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How Centralized Knowledge Powers Sonesta’s Award-Profitable Loyalty Program

Boston-based Sonesta Worldwide Motels was based almost 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 Motels 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 nations like Peru, Chile, Colombia and Egypt.

Right this moment, Sonesta encompasses a wide range 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 Motels, to call just a few. As the corporate grew, a lot of these 174 manufacturers got here by the use of conversion, and while 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 friends and drive repeat enterprise, it confronted a seemingly insurmountable problem of gathering reservations knowledge, keep knowledge, and visitor info from 16 Property Administration Methods throughout its varied 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 knowledge from every of these PMSs, normalize it, and ship it to different key techniques in a single datastream. Most knowledge is delivered to Sonesta’s new, in-house Buyer Knowledge Platform, which powers Tally, the corporate’s new loyalty program.

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

Problem: Centralize Knowledge for Scalability

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

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

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

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

“We solely award factors to a visitor after we know the reservation has been paid for,” Wooden mentioned, “and one of the simplest ways to know that the reservation has been paid for is by realizing that the visitor has checked out.”

Answer: Hapi Saves Time and Growth Prices

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

“Each PMS has its personal database and has its personal columns, and each column has its personal knowledge varieties, 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 knowledge mannequin. It was very straightforward for me to see the quantity of labor it might’ve taken my workforce if we tried to try this ourselves. We have been taking a look at two years of labor, and the Hapi answer 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 friends try of Sonesta properties, Hapi pushes keep knowledge from the property administration system to Sonesta’s Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which acts as an interface to Sonesta’s centralized Buyer Knowledge Platform (CDP), hosted on Azure. The ESB facilitates the switch of keep knowledge from the CDP to Tally for automated factors calculation, which is shipped again to the CDP. This closed-loop system permits friends to view their earned Journey Go loyalty factors by way of Sonesta’s web site or cell app.

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

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

Outcomes: An Award-Profitable Knowledge Technique

In November, at The Lodge Expertise Discussion board 2023 in Palm Seashore Gardens, Fla., Sonesta was awarded a “Lodge 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 lots of the lodging business’s most urgent challenges,” mentioned Hospitality Expertise’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 friends and workers.”

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

“A yr and a half in the past, we did not have a CDP, and our knowledge was unfold in every single place inside completely different techniques,” he says. “Now that we’ve this method in place the place we’ve a reside view of what is taking place throughout the corporate – we all know who our friends 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 habits is being added to our CDP.”

Wooden says that, with the entire knowledge accessible at the moment, even workforce members who have been skeptics of an in-house CDP have transformed. Now, once they’re brainstorming potential initiatives to reinforce visitor experiences, there’s a superb chance that the required knowledge is accessible in Sonesta’s CDP.

“The massive result’s having a close to real-time view of what’s taking place within the firm in a single database, and having the ability to report on it,” Wooden says. “I feel 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 problem with it.”


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 knowledge. Hapi exposes occasion streams and transactional APIs from resort techniques at scale; shops normalized resort system knowledge in a safe and scalable vogue in AWS; and seamlessly integrates resort knowledge into Salesforce CRM, permitting resort corporations to ship enhanced, customized visitor journeys. Hapi serves 7,000 motels globally, together with IHG Motels & Resorts, Sonesta Motels, Accor, Hyatt Motels, Rosewood Motels, Margaritaville and SH Motels and Resorts. Go to Hapi at www.hapicloud.io

Christian Arias
SVP Commercials
HAPI (Knowledge Journey, LLC)

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