IT is it among the swaying, tropical palms of Rarotonga

Imagine getting away from the cold winter to plan and fix IT systems amid tropical palms and white sandy beaches. The four-star Rarotongan Beach Resort in the Cook Islands is looking for an information technology manager.

Title: IT manager, Rarotongan Beach Resort, Cook Islands

Function: Overall responsibility for the resort’s IT

Description: Management of all hardware and software assets, liaison with vendors, troubleshooting on a 24/7 basis, training staff, establishing and monitoring systems and procedures. In charge of a few IT support staff and being a member of the hotel management team

Dosh: $75,000 to $100,000

Imagine getting away from the cold winter to plan and fix IT systems amid tropical palms and white sandy beaches.

The four-star Rarotongan Beach Resort in the Cook Islands is looking for an information technology manager.

Owner Tata Crocombe says IT is seen as “mission critical” at the resort. It is used for billing guests, ordering food, reservations management plus data "mining" to understand customers and their needs concerning such things as room types, pricing and engineering menus.

The resort’s technology platform involves 55 Pentium PCs running Microsoft Office, including six servers using Windows NT. Its core software is a US specialist hotel program called Visual One, which offers front desk, sales, restaurant and accounting modules. The resort uses a NEC 7400 telephone system including voicemail and a small mobile phone network as well as Callista call accounting software from New Zealand. The resort maintains its own website, which is used to provide information to travel agents. Rarotongan Beach also says more than half of its guests look at the site before deciding to stay. Crocombe says the resort is installing a new systems for payroll, inventory management, energy management, electronic door locking, yield management, asset registers and TVs.

The IT manager vacancy arose because of the growth of the resort as well as its use of IT, which comprised five PCs only four years ago.

The job involves administering and maintaining all the resort’s technology; liaising with vendors in the US, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, usually by phone. Staff also have to be trained to use the systems and be given support. Becoming a member of the management team, the IT manager would work with them to mine the data to better understand and manage the business better.

The manager would also be in charge of staff, such as a network administrator and webmaster, who are also currently being recruited. “There is also a high degree of interaction with people and assisting them to get the most out of IT, from waiters to the general manager,” says Crocombe.

The isolation of the Cook Islands creates its own challenges, he says, but the internet and phones make it easy to access information and for vendors to fix equipment. Besides, he says, the Cook Islands are “stunningly beautiful” and the resort is “a progressive go-ahead kind of place”.

Paper qualifications are preferred, as would a Microsoft certified engineer’s qualification, plus something in website design. Hotel experience is also preferred, particularly in terms of systems for property management, point of sales, accounting, call accounting, inventory, door locking, TV and phones.

The successful candidate is likely to be currently working as a hotel IT manager.

Crocombe says the role could lead to further progression into hotel management on the IT side or within the IT industry.

He won’t say what the salary is, other than it is “competitive” with New Zealand.

Glenn Bratton of recruiters Robert Walters says the role would pay $75,000 to $100,000 in Auckland. But the decision is likely to depend on how keen the successful candidate is on living in a tropical paradise as against solely making money.

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