Microsoft Corp.'s approach to cloud computing in hospitality was instrumental to Mandarin Oriental's decision to fully transition to the Microsoft platform. This is part of Mandarin Oriental's overarching strategy to build a highly responsive IT infrastructure with the applications and tools needed to provide personalized guest experiences worldwide.
"We are confident that Microsoft's connected travel' approach is the right one for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group as we move to the cloud," says Nick Price, CIO/vice president, Information Systems, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. "After evaluating leading competitive offerings, we have standardized exclusively on Microsoft technologies, which provides us with a single, highly streamlined IT platform that spans the entire organization, from the mobile and digital consumer touch points up through mid- and back-office operations and beyond. We are working with Microsoft and our core ISVs as they enhance their applications to take advantage of Windows Azure so that we can further cost-cutting and consolidation."
Mandarin Oriental has standardized exclusively on Microsoft technologies for more than 10 years and has evolved a single, highly streamlined IT platform that spans the entire organization, from the mobile and digital consumer touch points up through mid- and back-office operations and beyond.
Mandarin Oriental is virtualizing its hotel systems as a key step toward Windows Azure and the public cloud, with plans to implement its first fully virtualized hotel later this year. It has completed the server virtualization stage using Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V technology and has already realized significant savings, increased systems availability and a reduction of carbon emissions.
Further, Mandarin Oriental is working with PAR Springer-Miller Systems to deploy its next generation hospitality platform on Windows Azure.
For over a year now, Geoff Cairns, worldwide managing director of Hospitality at Microsoft, and his team have been working with principals from The Gendreau Group (TGG), revenue strategists who focus on helping companies across industries generate additional revenues and value from technologies, products and services. The goal has been to enable the hospitality industry to deliver more value to guests and other customers, and to find more and better ways to interact and transact successfully with each guest across each and every journey. Microsoft's Hospitality in the Cloud strategy has been a primary outcome of this work.
Microsoft's hospitality industry ecosystem partners include Agilysys Inc., PAR Springer-Miller Systems, Newmarket International, Red Rock Software Inc., SoftHotel Inc. and SuiteLinq Inc., as well as key customers who provide guidance to the ecosystem through participation in Microsoft's hospitality industry customer advisory board.
At the HITEC 2010 conference, Microsoft described how partners are cloud-enabling their applications today, and how the company is developing shared services that the developer community can leverage to accelerate their developments. Microsoft's goal is to provide a set of industry-specific shared common services that will allow its independent software vendor community to develop software better, faster and cheaper, without overlap and duplication. Immediate hospitality industry customer benefits include the cost savings from shifting internal routine IT operations to the cloud, allowing companies to reinvest their IT dollars in projects that are truly core to their business.
Benefits from the Microsoft approach to cloud computing for hospitality include immediate operational cost reductions, the opportunity to better allocate capital and other resources, and the ability to accelerate change by engaging an ecosystem of partners with solutions optimized for the Microsoft platform and Windows Azure.
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