Wyndham Hotels & Resorts gives 100M users an unforgettable digital experience with Okta
SSO adoption within 90 days
Increase in staff operations efficiency with a centralised admin console
Reduction in development labor costs due to Workflows
Reduction in time to turn off access with Okta SSO
Reduction in audit completion time with Okta Identity Governance
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Needing an Identity solution to provide secure, seamless access to its systems, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts implemented Okta Workforce Identity Cloud for its employees, then expanded to its 100,000s of franchisees. Building on its success, Wyndham is rolling out Customer Identity Cloud to its 100M loyalty members, increasing customer loyalty and securing members’ reward points. With a single provider across all its Identity use cases, the Wyndham team can focus on creating unforgettable guest experiences.
“When someone leaves the organisation or transitions their role, the ability to turn access off or on is like nothing we've had before. Having the ability to offboard users by instantly turning off access with Okta SSO has been sensational.”
Joseph Gothelf, Vice President, Cybersecurity
A welcoming smile at reception. Fresh flowers in the lobby. Little chocolates on the pillow. The small details make a big difference when a guest arrives at a hotel. Get them right and the guest will return, year after year. Get them wrong, and the guest may never be back again.
No one appreciates the power of a memorable welcome better than Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. And with 9,100 hotels in over 90 countries, the world’s largest hotel chain knows how important the digital experience is to creating that welcoming feeling.
“First impressions matter, both in the hotel and online,” explains Lourdes Kessler, Director, Identity Access Management. “If there are too many steps to get customers where they need to go, they will walk away. From beginning to end, guest experiences must be seamless.”
The problem with on-premise access management
From enabling guests to quickly log in and book a room, to giving its workforce secure, seamless access to critical applications, the Wyndham team aims to provide world-class user experiences. However, Wyndham’s previous on-premise Identity solution failed to meet that promise.
“Identity was all over the place,” says Joseph Gothelf, Vice President, Cybersecurity. “There were so many applications with different logins, or no visibility over who was logging in. It was hard to keep track.”
Rolling out Workforce Identity Cloud with 160 apps behind Single Sign-On
With an increasingly remote workforce, Wyndham needed a cloud-based approach to Identity to simplify access while bolstering security. In 2016, Wyndham switched to Okta Single Sign-On (SSO), taking the first step on its journey with Okta.
Wyndham initially put six applications behind SSO. As more departments saw how it provided seamless access, removing the need for multiple passwords, SSO usage increased by 40% within 90 days.
“People were coming up to me and saying, ‘We love this, how can I get my app in there?’” Kessler recalls. “And when they saw we could integrate apps in just one or two weeks, they said, ‘This is amazing, we want more!’ We now have around 160 apps behind SSO, spanning every department.”
With Workforce Identity Cloud, 3,500 of Wyndham employees now have access to the applications they need, wherever they are, while Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) ensures that only the account-holders can gain access, bolstering security across the organisation, and giving Wyndham the peace of mind that company applications and data are secure, wherever staff are logging in. The Wyndham security team, meanwhile, has all the security and access logs in one place, so they can easily spot any suspicious activity.
The Wyndham team can now also automate events in the user Identity lifecycle with Lifecycle Management, taking the manual work out of user onboarding and offboarding.
“When someone leaves the organisation or transitions their role, the ability to turn access off or on is like nothing we've had before,” says Gothelf. “Having the ability to offboard users by instantly turning off access with Okta SSO has been sensational.”
Building on Workforce Identity Cloud’s success to cover 100,000s of franchisees
With its internal employees enjoying the benefits of Workforce Identity Cloud, the Wyndham team turned to Okta to solve the access issues of its hundreds of thousands of franchisees globally. Several franchisee applications were legacy on-premise systems, which Wyndham feared might be difficult to connect. However, with the flexibility provided by Okta Access Gateway, Wyndham was able to integrate key franchisee systems into its Identity ecosystem.
“Applications that were hard to access are now so much easier,” explains Kessler. “Whether ordering towels for rooms, paying staff, checking reservations — franchisees have seen a 75% increase in staff operations efficiency by accessing everything they need in one place. The relationship between the business and franchisees has improved as a result.”
Rewarding 100M loyalty members with secure and seamless account access
Following its successes with Workforce Identity Cloud, Wyndham wanted to extend the same secure, frictionless experience to its loyalty program, rolling out Customer Identity Cloud to its 100M loyalty members, giving it a single Identity solution across the organisation.
By providing secure, frictionless access to their accounts, Wyndham is making the booking experience easier for its loyalty members, increasing revenue by driving up the number of bookings, while strengthening customer loyalty with a positive user experience. It’s also building trust and lowering friction by securing members’ accounts and reward points seamlessly with Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication.
“Customer Identity Cloud allows us to provide things for our loyalty members that we weren't able to before,” says Eric Brohm, SVP, CISO, “from MFA and stronger security for their Wyndham Rewards, to the ability to use APIs to connect to our partners to create unique experiences for our guests.”
By using Customer Identity Cloud and Workforce Identity Cloud together, Wyndham has a single strategic Identity provider across all its Identity use cases, enabling it to optimize IT resources, onboard customers and employees faster, unify its security approach, and deliver unparalleled customer experiences, while leaving the pains of managing Identity to the experts.
The freedom to create unforgettable experiences, with Identity as the foundation
With Okta, Wyndham can confidently ensure fast and secure access for all its users, thereby enhancing workforce efficiency while consistently delivering memorable guest experiences. For Kessler, none of this would have been possible without the Okta Customer First team.
“Working with Okta’s Customer First team feels like a true partnership,” she says. “Their industry expertise adds a layer of knowledge we wouldn't have otherwise, and they keep us in sync with industry trends and best practices. They're not just a vendor, they're an integral part of our team”
Wyndham continues to work with Okta to deliver an ever-more seamless and secure experience for its workforce and guests. From plans to add FastPass for biometric logins, removing the need for passwords altogether, to taking its first forays into AI solutions, Wyndham knows it can depend on Okta to keep its business secure.
“Security used to be a limiter, decreasing and blocking access,” Brohm observes. “Now, with Okta, security is an enabler for Wyndham, reducing friction and making things easier for our users. Okta allows us to secure our position as an industry leader.”
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts makes travel possible for all. From big cities and small towns to beachfront resorts and highway hotels, its 22 iconic brands bring a diverse perspective to the travel experience, with friendly service, thoughtful amenities, and a range of options for the everyday traveler.