by Edward Qualtrough

Royal Caribbean CIO says customer at heart of IT transformation

Oct 16, 20132 mins
IT StrategyMedia and Entertainment IndustryMobile Apps

Royal CaribbeanCIO Bill Martin said that moving to a customer-centric model was the cruise company’s focus as he described their IT transformation programme at Tibco’s TUCON event in Las Vegas.

Martin, also vice president at the Miami-based company, said that Royal Caribbean’s biggest challenge had always been getting people on board their fleet – the second largest in the world with 41 ships across six brands – but that despite being a company built around the transaction even their customer database was outsourced for a long time.

“We’re now migrating to a customer-centric model, whether it’s shopping, purchasing, planning, on board the ship, or just learning about our product. It’s about being able to put the customer first,” Martin said.

“Today the customer has to figure all this information out by themselves or with the help of a travel agent. There are lots of different systems for interacting with our customers, but they all act independently.

“Tibco is at the heart of our transformation with an integration hub and is playing a key role at a platform level of putting it all together.”

Martin said that he had also recently overseen a hardware revitalisation and refit on their ships, including a massive WiFi upgrade by increasing their satellite bandwidth by eight times.

“And in the next few years, that will increase another 100 times,” he said. “We need very high-end, on board connectivity.”

Martin made his keynote address after Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive and Tibco CTO Matt Quinn outlined the company’s ‘three big bets’ of Big Data, cloud and integration at TUCON, and where the company officially launched its Spotfire 6.0 analytics tool.

CTO Quinn said that the tool was for using data to identify and address business problems and opportunities in the moment. “Big Data isn’t about massive quantities of the same data,” he said.

For Martin, using IT to close business capability gaps would see Royal Caribbean deliver millions and millions of dollars worth of revenue.

“CIOs need to make sure business leaders understand the complete cost of what they are investing in,” he said.

“And the reality is, we can now do so much more for so much less, and the technology is even better.”