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How Centralized Information Powers Sonesta’s Award-Successful Loyalty Program



Boston-based Sonesta Worldwide Lodges was based practically 100 years in the past, however it was simply over the previous few years that Sonesta kickstarted its development trajectory to turning into a worldwide resort powerhouse. Even earlier than the acquisition of Pink Lion Lodges in 2021, which added greater than 1,000 franchised and managed properties and pushed Sonesta over the 1,200 properties mark, Sonesta had standout motels in Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans, and in international locations like Peru, Chile, Colombia and Egypt.

Right now, Sonesta encompasses quite a lot of properties up and down the chain scale, together with luxurious resorts, boutique motels and extended-stay suites. The portfolio is made up of 17 manufacturers, together with Royal Sonesta, Sonesta ES Suites, America’s Finest Worth Inn, Signature Inn and Pink Lion Lodges, to call a couple of. As the corporate grew, a lot of these 174 manufacturers got here by the use of conversion, and once you carry on new properties, inevitably you’re bringing on new techniques, software program and applied sciences.

So earlier than Sonesta even began down the trail of implementing a world-class loyalty system to reward visitors and drive repeat enterprise, it confronted a seemingly insurmountable problem of amassing reservations information, keep information, and visitor data from 16 Property Administration Techniques throughout its numerous manufacturers.

In 2022, Sonesta turned to Hapi, the hospitality business’s main platform for quick and cost-effective connectivity between expertise techniques, to extract reservations and keep information from every of these PMSs, normalize it, and ship it to different key techniques in a single datastream. Most information is delivered to Sonesta’s new, in-house Buyer Information Platform, which powers Tally, the corporate’s new loyalty program.

To me, probably the most complicated a part of the puzzle was the right way to pull keep information particularly out of our 16 completely different Property Administration Techniques, says Shaun Wooden, head of enterprise structure at Sonesta, describing Sonesta’s new guest-centered information technique. “That is the place Hapi got here in. Hapi already communicates with the assorted PMS, they usually pull information and supply it in a single frequent information mannequin. It was very straightforward for me to see the quantity of labor that it will’ve taken my group to construct that on our personal.”

Problem: Centralize Information for Scalability

Like many resort manufacturers, Sonesta is on a mission to get to know its visitors higher. By offering name heart and property-level employees with as a lot details about vacationers as potential, group members can present customized experiences that convert into bookings at larger ranges and drive visitor satisfaction.

“We would like our name heart and our visitor going through resort employees to know who’s staying with us,” Wooden says. “We wish to give them a 360-degree view of our visitors in order that they have the power to serve them higher.”

However a 15-year-old legacy loyalty system wasn’t getting the job performed. On high of that, as the corporate added increasingly properties to its portfolio, information was siloed in disparate techniques and the company group had little or no perception into property-level exercise.

Notably necessary to Sonesta because it laid the groundwork for a cutting-edge loyalty program was the power to extract folio information, or what Sonesta calls “keep information,” which is simply accessible as soon as the visitor has departed.

“We solely award factors to a visitor once we know the reservation has been paid for,” Wooden stated, “and the easiest way to know that the reservation has been paid for is by realizing that the visitor has checked out.”

Resolution: Hapi Saves Time and Improvement Prices

To beat disparate information from a number of PMSs, Sonesta partnered with Hapi, which has constructed present integrations with most of the business’s main techniques and might push and pull information with none improvement work required from motels. “Partnering with Hapi saved vital time and assets that might have been spent growing a proprietary resolution,” Wooden says.

“Each PMS has its personal database and has its personal columns, and each column has its personal information sorts, every with their very own lengths and quirks,” he says. “Hapi pulls these disparate datasets in, normalizes them, and delivers it to you thru an API written to 1 frequent information mannequin. It was very straightforward for me to see the quantity of labor it will’ve taken my group if we tried to try this ourselves. We have been taking a look at two years of labor, and the Hapi resolution already solves that drawback.”

Partnering with Hapi ensured a fast and environment friendly integration supply course of for all of the techniques concerned, which helped Sonesta meet its targets of a well timed rollout.

Now, as visitors try of Sonesta properties, Hapi pushes keep information from the property administration system to Sonesta’s Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which acts as an interface to Sonesta’s centralized Buyer Information Platform (CDP), hosted on Azure. The ESB facilitates the switch of keep information from the CDP to Tally for automated factors calculation, which is shipped again to the CDP. This closed-loop system permits visitors to view their earned Journey Move loyalty factors via Sonesta’s web site or cellular app.

Different information captured by Hapi can also be saved in uncooked format in Sonesta’s information warehouse, the place it may be accessed later and added to Sonesta’s CDP for extra use instances, many involving Machine Studying and Synthetic Intelligence.

“Right now, we’ve got this whole, 360-degree, reside, no touchpoint system,” Wooden says. “All the pieces is automated.”

Outcomes: An Award-Successful Information Technique

In November, at The Resort Know-how Discussion board 2023 in Palm Seaside Gardens, Fla., Sonesta was awarded a “Resort Visionary 2023 Product Innovation Award” for its work introducing a contemporary, data-driven loyalty program.

“Visionary Award winners are bringing unbelievable creativeness and experience to deal with most of the lodging business’s most urgent challenges,” stated Hospitality Know-how’s Editor-in-Chief, Robert Firpo-Cappiello. “From connectivity to loyalty, from digital visitor expertise to reservations, we applaud these distinctive accomplishments and the efficiencies they provide to visitors and employees.”

Wooden is happy with the work his group has achieved to date, however is aware of that as visitor behaviors proceed to vary, so will the necessity for progressive, data-driven options.

“A 12 months and a half in the past, we did not have a CDP, and our information was unfold all over inside completely different techniques,” he says. “Now that we’ve got this technique in place the place we’ve got a reside view of what is taking place throughout the corporate – we all know who our visitors are, who our members are, who our non-members are, we all know each reservation they’ve ever booked. If a visitor logs into our WiFi, we all know. All that conduct is being added to our CDP.”

Wooden says that, with all the information accessible immediately, even group members who have been skeptics of an in-house CDP have transformed. Now, after they’re brainstorming potential initiatives to boost visitor experiences, there’s an excellent chance that the mandatory information is obtainable in Sonesta’s CDP.

“The large result’s having a close to real-time view of what’s taking place within the firm in a single database, and with the ability to report on it,” Wooden says. “I believe Hapi is probably the most technical and skilled vendor I’ve ever labored with. We went reside with this new system in 2023, and never as soon as have we had a difficulty with it.”

ABOUT HAPI

Hapi is the hospitality business’s main platform for quick and cost-effective connectivity between expertise techniques, permitting resort corporations entry to important visitor and transactional information. Hapi exposes occasion streams and transactional APIs from resort techniques at scale; shops normalized resort system information in a safe and scalable trend in AWS; and seamlessly integrates resort information into Salesforce CRM, permitting resort corporations to ship enhanced, customized visitor journeys. Hapi serves 7,000 motels globally, together with IHG Lodges & Resorts, Sonesta Lodges, Accor, Hyatt Lodges, Rosewood Lodges, Margaritaville and SH Lodges and Resorts. Go to Hapi at www.hapicloud.io

Christian Arias
SVP Commercials
HAPI (Information Journey, LLC)

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