How IT is Transforming the Hospitality Industry

Though it’s been a difficult year for hospitality, an increasing number of businesses are making use of the latest technologies to help them adapt to the changing landscape. It is being used to cut costs, improve the customer experience, comply with COVID regulations and to provide insights for development and revenue opportunities. Here, we’ll look at the ways IT is transforming the hospitality industry.     

Cutting costs

Hospitality venues are making increased use of the internet of Things to save on energy costs. Devices, such as temperature sensors and smart thermostats, are being installed to control intelligent HVAC systems so that the costs of heating and cooling are kept to a minimum. Similarly, smart LED lighting systems that use sensors to adapt to natural daylight levels or gauge occupancy can cut lighting costs by 80%.

Beyond this, today’s energy management systems make use of AI and machine learning to analyse energy consumption, weather patterns, peak demands and even thermodynamics to optimise energy use. Additionally, the IoT can also be used to monitor the health of systems, ensuring that faulty machinery or appliances are detected and mended before the cost spirals or they break down and affect amenities for guests. 

As these systems are cloud-based, they can be managed centrally, so that businesses with multiple hospitality venues can have unified control of their operations. The systems can even be managed remotely over the internet

Improving the customer experience

Technology is beginning to have a significant impact on enhancing the customer experience, with guests being able to use websites and smartphone apps for a wide range of purposes. Today, these include remote booking and checkouts, making reservations in restaurants and spas, accessing services such as room service, reserving parking spaces, unlocking hotel rooms, controlling smart room appliances, communicating with staff, paying for products and services and so forth.

Web based apps and smart devices are also being deployed to improve how staff work, speeding up service, automating processes and eradicating human error – all of which improves customer satisfaction.

Providing insights

Website and app interactions, together with monitoring from IoT devices, produce vast quantities of data which can be analysed to provide detailed business insights. They help hospitality businesses predict peak occupancy, understand how demand for different services changes over time and give a clearer picture of which guests are making use of which services. This can help them better deploy staff, improve inventory, implement more effective marketing strategies and develop new and existing services in line with customer expectations: all of which can help improve efficiency, cut costs and increase revenue.

Storing all that data in the cloud provides hospitality businesses with numerous advantages. The data is secure, helping businesses achieve compliance; there is easy scalability, so that as data grows and demand increases, the company won’t get caught out by a lack of IT resources; cloud-native apps make it easy to undertake data analytics and make use of AI and machine learning; and, perhaps most importantly, as websites, apps and IoT devices all need the public cloud for connectivity, its makes sense to store the data they collect there too.  – Read more

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How to Measure The Reliability of A Web Hosting Provider

Studies indicate that most of the enterprise software issues are not system-related. Instead, they are mostly related to the design, users, or processes. Businesses end up wasting their time and resource in answering support tickets and prolonging employee training, when the users cannot use the software properly. 

Given the current scenario of remote working, which left no option for business apart from accelerating their digital transformation journeys, Khadim Batti, CEO and co-founder of digital adoption platform, Whatfix tells why digital adoption is crucial for the success of any digital transformation project and how the SaaS-based startup’s solutions are helping companies remotely train their employees on new software and processes.

How crucial is the digital adoption factor for the success of any digital transformation project? 

Digital adoption is very key for the success of any digital transformation project. Businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year in digital transformation projects and digital adoption is a key enabler for them. Otherwise those projects would not see the light of day or the ROI would not be achieved for CIOs, or for the functional or business unit leaders. One of the key reasons why digital transformation projects typically take a lot of time to pick up or do not pick up at all in 50-60% cases is that the change management was not handled properly and the adoption was not optimal for all the processes which are digitized.

How did you come up with the idea of building a digital adoption product? How big is the market altogether?

When we started, we faced a problem ourselves because when we were building our first product, we had around 80-100 customers using it and adoption was a major challenge in ensuring the product get utilized.  So, that made us come up with a product like Whatfix. But as we evolved, we realized several other problem statements also. For example, CRMs are typically built considering the people in leadership positions or the managers, because they want to see the reports, pipeline and forecasting. But to do that effectively, the sales executives or sales reps have to fill up all the information regularly in the right manner and that is where the challenge comes because the CRMs are built for the managers but it is supposed to be utilized by the reps. If those reps do not fill up the information in the right way, the whole ROI and the productivity benefits of that application can go down drastically. 

When we started getting into the nitty-gritties further, the digital adoption market stood out to be pretty huge. It is poised to be a $8-10 million industry in itself, which can help make digital transformation and change management much easier by making training and learning contextual and so on.

How Digital Adoption Platform solutions can help businesses in their digital journeys and how these solutions can maximize the ROI on any digital transformation project?

Enterprise softwares such as ERP, CRM, HCM, SCM, etc. generally are large suites of integrated applications customized to suit unique business requirements, which create a different kind of adoption challenges for the users. So, whenever businesses deploy those softwares, they can deploy Whatfix on top of it to address the adoption challenges with the guided walkthroughs, self-help support, training, etc.

Some of the ROI metrics what we have observed are that the support queries typically comes down by 30%-50%, and the data quality in CRM or SCM typically improves by 20%.  So, if CRM data quality improves by 20%, the predictability and forecast capability go up further. We have seen around 20-25%  improvement in the productivity and efficiency of people in terms of how they use the application as well. When the content (video or knowledge-based article) that trainers or the enablement specialists create are supported by a similar in-app guidance from Whatfix, the content creation/training time gets reduced by 60%- often from a few hours it gets reduced to a few minutes for every content. Whatfix content can be easily integrated with the learning management system (LMS) of the organizations and the entire engagement can be tracked in analytics for further modifications as well. – Read More

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Cloud Stories: Why These Major Brands Are Migrating To The Cloud

The economic turmoil caused by the pandemic has kickstarted the rapid adoption of cloud technology. Across the globe, companies in their thousands are expanding the number of services they operate in the cloud in a bid to speed up digital transformation and put themselves in a better position to withstand the volatility of today’s marketplace. In this post, we’ll look at some major brands to discover why they have decided to migrate to the cloud over the last few months.  

Coca-Cola

Arguably the most recognisable brand in the world, Coca-Cola may have been making the same product for 128 years but its operations are strictly 21st century. Its manufacturing processes have long been massively automated and now, it has adopted a cloud-first policy with regard to IT.

As part of its digital transformation, the company has migrated to a hybrid cloud setup in a bid to reduce operational costs and increase IT resilience. This will enable it to deploy data analytics and artificial intelligence to provide it with insights that it can use to improve its services and operations.

Coca-Cola will use the migration to streamline its existing IT infrastructure and develop a company-wide platform for standardised business processes, technology and data. In order to integrate the public and private elements of its hybrid cloud, together with existing technology it plans to keep, it will deploy a single-dashboard, multi-cloud management system.

Finastra

UK-based fintech company, Finastra, is migrating to the cloud to accelerate not only its own digital transformation but those of its 8,000 global customers. The objective is to revolutionise the use of technology in the financial services sector by developing a platform that financial companies can use to speed up innovation and improve collaboration.

To achieve this, Finastra will migrate its entire customer base to the new cloud platform. From here, they will be able to create digital-first workplaces and provide their own clients with financial services and solutions, such as electronic notary services and electronic signatory, which are better suited to today’s digital world.

Major bank migrations: Deutsche Bank and HSBC

Two of the world’s major banks, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, have both announced plans for migrations over the last few weeks. A key element of its digital transformation, Deutsche Bank sees the cloud as being crucial for increasing revenue and minimising costs. It aims to make use of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve risk analysis and cash flow forecasting, as well as to develop digital communications that are easier for customers to interact with and which enhance the customer experience.

The German bank is also using the move to improve security, seeing it as a way to help it comply with data protection and privacy regulations and to ensure the integrity of customer data.

HSBC Holdings, the parent company of HSBC Bank, is adopting the cloud to benefit from its storage, compute, data analytics, AI, machine learning, database and container services, as well as for the cloud’s advanced security. 

Its major goal is to provide more personalised and customer-centric banking services for its customers, for which it will develop customer-facing applications. It also intends to use the move to update its Global Wealth & Personal Banking division, develop new digital products and improve compliance.

Car manufacturer migrations: Daimler and Nissan

Two leading car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler AG, and Nissan have also announced plans to adopt cloud technology. Daimler will migrate its after-sales portal to the public cloud to help it innovate and accelerate the development of new products and services for its global customer base, as well as to provide it with scalability. Like many other companies, it also sees cloud as being a secure platform and will use it to encrypt and store data to protect it from ransomware and hacking.

Nissan, meanwhile, is using the cloud primarily to help cut costs during the post-pandemic downturn. With poor sales throughout 2020, it views digital transformation as essential to remain agile and resilient.

The move will allow the car maker to store its vast quantities of data far less expensively than in-house and provide it with cost-effective, scalable processing resources. These it will use to undertake application-based, computational fluid dynamics and structural simulations which are needed to design its cars and test them for aerodynamics and structural issues. The cloud will also enable it to carry out performance and engineering simulations, helping it improve its vehicles’ fuel efficiency, reliability and safety. – Read more

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