Migrating to AWS without losing (too much) sleep

November 14 2018

See how Wyndham Hotels & Resorts leveraged AppDynamics to execute a successful digital transformation.

As my fellow CIOs are well aware, the rapid changes to our digital economy can seem daunting.

Despite the challenges of our digital world, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchisor, executed a significant digital transformation requiring change from our North American hotel owners that ultimately enabled them to provide better service to their guests. We succeeded without losing loyalty from our owners or guests, and with the right partnerships, support and strategy in place – you can too.

New research shows that only 22 percent of technologists are optimistic that their organization is ready for the rapid pace of technological advancement and 67 percent of IT professionals worry that technology innovation is outpacing society’s ability to harness it and adapt to change.

In light of these statistics, it’s easy to feel like these obstacles could create real problems for your customers and your business.

But it doesn’t have to.

For those of you in travel and hospitality, you understand the criticality of seamless digital experiences, especially on mobile. Consumers can book their flight, order room service and schedule guided tours – and owners can change rates, respond to guest requests, and see what competitors are doing – all from the touch of their phone.

At Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, we are on a mission to democratize travel for guests and the people who serve them with a portfolio of iconic hotel brands strategically designed to offer a wide range of compelling experiences and price points for guests.

We know our hotel owners are the platform for our growth, and together we serve the everyday traveler; as the stewards of our brands, owners are vital to delivering the experiences our guests want. That’s why we believe in providing our owners with the best technology resources. We knew we needed to evolve our digital platforms to meet our owners’ changing needs, enabling them to give the best travel experiences possible to their guests.

Supporting that business mission, here are three keys to a successful digital transformation.

Evaluate your company’s strategic direction

The first step in our digital transformation was to re-evaluate our existing capabilities and direction. After reviewing all of our options and conducting plenty of due diligence around scale, security and performance we decided to migrate many applications in our existing datacenter to AWS so we could innovate faster.

While we knew leveraging the speed and flexibility of AWS was the best way for our owners to receive the reliability and accessibility they need to manage digital information about their properties (from photos, to descriptions, to rates), we knew we had to mitigate any negative impacts a migration of this size and complexity could have.

We needed the right partner to protect our brand and accelerate the process.

Choose the right partner

Wyndham prides itself in partnering with like-minded companies that are customer-centric, nimble and experts in their fields.

We found AppDynamics and discovered our teams were drawn to an AWS-based approach at the same time, and we saw the potential of cross-enterprise monitoring. By partnering with AppDynamics, we were able to migrate 8,400 hotels across 18 brands with confidence by rapidly and securely adopting AWS’ cloud-native architectures, maintaining ongoing performance throughout the migration, ensuring equal or better customer experience in our new hybrid environments and driving business objectives while maximizing value.

The powerful level of visibility and real-time diagnosis provided by AppDynamics helped us deliver high quality service to our owners before, during and after the move to AWS.

Put the customer experience first

Not only was AppDynamics critical to the success of our cloud migration, to support our larger digital footprint, they enabled us to segment customer experience by category, track user sessions to understand how much time users spend at each step, filter and analyze by geography, device type and receive proactive alerts and analysis before the customer was ever impacted.

These additional insights gave us a holistic view of our applications and how our users interact with our apps, down to the design and feature level. This enabled us to focus on other critical improvements, accelerating user acceptance testing (UAT) during the migration process while maintaining application performance throughout.

Since our migration to AWS with the support of AppDynamics, we’ve seen an increase of 75 percent in mobile bookings. Together, AppDynamics and AWS are hugely strategic to our company’s continued innovation.

The digital economy today presents the opportunity to become an agent of transformation for your business.

With the right partners, culture and leadership in place, you too can drive the innovation necessary to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change, while maintaining and growing customer loyalty and your business at the same time…allowing everyone to migrate peacefully and without losing (too much) sleep.

Scott Strickland
Scott Strickland is EVP & Chief Information Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

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