Thirty-year-old Hotel Camelot Japan, located in the major port city of Yokohama in Japan, needed a big overhaul to improve its mixed IT environment. The hotel deployed Office 2010 via Open Value Subscription and not only saved on operating and management costs, but also improved productivity. Employees now worked smarter with new automations in Excel, and created high quality in-house pamphlets and flyers using Publisher.
The headaches had been around for some time – file incompatibility, bloated files, complicated and expensive troubleshooting because of the mix of computing systems.
As Hotel Camelot Japan turned 30 this year, it decided on a major IT makeover.
||There’s a large fluctuation in the number of computers we use, but with [OVS], you just pay for the number of computers you have for one year…which makes cost management easy.
Accommodations Department, IT Solutions Section,
Hotel Camelot Japan
Shunsuke Kiuchi, from its IT Solutions Section in the Accommodations Department, said: “At the time, we were using Microsoft Office 97, Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Office 2003. Users had to deal with each PC operating system differently and there were concerns about compatibility between the various versions.
“Our goal was to eliminate these issues by standardizing our environment, and then centrally manage things for the company, improving the quality of our hotel work and our marketing strength. The number one incentive was to eradicate the repeated problems that occurred in our computing environment.”
In 2008, the hotel began updating its computers, starting with Windows XP Pro and Office 2007. At the end of 2009, Hotel Camelot Japan took another significant leap forward. That was when it became a beta tester for Office 2010.Solution
Lower Costs with OVS
Kiuchi said: “In December 2010, we overhauled our entire hotel system that handles reservations along with everything else. We also installed Windows Server 2008 R2 to handle our system while upgrading to Microsoft Active Directory and the latest file server. The transition went well.”
There was little resistance to the changes, he noted. Staff took about one to two months to get used to Office 2007, because of the new ribbon interface. However, there was no such adjustment period with the switch to Office 2010.
“The transition was so smooth that I don’t think our employees even noticed the move,” he added.
Introducing the changes was easy on the pocket too, as Hotel Camelot Japan licensed via Open Value Subscription. Together with Software Assurance, which decreases the burden of managing different versions and licenses, and provides technical support, OVS also offers users significant cost savings in IT installation, operation and management.
“We were recommended the Open Value Subscription when we consulted with our system integrator on ways to hold down costs while improving the quality of our service. Knowing we’d also get free upgrades, we signed up for it when we moved to Office 2007,” said Kiuchi.
“There’s a large fluctuation in the number of computers we use, but with this program, you just pay for the number you have for one year, which makes cost management easy. And since we now don’t have to manage software media, we don’t have to worry about where disks are stored, a problem we had in the past.”
However, the biggest draw of the volume license agreement was Office Publisher, available in the Volume Licensing Office suite, which the hotel wanted to use for creating its own printed materials. Benefits
Automation with Excel
One of the biggest benefits of installing Office 2010 is the ease of using Excel and the larger number of functions it supports, said Kiuchi. “For example, you can set up Excel so that after you have input all your inventory data into one sheet, you can then extract the data on another sheet from a dropdown list according to the data type you want. Excel shows you exactly what you need,” he said. “It's also possible to create a ready-to-print format, and then, if the date changes or the branch name changes, you can just alter those details and you’re set. As a result, the time and labor used for document processing can be put to better use doing actual hotel work.”
He also noted that while the hotel creates automated files like it did in the past, Excel’s increased number of functions means settings can be fine-tuned.
||We used to use Adobe Illustrator, a dedicated graphics tool, and the number of people we could ask to do the work was limited. That has changed as our salespeople can now modify files themselves to fit their needs, and save their work as PDFs for later use.
IT Solutions Section,
Hotel Camelot Japan
“One of the things we do is look at historical data. In Excel, we combine date functions to extract and total data from the previous year, such as setting the start date as the first day of the current month of the previous year, and the end date as some other target,” he said. “Another way we use Excel is to create sheets capable of handling work exceeding 24 hours exclusively for the Accommodations Department, as the labor management book used throughout the company is not compatible with night shifts.”
The hotel also uses the functions in Office 2010 to automatically calculate the number of legal holidays from the list of Sundays and holidays.
When an employee enters his name, and work start and end times, all these calculations are performed automatically in a worksheet, meeting the specific requirements of the hotel industry.
High Quality In-House Materials
Office 2010 has also dramatically changed the way marketing materials are created at Hotel Camelot Japan. The hotel employees can now easily create printed materials with Office Publisher.
Hasumi Nakajima, a bellhop in the Accommodations Section, uses Office Publisher to create a variety of printed materials, including name tags and name cards for tables at parties.
“I like Office Publisher because it’s intuitive,” she said. “You have a lot of freedom when creating layouts, and you can tell at a glance how these are sized, making it easy for anyone to use. And when it comes to new employees, all you have to do is give an initial explanation of Microsoft Publisher, and they learn how to use it intuitively while they are actually using it.”
The hotel has even gone on to produce pamphlets in-house for companies and educational trips.
No Need For Third Party Tools
Kiuchi said: “We used to use Adobe Illustrator, a dedicated graphics tool, and the number of people we could ask to do the work was limited. That has changed as our salespeople can now modify files themselves to fit their needs, and save their work as PDFs for later use.”
Grow with Office
Looking ahead, Kiuchi said: “With a new information system infrastructure and an environment that can fully demonstrate the features of Office 2010, I am confident we have a powerful advantage as a hotel.”
Assistant Manager Mikoto Fukuchi of the Sales Section said the changes have positively impacted the ambitions of his division. “IT investments had been on hold, and there was a wait-and-see attitude given the economic situation, but this change completely revamped the system in one swoop,” he added. “We are working on presentations of new plans using Office 2010 tools — Office Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint.”
Sub-manager-cum-Banquet Manager Yasushi Amano said: “Our hotel has reached its 30th year and we will strengthen our work on sales for stronger growth. I am really excited about the power the new IT system has given us in creating proposals for customers and being proactive in offering our services.” Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010 gives your people powerful, timesaving tools to do their best work from more places. With new capabilities and insightful updates to Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook, Office 2010 offers the complete package — with familiar, intuitive tools. Now you can express ideas, solve problems, connect with people, and create amazing results — in the office, at home, or on the go. For more information about Microsoft Office, go to: www.office.comFor 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:
Document published 7/29/11