September 11, 2013

How Room Key went from legacy to the cloud


Room Key gets a million visitors a day, and 32 million interactions with the hotels a day. Four billion pieces of information are processed a day, which according to the company is three times as much as Kayak.

Kurt Zimmer, the chief technology officer of Room Key, was brought in by a number of large hotel chains such as Hilton, Hyatt, the Marriott, and others to create a Kayak competitor. These chains all used old, legacy systems to control booking and recommendations that took way too long to update. Then came almost companies like Kayak and Orbitz that take big fees for each booking, but could quickly process data from all over the Internet and return relevant results to users in seconds.

“Hilton and Marriott are old legacy systems. They’re slow to deliver. Releases can take months, if not parts of years to get out,” said Zimmer at VentureBeat’s CloudBeat conference.

So, RoomKey was born and Zimmer was faced with a huge issue: bring these hotels into that industry in only a few months while simultaneously convincing the hotel chief information officers that they can trust what you’re doing. At the time, the CIOs feared the cloud, according to Zimmer.

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