Royal Caribbean Cruises CIO Bill Martin spoke this morning at TUCON 2013 to tell the audience about the business challenges of pleasure cruising. “No one is forced to go on a cruise…they go because they want to.” TIBCO is working closely with Royal Caribbean to make sure they make that choice again and again.
Cruises take us all over the world. Whether it’s going on a tropical cruise through the Bahamas, exploring icy Alaska, or simply seeing a new part of our planet, they expand our map each time we leave port. Royal Caribbean’s fleet of 40 enormous cruise ships are floating cities that cater to all personalities. But how do they provide personalized service to each and every one of their customers from first timers to veterans? How do they begin to serve each customer before and during the cruise, and after the ship returns to port?
The Personalized Cruise Experience
Cruising as a business—its ships and its customers—creates immense quantities of data and all of it is highly valuable. Martin explained that the cruise experience can be broken down into distinct parts: inspire, research, buy, plan, cruise, and post-cruise. Each is a logical step in the cruise supply chain, but also represents an opportunity to manage data in a way that creates strong personalization of the cruise experience. Keep in mind that people who vacation on cruise ships are likely to cruise multiple times and Royal Caribbean intends to make sure they come back to their ships each time.
In a competitive industry, the way to make sure customers come back is to use data to create increasing personalization on each visit. By following social media, understanding which parts of the ship are most popular with individuals, and finding out which services were used most and customers’ buying patterns, Royal Caribbean has been able to achieve more than 90% customer satisfaction rates and an enviable return business. The more a customer cruises with Royal Caribbean, the better the experience gets.
Putting data to use to personalize cruises starts at the data level for Royal Caribbean. Their use of the TIBCO integration technology is foundational for a platform that that culminates with a simple and intuitive user experience (see diagram). Every initiative up the pyramid of capabilities is enabled or influenced by this infrastructure. The TIBCO platform allows Royal Caribbean to break through the challenge of siloed data in the many systems that run the company, the ports, and the ships.
It all rests on data, and to ensure the needs of the customers and the company, Royal Caribbean has increased the bandwidth of their ships eight-fold and have plans to increase it 100-fold by next year. These aggressive plans will require the best platform available in the industry.
Royal Caribbean may be just starting their journey with the TIBCO platform, but TIBCO will provide them with the navigation tools they need to make it a very successful journey.