To address this "digital divide" we started to develop FIDELIO OPERA in 1994, an all-in-one, enterprise-wide application intended to seamlessly integrate reservations and sales and catering functions on the global, local and even remote customer level. OPERA, however, would have required a homogenous systems world at both the local and central level; an idea that proved difficult, if not impossible to achieve in an increasingly heterogeneous, fragmented and ever-changing world of hotel ownership, management and product distribution channels. In addition, the development of Fidelio OPERA lost momentum after Fidelio Software was sold to Micros at the end of 1995.
I resigned as CEO from Micros-Fidelio in 1996. I did it to get involved in politics to bring about a change in Germany's immigration regime. Within a few years I managed to turn the mountain resort of my family, Schloss Elmau, into one of the most prominent Think Tank Institutes for Political Philosophy and Contemporary History in Germany. A conference on "Globalization and Immigration," which I had organized in 1998, eventually led to a change in legislation in 2000. For the first time ever, "green cards" were offered in Germany to computer specialists from all over the world.
In an effort to concentrate R&D on OPERA, MICROS decided to close the FIDELIO R&D center in Israel that was doing development work on Windows Version 7. Kaweh Niroomand, Micros-Fidelio executive vice president EAME, managed to save FIDELIO Version 7 by moving its development in 2001 from Israel to Hamburg, under the control of Toni Heuer (president FIDELIO CRUISE). The Green Card legislation had opened the door for Toni to hire a number of development specialists from India and Eastern Europe. This enabled him to embark on the extremely ambitious and promising development of FIDELIO Version 8 (integrating Front Office and Sales and Catering) and the Internet/GDS link MyFIDELIO.NET.
Since the Internet makes local information global and vice versa, the problem of data, business logic and functionality being mismatched between a local product and the global distribution level will become obsolete. A communication link embedded with a Global Customer and Product Index, and local applications interoperating with WebServices, will completely localize product and customer Information at all levels — even across heterogeneous systems. It is my bet, that FIDELIO will move the limits of hotel software technology beyond the Local and Global Networks of the past to the Global Webworks of the future.
Dietmar Müller-Elmau is founder of Fidelio Software and is a recipient of the HFTP Technology Award of Merit.
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