Like many hoteliers grappling with COVID-19, we worked urgently to maintain occupancy – and keep the lights on.

But unlike others, our hotel group – The Great Southern Hotel in Australia – also embraced the pandemic as an opportunity to test cloud as a platform for a new business model. We went live with OPERA Cloud property management system, and it didn’t just pass with flying colors.

It showed us our future.

Let us explain: The Great Southern Hotel is the owner and operator of four, limited-services properties on the continent with locations in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane, and Colombo, Sri Lanka. Even before the global health crisis, we were transitioning to OPERA Cloud for all the usual reasons, including reduced costs with the elimination of on-premises servers, faster innovation with continuous software updates, and centralized data that can be accessed from anywhere with mobile devices. Such benefits helped us immediately tackle short-term concerns.

“Labor is the biggest cost for any hotelier, and we addressed it by moving many of our departments – for example, reservations, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and finance – to an offshore setup, where the cost of doing business is much lower than in Australia,” said Robbie Owaijan, director of Acostay Hotel Group, which is the management company for The Great Southern Hotel brand.

Our plan is to move back-office operations at each of our properties, shifting more than 40 percent of our total workforce and reducing labor cost by 30 percent. The reorganization wouldn’t be possible without OPERA Cloud, which not only is allowing us to consolidate our business but get a better understanding of what’s happening within it. Our employees can now access business-critical data in real time, share information with each other, and execute day-to-day activities at our hotels – without being present on site.

“This in reality is a state-of-the-art innovation for Great Southern Group which enables smoother hotel operations, whereby managing and monitoring day-to-day operations are more productive,” said Arith Ratnawibhushana, general manager of The Great Southern Hotel in Perth.

The directors of Acostay viewed OPERA Cloud as “opening doors to our grander vision.” With the efficiencies and centralized control achievable with OPERA Cloud, we intend to transform The Great Southern Hotel into a hotel management company for budget hotels, whether they’re independents or franchisees. We’re confident that what we’ve achieved at our properties, we can do for others. We have a model to increase profitability, and we know it works because we witnessed its performance during the pandemic.

When COVID-19 hit, we were slammed by a loss of income. While many hotel operators chose to shut down their hotels, we managed to fill more than 100 rooms every night, mostly by providing healthcare workers a safe place to stay. We operated efficiently and took care of our guests’ needs because our employees could access their relevant information on OPERA Cloud PMS remotely.

There’s a shift occurring within our industry, from prioritizing physical infrastructure to looking at technology as an enabler of change. This trend is not limited to luxury hotels. By capitalizing on that movement, there’s significant opportunity for budget hotels to take service up and increase revenue. That’s our focus.

“I am glad that this change in technology has shown how effective this model has worked,” said Abdul Ghaffar, owner of The Great Southern Hotel Group.

Acostay Hotel Group has already integrated self-service kiosks with OPERA Cloud PMS to make check-in and checkout faster and easier for our guests. In our next phase, we’ll integrate mobile keys, giving our guests even greater autonomy. Integration is the key to innovation, and we’ll continue to rely upon it to improve and expand our hotel offerings. It’s the only way to remain relevant and meet guests’ changing needs.

In fact, integration capability was one of the major reasons why we selected OPERA Cloud. Oracle has embraced an open architecture, and it’s released more than 3,000 REST API capabilities – the most in the hospitality industry. In addition to its own R&D investment to pursue emerging technologies, Oracle has established an unmatched partner network, giving us options to integrate best-of-breed solutions and find vendors who best meet our needs.

Everything we do is about maximizing technology to improve service and lower costs. That’s why Oracle Hospitality’s focus on improving its solutions with automation and artificial intelligence is vitally important to us. Oracle’s already using AI for automated room assignments, guaranteeing guests not only receive the room they want but deserve.

“Innovation is the key and the formula for future expansion of the group,” said Nabeel Ghaffar, owner of The Great Southern Hotel Group. “The way we conduct business using technology will eventually define success for hotel management and future acquisitions.”

By simplifying work and eliminating mundane tasks, OPERA Cloud PMS lets our hotel staff do so much more and increases our profitability. Which is why it’ll ultimately determine what The Great Southern Hotel model will become.

About Oracle Hospitality

Oracle Hospitality brings more than 45 years of experience in providing technology solutions to independent hoteliers, global and regional chains, gaming, and cruise lines. Our hardware, software, and services enable customers to act on rich data insights that deliver personalized guest experiences, maximize profitability, and encourage loyalty. Cloud-based, mobile-enabled, with open APIs, Oracle's OPERA Cloud property management and distribution, Simphony point-of-sale, reporting and analytics, and Nor1 upsell solutions accelerate innovation, increase revenue, lower IT cost, and maximize operating efficiency. To learn more, please visit


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