departments of hotels become more efficient, Leviy developed functionality that digitises the whole housekeeping process of a hotel. Leviy Housekeeping enables the whole housekeeping department to communicate fast, easily respond to changes and become more efficient. In the end the whole team and especially the guests will enjoy these benefits.

In the morning the housekeeping manager receives a dataset (an export or report) from the PMS containing all expected changes, such as which guests are leaving, arriving, staying, special requests like extra beds for kids, VIP listings or scheduled early arrivals from nearby airports. All this information is needed to create an accurate planning for the room attendants and supervisors. Before Leviy the planning was frequently created on paper or by using a spreadsheet software.

Hotels rooms are usually cleaned every day. When a guest is staying for multiple nights, a stayover task is performed. When guests leave, the room is cleaned more thoroughly, often called a checkout task. Besides cleaning, the housekeeping department also checks the room to make sure everything is in order and refilled as needed.

Room attendant is cleaning the room
With the Leviy app the room attendant knows exactly what to do


API & RESTful Web Services

To ensure other systems can communicate with Leviy, we provide an API which is short for Application Programming Interface (API). In basic terms, APIs allow applications to communicate with one another. Leviy’s APIs are based on REST, which is an acronym for Representational State Transfer.

(This section is a bit more technical, you may avoid it if you don’t like it). REST is a software architectural style that defines a set of constraints to be used for creating Web services. Web services that are conform to the REST architectural style, also called RESTful Web Services (RWS), provide interoperability between computer systems. RESTful Web services allow the requesting systems to access and manipulate textual representations of Web resources by using a uniform and predefined set of stateless operations. Our textual messages are in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), which is a lightweight data-interchange format. JSON is commonly used in RESTful Web services.

Leviy is an online SaaS solution. This means that our APIs are available on the internet (using regular HTTPS requests). Most modern Property Management Systems also have an API. In such a situation anyone willing to do so can develop the logic between these APIs: the PMS vendor, Leviy, a local software development company or anyone else.

To integrate another system with Leviy, you need to have access to the APIs and the relevant documentation. Sometimes we come across situations where PMS’s do not provide an API. This can truly be the case, however it also occurs that the PMS vendor or distributor is protecting their ecosystem and business. We also see vendors providing expensive partnership programs, requiring costly validation processes, or asking additional fees for using the API. If you are looking into replacing your PMS system, we would strongly advise you to go for one with an API that anyone is allowed to use and which you and your software engineer will not have to spend too much time and money on.

Leviy app on mobile phone
Our platform provides several planning features that can be used to plan all your site-specific tasks for individuals and teams


Processes 

When all of this is settled and covered, the next step is to define the logic for the integration. This means to define the business rules between the systems. For this, you can start from scratch, or contact Leviy. Even in the latter case, you really have to spend some time on this. This is because integrating the two systems (the PMS and Leviy Housekeeping) will automate several choices that were originally made by the front desk, housekeeping department and maintenance team. It really is a necessity to define the logic extremely well before starting to build the integration. Meanwhile it is also very important to decide and understand how you will shape your process to provide your guests the best service.

At Leviy we have integrated with multiple PMS systems before. Because of this we can inform you about various common cases, like what should happen when a guest checks out of a room, what to consider for the Night Audit / End Of Day process, or when the cleaning is finished.

Once the business logic is clear, your software engineer, who should be involved in this process from the start, can start building the integration. Whatever software language or platform is used does not really matter for us. We just provide you with our standard and accessible API, our documentation and a development environment. This also means that your software engineer should understand our system from both a technical and multiple user perspectives, as well as the PMS. Because of this, it is not uncommon to spend some time on the front-end of the systems to be integrated.

Integrating two systems is likely to take several weeks. During that time some interesting questions and edge cases will likely pop up, such as what to do with a no-show, room-change, day-use scenarios, guest requests or VIPs. Be aware that deciding on the logic of these cases is not up to your software engineer, it should be a joint effort to align on such scenarios.

Once ready, the integration will need to run somewhere. This can be done on our side in Leviy Connect, in the cloud or tightly coupled to the on-premise PMS. The latter is sometimes the case with older systems. The work does not stop after the integration should also be maintained. To keep the solution healthy, secure and fitting to your changing needs the integration should be maintained.

If you manage to successfully integrate your PMS with Leviy, both you and your guests will enjoy the benefits of a digitised housekeeping department. 

For further information, please contact us. We are happy to assist you!