Hotels Customer Information System … Not a simple CRM

By: Motti Tadmor

Many times I have been asked to explain what a customer Information System (CIS) is. The easiest explanation for those who are not savvy in the central systems/enterprise world of concepts, is to simply compare it to any call center application…let’s take the cable company for example.

When you call the cable company to complain about the service, check your bill, or modify your service, they (hopefully) always find your account, see the history of your calls with them and serve you based on your unique account needs (by address, or phone or email etc…)

They keep track of your calls, services, billing and client information and will usually try to upsell you with any deals or campaigning options – this is what we all know as a CRM application.

Similar to hotels right?   Wrong!

Let’s think about the same exact scenario in a hotel enterprise, every time the guest stays in a hotel they might provide more updated information about themselves.  While the cable company has one single source of information about you, hotels may have
multiple sources of data for the same exact person.

Hotels may have your address and info as a business person and then have your info again as a resort vacation traveler. Hotels may also maintain the information they received from different areas like your stay in the hotel or from your visit to a restaurant or casino, therefore there are many different types of information which may all be collecting but that pertain to the same exact person… but how do
we maintain all that information without losing something?

How do we keep track of all our clients’ addresses? Phone numbers? Email addresses? Even names or changes to all this critical information? How do we collect their stay pattern / revenue / history from all around the world, and credit them with loyalty benefits? Stay statistics?

Address these and other challenges are what make a Customer Information System very different from a simple CRM and from other Hotel central systems.  A solid Hotel CIS offers features that are carefully tailored to service hospitality requirements, and provide solutions to all the challenges just mentioned.

Throughout the years at MICROS, we have managed to incorporate logic, business rules and sophisticated technologies using our own business expertise into the OPERA CIS (OCIS)…making it easy for our clients to turn on, configure and let OCIS do its job.

Some of our techniques include a rating system – by comparing pieces of information within each record, the system allows some client records to automatically merge into one client file. Other techniques include rules to accommodate different vendors and third-party systems MICROS can interface with like Address Doctor.

OCIS offers build-in loyalty handling, which in today’s economy is probably one of the most important features when trying to maintain your client base, attract more guests, and trigger more revenue.

Of course that with changing trends, new opportunities and new markets, we must always stay ahead of the curve by remaining innovative and creative…..constantly enhancing OPERA CIS.


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