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The Grill: Bill Murphy, Hilton's new CIO/CTO

Lucas Mearian | Feb. 13, 2013
For Hilton Worldwide's Bill Murphy, attaining the rank of CIO didn't mean his CTO duties disappeared. His slate of new projects includes standardization of the hotel chain's property management platform across 3,900 hotels, rollout of a wireless platform and implementation of an ERP platform.

Bill Murphy, CTO, Hilton Worldwide

Bill Murphy had served as Hilton Worldwide's chief technology officer since early 2012, when in August he was given the title of CIO. But the title change didn't mean he'd be relinquishing his CTO responsibilities. As Murphy describes it, the transition has been a bit of a fire-hose experience so far, with a lot of strategic projects heaped on top of existing duties. Projects include standardization of the hotel chain's property management platform across 3,900 hotels, rollout of a wireless platform and implementation of a PeopleSoft ERP system, which will replace a variety of older tools.

Bill Murphy

Spend time understanding the business you support, not just the technology. Strive to innovate and deliver value for your business. Don't expect an eight-hour-a-day job.What's your favorite technology? Smartphones/tablet computers with high-speed Internet. We have only just begun to exploit the possibilities. A monumental change in enterprise computing is under way.Is there something that most people don't know about you? My first job was as a restaurant cook. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving -- when I do all the cooking.

Why did Hilton decide to give you the added title of CIO? I think culture was an important part of it. And, from a technology standpoint, the hospitality industry is market leading in a lot of ways. You've got sophisticated customers with the latest and greatest mobile technologies who are demanding more and more. Hilton was looking for people who can deliver the technology today and innovate for tomorrow. So they were looking for very proactive, creative people in those roles.

What is Hilton's mobile strategy, and how is it evolving? It's absolutely evolving. We have recently come out with our latest global Web release and we have mobility apps connected to that, but they're two years old; they're out of date. So we're focusing on that next generation of mobility apps going forward.

We're also focusing on being able to deliver technology to a mobile device as a guest walks into a hotel. And hotel services that used to only be delivered through a concierge, now you will be able to get that through your iPhone. That's what we're working toward. That's one of the targeted initiatives for 2013.

What are some of the other IT initiatives? We just implemented our latest release of our global Web platform. We're continuing to roll that out across the world, with the addition of 13 other languages. [Other projects include] the standardization of our property management platform across our 3,900 hotels, the continued international rollout of our StayConnected wireless platform for all our hotels, and the implementation of our enterprisewide ERP platform. We're migrating to the PeopleSoft platform from a variety of systems, including earlier generations of PeopleSoft Financials/Sun, internationally.


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