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Hospitality and the Cloud

“Welcome to our hotel! How can I help you?” 

Great customer service used to rely on using friendly phrases like the one above. As long as your team was polite and accommodating, your guests would have a happy experience. That is no longer the case, as the growth of technology has changed business in all industries. Now customer service depends on so much more, and its success is based on the technology available to your guests. Many hospitality organizations have already made the move to cloud computing, while others are currently in the process.

For Guests

Cloud computing allows businesses like hotels, restaurants or transportation organizations to improve their guest experience.

Former Marriott CTO, Barry L. Shuler, said “All major hotel chains will be moving to an infrastructure environment that is as centralized as possible, in terms of application software.”

And this is exactly what’s happening. Some practical uses include reservation systems and loyalty programs, which directly face the customer. Guests can experience the efficiency of the cloud from the beginning of their stay to the end. For example, a guest can check into her hotel room from her mobile device before even arriving, via an online system. If she wants to book a spa appointment, she can do so online, also prior to arriving. These benefits expand to ordering room service, booking transportation, viewing special promotions or offers, logging preferences for future visits and more. And of course, at the end of the trip, the guest can simply check out on her smartphone and be on her way. Cloud computing caters to the need for increased access, as guests now expect this type of connectivity from multiple devices, wherever they are.

And as these establishments improve the services offered to guests, they gain real-time insights. Cloud computing helps gather data that allows businesses to adapt to ever-changing technology and customer behavior. With these constant updates, an organization can easily enhance its customer interaction and deliver personalized services to guests.

For Professionals

Internally, cloud computing can reduce overall costs and resource needs, as well as enhance management system capabilities. The clear opportunity of the cloud on the back-end is centrally managing reservations and bookings, inventory, accounts and billings. In addition, the cloud improves time to market of new systems and creates competitive advantages, quick! And better yet, it’s easier than ever to analyze all these things.

Cloud computing is also adaptable – scalability is one of its most popular features. If your computing needs grow due to seasonal demand, you can easily scale your solution up for that period of time, and then scale back again.

When it comes to cost, cloud is the clear choice, as there is no hardware or software to purchase upfront. The cloud provider purchases the necessary infrastructure, as well as manages operational management of the computing resources. The organization’s IT team doesn’t have to deal with patches, upgrades, performance tuning and other maintenance tasks. Instead, it can focus on delivering business value. Additionally, cloud services are acquired on an as-needed basis, or a pay-as-you-go plan that leaves the business in control of its spending. These savings can either trickle down to customers, or can be refocused on improving services.

As the hospitality industry has realized the benefits of moving to the cloud, there is now a booming market for this type of technology. It’s time for these organizations to look outside their establishment to improve customer service, innovation and business operations.

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