One Throat to Love
by Minda Zetlin, February 2011
When IT staff at La Quinta Inns & Suites has a problem with any of the company’s back-office outsourced systems, they always know exactly what to do: call HP. “Oracle manages our [Oracle’s] PeopleSoft applications,” explains Vivek Shaiva, CIO at LQ Management, which operates the La Quinta hotel chain. “But HP provides overall management of the account and also a tier-one help desk, so we always call them first.”
La Quinta’s relationship with HP runs deep. “They’re a systems integrator for us,” Shaiva says. “They support all our applications. They are our one throat—not to choke, but to love.” HP holds primary responsibility for ensuring that provider service-level agreements are met, and Shaiva meets by conference call with HP contacts every month to review its providers’ performance.
In fact, HP even manages applications that aren’t outsourced. As the company moved to an outsourced model for many of its key applications beginning in 2006, La Quinta was able to close down its large data center in Dallas, Texas. A smaller data center in Springfield, Massachusetts, remains in operation, hosting the chain’s legacy applications—but with no full-time La Quinta staff. “HP supports all our legacy back-office applications for us,” Shaiva says.
When La Quinta staff ran into performance and support problems with its first software-as-a-service provider for PeopleSoft Financials and PeopleSoft Human Resources, it was a natural step to ask HP for advice. HP recommended Oracle On Demand.
“HP was a known partner, and they came to us with this recommendation,” Shaiva recalls. “It made sense because we knew Oracle had a good relationship with HP, and also because it seemed smart to have the company that actually makes the software supporting it.”
The relationship has served La Quinta well, reports Elise Sammarco, vice president of IT quality at LQ Management, whose primary responsibility is to monitor the performance of the company’s IT vendors. “With our previous provider, issues didn’t get escalated to Oracle,” she says. “Now the overall support is much better. Oracle does not participate directly on our conference calls with HP, but our HP contacts can open tickets in the Oracle system, and they work directly with Oracle to get problems resolved.”
As a result, she says, “My job is easier. The quality is much better, and we have a more reliable application. And if issues arise, with the combination of HP and Oracle, we know we have the resources to get them resolved.”
For More Information
Oracle Solutions for Travel and Transportation
Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Applications
Minda Zetlin is coauthor, with Bill Pfleging, of The Geek Gap: Why Business and Technology Professionals Don’t Understand Each Other and Why They Need Each Other to Survive (Prometheus Books, 2006).