Case Study

Hyatt Reduces MTTR and Gives Developers More Time to Innovate

Executive Summary

A global hospitality company with more than 700 properties in more than 50 countries, Hyatt Hotels Corporation is driven by its purpose “to care for people so they can be their best.” Ensuring hotel guests have a seamless and enjoyable experience is a key part of this purpose. To provide this type of experience, Hyatt needed a centralized solution to monitor and troubleshoot server issues and improve application delivery. Since deploying Splunk Enterprise and the Splunk Machine Learning Toolkit, Hyatt has experienced benefits including:

  • Faster mean time to resolution (MTTR) with real-time visibility across the entire business
  • Increased developer productivity
  • Improved customer experience
Challenges
    • Developers spent too much time identifying issues
    • Lacked real-time visibility across entire enterprise
    • Issues affected hotel customer experience
Business Impact
    • Frees up developers so they can focus on innovating
    • Improves application delivery
    • Reduces mean-time-to-resolution from hours or minutes to real time
    • Proactive monitoring results in better customer service and experience
Data Sources
    • Web servers
    • ServiceNow
    • Jenkins
    • JIRA
    • Lansweeper
    • Freebird

Why Splunk

With 700 servers (one server per hotel), Hyatt’s platform development team needed a centralized solution to identify and troubleshoot issues. Prior to adopting Splunk software, developers had to access individual servers to search log files to fix issues with the online check-in system Hyatt offers for guests. This complexity made it difficult to pinpoint whether the same issue was occurring on multiple servers. In addition to server monitoring, they also needed a way to capture and analyze business trends and monitor new software releases for significant changes.

Stemming from internal recommendations from colleagues who were familiar with Splunk, Hyatt’s platform engineering team began using Splunk Enterprise three years ago for log management. The results were immediate, so the team broadened its use of Splunk to mine Hyatt’s business data and expanded access to the Splunk platform from 12 people to more than 100 daily users.

Real-time, enterprise-wide insights led to improved guest experience

Previously, the online check-in experience was not as reliable, due to a time-consuming troubleshooting process. Prior to using the Splunk platform, developers had to log into an individual server and run a search tool to figure out what was happening, which could take hours. And there was no way for them to determine if an issue was local to one server, or occurring across multiple servers.

With Splunk Enterprise and the Machine Learning Toolkit, César Mendoza, application development manager, Strategic Systems and Innovation, and his developer team are able to troubleshoot server issues quickly. Results have been positive — issues are solved faster. And, as Mendoza moves forward, predictive analytics will provide further insight into hotel room occupancy and more. What’s more, Mendoza notes that partnering with the Splunk Machine Learning Advisory Program, which helps customers to solve business challenges using the Splunk Machine Learning Toolkit, has added value.

With Splunk software, Hyatt’s developers benefit from real-time visibility — dashboards and alerts help them see an issue before a ticket is even opened, and also show them the state of the system at the moment. “Splunk is our window into the health of our application,” says Mendoza. According to Mendoza, Splunk solutions allow developers to focus on developing innovative services that improve the guest experience.

“Once we move[d] to Splunk, everything was much, much better, because now we have one place to go to troubleshoot issues. We can also do trends with all the servers, see issues that are happening across servers, so it was a godsend.”



César Mendoza, Application Development Manager, Strategic Systems and Innovation Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Analyzing data from multiple sources streamlines application delivery and operations

Hyatt’s team relies on Splunk Enterprise when it comes to analyzing and combining data from multiple sources. For instance, when Hyatt’s point-of-sale vendor released a new build, the number of customer credit cards declined at check-in increased. A Splunk Enterprise alert enabled developers to detect this issue and determine that it was happening at all locations where the point-of-sale vendor’s update had been installed.

Hyatt also uses Splunk Enterprise to monitor changes in its own software updates to ensure that transactions don’t decline, and the company’s operations and security groups use Splunk Enterprise to monitor reservations and its booking engine.

The development platform operations team is able to bring in all logs and metrics from various tools — including Jenkins, Jira and ServiceNow. Splunk Enterprise helps Hyatt streamline ServiceNow project management, providing an easy way to slice and dice data to show a project’s status and its progression over time.

“Before we were cross-referencing multiple databases, building massive spreadsheets, which was very manual and tedious. Splunk put all of that information into a visual format that’s usable, empowering us to make better decisions. Previously, what had taken us days, we’re now able to do in hours, if not minutes.”



César Mendoza, Application Development Manager, Strategic Systems and Innovation
Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Coming soon: new security information and event management (SIEM)

With major companies experiencing large-scale security breaches, Hyatt is prioritizing new information security measures to ensure that customers’ data is secure. After completing proofs of concept (POCs), Hyatt decided Splunk was the way to go because of its scale, as well as its ability to detect and respond to threats.

Hyatt’s security team is beginning to implement Splunk Enterprise Security, and the response has been positive. “Our CISO said, ‘I’m very excited. This is probably the first really functional SIEM I’ve ever seen or ever heard of,’” Mendoza says.