By Jos Schaap CEO and Founder – StayNTouch
It has long been said that making the safe choice when investing in a hotel technology partner is always the right decision. This is a recognized phenomenon, epitomized by the traditional axiom of purchasing agents that “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment.” While it is true that large well-established tech brands tend to be more widely adopted and influential, they may not be the best choice for every business, and in fact, could leave you regretting your decision in the long run.
We see a substantial amount of consolidation with the operations side of the hotel industry lately. Just a week ago, Wyndham Hotels purchased La Quinta, and late in 2016, Marriott added to its portfolio by purchasing Starwood Hotels. The same is true for the hotel and travel technology industry. There has been a plethora of acquisitions over the past few years. Some very large purchases have taken place within the Online Travel Agency space and the hotel technology category. One of the most significant and mystifying purchase decisions I can recall was the acquisition of Micros systems by Oracle. This purchase included the Opera platform which arguably runs the largest base of hotels in the world.
In a Skift article titled “Oracle Hospitality Stumbled in Micros Integration but Says It Has Recovered” there were undoubtedly some hiccups to be felt along the way. One of the main stumbling points was actually getting anything done in the wake of this marriage between two large companies.
Oracle is a huge company, world renowned for developing the best in ERP solutions. Micros/Opera, in its own right, is a huge company as well. Trying to uphold standard service practices to its base of hotel clients, whilst also indoctrinating itself into Oracle’s pre-existing culture and process, proved challenging.
There are countless users that are very vocal about their dissatisfaction with the level of support and innovation that has been delivered by Oracle Hospitality. One quote, echoed by many, summarizes the dismay: “A large number of hoteliers are unhappy since the reorganisation of ORACLE upon the takeover of OPERA FIDELIO. Why? Because the solutions proposed by ORACLE do not correspond to our needs.”