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How Real-time Application Monitoring and Optimization Could Help Safeguard Your Brand

Constantly advancing technologies support ever-more touch points across an increasing number of customers. Hospitality companies – both hotels and restaurants – face increased pressure to ensure their public-facing applications deliver stellar reliability and performance. Customers are the hospitality industry's bread and butter, and they will judge any hotel or restaurant harshly — and increasingly, publicly — not only for service that fails or is inaccessible, but also for service that’s slow or difficult to access. 
This isn’t only about critical systems, such as reservations and payment processing. It’s also about customer loyalty programs, mobile location apps, customer service and promotions. Given the complexity and the sheer scale of the challenge, more and more companies are choosing to look for help outside of their organizations for their most crucial application performance and optimization needs. Outsourcing could help hoteliers and restauranteurs focus on what they do best, while leveraging the agility, flexibility, and expertise of a managed services provider (MSP). In this article, RFD & Associates, Inc. discusses a few reasons why hoteliers and restaurateurs might want to consider an MSP.
Become a ‘Know-it-all’
Before working with an MSP, any hotelier or restauranteur should first understand their biggest needs and their biggest pain points. Hotel management teams, for example, run dozens or even hundreds of applications that continually process transactions on their own, and also seamlessly integrate and communicate with other applications – all while traversing a sometimes complicated and far-flung network. The more one can communicate his challenges, the better an MSP can cater to his needs.
A comprehensive application performance managed service will include real-time monitoring and well-designed dashboards. Dashboards give management teams end-to-end visibility, the capability to quickly assess enterprise application performance at a glance and even the ability to drill down into tool sets to see exactly where problems are occurring. For hoteliers, below are a few examples of high value executive dashboards an MSP should provide:
  • Payment System Security: Set and receive real-time alerts to prevent security breaches, whether they be from the inside or out.
  • Network Reliability: Monitor a network to not only ensure it stays up, but also to keep the room booking response times fast. Plan for peak loads by tracking and logging use patterns, and get notices when app use is approaching a threshold that might be problematic. 
  • At-a-glance Energy Use: Energy can be a critical costs. Follow consumption data, log it and analyze it. See if there are patterns that might help the hotel become more energy efficient.

When it comes to restaurants, the industry tends to focus on different application priorities and optimization. Given the variability of apps most commonly used, an MSP can help restaurants in the following key ways:

  • Mobile Application Troubleshooting: Mobile apps — which restaurateurs tend to take significant advantage of — often have integration problems. Identify the most common complex tasks an app performs, and build a dashboard that monitors critical thresholds so that when an application fails, the management team can quickly pinpoint the root cause. This can save countless hours — and tens of thousands of dollars in potential lost revenue. 
  • Loyalty Application Performance: Loyalty apps aren’t generally built with the same robustness of, say, payment processing systems, so they’ve been known to run into difficulties communicating properly with databases. Don’t let a loyalty program suffer by not knowing where the software is slipping.  
  • Dynamic Promotion Updates: One of the most impactful abilities within promotion apps is that they can be leveraged to customize the customer experience on the fly. Real-time analysis of a customer’s activities can reveal preferences that offer opportunities to cross-sell or issue new promotions in the moment. MSP’s will ensure restaurateurs never miss a business opportunity.

Before beginning a search for an MSP, put together a data wish list from each application, then consult and compare. For instance: Should there be red, yellow, or green lights to display application health? Graphs to better identify lulls in application use or track costumer behavior? Custom alerts, carefully tuned to reflect specific service levels? A knowledgeable provider can address all these issues and then some.

Outsourcing works. It saves time and money. It provides a competitive advantage by enabling quick rollouts and fast implementation. It lets your employees focus on core business task that directly relate to your lines of business. Enterprise application performance monitoring shouldn’t be a DIY project. 

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