Marriott HR upgrades to cloud suite as employees and guests return to its properties

April 20, 2021 | 2 minute read
Linda Currey Post
Senior Writer
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Karen Nelson never imagined she would lead a global human resources IT project from her dinner table.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever spent that much time in my dining room,” recalls Nelson, senior vice president for human resources systems and compensation at Marriott International.

Marriott was operating on legacy HR systems that were nearing end-of-life and service contracts that were expiring. The status quo was not an option: The hotel chain’s current platforms were not going to meet the long-term demands of the global workforce. As a result, when Marriott—the world’s largest provider of hotel rooms, operating 7,600 hotels in 130 countries—sent workers home to shelter from the pandemic, Nelson’s team was within 100 days of launching a new Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) system.

Nelson shared her story with Steve Miranda, executive vice president of Oracle Applications product development, at an Oracle Live virtual conference called “Build the future of business” in late March.

Crisis management

The pandemic brought Nelson’s launch plans to “a screeching halt” for four months, while Marriott managers helped employees adjust to working from home and devised new safety policies for employees and hotel guests. The hotel activated its “Marriot Global Cleanliness Council,” a group of internal and external experts who applied current best practices and the latest scientific data about how to manage the chain’s business safely through the pandemic. “We had to pivot to worrying about how to quickly source cleaning supplies in a short period of time,” says Nelson, whose team worked closely with Marriott property owners and franchisees.

The team eventually announced a new launch date of December 26, 2020, for Oracle Cloud HCM, reinstating the “big bang” plan that called for all the HCM modules to go live at the same time in all locations. Nelson remembers the intensity of the big day. “We had more than 700 people sitting around the world in their homes with their kids and their dogs, helping to support us,” she says.

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Since the launch, Marriott managers and employees in the US have been using a full range of HCM modules to automate the organization: core HR processes, recruiting, payroll, absence management, performance evaluation, compensation, and learning. All modules are available in 15 languages.

“So far, we’ve had tremendous feedback from our associates,” Nelson reports, with many employees using the self-service capabilities of the software. She says the HR team is looking forward to expanding access to the new Oracle HCM system so employees outside the US can learn new skills and expand their career opportunities at Marriott.

To read more about how Marriott is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

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Linda Currey Post

Senior Writer

Linda Currey Post, an award-winning science and technology writer, is the Human Capital Management cloud content strategist for Oracle Content Central.

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