Hotel and restaurant giant drives efficiency across the enterprise with IT and business process automation

Successfully transitioned

from CA AutoSys and SAP® Remoteware

Transformed and simplified

8,000 job processes into 100

Company Overview

Whitbread Group PLC has over 50,000 employees that run more than 785 different hotels, 400 restaurants, and 2,000 coffee shops. The organization is known for superior efficiency gained through scalable technology, dynamic leadership and a unique property strategy. Whitbread is relentlessly focused on providing the best possible customer experience. The heartbeat of Whitbread’s growing business is a daily cycle of core stock ordering, financial transactions, human resource management and logistical systems. Using a combination of tools and services, the organization runs the processes by which it keeps fresh food in its restaurants, hotel rooms ready for guests, and financial transactions recorded.

Business Challenge

Recently, The Whitbread technical team completed a thorough evaluation of their capabilities and determined that an update was needed to their core automation technology. Whitbread was using SAP® RemoteWare, which was supported by DXC/Fujitsu, for managed file transfers and CA Workload Automation AE (AutoSys®), supported by DXC, for scheduling jobs. “We learned that RemoteWare was approaching end of-life, so we knew we had a short time-frame to identify a solution”, says Rob Smith, Project Manager.Smith continues, “The legacy solution was very important in that it moved important polling data between retail and hospitality sites and our headquarters.”

The Whitbread team created the Replacement Polling Services project to identify a new replacement solution. “We needed a single consistent and reliable enterprise-class solution that could help us better manage our in-house complexity and consolidate our outsourced resources,” adds John Fitzsimmons, Technical Program Manager. The team had a long list of requirements—not the least of which was that the new solution could be implemented in a phased approach with no disruption to business operations. Fitzsimmons says, “Our organization has an exacting process for IT transformation that involves our design authority, service integration and security teams and demands conformity to Whitbread PMO project delivery framework and governance procedures.”

We had an evolved system that was built up over more than 20 years of IT development. It always worked, but it was challenging to maintain and inflexible for reuse.” Rob Smith, Project Manager

Solution

“Our timeframe was extremely short,” says Smith. “And our IT environment is large and complex, with more than 800 servers. During the period we planned to implement the replacement polling services, we were also working on several other major initiatives, including service transformation.”

The Whitbread team began their search with a detailed request for proposal that they shared among some of the top providers of automation solutions. Fitzsimmons says “We looked to providers that Gartner identified as leaders in their space. We examined several tools, but we ultimately decided on Redwood’s IT and business process automation solution. It was a combination of superb capabilities, the cloud delivery model and flexible pricing that led to our decision.”

The implementation project included Whitbread’s process experts and Redwood’s team working closely together. Throughout the rapid, five-month switchover period, Whitbread’s restaurants’ deliveries never faltered—and the business had no complaints, “Redwood was with us at every step,” says Smith.

Results

“Early in the project we built, tested and migrated 1,900 scheduled business jobs away from RemoteWare and AutoSys. We finished eleven phased and grouped migrations between May and October. Since then, we’ve run almost three million jobs without a single problem or issue,” says Smith. “We were also able to integrate automatic problem/incident management directly into ServiceNow. We finally had our single solution.”

Once the initial migration was complete, Whitbread continued to build success converting 1,200 AutoSys jobs down to just 100 with Redwood. “One of our biggest issues before was a lack of process documentation. With Redwood, processes documented themselves using the visual interface. We were able to produce entity relationship diagrams that show all the moving parts around six different application groups.” He continues: “On a single screen we can see the results of our enterprise outlets— all 800 of them. This view helps our support team see if there are network outages, and our managers see if there are problems with suppliers. We can easily rationalize our core, automated business processes across our different teams.”

Future Plans

With the increased visibility the Whitbread team is now improving process coordination and efficiency across the entire enterprise. Fitzsimmons explains: “Now we use process logging for our third-party outsourced services. We can monitor and use these resources more efficiently. Going forward, we plan to expand our use of Redwood’s IT and business process automation solution to improve our service delivery while we reduce costs and manual effort. Redwood changed a risky project into an opportunity for ongoing excellence.”

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