Architecture: Application Architecture

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Application Architecture: Introduction

TOGAF is the architecture framework that is used by the HTNG Reference Architecture Team. TOGAF describes the application architecture as logical groups of capabilities that manage data or information. In other words, the application architecture does not describe concrete computer systems and deployed software; rather it describes the logical functions, responsibilities, or tasks that will need to be provided by existing or future systems to support the business.

Business versus Infrastructure Applications

TOGAF distinguishes between applications that are generic and required by all businesses and those that are specific to a business or industry. Common applications are known in TOGAF as Infrastructure Applications. These infrastructure applications may include applications like word processors, web application servers, and general accounting services. Business or Industry Applications are those that are unique to an industry, business, or company. TOGAF is flexible in that it recognizes that one company’s business application may be another company’s infrastructure application. A reservation application is an example of a business application within the lodging industry. However, a reservation application might also be a part of the application architecture for an educational institution or an equipment rental company.

Guest Services

Guest Services Applications are those applications that support a guest stay.

Guest Services Application

The Guest Services Application includes collecting, tracking and reporting on all detail related to customer stays for individual customers, including: Check-in – Displays room assignments, provides keys, enables or activates room devices and services. Device Management - Serves as a general integration point for the “Room Media, Devices, and Features Management” system. The integration allows managing and interfacing with various property-based devices (i.e., telephone switch, in-room media services, point of sale devices, etc.). Also provides appropriate charges and supporting detail for folio. Folio Management – Applies charges to customer folio as the charges are received from other services. This also provides an interface to collect charges generated by others systems like the Point of Sale system. Check-out – Provides printed folio, disable room access, devices and services. Guest Experience – Tracks information about guest experiences as they stay at the property. This includes tracking complaints or requests and their resolutions.

Guest Information Application

The Guest Information Application provides access to all of the information stored about guests. This information includes (but is not limited to);

  • Name
  • Customer Identifiers
  • Contact information
  • Current reservations
  • Itinerary Management
  • Past Stay Information
  • Loyalty Points Levels and Status
  • Preferences
  • Preferred Rate eligibility
  • Partner affiliations

This application supports information about all guests, not just those that belong to a loyalty program.

In Room Media, Device, and Room Feature Management

The In Room Feature Management application serves as a general purpose utility for managing and interfacing with various property-based devices (i.e., telephone switch, in-room media services, point of sale devices, etc.). It provides the tools needed to enable, disable, or configure in room media systems or other devices or room features. It also provides appropriate charges and supporting detail for the guest services application. Examples of some of the functions may include:

  • Pay-per-view blocking
  • Internet access enablement
  • Disable Telephone ringer
  • Concierge Application
The Concierge Application supports the concierge or desk clerk by tracking and making restaurant, show, and attraction reservations, purchasing tickets, scheduling transportation services, and passing charges to the folio application.

The Concierge application also provides information about events and points of interest located near the properties. Points of Interest include;

  • Nearby Businesses and Shopping
  • Local Attractions and Events
  • Nearby Parks and Recreation Facilities
  • Government Facilities and Schools

Each Point of Interest should be geo-coded with latitude and longitude or discoverable using a geographic based search. Event information must also include description, location, and dates of the event. The application must also be able to display maps that locate and identify the event or POI and provide directions between the POI and property locations.

Point of Sale Application

The Point of Sale Application is responsible for providing point of sale services in retail, food and beverage, and other outlets. Functionality includes:

  • Transaction and Payment Management
  • Retail Inventory Management

This application must integrate with the Folio Management Application to post charges to a customer’s room bill.



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Facilities Maintenance

Facilities Management Application

The Facilities Management Application is responsible for supporting the management of the physical quality of property, furniture, fixtures and equipment. The application consists of the following primary modules;

  • Work Order Management
  • Facility Details and Documentation

This application must provide tracking, analysis and reporting of engineering information including preventive and reactive maintenance metrics.

Work Order Management Module

The Work Order Management Module maintains preventive maintenance schedules and schedules and assigns ad-hoc work as it arises to the maintenance staff.

Facilities Documentation Module

The Facilities Documentation Module serves as a repository for blueprints, maintenance manuals, inspection manuals, property and equipment specifications and drawings, architect’s renderings, drawings and specifications for mechanical, electrical, facility engineering and maintenance information.



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Housekeeping Management

The Housekeeping management Application

  • Schedules rooms to be cleaned
  • Assigns housekeeping associates to specific rooms or groups of rooms
  • Maintains room cleaning status indicating whether each room is clean or dirty
  • Ensures housekeeping resource availability
  • Assigns housekeeping resources to specific housekeeping tasks
  • Manages space inspections
  • Manages ad-hoc housekeeping requests
  • Manages housekeeping related inventory
Tracks on-hand quantities of consumable housekeeping supply items
Determines re-order points and economic re-order quantities of supplies

Reservations

Reservation Applications manage reservations and room inventory.

Availability and Rates Application

The Availability and Rates application applies business rules against the inventory, reservation, and rates applications and returns information regarding room availability and rates.

Room Reservation Application

The Room Reservation Application allows reservations to be made and tracked against inventory. The application maintains reservation records reserving specific types of rental inventory for a guest or customer at one or more properties. Reservation information includes identifiers for customer and guest, offered rate information, channel information, and cancellation policies.

Room Inventory Application

The Room Inventory Application is responsible for maintaining the inventory of all sleeping rooms and other rental inventory items. The inventory application works in conjunction with the reservation application to determine the availability of inventory for future reservations.

Room Assignment Application

The Room Assignment Application applies the appropriate business rules against current inventory, reservations, and guest preferences to assign specific rooms to guests.



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Back Office

Back Office Applications are those applications required for the smooth functioning of the business. Often these are infrastructure applications and may not be specific to the lodging industry.

Financial Applications

Financial Applications are those Applications that deal with the accounting, finance, and financial reporting needs of the company.

  • Accounts Payable Application
  • Asset Management
  • Billing and Receivables Application
  • Financial Control and Reporting Application
  • Investor Relations Application
  • Loan Servicing Application
  • Procurement Application
  • Payroll Application

In general the common Financial Applications like accounts payable and general ledger are considered to be Infrastructure Applications because they are not unique to any specific business or industry.

Human Resources Applications

Human Resources Applications support the needs for managing the workforce.

  • Benefits Administration Application
  • Human Resources Information Application
  • Labor Management and Scheduling Application
  • Learning Management Application
  • Organization and Capability Application

These applications are not unique to the Lodging Industry and are considered infrastructure applications.

Consumable Inventory

The Consumable Inventory Application is responsible for tracking the on-hand quantities of consumable supply items, and other inventoried items. These are the items required for the operations of the lodging business. It should be able to determine re-order points and economic re-order quantities.

Purchasing and Procurement Application

The Purchasing and Procurement Application manages the acquisition of physical assets and services required to operate the property. This may be an infrastructure application.

Labor Scheduling

The Labor Scheduling Application manages work schedules and labor resources to ensure adequate resources are available to meet the current needs of the property and its guests. This may be an infrastructure application.

Policy and Procedure Application

The Policy and Procedure Application is responsible for maintaining;

  • Principles
  • Policies
  • Regulations
  • Statutes
  • Standards
  • Operating Procedures
  • Best Practices

The application must support displaying the information in a variety of forms, including printed and on-line access by end users at the properties. Some information may be in the form of graphics, animation, and/or full-motion video. Indexed search capabilities must be provided to allow users to find relevant and appropriate policy reference material.



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Marketing

Marketing applications support the marketing efforts of the business.

Property Marketing Information Application

The Property Marketing Information application provides access to all of the information available describing a property. This includes;

  • Property Descriptions
  • Property Specific Room Pool and Type Descriptions
  • Individual Rooms Descriptions
  • Geographic Location Information
  • Amenities
  • Regular Activities

This material is marketing focused and differs from the information used for facilities management in both detail and target audiences.

Marketing Programs Applications

The Marketing Programs Application manages information related to various marketing programs. Many of these functions may be provided by a standard CRM application.

  • Consumer Loyalty Programs
  • Partner Loyalty Exchange Programs
  • Certificate and Award Programs

Additionally services are provided supporting the following functions;

  • Campaign Management
  • Advertising Tracking and Management
  • Direct Mail Campaign Management
  • Coupon Management including Redemption Support
  • Fulfillment for awards and merchandise



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Sales

Sales applications support the Sales efforts of the business. Many of these functions may be provided by a standard CRM application.

Account and Opportunity Management Application

The Account and Opportunity Management application supports the sales process for group and account sales. Functions include:

  • Account Contact and Relationship Management
  • Lead tracking
  • Capture demographic details and relationships to other contacts
  • Opportunity generation and management
  • Sales person tracking
  • Account history summary
  • Proposal generation
  • Contract generation and closing management
  • Assign sales people to Accounts
  • Prospect Management
  • Commissions

Channel Management and Tracking Application

The Channel Management and Tracking Application is responsible for tracking and managing details, profiles, and results from all sales channels and intermediaries. The application manages commissions and fees associated with Travel agencies, GDS systems, and all other electronic distribution channels including third-party Internet-based services. The services include;

  • Capturing and maintaining Travel Agent profiles and associated commission tables
  • Tracking and analyzing business sent to the company via travel agents or other channels
  • Accepting commission payable information approved by management at a business location from the Guest Services Application for commission payment
  • Calculation of commissions due based on agreements in force
  • Invocation the Accounts Payable Application to pay commissions and fees to intermediaries
  • Revenue channel tracking, analysis and reporting



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Food & Beverage Services Applications

  • Table Management
Manages assignment of wait-staff and consumers to tables and seats
  • Seating Reservations
Reservations for seating time. May possibly be a part of table management.
  • Order Entry Application
Allows food & beverages to be ordered by a consumer directly, or through hotel or wait-staff. This supports room service as well as orders that may be made during an event.
  • Kitchen Order Ticket Application
Prints out tickets for kitchen staff to use to prepare orders
  • Kitchen Display Application
Displays and sequences the unfulfilled kitchen orders
  • Expediter Application
Notifies wait-staff that an order is ready for delivery
  • Billing and Payment Application
Handles payment for charges incurred. Charges may be added to the customer folio for later settlement.
  • Recipe Management Application
Manages recipes
  • Food Costing Application
Used by the F&B Controller to calculate and store theoretical cost of a menu item based on F&B inventory cost and recipes
  • Menu Management
Allows the organization, grouping, and final pricing of menu item
  • Menu Display System
There are integration to third party Digital Menu Boards (TVs, Digital Signage) and digital Menus (handheld electronic menus) to display time sensitive real time menus to guests.
  • Food & Beverage Inventory Management Application
Tracks food and beverage inventory, forecasts future demand, and orders food and beverage supplies when needed.
  • Pour Management Application
Tracks quantitative bar information that can be translated for inventory and theft purposes

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Event Services Applications

  • Event Planning Application
Allows entry and reporting of event planning including room configuration and table coordination.
  • Event Space and Resource Reservation Application
Reserves event space and resources and may coordinate with sleeping room reservation application
  • Event Content Management
Event Content Management manages content related to the event. This might include a special event website as well as information for signage and meetings locations and programs. It is likely this application is integrated with or a component of the Event Operation and Planning applications.
  • Event Operation Application
The Event Operation Application provides functions to insure the event operates smoothly. It is the source for event space room and resource assignments and room setup and is responsible for publishing during event messages to signs.
  • Event Pricing Application - Sales
Aids in the preparation of pricing an event includes F&B and anything that's included in the contract: e.g.; Video, DJ, and packaging

Tracking and history of potential and past event customers, includes reporting and analytics

  • Event Contract Management - Sales
A contract management system - make a part of the base architecture, includes contract template catalog.
  • Event Space Inventory - Sales
Manages inventory and availability of event and banquet spaces.
  • Event Space Reservation - Sales and Planning
Manages reservations for event spaces.
  • Event Space Assignment - Operations

Assign event space to a particular obligation based on the agreed upon sale. For example this may be associated with a contract line item or specific reservation.

  • Event Space Configuration - planning and operations

I propose we combine the planning, operations, and content management into one application with the following functional components:

  • Event Space Inventory - Sales
  • Event Space Reservation - planning
  • Event Space Assignment - operations
  • Table Coordination - planning and operations
  • Resource Reservation - planning
  • Resource Assignment - operations
  • Resource Configuration - planning and operations
  • Resource setup and take-down instructions - operations
  • Event Content Management - planning and operations
  • Content Publishing - operations
  • Special Instructions - planning and operations


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Resource Management Applications

  • Resource Inventory - Event Sales
Manages resource catalog and the inventory and availability of event resources, like projectors, AV equipment, lights, tables, chairs.
  • Resource Assignment (Check-out)
Assigns a resource to be use in support of an event. This may be similar to a library check-out process.
  • Resource Reservation - Event Sales and Planning
Reserves a type resource to make sure it is available when required.
  • Resource Documentation Management
Application to manage the documentation associated with resources like AV equipment, including setup and take-down instructions.
  • Resource Deployment Planner
Manages plans for the deployment and return of resources assigned to events. See the Data Architecture for a description of a Deployment Plan



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Parking Applications

  • Parking Payment Application
Determines amount owed and collects payment for parking fees.
  • Parking Access Control
Controls access and egress from parking facilities.
  • Valet Parking Application
Identifies vehicle, provides tickets, tracks parking spot, safely stores vehicle keys and may integrate with Parking Payment Application.
  • Vehicle Tracking and Identification
Collects Vehicle information and associates it with the guest. May be used for parking passes or for security to notify guest in case of incident.



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Unresolved Points

Loyalty Systems
Discussion - should be a part of the base architecture
Discuss - These can be a part of the POS system or an interface to the POS system module or third party module. May be considered part of payment system except for loyalty portion. Loyalty\CRM may include custom discounts and offers depending on status of customer.
Gift Card/Certificates
Discussion - should be a part of the base architecture
Discuss - These can be a part of the POS system or an interface to the POS system module or third party module. May be considered part of payment system except for loyalty portion. Loyalty\CRM may include custom discounts and offers depending on status of customer.
Definition - A gift card is a restricted monetary equivalent or scrip that is issued by hotels to be used as an alternative to a non-monetary gift.
Personal tools
administrative tools