I haven’t taken a destination vacation for a while; so when I began to learn about IBM client Constance Hotels and Resorts, I was enthralled with the exotic island getaway experience they offer: top-drawer luxury amid the unspoiled environs of pristine beaches and azure sea, across a number of islands in the Indian Ocean. Then the marketer in me began to think about the challenges of delivering that exceptional luxury experience consistently across such remote locations—like, how do they train their geographically dispersed staff? And what about developing and sharing new guest offerings and loyalty programs, or supporting the launch of new properties as they grow?
The same remoteness of location that attracts their guests poses unique challenges for the company. “When you’re on an island, you’re disconnected from the world,” says Roshan Koonja, Group Chief Information Officer at Constance Hotels and Resorts. “This is a wonderful experience for our guests, but it can be a nightmare from an operations perspective.” With employees working in a range of different environments, often with limited internet access, the company needed a collaboration solution that could accommodate those unique requirements.
Constance Hotels and Resorts implemented a social business network based on IBM Connections Cloud, enabling them to create compelling training and mentoring programs for customer-facing employees. One recently deployed program would previously have required frequent travel to coordinate all the different stakeholder groups; but by bringing all the relevant people together in a single Connections Cloud community, the company was able to deploy 70 percent faster.
And the benefits go well beyond more efficient training. The company uses the collaborative power of Connections Cloud to innovate, creating and sharing new guest loyalty programs across their properties. In addition to Connections Cloud, Constance uses the IBM Verse email solution. Because Verse is powered by a cognitive computing engine, says Roshan Koonja, “it can surface the most relevant information automatically—enabling our people to see urgent items that need their attention as soon as they log in.”
With the improved knowledge sharing, training and collaboration that Connections Cloud and Verse provide, Constance employees are able to deliver higher quality services to their guests—a critical requirement in an industry that is especially dependent on customer loyalty.
Their success has not gone unnoticed: Constance Hotels and Resorts was named a finalist for the prestigious SuperNova award, conferred each year by Constellation Research to recognize leaders and teams for their innovative application of disruptive technology in business. You can learn more about the awards here.
It’s a nice bit of irony that this business built on island remoteness has been united in a vibrant virtual community. There’s more to the Constance Hotels and Resorts story that’s worth exploring, and I encourage you to view the full story of their experience with Connections Cloud and Verse.
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