IT | Security

Kempinski Hotels Transforms IT with Absolute Service

By: Absolute Team | 6/12/2014

Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels S.A. is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, now comprised of 73 five-star hotels in 30 countries, ranging from historic landmark properties to outstanding resorts. Kempinksi carefully curates and manages these exclusive properties on behalf of independent owners.

As part of the services they receive, the hotels rely on Kempinski’s operations team in Geneva, Switzerland to provide IT support, remotely, for systems they run on-site. Kempinski has a total of 20,000 staff, around 6,000 who have access to computers and IT systems (from reception and managers to back-office staff). A team of only 39 technicians are responsible for handling requests from all properties.

As reported by Diginomica, up until 2 years ago, Kempinski lacked a system for logging, prioritising and handling all these IT support requests. Spreadsheets were used to try to log events, though it was difficult to track the number of requests, type or complexity and ensure IT support reposes were properly co-ordinated.

"Someone would call, we’d try and deal with the request and then we’d move on to the next problem. So we were continuously fighting fires. We couldn’t see the bigger picture or even recurring problems or geographical issues. and there was no way to understand trends like technician workload, top requestors by hotel, and other information,” Will Shirtliff, IT Manager notes.

Overwhelmed by the number of IT service management (ITSM) solutions and how to implement such a solution in a complex environment, Kempinski gave 3 contenders a trial run, where Absolute Service emerged as the winning solution. The feature that has transformed their operations is Absolute Service’s ability to route requests to technicians according to their skills and availability.

Shirtliff notes that Absolute Serivice has “transformed the way IT requests are managed, giving us the ability to report on and analyse support activity, monitor problems and issues and spot trends that require specific attention.” Through the roll-out process, the team worked hard to find the best questions to ask users to understand their problems and defined workflows, all the while building up their knowledge library to offer more self-service options to end-users.

Absolute Service was so successful in saving Kempinski both time and money, it was rolled out to 7 other functions at the Geneva HQ. Having Absolute Service in place allows Kempinski to scale easily toward its goal of expanding to 112 properties in the near future.