Auth0’s SSO authentication services support SiteMinder to simplify a complex world for its hotel customers globally
The hotel business is about more than providing a room. In a digital age where consumers are spoilt for choice and demand a highly-personalised experience, hotels are challenged with making every stage of their guests’ journey a memorable one. And, one company allows hotels to do just that – to be there, delighting their guests, every step of the way.
Founded in 2006, SiteMinder serves as a platform for hotels looking to acquire guests easily in an otherwise complex landscape.
“Hoteliers have the constant challenge of running a business while having to also tend to the guests in front of them; they don’t have the time or the expertise to appease every would-be guest out there as well,” says Mike Rogers, CTO and Co-Founder of SiteMinder. “Our platform offers a number of smart and simple solutions that effectively allow hotels to engage with guests at every stage of their customer lifecycle – before, during and after their stay.”
This comprehensive approach to guest acquisition has paid dividends for SiteMinder, which now processes more than 87 million hotel bookings each year (a rate of 166 per minute) for its 30,000 hotel customers across the globe. Its platform brings together everything hotels need to be successful in winning both new and repeat guest business. This includes distribution to over 400 of the world’s top booking websites and travel agents everywhere, market intelligence that informs room pricing, and hotel websites complete with a booking engine to enable conversions. Additionally, hotels can access a full range of third-party applications to engage more closely with their guests through such things as mobile messaging, customised emails, mobile key, and feedback tools.
The vastness of SiteMinder’s platform necessitated a move to drive a simple, consistent user experience for its hotel customers. Although customers sought to get the most out of the platform’s offering, each product was siloed, requiring a separate login and forcing customers to engage in a frustrating degree of password management.
Auth0 was able to provide Single Sign On (SSO) support, consolidating SiteMinder’s many different products onto one dashboard and allowing hotel customers to seamlessly and securely transition between services.
SiteMinder has made no secret of the fact that they are willing to build their own technology if they can’t find a suitable partner to work with, so why partner with Auth0 for SSO authentication? Why not develop the technology in-house? SiteMinder actually experimented with their own SSO software, even deploying it in a test environment before determining that matching the reliability and scope of services that Auth0 could provide would require a major investment – one that would divert significant resources from their core business and slow down the pace of innovation the company had been known for.
“It came down to opportunity cost,” says Rogers. “While we could do it, to go to production meant that we would have to commit a number of our existing resources to maintain it, which would take them away from innovating and other, more valuable work.”
Rather than use resources that could be spent growing the business to develop SSO functionality, SiteMinder chose instead to focus on improving and expanding their core offerings while working with a respected SSO authenticator to take care of the rest. Auth0 is largely able to operate behind the scenes, requiring little management from SiteMinder.
“Auth0 is pretty much invisible,” says Rogers. “And, I think it works well when you are that transparent. We don’t have to worry about it because login and password management is now a solved problem for us.”
With the explosion of new, niche hotel technology offerings in recent years, Rogers describes the addressable market as a “land grab situation” worldwide. The company and its competitors continue to look at increasing market share in both new and established regions by expanding product offerings, developing new features, and cross-selling. Streamlining customer and partner interactions through SSO authentication has been crucial.
Not only has working with Auth0 to provide SSO authentication tools allowed SiteMinder to make more efficient use of its resources, it has also allowed the company to take advantage of the ongoing innovations that Auth0 is contributing to the field.
“Doing what Auth0 does in-house would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and that’s just to manage the service and keep it running,” says Rogers. “To roll out additional features, that cost would rise directly in proportion to the number of features we would want to add and how many developers we would need to make it happen. Anytime Auth0 releases a feature, that’s something we don’t have to do ourselves. Ultimately, that benefits not only us, but the hotel customers that rely on us to continue supporting them through our own enhancements and innovations.”
Auth0, a global leader in Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), provides thousands of customers in every market sector with the only identity solution they need for their web, mobile, IoT, and internal applications. Its extensible platform seamlessly authenticates and secures more than 2.5 billion logins per month, making it loved by developers and trusted by global enterprises. The company’s U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA, and additional offices in Buenos Aires, London, Tokyo, and Sydney, support its global customers that are located in 70+ countries.