Guest Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

By Michael Waddell Managing Director, INTEGRITYOne Partners | September 02, 2010

Put yourself in your guest's shoes. You enter the lobby, approach the front desk, and state your reason for being there (you're checking in, requesting an early room cleaning, etc.). The staff member behind the desk acknowledges your request and immediately begins working on a computer terminal to address it. You, the guest, are not the least bit surprised that information technology (IT) is used to support guest service. Yet many hospitality companies insist on segregating their guest service and other business functions from their information technology initiatives. Any disconnect between a hotel's technology and its business processes is likely to create a gap between the level of guest service intended and the level actually provided.

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a popular concept in IT today, and with good reason. The paradigm of SOA enables the intersection of technology and business processes: to ensure that IT directly supports the business's most vital functions. In the world of hospitality, this means connecting IT to guest service. We call it Guest Service-Oriented Architecture.

SOA and the Hospitality Business

In general, the landscape of IT and business is rapidly changing, and it's no different in the hospitality business. SOA is providing hospitality and other businesses with a conduit for exposing existing beneficial business processes and enabling rapid reuse of existing business services that can share IT infrastructure. For example, guest identification data must be collected, stored, and processed similarly whether the guest is requesting a sleeping room, coordinating a banquet event, scheduling a tee time, or arranging for spa services.

SOA is a conscious effort to develop reusable components that represent discrete business functions. These components are considered "services," which can be used with other services to make new complex business processes. So a guest identification service can be used by the front desk, but also by the banquet sales office, the golf course, and the spa manager.

This is a major shift in mindset from typical IT development projects because service development requires the development teams to consider future customers as well as existing customers. No longer is it acceptable to create "stovepipe" applications. Rather, service exposure should be considered during design to enable future growth to unknown processes and consumers.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Junvi Ola
Paul van Meerendonk
Steven Belmonte
Roberta Nedry
Steven Belmonte
Andrew Glincher
Roger G. Hill
Roger G. Hill
Michael McKean
Leigh Anne Dolecki
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.