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Interview: Oracle Hospitality's New Boss Looks to the Cloud for Growth - skift.com

Oracle Hospitality 26 June 2018
Oracle Hospitality provides the most widely used property management systems and point-of-sale systems in hotels worldwide. Giants like Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott rely on it, as do many small independents. Two weeks ago, Oracle Hospitality installed Greg Webb as its new top boss. Webb was previously vice chairman of Sabre, a travel technology company with a large hospitality division of its own, for 16 months. Webb rose up through the ranks there. His stints included five years running Sabre's biggest division, which powers global airline distribution. Webb takes the helm at Oracle Hospitality during an era of industry and technological change. In 2014, Oracle bought Micros for $4.6 billion. Micros ran the most widely used hotel property management system, or PMS -- a centralized database that keeps a golden record on guest data and that is today the heart of the typical hotel operation. The merger didn't go smoothly.
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Hotel 2025: Robotics - Human Complement or Substitute?

Oracle Hospitality 1 June 2018
Welcome to the second in our series of Hotel 2025 blogs, where we will be sharing insights from the Oracle Hospitality report, Hotel 2025, including perspectives from more than 150 hotel operators and some 2,700 consumers on the emerging technological innovations redefining guest experiences.Robotics is a field that brings together artificial intelligence, computer science, and mechanical and electrical engineering capabilities to design, construct, operate and deploy robots in a variety of industries. Robots are adaptable to perform any task required of it; most commonly they perform more dangerous or mundane tasks such as assembly line and packaging jobs. But robots have become so sophisticated and personable that they are starting to replace waiters, cleaners and even front-of-house hotel staff. Is it possible for robots to match, or even exceed, the human standard in hospitality?In Japan, the Henn-na hotel team certainly thinks so. Customers are greeted by a dinosaur hostess who bows and says, "Welcome," as guests arrive. The company has plans to launch 100 more similar hotels within the next five years, all with the ambition for robots to handle 90% of tasks. This portends that robotic applications within hotels could be many, ranging from room service and cleaning to staff training and virtual concierges. But what do guests and hoteliers think?From our survey of hoteliers and consumers, we gleaned some insights on the use of robots for greeting guests:46% of interviewees believe that this will be either mass adopted or mainstream by 2025.Half said this would improve their experience.Only 22% say they would visit more often if hotels offered this service.Ensuring that a staff member is always available for hotel guests is an important responsibility for all hotels. Hoteliers are tasked with the challenge of maximizing staff productivity and minimizing the time taken for each task, and for guest services the biggest time consumer is the delivery process. Luckily, robots are on hand to relieve some of this workload. They can pick up orders, navigate the hotel based on a pre-generated map, including calling and riding the elevator, and let guests know when they arrive via phone or an automated announcement. According to our survey, 56% of consumers and hotel operators think this will be mainstream or mass adopted by 2025 and almost 60% think this is very or somewhat appealing. However, the cost of purchasing robots remains the largest concern for operators.One of the less obvious applications for robotic technology is staff training.52% think that only early adopters, or no adopters at all would use robots for staff training by 202558% think it is somewhat or very appealingJust over half think it would improve employee efficiencyAccording to 'Maidbot', current housekeeping practices carry three major issues: "Housekeeping is the highest variable cost regardless of the hotel, room attendants have the highest injury rates in the service sector, and current commercial cleaning practices are inconsistent." Could a robotic addition to the housekeeping team be the answer? Dull, dirty, and physically demanding work inevitably takes its toll on hotel cleaning staff. Tackling these tasks with robotic solutions golds the promise of removing inconsistencies, increasing job satisfaction and reducing high staff costs. According to our survey, two thirds think using robots for housekeeping is somewhat or very appealing, and more than 60% think that it will be mainstream or mass adopted by 2025. Notably, 43% of our hoteliers believe such usage will improve employee efficiency, and 41% believe it will improve operational efficiency.The idea of a robotic concierge is heating up in the hospitality industry; increased customer loyalty, reduced employee turnover and time and money savings are just a handful of the benefits:58% think it will be mass or mainstream by 202564% believe it is somewhat or very appealing42% think it would improve guest experienceIt is worth noting that among surveyed consumers and hoteliers, robotic concierges received the highest, positive appealing response.In comparison to virtual reality's impact on the hotel industry, concerns surrounding costs remain constant. However, robotic applications seem to provide more obvious and calculative benefits to hotel guests and hotel staff. For example, a robotic helping hand could reduce task completion time and human inconsistencies, allowing staff to focus their attention on other activities that generate greater guest satisfaction. The key to maximizing the potential of robotics lies in the combination of man and machine.We hope you found this blog interesting and informative, and if you missed our first installment on virtual reality, check it out. Keep an eye out for the next Hotel 2025 blog, where we will explore the role artificial intelligence will play in hospitality. If you would like to read Oracle Hospitality's full Hotel 2025, you can download it here.
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Oracle Hospitality Sponsored Research Explores the State of the Central Reservation System Globally

Oracle Hospitality 12 February 2018
Commissioned by Oracle Hospitality, h2c's research scope focused on an online survey and expert interviews with hotel chains in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia Pacific - representing more than 11,000 properties and 1.7 million rooms worldwide. The primary objectives: determine chains' satisfaction level with their current CRS solution, identify missing features and functionalities, and seek recommendations to achieve improvements."Today's guests increasingly demand a hassle-free journey. The findings of the h2c report clearly indicate that the hotel industry is challenged to meet such expectations," said Laura Calin, vice president strategy and solutions management, Oracle Hospitality. "At Oracle, we're working diligently with our customers to simplify and integrate solutions, making it easier to leverage technology to attract new guests and win the loyalty of existing ones."Among the most significant findings: dissatisfaction with CRS is common among hotel operators, with one third of respondents reporting they are missing more than 30% of required functionality. Furthermore, half of all chains reported missing at least one key CRS functionality.Although respondents readily cited their CRS deficiencies, many struggled to identify means to remedy shortcomings. Such issues underscore the need for technology providers/CRS vendors to collaborate with clients to truly understand problems before driving innovation with new features.Based on the findings, h2c forecasts that PMS and CRS solutions will continue to merge in the future, either in the form of hybrid solutions or as entirely new hotel management platforms.The following are some of the key highlights from The Next Generation Central Reservation System - Implications for Future CRS Developments:Customer Relationship Management (CRM) poses the largest demand for CRS integration. Small and medium-sized hotel groups, with or without full-fledged loyalty programs, are under intense pressure to improve their guest experience to better compete with the personalization capabilities of global chains. CRS integration is minimal and even non-existent in some regions, making it a critical priority for CRS vendors to address - either with a proprietary product or a third-party integration.Internet booking engine (IBE) reservations are the greatest value driver, but underperforming. Though hotel chains are changing their online sales policy (including price disparity and/or offering free benefits) to compete against OTAs, the IBE needs to facilitate more sophisticated business rules. Such trends are mandating a reinvention of the IBE, which would enable more e-commerce functionality such as discounting packages.Future distribution management tasks will shift to non-CRS systems. From the hoteliers' perspective, some key CRS tasks such as availability and rates (ARI) management, will likely migrate to other systems in their IT portfolio or become part of a still-to-be-developed platform solution.A full copy of the report can be found here.Oracle will convene a global community of hospitality leadership at Oracle Industry Connect April 10-11, 2018 in New York, NY. Oracle Industry Connect provides attendees with intimate peer networking opportunities in addition to over 30 customer-led presentations with themes including how to move to the cloud to accelerate innovation and reduce IT complexity, mine data to gain insights and competitive advantages and capitalize on mobility to empower staff and serve guests. To learn more about Oracle Industry Connect 2018 and register to attend visit: www.oracle.com/oracleindustryconnect/About Oracle HospitalityOracle Hospitality brings 35 years of experience in providing technology solutions to food and beverage operators. We provide hardware, software, and services that allow our customers to deliver exceptional guest experiences while maximizing profitability. Our solutions include integrated point-of-sale, loyalty, reporting and analytics, inventory and labor management, all delivered from the cloud to lower IT cost and maximize business agility.For more information about Oracle Hospitality, please visit www.Oracle.com/HospitalityAbout h2ch2c's services to the hospitality industry are unbiased and customer-focused. h2c's clients benefit from B2B research, Content Marketing services, hospitality technology RFPs and CONTtest, a channel manager for static hotel content.Our Mission: h2c inspires success in hospitality commerce. Our passion to translate marketplace complexities into actionable strategies shapes our relationships. The goal: clients are confidently in control." For more information, please visit our website.
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Oracle Hospitality Ushers Sports and Entertainment Marketplace to the Cloud

Oracle Hospitality 31 October 2017
With advanced and powerful new products and services ranging from next generation POS technology to integrated loss prevention and data science cloud services, major companies across the sports and entertainment marketplace continue to find a foundation for innovation with Oracle Hospitality.The combination of cloud-based food and beverage management software and ruggedized mobile POS from Oracle Hospitality enables sports and entertainment venues, such as stadiums and theme parks, to increase speed of service, maximize operational efficiency, and manage loyalty and season-ticket holder programs - all while receiving detailed real-time reporting and analytics."Oracle Hospitality's proven track record and commitment to the sports and entertainment marketplace is evident by our progress in product innovation," said Dan Bell, Vice President, Sports & Entertainment, Oracle Hospitality. "Oracle is investing millions in R&D and support to enable venue operators to deliver the service that fans want and expect. Our food and beverage platform scales to support the largest sporting and entertainment venues and offers the ability to conduct iterative innovation through cloud deployment to improve the overall fan experience."Research conducted by Oracle Hospitality makes it abundantly clear what fans want: speed and reliability. Forty-five percent of fans around the world had abandoned lines at events because the wait was too long. The Simphony Cloud platform can reduce waiting time with high-performance cloud POS delivered on integrated hardware for kiosks and mobility. Oracle Hospitality's flexible Gift & Loyalty solution integrates with the POS to support fan recognition and personalization. An integrated back office suite offers cloud solutions designed to minimize costs, waste, and theft while delivering extensive reporting capabilities.In addition to driving more personalized fan experiences, Oracle Hospitality also provides stadiums with tools to optimize event-day operations from beginning to end through Simphony Venue Management, which can track inventory and food costs, and Simphony Suites Management, which can help streamline production of advance food orders, pantries and the timed distribution of orders to event suites.Product and service innovationOracle Hospitality also continues to release significant new products and services to support ongoing customer innovation and fan engagement, including:The launch of the Oracle MICROS 720 tablets - durable and rugged mobile POS engineered for hospitality and large venue environments;The launch and integration of Oracle Hospitality Data Science Cloud Services - on-demand data mining services that give operators access to the latest machine-learning tools to help improve forecasting and deliver up- and cross-selling insights directly on the POS terminals;Powerful new reporting capabilities with Oracle Hospitality Reporting and Analytics 9.0 - operators can take advantage of an extended reporting platform, from KPIs via dashboards on mobile devices to comprehensive pivot tables and drill-down analysis. Reporting and Analytics offers the power of Oracle Business Intelligence at no charge for users of Simphony Premium;The launch of Oracle Hospitality Simphony Cloud 2.9 - extending the core functionality of the Simphony food and beverage management platform with new events management enhanced functionality that is optimized for the sports and entertainment industry.Industry-wide domain expertise and insightWith more than 35 years of experience in the sports and entertainment space, Oracle Hospitality understands the complexities that comprise this unique environment. We share this insight through providing original research to our customers, partners and the industry, to shed light on fan and guest trends and opportunities. Recent reports include the Oracle Hospitality Fan Experience Report, which details how consumers want technology to fuel their experience at sporting and concert venues, and the Oracle Hospitality Restaurant 2025 Report which outlines how consumers expect new and innovative technologies to reinvent their hospitality experience by the year 2025.From stadiums to theme parks, the cloud-based delivery of the Simphony platform combined with extensibility and integration capabilities, allow the sports and entertainment industry to continuously innovate the experience for fans and guests at events and concerts. The inclusion of new apps and trends is key. In the past 12 months, Oracle Hospitality has added additional value to the Simphony platform through a variety of strategic relationships and integrations, including with QikServe and FreedomPay.
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Oracle Hospitality Introduces New Data Science Cloud Services to Help Food & Beverage Operators Optimize Every Sale

Oracle Hospitality 2 August 2017
Redwood Shores, CA -- Empowering food and beverage operators to convert data into profit, Oracle Hospitality today announced Data Science Cloud Services. With the new services, food and beverage operators gain the ability to analyze key information such as sales, guest, marketing and staff performance data at unprecedented speed - generating insights that lead directly to actionable measures that improve their top and bottom line.The suite includes two cloud-driven offerings - Oracle Hospitality Menu Recommendations Cloud Service and Oracle Hospitality Adaptive Forecasts Cloud Service - currently available to operators worldwide, enabling them to improve up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, and optimize operations, respectively.The new Data Science Cloud Services bring Oracle's renowned machine learning and data-analytics expertise specifically to the food and beverage industry. This, combined with years of hospitality industry knowledge, delivers quick wins for operators, while saving them the significant expense of having to hire their own analysts or invest in a data processing infrastructure. In addition to Oracle technology, Data Science delivers the support of a team of leading data scientists, database engineers and experienced hospitality consultants."Margins are being squeezed in hospitality like never before," said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. "Labor and food costs are increasing, and competition for the dining dollar is high. With our Data Science Cloud Services, we are giving our customers the ability to be as profitable as possible, by helping them pinpoint cost-savings in each location while optimizing every single sales opportunity to deliver revenue growth."Making Every Sale Count with Oracle Hospitality Menu Recommendations Cloud ServiceOracle Hospitality Menu Recommendations Cloud Service allows food and beverage operators with multiple locations to evaluate their menus and identify enhancements to maximize every sales opportunity. The Data Science service can seek the best possible up-sell or cross-sell options by location or time of day, with recommendations dynamically updating based on customer behavior. Assumptions around cross-sells and up-sells can be analyzed, leading to better understanding of guest behavior and preferences.Speed to value is accelerated, thanks to integration between the Data Science service and the Oracle Hospitality technology platform. Recommendations are available at point-of-service terminals and displayed as localized cross-sells or timed up-sells. Such simplicity enables staff to optimize sales and serve guests without delay or confusion.Predicting Stock and Labor Needs with Oracle Hospitality Adaptive Forecasts Cloud ServiceOracle Hospitality Adaptive Forecasts lets operators better predict stock and labor needs at every location. The service creates a single forecast by item, location and day part, and factors in weather, events, time of day, day of the week and Net Promoter scores. Such forecasting maintains appropriate levels of inventory and staffing in all business scenarios, helping store managers minimize wasted inventory, lower labor costs and, most importantly, ensure an exceptional guest experience.For Oracle Hospitality customers, these Advanced Science Cloud Services complement the self-service data access and reporting solutions that are already available, including the InMotion mobile app that provides real-time access to restaurant KPIs and the Reporting and Analytics 9.0 service that was launched in April 2017.
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Oracle Hospitality Fosters More Meaningful Guest Experiences with New Mobile POS and Robust Analytics

Oracle Hospitality 24 March 2017
Oracle Industry Connect -- Today Oracle Hospitality announced the launch of two new innovations for food and beverage and hotel customers, at the annual Oracle Industry Connect event in Orlando, Florida. The new Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 provides new mobility capabilities for hospitality operators, while the launch of Oracle Hospitality Reporting and Analytics 9.0 provides food and beverage operations with a greatly enhanced solution for identifying revenue generation and cost saving opportunities."Hospitality brands of all sizes are looking for new ways to accelerate growth while delivering a differentiated guest experience," said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. "With today's announcement we are providing our customers with a new ruggedized mobile POS capable of engaging guests in new ways across a variety of segments including hotels, restaurants, stadiums, casinos and cruise ships. Combined with the Oracle Hospitality Reporting and Analytics 9.0, we are arming food and beverage operators with new insights that can streamline the operations of their businesses."Enhanced Revenue Opportunities and Guest Experience with Oracle MICROS Tablet 720The new MICROS Tablet 720 is a durable mobile point-of-sale tablet designed to allow hospitality staff to engage consumers away from traditional terminals. The MICROS Tablet 720 combines the usability of traditional mobile devices with rugged features and extended battery life to meet the needs of unique hospitality experiences found at bars, casinos, cruise lines, hotels, restaurants and stadiums."For the hospitality industry, guest experience and speed of service are everything. Operators need to be able to provide amazing guest service wherever the guest is," said Jay Upchurch, vice president of strategy, Oracle Hospitality. "We engineered the new Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 to improve the way consumers and the hospitality industry engage with one another by providing a ruggedized device capable of serving customers in diverse environments and integrating with our existing Simphony and OPERA management suites for mobile access to real time data."Increased Revenue and Cost Control Opportunities with Reporting and Analytics 9.0The Oracle Hospitality Reporting and Analytics solution is used in over 50,000 restaurants, hotels, bars, coffee shops, stadiums, theme parks, and other hospitality operations around the world. Fully integrated with Oracle Hospitality POS systems, Reporting and Analytics provides managers with insight to sales, revenues, and other key performance indicators.The release of Reporting and Analytics 9.0 integrates with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE). Oracle's powerful analytics engine, OBIEE is renowned worldwide for its capability to provide visual reports that enable industry leaders to create a data-driven culture."With increasing competition, food and beverage operators need to be able to analyze their data and identify ways of cutting costs and increasing revenues," said Upchurch. "Reporting and Analytics is an integral part of our Simphony Cloud point of sale solution, which means that our customers are now receiving additional value with a powerful analytics system as part of their cloud POS service for no additional cost.""The integration of Oracle Business Intelligence with Reporting and Analytics is also another example of how the Oracle acquisition of MICROS is bringing benefits to our customers, as Oracle investment and technology are brought together with MICROS domain expertise."

Cloud-driven leadership: 5 mandates to grow market share

Oracle Hospitality By Sundar Swaminathan and Dr. Peter Agel
Hotel technology is not about the nuts and bolts; it's about finding ways to apply the nuts and bolts to enhancing guest experiences, improving efficiency and motivating staff. Oracle Hospitality's Sundar Swaminathan and Dr. Peter Agel share some wide-ranging ideas for exploiting the cloud to its fullest.

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