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Guy Harvey Resort Adopts OPERA Cloud to Accelerate Hotel Innovation

Laura Calin
Vice President, Strategy and Solutions Management, Oracle Hospitality

Data security issues – especially in an era of headline-grabbing, business-crippling cyberattacks – often serve as motivation for a move to cloud.

In fact, just a threat of a breach, prompted Guy Harvey Resort St. Augustine Beach to make the switch.

Named after the renowned conservationist with a passion for sea life, the Florida property recently endured the task of proving its innocence amid concerns that it had been hacked.

“Securing our guest data and our guest information is the utmost importance to us,” said Larry Collier, director of hotel operations for HI Development, which manages the resort. “We were very fortunate that we didn’t have a security breach. But the complexity of proving that we didn’t have one was quite costly and quite exhaustive… to deliver the necessary test results to the credit card company and the bankcard provider to show that it wasn’t us.

“That pushed us harder to move to the cloud,” he said, “and look to Oracle as our partner.”

Though the security integrity of OPERA Cloud PMS triggered Guy Harvey’s adoption of cloud, easing sleepless nights has proven to be just one of the platform’s many benefits.

After going live in cloud 3 months ago, the hotelier reports enhanced guest experiences (including faster, better check-ins), increased staff productivity and satisfaction, and accelerated innovation. Thanks to OPERA Cloud’s open APIs, best-of-breed technologies can be integrated quickly and simply regardless of where they originate.

“If you can’t change at the same pace our customer is changing at you’re going to find yourself very quickly irrelevant in any industry – especially ours,” Collier said. “One of the things about being on the cloud is, it’s limitless, it’s scalable, it can grow. It can do things that we as hoteliers have never been able to do before.

He added: “We’re discovering new technologies and new ways to do things that are not only improving our operational efficiencies, which is straight-to-the-bottom-line money, but they’re also enhancing our guest experiences.”

The resort, for example, is soon expecting to roll out its mobile app, which will enable mobile check-in and function as a hotel room key – all of which will be integrated with OPERA Cloud.

Though making such a platform transition is bound to cause apprehension, Collier said he was able to gain staff “buy-in,” in part, because of OPERA Cloud’s intuitive user interface. Ease of use, less training time and greater opportunities to engage guests – rather than focusing on key strokes or staring at complicated screens – all were major selling points.

“The front-of-the-house team really jumped onboard quickly,” he said. “They recognized the opportunity this would present to them to enable them to deliver better service, and that it was going to make their life easier.”

And what made the resort’s cloud journey headache-free was having a true partner in Oracle Hospitality.

“I always felt that Oracle had as much invested in my property as I did,” Collier said. “Oracle came to the table very prepared. They made it very clear what their expectations were, what their needs were. And they implemented. They actually kept us on schedule. There were times when we began to fall behind, and the Oracle team would step up and say, ‘We know you really want to make this date. We’re prepared to help you make it.’ They really, really drove the ship for us and helped us reach our target.”

As a result, the Guy Harvey Resort also purchased its first Simphony Cloud point of sale to orchestrate its hotel food and beverage business as well as its entire retail operation. Oracle Hospitality’s “better together” design philosophy ensures exceptional data sharing between OPERA Cloud PMS and Simphony Cloud POS, yielding comprehensive information about guests and insights into their behavior throughout the property.

In addition, HI Development has authorized an OPERA Cloud rollout at a second property, which, like all its hotels, are full service with bars, restaurants, and meeting space.

For Collier, witnessing the power of cloud has been eye-opening.

“I mean, you just don’t know what you just don’t know,” he said. “You don’t realize it until you’re there (in the cloud). You’re like, ‘Wait, we can do this now?’ You just have opportunities that you never will have with an on-premise system.”

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