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Virtual Program Empowers Future Hotel Leaders

on May 8, 2013

Students Close Performance Gaps Using Software from d2o

Orlando, Fla. – May 8, 2013 – The University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management recently gave new meaning to the term “on-the-job training,” as 20 undergraduate students virtually stepped into the role of a hotel general manager, using the latest technology in hospitality education. During a three-week pilot program, students volunteered to receive a crash course in dynamic performance management and were then each tasked with managing their own virtual hotel property, using the theories and principles they just learned.

“As a student, I was empowered to make revenue management decisions as a general manager of a real-life hotel,” said senior hospitality management major, John Posada. “I learned how to forecast different segments of my hotel on a daily, monthly and yearly forecast, with regard to the kitchen, restaurant, front office, bar, administration, cleaning, and housekeeping departments. It was an exceptional opportunity because I learned how to operate a resort in real time, just as a general manager would.” Posada scored 9.59 out of 10 on the dynamic performance management index to place first in the awards competition.

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Through a cloud-based environment, the innovative Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) suite, created by global technology company d2o, allowed students to receive real data from the actual Britannia Hotel in Norway. Students used this data to manage their own virtual hotel property, including staffing and scheduling, food purchasing, daily occupancy, departmental revenue forecasting, stock level control, and more.

“This technology affords our students the unique opportunity to experience the same real-world business issues that general managers face,” said Dr. Abraham Pizam, dean of UCF’s Rosen College. “This state-of-the-art technology not only helps teach, but also reinforces the culture of collaboration and proactive revenue management skills in a fun, practical, and engaging manner.”

To enhance the learning experience and gauge their grasp of the material, the college created a student competition to see who had the most successful hotel at the end of the three-week course. For winning the competition, d2o will host Posada on a trip to Norway to tour the actual Britannia Hotel, the hotel that students virtually managed during the competition.

“Conventional cost control and isolated revenue management practice is no longer enough to optimize the bottom-line meaningfully,” said Young Nguyen, President and CEO of d2o. “Owners and operators have to manage resources just as proactively as they manage rates and distribution. Our next generation of hotel general managers will manage through communication and collaboration, avoiding cost overruns and poor guest service.”

UCF’s Rosen College is the first academic institution in the United States to use d2o’s revolutionary technology in the classroom.

 

About UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management
With more than 56 million annual visitors, Orlando, Fla. has emerged as the hospitality & tourism capital of the world, boasting more than 117,200 hotel rooms, 20,000 vacation ownership units, 5,300 restaurants, 176 golf courses, more than 95 theme parks and attractions, a top-ranked international airport, the second-largest convention center in the nation, and numerous sport and entertainment venues. Set in the heart of this incredible destination is the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, where for the past 30 years students have had the unparalleled opportunity to both learn and work in the hospitality & tourism industry’s leading market. Taught by award-winning scholars and former industry executives, UCF’s Rosen College is dedicated to developing future generations of global hospitality and tourism leaders through innovative academic programs, cutting-edge research and unmatched industry and community partnerships. For more information about UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, visit hospitality.ucf.edu.

About d2o
d2o is the leading provider of real-time performance management solutions for the hospitality industry. Its proprietary Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) Series is an integrated suite of performance navigation solutions that guide hotels and resorts to discover untapped profit by dynamically managing resources and eliminating waste. PMI empowers operations to collaborate, share information and manage future outcomes. The result is the lowest possible F&B and labor costs, reduced waste and higher profit. PMI solution functionality includes robust enterprise and department-level budgeting and forecasting, as well as food cost control, employee scheduling and labor productivity management. Founded in Norway in 2000, d2o has offices in Europe and the United States serving its expanding global customer base of over 400 leading hotel chains, independents, and management companies. For more information, go to www.d2o.biz.

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  • Jennifer Thomas - July 3, 2014

    What a fabulous idea! Real-time virtual access to a real hotel’s real operating data sure beats the way we attempted similar group projects 20 years ago. Kudos to d2o and to UCF Rosen College!


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