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Hilton-IBM agreement brings ‘efficiencies’
April 26 2010

The technology outsourcing agreement will mean “some level of transition” for Hilton’s IT workers, the company’s CIO said.

By Shawn A. Turner
HNN contributor

MCLEAN, Virginia—Hilton Worldwide’s agreement to outsource a large portion of its IT needs to IBM could mean changes internally at Hilton.


Robert Webb
senior VP and CIO
Hilton Worldwide

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.

“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.

More announcements

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.”

What hypocrisy!
6/12/2010 1:14:00 AM
Here is a copy of latest hypocrisy from Blackstone/Hilton in the words of Chris Nassetta: All Team Members, I am pleased to announce that we will move forward with our planned salary increase process effective July 1. As I’ve often said, we have the best team in the hospitality industry – and our approach to attracting, rewarding and retaining our talent is very important to me and to all of our leaders. Together, I know we are all working hard to ensure we stay at the forefront of our business and that we achieve our objectives. You will hear more details regarding the salary increase process in the coming days from your respective leaders. These increases will take effect with the first payroll in July. In the meantime, I want to thank you for your dedication and hard work and for living our values as you serve our guests. Chris Not only are these "increases" a paltry 2%, many of the loyal Hilton workers that receive this largesse will probably be let go in August. So much for rewarding and retaining their talent...
Feeling the pressure
6/3/2010 10:24:00 PM
I have worked for Blackstone/LXR/Hilton IT for 4 years and I have busted my butt for this company. Now they want to "reorganize" the IT division to obtain "economies", which is just another word for getting rid of the higher-paid, more knowledgeable IT worker for lower-paid semi-skilled "warm bodies". Never mind the sacrifice and dedication of the current IT workers. Meanwhile, the high-level executive bonuese get bigger and bigger...
Next on the chopping block
5/3/2010 5:23:00 PM
Go watch that 'Up In The Air' movie that was the buzz around Hilton offices because it showcased several Hilton properties. It's sad, depressing, and it trivializes and downplays exactly what's happened to Hilton Corp:Beverly Hills and now happening to Hilton Corp: Memphis: Mass Layoffs.
Laid off a year ago
4/26/2010 8:14:00 PM
After the economy tanked, we all could have seen what was going to happen - Blackstone taking liabilities (salaries) off the balance sheet and moving them to be contract expenses on the P&L. "Well-Informed" is 100% correct, except for one thing - they're not interested in making money - they're interested in selling Hilton to someone or taking it back public to recoup their investment. That's why the financial juggling is occurring. If they were interested in making money they would have left IT along - everyone who has ever tried outsourcing knows that it is more expensive than doing IT inhouse.
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