Hyatt is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose: to care for people so they can be their best. Hyatt counts more than 1,150 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 71 countries across six continents in its portfolio. Digital transformation has always been at the forefront for Hyatt. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Hyatt leaders knew it was time to double down on Hyatt’s purpose of care. This included increased focus on digital engagement, digital adoption, and the speed of data for quicker decision-making.
“That word ‘care’ is at the core of what we do,” says Benjamin Weiss, Director, Global Digital Product Management, Hyatt. “When we took a look at the in-stay digital guest experience, we realized it’s more than just a checkbox. We asked, ‘Is it at the level that it’s truly providing for guests?’ We wanted to improve the experience to make it truly guest-centric.”
Using Digital to Improve the Guest Experience
The biggest opportunity? Centralizing data to mitigate as much friction as possible in the digital guest experience. For example, if a guest’s room was moved, he or she would need to go into the app to see the change. In a truly seamless experience, a refresh would be almost immediate, and the guest would be notified the room had changed with an updated digital key.
“It’s more difficult to have reliable systems when data is decentralized. To offer the kinds of experiences we want, we need real-time data that we can act on,” says Lawson Kelly, Global Chief Technology Officer, Hyatt.
Hyatt collaborated with a leading smartphone provider that allows for digital key integration within their wallet app. However, another challenge arose. The software required data to be offsite and the app not dependent on network connection so that the digital key could work even if a guest’s phone is not connected to the internet. But that meant Hyatt had to be highly proactive to keep data in sync.
“To get to a solution that can handle an online or offline scenario and push data faster and when needed, you have to look at different architectures,” Kelly says.
Real-Time Data Leads to Faster Decision-Making
That’s when Hyatt turned to Hapi to provide an off-the-shelf integration service and serve as an agile collaborator in their digital adoption process. Hapi is exposing event streams and transactional APIs at scale, helping hotel companies like Hyatt to innovate faster by creating integration, development and deployment opportunities. The secure integration allows Hyatt to access critical data in a short amount of time with little to no development work on their end.
“Integration with Hapi allows for more flexibility than other vendors,” Kelly says. “That’s the value proposition Hapi brings. Hapi doesn’t rely on batch pulls. It’s more proactive and in real time.”
Kelly says that working with the Hapi team has been a great experience, with lots of proactive communication. “Hapi has a well-baked integration suite. They can provide data quickly, and we worked together on how to consume that data and present it in a way that is useful, frictionless, and has a good design from both a guest and colleague standpoint.”
A Collaboration Worth Expanding
Hapi continues to provide the real-time data Hyatt needs to make quick decisions. Beyond the digital key integration, Hyatt is looking at ways to expand the relationship.
“The data Hapi can provide and feed to us is more extensive than just those key events. We are actively exploring additional use cases,” Kelly says. “We are looking into other opportunities to maximize the usefulness of the solution.”
Approximately 60 Hyatt properties have launched this particular digital key option so far. “Feedback has been great,” Weiss says. “We’re going to be continuously optimizing and improving how you get a key and what the capabilities are of that key.”
“This is that test and learn philosophy that’s part of what we do,” he adds. “We have so many other use cases that Hapi unlocks for our teams that create a richer in-stay guest experience.”
The term “Hyatt” is used in this case study for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.