Working with implementing partner, Spinbox, the Best Western team pursued an unusual approach. Rather than view Sitefinity as simply a content management system (CMS), Best Western used it as a platform to build a very complex Digital Experience Platform (DXP). Rehan Butt, Managing Director, Spinbox, put it best, “Sitefinity is a framework to build off of to create an application well above what the CMS is. Best Western’s implementation of Sitefinity is not just a CMS. It’s a full-blown DXP, mastering internal processes, managing data and connecting multiple critical systems.”
The team had three key integration areas, first, its international booking system connected to the main Best Western International platform to automate the booking process. Then, it had to connect to the database managing the company’s loyalty program, Best Western Rewards, to sync the program’s discounts and benefits to Reward members’ booking experience. Finally, it had a team dedicated to data integrity for all 250 Best Western GB hotels that synced data nightly to the website, ensuring offerings and hotel information were always up to date.
Beyond integrations, it had an FTP sync done once per week to connect to the other 3,000 global hotels and synchronize seven to eight million images for all global properties.
“A hotel has well-over 100 data points, and each hotel is a content item inside Sitefinity. Sitefinity has such depth, we were able to piggyback some of the core architecture, and then enhance it for speed to be able to manage that volume of content,” said Rehan, “We used the Sitefinity Module Builder significantly throughout the whole project.”
The Best Western GB development team also took advantage of the MVC framework compatibilities in Sitefinity to redevelop widgets and achieve some key wins, “Performance-wise, it's been huge. From the speed of the website, to the responsiveness to the users. We saw SEO benefits, as a result of that speed. The cleaner markup that you end up with on the front end, became aiding SEO points as well. Leads have been huge factors,” said Rehan.