4-page Case Study
Posted: 4/6/2012
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Super 8 Hotels Co., Ltd. Hotel Chain Uses Business Intelligence Tools to Guide Rapid Growth Across China

Super 8 Hotels (China) Co., Ltd. is growing rapidly in China but needed better tools for integrating, processing, and analyzing its growing data stores so that managers could make more-informed business decisions. The company deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to gain a powerful and highly available data- processing foundation, easy-to-use business intelligence tools, and scalability into cloud environments. With the new solution, hotel managers can analyze the performance of individual properties and the Chinese business as a whole and also determine the best growth opportunities. By using SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn availability groups, Super 8 China can ensure high availability of business systems. And with the SQL Server 2012 support for cloud computing, the hotel chain can run its databases on premises or in a private or public cloud environment, to meet the changing needs of the business.

Situation

As one of the largest operators of budget hotels in the world, Super 8 Worldwide operates more than 2,300 hotels globally and has a total of more than 126,000 rooms. The first Super 8 location opened for business in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 1974. Super 8 Worldwide has been consistently committed to providing all guests with clean rooms and friendly service.

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* Our rapid growth in China can be traced to the superior market and business insights we have gained from Microsoft SQL Server 2012. We can better determine our long-term development strategy. *

Joe Xu
Senior Vice President of Distribution
Super 8 Hotels (China) Co., Ltd.

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Super 8 Worldwide entered China in April 2004 and opened its first hotel in Beijing on June 8 of the same year. Within seven years, Super 8 (China) Co., Ltd., the registered management company of Super 8 Worldwide in China, had opened 450 Super 8 Hotels. The chain set an aggressive growth goal to expand its number of franchise hotels in China to 1,000 in three years.

The budget hotel market is growing rapidly in China, and Super 8 China competes against many local chains. Super 8 China management had to make sure that it was growing at the right pace and in the right locations and that it arrived in communities before the competition did.

Wise development decisions required superior data analysis tools. However, in the process of the hotel chain’s rapid growth in China, its IT systems had sprung up quickly to meet immediate needs. Management had created systems for reservations, management, office collaboration, and enterprise content management but had not had the time or resources to link these systems. This left Super 8 China with silos of data that it could not mine in aggregate.

To get a unified view of the business in China, management had to manually gather and collate data from each hotel. But this work was time-consuming and vulnerable to human error.

As Super 8 China added more hotels and its data volumes grew, management had an increasingly difficult time analyzing that data to determine the health of the business and make informed development decisions. With business data scattered across multiple systems, managers could not easily see which properties were profitable, which needed help, and where to build new hotels.

Super 8 China wanted managers to be able to easily determine the health of individual properties and the business as a whole, and to be able to easily identify growth opportunities. The IT staff wanted a data management system that it could implement quickly, manage easily, and would be secure and cost effective.

Additionally, Super 8 China is growing principally through a franchise model, and many franchise owners had existing hotels and IT systems. These owners could not easily integrate their existing IT systems with the Super 8 China systems, which led to even more scattered data.

As the Chinese business grew, Super 8 China worried about the scalability of its data infrastructure. It foresaw moving to a cloud computing environment, in which applications run on a dynamic, easily configurable infrastructure of pooled virtual machines, but it was concerned that its underlying data structure was not cloud-ready.

Solution

Super 8 Hotels China decided to deploy Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data management software to create a centralized information-sharing and business intelligence (BI) solution. Management determined that SQL Server 2012 was a mature, industry-leading data management product that was cloud-ready. SQL Server 2012 scales easily and can be managed easily, across on-premises and cloud environments.

Super 8 China was confident that by choosing SQL Server, it could focus on its core competencies of creating great hotel applications and services while Microsoft focused on making improvements to its data management software.

The company further determined that SQL Server 2012 supported the highest levels of availability with features such as AlwaysOn failover clustering. It could use the ColumnStore Index feature to generate very fast data queries.

The company also saw that Microsoft had a vast number of trustworthy partners, outstanding technical support, and a broad array of online tools to provide support for its IT department.

By using SQL Server 2012, Super 8 China employees are able to easily pull data from its other IT systems. By using SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services, the IT staff can ensure higher data reliability, conduct data erasing and data matching.

SQL Server 2012 provides self-help BI, IT dashboard, and collaboration services in combination with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. This ensures data reliability and consistency across the embedded Business Intelligence Semantic Model and Data Quality Services.

SQL Server provides comprehensive views for reports and dashboards across heterogeneous data sources. By using a SharePoint Server interface, employees can collaborate with one another for improved business insight. The user-defined reminder function can keep employees informed of any data changes. Through these two functions, SQL Server 2012 can ensure that management’s day-to-day decisions are based on current business data.

In addition, through the newly added SQL Server Master Data Services, Super 8 China can create, maintain, store, and access the master data structure used for object mapping, data referencing, and metadata management. All of this has made data management and maintenance tasks easier and more convenient.

In SQL Server 2012, Super 8 China also has a data foundation that can support any data source and deployment option. The company can run SQL Server on premises or in the cloud, as data processing workloads increase, thus helping the enterprise to support extensive expansion.

If Super 8 China chooses to process some of its data using the Microsoft SQL Azure cloud database service, the SQL Azure DataSync feature provides bidirectional data synchronization across Super 8 China and Microsoft data centers and between cloud databases. By using the SQL Azure Reporting service, Super 8 can give more managers access to operational data so that they can make better daily decisions.

Benefits

By deploying SQL Server 2012, Super 8 China has gained business insights that it can use to better guide its growth in China. It also has a reliable data foundation that it can easily scale to a cloud environment.

Better Business Insight to Guide Growth

By using SQL Server 2012, Super 8 China managers are better able to analyze voluminous and complex business data in near real time to make better decisions about the company’s growth. In one system, it has data analysis, data integration, and data reporting, so that management can more easily analyze the health of each franchise and the Chinese business as a whole from multiple dimensions. With this ability, Super 8 China management can focus more on issues related to the company’s core competencies such as business expansion, product research and development, and team cultivation.

“Our rapid growth in China can be traced to the superior market and business insights we have gained from Microsoft SQL Server 2012. We can better determine our long-term development strategy, says Joe Xu, Senior Vice President of Distribution, Super 8 Hotels (China) Co., Ltd.

Enhanced Availability

With the help of SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn, Super 8 China can greatly reduce scheduled and unscheduled downtime. SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn is an enhancement of database mirroring that supports as many as four secondary databases, including two synchronous secondaries. The databases in a SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn availability group automatically fail over as one unit.

Easy Cloud Scalability

By taking advantage of the many cloud computing features in SQL Server 2012, Super 8 China can easily handle the increased data volumes that will come with continued growth. And it can process that data on premises on traditional stand-alone database servers or in either a private or public cloud environment. This flexibility will help the hotel chain accommodate rising data volumes and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Microsoft Server Product Portfolio

For more information about the Microsoft server product portfolio, go to:
www.microsoft.com/servers

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at(800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Super 8 Worldwide products and services, visit the website at:
www.super8.com.cn

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview




Organization Profile
As one of the largest operators of budget hotels around the world, Super 8 Worldwide operates more than 2,300 hotels globally. Super 8 (China) Co., Ltd. is the registered management company of Super 8 Worldwide in China.

Business Situation
Super 8 China set an aggressive goal to expand its hotels in China from 450 to 1,000 in three years. To do so, management needed more sophisticated data analysis tools.

Solution
Super 8 China deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to gain better insight into its data so managers could better guide company growth.

Benefits
Better business insight to guide growth Enhanced availability Easy cloud scalability

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server Data Quality Services
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Vertical Industries
Accommodation

Country/Region
China

Business Need
Business Intelligence and Reporting

Languages
English

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