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Jumeirah deploys Veeam solution to support digital transformation

Jumeirah deploys Veeam solution to support digital transformation

The Jumeirah Group has leveraged Veeam Availability Suite to support its expansion in the hospitality sector

The Jumeirah Group, a part of Dubai Holding, has been steadily expanding its hotel portfolio and is on track to expand its roster to 42 properties by 2018. To support this expansion, it is imperative the group has a robust and agile IT infrastructure in place so it can deliver the exceptional and uninterrupted services that guests have come to expect. The group selected Veeam Availability Suite for its performance, complete automation and orchestration, and inherent support for virtualisation.

The Jumeirah Group, a part of Dubai Holding, is a hospitality industry leader with a world-class portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts around the world that includes the iconic seven-star Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

One of the key business principles of the Jumeirah Group is to make customers its first priority and strive constantly to exceed their expectations. The group achieves this by leveraging technologies such as business intelligence, the Internet of Things and mobility, to offer each of the three million guests who visit its hotels annually an imaginative and exhilarating experience.

This utilisation of cutting-edge IT solutions to achieve clear business objectives is characterised by many advancements in guest services such as having the first hotel to offer Wi-Fi, computers and plasma TVs in every suite.

“Nobody wants to wait in check-in queues for extended periods, especially after a long flight. Neither do diners appreciate long waits for the bill after a meal. Such unpleasant experiences don’t just entail financial impact, they negatively affect guest experiences and go against our policy of treating every customer like a VIP,” said Neil Menezes, Vice President Enterprise Architecture at Dubai Holding.

“For this reason, the group’s properties offer guests premium tablet-based check-in, mobile check-in and check-out, iPad menus in restaurants and many new apps for unmatched guest experiences.  Our clientele expects the very best and that’s what we deliver.”

IT also provides hotel staff with up-to-the-minute data on room occupancy, guest requests and other vital information, all of which makes it possible for them to better co-ordinate their efforts and execute their functions more efficiently.

“To enable VIP treatment of all guests, we strive to introduce constant innovation, while also serving the requirements of the entire Jumeirah Group. This makes service availability of the utmost importance to our IT team. Cutting down management overheads and winning back time is what drove our interest in working with Veeam,” said Menezes.

The group has been steadily expanding its hotel portfolio and is on track to operate 42 properties by 2018.

“To support and sustain our expansion, we must have a robust and agile IT infrastructure in place so that the Jumeirah Group continues to deliver exceptional customer services with no downtime, and the high performance that our guests have come to expect,” he said.

Menezes and his team selected Veeam Availability Suite for its performance, complete automation and orchestration, and inherent support for virtualisation.

The improvements to performance were instantly obvious as with Veeam, backups now execute in half the time, even as the volume of data being backed up has nearly doubled. Veeam’s SureBackup feature guarantees these fully automated backups require no verification, saving the IT team precious time.

Having experienced a 45% increase in data volume over the last two years, this performance improvement has been critical in ensuring all essential data is protected.

“We constantly generate a wealth of information which we analyse to gain keen insights into guest preferences and shape our business strategies,” said Menezes. “Veeam ensures all this valuable data, generated on a daily basis, is preserved and readily accessible, while also reducing our storage requirements by 30%.”

Veeam has also increased the speed of full virtual machine (VM) recovery by a factor of four. Menezes stated that if the group’s central reservations, property management, or point of sales (POS) systems went down, it would impact customer services and, potentially, the ability for guests to book a Jumeirah Hotel worldwide, thereby causing immeasurable damage to its reputation.

“While the financial impact of VM failure varies depending on the application that’s affected, we simply can’t afford the potential damage to our brand – particularly because of the industry we belong to. Therefore, to us, value of Veeam’s instant VM recovery is intangible,” he said.

The Jumeirah Group has depended on Veeam’s ability to instantly recover VMs on a number of occasions. In early 2017, three VMs for the group’s Spotlight, Lync and NextThink applications crashed but thanks to Veeam, these were fully recovered and back to normal operation within minutes.

“This could have potentially impacted productivity, but recovery was so rapid that users remained unaware of any application issues at all,” said Menezes.

“Every single second is valuable for our IT team and because Veeam always performs as expected, is highly automated and easily managed, it saves our precious time on a daily basis,” he said.

“Too many organisations wait until something goes wrong or until a solution isn’t meeting a fundamental business need before looking for an alternative.

“But you can’t underplay the importance of time savings. IT is complicated enough and I believe in simplicity. We therefore haven’t selected Veeam to save us from that one unforeseen disaster, but rather to simplify operations for our staff every single day and ensure we are delivering the uninterrupted service our customers expect.”

With these benefits, Menezes estimates that his team will achieve full return on investment (ROI) on the project in under two years. The group is confident that with Veeam’s clear roadmap and constant addition of new features, they have a solution for long-term success. They are therefore exploring how to scale their deployment to serve the needs of the larger conglomerate they are now a part of.

“Veeam works perfectly and has everything we need straight out the box, giving us the precious time to focus more on the one thing that matters the most – our customers. Veeam helps us deliver Jumeirah’s signature ‘Stay Different’ experience to every single guest at any of our luxurious hotels around the world,” said Menezes.

Reduces backup windows by 50% and eliminates the need for manual verification

Although the Jumeirah Group has experienced a 45% increase in the volume of data in just two years, Veeam backs up more data in half the time. The suite’s SureBackup feature means the IT team no longer manually verifies backups on a daily basis as they did previously.

“Veeam saves our IT team time every single day and ensures all our valuable data is preserved and readily accessible when needed. It has even helped us reduce our storage requirements by 30%,” said Menezes.

 Automates and achieves full VM recovery four times faster

 “Veeam is purpose-built for virtualisation and outperforms other vendors in the backup and restoration of VMs,” said Menezes.

When VMs fail, Veeam begins an automatic recovery process that fully restores them four times as fast as the group’s previous solution. This guarantees application performance is maintained which in turn safeguards the group’s meticulously crafted brand image. Menezes therefore described the value of Veeam’s instant VM recovery as ‘intangible’.

Full Return on Investment in under two years

Veeam has brought about significant reductions in management overheads, and storage requirements, which Menezes estimates will result in full return on investment (ROI) on the project being achieved in under two years. Moreover, the vendor’s clear roadmap and constant addition of new features, ensures the Jumeirah Group now has a solution for long term success.