UPDATE 1/17/2017: This post has been updated since it was first published to include additional options and new information about existing products. This list now includes five, instead of three, OPERA alternatives.
I love goofy gifs of dogs.
In fact, my boyfriend sends me a goofy dog gif every afternoon of the workweek to give me a nice break while I type, type, type out new posts about the hotel industry and hotel management software.
One of my favorite dog-themed gifs he sends me is a photo of a dog and a cat, sitting on opposite beds. The cat lounges on a vast expanse of pillow-packed fluff, while the dog bends and contorts to fit a massive frame into a teacup of cushioned comfort. Sometimes they fight back.
It’s a little cute, but probably not for the dog.
Hotel property management software works in much the same way. You need a solution that fits your needs, like how a dog needs a dog bed to sleep on, not a cat bed.
So if a solution is too small, it doesn’t satisfy all your needs. A larger solution may seem great, but you end up spending too much money and get too little out of your investment.
No so cute now, huh?
So what to do when you can’t find what you need? Look for alternatives, of course.
Below, I’ll cover five excellent OPERA PMS alternatives, outlining their pros and cons so you can find the right fit for your hotel.
The five alternatives listed below all have two things in common:
- First, they are specifically geared toward independent hotels.
- Second, like OPERA, they’re based in the cloud — with one exception — so there’s no messy IT work and software installations to worry about.
eZee Technosys has the second highest market popularity score of any of the hospitality property management software we list on our website, second only to Oracle’s OPERA. They offer a “complete range of hospitality solutions inclusive of desktop as well as online property management,” according to their website.
eZee FrontDesk, which is now available in the cloud, offers front desk, laundry, back-office, accounting, channel manager, and reporting features all in one place. They also offer 24-7 live support and a 30-day free trial if you want to give it a spin first before paying for the one-time licensing fee, which starts at $1,150. Reviewers at Capterra have described it as easy to use, with some noting that it is especially helpful for small hotels to keep track of reservations and customer information. Reviewers also said that training was helpful and the system intuitive for users.
eZee FrontDesk caters to small hotels, but they also deal with large and very large hotels, and claim to have more than 6,000 clients in 140+ countries. For the manager of a smaller hotel hoping to deal with a relatively small software company in the hopes of getting more personalized service, this may be a turnoff. However, it should be noted FrontDesk’s customer service has been praised in reviews.
Hotelogix is cloud-based software that caters toward independent hotels still trying to figure out how to automate their operations and boost revenues. The company claims their software is used in 100 countries, and that you can “get to the cloud in just 1 minute.”
This property management system integrates all critical operations onto one hotel platform, whether that be your front desk, accounts, or even travel agents, according to their website. Hotelogix also offers a team of hospitality experts available 24-7 to answer clients’ questions. You can begin with a free trial, and pricing is very affordable, starting at $3.99 per month. Reviewers at Capterra have praised the software for being easy to use and automating the booking process, which can be a headache for many smaller hoteliers.
One reviewer said the software lacks an inventory system or a calendar for employee shifts. Also, similar to eZee FrontDesk, Hotelogix services a large number of clients, and at least one reviewer said that they can be slow to respond to reported issues.
Hotello offers a variety of property management features that touch on front desk management, marketing, operations, accounting, and other day-to-day management processes essential to running a successful hotel.
This hotel property management system includes standard software features like reservations, check-in/checkout, and invoicing as well as an availability chart to monitor occupancies and cancellations in a real-time. Hotello’s marketing component is a standout feature, giving users the option to automatically send out thank you notes to guests and transmit invoices. This solution’s guest preference management system also enables users to mark specific details about a particular guest. For example, if a guest has certain allergies, this can be noted in addition to their stay history and favorite rooms. Other day-to-day management features include a housekeeping component, user transaction histories, and data printing and exporting. Hotello is available in a cloud-based format.
According to Capterra reviews, sometimes the software lags and two folios can’t be opened at once, meaning only one reservation can be made at a time.
Another alternative to OPERA— and the exception on the list as it’s not based in the cloud — Hotelware’s property management system is built for hotels and hotel chains of all sizes, making it a great option for properties that may expand in the future.
Hotelware PMS enables you to manage both individual or group reservations either directly or through tour operators and travel agents. Reservations can also be confirmed, canceled, and blocked, with users also able to create a waiting list and configure rates for maximum profit during busy seasons. Other features include comprehensive billing instructions to avoid bill disputes at checkout, a housekeeping module to coordinate between the staff and the front desk, as well as a complete CRM-based guest history and an audit-based cashiering cycle. Hotelware’s PMS also interfaces with all other Hotelware products if you choose to purchase them for a fully-integrated hotel management system.
Despite all of Hotelware’s features, security is a no-show, despite being a much-needed feature in software as hotel hacking continues to climb. You can look into network security or computer security software if you still desire this solution.
This cloud-based solution is a great alternative for smaller hotels short on space and budget as cloud computing requires no additional hardware or an IT professional to conduct routine maintenance.
Protel Air features a multi-functional room plan, where users can conduct both single and group bookings and directly access customer data if needed. Room status, invoicing, and room availability are also included, in addition to guest profiles for users to access guest contact data and allocating VIP or other special codes within an individual profile. Users can employ daily and manager reports gathered by the system, which can be retrieved as PDF or Excel spreadsheet and distributed through Dropbox, if desired.
As with any other cloud-based products, you need to ensure that you have a backup system and a good internet connection. Also bear in mind that cloud computing presents its own set of security risks. However, Protel does offer a server-based solution for tried and true property management, but be aware that you may be paying a bit extra for additional hardware and maintenance.
Have any other favorite OPERA PMS alternatives? Let me know in the comments below.
Looking for Hospitality Property Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Hospitality Property Management software solutions.