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Kempinski Hotels

Europe's oldest luxury hotel group chose Novell Teaming to capitalise on the accumulated knowledge of its international workforce and create a more agile and intelligent company.

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About Kempinski Hotels

The Kempinski name is proudly borne by a growing collection of distinguished properties around the world. Europe's oldest luxury hotel group, Kempinski has built its reputation on the belief that exclusivity and individuality are key elements of true luxury. Each year, an increasing number of guests come to appreciate these qualities, as Kempinski adds new hotels and resorts in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. While this growth reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand, the collection will remain a limited one, where exclusivity can be nurtured and individuality can flourish.

Challenge

Kempinski is not a chain of hotels; rather, it is a management company that runs a collection of exclusive international hotels on behalf of their owners. Kempinski aims to provide management expertise without diminishing each hotel's unique appeal, and a key competitive differentiator is its long industry experience. To capitalise on this corporate experience and on the talented workforce in each hotel, Kempinski wanted to promote global knowledge-sharing and cooperation.

The decentralised organisational structure at Kempinski helps to foster the individuality of each property in the collection, but it was also making it difficult for the company to share information effectively.

Kempinski wanted a single repository in which to gather and maintain all corporate information and share it with staff worldwide. The primary aim was to enable collaboration and knowledge-sharing, in particular to support the planned expansion of the collection from 57 to 111 properties by 2011 (correct as of January 2009). A secondary aim was to enable greater efficiency in management reporting and communications.

Novell Solution

Kempinski worked with ID Integrated Data SA, a Novell Platinum Partner, to short-list and compare two collaboration solutions, and determined that Novell Teaming provided the best fit for its requirements.

"The Novell solution is intuitive and flexible, and it offers out-of-the-box tools to support the kind of collaboration we are looking to provide," said Jeremy Ward, Senior Vice President Information Technology, Kempinski Hotels. "Novell Teaming enables us to support rich and flexible one-to-many and many-to-many communication–this will help us improve corporate agility and capitalise on our knowledge assets."

ID Integrated Data SA assisted Kempinski in designing and deploying its new collaboration environment, initially to around 70 users in the corporate headquarters and regional offices. The partner also advised on training and internal presentations to promote the use of Novell Teaming, helping to broaden the coverage to select groups of users in each hotel–in particular, finance, HR and PR.

Kempinski is now rolling out Novell Teaming to individual hotels, enabling them to create their own information resources, wikis and shared workspaces to supplement the corporate content. In parallel, the company is introducing a portal that will act as a single point of access to all tools and information related to each employee's role in the organisation. The portal will include financial applications, dashboards, and Novell GroupWise® for e-mail. With tight integration between the two Novell solutions, employees will be able to use the collaboration features of Novell Teaming + Conferencing inside their e-mail client.

"One of our goals was to reduce the cost and time impact of certain administrative processes; Novell Teaming enables us to set up automated process workflows that can be used by the hotels," said Alexander Gundlak, Manager Back of House Systems, Kempinski Hotels. "We are now building workflows for purchasing and vacation requests, and we already use the Novell solution to issue budgeting instructions to the hotels and collect their responses."

Results

Novell Teaming is helping Kempinski to centralise, organise, manage and profit from its knowledge assets. Unlike a typical intranet, the Novell solution involves users dynamically, empowering them to create and share their own information and experiences, and enabling hotels to harness ideas generated in other parts of the organisation.

"Novell Teaming is helping us to create a corporate culture in which all employees are part of a single community working together to run successful individual businesses," said Ward. "We are allowing the solution to grow organically and in the direction chosen by the users themselves. Once there is a critical mass of information in Novell Teaming, we expect the usage and benefits to grow exponentially."

Around 600 Kempinski employees currently use the solution, out of an expected final total of 6,000. Novell Teaming + Conferencing is already helping to simplify and accelerate corporate communication, reducing administrative workload and costs both in corporate offices and in the hotels.

"Among Kempinski's global IT community, Novell Teaming is already making the world a smaller place," said Gundlak. "We can now easily share knowledge, and the openness and flexibility of the Novell solution will empower the broader community of hotel employees to make similar improvements in their productivity."

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