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Wyndham Hotels turns to AWS to weather Covid-19 and company spin-off

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is in the midst of a multi-year digital transformation that has seen it shutter its datacentres and move 90% of its IT infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services public cloud

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has turned to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud to power its digital transformation through the Covid-19 pandemic and divesture from its parent company.

Wyndham operates 20 different hotel brands, including Days Inn and Ramada in the UK, and claims to be the world’s largest hotel franchising company.

It began working with AWS in 2018 after its parent company – Wyndham Worldwide – decided to spin off its hotel and resorts business, setting it on course to become a standalone entity.

In a bid to reduce its operating costs, the divesture prompted Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to downsize its datacentre estate as it set about achieving its goal of running 90% of its IT infrastructure in the cloud.

To date, it has migrated the systems that run its reservation, property management and data processing platforms to AWS, and is also looking to draw on the cloud provider’s machine learning portfolio to optimise occupancy rates across the 9,000 hotels it runs.

“This will benefit Wyndham franchisees by helping them identify and offer the best rates, discounts and stay rules appropriate for the geographic market, brand and specific hotel,” the company said in a statement.

In addition to this, Wyndham is in the midst of a multi-year digital transformation effort focused on streamlining operations for its franchisees by introducing technologies that will allow them to automate hotel bookings and improve the guest experience for people staying in its resorts.

“Expanding its presence in the cloud will enable Wyndham to focus on growing its core hotel franchise business – seamlessly integrating new properties into its network – while leveraging AWS’s proven global infrastructure to help meet demand where it arises post-pandemic during the peak summer travel season,” the statement continued.   

The company’s migration to the cloud has also stood it in good stead during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, said Wyndham, by enabling it to roll out new services in weeks to enable new ways of working in response to the evolving lockdown restrictions and social distancing rules.  

On this point, the company was able to roll out a new housekeeping application in weeks to provide its hotels with a checklist of protocols for its cleaning staff to follow.

“Looking ahead, Wyndham will use AWS to remain agile and adapt to rapidly changing guest and market needs with plans to use AWS machine learning to drive demand with greater personalisation and more timely and relevant guest offers,” the company statement added.

Scott Strickland, executive vice-president and CIO at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said the move to AWS had set the organisation on a path to achieving “operational efficiency on a global scale”, while providing it with the business agility it needed to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.

“By moving the majority of our workloads to the cloud, Wyndham was able to rapidly respond to the changing business conditions brought on by Covid-19, and now we’re positioned to scale our operations as different parts of the world begin to reopen,” said Strickland.

“The agility we have gained in moving to the cloud, thanks to AWS’s vast portfolio of cloud technologies, helps us expand our digital guest services and introduce new solutions and functionality for our franchisees in a matter of days rather than months.”

Greg Pearson, vice-president of worldwide commercial sales at AWS, said the hotel industry had faced a “series of rapid changes” over the course of the pandemic, and Wyndham and its franchisees were no different in that regard.

“Yet by running on AWS, Wyndham gains the insights and agility it needs to support its franchisees, transform its customer engagement, service and business models, and remain an industry leader,” said Pearson.

“Leveraging AWS’s proven operating experience, global infrastructure and unparalleled portfolio of cloud capabilities, Wyndham has the ability to scale its operations to every corner of the globe and drive innovations across its digital channels.

“This collaboration is helping Wyndham to become an even more resilient organisation that can meet customers’ ever-changing needs and build for what’s next,” he added.

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