MICROS Rolls Out Suite of Cloud-Based Products
MICROS Systems, Inc. showcased a suite of cloud-based software and unparalleled mobility at HITEC. The suite of innovative solutions includes, OPERA and OPERA 9, MICROS Simphony, MICROS Smart Poster, myStayManager, OPERA2Go, webHotel, webProposal, MICROS iPad Ordering Client, MICROS mymenu, Mobile Payments with Tabbedout, MICROS myreservations, MICROS webOrdering, and many more.
MICROS solutions continually evolve to reflect technological change as new industry developments are made. At the forefront of innovations, MICROS has devoted developers at eleven facilities across the globe to software R&D, investing over $50 million a year, by far more than any other technology provider dedicated to the hospitality industry. MICROS proves its innovative leadership with not one product but a suite of cloud-based and mobile solutions that are already deployed, benefiting leading hotels and restaurants around the world. To manage these products, MICROS has four First Class Data Centers located in Singapore, Germany, Argentina, and the United States, which provide premier hosting and hosting services for its customers.
In the decade since the first OPERA Enterprise Solution installs, the product has never stood still. OPERA has become a premier, fully integrated suite of web-client hospitality applications that can be installed at the property or, as has been the case for many years, hosted in the Cloud as a software service. OPERA is scalable to support single property hotels with a few rooms and users, up to operations with several thousand properties and multiple reservations and distribution centers and systems. MICROS is building on the immense success of OPERA with the development of OPERA 9. With OPERA 9, MICROS is gradually converting the OPERA V5 thin-client product to an Oracle ADF Cloud-based solution that delivers functionality through web services and a new technology stack. OPERA 9 is both browser- and device-agnostic for unparalleled flexibility. As it is being phased in, OPERA 9 will coexist with OPERA V5 to leverage, complement, and extend a hugely successful product that is already in use at over 26,000 properties worldwide.
Determining how hotel industry users interact with their software systems and the kinds of information they rely on most has been fundamental to OPERA 9 development from the start. A host of focus groups, surveys, pilot sites, and ongoing usability studies underlie the design of the next generation of OPERA. Among the outcomes of this emphasis on real-world needs is a web-like, customizable, and natural-feeling interface that utilizes dashboards and workflows to present just the information users need precisely when they need it. Portlets offer overviews of system functionality and a convenient starting point for drilling down to the details. Customizable Quick Links provide users direct access to critical screens, keeping keystrokes to a minimum and the clean and easy to understand OPERA 9 user interface helps to reduce reliance on formal training.
Further building on MICROS’s understanding of how hotels do business, OPERA 9 incorporates the concept of “roles,” which function like user groups to streamline and simplify management of user activities within the system.
Designed around web services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), OPERA 9 offers latency resilience and easier integration with other MICROS and third party applications, including eCommerce, mobile applications, and the many enterprise solutions in use at hotels. OPERA 9’s agile development process, coupled with the new service-domain design, means faster concept-to-production and less system disruption for maintenance and upgrades. As an added benefit, OPERA 9 data center deployment brings with it reduced operational expenses, security, and dependability.
Built as a highly flexible point-of-sale (POS) solution, Simphony™, MICROS’s first Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, is an enterprise SOA POS hospitality product that can be hosted in the Cloud. SOA allows organizations to deploy the hosted POS system using a design that provides flexibility, resiliency, and streamlined integration of applications. Simphony is designed for SaaS deployment into diverse environments to deliver the complex, mission-critical functions demanded by the most innovative customers. SaaS alleviates the burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support, and SOA eliminates the need for costly local servers by allowing only the necessary SaaS services to be run at the property level.
Although Simphony may be implemented at a single property, the true value can be found in its ability to scale to a business with thousands of workstations spread over many properties. The Enterprise Management Console (EMC) allows for the management of the entire system from within a single application. Users are able to create and define the parameters of the enterprise, properties, and revenue centers from any PC that has access to the central server, thus allowing local users to make changes to their configuration if necessary. Simphony is the complete enterprise solution to orchestrate any operation’s food and beverage POS technology needs.
The MICROS Smart Poster is an exciting new interactive digital media solution designed for the hospitality industry. The Smart Poster is a Simphony client application and like other Simphony clients it can be easily and rapidly deployed across an entire enterprise using MICROS’s standard Simphony Client Application Loader (CAL). Configuration and management is performed centrally using Simphony’s native management EMC tool. Content such as images, logos, backgrounds, styles, and even dynamic controls, can all be stored directly in the centralized Simphony configuration database and downloaded automatically to the Smart Poster. This solution can be used by hotel properties, cruise ships, shopping malls and centers, airports, hospitals, and more. The MICROS Smart Poster allows for the showcasing of various offerings, amenities, promotions, menus, maps, advertisements, and is interactive so the customer can toggle between screens to perform actions such as checking out of a room, or booking a restaurant, spa reservation, or car service to a destination.
Over the past few years, MICROS has focused on developing a suite of eCommerce and Guest Engagement products that are changing the way business is conducted in the hospitality environment. MICROS’s solutions streamline daily tasks for operators and improve the guest experience while increasing visibility in the online space, allowing guests to access services at their convenience, and improving operational efficiencies and customer service.
The MICROS eCommerce business unit provides custom build to semi-custom website design and marketing solutions for the hospitality and retail industries, including cutting-edge options reflecting unique selling points for single hotels, large brands, destinations, restaurants, retail establishments, and more. With functional, track-able, and intuitive booking and loyalty solutions, MICROS eCommerce provides easy-to-implement reservations and customer information management software that seamlessly integrates with MICROS’s suite of hospitality products.
MICROS started its eCommerce and Guest Engagement suite of products with myStayManager, a user-friendly mobile smart phone application that allows hotel guests to create reservations and self-manage the details of their stay through their smartphone or handheld device, when booking at participating hotels. Since then, MICROS has created a cloud-based offering with the Hotel Commerce Platform (HCP), which serves as the foundation for all user engagement in the mobile and web arenas. HCP allows MICROS’s partners to create content-rich interfaces for any number of end-users. This is made possible through a rich application feature set, MICROS’s strong Datacenter infrastructure, and the power of the OPERA Enterprise Suite of products.
In addition to myStayManager, the MICROS HCP consists of three other elements: OPERA2Go, webHotel, and webProposal. OPERA2Go puts the OPERA PMS in the hands of employees wherever they are on property, giving access to features such as mobile sales agents, mobile check-in, housekeeping and rooms management, and guest services. MICROS webHotel is a website design and management tool where operators can offer personalized content and online bookings to customers through their customized website. MICROS webProposal is an Internet-based module for creating, distributing, and managing meeting and event proposals with customized templates for each property and proposals that can be assembled and emailed based on real-time client information and requirements.
For food and beverage operations, MICROS developed the MICROS POS iPad Ordering Client, an extension to the MICROS POS solutions that provides in-store mobile ordering to restaurant staff via the Apple iPad. The mobile application allows the restaurant to serve its customers wherever they are enjoying the restaurants hospitality. With the MICROS POS iPad Ordering Client, the restaurant can increases table turns, greet guests and serve them faster, increasing customer spend.
Also for the restaurant patron, MICROS offers MICROS mymenu, an interactive restaurant menu and marketing portal built for the Apple iPad and other tablets and designed to enhance the restaurant dining experience. MICROS mymenu transforms the menu item selection and ordering process into a memorable and educational experience for the guest, while providing the restaurant with an opportunity to showcase upcoming events, programs, food and beverage menus, and featured items. With mymenu, the diner can order and pay directly on the device with the data being transferred to the outlet’s MICROS POS system.
Alternatively, customers can conveniently pay their restaurant check or bar tab on their own device. Representing a consumer cultural revolution in payment technology, restaurant guests can now open, review, and pay restaurant or bar tabs with a smartphone, using MICROS’s seamless integration with Tabbedout. This secure and innovative solution allows MICROS restaurant and bar customers to deploy Tabbedout for faster and more convenient tab payments, social media integration, and direct marketing to consumer devices.
For a fully integrated experience, MICROS has introduced a new online reservations module to provide an additional customer convenience and improve operations. MICROS myreservations is a web-based restaurant reservations system that enables seating availability lookup and reservation booking directly from a restaurant’s website. The product is fully integrated with the MICROS 3700 Table Management System (TMS), allowing for an accurate count of inventory and availability in real-time to be configured at the store level from within the MICROS 3700 TMS module and exposed on the Internet. Once a reservation is booked, a confirmation email is sent to the customer and the reservation and dining preferences are updated directly in the MICROS TMS without the need for any further data entry from the restaurant staff. With this fully integrated solution provided by MICROS, the host is able to utilize one system to view reservations and match them with the status of each table in real-time.
MICROS also offers an easy and effective way to offer online ordering to customers with MICROS webOrdering. Fully integrated with the MICROS 3700 POS, webOrdering fits directly into current restaurant operational processes, utilizing existing kitchen display systems and printing capabilities for order preparation and existing payment infrastructure for credit card processing. MICROS webOrdering can be highly branded to represent an engaging online experience for customers, resulting in an ordering site that closely resembles the restaurant’s existing web site and in-store experience.