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OPERA Cloud Levels the Playing Field for Banff Park Lodge

Tanya Pratt
Associate Vice President, OPERA Cloud Strategy

For an independent property like Banff Park Lodge, nestled in the pristine mecca of the Canadian Rockies, hotel life is beautiful but busy.

You name it, the lodge does it: Conferences. Weddings. Functions. Trade shows.

“We have the luxury of being surrounded by a ton of natural beauty,” said Steven Schultz, the hotel’s director of rooms. “As an international destination, we welcome different people from all over the world for lots of different reasons.”

With limited resources and so much to do, Banff Park’s single, most-important criterion for selecting a hotel PMS solution can be summed up concisely: It just needs to work.

Which explains why the property selected OPERA Cloud for their property management solution.

Based on OPERA, the leading enterprise solution suite for the hospitality industry, OPERA Cloud offers an intuitive user interface, simplifying day-to-day operations for hoteliers of all types and sizes and improving reliability for frontline staff. With its capability to orchestrate all facets of hotel management, the cloud platform reduces IT cost and complexity, secures data and enhances integrations with best- of-breed solutions to accelerate innovation.

Bottom line? It allows smaller operators, according to Schultz, to “offload” critical IT tasks and concerns, and focus on what matters most: delivering exceptional service to guests.

“For us, it’s hugely important that we pick the right product so we don’t have to backtrack,” Schultz said. “We don’t have the resources, the time, the horsepower to devote to fixing problems or coming up with workarounds. You know, we just need it to work one hundred percent of the time.”

An extension of such dependability is OPERA Cloud’s ease of use. A simple-to-navigate user interface means staff can better engage guests without excessively focusing on key strokes or staring at complicated screens. Such enhancements not only make work simpler and enjoyable, but significantly reduces training time – which is a big advantage in a marketplace with high staff turnover.

“Making it simple for our frontline staff – that’s a big component for any IT decision,” Schultz said. “For us, it not only has to make sense on paper, it has to make sense for the average front-desk agent, server in our restaurant or a housekeeper.

“With the new OPERA Cloud, we find the UI is very different; it’s much more intuitive than our previous PMS,” he added. “That just makes everything more seamless for the guest experience. Our frontline staff… they’re more comfortable because they’re more accessible to all the functionality. And they can action things much more quickly.”

Self-paced, eLearning opportunities also made for a simpler transition. Said Schultz: “The training process is extraordinarily simplified.”

A week after going live with OPERA Cloud, Banff Park added OPERA Sales and Event Management, which is designed to minimize administrative work, enabling staff to focus on value-add assignments. It’s already paying dividends.

“We can really get our sales folks out from behind their computers, out from inputting data in the office and to where they need to be – whether that’s getting on the phone, traveling, making new leads,” Schultz said.

Ultimately, moving to OPERA Cloud means “offloading” increasingly complex technology matters to an expert partner with more than 40 years of pioneering technology innovation for the hospitality industry. That means making hoteliers – even smaller ones – competitive in a global marketplace.

“The challenge for us is, we have to do everything a larger operator or chain does, but we have to do it with far less people, far less money and far less expertise,” Schultz said. “For us, anything we can essentially offload – or load into the cloud – is a big win. We can offload our exposure, our hardware. We don’t have to worry about maintaining large server banks. We can get all that off our plate.”

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