MCLEAN, Virginia—Hilton Worldwide’s agreement to outsource a large portion of its IT needs to IBM could mean changes internally at Hilton.
Technology giant IBM will host and manage the technology that supports Hilton brands, including data center management and monitoring, e-mail, Web hosting, and the central guest reservation system. The partnership will allow Hilton to focus more intensely on its core strengths, namely operating hotels, said Robert Webb, Hilton’s senior VP and CIO.
senior VP and CIO
“We have a very complicated IT infrastructure, and technology is changing very, very rapidly,” Webb said. “And we need to continue to partner with world-class companies to upgrade and enhance technology in the countries where we have hotels.”
IBM will host Hilton’s technology infrastructure from a facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The transition and migration process will take place during the next 18 months.
There will be more IT-related announcements ahead during the coming months, Webb said, though he declined to provide details. “This is the first of a few decisions we’re making.”
Regarding Hilton’s IT staff, Webb said: “There could be some level of transition for Hilton staff.” Webb declined to say how Hilton’s IT employment numbers might change following this announcement. He also declined to identify the size of the company’s global IT department.
“It’s an opportunity for us to shift the mix and use Hilton technology resources to drive differentiality and strategic performance across the enterprise,” he said.
OnQ stays put
Hilton’s OnQ technology—the company’s internal property management system—will not be affected by the new IBM agreement, Webb said.
“We believe OnQ is a strategic differentiator,” Webb said. “… It’s a very, very powerful tool for Hilton and the franchisees.”