Hyatt Hotels tells us ‘Why Microsoft’ is their Cloud Provider.

Mike Blake, CIO for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, is our guest blogger today and will describe why he made the decision to move to the cloud and why he chose BPOS to meet the needs of Hyatt's employees world-wide. Hyatt Hotels Corporation first began in 1957 when Jay Pritzker purchased the Hyatt House motel in Los Angeles. From that single motel, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has grown to worldwide portfolio of 434 properties and includes marquee brands such as Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency. Recently, Hyatt Hotels Corporation made the decision to move to the cloud for their productivity solution and chose Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) for 57,000 employees.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation had been looking at the cloud for quite some time before making the decision to move from our current solution, Lotus Notes. Our internal surveys showed that there was a lot of user dissatisfaction with Notes, and once I became the CIO of Hyatt, I decided that it was time to make the change. We needed a complete, next-generation cloud solution from a provider that could be a strategic partner to us.

Making the leap to the cloud was a big decision for Hyatt. We operate more than 400 properties worldwide, meaning IT must serve users around the world – as well as enable collaboration with a huge network of partners. The cloud seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to reduce the costs of operating such a distributed infrastructure as well as improve our ability to collaborate with partners and suppliers. We had heard a lot about security and privacy concerns as well as data sovereignty and control, but after we really began evaluating cloud solutions, we found that we could actually improve our security and privacy controls by moving to a single cloud-based provider globally and providers such as Microsoft provide rigorous protection protocols that in some areas exceeded our own.

The decision to move use Microsoft BPOS was made after careful evaluation of competitive solutions offered by Google and IBM. We ultimately decided to go with Microsoft because of their proven track-record and commitment to the productivity category. We also expect to save upwards of 30% over our previous solution. This reduction in TCO appealed not only to me but to other members of the executive team who were part of the decision process including our CFO, COO and CMO.

BPOS provides a complete communications and collaboration solution to meet the needs of our 17,000 information workers. Given the nature of our business we have many employees who do not have regular access to a PC but still require access to email and other corporate materials. Microsoft offered a compelling way to connect our 'deskless' workers into the same system. With BPOS, 40,000 of these 'deskless' workers, front desk agents, hotel staff, and housekeeping personnel, will now have access to the same email system as the rest of our company.

Looking ahead, we will begin our transition to BPOS in August and be fully deployed by the end of the year. We anticipate many tangible benefits.

  • We expect to see better collaboration across Hyatt properties globally. For example, our group sales teams will be able to use SharePoint Online to collaborate on large deals. We think this will allow them to deliver a great, consistent experience to our customers. In addition to SharePoint Online, Exchange Online will be part of this mix. Our large customers do not use Google or IBM for email; they use Exchange too. This will make communications with them more efficient, ensuring that things like calendar requests and formatting just work. Lastly, our 17,000 information workers and 40,000 of our 'deskless' workers will now all be using the same email solution – Exchange Online – ensuring better collaboration and communication across properties and from corporate. Ultimately, we expect this to translate into a better sales experience and new revenue opportunities overall.
  • We expect to reduce total cost of ownership by 30% compared to our existing Lotus Notes system.
  • We expect to see improved employee satisfaction and adoption. Our people were not happy with Lotus Notes, and merely knowing that we are moving away from Lotus Notes to Exchange and Outlook has already created a good deal of excitement among our employees, who are anticipating a more positive and productive experience.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation is excited about this new partnership with Microsoft. At Hyatt we pride ourselves in being a top provider of vacation properties and a leader in the hospitality industry. To be a leader in our industry you need to carefully choose all providers – this includes our technology partners. Microsoft will help us bring Hyatt to the next level of service to our clients. We are excited to bring BPOS to our teams!

Comments (13)

  1. akisslo says:

    @ Tom & @ Harvey

    Thanks for reading and posting.  While I will disagree with you significantly below, I am happy to have a dialogue on all of this as it's what makes the industry move forward.

    This post is by the CIO of Hyatt, so let's keep comments to vendors and not customer or their strategy.

    WRT to Kevin's comments, pulling this quote of context leads is unfair.  His point is that not every custoemr in the world will go to the cloud.  Do you agree? In that case he was saying by educating them we have a cloud offering makes them feel comfortable with their selection of Microsoft that in the future, if they are ready they go on their terms with what they have.  This is practical and smart and the reason why only Microsoft can full the broadest needs of the market and the unique needs of most customers.

    With respect to cloud, Google, innovation etc.  Are you saying the Google doesn't patch their software? In the last year they have taken down the entire Apps platform unintentionally b/c they deployed new software that crated the system.  They also allow 12 hours of planned downtime a year, 20% more than BPOS requires a year.  

    Of course I'll argue that Google's 'smart quotes' announcement last week isnt innovative, thats a feature from 1993.  Or the fact that they license Exchange Active Sync to do their mobile policy, or that they love Outlook so much that they support and update a connector OR that tey require an on prem server for LDAP or SDC connections.  Majority of customers also appreciate a roadmap.  Turning on half baked features into a mission critical environment is not ideal.  Most Gogle features are under Google Labs, which isnt part of the SLA.  

    You can read my previous posts on $50 cost and the fantasy there.

    Finally, so when Google deploys APps in a US based data center for Governments, is this cloud? Or when you deploy a AMI with Amazon and pick the exact data center to deploy from is this cloud? Or better yet, when deploys a PC based application, is this cloud?  Or the fact they recently open an Asia based datacenter, does that mean cloud isnt global?

    My point is I fully respect that you may not prefer Microsoft. That's okay.  But comparing without equal transparency is what makes discussions like this usually fruitless for both sides.



  2. tom says:

    Cloud? This is BPOS-D. BPOS-D is hosted Exchange. You can host your Exchange servers with IBM, Accenture, Navisite…or now Microsoft. There's nothing cloud about it. Kevin Turner made clear what Microsoft's cloud strategy is all about – "We are going to lead with the cloud," Turner said at the Redmond, Wash. software giant's analyst day. "It helps position Microsoft to sell more on-premise products."

  3. Harvey Flieshacker says:

    Couldn't agree more with Tom.  Why take the servers out of my datacenter to simply park them in a MSFT one.  Same underlying architecture; same security holes; same requirement to patch, patch and patch only we get the pleasure of paying MSFT to patch their own stuff (there is a nice new revenue stream for MSFT…wonder if the MSFT stock saw a bump as the wall street crowd figure this out).  

    A true multi-tenant cloud offering eliminates this medieval approach to enterprise software.  Now Hyatt will have to update the client every time MSFT adds functionality – once every 3-5 years…what exactly is cloud here?  I much prefer the Google innovation curve where they exchange patch Tuesday with weekly feature releases that provide real value.  Have you been watching Google?  They are introducing more functionality at a pace that is truly amazing.  Sure the Hyatt crowd might be happy for about six months.  In two years, the native will get restless and throw the MSFT solution out with the trash.

    Heck, you can get the full Google Apps suite for the price of a good Mouse.  I say skip buying everyone a mouse this year and purchase the full suite of Google Apps for $50/year/person.  With 25gb of email storage, Google Docs and Sites, that is incredible.

  4. Steve Malibu says:

    I think it's evident the first two posts are simply attempts to market their (Google) product and not an evaluation of business impact or value.  

  5. Tanujha Patil says:

    Its good to know how Hyatt was convinced to go for Microsoft BPOS. It makes an excellent story for all the people who sell MS BPOS.

    While there's competition everywhere, this is a clear case of how the differentiating factors clearly helped Microsoft win. The client was thoroughly convinced about the benefits MS offered over others.

  6. Cristian Alonso says:

    Forget about the first two posts. The reality is Hyatt's CIO decided on one of Microsoft's  cloud offerings  for their collaboration platform moving away from IBM or other vendors like Google. Very interesting reading..

  7. jcb says:

    @Tom, Google's business is 97% advertising funded.  Google Apps makes that search bar very visable in every page of their "premire" product so that ads are only one click away. That is Google's strategy with Google Apps, otherwise why bother.  

    @Harvey, Exchange is the leading messaging platform in the enterprise today, and Office provides a seamless experience to connect to Exchange.  Google Apps Sync for Outlook is by all measures a weak attempt of aligning gmail to work with Outlook. Of course, Google would love for everyone to just use the gmail web client and forget about Outlook, again as ads are just one click away.  You have problems with patch Tuesday? Try patching 3000 machines individually that are using Google Apps Sync for Outlook. This is not enterprise software, this is madness.

    Let me just leave you with a few parting comments about innovation, roadmap and enterprise readiness at Google.  On May 19, 2010 (less than three months ago) Lars Rasmussen, engineering manager for Google Wave, said he is confident Wave is now ready for the big time so the company announced that Wave available to all consumers and business users. We all know how this story ended, but what about Novell that expended a considerable amount of time, effort and money to make an integrated application with Wave called Pulse, what about SAP that expended the same amount of effort to create a "business process modeling tool" called Gravity for Wave, and what about Deloitte who invested resources in an "As One Flagship" project with Wave? And, I could go on about how Google pulled offline support for Google Apps with little notice saying that they "were retiring Google Gears in Favor of HTML5" without a product to replace it, but I digress….As Eric Schmitt says "At Google we celebrate our failures as much as our success," just wait until Google's advertising machine starts on the decline, Google Apps might be the next celebration of failure.

  8. Agra Hotels says:

    Good post….thanks for sharing.. very useful for me i will bookmark this for my future needs.

    thanks for a great source.

  9. mido says:

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