July 29, 2010, 2:33 PM

Hyatt freshens up web content with new technology

With hundreds of sites, Hyatt can update in minutes what used to take weeks. 

Hyatt Hotels Corp. operates more than 400 hotels around the world, and runs even more web sites—more than 600 in all. Managing all that web content was a chore vice president of e-commerce Bill Bernahl couldn’t get his hands around.

“We needed to come up with a solution that made it easier to create sites, easier to maintain them and update them in foreign languages,” he says.

“It used to take us two or three weeks minimum to make site content changes, but now we can make changes in just a few minutes,” Bernahl says.

Hyatt has is deploying the web-based CQ5 content management system from Day Software, which will reside on Hyatt’s dedicated web servers hosted within Amazon.com Inc.’s EC2 Internet-based computing environment. EC2, or Elastic Cloud Computing, makes computing power available to Hyatt on an on-demand basis.

The Day Software content management system is designed to provide Hyatt with an easily accessible web interface available to each of its web site managers to make changes to web content, Bernahl says. Hyatt is working with content management specialists from digital marketing agency SapientNitro, a unit of Sapient Corp., to deploy the new system.

Web site managers located throughout Hyatt’s global network of facilities, including scores of restaurants as well as hotels, will no longer have to send requests to update content to a central corporate system—a process that routinely meant waiting two to three weeks before content could get approved and updated. Instead, Hyatt’s site managers will be able to log on to view web analytics data to see how site visitors are responding to web content and quickly change merchandising and marketing content if necessary.

The system also provides a workflow application so managers can instantly route content changes to superiors or colleagues for review and approval.

Hyatt recently tested the Day Software system on its corporate site’s pressroom, where Hyatt used the new system to completely update content. It’s continuing to use the system to load in the online pressroom high-resolution photos of all of its hotel properties, replacing low-res images in the old pressroom.

The pressroom project has helped prove Hyatt’s ability to quickly deploy the Day system and update large sections of content, Bernahl says.

Next up is using the Day system to build a corporate blog, which will take advantage of Day’s user-generated content features, followed by work on specialty web sites for Hyatt’s restaurants, catering businesses and hotel renovation projects.

Key attributes of the Day Software system, Bernahl says, is its support for multiple languages and its ease of use for non-technical people, such as restaurant chefs who need to update their online menus.

“We also need a system that could scale up,” Bernahl says. “Our web sites do millions of dollars of revenue a day, so we needed a content management system that was reliable and scalable.”


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