The guest experience revolution is about far more than technology, however—it fundamentally changes the business conversation at a strategic level. Yes, companies can gain enormous benefits from the data being gathered by all those smart phone apps, lobby sensors, and social media posts, but they must do so within the context of a vision that has been rebuilt around the guest. “It’s about knowing your customer and creating a personalized experience for them, and companies are establishing enterprisewide digital business strategies in order to deliver,” says Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s hospitality group. Not surprisingly, such a fundamental change has spawned some fascinating shifts throughout the industry. Here are a few of the more interesting plot twists. Personalization requires integration: Guests don’t think in terms of line-of-business functions, so why organize information in silos? Putting guest engagement first requires companies to understand the guest as an individual, making systems integration vital. For example, most leading hotel chains integrate their restaurant food and beverage and leisure systems with other hotel applications, such as property management, in order to build a complete guest profile. “They are integrating that data as a key element in the digital strategy,” says Bernard Jammet, senior vice president for hotels at Oracle. Once that information is aggregated, it can be served to and accessed by guests using their mobile devices, allowing them to do things like book a spa treatment or check their bill any time during their stay. Mobile also plays a big part in allowing guests to personalize their experience using their own devices. For example, at some hotels, guests can plug their devices into the in-room TVs and sound systems so that they can easily access media of their choosing. “There’s a growing expectation for mobile services that deliver personalization,” says Jammet. “This is a big focus for many of our customers right now.” Get the full story at Forbes