There are many reasons why, as manager of Hotel Mesikammen in Finland, I opted to become an early adopter of cloud-based technology and switched to OPERA Cloud property management system in 2019 - and embraced its new hotel distribution solution just this past summer.

But the simplest explanation is this: They both make work so much easier. And trust me, that's important when your property is almost in the middle of nowhere.

Our location is away from major cities, which would make getting spare parts really challenging if your on-premises server blows up. Since we switched to OPERA Cloud, maintenance and software updates are no longer a worry. Although we're in a remote location, our business has thrived since it opened in 1976 because of our next-door neighbor: the acclaimed Ähtäri Zoo, Finland's second largest that features Snowpanda House, which China's State Forestry Administration declared in 2017 as the best outside enclosure for giant pandas beyond China's borders. It's home to Lumi and Pyry, who arrived in 2018. Hotel Mesikammen is the place to stay when visiting the zoo.

But in an increasingly digital world where travelers' buying behavior continues to shift online, it was essential for us to broaden our hotel channel management - without straining our small staff of six hotel workers, which includes me. Historically, most of our bookings have been achieved directly, either through our website or the old-fashioned way - customers would just call us. In fact, two years ago, 70 percent of our bookings came from phone calls, nearly all Finnish families making reservations.

With Oracle Hospitality Distribution, a new hotel room booking software, we have the opportunity to diversify our customer mix significantly, and we're already witnessing a change.

In the past, we had used a couple of OTAs manually, including, but avoided others because it was impossible to spend the time to update them individually. But with the addition of Distribution, we don't have to teach anyone to go to and do this and that, because now all things happen in OPERA Cloud. We only have to set our rates once in OPERA Cloud, and they automatically become available to as well as Expedia.

We've been online since June with Oracle Hospitality Distribution, and our business volume through has jumped 60 percent, with weekly reservations increasing to 80 from 50 in the same period a year ago. We attribute the gain to improved efficiency with Distribution and the fact that customers are becoming more comfortable traveling during the pandemic. However, we did have a very busy season last year as well, because our remote location and the zoo's wide expanse offered safe social distancing.

The availability of Expedia was an additional incentive for us to get Oracle Hospitality Distribution. We had not used Expedia before, but adding it required no extra work and we believe Expedia has greater appeal to a broader European market. By gaining a hotel direct connect to and Expedia, we've noticed that we're attracting a younger audience - younger families as well as younger people traveling with friends. That complements our direct booking efforts, which draw a different demographic, typically customers who are 50 or older.

As a hotel operator, I understand that it's difficult for some of my peers to embrace new technology. It can be intimidating. But I believe it's the only way to remain competitive. That's why I became an Oracle early adopter. Thankfully, the Oracle team has made it easy for me. We like to do things on our own, and for the most part, setting up Distribution was simple. But if you've used OPERA Cloud and have familiarity with Oracle processes, learning how to use Distribution is almost effortless. And when there was something we didn't know how to do, Oracle helped us right away.

Such support and cooperation from Oracle Hospitality are just a couple of the reasons why we implemented OPERA Cloud as well as Simphony point of sale. Oracle helped us go live in May 2019, hitting strict deadlines to ensure we were ready for our peak summer tourism season. Combined with Simphony, which orchestrates our food and beverage operations, we gain a single, universal view of guest activity and behavior on our property and its dining establishments. And the mobile capabilities of both solutions allow us to work productively and efficiently from anywhere at any time. During the pandemic, which has contributed to a major labor shortage, that benefit is invaluable. Before, if there was a problem, I would always go to the hotel. But now, if my staff calls me, I just open my laptop and go to OPERA Cloud, and we can all see the data and work together in real time.

I've developed a trust with Oracle Hospitality. That's why if they tell me they have a new technology solution to help grow my business, I'll think it about for 10 seconds, and say, "Yes, we'll try it."

Oracle Hospitality brings over 40 years of experience in providing technology solutions to independent hoteliers, global and regional chains, gaming, and cruise lines. Our cloud-based, mobile-enabled solutions for property management, point-of-sale, distribution, and reporting and analytics lower IT costs and maximize business agility. Oracle Hospitality's OPERA is recognized globally as the leading property management platform and offers open APIs to serve as a platform for industry innovation. Learn more at Get specific product information as quick as clicking right here.

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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