Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Mark Abbott, Regional Director of IT at O’Neill Hotels & Resorts Ltd., a hotel management company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
O’Neill Hotels & Resorts Ltd.was founded nearly twenty years ago by two brothers, Rob and John O’Neill, who spent their entire lives in the hotel business. Today, the company manages world-class resorts and hotels in Canada and the U.S., including several Westin and Embassy Suite resorts, and is continuing to expand its property portfolio. Our job as a management company is to help our property owners run their hotels smoothly, including everything from front desk customer service to back office operational support.
With our growing portfolio, we needed a better way to provide IT support to each property and to ensure that our corporate team could work together from anywhere. Since we are often traveling to different properties, providing easy and secure access to email, calendars, and documents was a priority. While the hotel industry isn’t known for its use of cutting-edge of technology, we were excited to go against the grain and began exploring cloud-based solutions. Google Apps gave us exactly what we needed.
We use Google Apps to help provide hotels with IT support from our corporate office. We maintain detailed notes and pictures of each hotel’s IT infrastructure in shared Google Docs, so anyone can provide support to the properties at any time. If there’s a network issue, we can easily access information about the property from anywhere – our corporate office, a property location, or even our homes -- to help the hotel immediately resolve the problem. We set up a Google Form for hotels to submit network issues or IT inquiries directly to our team. Form submissions are automatically populated in a shared spreadsheet, and a Google Apps Script helps us automatically respond to basic questions. This process has improved our response time and saved our IT team valuable hours.
Google Apps gives us the tools we need to be more efficient in our back office, so our hotels can stay focused on the front desk and providing the best possible service to their guests.