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HT-NEXT Insights From Oracle

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

How can hotels best leverage technology right now to meet the challenges of the pandemic and economic downturn?

It’s imperative to employ a property management system that can quickly activate and manage an array of contactless services, from mobile keycards to in-room ordering to cashless payment. Though the obvious benefit of these solutions is to help reinforce social distancing and other health-safety protocols, it’s important to realize that they also make hotel operations better – for guests and staff. The same can also be said about mobility. For example, front-desk employees equipped with tablets not only can work in safer conditions, but they can also mitigate long lines and crowded lobbies. Likewise, mobile devices can enable housekeeping staff to better respond to guests by improving communication and scheduling of services, eliminating unnecessary interactions between them. 

How should hoteliers start thinking beyond the pandemic as they chart their tech roadmaps for the coming years?

If there’s one lesson that’s been underscored from our dealings with COVID-19, it’s the importance of being able to adapt quickly to change – and the faster the better. It’ll be essential to possess the capability to integrate best-of-breed solutions, regardless of their origin, to introduce innovations that enhance service and improve operations. That’ll require a next-gen hotel property management system, such as OPERA Cloud, which comes with the built-in Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform and uses open APIs to help hoteliers efficiently incorporate solutions from any one of the providers in Oracle Hospitality’s vast partner network. A cloud-based, mobile-enabled PMS also is a “must have” not only to allow staff members to continue working remotely and safely, but to orchestrate hotel business and create exceptional guest stays. Cloud-based PMS also is critical to centralizing data – for example, comprehensive guest profiles – which will be key to developing more effective, personalized loyalty initiatives to win back consumers and their bookings.