Algila and Roma Charme hotels
Syracuse, Italy

"Switching from Micros Opera, the work flows much easier freeing our people from administrative tasks to dedicate to customers."

The two Charme hotels Algila and Roma 1880 are stunning antique properties in Ortigia, the heart of Syracuse, Italy. The hotels combine modern amenities and superb location with cultural traditions and authentic architecture. In these spectacular historical buildings, designed and furnished in traditional style you will find highly professional staff that will take care for your pleasant and memorable stay.

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Smooth take-off, less IT complexity, and more time to devote to guests in two amazing hotels in Syracuse

Q: Please tell us a few words about yourself and your property

AP: I'm the CEO of a small company who owns two Charme hotels in Ortigia, the ancient centre of Syracuse, Sicily, for a total of 100 rooms. Our hotels are most appreciated by the customers and also the highest priced in the area.

Q: What type of software were you previously using to manage your property?

AP: We used Micros Opera since opening the first hotel in 2008. When we acquired the second in 2013 our first option was to install Opera also there, but we were put off by crazy prices from Micros (now Oracle) for what I see as old technology, meaning a server-based installed software. The investment and complexity was even doubled when we asked to integrate the databases of the two hotels (as is natural, being 500m apart). I leveraged my previous experience as a data and dot com entrepreneur and spent quite some time to select a modern, SaaS (or cloud) software, with the following characteristics in mind:

  • one integrated software for PMS, web reservations and revenue management, where we where using three from different providers (Micros Opera, Vertical Booking and Blastness) plus a series of excel spreadsheets, with complex interfaces and never satisfactory integration.
  • no server and simpler IT infrastructure; we want to concentrate on hospitality, not on running a complex system. Of course a cloud solution is dependent on the internet connection, but this is anyway a need, because in case of internet interruption we can't communicate with our customers (email, chats, voip) and hotel's customers are very sensible to problems on the internet connection; we decided to invest in a redundant and fault-tolerant internet connection and reduce our overall risk of interruption of service by eliminating the internal data server.
  • user friendliness: a good software should not need weeks of courses and hundreds of pages of manuals;
  • open to development and integration with Google Apps solutions: we can interact with a browser-based open system, read data, have a free-lance programmer write extensions etc. while in Opera you can't even copy and paste data from reports to excel because they are messed up rtf with no linearity.
  • a solid and creative company backing their product with the energy to make it better every day listening to the needs of customers.

Q: What was the major challenge that you wanted to solve with the adoption of a (new) hotel software?

AP: First of all easy introduction and quick training-on-the job of new front office employees and faster service to customers, all in a safer ITC environment (100% up time in any event), with minimum time dedicated to backoffice tasks that software can perform better than humans.

Q: How did Clock PMS provide the solution for your challenge?

AP: Even after years of experience in software, I can't even start Opera (as I never read the manual) while in a few minutes and just looking at the software menu I could easily create a booking. When a young born-digital front office trainee set eyes on Clock, he/she can easily start working and be productive and will be autonomous in a couple of months, whereas Opera required them one year to get to the same level of confidence.
In Clock PMS we could set rate rules that allow us to maximize revenues and Revpar adjusting prices to occupancy in an automatic way and easily answer to requests on prices and availability from special customers (MICE and TO), whereas before the same tasks took half of hotel's manager time.

Q: What else has changed in your property management since Clock PMS has been deployed?

AP: Saving time on front and back office time, we have a better customer care; with a more complete software support, we moved to those offices many tasks that previously required the hotel manager attention - when they are not directly performed by Clock (as is the case of revenue management). In the end, this means more attention to customers and towards sales = higher profits.

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