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Learn How Tech-Forward Hospitality Companies are Transforming Via the Cloud

Robert Firpo-Cappiello

When faced with great uncertainty, businesses see their investments in agility and flexibility put to the test. And few tests have been as unforgiving as the coronavirus pandemic. But a handful of travel and hospitality companies are already turbo-charging their recoveries by adopting agile technology as a key competitive advantage.

That’s why it’s never been more important for hotel and restaurant executives to carve out time from the short-term tasks of recovery to explore what these innovators are doing differently.

Because of COVID-19, senior hospitality leadership and IT staff are getting a rare opportunity to access, virtually and for free, Amazon Web Services’ must-attend event for everything cloud:  AWS re:Invent. The Nov. 30-Dec. 15 online event, which normally sells out when held in person, will feature c-suite executives from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Star Alliance, and Just Eat Takeaway—the $7.8 billion European food delivery company formed via merger earlier this year that is now in the process of acquiring Grubhub. Registration is now open.

Hospitality Leaders Explain the Cloud Agility Advantage

Most travel and hospitality companies are slowly migrating to the cloud to save money, facilitate digital transformation and increase access to innovation. For example, more than half of hotels now maintain revenue management and central reservation systems in the cloud. However, less than half have done the same with sales and catering technologies, CRM/loyalty and property management systems, according to the HT 2020 Lodging Study.

Scott Strickland, EVP & CIO, Wyndham

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Star Alliance and Just Eat Takeaway have been much more aggressive in embracing cloud. They credit this strategy with equipping them to respond with greater agility and resiliency to this crisis, and whatever comes next.

Wyndham EVP & CIO Scott Strickland will do a deep dive in his session “How Wyndham Hotels is Building Resilience for the Long Run(Session ID: TRV202), to explain how choosing to build on AWS helped reduce the complexity of the La Quinta integration, and then address the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We feel a cloud-based approach not only helped us weather the challenges of COVID-19 more easily, but will make us more agile and resilient over the long term,” says Strickland.

Strickland will also discuss how Wyndham leverages cloud-based services to drive innovation.

Enabling the Future of Restaurant Delivery

Many restaurants were forced to quickly pivot to curbside, pick-up and delivery as their main revenue drivers with the onset of the pandemic, with app-based delivery services brands such as Grubhub, SkipTheDishes and Just Eat handling a large portion of that business. Experts expect demand for these digital channels to remain significant, making delivery services a defacto extension of the restaurant’s guest experience—and help them reach new customers. So it’s essential that restaurant executives understand these services’ strategic use of technology.

Richard Haigh, CTO of Just Eat brands at Just Eat Takeaway

In the re:Invent session “How Just Eat Takeaway is Building Resilience for the Long Run (Session ID: TRV203) Richard Haigh, CTO of Just Eat brands at Just Eat Takeaway, will detail how the company relied on the AWS cloud platform to meet a sudden spike in global demand for food delivery. Moving ahead, Just Eat Takeaway is looking to cloud to facilitate global expansion, streamline operations, and enhance the user experience.

“The restaurant industry is experiencing rapid change, and we must be prepared to pivot alongside our customers,” says Haigh. “The flexibility afforded by the AWS cloud platform will be critical to our future and those of our restaurant partners.”

Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance

Resilience and Speed of Innovation for Global Airline Alliances

In a third travel-related session “How Star Alliance is Building Resilience for the Long Run(Session ID: TRV201), Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh will explain how the airline group is leveraging AWS services to achieve goals that will sound quite familiar to hotel and restaurant executives: adding value to the customer experience, enhancing loyalty, and innovating faster in the midst of an ever-changing travel environment.

“In addition to cost savings and elasticity, AWS gives us the most comprehensive set of cloud services to innovate rapidly, introduce new services to keep travelers safe, and continuously reinvent the global travel experience,” says Goh.

re:Invent will also feature robust technical education sessions on cloud technologies for hospitality IT professionals, accessible free of charge for the first time.

In an increasingly digitally enabled marketplace, agility and resiliency are table stakes. Understanding the strategies used by tech-forward hospitality companies is essential for executives charting their own companies’ futures. For Travel and Hospitality attendees looking to get the most out of their experience, follow these steps:

  • Register for re:Invent
  • Search by Session Name and add desired sessions to your agenda

Premier Dates and Times for AWS Travel and Hospitality Leadership Sessions:

TRV201 -- How Star Alliance is building resilience for the long term

Tuesday, December 1, 1:45pm PT

Replayed Wednesday, December 2, 1:45pm GMT and SST

TRV202 -- How Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is building resilience for the long term

Wednesday, December 2, 9:30 am PT

Replayed Thursday, December 3 at 9:30 am GMT and SST

TRV203 -- How Just Eat Takeaway is building resilience for the long term

Thursday, December 3, 10 am PT

Replayed Friday, December 3 at 10 am GMT and SST

*Sessions Available on demand starting Friday Dec 4

So, be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity by registering for AWS re:Invent and adding these and other great sessions to your agenda.