News for the Hospitality Executive
by Gregg Hopkins
June 1, 2011
By offering a fundamentally faster, less risky, and more affordable solution to on-premises applications, cloud computing will forever change the economics of hospitality information technology. With cost-effective alternatives for application enhancement and development, cloud computing provides innovative ways to create competitive industry advantage. Why are cloud solutions the right technology strategy for 2011 and beyond?
1. Delivers faster time to value
Cloud computing affords hospitality organizations a return on investment within weeks, not months or years. Since cloud computing streamlines all stages of the application development cycle, with complete, pre-built applications and project management services, developers can immediately focus on customizing features and functionality.
Additionally, cloud applications are much faster and less expensive to scale to multiple applications since there are no additional costs to deploy more to existing users. And because all applications are built on the same platform, pre-existing capabilities and services can be reused across multiple applications.
2. Requires no up-front capital expense
Cloud computing platforms are based on subscription pricing. Companies can start small, with virtually no up-front costs, and instantly scale to meet broader business needs. The ability to pay-as-you-go is categorized as a service rather than a capital expense, making it a compelling option for financial predictability and project accountability. And because there is little risk, cloud solutions allow hospitality organizations attain better information technology despite reduced capital budgets.
3. Minimizes operational costs
Cloud environments are immediately available and vertically integrated with ready-to-use services for developers, administrators and end users, cutting project time and cost. Cloud technology providers even manage the burden of operational maintenance and support. Performance tuning, patches, and upgrades are delivered as part of the service, requiring fewer technical resources and minimal demands on the customer.
Such operational efficiencies are the result of a true multitenant architecture where users share the application’s physical instance and version. Individual deployments of applications occupy virtual partitions rather than separate physical hardware and software stacks. So every time a major innovation is released, every customer instantly benefits, resulting in lower risk, rapid innovation and reduced costs.
As hospitality organizations reap the benefits of placing their technology in the cloud, what do industry professionals need to consider to stay on top of this growing trend?
1. Is the cloud reliable and secure?
In contrast to an on-premises system, data maintained in the cloud is securely stored elsewhere. Gone is the fear of losing information if a localized computer network crashes; and it is accessible from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
Additionally, cloud technology providers offer secure infrastructure and reliable development platforms using such enterprise-class security as firewall protection, intrusion detection systems, and SSL encryption. Because it relieves the cost, burden, and liability of maintaining security compliance and certification from the customer, cloud computing saves customers both time and expense.
2. Does the cloud simplify integration?
Gartner estimates that up to 35 percent of the implementation costs associated with on-premises application development is for integration. In comparison, cloud computing makes it faster and easier to integrate and extend legacy environments as well as connecting to other cloud services. And because of the cloud multitenant architecture, integrations no longer “break” during upgrades, require intricate technology dependencies, or lead to vendor lock-in.
3. Are all new technology providers truly in the cloud?
Beware of the “false cloud”. Cloud computing might sound like network computing, but it isn't. With network computing, applications and data are hosted on a single company's server(s) and accessed over the company's network. In contrast, cloud computing encompasses multiple companies, multiple servers, and multiple networks.
So when considering a cloud computing solution, distinguishing criteria should be carefully evaluated. A true cloud technology provider:
About Gregg Hopkins
Gregg Hopkins has over 30 years of experience in hospitality management and technology. He has worked with and for a wide variety of leading enterprise property management providers, central reservation system providers, and online travel agencies. He has also provided consulting services to hospitality organizations on reservations, electronic distribution, e-commerce, CRM initiatives, sales, marketing and business development. Gregg is a subject matter expert and speaker on hospitality management systems, CRM, Cloud technologies and social media for the hotel, travel, entertainment and gaming industries. He also participates as a committee or board member of several hospitality associations. Gregg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gregg Hopkins, CEO
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expanded product offerings and flexible pricing options / January
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leading gaming industry magazine’s inaugural technology award
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OnDemand to Showcase Award-Winning SaaS CRM Solution at HITEC 2010;
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time and money for hotel clients around the globe. / June 2010
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OnDemand CRM Platform Certifies Compliance with Safe Harbor Privacy
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/ March 2010
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customer information, develops deep profiles and delivers guest
satisfaction / November 2009
OnDemand in Full Social Swing with Presence on Facebook, Twitter, and
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customers' Tweets and Facebook profiles with CRM profiles to obtain a
more complete picture of guests' preferences and better tools to market
to those guests / October 2009
|Libra OnDemand Partnership Brings 'Sulcus OnDemand' CRM to Spain; Based in Barcelona, Sulcus Hospitality Group becomes Libra OnDemand's newest channel partner; Sulcus calls deal win-win for companies, clients and guests alike / September 2009|
|McLaren International Distributes Libra OnDemand in Asia Pacific; Best of breed technology provider McLaren International will bring leading Customer Relationship Management tools to hotels across the Asia Pacific region / July 2009|
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|Peabody Praises Libra OnDemand as ‘Best’ System to Manage Guest Data; ‘Software as a Service’ sits on the salesforce.com platform, offers the four-star, five-diamond convention center hotel the finest business-analytics tools / June 2009|
|Libra OnDemand Intros 'Customer Portal' CRM Tool for Pre-, Post-Stay Interaction; Leader in Customer Relationship Management empowers guests to personally control their hotel experience and update their contact info, preferences, loyalty points / June 2009|