Virtual Program Empowers UCF Rosen College's Future Hotel Leaders

Virtual Program Empowers UCF Rosen College’s Future Hotel Leaders

UCF Rosen College students and faculty pose for a photo during the d2o completion ceremony.

The University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management recently gave new meaning to the term “on-the-job training,” as 20 undergraduate students virtually stepped into the role of a hotel general manager, using the latest technology in hospitality education. During a three-week pilot program, students volunteered to receive a crash course in dynamic performance management and were then each tasked with managing their own virtual hotel property, using the theories and principles they just learned.

“As a student, I was empowered to make revenue management decisions as a general manager of a real-life hotel,” said senior hospitality management major, John Posada. “I learned how to forecast different segments of my hotel on a daily, monthly and yearly forecast, with regard to the kitchen, restaurant, front office, bar, administration, cleaning, and housekeeping departments. It was an exceptional opportunity because I learned how to operate a resort in real time, just as a general manager would.” Posada scored 9.59 out of 10 on the dynamic performance management index to place first in the awards competition.

Through a cloud-based environment, the innovative Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) suite, created by global technology company d2o, allowed students to receive real data from the actual Britannia Hotel in Norway. Students used this data to manage their own virtual hotel property, including staffing and scheduling, food purchasing, daily occupancy, departmental revenue forecasting, stock level control, and more.

“This technology affords our students the unique opportunity to experience the same real-world business issues that general managers face,” said Dr. Abraham Pizam, dean of UCF’s Rosen College. “This state-of-the-art technology not only helps teach, but also reinforces the culture of collaboration and proactive revenue management skills in a fun, practical, and engaging manner.”

To enhance the learning experience and gauge their grasp of the material, the college created a student competition to see who had the most successful hotel at the end of the three-week course. For winning the competition, d2o will host Posada on a trip to Norway to tour the actual Britannia Hotel, the hotel that students virtually managed during the competition.

“Conventional cost control and isolated revenue management practice is no longer enough to optimize the bottom-line meaningfully,” said Young Nguyen, President and CEO of d2o. “Owners and operators have to manage resources just as proactively as they manage rates and distribution.  Our next generation of hotel general managers will manage through communication and collaboration, avoiding cost overruns and poor guest service.”

UCF’s Rosen College is the first academic institution in the United States to use d2o’s revolutionary technology in the classroom.

d2o is the leading provider of real-time performance management solutions for the hospitality industry. Its proprietary Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) Series is an integrated suite of performance navigation solutions that guide hotels and resorts to discover untapped profit by dynamically managing resources and eliminating waste. PMI empowers operations to collaborate, share information and manage future outcomes. The result is the lowest possible F&B and labor costs, reduced waste and higher profit. PMI solution functionality includes robust enterprise and department-level budgeting and forecasting, as well as food cost control, employee scheduling and labor productivity management. Founded in Norway in 2000, d2o has offices in Europe and the United States serving its expanding global customer base of over 400 leading hotel chains, independents, and management companies. For more information, go to www.d2o.biz.