Starwood Hotels has significantly increased the number of hotels it operates over the past few years through global corporate expansion, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. This has resulted in a dramatic rise in the need for business-critical information about Starwood’s hotels and customers.
All Starwood hotels use a single, global, enterprise data warehouse to retrieve information about things such as customer loyalty, central reservations, and rate-plan reports for efficient hotel management. In addition, Starwood Hotels management runs critical daily operating reports from the data warehouse for business functions, such as booking pace, forecasting, arrivals reporting, and yield management.
Starwood Hotels’ enterprise data warehouse spans almost all operational areas of the company that are essential to central reservation and guest information, including Starwood’s loyalty program, sales data, customer service information, marketing campaigns, and other data that managers, analysts, and executives depend on to make operational decisions.
“Starwood Hotels is committed to knowing and providing superior service to its guests. Data growth and demands grew too great for the company’s legacy system, which was falling short in delivering the information hotel managers and administrators required on a daily basis. Central reservation system reports could take as long as 18 hours,” said Richard Chung, director of data integration, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Hotel managers were receiving the transient-pace report—which presents market-segmented information on reservations—five hours later than needed. Such delays prevented managers from adjusting rates appropriately, which could impact rates and revenue. After reviewing several vendor offerings, Starwood Hotels selected Oracle Exadata Database Machine running on Oracle Linux.
“With Oracle Exadata, we can complete extract, transform, and load (ETL) operations for business reports in 4 to 6 hours, as opposed to 18 to 24 hours, previously—a six-fold improvement,” Chung said.
Real-time feeds, which were not possible before, now allow transactions to post immediately to the data warehouse, and users can access the changes in 5 to 10 minutes instead of taking 24 hours, making the process up to 288x faster.
Accelerated access to data allows all Starwood properties, globally, to get the same up-to-date data via a Microstrategy business intelligence tool. Previously, hotel managers in some geographies could not do same-day or next-day analyses. Some locations had access to fresh data and others received older data. Hotel managers worldwide now have up-to-date information for their hotels, increasing efficiency and profitability and improving customer service by making sure rooms are available for premier customers while improving the company’s ability to manage room-occupancy rates. In addition, the company is using Oracle GoldenGate to replicate data from its central reservations systems and other online transaction processing databases—significantly accelerating ETL processes. The use of Oracle GoldenGate is now enabling near- real-time reporting in some cases, with marketing decisions being made in near-real-time and within a day of receiving the data, instead of having to wait months.
Starwood Hotels chose Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services to deliver Oracle Solution Support Center, which provides an advanced support delivery manager and a dedicated team of support engineers that work closely with the Starwood IT group to provide 24/7, personalized support. Finally, Oracle Advanced Monitoring and Resolution maximizes availability of the company’s database products by continually monitoring and tuning Starwood’s enterprise data warehouse solution.