Benchmark Hospitality: Maestro Sets a Real-Time Tempo for Benchmark Hospitality

As the experts in resort, conference center, and hotel management, Benchmark Hospitality has the real power and advantage of real-time data access since implementing the Maestro™ Front Office module from Microsoft® Certified Solution Provider NORTHWIND Canada, Inc. Using the power of Microsoft Windows NT® Server and Microsoft SQL Server™ 7.0, Maestro is revolutionizing the operational management of Benchmark properties now and into the future.
 
Solution Overview
 
Company Profile
 
Benchmark Hospitality has been providing management and marketing services for conference resorts, executive conference centers, conference hotels, corporate learning centers, and golf clubs since 1980. Today Benchmark has over 3,000 employees who are trained in the economic value of the "Conference Center Concept." Benchmark Hospitality is a privately held company with headquarters located in The Woodlands, Texas, a master planned, 25,000-acre community 27 miles north of downtown Houston. Regional offices are located in Stamford, Connecticut, and international offices are located in Tokyo, Japan, and Bangkok, Thailand.
 
Situation
 
Benchmark's properties had been running on eight to ten year old technologies, and with the advancements in innovations and technology, they took this as the prime opportunity to embark on answering their quest for overhauling their technical operational environment. Accompanying this movement to change, they strived to shift to an environment based on the Windows® operating system. Additionally, the other issue remaining was that the current PMS system was not part of the total network solution.
 
Business Solution
 
The solution is comprised of the Maestro Front Office module, as well as integrated components including A/R and Travel Agency Management for select properties. With Benchmark's standardization on Microsoft Office tools and the Windows environment, Maestro provided a perfect fit for a truly integrated solution. In addition, Benchmark Hospitality is currently considering the fully integrated Maestro Sales & Catering application for their conference centers.
 
Benefits
 
Since the installation of Maestro, Benchmark Hospitality is able to save countless hours and payroll dollars by not having to refer back to old reports in order to acquire historical data.
 
"Always having the data at our fingertips is greatly enhancing customer service by minimizing the response time of customer requests. The flexibility of Maestro is allowing us to collect the data that is important to us, and is also allowing us to better understand the needs of our customers." Davide Barnes, Director Of Rooms, Resort At Squaw Creek
 
The current challenge in today's competitive marketplace is to find the most efficient and cost- effective means of accessing, integrating and distributing corporate information across the hotel organization. NORTHWIND's Maestro suite of products was designed to address precisely this challenge.
 
Within the demanding industry of hospitality, upgrading and keeping your software systems current is essential to maintaining your competitive edge.
 
This is specifically what Benchmark Hospitality was looking to accomplish.
 
"The old system just could not meet all of the needs and requests of our Owners, Property users and Guests. We needed the flexibility of a Windows-based system." Rodney Thiel, Director of IT for Benchmark Hospitality
 
So Benchmark turned to Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider NORTHWIND Canada, Inc. and their United States distributor MCorp, for their integrated front office solution, Maestro. Based on the Microsoft Windows NT Server operating system, Maestro takes advantage of the power, flexibility, and advanced reporting features of the Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database engine.
 
"The Microsoft platform and SQL Server 7.0 are a perfect fit for Maestro and Benchmark, and were instrumental in providing a smooth conversion from Benchmarks legacy system." Warren Dehan, President, NORTHWIND
 
Conferencing With The Maestro
 
Realizing that an update to its entire computing environment was required to stay competitive, Benchmark Hospitality evaluated close to 20 different products. After narrowing the field down to three vendors, they selected Maestro.
 
"Maestro really took us to the next level because of all the flexibility in their system from their drill down capability to the yield management functionality. The NORTHWIND management staff was extremely flexible in making any enhancements to the product during our installs and up to present time." Rodney Thiel, Director of IT for Benchmark Hospitality.
 
Now with the front office module of Maestro in place, Benchmark Hospitality has experienced amongst other components, the implementation of advanced yield management features. "This fully integrated and real-time processing functionality provides us with 'complete control' of the reservations process, thus maximizing room revenue and average rate." says Barnes. The additional features that set Maestro apart from the competition are also being implemented, and with these elements in place, Maestro is liberating the operational efficiency for Benchmark properties and becoming an integral part of orchestrating their Hotels, Resorts and Conference Centers.
 
The need for a software solution rich with features and the ability to adapt to complex and changing requirements was the essence for the selection of Maestro for Benchmark Hospitality.
 
SQL Server To The Rescue
 
Playing a vital role in making this solution work and empowering Benchmark with the operating environment to accommodate their industry demands, SQL Server 7.0 was suited to their overall solution needs. Together with Maestro's efficient database design, the solution provided the perfect response to Benchmark Hospitality's requirements, allowing direct real-time access to data by productivity tools to facilitate data mining, and marketing and reporting activities.
 
Windows NT Provides Solid Platform
 
The complete Maestro product suite supports the Microsoft Windows NT platform and incorporates integrated Windows NT security, integrated SQL Server security and application user level security.
 
About Microsoft
 
Call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Center at (800) 563-9048. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft office.
 
For more information about Microsoft server products-based hospitality solutions, visit the Microsoft commerce industry home page on the World Wide Web, at www.microsoft.com/industry/hospitality
 
About NORTHWIND
 
NORTHWIND Canada, Inc.
60 Renfrew Drive, 235
Markham, Ontario, L3R 0E1
Canada
Tel.: (905) 940-1923 
888-667-8488
Fax: (905) 940-1925
E-mail address: info@maestropms.com
 
NORTHWIND is a leading global supplier of software and eCommerce solutions to satisfy the requirements of a wide range of lodging venues. Designed to handle any size hotel, resort, meeting/conference center and Corporate enterprise, NORTHWIND's Maestro, eMaestro and Maestro Enterprise, complete web-enabled suites of PMS, Sales & Catering and Corporate solutions, are recognized as the multi-platform solutions of choice for progressive and demanding organizations.
 
Microsoft Software Used
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
Microsoft Office
 
Other Products Used
 
Call-Accounting, PBX, Voice Mail, POS Restaurant, POS Retail, In-Room Movie, Credit Card, Card Key, PC-Anywhere 8.0; Crystal Reports.
 
Room Type Space Chart
 
The challenge for Maestro has been to combine yield management capabilities directly into the property management system. This integration creates a "real time" processing environment that allows the property to implement its yield strategies for all or any of its buildings with as much or as little user intervention as it desires.
 
Manager's Overrides
 
By configuring Maestro's automated yield controls, the user may select a hands-off approach and allow Maestro to automatically open and close the selected yield tactics. This approach operates in a real time setting as Maestro reacts to the changing yield conditions for each period. The property's yield tactics will automatically respond to a set of pre-configured criteria.
 
© 2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
 
Microsoft Corporation · One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399 · USA