In the last few years, many of the major global hotel groups and travel companies have started to move to leading cloud solutions, such as #Salesforce, to replace and enhance their existing reservation system, customer loyalty programs, inventory management processes, casino operations and more.
While many industries have rapidly embraced the cloud, #travel and hospitality is only recently seeing broader cloud adoption to take advantage of more efficient distributed computing services, lower infrastructure costs, and built-in toolsets for building and connecting applications.
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The slow/recent adoption of cloud computing in this industry may come as a mild surprise since travel and hospitality were early adopters of information technology for reservations and other systems. But that means the industry is loaded with legacy systems—some of the oldest in the business world. Now, increased competition, shrinking margins, and perhaps most of all tech savvy and demanding consumers who are becoming brand agnostic and instead voting with their wallet, are motivating travel and hospitality companies to reach for the cloud.
Consumers in Driver’s Seat
As we all know, consumers today take to social networks to plan travel itineraries and vacations. Recommendations and reviews from friends and other travelers hold greater sway over their decisions than does advertising. Some travel companies offer booking apps that run right in Facebook. Fans like, share, and tweet travel deals with their friends. Post-trip, and through mobile technology while still traveling, consumers rate and recommend their travel experiences over social networks, helping to influence their friends’ travel decisions.
Because customers discover travel opportunities, recommendations and even caveats on social networks, travel and hospitality companies must monitor and respond to consumer activity. If they don’t participate in the conversations and respond to negative comments, they risk having consumers define their brand and risk losing business.
When the most valuable consumer information originates outside the company walls in social conversations, it no longer makes business sense to continue investing in on-premise infrastructure that must scour the Internet to pull in consumer intelligence. A cloud-based CRM system can do it better, faster, and more cost effectively, and a CRM that provides social engagement capabilities is no longer an option for travel and hospitality companies.