Are you seamlessly integrating your applications for a single customer view?

08 August 2018


As we become more digitally-driven, with events and hospitality operations taking place within software tools and online, we can end up adding more complexity to the process of managing events if these applications aren’t integrated properly.

Traditionally, applications sat on proprietary databases, and getting these different applications to talk to each other was the job of IT teams who wrote scripts and built workarounds to force integration.

For example, in the hospitality industry, an HR application collects and retains significant amounts of data about employees, whilst the Time and Attendance application only needs a subset of that information, such as employee age to calculate pay rate if under 18, along with name and work schedule. Similarly, some of the information from the Time and Attendance application will need to be sent to a different payroll application, so IT teams often create scripts to pass on specific data, in a specific format between applications, using SFTP servers and csv files.

Potentially, the problems arise when one of these applications is updated and the feeds stop working, or data is being sent in the wrong format. There’s often a constant worry amongst IT leaders that these workarounds and fixes are going to fail, which is why we need to be more integrated if we’re going to bring everything together for a holistic ‘single customer view’, which we are talking to customers about more regularly.

Moving forward, the idea of monolithic standalone applications will fade as business processes take centre stage with applications seamlessly integrating in the background – as the drive for integrated data views increases. Businesses are demanding real-time access to data and insights, and increased integration and a commitment to open standards across applications, databases and software stacks are enabling this move to more holistically-connected and data-driven environments.

APIs, mobile, web applications and open standards are making it easier than ever for applications and data to interconnect, and many of the large vendors are actively promoting and encouraging the openness of their applications for integrations with other software creators. There’s a movement occurring in the industry to take away those traditional boundaries between different applications and databases, as information becomes the most valuable currency to many businesses. How are our clients going to get the information they need about guest and fan behaviour if they can’t pull together information from lots of different sources?

At Verteda, we are one of the few technology partners who can bring together a number of different event and hospitality-focused applications, which integrate together for one central customer view – across staff onboarding, analytics, business intelligence, workforce management, event day management and analytics and payment solutions. These tools, of course, work as standalone systems, but also come together to provide a data platform, which underpin our events and hospitality clients’ operations – pulling information from different sources and sharing it between tools for more effective operations. For example, data from staff onboarding is pushed through to Point of Sale systems to enable staff to log on to till points quicker, and staff clock-in and clock-out times are pulled into event day management analytics to track staff costs and activity, in real-time alongside other event day metrics.

The key is that much of the data you collect is only useful when compiled with information coming in from other sources.  By way of example, with historical data islands, if you knew that you had 500 staff working at your last event then you can’t do much with that data except to analyse after the event. Equally, if you know that you had 500 staff working at the event, yet profitability was down on the day by 10% and visitor numbers were 5% lower than at the last three similar events then you can take a decision on whether to reduce staff numbers for your next event.  This, again, whilst using holistic data, is still post-event. However, by utilising real-time analytics on the fly, you can also make decisions about staff schedules in an intraday environment, redeploy your staff, based on real-time feeds of activity, and ultimately avoid excess consumed hours, if you can see that by halfway through the event, the profitability levels are lower than average.

We at Verteda are uniquely placed to integrate the different parts of the event experience, from in-app ordering for guests, through to staff rota management and analytics. And because we integrate everything, you get access to a wealth of insights from different sources to help you make better, more effective, business decisions. This results in an enhanced customer experience, engenders loyalty, and positively impacts on the bottom line.

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