Thinking About Global Sourcing? 5 Steps that can Bring it all Together

By Maurice Martin President, COO & Founder, iRise Inc. | October 28, 2008

Today's savvy consumers not only compare your brand and your online offerings with your competitors; they compare you against every other site on the Internet. New capabilities are emerging every day on the big consumer sites that the hospitality industry will soon have to emulate.

Hotel brands must produce and maintain an integrated offering that neatly presents all properties and services, while providing a best-in-class user experience. Customers expect that offering to include advanced features: online reservations, loyalty program redemption, local restaurant recommendations, tickets to attractions, smart profiles and much more.

The demands on IT organizations are rising dramatically yet few hoteliers maintain the internal resources to stay competitive on a rapidly changing e-commerce playing field. In fact, many IT budgets remain flat or are in decline, forcing companies to turn to lower cost delivery models like offshore development as a cost-effective way to augment staff. But is this model really viable?

The Challenge

The growth of global outsourcers in the last few years has been nothing short of phenomenal. Yet most of this growth has been focused on taking on maintenance and support functions that could be easily moved offshore. The next wave is offshore application development. Many companies are moving in this direction.

The promise of global sourcing has been faster, cheaper development capabilities without sacrificing innovation or quality. Sounds great, right? We can get four times the work done for the same cost. Unfortunately, the expected savings can be slow to realize - if they materialize at all. Dealing with time zone, language and cultural barriers can bring even the most organized project teams to a halt. Moreover, communicating what the end product should look like, and the requirements therein, contribute greatly to missed expectations.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.