If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Hyatt Hotel Corporation put a new spin on that old adage in 1996 by ‘fixing’ the company’s well-functioning IT organization before it broke. The result is an outsourcing agreement that continues to deliver Hyatt’s high standards of customer service while providing the resources to plan for the future.
“We had reached the conclusion that the cost of maintaining and developing both talent and technology was something that was becoming a little bit too much for us-a little too expensive and too difficult,” said Peter Connolly, Hyatt senior vice president and general counsel. “So we went looking for an outsourcing partner who would provide the same type of service that we were already delivering but also take on the headache of trying to keep people happy and keep current.”
Enter CSC. In a deal signed last June, the vendor essentially stepped into the existing IT structure, hired all of Hyatt’s staff to maintain the technical expertise, and added some resources of their own.
“They have brought an enormous amount of resources that we couldn’t really afford, to deal not so much with the main issues of day-to-day technology needs, but the once in a while issues,” said Connolly.
While CSC brought additional technical expertise to the table, Hyatt responded with a flow of information that keeps the IT operation moving forward. The hotel company formed a user group, drawn from people involved in hotel operations. The group identified what they perceive to be customer requirements of the future. CSC then did scoping studies on the ideas, to determine their practicality.
“We worked our way with CSC through a development budget, to look at some of those,” said Connolly. “The process has been a pretty good one.”
The relationship is working. CSC has been able to meet Hyatt’s standards in service levels and deliver cost savings-but the success goes beyond the obvious. The real lesson to be learned from the relationship is the importance of objectives, communication and attitude. Hyatt took the time to identify clearly its corporate objectives and to communicate that customer satisfaction was top priority.
CSC, in turn, listened, echoed Hyatt’s priorities, and maintained an excellent attitude throughout the process.
“Unlike some deals where everything is wonderful until the day the deal gets done, CSC has been there every step of the way,” said Connolly. “They’ve made customer satisfaction their top priority and remained dedicated to that.”
Lessons from the Outsourcing Primer:
- Clearly define objectives.
- Establish clear lines of communication.
- Commit to the outsourcing agreement.