MGM Tech Chief Talks Mobility, Big Data and Strategy
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Becky Wanta's job is to use technology to make everyone at MGM resorts feel like a high roller.
The MGM Resorts International global chief technology and innovation officer spoke to CompTIA Breakaway attendees on Thursday from a customer perspective about how issues like big data and mobility are affecting the company's technical direction.
"Our whole go-to market strategy is the experience," she said from the ARIA Resort & Casino, where rooms "welcome" guests by automatically opening drapes to show the Las Vegas view when they enter the room. Bedside touchscreen dashboards control lights, alarms, drapes and the television. A "goodnight" button next to the bed turns everything in the room off at once.
"The way of tech in the future is de-emphasizing the tech," she said. "You just think you're going to do something."
She stressed that big data isn't useful unless that information is being used to improve customer relationships.
"Information is always in motion someplace," she said. "You now need a way to make the architecture pieces less discrete."
She told attendees she often partners with small companies on tech solutions because they can be more nimble than their bigger counterparts. It's a matter of finding the right mix of "buy," "build," and "integrate," for tech solutions, she said.
"The worst thing you can do is think you can build it all in-house," she said. "There's no time to build everything yourself."
While it's essential that any tech solution support mobile device use, she said it's important to not build strategy around specific devices.
"When I write tech strategy, it's device agnostic and channel agnostic," she said. "Devices will change, channels will become more fluid."