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GLH Hotels: 'Apps are fun but if you haven't got an API strategy they start to wither'

Margi Murphy | June 22, 2015
Hoteliers clawed back crucial booking and availability data from distribution partners using APIs

GLH is experiencing a massive culture change. Since its new CEO arrived in 2012, the business began to understand that technology was not just a collection of assets on a depreciation schedule, but the core point of contact with your customers - and the area you are most likely to lose money in if ignored.

The firm's underlying infrastructure has been pushed out onto the cloud, allowing the IT team of 14 to focus on delivering what the business wants in a truly agile manner and learn new skills.

Newton says: "When you start with your lifeblood app and 'cloud' that, everything else follows because the taboo is broken. Reasons not to don't exist anymore."

Oracle now hosts GLH's Opera and it has migrated from Microsoft Office Suite to Google apps. All apps deployed since 2013 have been in the cloud and 80 percent of its legacy apps hosted elsewhere.

"By the end of this year we will be a cloud organisation - we wont own a server."

By relinquishing responsibility, and building up the API strategy the IT team have become closer to the business, Newton adds, and able to think creatively about how to improve the services it provides to its customers. It hopes that by the end of the summer it can offer an open API to the developer community to see what services could benefit customers.

"Until we started, we didn't realise the enormity of the new possibilities this could offer. We recognise that internally, we have limitations due to workforce size and a general understanding of what customers want - but third parties out there are figuring that out. So why not cater for them as well as end consumer?"


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