By: Mike Provost
They say that “Variety is the spice of life”. That may be, and it’s also true that different people have a wide range of tolerance for various levels of spiciness. For example, I love spicy food, and have been known to put chipotle-based Tabasco sauce on just about everything. At Japanese restaurants, I’m the guy using liberal amounts of wasabi mustard, much to the initial concern of witnesses. In the office, we have several people from India, and one from Jamaica. When these folks bring a dish to the office potluck lunch, and say “it’s a little hot”, well… watch out!
On the extreme side, I have a friend who is such a fan of intense spiciness, he has been known to put a little police-grade pepper spray on his food from time to time. Then again, some of us suspect that he might actually have either some sort of personality disorder, or a prosthetic asbestos tongue, so perhaps he’s a bad example.
On the other side of that extreme, we all know people who seem to have a strong aversion to anything spicier than white rice. These folks, either through personal preference, or sheer physical complication, avoid spicy foods at all cost.
But enough about spice, and back to variety…
Creating food which appeals to a wide variety of customers is tricky. The same could be said for software. Functionality that one chain or hotel prefers could be completely useless for another. Or, to get even more granular, sometimes the specific needs can vary from user to user within a single hotel for the same piece of functionality. For example, one reservation agent might handle more group business, and another might handle more individual call-ins. Many of their business needs will overlap, of course, but some could be just different enough to be inconvenient at best, without changes to the software that each use. This can be even more complicated if the user’s role changes from day to day, based on business or staffing levels.
Historically, making a single piece of software mesh well with all of these different needs has been a challenge at best, (and let’s be honest, sometimes the challenge is on the vendor, and sometimes it ends up on the user). To try and resolve this, software providers have tried many different tactics over the years, from the reasonable (multiple configuration options), to the absurd (Ctrl-Alt-Fn-Pgdn-F3-X…). Additionally, it seems that the more widely used the software, and the longer it has been in production, even the more reasonable tactics tend to get cumbersome: Ever tried to customize Microsoft Office beyond setting up your email account?
At MICROS , we have a very powerful suite of Hospitality Management solutions, but are certainly not exempt from these challenges. We’re constantly working to make the software better, smarter, and faster, but also easier to use. In developing OPERA 9, our next-generation solution for the lodging side of the house, we’re using the latest technology to make a more intuitive user experience. By leveraging Oracle’s Metadata Services (MDS), we’re able to serve the spice “on-the-side”, and allow each user to make their own changes; in effect to set their own variations to taste without making the whole dish too spicy for everyone else. These are very easy to modify, and can be changed as often as needed, which is a good thing, especially when you’re trying to “curry” favor with your less change-tolerant co-workers.
Find out more about what MICROS can do for you! For more information contact us at email@example.com Phone: 866.287.4736 (US and Canada)