Whether the two words referred to improving synergy between Oracle products, working with our partners or engaging Oracle consulting services, they became the catch phrase that perfectly summed up OH Connect – Oracle Hospitality’s first-ever customer conference.
The two-day event, held at the Corinthia Lisboa Hotel in Portugal, March 27-28, gathered Oracle Hospitality’s hoteliers from 29 countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, and partners to explore technology’s role in accelerating innovation to enhance guest experiences.
For customer attendees, the forum provided an exclusive look at Oracle Hospitality’s strategy and vision, product roadmaps for the next 12 months and “walk-throughs” of our latest offerings, including the just-launched, newest version of OPERA Cloud. OH Connect also offered ample networking opportunities to meet with peers and Oracle partners.
On the event’s final day, Oracle Hospitality leaders and product experts continued to provide evidence that their vision – which drove Oracle’s acquisition of MICROS – has become reality. Marrying Oracle’s technology expertise and vast R&D resources with MICROS’ industry knowledge spanning more than 40 years is yielding innovations that are differentiating Oracle Hospitality in the marketplace. Plus, a change in strategy to open APIs now enables third parties to readily integrate their “best of breed” innovations into Oracle platforms.
“It’s all about extensibility and allowing you to add value around our product and not just use our product,” said David Clifton, vice president of Oracle Hospitality Research & Development. Such capability to continuously innovate and provide broader services to guests redefines solutions such as OPERA Cloud.
Said Clifton: “We’re building a platform for hospitality, not just a product for property management.”
Efficiently delivering such platforms to customers and maintaining their effectiveness in an ever-changing marketplace also are Oracle Hospitality’s top priorities. And efforts to address them were showcased at OH Connect:
Overhaul of Hotel Consulting eLearning: Such courses are designed for a full spectrum of hotel staff roles and are completely self-paced, enabling users to start and stop as they wish. “And because some people are not comfortable just watching video, you can switch into an interactive session,” said Marc Schmalenberg, with EMEA Oracle Hospitality Hotel Consulting.
Introduction of Fiscal Layer Integration Platform (FLIP): A new initiative that’s coming soon will be an invaluable addition to help navigate the complex world of compliance. FLIP serves as a bridge between Oracle’s point-of-sale and property management systems and a fiscal partner (which could be a government or legal taxing authority) and allows for the transfer of data. Ultimately, such enhancements enable hoteliers “to stay within the law, but make the application usable,” said Trevor Sands, senior director, Oracle Hospitality Strategy. Bottom line: Hoteliers can spend more time servicing guests and managing core businesses, rather than worrying about fiscal or legal requirements.
Arguably, nothing better illustrated Oracle Hospitality’s ability to tap Oracle’s extensive technology resources than a discussion about winning guest loyalty. With more than 59% of guests saying they don’t belong to hotel loyalty program, according to Oracle research, it’s evident there’s still significant opportunity to recruit participants. And that’s important because 60% of room nights are booked by loyalty program members, and 78% of loyalty program members book directly.
But many hoteliers struggle to operate effective loyalty programs because rewards aren’t relevant or easily redeemable. Our solution? Tap into Oracle Loyalty Cloud, which runs some of the most acclaimed loyalty programs across numerous industries. A part of Oracle’s suite of CX offerings, Loyalty Cloud can be integrated with OPERA Cloud.
Likewise, the WEDO demonstration showed how a chatbot can be embedded in a website or an app, enabling guests to simply execute a myriad of travel-related tasks. Chatbots can help guests do virtually anything, from booking a room to ordering room service. WEDO brought to life how chatbots could work with Oracle Cloud services – capabilities that are available now – to automatically check-in guests at a kiosk and function as a room key to open doors.
Other major introductions included Oracle Hospitality OPERA Sales and Event Management Cloud Service, a comprehensive sales and event management application built on the next-generation Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud platform. The integration streamlines operations between different departments of your hotel and maximizes revenue by taking control of all aspects of business. With the advantages of the cloud, hoteliers are no longer confined to desks; you can take OPERA Sales and Event Management to off-site customer visits or roam the property with customers during site inspections — check availability of inventory and make changes to customers’ bookings. It offers a host of new features, including enhanced user-defined dashboards and an improved function diary.
As evidenced by all the new offerings and upcoming initiatives, it’s easy to understand why “better together” became the unofficial slogan for OH Connect.