Marriott's technology includes web-based computing, client/server, and mainframe systems using a frame relay and TCP/IP network for data communications for each business location. Marriott runs the ninth largest private data network in the United States, largely on Cisco routers and switches. The company's network supports more than 2,500 servers and 20,000 PCs worldwide. The operating environment includes TPF, OS/390, UNIX, NT, and Windows 98 platforms.

Functional areas supported include guest services, reservations, payroll, financial analysis, reporting, and communicating with business partners and customers. Marriott's applications range from property-based systems to enterprise-wide systems. Application software used includes PeopleSoft and Siebel. Development is in C++, Forté, and COBOL. These applications use Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server for database management. The web environment uses the latest Internet tools for the company's e-Commerce and B2B initiatives.

A typical project might include building a data warehouse, with Oracle on the back end, that provides occupancy and rate statistics. Similar large-scale projects include development of the company's worldwide reservations system, which handles more than one million reservations a week and 400 transactions a second. The Internet reservations system generated more than $150 million in bookings in 1999. Guest and conference rooms in more than 300 hotels have high-speed Internet access, which allows simultaneous phone conversations and Internet connections.

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Most employees work at corporate headquarters in Bethesda or nearby buildings in Rockville, or the data center in Frederick, Maryland, in a suburban, campus setting that includes a pond with geese.

Parking is free. Coffee is free. There are health care and day care centers on-site, as well as a dry cleaner, post office, and gas station. According to Martina Morales, Director of IT Staffing, "You can pick up milk and bread and rent a video before you go home, and use your corporate id card to have the costs deducted from your paycheck." Benefits include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. In addition, employees are eligible for a stock purchase plan, tuition reimbursement and professional training, service awards, and hotel and gift shop discounts.

Social activities include summer picnics, a formal winter holiday party, and corporate softball teams. Marriott sponsors several community service days a year. Recently, for instance, employees cleaned up a nearby park, painting, gardening, and erecting a giant tent for an upcoming fair; and served food in homeless shelters.

The hospitality industry operates on a 24/7 schedule. Hotels have an official opening ceremony during which they throw away the key to the front door, because they will never close it again. There may be some need for overtime. As Alexander says, "We don't have people living at their desks. At the end of the day, we go home, but sometimes long hours are necessary." Travel is only necessary for those supporting international or regional operations, less than five percent of the team. At least 50 staff members telecommute, on schedules ranging from one or two days a week at home to one or two days a month in the office, from as far away as Florida and Colorado. Dress is business casual.

The company is particularly interested in creating a diverse workplace, in which work and life are balanced. Recent awards confirm their success in achieving this goal. Fortune named the company to its list of the 50 Best Companies for Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. Working Mother magazine included Marriott in its list of 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers seven years in a row. Business Week cited the company as one of the 20 most family-friendly companies. We magazine showcased Marriott as one of its Top Ten companies in the Employment of People with Disabilities. Finally, the National Association of School Psychologists honored the company with its Special Friend to Children award.

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Moving out of Marriott Settlement, Utah, J. Willard Marriott, Sr. and his bride, Alice, started a 9-seat A&W root beer stand in Washington, D.C., that was to grow into a leading, worldwide hospitality company. Marriott now operates and franchises more than 2,000 operating units in the United States and 57 other countries and territories. Its brands range from full-service to select service and extended stay, including Marriott, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International. Marriott also develops and operates vacation ownership resorts and provides furnished corporate housing through ExecuStay by Marriott. Other Marriott businesses include senior living communities, wholesale food distribution, procurement services and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC.

Marriott's initial foray into providing cold food and beverage services soon expanded to include hot food. The company incorporated as Hot Shoppes, Inc. in 1929, two years after its founding. Eight years later, it invented the business of providing meals on airplanes. In quick succession, the company went public (sold out its offering in two hours), initiated food service for large customers such as the U.S. Treasury building and defense plants, and opened restaurants on the New York State Thruway. In 1957, the company opened its first hotel, the Twin Bridges Marriott Motor Hotel, in Arlington, Virginia.

By 1986, Marriott had acquired Host International, operator of airport terminal food, and Saga, a diversified food service company. The 1993, the company reorganized, separating its hotel ownership and real estate operations (Host Marriott) from hotel management (Marriott International). In 1998, Marriott spun off its food service management business, merging it with a French food service company, creating Sodexho Marriott Services.

Marriott distinguishes itself from its competitors, such as Starwood Resorts, Hilton, and Hyatt, through its policy of attention to detail, which translates into consistency and dependability. In addition, its range of properties from economy to luxury, its focus on customers, care of its employees, and use of technology as a business differentiator make this company stand out in the hospitality industry.

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The Information Resources (IR) department has more than 1,300 technical professionals. While the company has a traditional career path of Programmer, Programmer Analyst, Senior Programmer, Lead Programmer, and Systems Consultant, it has developed a career family approach to staff development and offers its associates an array of project management and methodology training courses.

The company maintains an extensive internal web site with job descriptions, and a list of skills needed at any level. Job openings are written incorporating basic/working/advanced competencies needed for specific positions. Internal training, such as their Project Management Certification course, is aimed at helping employees satisfy these needs. Apparently, it is working. Of 341 positions filled last year, nearly half were internal transfers. The company maintained an 11percent turnover rate. This may explain why its next most successful recruiting method is employee referrals. The company finds its other new employees through a combination of the Internet (both its own site and popular employment sites such as and, and partnerships with colleges. Leading universities which supply many of the company's new hires include the University of Maryland, Howard University, and the University of Virginia. Entry-level professionals should have some related internship experience.

Marriott's current IR staff have education ranging from no college degree to the Ph.D. level. Some have multiple degrees, combining, for instance, an undergraduate degree in Art with a graduate degree in Information Technology. According to Alexander, "I look for intelligence, integrity, energy, enthusiasm, and customer focus. Candidates with the confidence to try new approaches and the breadth to understand how technology can add value to a business process will see the impact of their work on the organization." Adds Morales, "We are a hospitality organization, so we look for people with a very strong customer service orientation." Marriott rewards long-term employees with anniversary celebrations. Many on the IT staff have been there for more than 25 years.

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No IT jobs currently posted. Previous job listings are shown below.

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Programmer/Analyst - Web Development BA/BS   DHTML, ASP,IIS, VBScript, JavaScript, Oracle Bethesda, Maryland
Sr. Systems Analyst   4 years PowerBuilder, Oracle, MS Interdev,PL/SQL Bethesda, Maryland
VM Systems Administrator     VM Bethesda, Maryland
Network System / 390     System/ 390 Bethesda, Maryland
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  • CNET, "Hotel Giants Team on Net Marketplace", May 2, 2000
  • Computerworld, "Aligning Marriott", April 10, 2000
  • Covin's Washington Area Computer Job Guide, 1993
  •, "Hospitality Industry Welcoming e-procurement", May 18, 2000
  • The Spirit to Serve: Marriott's Way. J.W. Marriott, Jr., and Kathi Ann Brown. HarperBusiness, 1997.
  • Washington Post, "4 Decades, 2,000 Hotels", April 10, 2000
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