The hurdles developers have to leap before they can integrate software into Oracle's Micros point of sale software is stifling innovation in the hotel and restaurant sector, according to the chief technology officer of London's largest owner-operator hotel management firm.
Chris Hewertson, CTO at glh. Hotels, said the firm was having to build a middle layer for suppliers to hook into because of the "huge cost of licensing and accreditation" involved with Micros integration.
As hoteliers try to create unified guest data and develop new services to drive loyalty and retention, the inability to interface with the UK's largest POS system has become "an anchor on our industry", said Hewertson.
"Oracle Micros is now holding back the entire industry," he told The Caterer's Digital Summit. "It is like we are stuck in 1990."
He said while other companies were swift to open up application protocol interfaces (APIs) so that developers can integrate services to the industry standard back-end, Oracle was "at the other end" of the spectrum.
"I get ten to fifteen contacts a day from new companies [that are providing potentially useful services]. But I can guarantee none of them have Oracle Micros integration," said Hewertson. "It is an anchor on our industry. We need a clear, alternative, open system."
"It is a huge investment but it is the only way [we can integrate new services]. That, in the twenty first century, is ridiculous."
In response to Hewertson's criticism, an Oracle spokesperson said: "Oracle does not comment on individual customer matters, however we do have a documented and published process to allow third-party and custom integrations to our products. This is readily available on the website."
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