Starwood Hotels-- which operates the Westin, Sheraton and W hotel brands -- is intent on leveraging the power and potential of service-oriented architecture. It is now in the midst of an architecturaltransition that will make datanow stored in its legacy mainframe reservationsystem accessible in dynamic, Web services applications.
Working with Hewlett-Packard, the company intends to shut down the mainframe and move the reservation system to Unix platforms running Linux. The initiative is expected to save Starwood $20 million in operating costs. The new system will then be rolled out to call centers, proprietary web sites and 750 hotels worldwide.
Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldtis impressed with Starwood's SOA approach, which is expected to enable the company to add new and existing properties to the system in a rapid, agile fashion.As he put it in Information Week, "It's nice to see that they're being as innovative with their IT infrastructure as they are with some of the customer-facing ammenities, like the heavenly bed and the uberhip W Hotels."