by Nuria Cordon

How Palladium targets tech to better serve the business

Case Study
Jun 07, 20234 mins
CIODigital TransformationIT Leadership

Palladium Hotel Group has prioritized strategies surrounding its digital transformation, with a focus on two primary objectives: to improve the business and better customize the customer experience.

Marcel Alet stylized
Credit: Palladium Hotel Group

At the end of the 1960s, Spanish businessman Abel Matutes had an ambitious dream to bring paradise closer to travelers by offering incredible experiences. The result was what is now the Palladium Hotel Group, a hotel chain with 10 different brands spread across Spain, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

But the company’s history and growth wouldn’t have been possible without a clear commitment to innovation. Since its inception, it has actively worked to adapt its internal and external processes to new business imperatives, always seeking the right balance to facilitate the most effective response to the needs of the company. And in recent times, digital transformation has been the cornerstone. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve made significant advances in technology, always in line with the group’s strategic objectives and, therefore, with a focus on efficiency, sustainability, and improving the customer experience, especially in the digital field,” explains Marcel Alet, Palladium Hotel Group’s CIO.

To do this, he and his team have worked based on a technological roadmap, which has led them to be industry leaders. So in the short term, the group has a project plan focused on scalability, customer knowledge, and a clear commitment to the cloud in hybrid mode, cybersecurity, and sustainability.

A journey full of challenges

Since Palladium began its digital transformation journey, the company has been repeatedly challenged, especially in how it managed the cultural impact, which demanded changes to work processes, and an evolution of how business partners adapted to new technologies.  

Plus, they had to counter tech skills shortages, implement new policies and procedures, and integrate different systems and platforms. “But with strategic planning and effective communication, we managed to continue advancing in our digital transformation process,” says Alet.

To highlight a specific project, last year the company made a successful transition to RISE with SAP cloud solution. “It’s allowed greater flexibility, scalability, and efficiency in our business processes, maintaining all the innovation developed in the previous version,” he says. They’ve also significantly increased digital governance and implemented premium platforms in core areas like web, loyalty, and operations. “We’ve executed one of the most important data projects in the industry, being early adopters of the Snowflake platform, which has allowed better governance, control and analysis of our data, as well as an improvement in the decision-making process,” says Alet.

For all this, the company has adopted a hybrid approach, using other platforms such as Adobe, Salesforce, and Tableau, among others, that are capable of satisfying specific needs of business areas, and developing customized solutions. “Each of these platforms has been carefully selected for their capacity and fit within our ecosystem, and they’ve been deployed according to our specific context, following the appropriate methodologies,” says Alet.

A digital future

Palladium’s digital transformation has had a significant impact in terms of operational efficiency, as well as an ability to make decisions based on data, increasing the level of customer knowledge and, consequently, an improvement in productivity of internal teams. In addition, they’ve significantly reduced processes with little added value through process automation (RPA), and the elimination of redundancies in their technological infrastructure. All of this, according to Alet, is fully measurable and the result of combining cutting-edge technology, solid processes, and a culture of sustainable innovation within the group.

In the coming years, the group’s main challenge is to continue increasing efficiency and control in all areas of the organization, while maintaining the objective of being a data-driven company. “We’ll also focus on staying ahead of the latest technologies and trends, primarily AI and ML, as well as further improving our ability to quickly adapt to market changes,” says Alet. “We’ll also continue to work on managing cultural change and the shortage of professionals with training and skills, in order to achieve the objectives set.”

With these ideals in place, Palladium has several projects underway, especially in the areas of loyalty, revenue, direct sales, and operations. “We work to improve our loyalty solutions, as well as the entire digital ecosystem,” he says. “Furthermore, advanced analytics, AI, and ML will be essential in these projects, since they’ll allow the company to make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency and profitability.”

In short, Palladium Hotel Group faces the future in terms of innovation and digital transformation with a strategic vision focused on the continuous improvement of its processes, profitability, and sustainability. And in that future, technology plays a fundamental role, with a vision oriented toward the creation of innovative digital solutions that contribute to the improvement of all business processes.