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Fast 'check-in' for analytics at leading hotels

When this major hotel brand wanted to better target customers to improve guest numbers and revenues, packaged implementation services meant the solution was delivered fast.

With a presence in the UK for more than three decades, this international hotel brand – the world's biggest grouping of independently owned and managed hotels – prides itself on the personality and distinctiveness of its venues. This is a tough time for the trade, however. While a global city like London has seen improvements in occupancy and revenues, demand in the UK regions is more dependent on the domestic economy, which has been squeezed by high inflation and other impacts after the financial crisis. With some observers suggesting this may become "the new normal", with room revenues and rates staying flat, part of the solution lies in using analytics in smarter ways to better understand and communicate with customers: to attract more business and enhance the guest experience.

"This brand wanted new capabilities to enable its people to interrogate customer data more effectively, to provide new levels of actionable insight for the business," says Nicholas Becci, Client Manager, SAS. "They saw the value in accessing and sharing customer data more easily, and in applying new techniques, for example, to segment customers in different ways." This would provide opportunities to target guests in new and more sophisticated ways, using promotions, offers and services that individuals would be more likely to respond to. With "personalised service" a key brand differentiator, this is another way of delivering more to customers in a challenging marketplace.

To help support these objectives, the business chose to deploy SAS® Office Analytics – delivered using a cost-effective implementation package from SAS® Professional Services.

Fast and effective implementation

"SAS Office Analytics is an extremely easy way for people to access and benefit from more powerful analytics while using their familiar Microsoft environment," says Ross Hammett, SAS Professional Services. "You don't have to settle for the simplistic approach to data manipulation, analysis and reporting that's offered by Excel and other tools – it brings more sophisticated and meaningful analysis and reporting within the reach of everyone." He describes the SAS® Office Analytics Quick Start service as "a package that enables us to provide customers of a certain size with an appropriately expert and focused response to implementing the software. It takes the hassle away from the customer, while ensuring they can get the software up and running fast. It really does minimise implementation effort on their part, while delivering a fit-for-purpose solution able to start delivering business value fast."

Integrated service delivery centres on the complete and tested installation and configuration of the SAS Office Analytics bundle. "In this case, we already had a good understanding of the customer's environment," says Paul Evans, Customer Services Manager, SAS. "We discussed their set-up, requirements, sizing and other issues on conference calls. We were confident it was a suitable environment for SAS Office Analytics, so we sent through documentation including the list of prerequisites that outlines exactly what they need in place for us to deliver the service, and this was followed by installation by our delivery partner. That was it: very straightforward, with the work completed on time." The package also includes a degree of knowledge transfer covering how the software works from a maintenance and administrative perspective, designed for the individual tasked with running SAS Office Analytics in-house.

Evans adds, "This really lived up to its name: a true quick start for the customer, requiring minimal effort from them." He is keen to emphasise that completing a Quick Start engagement isn't the end of the story: "It's actually the first major step in starting to explore the possibilities presented by SAS Office Analytics. For example, as part of the package, we normally return within 28 days to check how the customer is doing, to look at how they are using the software and to make further recommendations. In this case, it's likely the customer will buy training from SAS Education as part of its user adoption, so it can continue developing its skills and getting the most from its software."

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Major hotel brand

Business Issue:
Rapidly deploy a new business analytics/customer insight solution, and gain value from the software in the shortest time frame
Integrated implementation services via the cost-effective SAS Office Analytics Quick Start service: consulting, prerequisites, installation, configuration and knowledge transfer – from SAS Professional Services and its delivery partner
Focused, cost-effective installation of a powerful new analytics and reporting solution, meaning new capabilities available to support the business in targeting customers and in helping to drive revenues for member hotels

"They wanted new capabilities to interrogate customer data more effectively. SAS Office Analytics Quick Start service meant they were up and running fast, so the software could start delivering business value even more rapidly."

Ross Hammett

SAS Professional Services

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