Hotel Business IT Infrastructure Support and Development

Project was done for Intercontinental Hotels Group, the largest hotel company by number of rooms, with rooms in over 100 countries around the world. The company has extensive internal and public IT infrastructure consisting of several semi-independent systems developed by diverse 3rd party companies and maintained by internal IT department. IHG had plans on extending functionality of the existing systems and was in a need of daily maintenance activities like validation and correction of manually entered information and information populated from 3rd party systems. All these tasks had to be handled by the internal IT department, however with coming of international financial crisis the company had to minimize expenses and reduced its IT department to the absolute minimal acceptable number of engineers.

Still feeling the need to support and extend the IT infrastructure IHG decided to outsource these activities to more cost-effective and professional software development company, Smartech.

Solution

The customer’s infrastructure consists of several WEB applications which utilize their own databases and are semi-independent. The integration between them is performed via REST services used for data exchange between the applications. Combined the applications support the Hotel Life Cycle process for all hotel inventory types. They provide the following functionality:

  • Keep all information about hotels in a centralized secure location.
  • Provide hotel personnel with 24/7 access to vital data from across the world.
  • Gather and compare statistics, prepare reports on hotel classes, revenues, expenses, popularity.
  • Keep track of open and reserved rooms in all hotels, by class, etc.
  • Compare performance and expenses of hotels, build ownership diagrams.
  • Provide public information about hotels to potential clients all over the world such as hotel names, class, locations, open rooms, costs.
  • Assist people in finding most matching hotels for them by location, class, cost, availability, timeframes.
  • Attract new clients to hotels by publishing pictures of hotels, visitors’ feedback, video records.
  • Assist clients with transportation to the hotels providing information about flight paths and costs.
  • Provide instant access to information about hotels, owners and employees.
  • Allow comparison of hotels, management and company performance.
  • Let assign tasks to hotel personnel and keep track of task completion level.
  • Calculate and compares revenues generated by hotels in different timeframes, allows tight control over hotel expenses and provides smart analysis of expense structure.
  • Help publish special offers and discounts with specific timeframes.
  • Assist in promotion of new and existing hotels.
  • Collect and presents other hotel statistics like water quality, various consumptions, etc.
  • Find hotels in the specific locations.
  • Assess costs of hotel and transportation.
  • Review comments and ratings other visitors left for a hotel.
  • Look at hotel pictures and videos online.
  • Check room availability.
  • Compare hotels by quality, location and price.
  • Request room reservations for specific period.
  • Book tickets to hotel location and back.

The systems store data in Oracle 11 databases, provide cross-application integration via REST services, integrate with Alfresco for data storage, utilize power of modern libraries such as Hibernate and Spring and have rich user interface implemented with use of AJAX and actionscript.

Tools and Technologies

  • J2EE, Hibernate, EJB, Spring, Servlets, REST services, HTML, CSS, XML, XSLT, JavaScript, AJAX, Actionscript, Jasper reports, JBoss, Oracle 11, Alfresco, Eclipse, Ant, Adobe Flex 3, PureMVC Actionscript 3 Framework.

Benefits

Cost-effective outsource team of IT professionals with significant experience in WEB and server-side Java-based technologies managed to analyze the existing extensive architecture design of the entire system and fulfill development and support needs at minimal cost.