Foreign software, yes or no

Analyzing the work of foreign and domestic software in hotel companies in Croatia, it almost regularly happens that those who use foreign software (even the highest quality), have far more problems and far fewer benefits, compared to companies that use the highest quality domestic solutions.

Since the specifics of the then state system and way of doing business did not allow the use of foreign software, almost exclusively domestic software solutions were created and used.
Of the then four hundred hotels, motels, camps and other accommodation facilities, foreign software was used by only a few Zagreb hotels that were involved in international chains.

In the late eighties and mid-nineties (the end of the Homeland War and the beginning of reconstruction), in our hotel and catering market, the amount of domestic and foreign software is continuously growing.

Foreign software is almost regularly “brought” to the company (procured and implemented) by foreign owners and / or foreign managers and / or foreign consultants. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for foreign software to enter a company even when there are no foreign owners, managers or consultants.
As a rule, the criteria for the selection of software do not include quality and applicability in Croatia in the first place, but various other “desirable characteristics”.

Use of foreign business software in hotel and catering companies (CRO)


According to the analysis of “Istra Information Engineering”, the current situation regarding foreign business software in hotel and catering companies in Croatia is briefly described below. Operating systems and other system software, as well as Word, Excel and similar utilities are not counted.

  • Less than 10% of companies use foreign business software (but that number grows as the number of foreign owners / managers / consultants grows).
  • From a dozen foreign software, the most common is Micros Fidelio, and then, Hogatex, Protel, Sihot, Hotel ++ and others.
  • SAP software, apart from being too expensive, does not cover key business processes in the hotel and catering industry, so it is not used here (as well as elsewhere in the world).
  • Most foreign software is installed in only one company in Croatia, rare in two to three companies, with the exception of Fidelio, which is somewhat more present (close to a dozen companies / hotels).
  • No company has a complete information system based on foreign software.
  • Almost no company uses foreign software in the segment of financial accounting, human resources and payroll (although there are exceptions).
  • It is most often used in the sales and front desk management segment (including CRM, BI, Web reservations) and less often at cash registers in restaurants and bars (sometimes accompanied by material accounting).


List of the most common problems of foreign software users

  • In the first place is certainly non-compliance with legal regulations and the manner and customs of doing business in Croatia.
    Many software do not “know” how to print a legally correct invoice, correctly calculate VAT and consumption tax, create book of outgoing invoices, create a hotel invoice in another currency, prepare data for sending to the Ministry of the Interior, Tourist Board and the Central Bureau of Statistics and prepare numerous other data and reports needed by the “state”, operations and administration,…
  • Rarely software has been translated into Croatian.
  • An almost unsolvable problem is the connection with other systems (software) into a single information system of the company.
  • It often happens that the software “looks nice”, is full of thumbnails and buttons, but the overall correct and useful functionality is very small (does not match the investment and is often far less than domestic software).
  • Modification according to the customer’s request is either not possible or too expensive.
  • The support provided by the manufacturer is inadequate and / or too expensive in Croatia, and it is often lacking.
  • The price of software (TCO – total cost of ownership – licenses, training, introduction, maintenance, other HW / SW prerequisites,…) for the same quality can sometimes be many times higher than domestic software or the ratio of invested / obtained can be very bad.

Some of these shortcomings are solved by users working manually or using various other utilities and thus losing working hours, reducing their efficiency and productivity and causing dissatisfaction with work.

Conclusion: Domestic or foreign software in hotel enterprises?

Analyzing the work of foreign and domestic software in hotel companies in Croatia, it almost regularly happens that those who use foreign software (even the highest quality) have far more problems and far fewer benefits compared to companies that use the highest quality domestic solutions.

Due to all these problems, it very often happens that hotel companies in Croatia soon after buying foreign software give up using it and buy domestic software.
For example, Hotels Novi d.d. had to switch to Hogatex with the arrival of foreign management, but later returned to domestic software. Similar things have happened or are happening in other companies with Protel, Fidelio, Sihota and other foreign software.


Davor Brenko, dipl. ing.

“Tourism and hospitality management, 10 / 2006”