Norway's Solstrand Hotel undergoes a digital transformation with OPERA Cloud
By Oystein Totland, Project Manager, Digital Transformation, Solstrand Hotel
Sometimes, opportunities emerge during the unlikeliest of circumstances.With strict travel restrictions in Norway, our property – the Solstrand Hotel – was shut down for a good portion of 2021.
But rather than lament the loss of business, we decided to use the time to get better and work smarter.
That’s why we began the digital transformation of our historic, full-service, resort hotel founded in 1896. Known for its spa, gardens, pools, and restaurant, the 135-room property with 25 meeting rooms offers majestic views of the fjord. We selected OPERA Cloud property management system as the centerpiece of our efforts and, in less than a month, Oracle Hospitality helped us achieve our goal.
This is the story about Solstrand’s journey to cloud.
Seeking fast, simple integrations
In a very thorough process, we met with several hospitality technology providers and analyzed the pros and cons of different hotel PMS platforms. But, ultimately, we chose OPERA Cloud because Oracle is known for its security measures. Going to the cloud and moving your data from on-premises can be frightening for any hotelier; avoiding such risks was important, and we trusted Oracle’s accomplished record in security across its business, from product development to processes.
But by the time we finally decided to go with OPERA Cloud in late March, we had little time left before the reopening of our hotel on April 26. We were also installing at the same time a new spa system that needed to be integrated with OPERA Cloud. So, we challenged Oracle to make the process a quick one. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves, but Oracle got it done.
A major reason for the fast installation was OPERA Cloud’s integration capabilities, which were a key factor in our selection of the hotel PMS.
OHIP and Oracle’s Partner Network
Not only did we need to integrate a new spa system, we knew the ability to integrate new technologies simply, quickly, and efficiently would be essential to remain competitive. That’s why the Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform (OHIP) was very appealing. As part of the OPERA Cloud Suite, OHIP is a self-service platform that allows us to work with third-party providers to quickly integrate their products and services to deliver better experiences to our guests. It opens the door to work with any of the partners in Oracle’s huge network.
We’ve already had presentations with several of them; we’re looking at digital check-in and checkout and mobile keys. Oracle’s partner network gives us the option to explore and discover what works best for us.
The benefits of better integration, however, aren’t just limited to connections with new solutions. OPERA Cloud’s integration improves operations with existing ones, too. In the past, our central reservation system, which was integrated with the on-premises PMS, experienced downtime – sometimes, up to a few days. When that happened, we’d have to do reservations manually, and you risk overbooking. But with OPERA Cloud, our CRS is so stable. That problem is completely gone.
Generating more event revenue
By switching to OPERA Cloud, we’ve also been able to capitalize upon OPERA Cloud Sales and Event Management software. The sales and event management software is part of OPERA Cloud and is key to overseeing a big part of our business. We viewed this as a major advantage, because most other systems haven’t yet developed a sales and catering and event module in their cloud solution.
We host a lot of meetings during the weekdays, and on weekends, we’re busy with family parties and celebrations. The software has been improved, and it allows for editing several events at the same time, which saves a lot of time for our staff. And we’re looking forward to using new features such as booking guest rooms as meeting rooms. It’ll automatically block the guest room’s availability (when it’s reserved in such a fashion), so you don’t have to do it separately. For us, it’s a valuable feature because we’ve been seeing a bigger demand for smaller meetings because of the restrictions of how many people can gather to meet. You need to save the bigger guest rooms for such functions because we may not have enough meeting rooms.
Of course, it’s still a learning process, and we knew it would be. Cloud PMS technology is still new, and it’s still evolving. But that’s a good thing, because with cloud you always get the latest version. It’s the best way to prepare for the future.
About Oracle Hospitality
Oracle Hospitality brings more than 40 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. Our Hospitality Resource Center features an array of information to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in an altered marketplace.
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