Pursuing AI-powered hospitality with passion
I am ardent in pursuing innovative technology solutions that drive business value. In fact, I rebranded our information technology department at Constance Hotels, Resorts & Golf so that it’s now called Innovative Technology. Because, technology is really about enabling innovation.
Our departmental commitment to technological innovation grew out of not only my own passion for innovative IT solutions, but also our company culture. At Constance, our passion to deliver a satisfying emotional experience to our guests is written in our DNA. We either do things passionately or we don’t do them at all.
To help our employees always deliver their best, I led an initiative to adopt cognitive technology integrated with a new social business and mobile platform. Now, employees can simply pick up their smartphones to stay engaged, share knowledge and expertise, and generate new ideas and insights.
Addressing castaway knowledge
Constance Hotels, Resorts & Golf employs 3,200 people at five-star luxury hotels in the Indian Ocean, including in Mauritius, where we’re headquartered, the Seychelles, Madagascar and the Maldives. What’s more, we continue to expand rapidly. It’s an incredibly exciting time for our company.
However, we have high employee turnover rates because of our small, remote settings.
One day, after learning that a project leader had left the organization, our executive team brainstormed ways to address productivity, service quality and other challenges associated with natural turnover.
We asked, how can we:
- Prevent knowledge and expertise from leaving the organization, even when an employee departs?
- Quickly disseminate information about the transition?
- Most important, ensure that we transmit our passionate DNA to the replacement?
That became the beginning of our cognitive journey.
Embarking on a digital transformation
A great poet once said that no man is an island. Some 400 years later, in this digital age, that statement seems truer than ever. You can connect to almost anyone—and gather most any information—anytime, anywhere.
I knew it’d be hard to completely stem turnover in our organization. Yet I saw the opportunity to eliminate islands of data and expertise, improve the speed and precision of communications, and empower every employee with the right information and insights.
I focused on adopting a mobile-enabled, web-based social business platform designed for security and integrated with IBM Watson cognitive capabilities.
I anticipated encountering hurdles, so I secured the commitment of our top-level management. I also surrounded myself with people—inside and outside the organization—with the right skill sets.
The results have been transformative.
Carrying excellence forward
Our new analytics-powered mobile and social business platform changed the game for our employees. Now, they can easily share experiences and learn what others are doing. They can also quickly collaborate to address concerns and frustrations, and they can crowdsource to get fresh ideas. Anytime, anywhere.
We can also recognize individuals for their efforts to deliver a great guest experience and encourage them.
There’s a sense of team engagement that makes us all feel proud.
And with Watson, the sky’s the limit. For instance, employees can ask Watson to anonymously gather data pertaining to guests’ profiles and complaints, analyze it to better understand their preferences and get suggestions for improving service.
The platform is helping prepare Constance for the next 20 years of success. We’re confident we can attract millennials to work and continue working for us, find innovative ways to deliver unparalleled five-star guest experiences, and stay inspired by our passions.