Guoman Hotels: delivering world-class service
Guoman Hotels Group leases or manages 36 hotels in the UK under two brand names. The first is Thistle Hotels, which has 31 upmarket but informal hotels in the UK. The second is Guoman, an exclusive collection of five deluxe five-star hotels in central London, each with its own unique character.
The Group has a commitment to the highest levels of customer service and was the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2011–2012. In addition, the Group has a policy of continuous improvement and was looking to utilize technology more effectively to support its staff and customers, while reducing operating costs.
One of its key IT priorities was to improve the performance of OPERA, its specialist property, room management, catering and reservations application. It also wanted to focus on security and business continuity. This was especially important during the year of the Olympics in London, when the Group wanted to maximize revenue and ensure that it maintained excellent customer service.
“A strong customer service ethic is at the heart of our business strategy, so transforming and improving our IT processes is critical to delivering world-class service, especially as London geared up to playing host to the Olympic games in July,” said Dipesh Joshi, IT Director, Guoman and Thistle Hotel Group.
To achieve these objectives, Guoman Hotels renewed its IT infrastructure and applications outsourcing contract with Orange Business Services, leaving its staff to concentrate on what they do best – running luxury hotels. As part of the contract, Orange had to cut the Guoman Hotels Group’s IT total cost of ownership by 20% and ensure that the customer service platform was ready for the events of summer 2012.
“We’ve found the perfect partner in Orange Business Services and signed an outsourcing contract for consultancy, security, application infrastructure and disaster recovery redesign as well as application and data center management,” added Joshi.
The contract renewal included consultancy and a wide range of services, ranging from hardware and software upgrades to hosted and managed applications, websites, Microsoft Exchange and messaging with SLAs. It also integrated security, including firewall, VPN access, Internet access and a fully-redundant disaster recovery solution.
improved customer service
Since the deployment of the new services, Guoman Hotels Group has seen significant improvements in customer services across all 36 hotels. These include faster access to OPERA and more productive staff, along with simplified billing and management. Application performance overall has been improved along with better security and business continuity.
With the alignment of IT with business requirements, the Group was able to focus on being customer-service ready. The upgraded managed infrastructure meant that Guoman Hotels Group was ready to deal with the extra attention and visitors generated by the 2012 London Games.
- renewal of IT infrastructure and applications outsourcing contract
- hosted and managed applications, website, messaging and security with service level agreements
- 20% reduction in total cost of ownership
- improved application performance, security and business continuity