The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: January 2008

Formula 1 and Mercure hotel chains connected to the future

31 January 2008

Formula 1 and Mercure hotel brands in South Africa, part of a major global group in hotels and services, Accor, have embarked on upgrading their IT systems and software with IT solutions and services provider, Datacentrix.
The original objectives of the project were to:
* Ensure continued satisfaction of the Mercure and Formula 1 guests, through the use of state of the art technology.

* Establish connectivity between the various hotels and the corporate Head Offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Paris, France within the network of hotels.

* Align IT systems to the international group standard.

* Upgrade the IT infrastructure within southern Africa.

* Upgrade the Front Office software within the hotels in southern Africa.
The hardware supplied to implement this project included HP Proliant Servers along with a combination of HP DX 5150 and DC5750 workstations.
This was complemented by the use of CISCO 2960 switches where network management was required and HP Procurve network switches to provide local connectivity. Furthermore, printers were installed to cover printing for all hotels. APC UPSes were used throughout all hotels to provide protection and backup power for each hotel.
Vincent Joyner, CEO of Accor Hospitality Southern Africa says: "Connectivity is key in today's business environment; upgrading our IT system in South Africa means providing a better and up to date service to our customers".
This endeavour has resulted in enormous benefits including improved connectivity within the group, information management reliability, improved network/operational security, standardisation of procedural controls and the implementation of effective IT equipment. In addition, there has been an improvement of necessary skills amongst the staff and thereby adding to the group's revenue maximisation initiatives.
Joyner, adds: "Skills development is a priority for our 28 hotels nationwide, through the upgrading of our IT system and training, we have developed skills for employees and partners giving them the tools to perform in a connected environment".
Datacentrix was chosen as a partner due to its strong reputation. The supplier has the necessary infrastructure and bargaining power to obtain and provide the best possible pricing and IT solution. The result of this choice was professional service delivery and the ability to adapt and assist with the group's needs on a continuous basis including the willingness to go the extra mile.

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