Irish IT services firm Mentec has been selected to deploy a major IT outsourcing project for Great Southern Hotels that will help the hotel chain achieve an IT expenditure reduction of at least 20pc.
The project will see the consolidation of the hotel chain’s computer systems from nine hotels and central reservations to a single, centrally managed location.
The decision was made following a review of the group’s IT systems in 2003. The project will see the consolidation of the group’s 30 servers spread across a broad geography into a single server farm to be managed by Dublin-based Mentec.
In addition to the projected 20pc annual saving, the project will deliver a number of downstream benefits in terms of IT management and policy compliance.
Security patching, application upgrades, software licensing and internet usage will now be managed centrally for all users. Remote location support calls will only be required for end-user PC replacement requirements. Additionally, as all of the group’s data will now be stored centrally, the new model will support real-time, online reporting for the first time across the entire organisation.
The project involves the implementation of a leading-edge Windows 2003 Active Directory and Citrix Server Farm, with all hotels accessing all front and back-office applications via a fully redundant MPLS wide area network from Eircom. The managed service solution will go live next month.
Commenting on the contract, Kevin Murphy, IT manager for Great Southern Hotels, said: “In an increasingly competitive environment, both domestically and internationally, we needed to ensure that our focus remained on this objective. This means looking at ways of driving efficiency and productivity in our operations. Centralising and outsourcing our IT operations was an important mechanism in achieving this.
“We expect this project to deliver significant, on-going reductions in our total cost of systems ownership — approximately 20pc per year. It will also have a positive impact on our service delivery guarantees to users by reducing the potential points of failure as well as increasing system performance to extremely high levels of availability. This will reduce potential business disruption to negligible levels,” Murphy said.
By John Kennedy