Cycas Hospitality is a European hotel management company that prides itself by being different. Hands on expertise in hospitality, from the extended stay sector to dual-brand properties, is combined with in depth knowledge of (hotel) real estate. From the initial concept of a new hotel, to guests checking out with a smile on their face, Cycas has the experience, expertise and talent to get things right. Apart from the obvious customer, the hotel guest, and its team of Cycadettes, Cycas also sees hotel owners and investors as part of their customer base. It is this second group of customers that Cycas wanted to support with high quality data, great data availability and state-of-the-art financial reporting. To help it deliver the greatest possible value for its hospitality partners, Cycas started working with Interdobs as their partner to help implement its new Business Intelligence platform.
We spoke to Peter Habelitz, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), about the challenges that were overcome, the results and the outlook to the future for the BI landscape.
When Peter joined Cycas in December of 2019 he identified a huge opportunity to incorporate new technology to upgrade its financial and management reporting systems by introducing industry-leading data analytics tools.. Since the hotel business is a dynamic one there was a swift need to improve on this side and given the company’s ambitious expansion plans across Europe and its ongoing diversification into new hospitality sectors, Cycas understood the business benefits of prioritising a business technology solution that would deliver benefits across the entire organization. In the past, Peter had faced similar challenges and developed an understanding on how to successfully overcome these challenges: setting up a data warehouse, arranging the data flows and creating nice and flexible dashboards and analytics capabilities. Understanding that there’s always lots to learn from other industries, Peter firmly believed that having a strong BI vision and BI solution will give them a great advantage over their competitors and support Cycas’ ambitious growth plans.
After reaching out to Interdobs, Peter and Interdobs decided on starting the project with a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) based on one of Cycas’s most important financial ERP systems, Tagetik. ‘Having a future proof BI stack’ and ‘being flexible’ were the prime objectives of the project. With Cycas having a broad IT landscape of source systems, the natural choice was to go with SAP BW/4 HANA in combination with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). There were two primary goals of this PoC: (1) to show what the possibilities are of both systems and (2) show fast time-to-market of the developments. After only a few weeks of developments the first dashboard went live and it was as well received by hotels teams as much as external stakeholders. The Interdobs team then went on to connect more and more source systems and develop multiple dashboards for different types of stakeholders.
Peter is convinced that the choice for SAP BW/4 HANA delivered the best possible data warehouse solution in the market, even though the operational systems are ‘hospitality specific non-SAP systems’. The flexibility of Smart Data Integration and a strong BI architecture, BW/4 HANA offers the flexibility which is needed to best support Cycas’ business model. With various source systems connected, all data is now available in one central repository, accessible through one source. The daily and monthly dashboards in SAP Analytics Cloud provide valuable information on both the performance of Cycas and also of their hotels, which is relevant for Cycas’s management, hotel owners and their teams and investors. With the addition of SAP Analysis for Office functionality, the finance teams are able to drill-down into their data and get more insights about financial results and data quality.