With 42 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Tsogo Sun, previously known as Southern Sun is the leading hotel group in Africa. It provides world-class accommodation across all markets and offers the widest distribution of hotels in Africa in major urban centres and key leisure destinations. Tsogo Sun’s hotel portfolio comprises various brands, segmented to guests’ needs. With a collection of 94 hotels, with 14 742 rooms, Tsogo Sun has continued to revolutionise the local hospitality industry with its innovative spirit, dynamic management and consummate levels of service to both local and international travellers.
When the company decided to standardise its database server environment across multiple sites, it quickly realised it would need an expert partner that could effectively handle the diverse database technologies within these sites, while at the same time ensure continuity and availability. Database specialist company Ascent Technology was therefore the obvious choice.
Anthony Ivins, General Manager: IT at Tsogo Sun says that the database server environment is crucial to the effective operation of the company’s property management system, Opera.
“This application controls the booking, billing and day-to-day operations within the group. Obviously, these functions are critical to our business, so high availability was vital if we were to maintain the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Ascent was able to assist us with the standardisation process, while at the same time ensure the required availability,” he says.
According to Ivins, the company has close to 60 sites, which needed to be standardised. This was an important step towards ensuring continuity and availability, while it would also make maintenance simpler.
“Ascent’s effort in standardising our database server environment across these multiple sites means that whenever new operations are opened up – something that happens regularly in such a large leisure industry operation – we are able to rapidly deploy additional environments. Having the same look and feel across the board makes any new deployment a simple affair,” says Ivins.
Johan Lamberts, MD of Ascent Technology, adds that the company adopted the role of trusted advisor and partner to Tsogo Sun, offering it strong technical knowledge, critical skills and an unparalleled depth and breadth of expertise.
“As a heterogeneous Enterprise Database Management service provider, we were able to assist the client with its mixed technology environment, which included both Microsoft SQL and Oracle database servers. Moreover, as an organisation with a deep understanding of the data management arena, we were able to fully understand the unique challenges within the client environment,” he says.
Ivins points out that Tsogo Sun sought an end-to-end data management service provider, and it found exactly that in Ascent. He says that the company’s incredible service levels and its ability to attend to challanges and perform rapidly has made it Tsogo Sun’s partner of choice in this space.
“We are not just saying this either. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we recently suffered an instance of hardware failure that resulted in the complete rebuild and restore of one of the database servers. Thanks to Ascent’s technical skills, not only was there no data loss, but within half an hour of the hardware failure being sorted out, the system was up and running again.”
“I think that the most important aspect of having a trusted advisor and partner like Ascent is that with the skills and experience they have, we know our environment will be properly taken care of. It means that we are able to sleep comfortably at night,” concludes Ivins.
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