This is very interesting --I'm not surprised but sorry to see Marriott made this choice. Based solely on look and feel alone It seems that Starwood's tech is superior in many ways. This article seems to validate that observation hopefully someone thinks better of this. That said I bet they stick with the marriott tech that we all know needs some updating.
I don't like Starwoods website. I like the look and feel of Marriott's better. I think it's clearer and cleaner What I do like is Starwood's map! They show all the hotels and I don't have to click "next page" or 20/40 per page. That is annoying. I want to see ALL the hotels and now I can with Starwood and Marriott Award Map - Mapping your next adventure
Thank you erc for sharing!!! It has come in so handy already!
Starwood does seem to be more on top of things like e-mail notifications. They sent me a status match when my level went up before Marriott did. It took Marriott 3 days!
Marriott's system doesn't seem to work on weekends either. Hotel's systems should be working 24/7.
I am sure the bottom line was money.... how much is it going to cost to switch over.
As a tech troglodyte I have little to offer except to say any system that can't resolve the apparently daunting issue of
for years, perhaps should consider an upgraded system already bought and paid for and successfully running.
Thanks for sharing psudad
ps - if you read the airbnb article in the same issue, the claim is that their success is due to their platform approach
WOW, did I really read that the Marriott Tech gang is going to be the lead going forward? PLEASE NO!!
I am certainly do IT guru and would have to agree with SeaTexan that cost has to be the driving source.
Disappointing to read this, from an IT and business perspective, but unfortunately not at all surprised.
And for readers who are not IT folks: you can use the Starwood system and completely change the UX, or User Experience, so that the front end has a different look and feel. The back end can be Starwood and the front end can be the familiar Marriott look and feel.
Integrations of this magnitude are complex. I had hoped that Marriott would be able to recognise what is an industry known weakness and their Achilles heel, which is their IT.
But then Delta (Airlines, not hotel) is unlikely to spend what it needs to to bring their rickety system up to date either, despite their meltdown earlier this year.
Either the right thing to do was not proposed, or it was, and voted down. In either case, a real shame, as the takeover of Starwood represented a perfect opportunity to make a significant change for the better.
As a long time IT guy, involved in complex custom development, enterprise engineering, digital marketing and ecommerce, I was very surprised to see Marriott staying with their solution over what would sound like a far more modular, open solution like Starwood's. As you mentioned, they can modify the UI, navigation, etc., but also build on personalization, loyalty, etc.
I was really disappointed in this decision and I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when it was bickered over to hear what the supporting arguments were for keeping the extant system. This time offers a splendid opportunity to make a lot of changes, changes that have been needed for a very long time, and bring them in under the auspices of the larger 'integration' project.
Like you, I've been in IT for a very long time, covering the gamut. When the potential merger was proposed, my first thought was about their IT, not the hotels, and whether they would want to be a VA system, running on ancient systems which no one likes and written in a language only a few people write in anymore, with little opportunities to absorb cleanly the IoT and the way forward, or if they would use this as a springboard to being a leader in IT and the UX. Guess we have our answer.
I guess we can add this to the litany of things the SPG folks will be kvetching about.
The irony here is that with the push to attract the next generation of customers, they are missing an important part of the equation regarding what the younger generation likes and wants, and lame IT is not one of those things.
Although there are more aspects that I like in the Marriott client web reservation system than the Starwood counter part, I do see that Marriott's IT team is struggling to keep their system play nice with contemporary demands.
It's in the way that certain web parts are not always presented properly, mobile apps don't always work flawless, the endless need of corrections, which (next point) comes forth out of the endless amount of manual input is needed to update information (I read that individual properties still need to send faxes to Marriott HQ to have stays and points added to clients' accounts?) Compared to all of that, our little badge issues aren't such a nightmare as we like to play it.
But, in stead of assuming the worst, I'd like to keep some positive energy. I simply hope that Marriott already has a new system in the works that will out-perform Starwoods fancy system. Let's cross fingers, hold hands, sing Kumbayas, etc...