Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Checks Into the Cloud, Enabling a Superior Mobile Experience
Maintained optimal performance throughout rapid migration to the cloud
Saw a 75% increase in mobile bookings after migration
Lowered reservation transaction costs by 40%
Wyndham’s first step to digital transformation
Rapid changes to our digital economy can seem daunting to technologists.
This couldn’t be more applicable than in in the travel and hospitality industries, where digital experiences need to be seamless — and mobile — for two distinct types of users: Consumers, who need to make reservations and order room service, and hotel franchisees who need to adjust rates and respond to guest requests, all from the touch of their phone.
“That’s why we believe in providing our franchisees with the best technology resources,” explains Scott Strickland, EVP and Chief Information Officer at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
Wyndham, the world’s largest hotel franchisor, is democratizing travel for everyday travelers and the people who serve them — which amounts to a lot of data for a company of its magnitude.
“We needed to make three clouds work together and we needed to be able to monitor them. With AppDynamics, we knew that the migration was following through as expected.”Scott StricklandChief Information Officer @Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
“Imagine having nearly 9,000 hotels and 9,000 potential data sources, all under a digital umbrella. Then add call data and data collected from guests,” says Strickland, whose team monitors as many as millions of transactions a day. “A big challenge was aggregating all data across disparate sources and leveraging it to better serve our franchisees or guests. We knew we needed to evolve our digital platforms to scale across hotels and innovate faster.
After performing due diligence around scale, security, and performance, Strickland’s team decided to migrate to the cloud. But this posed another challenge.
“While we knew leveraging the speed and flexibility of AWS was the best way for our franchise owners to manage digital information — from photos to descriptions to rates — we knew we had to mitigate any negative impacts a migration of this size and complexity could have,” Strickland explains. “We needed the right partner capable of running AWS to protect our brands and accelerate the process.”
For its real-time diagnostics and ability to run both on-premise and in the cloud, Wyndham ultimately chose AppDynamics.
About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchisor. Its portfolio boasts nearly 9,000 hotels across 80 countries. Best known for offering an extensive range of options — from economy brands like Super 8® by Wyndham and Days Inn® by Wyndham to the luxury Wyndham Grand — Wyndham empowers anyone to travel, regardless of their budget.
Once they made the decision to migrate, Strickland’s team was tasked with moving data for a total 8,400 hotels across 18 brands.
“Without monitoring, we’d be flying blind. It would be a very manual process,” says Strickland. “AppDynamics gave us a comfort level we needed.”
Strickland’s team enlisted AppDynamics to help in a few key areas: transferring and monitoring data across multiple applications, understanding how the data flows, and seeing how long transactions take. If these insights turned up issues with code or data usage, Wyndham could tweak accordingly.
“For example, a guest who makes a last-minute reservation doesn’t want to wait as it processes,” Strickland explains. “They walk into a Days Inn and want the reservation to be there. We use AppDynamics to ensure the data flows through disparate systems to deliver the reservation to the hotel.”
AppDynamics also provided Wyndham with increased visibility by segmenting customer experiences by category, tracking user sessions, and flagging proactive alerts and analyses before customers were impacted by availability issues.
“These additional insights gave us a holistic view of our applications and how our users interact with our apps, right down to the design and feature level,” says Strickland. “This enabled us to focus on other critical improvements and accelerate user acceptance testing during the migration process while maintaining application performance throughout.”
Using AWS with the support of AppDynamics, Wyndham successfully migrated 8,000+ hotels with confidence, executing a significant digital transformation without losing availability for — and thus loyalty from — its franchisees or guests.
“Our biggest success was improving overall performance on mobile devices,” Strickland says. “We know mobile is where people want to be, so we want to enable our guests to book from anywhere. We’ve been able to do so by implementing AppDynamics which provides an excellent mobile experience. And we managed to increase our year-over-year bookings by 75%.”
And by monitoring the time users spend on transactions, Strickland can now quantify investment decisions.
“The faster a page loads or a search returns, the more likely someone will book a hotel,” he explains. “There are a lot of systems involved in making that work correctly. Monitoring how long those transactions take helps us understand where to invest.”
Ultimately, Wyndham’s ability to leverage best-in-class software in the cloud allows for nimble global growth. The systems in place also help ease transitions for brands that Wyndham may acquire, like La Quinta, which will be migrating data in 2019.
“The good news is, AppDynamics runs in the cloud and our apps are cloud-based,” Strickland notes. “As we grow in Asia, we know our loads will scale on AWS and our configuration of AppDynamics in North America will run perfectly over there. Having templatized our footprint, we know we can run globally.
“AppDynamics gave us a comfort level we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Scott Strickland, Chief Information Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts