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The Exciting World of Hotel Technology: Beyond the PMS

Guest Author

By: Peter Agel, Product Manager/Strategy 5-ProdDev

When speaking to hotel executives about Oracle Hospitality, they primarily think of us as property management providers. While there is no doubt that property management is the cornerstone of hotel technology and what our hotel vertical is all about, the industry comes armed with much more potential for business transformation and growth than merely controlling property operations.

Our digitalized world provides a wide range of mobile solutions for hotel associates from supporting housekeeping activities to interacting with guests away from the front desk, and much more. Moreover, our solutions are not only meant to assist hotel associates, but their guests as well. Mobile booking engines in conjunction with other mobile solutions create a full customer journey far beyond the reservation and other technology can support a number of customer facing concepts that allow a hotel guest to check into their room without ever interacting with the front desk.

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For example, hotels are able to provide a QR code on reservation confirmations which can be scanned by a check-in kiosk upon guest arrival. A room will be assigned, the credit card payment will be pre-authorized, and a registration form will be printed for the guest to complete. Then the kiosk will code a traditional key card for guest access to their room. We’ve successfully completed pilot projects with door look system providers allowing the usage of encrypted audio signals and touch-less concepts to open hotel room doors.

Although many countries still require face to face guest registration, research efforts continue to move toward self-sufficient guest check-in. In Germany, personal ID cards can come equipped with digitally enabled credentials. In partnership with Vodafone, a private company that produces official ID cards, a Swedish door lock producer, and the German Government, we’ve created and tested a use case model that legally complies with the security requirements for digital identities which are stored on a secure SIM card and can be accessed anytime by any ID card holder carrying digitalized information. This quick access to identification can be integrated into the hotel reservation using a smartphone or tablet and will significantly speed up the time it takes to complete the reservation process.

Another exciting new example of mobile hotel technology is online guest check-out that works in conjunction with Oracle Hospitality OPERA PMS. The convenient process begins the day before check-out with a text message offering an online option executable from a guest mobile device. If the guest chooses to use this method, the payment will then be verified by a third party service provider and the guest will be asked to enter approximate departure time. The technical check-out and the invoice production is done with the night audit the following day, which secures that any additional consumption is covered. This ensures that the process is quick, easy, and the guest only needs to drop off their key at the front desk before leaving.

These examples are meant to show that from a technical perspective there are quite a lot of possibilities in the world of hotel technology far beyond property management. Tech trends will most likely not lead to total digital automation, but it is likely that bits and pieces of the booking process, online check-in procedure, guest arrival, and check-out will eventually be fully supported with the help of digital media or apps using devices owned and operated by guests rather than hotel associates.

Want to learn more? We love to hear from you! Email us at OracleHosp ww@oracle.com, and visit the Oracle website to learn more about Oracle Hospitality Point of Sale Systems and our thought leadership on What is POS.

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