The hospitality industry is also meeting world tech standards and fast adopting tools that will move it to the next level of business.
Wyndham hotels are upping the ante for more innovative franchisee and guest experience by modernizing core reservation and property management systems by moving to the cloud sets, says CIO Scott Strickland.
Rapidly changing Consumer behaviour shifts spurred by home-sharing, and fast changing industry demands are forcing some hoteliers to seek help from outside the hospitality sector for a fresh perspective.
The hotel group whose 20 brands command 9,000 hotels throughout 80 countries worldwide, suffered core systems that had grown unwieldy over the years from the many hotel chains Wyndham acquired, including budget brands Super 8 and Days Inn, as well as its recent purchase of La Quinta. The solution was about consolidating and migrating to the public cloud. The migration paves the way for new employee and guest experiences. As a result of the move to the public cloud, The IT team of the group removed more than 4,800 servers running in its properties.
When the CIO of Wyndeham joined, his top priority was consolidating several central reservation systems (CRS), which track room rates and availability, and property management systems (PMS), which manage bookings and other operations, such as maintenance, personnel and housekeeping. Disparate integration points, including hooks into loyalty and other software systems, were too laborious for the IT staff to manage and reduced the time spent improving the guest experience.
Recognizing the importance of boosting business agility, he elected to collapse and move Wyndham’s CMS and PMS, traditionally hosted in Wyndham’s data centres, to a Sabre Holdings SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution running in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Though well-regarded among airlines for its ticketing services, Sabre is tapping the agility and scalability of AWS to push into the adjacent hospitality market.
Moving core systems to the cloud was particularly critical for supporting Wyndham’s mobile application, which allows guests to search for, find information about and book a room in seconds. Such computations are not trivial for a conglomerate that manages 900,000 rooms around the globe. Estimates say that migration to new systems helped boost Wyndham’s mobile hotel bookings by 75 percent.
If Wyndham’s systems experience a backlog of traffic that could impinge compute operations, they automatically scale-out in AWS. In some locations, Wyndham is piloting “mobile keys,” which leverage near field communications to let guests enter hotel rooms by tapping their smartphones against a sensor-fitted door pad. Wyndham also envisions enabling guests to use their smartphones to order room service to their rooms, and to text a concierge should they require assistance. While such capabilities may offer a glimpse of Wyndham’s future, the migration of CMS and PMS systems remains on-going.