One of the largest players in hotel tech is selling what it says is a simplified system for hotel tech operations, days after a newer player said it’s entering the sector with a similar plan.
It can take years for a hotel brand to complete a full tech transformation: Migrating data from old systems to modern, cloud-based platforms is not an easy process.
Scandic Hotels Group, the Stockholm-based operator with 280 hotels in six countries, has completed much of the task in a matter of months, said Laura Calin, vice president of strategy and solutions management for Oracle Hospitality.
Scandic is the first customer piloting an expanded version of Oracle Hospitality’s cloud-based system, which includes several important pieces of tech for a hotel business.
It’s called Opera Cloud Central, and is a “unified” system that includes a property management system (which handles hotel operations), central reservation system (which manages room inventory and rates), and distribution services (connections to travel sellers) on a single platform. It also includes software for sales, customer service, and loyalty.
Opera Cloud Central is an expansion of Opera Cloud, which was focused just on the property management system. Traditionally, the industry runs on fragmented products that need to be pieced together.
Having a single system means that customer and hotel data is housed in one place, removing the need to transfer information between systems, which can be time consuming and lead to inaccuracies. It also gives workers across a global brand more reliable access to customer information.
“Our conviction is that we will absolutely disrupt the traditional hospitality ecosystem,” Calin said.
For Scandic, being fully on the cloud with data in one place sets the groundwork to explore capabilities like hyper-personalization for guests and AI tools.
“The transformation that they’re going through in a year and a half from start to finish — it would take another brand maybe five or 10 years to do it,” Calin said. IHG Group, for example, spent several years transitioning to a cloud-based reservation system and uploading data that allows it to sell rooms based on certain attributes.
Scandic Hotels Group said it wasn’t ready to give an interview about the move. Jens Mathiesen, president and CEO of Scandic Hotels Group, said in a statement: “Having all our data and core functions on a unified platform will make us more efficient, make it easier for our staff to do their jobs, facilitate commercial opportunities to increase revenue, and get to know our customers better so we can give them the best hotel experience no matter which one of our properties they visit.”
The Industry’s Dream
Some of the other big travel tech players have tried releasing similar programs, but they’ve not been a success, said Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Hospitality.
He is optimistic that Oracle will be more successful, highlighting the number of properties that have committed to using Opera Cloud since it was released nearly five years ago.
Oracle has now completed installations at nearly 7,000 properties, and there are thousands more in the pipeline. The company has a goal of reaching 10,000 installations by May.
Recent commitments include 2,000 Wyndham properties.
IBS Software recently said it is entering the marketing with a similar unified platform following the acquisition of Above Property Services for $90 million.