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Oracle Sets the Stage for Hotels, Placing a Spotlight on Technology

GEM Journal speaks with Oracle Hospitality Senior Director Luis Weir about his vision for the industry’s future.

Oracle Hospitality connects property management, point of sale, and analytics so hotels can make the most out of guest services. Luis Weir, head of strategy and Application Programming Interface integrations at Oracle Hospitality, takes great pride in his company’s achievements.

He’s even more excited about their future potential.

In a recent article, GEM Journal Today explores the use of APIs in the hotel industry, and how companies like PolyAPI are enhancing guest management. When applications talk to each other with the power of artificial intelligence, the streamlining and customization possibilities are endless.

Weir spoke with us about Oracle’s place in the technology race and where he sees the industry heading in the face of advancing technology.

How does Oracle Hospitality streamline operations?

When it comes to getting everything in one place, hotels can count on Oracle Hospitality.

“We offer a unified platform that is fully integrated and capable of supporting every hotel function from office, reservations, call center distribution, connectivity, point of sales, event management and integration, you name it, our suite offers all these capabilities – and within a single platform,” Weir says.

They help organize and deliver data so staff stays connected and informed.

Normally, in order to pull off all of this service management in one place, you’d have to “cherry pick” and then struggle to keep programs communicating with each other smoothly. Now with Oracle, every software and application can work together seamlessly, making life easier for employees and guests.

Weir explains that “because we have it all integrated out of the box, that makes our proposition very, very unique. And very, very comprehensive.”

How widely is Oracle Hospitality used in the hotel industry?

Oracle Hospitality works with a wide range of properties, ranging from budget hotels to casinos to luxury resorts. What is that in numbers? Well, they manage more than 4.8 million hotel rooms. That’s a lot of fresh towels.

And a good portion of those are heading towards the Cloud.

“We manage currently some 40,000 hotels worldwide, out of which over 5,000 of those hotels are already in the cloud offering,” Weir says. “And we have a pipeline of about 10,000 more going to the cloud system very soon. Cloud adoption is really rocketing.”

Generative AI models take an already fast and secure cloud system to another level.

Weir points out that a lot of major technological advancements are happening in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). With artificial intelligence becoming more prominent in many industries, Weir confirms that OCI can “empower [hotels] to take advantage of the latest and greatest advancements.”

What is the most important benefit technology can provide employees and guests?

Functioning a lean staff is nothing new to the hotel industry. Hopefully, technology can help.

A survey from the American Hotel & Lodging Association – an industry trade group comprising thousands of hospitality companies – reveals that 8 in 10 hotels “experience staffing shortages.” With rising quit rates in an industry that can’t retain their workforce, technology like the services Oracle provides can keep operations running smoothly.

Weir is aware of the problem, and he says it’s a big one.

“Hotels are having to do more with less. So any technology that enables their staff to do more with less, is going to be very, very valuable for the hotel,” he says. “There has to be an investment in technology. The hotels are looking for technology that can actually deliver automation. API has become a crucial play here. Because if you have API’s to automate stuff, then that gives you the opportunity to look at your processes and optimize.”

Weir refers to the technology guests access from their phones and computers, and oftentimes this guest-facing technology is more streamlined than what employees have access to. He also observes that AI-powered plugins are becoming the new search engine, and hotels need to keep up with the speed their guests expect.

Weir says to “offer experiences that are integrated with the technology.”

He also places importance on integrating new API advancements and advanced generative AI – like that found in OCI – with cell phone applications in order to keep up with the technological Joneses: “It’s super important [with] mobile phones. It’s a no brainer, right?”

Absolutely right. Cell phones are an essential part of the searching, booking, and overall experience during a guest’s stay, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. They must be considered in every part of a hotel’s technological advancement.

Where does hospitality go from here?

AI has taken the world by storm. That goes the same for hotels.

“In the cloud world, generative AI is a revolution,” Weir states. “It can fundamentally change everything.”

Companies like PolyAPI (offered in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace) give hotels the ability to create AI plugins of their own. Aside from providing a personalized experience like no other, one day hotels may no longer have to rely on third-party booking companies, meaning no more referral fees.

Weir confirms this theory: “You can see that KAYAK and Expedia are amongst the most popular plugins… So that means that people are using this type of technology for travel. This matters a lot.”

APIs are changing the game, allowing programs to talk to each other and boost not only existing User Interfaces but also behind-the-scenes flow. Employees get the specific information they need, guests get the services they want, and data is shared in a safe and fast way that blows the old system out of the water.

People like Weir are on top of their game, and he says Oracle is more than keeping up with the fast-paced times.

“In this space that is moving so fast, we are taking serious steps to not be left behind,” he promises. “We are going ahead in order to power a revolution, not to play catch up.”

Oracle Hospitality will surely continue to embrace the technological revolution, and other companies should follow suit.