Our monthly webinar series is the second Wednesday of the month and we invite you to join Terence Gilbey, General Manager and CEO of Esalen Institute, as we explore:
120 Days of Transformation: An Esalen Case Study
Wednesday 30 January, 10am PST (rescheduled from 9 Jan due to zoom being down)
Like a number of the centers in HCN, Esalen was started before we had the internet and when computers were the size of small cars. Before the age of the “app”, software was custom written and was designed to work the way the business was run. There was no best practice or an existing model for Esalen so the software grew organically as the center learned how to grow and operate.
Thus was born “Blackberry”. A Filemaker Pro database, named after a cat. It did everything from track who was in what bed to the restricted funds from our generous donors. As one person thought of something that would help the system work better it was added on. The internet arrived and that two was ‘added on’. Blackberry became the “Winchester House” of software. Like a cancer, it had grown to touch every part of the operations. Blackberry was the poster child of the IT system running the business rather than being in service of it.
Fast forward to 2018. Esalen has rebuilt its business model. It’s not unique and other centers and hotel properties now operate effectively using best practice proven, over time, to be effective. Software to do much of what Blackberry does, what a retreat center does, is available off the shelf and in the cloud.
In approximately 120 days Esalen replaced its entire IT stack of software to enable business process changes. From the General Ledger to the reservations system, Massage Booking to Point of Sale. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t always pretty, but this is a look at how the challenge was approached, what worked and what lessons were learned along the way.
Join us for a review and lessons learned followed by a chance to do some Q&A.
The following blog was posted after the webinar.