How Guestline saved 2,000 hours per deployment using multi-tenancy in Octopusguestline.com
"We were able to scale quite well especially because of the fantastic support Octopus provides. It really did help us."
Guestline is a hotel operations platform providing an end-to-end guest journey by using an intuitive resident property management ecosystem. The team use the latest technologies to give guest time back to hoteliers by making manual processes integrated and seamless. Guestline's products include a property management system and electronic point of sale (EPOS) software.
Guestline's 2,500+ customers are mostly based in the UK. However, the company has expanded to APAC and other parts of Europe, with plans for further global expansion.
Guestline’s EPOS software is in almost half of the hotels it operates in. The EPOS software is hosted across desktops and tablets, and each customer can have multiple locations requiring the software, often on around 5 machines per site.
The team at Guestline were deploying manually by copying and pasting code onto each desktop or tablet, in person. This introduced inconsistencies as individual machines sometimes required a different version of the code, despite running the same software.
This manual process made it difficult and labor-intensive to update software, with no way of making a new version available to every machine and customer without in-person updates. The team estimates that rolling out a minor update to all their customer’s EPOS machines would take over 2,800 hours and around 350 days, costing an estimated US$25,500. As a result, updates were only installed on a must-have basis.
Guestline wanted to modernize this 20-year-old process to improve the customer experience and help its internal support teams who were juggling various software versions. Automation was essential to provide more frequent and consistent updates across Guestline's global customer base.
Matthew Ford, Development Team Leader, made a business case for using Octopus Deploy to introduce automation to the team's processes. Matthew used Octopus in a previous role and demonstrated how Octopus could deliver significant savings to Guestline.
Guestline was an early adopter of Octopus Cloud as it met the team's needs for their EPOS system. It also let them separate Octopus Cloud from their other uses of Octopus on-prem, so they had 2 separate environments. With Cloud, the team scaled their support by managing hotels using Octopus's multi-tenancy support.
One production environment for every customer wasn't practical in Guestline’s case, with over 800 customers. So, the team used tenants to automate updates across customers. Using multi-tenancy let the Guestline team:
- Set up each hotel as a tenant so they could send an update to one or multiple tenants at once without duplicating effort
- Deploy to any hotel on demand
- Group hotels by region or customer group through filtering tag sets
Hotels owned by the same chain can now be easily grouped, and tags identify customers needing bug fixes for specific software requirements.
Within weeks of using Octopus, Guestline had set up the first few customers. Over time, the team scaled and now over 650 of their customers are on Octopus, resulting in 4,000 Tentacles. When they move the final quarter of their customers to Octopus deployments, they'll have around 5,000 Tentacles.
Guestline now releases POS software updates twice monthly, over a week or two. The team deploys to their customers through an API that randomly selects and schedules around 100 customers at a time. Deployments take just 10 minutes. This API has saved time the team would otherwise use selecting customers for upgrade slots, further automating the process.
Time and cost savings: Before Octopus, Guestline couldn't make even minor updates to the estate-wide EPOS software due to the time and cost of manual processes. The team had to focus on targeted upgrades for specific problem installations. Now, they can facilitate hundreds of automated installations a day using Octopus Cloud and multi-tenancy.
Consistency and less manual work: Installations are now consistent and automated across Guestline's customer base, and the team no longer spend time on manual rollouts.
Delivering a world-class customer experience: Guestline saves 2,000 person-hours with each rollout, and has gone from zero updates to one or two per month for its EPOS solution. This means customers enjoy a world-class experience with their EPOS software.
Accelerating software updates: Keeping customers on the latest software is now automated, accelerating Guestline's plans to move everything to the Cloud, where it can get changes to customers quickly with minimal effort.
Shout out to @OctopusDeploy for making their software so easy to work with. Just upgraded a 2 year out of date instance and migrated it to a new server and it worked with no effort beyond what their documentation said to do.Alex Dent
We've been overhauling our internal infrastructure and back-end systems over the past month, including a move back to full @OctopusDeploy deployments; rediscovering how nice it is to have a platform-agnostic orchestrator that can deploy practically anything, anywhere ❤Nicholas Blumhardt
Tools like @OctopusDeploy can be great in enabling culture change, we've been able to scale and improve our configuration story since we started using it.Niel Chalk