|Houston, TX - July 20, 1998 - The Telman
MasterTech© Award, sponsored by Hotel & Motel Management
Magazine, recognizes and acknowledges companies that pioneer technology
in the hospitality
industry. Each year, the Telman MasterTech© Award distinguishes those
who put themselves on the line to create the future of the hotel industry
through development of new and innovative uses of technology.
If you would like to nominate a hotel company that you think does a great job of utilizing and pioneering technology today, here is how to do it.
Send your nominations via e-mail to Cara Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org). Include the name of the company you are nominating, as well as your name, company name and phone number.
You may also nominate a company by calling Cara Harris at (713) 621-7979 Ext.215.
The Telman MasterTech© Award recognizes and acknowledges companies that pioneer technology in the hospitality industry. Each year, the Telman MasterTech© Award distinguishes those who put themselves on the line to create the future of this industry.
Last Years Winner
The first recipient of the Telman MasterTech© Award is... Promus Hotel Corporation! Nominated by Barb Worcester of H&MM Magazine, Promus is one of the biggest movers and shakers of the industry. Julie Baughman, spokeswoman for the Promus Hotel Corporation, spent some time with us sharing some of their recent successes, creative solutions to challenges, innovative technology and their vision for the future in the hotel industry. So, what exactly has Promus done to earn this honor? Read on to see just how a pioneer thinks.
For years the Promus Hotel Corporation has been leading the way with innovative technology and creative thinking. "We explore and invest in technology not for the sake of innovation, but to support our business strategy. We call this Technology Initiative," explains Baughman. Technology has become a tool Promus cannot live without. 10 years ago, maybe. But not now. Technology is evolving from data processing and warehousing to being viewed as information. Promus has shifted from simply storing data to creating information in such a way that key decisions can be made. They are taking technology and determining how to use that information to make key decisions. This will make them more profitable, better able to serve their guests and they see the results almost immediately.
One of the newest technology tools on the Promus horizon is System 21, being rolled out in early 1997. Promus has taken all of their existing systems and completely redesigned them into a Windows-based platform with a graphical user interface called System 21:
Prior to the redesign, all systems --property management, reservations, the marketing database (for guest records), revenue management and the Internet -- communicated with each other via a two-way interface. But, not all systems were fully integrated on the same platform.
The System 21 initiative is to converge all of the existing systems into a new user-friendly Windows platform.
The systems will coexist rather than just communicate via a two-way interface.
System 21 will help Promus overcome a big challenge - 100% front desk
turnover every year and the training time and money associated with that.
"By designing a user-friendly, Windows-based, graphical user interface
- we can begin moving toward one day training for a majority of the functions,"
explains Baughman. This is a major improvement over the two to four weeks
The on-line help function and wizards will help anyone troubleshoot any area of difficulty without having to search through a manual.
This also allows Promus to hire customer service minded individuals rather than technology oriented individuals to provide superior guest services/relations at the front desk.
System 21 was also designed to handle future system upgrades via satellite so implementation requiring a site visit will no longer be necessary. This saves both corporate and the franchisee money.
The goal for 1997 is to continue working on the convergence of business solutions on to one platform.
Also under development is a program called Scorecard. Picture a pyramid. The base is comprised of the property management system and the reservation system. Neither of these systems were designed to be used for decision making, at least none that could effect business. The next level of the pyramid is the revenue management system, an operations tool to assist the manager in making quicker rate and inventory decisions. The top level of the pyramid is Scorecard. Scorecard pulls key performance indicators out of all of the applications below it to determine the level of performance of any hotel or groups of hotels, and reports these directly to Promus Hotel Corporation's corporate office. Executives will have these results available to them on their desktop computers daily. Eventually all desktops will be incorporated. Constant measuring of key performance indicators allows for informed decision making to happen more quickly than ever before. This system will also be available to the Promus franchisees by the end of 1997 or early 1998. Scorecard has answered the issue of obtaining better information, more quickly and in a format that can be used to make key decisions.
With regard to the Internet, Promus continues to expand its presence and services to include travel planners (where guests can book all travel arrangements-room, air, car, route planning, etc.) and the Intranet-internal within Promus.
Among other new projects benefiting consumers is an area called Interactive Guest Systems, currently in beta testing. This will include Internet access, lobby kiosk machines, check-inand check-out processes and in room technology needs (ie. 2-line access, fax capability, etc.). Technology decisions affecting the guest service features offered by Promus hotels will be made across the board when research supports making the investment. "It's just a different strategy - we conduct research to determine what the customer wants, then make the investment to do all rooms the same - in all brands," adds Baughman. Consistency in product and services offering across all brands is most important. The structure of the people within the technology department is also unique. Their Mission: To develop, operate / maintain, and deploy technology products and services.
So, what's next for Promus? Convergence of a whole lot of technology.
Look for telecommunication improvements (due to convergence of voice and
data on a single line), the Internet to become integral, SmartCard technology
and much, much more. Keep your eyes on these guys! Baughman's prediction
for the future reflects Promus' philosophy regarding technology, as well
as a fundamental challenge for us all. "The power of technology is in the
information it can provide your company. The future suggests that you will
lose a competitive edge over companies who have the information and know
how to use it."
|Telman: Introduction to the firm|
|Managing the Gap - Learn to Use the Information Computers Produce / June, 1997|
|Report to CEOs: Transforming Information = Breakthrough Results / June, 1997|