How Cloud Is Transforming Hospitality for the InterContinental Hotels Group

Technology is critical in the hospitality industry, so IHG chose its partners carefully when it moved to the cloud.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is one of the largest hotel companies in the world, operating in over 100 countries. Which, said Eric Pearson, Chief Information Officer, is why it is moving to a cloud-based infrastructure to deliver services to its properties and their more than 750,000 guest rooms. IHG relies on its key partners, VMware and CenturyLink, to accelerate the process using VMware’s Unified Hybrid Cloud.

“Technology is becoming a much more critical component of the hospitality industry and it hits you from multiple angles, everything from mobile applications to web applications,” said Curt Smith, SVP, Global Technology Infrastructure & Architecture, at IHG. “And we have to deliver those products in a seasonal business that needs to be able to deliver quickly to compete with a changing industry.”

To do so, IHG needed a transformation of the technology at both the enterprise and property levels. “To deliver these critical technologies at IHG we’re making the investments to enable that,” said Pearson. “Leveraging innovative cloud-based technology allows us to virtualize and quickly evolve the technologies to meet the demand of our consumers.”

He chose CenturyLink as his hosting partner because it can provide the scale and breadth to handle his needs worldwide. “VMware, is no different in terms of scale and breadth,” he said. “We wanted best-in-class virtualization capabilities and technology.”

Said Jonathan King, VP Platform Strategy & Business Development, CenturyLink, “CenturyLink has a long-standing relationship with VMware. We offer VMware, and run VMware in our public cloud and managed hosting environments. We are constantly looking to innovate with VMware and integrate their tools.”

That relationship is serving IHG well, according to Pearson. The partnerships are providing the footprint, the expertise, the discipline, the methodologies, and the technology to do what IHG couldn’t do effectively on its own.

“It’s been a huge progress for us, and a huge win for IHG,” he said.