Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive



 
 

Microsoft Technology Center
Customer Solution Case Study

 
.
Customer: Multi-Systems, Inc. 
Web Site: www.msisolutions.com
Customer Size: More than 200 employees
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Professional services

Customer Profile
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) is a leading provider of hotel technology and integrated property management solutions, with more than 2,800 installations across North America.

Software and Services

  • Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Services
    • Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC)
.

For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: www.microsoft.com/casestudies

Solution

Software Developer Increases Product
Scalability with Access to the Right Resources

“Our MTC engagements helped us not only make smart product-related decisions now but also improve the way we’ll tackle other projects in the future.”
David Kantrud, Senior Vice President of Development, Multi-Systems, Inc.

Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) wanted to improve the scalability of its next-generation hotel property management system. The company attended an Architecture Design Session and Proof-of-Concept Workshop at a Microsoft® Technology Center, which gave MSI the knowledge needed to increase scalability and improve its load-testing practices. The experience also boosted MSI’s confidence in using new technologies and enhanced its relationship with Microsoft.

Business Needs

Microsoft® Certified Partner Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) provides the hospitality industry with a range of integrated technology solutions, including sales, marketing, and catering systems; centralized corporate services; and wireless check-in and check-out services. MSI sought to build on the success of EnterprisePM, its property management system for hoteliers with multiple properties or brands. The company wanted to increase the scalability of the product in response to demand from customers. 

“EnterprisePM has been well received by our diverse customer base, but the growing and dynamic needs of larger hotels and resorts were taxing the upper limits of MSI’s performance standards for the product,” says David Kantrud, Senior Vice President of Development for MSI. “Changes were needed to deliver the fullest range of EnterprisePM’s capabilities for our customers, and choosing the best architecture to meet our scalability and performance demands was a critical decision for us. We wanted to ensure we would satisfy our own calculations and expectations for EnterprisePM performance as well as fulfill customer expectations.”

MSI also was working to offer a centrally hosted version of EnterprisePM, but it needed to get a sense of the hardware requirements for such a model. As the company began to explore these and other issues, MSI approached Microsoft."We wanted to know which hardware configurations would give us the best performance,” says Kantrud. “And we also needed to identify our hardware costs so that we could appropriately price the product.”

.
Microsoft suggested an engagement at a Microsoft Technology Center (MTC). “I was extremely enthusiastic at the opportunity to confer with people who had such a deep understanding of the technologies that make our product run,” says Kantrud.

MSI visited the MTC in Irvine, California, in November 2007 for a one-day Architecture Design Session (ADS). The three-member MSI team had an initial conversation with the MTC architects about the hospitality industry and its EnterprisePM application. MSI team members sketched out their architecture plans for the upgraded and hosted versions of the product, and the MTC architects introduced suggestions for improvements based on industry best practices. “The MTC architects validated our solution architecture and also suggested ways to optimize it,” says Kantrud. For instance, the architects recommended that MSI implement Web services to enhance performance and discussed the best way to share server-computer resources among separate customers to maximize server utilization. They also helped MSI understand the value of moving from the Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 database software to SQL Server 2008 to improve its scale.

In January 2008, MSI returned to the Irvine MTC for a Proof-of-Concept Workshop that involved ideas from the ADS. The five-member MSI team included employees from the company’s development staff, quality-assurance team, and support staff. “We wanted the people responsible for creating, testing, and supporting our new hosted solution to see it in action,” says Kantrud.

MSI worked with MTC architects to benchmark the solution’s performance as it supported the simulated daily operations and peak conditions of a typical large hotel chain. The team conducted stress tests on a variety of hardware makes, models, and configurations to see which combination best met its needs. MSI found that with the changes it had made to EnterprisePM, scalability was even better than it had hoped, and it released EnterprisePM for production in February 2008.

Benefits

MSI used its MTC engagements to improve the scalability of its product and increase its testing knowledge, thus providing applications that better support the needs of the hospitality industry. “We invest so much in our products, so we want to ensure that they’re the best that they can be,” says Kantrud. “Our MTC engagements helped us not only make smart product-related decisions now but also improve the way we’ll tackle other projects in the future.”

  • More scalable solution. As a result of the time spent at the MTC, MSI improved the scalability of its application and now can show potential customers real metrics to support its scalability claims. “We studied the impact of a new processor and found that it helped us effectively double the number of users that EnterprisePM could support, without compromising performance,” says Kantrud. “Previously, we had to extrapolate our scalability limits from the results of small tests, but now we know exactly how much our product can handle.”
  • Access to resources. MSI benefitted from its MTC experience because it gained access to a greater set of hardware resources. “Working at the MTC gave us a tremendous opportunity to test multiple scenarios under a variety of conditions and configurations,” says Kantrud. “By validating our capabilities using the MTC’s vast resources and wide array of hardware, we can offer our customers more platform choices and better help them select the most cost-effective, proven option for their property.”
  • Improved technical knowledge. One of the most helpful elements of the engagements for MSI was learning more about load testing. “As a result of working with the benchmarking tools at the MTC, we realized there is a ‘bell curve’ distribution of acceptable and usable performance,” explains Kantrud. “Typically this means there is a point prior to complete failure where the product is still operating, but performance degrades substantially and is unacceptable to us and our customers. This knowledge allowed us to establish more exacting standards for true scalability rather than raw functionality.”
  • Stronger partner relationship. Although many MSI competitors use non-Microsoft technologies for their systems, MSI feels as though the MTC experience reaffirmed the value of working with Microsoft and its products. “We saw that Microsoft technologies are just as scalable as those from other vendors, and we experienced firsthand the high level of investment that Microsoft makes as a company in the success of its partners,” says Kantrud.


.
Contact:

Kim Gollehon
MSI
   Tel:   (602) 906-4590
    Toll Free:  (800) 331-7890
Kim.Gollehon@msisolutions.com
 

.
 
Also See: MSI Achieves Payment Industry Compliance; Firm’s Software Completes Visa Payment Application Best Practice Validation / March 2008
MSI's Commitment to Quality and Customer Satisfaction Demonstrated in EnterprisePM Benchmark Testing; MSI Leverages Microsoft Partnership to Optimize Performance and Customer Value / March 2008
MSI Partners with Leading eLearning Development Group; d’Vinci Interactive will provide web based training tools for MSI Products / February 2008
MSI Attracts Industry Veterans for Key Executive Positions - Andrew Sanders and Keith Cook Join MSI / January 2008
Rivertide Suites Luxury Condo Hotel Installs WinPM; MSI Enhances WinPM with Condo Hotel Reporting / January 2008
MSI Announces New Partnership with Advance Card Systems to Provide Integrated Solution for Identification Storage; EnterprisePM, WinPM and Nova Plus will offer the new functionality / January 2008
Best Western Ville-Marie in Montreal Chooses MSI’s Products to Automate Luxury Hotel / December 2007
MSI Introduces The Helm; A seamless interactive tool, centrally located, providing real time access to data management across an entire hotel portfolio / November 2007
Development of Best Western Two-Way CRS Interface to MSI’s Nova Plus Underway/ October 2006
MSI Announces Dedicated Brand Managers for Its Customer Assistance Center / September 2006
Pegasus Scottsdale Data Center Becomes Hosting Facility for MSI’s Web-based Solutions / June 2006
MSI’s NovaPlus Wins Continued Acceptance,  Best Western Two-Way Interface to be Deployed / May 2006
Hospitality International Selects MSI As Preferred PMS Partner / May 2006
Peppertree Inns & Suites Reap the Benefits of MSI Two-way Interface; Best Western member properties maximize room revenue via two-way CRS rate-tiering feature / February 2006
MSI Announces Management Promotions - Sales and service capabilities further enhanced as MSI anticipates a year of unprecedented success / February 2006
MSI’s WinPM to Become the First-Ever ‘Brand Standard’ PMS Platform for Hawthorn Suites Hotels / January 2006
MSI, Pegasus Agree to Develop Interface Between PMS, CRS; Interface will include rate update and client file information that will allow hoteliers to manage rates and customer data from one system / November 2005
Multi-Systems Inc. Purchases PMSs from Pegasus Solutions Inc.; Acquisition brings more than 450 Best Western properties to MSI’s growing portfolio / October 2005
To Improve PMS Interface Consistency, MSI Joins HTNG’s ‘Distribution Solution Workgroup’ / October 2005
AmeriSuites Upgrades to MSI’s WinPM / September 2005
MSI, Best Western Two-Way CRS Interface Installations Building Momentum / August 2005
Levi to Solidify Infrastructure, Customer Integration at MSI; Leor Levi joins Multi-Systems Inc. as Director of Information Technology / August 2005
Ted Warring to Spearhead Ongoing Technical Development at MSI; Promoted to ‘Chief Scientist,’ Warring Will Direct Future Products for MSI / Aug 2005
Marc Voirol to Lead MSI’s Proactive Account Management Team / Aug 2005
MSI’s Longevity, Success Paves Way for Internal Growth, Executive Promotions / May 2005
USFS Selects MSI As Exclusive PMS Provider For Hawthorn Suites Hotels; Extended-stay hotels joining the US Franchise Systems family will be required to install WinPM / May 2005
MSI Is On The Move; Hospitality Technology Provider Plants New Roots to Prepare for Future Growth, Expansion of Products, and Larger Customer Assistance Center / April 2005
Check-in to Check Out - The MSI WinPM Wireless Hand-held Solution / April 2002 
.


To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.