Cloud // Software as a Service
News
11/24/2008
09:05 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Harrah's Bets Big On Salesforce.com Cloud

The casino operator is moving revenue generating apps, like room reservations, to the Internet.

Harrah's Entertainment is moving key business applications to Salesforce.com's cloud computing platform, the companies announced Monday.

Harrah's, which operates numerous high-profile Las Vegas casinos, including Caesar's Palace and The Rio, as well as Harrah's branded properties, will shift applications for managing room reservations, air travel programs, and player relations to Salesforce's Web-based Force.com hosted app service.

"Innovation helps us continually surprise and satisfy our customers, as well as keep us a step ahead of our competitors," said Harrah's CIO Tim Stanley, in a statement.

Harrah's deployment of crucial business applications on Salesforce's platform is surely one of the biggest bets to date by a major enterprise on so-called cloud computing, an information technology architecture in which third party vendors deliver software to customers over the Internet.

Harrah's will rely on Force.com for applications, such as room reservations, that are directly linked to revenue generation. The applications will be used by agents based at casinos, at Harrah's 50 branch offices and by about 250 independent reps who work on behalf of the company.

Among other things, the new architecture will allow reps to make room requests over the Web and receive confirmations back within hours. Additionally, airline schedules will be integrated directly into Harrah's travel management system, which will make it easier for the casino operator to schedule travel for VIP guests.

Stanley said the approach provides more flexibility than traditional, client-server setups, in which businesses maintain applications, and the associated staff and infrastructure, in-house.

"When we discovered how we could leverage cloud computing to develop new systems and enhance our existing capabilities that we use to run our business, we were thrilled to take advantage of the Force.com platform," said Stanley.

The move isn't without risk, however. Some companies have expressed concerns that cloud computing leaves their businesses vulnerable to an Internet outage and that it places too much key data in the hands of third parties.

Still, cloud computing is gaining steam, especially among smaller companies that lack large IT staffs. Salesforce counted 51,800 customers as of Oct. 31.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The next wave in APM
The next wave in APM
Find out how to get the benefits of application monitoring while avoiding the complexity and performance headaches.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.