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Since 1962, G6 Hospitality and its Motel 6 brand have sought to continuously reinvent the economy lodging category. All while remaining 100% committed to delivering a great experience to its guests, team members, franchisees and partners. But after almost 60 years, the company’s infrastructure was behind the times. So G6 set a challenge: a major transformation of its technology platforms.

In a rapidly changing hospitality landscape, consumers expect digital tools to book their stay. G6 Hospitality launched an internal program called IT 2.0 to increase responsiveness and connectivity and be more mobile-friendly. And most importantly, better meet guest expectations.

Business Needs

Operating its business with the initiative and creativity of an entrepreneur, G6 is dedicated to hospitality and service. To keep pace in the economy lodging category while delivering great guest, team member, franchisee and partner experiences, G6 Hospitality set a challenge: a major transformation of its technology platforms. Called IT 2.0, the program has three succinct goals:

  • Be cloud first by strategically sourcing off-the-shelf software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, building tailored solutions with the help of cloud-based partners (like HotelKey and Above-Property) and building competitively advantageous cloud solutions in-house with the help of consultants at NTT DATA.
  • Improve the ‘option value’ of G6 Hospitality technology platforms, anticipating the ever-increasing evolution of business demands over time.
  • Increase the speed of its technology platforms in performance, flexibility, scalability and ability to respond to business goals faster (agility). Doing so will enable business innovation at the strategic level.


  • Improves interactions with guests
  • Frees hotel general managers from legacy systems, giving them more time for operational excellence
  • Opens and onboards new properties faster
  • Lowers the cost of experimentation
  • Speeds change from several months to a couple of weeks
  • Establishes and maintains a single source of truth


Making meaningful connections

Headquartered in Dallas, G6 Hospitality’s network consists of more than 1,400 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s mission is to build on the iconic heritage of its Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands and be the universally recognized leader in economy lodging. G6 also plans to franchise the Hotel 6 and Estudio 6 brands in Central America.

To meet its ambitious goals, the company launched IT 2.0. The project focuses on increasing G6 Hospitality’s responsiveness, connectivity and mobile-friendliness. It’s designed to address the rapidly changing hospitality landscape, where consumers are increasingly digital-first. G6 also wants to better compete with technology-driven booking channels like mobile sites, search engines and online travel agencies.

G6 Hospitality EVP and CIO Jessie Burgess knew that both planning and creating strategic partnerships were imperative to a successful IT 2.0 implementation. The program was designed with the business in mind first. The planning process proactively identified business needs and then, working from that foundation, mapped out how technology could best support those needs.

From the identified corporate initiatives, the G6 technology team made several technology environment decisions. For example, they determined through a structured assessment process that becoming a single-cloud shop — standardizing on AWS — was the best approach for the business. Following this decision, the team began looking for a cloud services integrator partner. They needed help building the core components of its re-envisioned technology platform in the AWS cloud.

G6 Hospitality chose NTT DATA to help support its transition, as both teams had a similar strategy for how to approach and achieve the goals of IT 2.0. Specifically, Burgess notes, “our team is doing the important work today to keep the lights on and the business running. They can’t simultaneously do this and be dedicated to a project of this magnitude. While in the building phase, we need people who are 100% dedicated to the project, and that’s where the NTT DATA team — and their AWS experience — came in.”

The AWS solution

The NTT DATA consulting team’s deep AWS expertise allowed them to hit the ground running. According to Burgess, “They have the know-how, which allows them to work at increased speed, with decreased mistakes and greater throughput. There is a huge benefit of working with people who already know how to do it.” However, the consulting team didn’t simply come in and build the solution. Through a structured transition plan, they taught the G6 Hospitality team how to use, maintain and extend the new systems. As Burgess points out, the speed of business and technology is moving so quickly that the team needs to build innovative systems today and an agile platform that can extend to support future, still undefined needs. The consulting team’s experience contributed to G6 Hospitality’s ability to achieve both goals, innovating for today and extending toward tomorrow.

The consulting team completed the structured knowledge transfer phases with their G6 counterparts. Simultaneously, the G6 technology environment moved from legacy system-dependent to AWS-based. This shift allowed the company to retire technical debt while seamlessly reassigning the NTT DATA engineers to other parts of the IT 2.0 effort. In this way, G6 Hospitality serves the business by keeping core systems running smoothly while advancing internal AWS knowledge and efficiently using financial resources. All while transitioning to the cloud and increasing the option value of its technology platforms.

Improving the option value

G6 Hospitality embraces the ‘option value’ concept: moving from an older, inflexible platform that may have technology and architectural limitations to a newer, more advanced platform with benefits like flexibility supported by innovation and best practices. The G6 team evaluates these merits to better understand how they can respond to business needs rapidly, efficiently and effectively — and with a higher likelihood of success. “Option value is the detailed measure of the increase in our ability to respond in a timely and effective manner to the business needs of tomorrow, which are often unseen today. It quantifies a continuing move from the enforced inflexibility of the past to the sustainable innovation needed for the future,” Burgess says.

One such example is G6’s property management system, which customers use to check in to a property. The system is critical to staff efficiency and the guest experience. G6 moved from a traditional on-premises, server-based, hub-and-spoke architecture solution that required highly customized PCs and several disparate peripherals behind the front desk to an all-new, cloud-based HotelKey property management system. Running on iPads, HotelKey’s highly advanced architecture and AWS back end make the check-in experience faster, more consistent and more engaging.

With an intuitive and flexible interface, the front desk staff is free to focus on the guest. It’s a better use of their time than wading through the traditionally deep PC menus often required to complete the check-in process. Because it has fewer hardware components, the HotelKey app is easier to support and maintain. Before, each property would have to call central support to diagnose and fix critical hardware failures. (It was often a lengthy process of ordering, configuring, shipping and reconnecting a system.) Now, properties need only procure a highly available off-the-shelf iPad and download the AWS-delivered HotelKey app. With all data in the cloud, there’s no lengthy reconfiguration to be back up and running — delivering a positive guest experience and resuming operational efficiency.

Leaving the legacy

Prioritized based on business needs and technology dependencies, G6 Hospitality has also made significant progress in retiring its legacy Central Reservations System platform. The company is replacing it with the advanced AWS cloud-based Distributed Reservations System featuring AboveProperty. This platform includes an advanced, cloud-native core for rates and availability, revenue management optimization, property content and a call centre application. Even before this significant transition of its core reservations environment was complete, G6 Hospitality experienced positive impacts. The advanced platform boosts speed, resiliency and flexibility. In addition, G6 continues to build out other foundational services to AWS.

When G6 Hospitality launched the IT 2.0 program, the team identified and documented all business objectives and the metrics that would be critical to measuring return on investment. Because of this detailed planning effort, the benefits of G6’s new AWS-based systems are manifold.

One big benefit the company touts is the lowered cost of experimentation. The flexibility of the AWS cloud platform allows the G6 Hospitality team to explore and test new business initiatives faster and with less risk. An agile scrum approach also means the team can innovate, build and test faster, with less cost. Changes that used to take several months can now be completed in a couple of weeks.

With its fine-grained microservices architecture, G6 Hospitality can move more quickly today and will be able to change more quickly in the future. It's already reducing its legacy platform dependence while greatly increasing flexibility. According to Burgess, “One of our goals was to achieve higher speed connections and updates across platforms. And as we’re building out in the cloud, we’re seeing increased parity of data and information across environments. We are also able to ensure that we establish and maintain a single source of truth for our data in the network while requiring that our key vendors communicate through our foundation services.”

G6 is improving interactions with guests and giving property general managers more capacity to interact with staff and guests because they spend much less time on legacy, disparate or paper-based systems. With these changes, G6 Hospitality opens and onboards new properties faster. Training on the new systems is much quicker, and the time required to turn up a property and get it connected has been greatly reduced. In addition, the ability to connect to vendors with more speed and flexibility allows G6 to better capitalize on business opportunities and operational needs. These changes create a continuous cycle of benefits, with greater guest, employee and franchisee satisfaction rippling throughout the business.

About G6 Hospitality

Founded in 1962, Dallas-based G6 Hospitality strives to provide clean, comfortable rooms with great service at a fair price. Thanks to its iconic brand — Motel 6 — the company is synonymous with travel value.

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United States

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