My journey to cloud technology, to be candid, began out of sheer necessity – not any genius insight about the innovations it could deliver. Our existing property management system was more than a decade old, and it was ailing.
Every day, it was getting slower and slower. We simply needed a new solution – or risk the consequences of PMS failure.
As general manager of Starling Hotel Residence Geneva – a 93-room property in Switzerland’s epicenter – I initially just wanted a system that would be reliable and allow staff to take care of our guests, mostly business travelers coming to do commerce in a region renowned for its banks and watchmakers.
Only after I selected OPERA Cloud did I fully realize it could give me so much more. Its benefits, especially in today’s volatile business climate, are invaluable: They provide opportunities to transform the way we do business, from using mobility to work anywhere to integrating kiosks for self-service check in. These enhancements don’t just improve service, they help increase safety for our guests and employees.
OPERA Cloud’s ability enabling staff to work remotely – and resolve issues at any time – has been life changing. Using a mobile device of their choice, my team and I can connect just as easily from home or any destination. For example, if one of my receptionists is having a problem, and I’m on holiday, I can just look on my laptop and offer help. This is an incredible advantage.
I’m most looking forward to the enhancements OPERA Cloud can make in guest service. At our property, all our studios offer a kitchenette, private bathroom and living area. We do not offer in-room dining; the idea is to allow our guests to use their room as their home. Such self-reliance places an importance on self check-in, especially because our reception is only open during daytime.
With OPERA Cloud, we have been able to install kiosks for self check-in. With the offering of so many interfaces, Oracle is giving us opportunities to work in new ways and enhance service. Using kiosks has improved our arrival experience as guests are now able check-in by themselves by entering their first or last names as well as their reservation number.
Ultimately, technology should be about making life simpler, not more complicated. That’s true not only for our guests but for our team. And for me, that means focusing on providing exceptional service to our guests rather than worrying about increasingly complex rules about data privacy, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It’s a very important topic but having OPERA Cloud means I don’t have to take care of the data.
One of the most interesting revelations about moving to OPERA Cloud comes with change management. Change is never easy, especially for staff, like ours, who had been working on a particular system for a long time. I knew there would be resistance, and at the beginning, it wasn’t easy. After one week, they were asking many questions. But then, with its easy-to-use, intuitive user interface, you could see how OPERA Cloud was beginning to change their minds. People were asking fewer and fewer questions, and instead, you could tell that they were beginning to see more and more opportunities with OPERA Cloud.
That’s when I knew we had selected a great tool.