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IBM to provide hosting for Hilton Worldwide

Leading technology and IT services provider IBM has secured a major deal with Hilton Worldwide that will see it deploy and manage the hospitality giant’s vision of the technological future of it’s offerings.

“As we expand our relationship, Hilton Worldwide will be able to leverage IBM’s deep global expertise, including its data analytics resources, software solutions and research and development capabilities. We are confident that IBM’s world-class technology capabilities will help us to accelerate our innovation initiative.” – Robert Webb, Hilton Worldwide chief information officer

Announced Tuesday, April 13, the agreement will see IBM become the sole web host and management team behind the technologies that power Hilton Worldwide’s 10 separate brands; the company’s endeavors include a vast guest registration system, data center management services, email and web hosting services and, of course, the general hotel offerings for which the Hilton name is so well-known. With much praise for IBM and a general excitement about the partnership, Hilton Worldwide president Paul Brown has indicated his pleasure at being able to leave the multifaceted technology requirements of the company to IBM, leaving the Hilton team to focus their efforts on general guest experience at their hotels.

IBM’s commitment to Hilton Worldwide includes the hosting of all technology infrastructure at their much-lauded energy-efficient Smarter Data Center located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Dubbed “RTP”, the data center provides the infrastructure necessary to support the cloud computing solutions that the hotel chain requires, deploying resources only when traffic requires it and using about 50% less energy than typical similar-sized data centers in the process.

The sheer size of Hilton Worldwide’s current technology infrastructure means that, despite the fact that the agreement is effective as of the announcement, the actual takeover and migration by IBM will take time. Dubbed the Hilton Worldwide Innovation Collaborative, the hotel giant’s blueprint for their technology needs will see the transition process take place in several phases over many months.

Founded in 1896 and 1919 respectively, IBM and Hilton share a long history as American start-ups that went on to become globally recognized for excellence and leadership in their markets. Conrad Hilton, the original hospitality innovator, open his first establishment, the Mobley Hotel, in Cisco, Texas in 1919. Despite their long concurrent run and similar growth, this agreement marks the first time that the two entities have worked together.

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