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10 Best Guest Room Tablet Vendors for Hotels

World leading developer of cloud-based solutions for hotels that provide digital guest services...
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This vendor is the most popular in the category with 31 reviews across 9 countries.
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
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92
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Hoteliers wish to get rid of paper directories and move to digital platforms – there is a general acceptance that digital directories are... read more

  • Based in
    Newport Pagnell (United Kingdom)
  • Founded in
  • 26 employees on Linkedin
Guest Engagement and Communication Platform (GECP) with in-room tablets
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
68
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

  AavGo is a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based hospitality operations management solutions. It gives hoteliers a unique way... read more

  • Based in
    Sunnyvale, California
  • Founded in
  • 23 employees on Linkedin
Focus on your guests, connect your staff with INTELITY Guest (Tablets).
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
63
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Our In-Room Tablets replace the printed compendium, collateral, and alarm clocks of the past and gives guests complete control over their stay... read more

  • Based in
    Orlando (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 88 employees on Linkedin
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FREE TOOL Want to find out which Guest Room Tablets matches your hotel’s DNA? Take the Quiz
Engage and delight your guests with touchscreen access to all of your amenities.
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
63
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Volo is an in-room tablet solution that gives your guests interactive, touchscreen access to all of your hotel amenities. Volo proves... read more

  • Based in
    Austin, TX
  • Founded in
  • 15 employees on Linkedin
Information services and Hospitality industry services
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
60
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Transforming the in-room guest experience for hotels worldwide. Tapendium have created a globally relevant, low cost, digital information... read more

  • Based in
    Port Melbourne (Australia)
  • Founded in
  • 7 employees on Linkedin
Hotel Software, Tablets, In Room Ordering
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
59
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

With an extensive suite of web-based administrative tools, Tuch tablets are easy to manage. Whether you have 1 tablet or 1000, you can update and... read more

  • Based in
    Tuscon, Arizona
  • 5 employees on Linkedin
A full range of interactive services is offered right from the In-Room Tablet or Guests' own devi...
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
54
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

iRiS is a global leading Enterprise Applications Platform Provider creating innovative mobile and web solutions for the Hospitality industry... read more

  • Based in
    London (United Kingdom)
  • Founded in
  • 61 employees on Linkedin
Hospitality Systems, in-room controls, iPad systems for luxury Hotels, smart phone apps, voice ba...
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
0
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

DigiValet is a global leader providing the world’s first, full-featured iPad-based guest room solution that allows hotel guests to intuitively... read more

  • Based in
    Singapore
  • Founded in
  • 102 employees on Linkedin
Guest facing Technology, Phones, Mobile Ordering
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
0
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Handy is a powerful hospitality solution for revenue and guest satisfaction. Top hotel brands on every continent around the world are already... read more

  • Based in
    Hong Kong
  • Founded in
  • 414 employees on Linkedin
Interactive guest experience software and Digital OOH (Out Of Home) advertising
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
0
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Based in New York, Incentient develops bespoke interactive guest experience applications for the luxury hospitality industry. Installed in hotels... read more

  • Founded in
  • 22 employees on Linkedin

Recent Guest Room Tablets articles

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The definitive guide to ITB Berlin 2019: 5 key trends that every hotelier must know

Last week Hotel Tech Report attended ITB to discover the most cutting edge innovations in travel and hotels.  Each year thousands congregate at Messe Berlin to connect with peers, partners and clients from around the globe. Below are 5 key trends that every hotelier needs to know about this year.  In this article we outline each trend, tell you how it impacts your hotel and give an overview of the companies that launched or showcased on trend products at ITB.  For those of you who couldn't make it to Berlin we also cut a reel from the show so you can get the next best thing to being there.   Check out Hotel Tech Report's official ITB Berlin 2019 Recap video above   5 key trends & takeaways from ITB 2019 1. Automation is going mainstream 2. Software tools are breaking down operational silos 3. Hotel software is moving towards self service 4. App marketplaces are soaring 5. Meeting venues are getting wired up   Our take on automation in hotel software Automation allows for time consuming, tedious and repetitive processes to be handled completely by software. When a task or process reaches the limits of the software’s capability, the appropriate team member is looped in to take over which is a beautiful thing. Let’s face it, if you’ve ever worked in a hotel you know that there are dozens of repetitive tasks that seem like a computer should be able to handle and in many cases perform even better, and now they can.   Automation frees up staff to focus on the things that those computers can’t handle like high level strategic thinking, trying new products and serving guests. Many hotels are still afraid that technology and the personal touch are conflicting ideas; however, innovative hotel groups are realizing that technology and automation actually enable them to focus on the personal aspects of experience in a way they couldn’t when they were bogged down with repetitive tasks.   What's new in automation? IDeaS launches Investigator to let revenue managers uncover the rationale behind automated pricing decisions by asking Alexa. IDeaS announced Investigator, an intuitive way to answer your management's question: How did you achieve that price and those results?  IDeaS G3 is the most popular RMS on the market and now clients can ask the system via Amazon Alexa to rationalize the decisions that it automates to provide transparency into the decision making process that is out of a revenue managers hands and handled by the systems powerful A.I. engines. Hotelchamp launches Autopilot to help hoteliers leverage web data and user behavior to deliver personalized web experiences to boost conversion.  Hotelchamp announced Autopilot technology, which wants to transform how hotels approach their online guest bookings and experience. Autopilot uses AI to deliver an adaptive experience that is tailored to every single website visitor, and is completely GDPR compliant. Using an A.I. engine to identify customer segments and audiences, Hotelchamp Autopilot can automatically serve the best information for each guest.  Autopilot has been trained using pre-populated content, insights from the Hotelchamp data science team, and millions of A/B test impressions. Using this knowledge and live insights from the hotel’s website, Autopilot recognises and personalizes the website experience in real-time to convince visitors to book direct. All Hotelchamp tools can now be controlled by Autopilot, meaning the system will only deploy the right tools at the right time to the right audience. This process happens in real-time and is entirely personalised to each individual website visitor and moment in the booking phase. Crave Scheduler enables hotels to send targeted automated messages generating $5,000/mo in late checkouts.  With the amount of times mobile comes up in conversation and the media, you might think BYOD (bring your own device) is the only way to go but the reality is there are lots of occasions where hotels just simply don’t have the ability to get a guest’s contact info or get them to download an app.  Crave Interactive has a unique, and near unavoidable, position in the guest’s periphery with its in room tablets that see upwards of 90% guest engagement. At ITB, Crave announced a new feature called Crave Scheduler that puts a unique spin on automation allowing hotels to set rules to send target messages to guests.  One of the prime use cases that Crave customers have been taking full advantage of is timed late checkout offers which have seen upwards of $5,000 month in revenue at Crave hotel partners who received early access to the feature. UpsellGuru announced "Auto Pilot" which automates the entire up-selling process.  Upsell Guru now sends targeted emails, calculates the dynamic minimum and maximum upgrade bidding prices, sets up the system to decide which offers to accept and when, updates the PMS - all fully automated not requiring human interaction. The new feature allows hotels to up-sell their rooms & ancillary services  without moving a finger. This saves hotels plenty of time and allows them to use the system without having to log-in on a daily basis. They’re initial trial was successful with a British chain of 30 hotels where they achieve GBP 65,000 per month in up-selling revenue without any manual human work. Quicktext showcased its website chatbot to help guests find answers faster while unlocking $140,000 in requests per 100 rooms.  With Quicktext, guests can book at your hotel through a conversation (on various channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Website Live Chat and SMS), something that has been mainstream throughout Asia (specifically China) via WeChat but has been slower to catch up in the West.  The most practical use of chatbots is on a hotel website where prospective guests often get lost looking for basic information.  A chatbot can answer critical questions instantly like “how far is your hotel from the convention center?”, “what is the best way to get from the airport to the hotel on public transportation?” and “can we add a cot to our room?”.  This helps shorten the time needed to research the hotel and in turn increases conversion into your booking engine flow.  Humanise.AI had Gem on display boasting automation of 80% of inquiries.  Humanise.AI announced automated web-chat for hotels ensures that guests get an immediate response most of the time, but can still summon a member of hotel staff when needed. When hotels use human-only web-chat systems, they often struggle to respond to enquiries quickly enough, meaning guests leave the web site before they get a reply. With Humanise’s Gem product, they claim to automate ~80% of enquiries, radically improving the guest service and improving conversion-ratios for direct bookings. SABA put its multilingual guest request and F&B ordering chatbot on display.  SABA Hospitality Technology announced a bespoke and fully automated hospitality chatbot (SABAGuest Request).  This multilingual chatbot and digital F&B ordering platform provides guests with a seamless communication experience, without the need for downloads. It provides operators the opportunity to eliminate language barriers, provide instant answers to all guest requests and enquiries, and engage with guests on their preferred communication platform: messaging. This allows for the redeployment of staff away from call centers and other low-value repetitive tasks, to engage in meaningful guest interactions that help build long-term guest loyalty.     Our take on breaking down silos in hotel organizations It’s no secret that hotels have historically suffered from siloed organizational departments because historically without better communication tools and access to data, teams were essentially on an island in their own physical locations.  Technology companies are starting to realize that their products and tools can help hoteliers to become more effective by aligning departments around common goals, systems and data. At ITB we saw a lot of this happening as evidenced by a shift where CRM companies are starting to focus heavily on the operational applications of their guest data where historically that data has just been used for marketing purposes.   Who's breaking down operational silos? TravelClick weaves Demand360 data into its Campaign Advisor toolkit to leverage market intelligence data to optimize marketing campaigns fostering collaborative efforts between revenue and marketing.  TravelClick announced the addition of Demand360 to the Campaign Advisor toolkit. Building on last year’s email send time optimizer, Campaign Advisor now allows hoteliers to take the guesswork out of marketing by providing them with recommendations on when to run marketing campaigns based on predictive occupancy in the market.  Demand360 is the hospitality industry’s competitive market intelligence product providing forward-looking reservation metrics and competitive share by segment and channel. Hoteliers using TravelClick’s GMS and Demand360 products will have access to current and projected occupancy data versus competitive sets to best identify the most valuable time periods to run campaigns, allowing them to avoid offering discounts and packages during peak market occupancy and place campaigns when they need it most. A huge pain point for hoteliers is knowing when to send promotions and emails to customers, as hoteliers do not have a clear picture of how their future occupancy compares with their comp set. It’s hard to determine the most valuable time to run a campaign. The Campaign Advisor and Demand360 integration, which is proprietary to TravelClick, takes guesswork out of the equation and enables hoteliers to leverage market data to feel confident that they are choosing the best time to run campaigns and capture demand. Serenata CRM announced Decision Maker, a solution that combines business intelligence with campaign management. Serenata Intraware's Decision Maker allows different users groups like owners, management, operations and marketing to view the same data but from different perspectives to get an optimal view of the hotel operation, identify potential problems and take corrective actions.  The Decision Maker KPI dashboard gives a high-level insight into revenue, OTA share, loyalty contribution and other key metrics and trends. Other dashboards give subject matter experts from operations and marketing the ability to drill-down and identify the root cause for a problem and based on this insight create marketing campaigns using micro-segmentation to mitigate the problem without changing tools or breaking the workflow. Cendyn announced eNgage which brings marketing’s CRM data and customer profiles to front line operations teams bringing the gap between marketing and operations.  Cendyn's next generation product empowers front-line and call center staff to instantly access guest profiles including historical guest feedback, membership information, brand-wide stays, social profile information and more. Used in conjunction with Cendyn’s eInsight hotel CRM, eNgage sits on top of a hotel’s property management system or call center application and intelligently guides staff to create authentic, meaningful encounters and upsell offerings based on guest history, preferences and loyalty status. This lightweight application can be accessed on any device and features configurable messaging prompts and data displays. Like all Cendyn products, eNgage integrates seamlessly with other hotel systems, utilizing an open architecture that ensures the accuracy and completion of guest information for all team members at every touchpoint in the guest journey. Cendyn’s eNgage solution allows hoteliers to provide the right approach to personalization for guests throughout their stay. eNgage brings to life all the data that hotels are collecting on guests and it displays it in real-time through an application window that always sits on top of the hotel PMS. For staff on the front-line, access to data instantly is critical for them to manage their workload and allows them to navigate every situation elegantly with customer service and upselling, so guests feel known and valued, not overly monitored. Fornova expands its business intelligence offering to create a cross department interface for data insights.  Fornova announced that they recently acquired HotelsBI, a hotel Business Intelligence platform. With this acquisition, Fornova now caters to all roles and departments in the property and chain.  With this acquisition, Fornova now has three product offerings; Distribution Intelligence, HotelsBI & eCommerce Optimisation. HotelsBI simplifies the process of analysing internal and external data sources thanks to simple, intuitive dashboards - enabling faster, data-driven decisions to optimize hotel performance. Revinate’s CRM is now being used by front desk staff and showcased the scalability of its platform on newly AWS servers.  This shift allows Revinate to scale more efficiently and ultimately open guest data to new departments.  Revinate showcased the capabilities that get unlocked when front desk staff and managers can access CRM data. MeetingPackage.com brings revenue management and pricing optimization to your sales team.  The Company announced a partnership with IDeaS revenue solutions to bring real time dynamic pricing to meeting venues.  When paired with MeetingPackage’s online booking engine for event spaces, this is a truly groundbreaking development providing hoteliers with real time insights to optimize pricing and a seamless, intuitive, flexible and real time booking experience.      Our take on self service software in the hotel industry This is one of the trends that we’re most excited about at Hotel Tech Report.  Freemium and free trials are ubiquitous in the software world but it’s not until recently that it’s broken into the hotel market.  The challenge historically with hotel software has been that you need to ingest data from core systems like the PMS to make any software work; therefore, it’s hard to offer a free trial or self service.  As the hotel software market moves this direction we’ll continue to see exponential upticks in innovation and sophistication. Another key reason that hotels don’t like trying technology is because even if they like the solutions that they try - they’re so busy that they don’t want to add one more thing onto their teams’ respective plates.  Long complex implementations have stifled innovation for years and lead to a massive trust gap between buyers and sellers. At ITB, Oaky cracked the code on this problem by launching it’s simple onboarding wizard which helps hotels go live in just a few simple steps.   Who's helping you take things into your own hands? Oaky’s new self service onboarding lets hoteliers start upselling in under 5-minutes.  Oaky announced an onboarding wizard which allows hoteliers to go live themselves, by completing a few steps. This reduce onboarding time and effort, and allow hotels to buy Oaky from marketplaces and go live without human touch. Inside the wizard they’re putting together many millions of upsell moments, and predicting the optimal upselling set-up based on the type of hotel and its guests. From combining variables around the upsell, with data around the guest and the property - they suggest the optimal setup for the hotel (what deals to sell, which content, and so on) which also predict how much conversion and ancillary revenue guests that have not yet booked will spend using this setup. In today's revenue management, the room rate is often based on the room and not taking predictable revenue from segments into account. This upsell variable can impact the distribution decision and help hotels better price their rooms.  When the revenue management system knows the upsell spend of a guest from various booking channels, they can deduct the distribution costs and end up seeing how to price their rooms for a more profitable booking. Some segments spend 20% on top of the ADR, which makes sense for the hotel to 1) have an upsell setup that allows for that, and 2) an RM strategy that takes it into account to acquire more of those (more profitable) guests. Atomize’s self service functionality lets hoteliers try out automated revenue management on their own time.  Atomize showcased its advanced revenue management platform that has flexibility that allows hotels to control as much or as little as they’d like when it comes to revenue strategy.  Atomize’s mobile first platform has been designed from the ground up with the idea that hoteliers should be able to go live and try it out without ever speaking with an Atomize rep. The company’s founder, Leif Jaggerbrand told us that he’s had clients come in that his team has never met from countries he’s never heard of.  This dynamic is widespread in the broader SaaS industry and companies like Atomize are bringing this dynamic to hotels. Cloudbeds’ PIE bakes new revenue management capabilities native into the PMS.  Cloudbeds announced PIE - Pricing Intelligence Engine. PIE is built directly into Cloudbeds hospitality management suite. It is seamlessly integrated with the entire Cloudbeds suite, including PMS, booking engine and channel manager. This helps hoteliers and hosts who want one easy-to-system to manage everything.  Many of Cloudbeds’ clients have never used revenue management software before so this provides a lightweight way for them to get started making better pricing decisions.     Our take on hotel software app marketplaces Marketplaces are nothing new to the software industry.  The reality is that it’s impossible for one technology company to be the best at everything.  Historically the hotel tech industry has taken a different approach where incumbents have tried to bolt all functionality into the PMS and maintain a closed architecture but that is rapidly changing as hoteliers are increasingly unwilling to work with closed vendors and sub-par tools. In response to the shift most forward thinking providers are taking towards open architectures, several innovative cloud PMS companies have taken note from tech darlings like Salesforce, Intuit and Apple by creating marketplaces.  These marketplaces facilitate seamless integrations and eventually the ability to easily try new products with the click of a button making it easier than ever to find the best tools to grow your hotel business. Cloudbeds, Mews, Hotelogix, protel and Apaleo were the latest entrants into the marketplace space each launching their own native marketplace baked into their PMS empowering hoteliers to easily tap into a plethora of best-of-breed tools to grow their businesses right from their PMS.  eRevMax was the first non-PMS marketplace on the market and Snapshot was next but SiteMinder and more recently BookingSuite are clear favorites in the race to marketplace dominance.  Hapi is also taking a unique and differentiated approach by building a marketplace that is solution agnostic.  Hoteliers should note that none of these marketplaces have gained significant traction from a demand perspective so the field is wide open.  While the idea has been around for some years we are still in the early innings.  Two-sided marketplaces require supply and demand to develop but those rarely happen simultaneously. Each of the players below has focused on signing supply/tech partners lately so it will be interesting to see which is able to deliver the best user experience and actually change the way hotels interact with their software.   Who's who in the rise of marketplaces Cloudbeds Marketplace.  On top of announcing its native revenue management tool, PIE, Cloudbeds announced the official rollout of its marketplace offering enabling its 20,000+ hotel clients to access a variety of best-of-breed 3rd party tools to mix and match to find the perfect fit.   Mews Marketplace.  In a blaze of glory Mews Systems continued its streak of creative conference displays to showcase its marketplace with this year’s theme of Pimp Your PMS (a parody of MTV’s Pimp My Ride) and its booth was cleverly referred to as ‘The Pitstop’.  In true Mews style, each team member was adorned head-to-toe in race car pitstop jumpsuits with patches for various apps that are integrated into their marketplace. Touche team Mews, touche... Hotelogix Marketplace.  Hotelogix Marketplace launched at ITB and is a one-stop shop for all the hospitality technology needs of a hotelier. It helps hoteliers find and evaluate best-in-class Hotel Technology products on a single platform. Hapi.  Hapi is taking a unique and differentiated approach by building a marketplace that is solution agnostic.  Why is this important? By being solution agnostic, Hapi's marketplace is freed from the confines of being locked into a single PMS.  In fact, Hapi offers technology partners (ie marketplace apps) a way to normalize fragmented and messy data into a streamlined and unified structure opening up the potential to integrate to multiple PMSs (as well as various other hotel systems).  Their marketplace offering enables partners to gain exposure to hotels on the platform and enables hotels to tap into other available systems that are connected to Hapi.  Although Hapi is a smaller marketplace with only about 30 partners currently, its connectivity to multiple solutions from companies like Oracle, Infor and Salesforce signals a great deal of potential. apaleo. apaleo announced its One connection, where data from all pre-connected tools within apaleo's store is available directly within apaleo’s property management system. No switching between browsers or systems. It happens all too often that hoteliers start off their work day organized, and then somehow within a matter of hours (or sometimes even minutes!), end up with dozens of browser tabs open and many systems running. Especially for front desk staff, it takes tons of clicks and searching around to find the info they need, when they need it. It isn't pleasant. With apaleo One, all the info that hoteliers need is visible within apaleo's PMS, saving staff time and creating a more seamless journey for guests. protel Services Marketplace (SMP).  While not quite its first appearance, protel proudly featured its services marketplace at ITB showing off its shiney new native ratings and reviews (syndicated from yours truly) to help hoteliers research, vet and discover the best tools to grow their businesses without leaving the protel app store.  Pretty awesome! From the protel team, “The SMP empowers protel customers to choose from a variety of certified and evaluated 3rd party technology vendors covering all the essential hospitality technology services, such as RMS, CRM, PMS and POS. In other words, it's THE App Store to start integration with protel. It's also the point of entry to integrations for any 3rd party vendor to showcase and offer their powerful services to our 14,000 customers around the globe.”   The protel SMP marketplace features reviews from Hotel Tech Report to deliver transparency for its users   BookingSuite App Store (by Booking.com).  BookingSuite unveiled its app store for the first time where hoteliers can use single sign on (SSO) to activate new apps.  Many hoteliers are naturally wary of relying more on Booking.com or giving them more data, but overall it is a clear strategic move by Booking to provide more value to hoteliers to mend their often shakey relationship. BookingSuite’s approach is similar to the way LinkedIn, Google, Amazon and Facebook allow users to login to 3rd party apps with their APIs. The difference between BookingSuite and these other tech giants is that they want to take commissions (into perpetuity) from technology vendors. The commission vendors pay in the BookingSuite App Store is 25% for year 1, then 15% into perpetuity.  If you are a vendor with an average monthly revenue of $800 per hotel and a 7 year average customer lifetime that means you'll be paying Booking $2,400 in year 1 and $10,080 over the duration of the contract to acquire that single customer. In our opinion, this fee will eventually be passed to the end user (hoteliers) over time and is just another form of integration fee. Google and LinkedIn give away this service free to foster innovation and strengthen their respective platforms. So while BookingSuite’s tech is innovative we’re concerned about their commercialization model and understand why hotels and vendors might want to remain cautious. eRevMax.  eRevMax rolled out updates to its LiveOS platform that allows its hotel clients to centralize the usage of various software applications into one interface using single sign-on.  While the LiveOS platform was one of the first to offer a marketplace offering, they seem to have fallen behind the competition with a limited range of apps available but seems to be pushing forward continuing to try to continue to explore the potential of LiveOS as a central operating platform, that can plug in various systems to help hotels make critical and time saving decisions across multiple systems without having to piece the data together manually.     Our take on wiring up meeting spaces for easy booking During November’s Phocuswright event Hotel Tech Report tried to book the rooftop of several hotels for a client event.  In order to book the spaces we had to go to the hotel websites and fill out a form, then wait for responses from sales reps.  Some websites didn’t even have a form so we had to manually email reps based on contact info from their website (that we had to dig around for).  Out of the 5 desired locations which were some of the hottest hotels in downtown Los Angeles - not a single one responded within 24 hours and 1 didn’t respond to our inquiry at all.  Then to make matters worse, by the time they responded the first question was ‘how much budget do you have to spend’. Needless to say, this was a pretty horrible customer experience so we decided to take our business elsewhere and avoided hotels all together for our event. Imagine if you had to write to a hotel to inquire about availability.  Now imagine that when you wrote, the hotel wrote back asking “what’s your budget?”  The idea is absurd. Hotel websites and OTAs have wired up the industry to make sure this would never happen again.  It starts the relationship off with a bad taste for the customer and completely undermines the intended nature of a collaborative ally that a sales manager should be for any client but especially given that they are a prospect who intends to spend thousands of dollars to throw an event.  Meetings and events contribute $325B of direct spending in the U.S. alone (source AmexGBT) - so it’s about time this highly profitable inventory  got wired up.   Who's laying the groundwork to wire up meeting venues? MeetingPackage.com brings channel management and a seamless booking experience to your meeting space inventory.  Meeting Package’s Joonas Ahola Joonas also announced his firm’s launch of a meeting space channel manager which allows  inventory and rates to syndicate not just on a hotel’s website but across a myriad of 3rd party channels that have popped up to help them find new demand to generate additional revenue .  Meeting spaces today can be booked on platforms like AirBnB as well as on niche marketplaces like Breather, Bizly and VenueBook. Venuesuite launches demand side marketplace to help venues and planners work better together online.  Announced its direct booking platform (or marketplace) that helps venues & planners work better together online. The platform significantly simplifies the RFP process and sourcing of venues. The time required to book a venue for a meeting/event is reduced from days to minutes.  Both planners and venues. It enables planners to find venues fast, book instantly and configure meetings & events 24/7. For venues it generates more revenue via qualitative leads & higher conversion rates as prices are shown upfront to bookers. Within 10 months 1,000+ spaces available in The Netherlands via dedicated venue partners who've joined the new way of online (platform) working.       Other notable product launches and showcases Business Intelligence Pegasus announced its Business Intelligence Platform. It's difficult, if almost impossible to transform raw data into actionable insights - it pains most hotel companies, particularly independents.  Pegasus BI combines guest data from multiple sources and deliver it with automated intelligence and an easy-to-understand dashboard. Hoteliers can gain immediate insights that allow their properties to increase bookings, revenue, occupancy and profitability. Revenue Management RevControl announced rate recommendations calculated by room type separately. This announcement is specifically meant for hostels where the rate difference between private rooms and individual beds in a dormitory is huge and unrelated. It is now possible to use a separate set of business rules for each room/bed type and link each room/bed type to its exact match at hotels in de comp set to get individually calculated rate recommendations for each room/bed type.   RateBoard announced revenue management modules for leisure hotels. RateBoard offers a special module for leisure hotels, taking historical  holiday seasons from different countries, matching this data with the booking window of the different nations and optimizing the forecast due to this important factors. HotelPartner Yield Management announced the implementation of success-based billing models.  The implementation of success-based billing models aligns incentives between HotelPartner and clients since they don't charge new partners without having achieved added value in regards to room revenue.  This is an interesting and innovative approach - we're curious to see how it works as demonstrating uplift is a really difficult thing to prove given market fluctuations and the massive # of variables that can't be controlled. Marketing Travel Tripper announced Real Time Ads & Metasearch Direct. These tools help hotel marketers minimize costs and maximize RoAS on their digital marketing campaigns. Real Time Ads is the first digital marketing tool that allows hotels to advertise—in real time—their rates, availability, popularity and more right on their Google search ads, delivering double the conversion rates. With Metasearch Direct, Travel Tripper has helped hotels generate 38x their spend on metasearch with our direct connect to Google Hotel Ads. Their unique commission model means that independent hotels with smaller budgets can play on the metasearch channel without any risks—and for less cost than an OTA commission. Travel Tripper announced ADA Monitoring Platform. Many hotels in the U.S. are in constant risk of ADA compliance lawsuits simply because their websites are not accessibility friendly. Not only does the TT Web team offer full-service ADA audits on websites, but they also have built out an automated ADA monitoring platform that performs website checks in real time to ensure compliance. Hotel marketers are immediately notified whenever an element of their site falls out of the accessibility guidelines (for example, lack of alt tags, color contrast etc.) Serenata CRM & IgnitionOne launched a next generation CRM partnership that combines both historic guest information combined with real-time intent data. By tracking and scoring website visitors interests and propensity to convert hoteliers can tailor messaging, content and offers, both on the website and in the booking engine accordingly to this data. The scoring technology also supports new guest acquisition by identifying unknown website user that show high interest in a hotel property or a specific offering from the hotel. Based on the interest and score, the visitor can be prompted with personalized newsletter invite. This approach has proven to massively increase the number of newsletter signups, something necessary for many hotels after recent introductions of privacy regulations like GDPR that eliminated a large part of the hotels marketable profiles due to lack of marketing consents.  The newly created newsletter subscription profiles are enriched with the interests and intent information from the IgnitionOne scoring engine monitoring the hotel website and can be used for marketing purpose complementing the historical data points already stored in Serenata CRM. With Serenata CRM and the real-time intent triggered personalization powered by IgntionOne you can deliver a true personalized experience for your guests and website visitors to drive incremental revenue. Integrator announcements HAPI announced it’s recent Salesforce integration following a 2-way oxy connect with Oracle’s PMS dailypoint™ - software made by Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH announced a data cleansing solution which allows hotels to automatically clean, correct, and de-duplicate their guest profiles and push that data back to the hotel’s PMS. The fully automated, AI-based process includes hundreds of steps, reviewing all key data points within the guest profile. It removes duplicate profiles, corrects mistakes made from human errors, corrects addresses for more than 240 countries and ultimately creates one single, accurate guest profile for each guest. This data is stored in the central data management solution by dailypoint™ as well as pushed to the hotel’s PMS so that data is accurate across all key sources. Operations Customer Alliance announced Customer Experience Hub extending their surveying capabilities from solely focused on post-stay reputation and review gathering into the full guest journey.  The Customer Experience Hub allows hoteliers to customize automated messaging based on events through the guest journey to collect feedback and pipe it in real time to the department or team member who can act on it to recover fast, improve the guest experience and in-turn--improve review sentiment and gss scores. Betterspace GmbH announced Smart Check-out feature with digital invoice and the Self-Ordering function, both for the digital guest directory iQ Tab.The Smart Check-Out enables guests to comfortably check out of the hotel and allows them to view and split their invoice digitally and receive it by e-mail. Thanks to this feature, long waiting lines at the reception desk are a thing of the past. Self-Ordering for the digital guest directory gives guests the opportunity to order food and drinks with the digital guest directory - without leaving the hotel room. Orders are sent directly to the hotel restaurant Both features simplify operational workflows, optimize processes and thus relieve staff and relax guests. This reduces administrative/bureaucratic efforts, saves time and money and the time saved can be devoted to what is important: hotel guests. Travel Appeal announced Mobile Coach, a mobile app designed for on-the-go managers. By combining artificial intelligence with human experience, the Coach is able to detect even the most granular details from customer feedback. It’s the perfect solution for obtaining actionable insights about everything that really matters to a business. Review and operations  management, made simple. The Coach app not only improves and simplifies business strategies, but helps users manage and respond directly to customer feedback - reviews, posts and photos published by customers are
 delivered directly to your mobile. Uncover what your clients really think to offer the best experience and maximize satisfaction. Live updates and a seamless user experience allow managers to track competitors and monitor brand reputation while also collaborating and assigning tasks to staff members. hotelkit GmbH announced a HOUSEKEEPING module.  Their existing platform is used by over 40.000 hotel employees in more than 800 hotels worldwide. This new solution now focuses on all housekeeping needs and guarantees high-quality housekeeping standards through fully digitalized processes. Through an easy and modern paper-free task allocation, housekeeping processes are way more efficient. The workload can be distributed efficiently according to an employee's time and skill credits, thus, productivity is enhanced. Through digital checklists, quality standards are significantly high and the entire cleaning process can be monitored easily through real-time tracking. Smooth and efficient housekeeping routines are a crucial aspect in hotels, as cleanliness is particularly important when it comes to the guest decision making process. However, typical housekeeping processes within hotels are still highly inefficient. In order to be able to substantially increase guest satisfaction, hotelkit HOUSEKEEPING was developed together with several luxury hotels - among them the Sacher Hotel Vienna and Salzburg, and the Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg Airport. As all processes are digitized, fast reactions, increased quality standards, and high guest satisfaction can be guaranteed! Knowcross announced PANIC BUTTON.  Hospitality workers are subjected to an inordinate amount of sexual harassment and abuse, which is why as a technology provider we considered the introduction of  Panic or Safety Buttons as our way of giving back to the industry. Panic buttons give hospitality workers the ability to summon assistance when needed. PANIC BUTTON helps hotels to provide a safer working environment by instant reporting of harassment complaints by hospitality workers by using technology such as GPS and Bluetooth. Guest Applications & Devices Criton announced multiple property group functionality which was piloted with London-based Cheval Residences became the first brand to adopt the new product. Created specifically for the hospitality sector, the new product gives accommodations providers with multiple properties a platform to include information on each one within a single parent app.  With locations across the capital city, luxury serviced apartment specialist Cheval Residences are the first group to adopt the new technology with eight of their luxury properties contained within their new app. Group functionality is a game-changer for multi-property organizations like Cheval; enabling them to showcase the unique personality of each property while reinforcing their brand, increasing direct bookings and driving loyalty from new and repeat guests. GuestTraction announced online check-in to reduce queuing at Front Desk by moving check-in to pre-arrival. More than a third of guests polled (38%) indicated that a source of frustration was the front desk taking too long to complete requests.

Hotel Tech Report
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What does the INTELITY merger mean for your hotel technology strategy?

If you’re like most hotel owners and managers you’re probably being pitched by dozens of technology vendors each week.  Some of these vendors are specialists that deliver a single service or functionality and others pitch a ‘bundled approach’ or ‘one-stop-shop’. Is it better to work with one vendor who does everything under the sun or multiple vendors who specialize?  This may seem like a unique question for hotel tech but it actually applies to almost every industry. At its core, bundling and unbundling depends on two things: technology and consumer preferences. “There are only two ways to make money in business: One is to bundle; the other is unbundle.” ~ Jim Barksdale Which is better, bundling or unbundling? The answer is…It depends.  Take the music industry for example: CDs were disrupted by MP3s when digital technology made it easier to distribute music via MP3 players and consumers preferred to buy only the songs they wanted vs. entire albums.  Fast forward just a few years after CDs were unbundled where today music has been rebundled into streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. Why? Blazing fast internet speeds and consumer demand for instant access to variety.   MP3 players unbundled music from CDs, but streaming services like Spotify rebundled it Looking at the broader software industry, Microsoft and Apple have bundled the internet browser (Microsoft Explorer and Mac Safari) into their respective operating systems but most users still prefer specialist web browsers like Firefox and Chrome.  Google has created very good content tools in it’s Google Docs platform but spreadsheet experts still prefer Excel. Adobe has done a great job with it’s Creative Suite which bundles graphic design, sound production and video editing but filmmakers still prefer AVID Media Composer to create their Oscar masterpieces. So is it better to work with bundled hotel tech vendors or specialist vendors? The underlying technology of cloud computing has made it easier than ever for software companies to develop comprehensive hotel operations software platforms.  Working with a single vendor is much easier than managing multiple vendor relationships but you will likely have to sacrifice on one or more modules in the bundled suite. The underlying technology of open APIs and frictionless integrations have made it easier than ever to combine multiple specialist vendors into custom bundles but you’ll risk over-complicating the already complex business of running a hotel. To make an informed decision that’s right for your business, you’ll need to evaluate the specific needs of your properties, map out functionality requirements and build a bundle that suits your business needs with ideal components or modules.  If the modules of that custom bundle align with the product functionality of a bundled provider and you are getting good value - then working with one vendor may be the right strategy for your business. Ultimately a single vendor bundled approach will work for some hotel businesses and an unbundled approach will work better for others - expert opinions vary dramatically on the subject. Today we interview INTELITY CEO Robert Stevenson to get his take on whether hotels should buy bundles or piece together module architectures.  Prior to taking the helm at KEYPR and now CEO of INTELITY, Robert was most recently the Head of Content Strategy for Facebook’s Oculus VR division.  He brings unique insight and experiences to an industry that’s all too often falls victim to its own spin chamber. Robert’s experience at cutting edge tech companies like Facebook allow him to think outside the box when it comes to what is technically possible within hotels and he’s personally resided in hotel rooms for years at a time during professional assignments - so he deeply understands the pain points that guests face every day. Robert takes a strong stance on the value of bundled offerings and the benefits of leveraging a single vendor bundled approach.  He is so confident that he’s literally put his money where his mouth is. Robert initially became involved with the KEYPR business as an angel investor and loved the business so much that he decided to jump in.  He has since led the company through its merger with INTELITY that culminated in a $44M infusion of capital from LLR Partners to grow the combined business internationally. How does bundling help INTELITY add value for hotel clients? INTELITY is a global provider of the broadest hospitality technology platform for the hotel, casino, cruise, and luxury residential markets. INTELITY offers its customers comprehensive end-to-end solutions to manage guest experience and staff operations in a single platform.  This saves hoteliers a lot of pain in integrating systems that frequently don’t work well together or do not feel frictionless to the guest. In Summer 2018, INTELITY announced the addition of casting to the guest-facing portion of its platform. The company also recently announced a $44M financing raise, which will be used to expand the company’s presence in Europe, the UAE, and Asia Pacific, and add to the nearly 200,000 rooms our platform already supports.   INTELITY provides a user friendly and comprehensive bundle of hotel operations software modules How did you first get into technology? I've always been a computer and IT type of guy, working with new technologies throughout my career. While still young, I dove into computer tech and lightweight coding. Though I dabbled with mainframes, I had my first personal computer as a pre-teen and I, like many others from my generation, learned to code and experiment with hardware and hacking, through magazines, user groups, and peers. During my high school and early college years, I saved money to purchase computer components, boards, accessories, and of course computer games and software, which furthered my love for coding and building digital things.  Eventually, I turned this passion into a career. I started on the engineering and IT side of the world, blended with art and design, in areas of scientific visualization, VR, and video games. Over time, I moved into the business and production side of major tech platforms, managing cross-functionally, but always with an eye towards engineering results. In my career, I’ve launched more than a hundred tech-based products, including work on some major platforms, like the early Web when it was largely an academic creation at CERN and other universities (and not commercial), to several cloud-based content delivery systems, and more recently, Sony’s PlayStation platform and Oculus VR, Facebook’s $2Bn+ acquisition to tackle the next-generation of computing.  The teams and investments have grown from a few friends in a basement with just the cash in our pockets, to many, many hundreds of people with billions of dollars and whole market segments on the line. My move specifically into hospitality technology was spurred by an angel investment I made in KEYPR, and the then Chairman later asked me to join the company because of my background in business and platform technologies, and growing high-performance scalable teams. Excited by the prospects of the market, I signed up! How did you journey from broader technology into hotel software? I have always been interested in technology and several years ago I began investing in start-up companies, mainly focused on tech platforms, but also in the food & beverage segment. My initial investment in KEYPR (prior to the M&A that created the new INTELITY) was spurred in part, by a belief in the need for a technology lift in hospitality at the property level. I’ve been a frequent business traveler for over 20 years and have lived in hotels as a resident for more than five years, so I’ve grown to know the good and the bad of the travel and hotel industry from my personal exposure. I saw a need in the space and believed technology could fill a gap that was created by the hotel industry’s challenges and a lack of quality solutions. Coming from gaming & virtual reality, what was your first impression of the hotel software market? There are two categories that really stand out to me.  First, the technology stacks inside hotels are complex. There are often several layers of point-to-point software systems in place to match a wide variety of operational needs that exist at a property level. Second, sometimes these systems can be quite old, even “on-prem” non-cloud based systems. Communication protocols and the data being passed around can be highly varied.  It’s no wonder hoteliers resort to walkie-talkies and notepads to solve some of their needs. The end result though is that ride-share, cruise, airline, booking industries are fairly automated across mobile and backend platforms, but the hotel industry is behind the curve when it comes to technology. I had a high-level understanding of the fragmentation of the tech stack prior to my involvement in the industry, but moving into the industry and seeing it in action, was eye-opening.  Combining the tech stack into a single solution that works with a property’s PMS/HMS and POS systems is what we’ve built at INTELITY. The focus is to streamline the solution and keep costs well in check. By creating a completely flexible solution that can extend into other systems should they be needed, we also reduce friction for guests, which is a win/win/win. What makes 'hotel tech' different than just 'tech' in your opinion? There are of course many variations of hotel tech. One worth highlighting is the importance for hotel technologies to provide flexibility and also to adaptability to specific customer-level needs. The solution for hoteliers is, by its nature, very different from other industries that cater to an end user, in this case, the guest. The hotel industry is primarily driven across the intersection of the operational, sales, and guest experience needs of the hotel. Two hotels located right next door to each other can have very different requirements to satisfy this intersection, and thus you can’t force a one-size-fits-all solution on a property. Hotel technology needs to focus on the hotelier’s operational needs and build something that wraps around the way they think. At INTELITY, we’ve focused on creating a core solution that fits about 80% of a typical partner’s needs and can then be customized to fit the last 20% of the specifics at a property level, including integrations through INTELITY Connect. Do you think it's harder for hotel tech companies to raise capital relative to general tech companies? Yes, definitely, when raising at larger scales.  This is in part due to the slower adoption of technology in the industry. I have observed a lot of vendors put effort into getting brand logos and large amount of rooms, which sounds good in marketing, but they haven’t built a solid underlying business. Additionally, the complex sales cycle can be tricky for younger tech companies to master. These trends make it difficult for venture or private equity partners to engage within the typical kinds of parameters they can close on.  It’s much easier for them to justify waiting until they see clear results, essentially derisking opportunities. HITEC, and similar shows, are littered with the ghosts of tech vendors who were not able to survive long enough in the strong currents. What's the single biggest opportunity that hotels are missing today? The modernization period- especially for Millennials and Gen Z- is here. The hotel industry can't dodge it. The reality is Airbnb has taken out a large chunk of the traditional hospitality market and variations on that theme of flexible real estate, like VRBO, WeWork, and HomeAway, are sniping at offerings hotels could fulfill. While it’s now ancient history, the OTAs have crushed direct bookings and continue to evolve today. Even Google is now in the game, with Facebook and even Uber likely soon to follow. The hotel industry’s avoidance of early adoption of technology has cost them billions in market share and directed guest flow through channels the traditional developer/owner/operator industry does not control. Without evolving and implementing technology in time, before market shifts happen, both at the front- and back-ends of their operations, hoteliers will continue to lose market share in market areas they have a natural advantage in. Companies like INTELITY, and many others, can help. How will the hotel technology landscape be different in 5-years? Digital technologies for the guest and the back office will be very integrated and standard at hotels. There may be different usages from property to property, but automated processes, streamlined connections, and seamless messaging between guests and staff will be standard across the board. It will feel like a near frictionless experience for guests who opt-in to being entirely digital. Guests, vendors and hoteliers alike will look back and wonder how we ever dealt with the mishmash of technologies and implementations we do today. Do you think that branded hotels have better or worse technology that unbranded properties? It really depends on the brand. In general, the larger brands have done well with advancing technology implementations in the last three to five years. Marriott and Hilton are two brands that have rolled out relatively large platform pushes across their brands to varying degrees. Both companies should be commended for a push towards standardization across multiple property types, ownership groups, and markets. As you get into the smaller brands, collections, and more boutique properties it’s a little more challenging to implement a level of standardization, security, and quality control. That’s where companies like INTELITY come in; to help provide broad technologies that integrate well into any existing efforts that have occurred already.  In many cases, we can provide a level of technology that goes beyond what is available even at Marriott. If you were to start a business in hotel tech tomorrow what would it be? One of the interesting areas in the hotel technology landscape is at the booking level. There’s already automation with OTAs and direct booking engines, where you can pick and choose what you want from a property, but it's not agnostic across all travel areas and travel types. That will likely change. Today's travelers are determining hotel options based on their own  preferences or through their own defined searches, but it would be interesting to automatically incorporate intent and preference into the booking process, based on smart data pulls (think big data being distilled at runtime through an agnostic interface that is mechanically opaque to the end user). Definitely an interesting landscape for exploration. What's one piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a hotel software company? I would recommend that anyone interested in moving into hotel technology start small with a product that really fills a gap. Focus on developing a solution to that's needed rather than developing a product that tackles broad problems. In order to build a business that can sustain a team can be challenging, particularly in the hotel tech industry. Hoteliers may not be super tech savvy, but they know well enough to be tech risk avoidant if it’s going to affect operations or the guest experience.  So be prepared for uphill battle until you can truly prove your product’s value. On the flip side because hoteliers aren’t always quick to adopt new tech, once they’ve committed you'll be their partner for many years to follow if you can deliver. What publications do you recommend hoteliers read to help stay on top of technology trends? If you’re interested in moving in the general direction of technology, the blogs and articles on TechCrunch are a good starting point, among others like WIRED, The Verge, recode, and Ars Technica. Deeper write-ups in the technology section of major news publications will give you a better view of the industry as a whole. What is your favorite hotel in the world? That’s a great question. I have lived a healthy chunk of my life in hotels, as a transient traveler and also as fixed addresses for years at a time. I think the quality of a hotel varies a lot on the intentions of the guest, and, of course, the location, in a very real way. There's no surprise that a destination resort and a business-oriented airport hotel deliver different experiences. That said, some of my favorites in major cities that deliver a cross-section of experiences are 11 Howard in New York, The Setai in Miami, The Strings Tokyo, Shinagawa, The Berkeley in London, Yangtze Boutique Shanghai, and my current part-time home, the Freehand Los Angeles. Robert's preferred residence in Los Angeles near the INTELITY office at The Freehand Hotel What is one thing that most people don't know about you? When I was much younger, more agile, and it was actually en vogue, I was a breakdancer and won several dance contests. Best left as a fun memory and not attempted to be recreated today.

Hotel Tech Report
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KEYPR Recognized as Finalist for Top Rated Guest Room Tablet Provider in the 2018 HotelTechAwards

  February 1, 2018 -  Hotel Tech Report has named KEYPR’s guest experience platform as a HotelTechAwards finalist based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries around the world.  Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “In the age of smartphones and smarthomes guests increasingly expect their hotel rooms to be smart, too.  Tablets not only provide a frictionless control experience for guests upon arrival but have been proven to drive increased ancillary revenue and incredible ROIs,” says Hotel Tech Report’s Adam Hollander. KEYPR Interactive is poised for sustained growth in 2018 coming off of a massive $19M series A funding round in June of 2017. “Most hotel technology platforms can only offer one or two functional areas in the guest journey. Lack of Consistency (User Interfaces & Process Flow) means that operators must manage many vendors and many applications. KEYPR provides a holistic view of Customer Journey to Streamline Experience. Its has a Simple, Intuitive User Interface.” one Los Angeles based hotel technology consultant told Hotel Tech Report. Hoteliers consistently cite KEYPR’s ability to encompass the entire guest journey and provide actionable analytics that drive real results for hotel owners.   Read more INTELITY reviews (INTELITY and KEYPR have merged) 

Hotel Tech Report
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Crave Interactive Named 2018’s Top Rated Guest Room Tablet Provider in the HotelTechAwards

February 12, 2018 -  Hotel Tech Report has named Crave Interactive 2018’s top rated Guest Room Tablet provider based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries around the world.  Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “In the age of smartphones and smarthomes guests increasingly expect their hotel rooms to be smart, too.  Tablets not only provide a frictionless control experience for guests upon arrival but have been proven to drive increased ancillary revenue and incredible ROIs.  Las Vegas hotels have historically been technology mavens because of their immense profitability, scale and technical requirements.  The Vegas market has understood the importance of in room tablets for years, now we’re seeing venture capital flood into the space and Crave is well positioned to capitalize on the trend,” says Hotel Tech Report’s Adam Hollander. Crave Interactive is poised for sustained growth in 2018. Hoteliers frequently cite Crave’s increasingly dominant market position globally.  While the company’s foundation is in the U.K. they’ve got installations across the USA, Panama, Costa Rica, St Lucia & Mexico.  Scaling a hardware business globally is no easy feat and Crave has executed with precision. Crave also has leading integrations with platforms like HotSoS (by Amadeus) and Quore to streamline guest service culture on property. To read the full review and more, head to Crave's profile on Hotel Tech Report

Hotel Tech Report
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Technology check-in: Does your hotel pass these three mobility challenges?

The Internet of Things, room automation, artificial intelligence and virtual assistants such as Amazon's Alexa are making headway in the hotels and hospitality sector, but none of this is possible without the right foundation of secure connectivity. No matter how luxurious your hotel, how sumptuous the food or how relaxing the spa, if you don't offer secure connectivity and mobile guest services, you are unlikely to fill your rooms. Christophe Ameline, Head of Vertical Markets Strategy & Offer at ALE, looks at the issues and the technologies that are now available to enable hoteliers to provide the services that guests expect.Hospitality is a connected industry. Even back in 2014, 40% of people traveling on business had three or more connected devices, because smart and wearable tech offer far greater functionality to people on the move. Inside the hotel, guests are turning to their own tech for information and entertainment rather than traditional hotel services.It's secure access first “ and lastHoteliers realize that to grow their business they need to invest in technology. According to the 2017 Lodging Technology Study, 57% of hotels are planning to increase investment with 42% intending to maintain their technology spend. The top priority is to increase digital customer engagement in a secure environment, and for this, mobility and connectivity need to be at the center of their digital transformation strategy.Wireless connectivity is now an essential amenity. Guests experience it at home, at work and increasingly on the move “ so they have high expectations. In fact, Wi-Fi is so central to the guest experience that only room cost ranks higher in importance to guests. But providing Wi-Fi is more than just providing connectivity bars on a device - balancing easy access with security is key.Challenge 1: From the lobby to the lounger “ pervasive and high-quality Wi-FiProviding consistent Wi-Fi access can present a major headache in hospitality environments. Not just because of the number of users, devices and amount of data on the network, but because often the buildings were not designed with networks in mind!Managing the network infrastructure footprint, particularly in historic hotels, is one of the first considerations. Old buildings with thick walls or metal structures mean that it is just not possible to run all the cables you need to support room technology. The 140-year-old Waldhaus Flims Alpine Grand Hotel & Spa recognized this problem, but through the use of hospitality access points (AP), the hotel rooms could each be connected via a single LAN cable. These specialized access points act as 'mini-switches' which ensure access to internet, telephony and video entertainment, only with a much smaller footprint. Where it is impossible to bring Ethernet to some areas of hotels, Wi-Fi meshing can provide the solution.With IoT becoming the norm “ room automation, IP security cameras, point of sale systems and virtual assistance devices “ the growing pressure on networks to deliver uninterrupted quality of service to guests starts to become an issue.Your Wi-Fi should follow that guest!It is not simply a case of adding a few more access points around the hotel “ you need a solution in place to ensure simple and secure guest access and authentication. This simplified connectivity needs to 'follow' the guest around the premises, providing access to services where and when they need them. For instance, APs that can continuously monitor connection metrics from mobile devices can use this data to steer device connection to most appropriate AP, which prevents the Wi-Fi network from slowing down as people move throughout the hotel grounds.Challenge 2: Follow that device “ mobile guest services from digital reception to check-outA guest that uses the spa, the restaurant and the gym leads to a better bottom line. The key to unlocking this is the guest's personal device “ from providing direct bookings and services before guests arrive, to saving time by checking-out straight from their smartphone. This type of personalized experience ultimately means better guest engagement.This requires frictionless digital interaction between guest and hotel departments - be that the front desk, restaurant or other facilities. With today's open APIs (application programming interface), it is becoming easier than ever to integrate voice and message capabilities directly into guest loyalty or eConcierge apps. There are some great examples of this already happening. In Sweden for example, The Winery Hotel wanted a fully mobile approach to guest communications and completely rejected the idea of in-room telephones. It implemented a mobile eConcierge app to provide guest access to hotel services and enterprise-grade telephony from their own smart devices. This enables the hotel to be at their service 24/7 “ wherever they are on the premises “ and communicate offers and notifications straight to its guests' smartphones.Beyond this, location-based services are quickly establishing themselves as a way to offer guests services “ offering directions to one of the resort's featured restaurants or letting guests know what offers are available when they are walking past the spa are just a couple of examples. Successful digital engagement in the future will be personalized in these ways, and the data gained from mobile engagement will be invaluable to hoteliers in offering personalized services and push notifications based on individual preferences.And mobility is not just for guests.Behind the scenes in hotels such as The Buddha Bar Hotel in Paris, enhanced mobility services are enabling staff to be contactable anywhere on-site, resulting in staff being more attentive to guests' demands. Add to this apps which enable employees to instantly report room availability via a code on their mobile device, or log and respond to maintenance issues on the move, and you can start to see how these capabilities can all add up to get guests checked in faster and keep them happy during their stay.Challenge 3: Securing networks and containing threatsHotels are a growing target for hackers and data thieves. The open, guest-facing nature of the hospitality industry means that hotels and venues need to be welcoming to guests and their devices. But with so many mobile, wearable and IoT devices entering the hotel space, balancing guest access while keeping data, hotel functions and back-end services secure is vital.Containers and PANs provide the solution One of the core principles behind building a secure network for hotels is containerization technology. This is a method of creating virtual isolated environments on a single converged network. The idea is to group connected devices with a common function and the respective authorized users into a unique, virtual IoT 'container'. For example, the 'guest access container' acts as its own network where guest users cannot see or interact with devices within the finance department's container, or the IP cameras and alarm systems operated by the security team. Within each container, quality of service and security rules can be enforced and it is possible to reserve or limit bandwidth, prioritize traffic and block undesired applications.As connectivity grows and with so many devices in guest rooms, you also need to consider what each guest can interact with - smart TVs, intelligent room assistants or climate control. With guests able to connect and mirror movies to the IPTV, how do you stop them connecting and streaming to the TV next door? The answer is the Personal Area Network (PAN). A PAN is almost like having a dedicated Wi-Fi network for every room, where guests can interact with room technology as they'd expect at home “ but crucially only in their room. Yes, hotels need to get connected, but they need to be smart about network security and the technology is now available to enable them to do just this.Stay another dayTo drive these benefits to their bottom line, hotels don't just need to offer better mobility, they need to offer smarter mobility. The integration of a guest's device through bespoke applications and services is only the beginning of the process - hoteliers need to add a personal touch to their technology offerings. That means enhancing guest experience with services that transform the Internet of Things into the Hospitality of Things and mobile engagement that offers timely and appropriate services to guests. But with digital criminals on the prowl and tech savvy guests highly aware of digital risks, securing hotel networks can no longer be an afterthought “ secure connectivity needs to be at the center of design.

Hotel Tech Report
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Guest Room Tablet Category Overview

What are the ways that tablets can be leveraged to improve the guest experience?
Selecting a guest tablet provider may seem intimidating, but it is simpler than expected by keeping in mind a few key points for consideration - experience, cost and ROI, reliability, and guest satisfaction. Not many vendors excel at all of these points at the same time. 

You want to find a company that has built the platform (including hardware) completely from the ground up, specifically with hotel in mind. This means that they have worked through most of the initial challenges of developing a great product, understands how to keep costs low with a high ROI to hotels, and understands the guests needs intricately to ensure consistent satisfaction.

For info on guest room technology trends, questions that you should ask vendors and more download the 2019 Hoteliers Guide to Guest Room Tablets

How can guest room tablets improve profitability and efficiency?

Lowered Operating Costs
  • Remove the need to print any paper - ever again
  • Make changes to content instantly - not waiting for new prints to be distributed
  • No need to push paper under doors to communicate with guests

Increased Revenues
  • Guests rarely know all the services you have to offer - a tablet provides that
  • Promote Hotel services, for example pushing the restaurant (that’s a little too quiet tonight) or a cancellation in The Spa,
  • Promote late check out’s, or extended stays (with a discount) or your other properties? 
  • Busy periods ahead? Does it have dynamic pricing - can you yield pricing in room service and minibar instantly (just like you do on rooms)

Optimized Operations
  • Instant guest messaging - No need to push paper under doors with paper messages, saving both time and effort, but keep guests informed.
  • Directly integrate to ticketing platforms, eg HotSOS and Quore. Guest requests for towels etc can be sent directly to the member of staff on duty, and allows managers to better optimize staff on duty.

What are the most important features of guest room tablets?
  • Ease of Use: Does the in-room tablet have a help button? Is it intuitive to use. An easy to use user interface is absolutely key to improving the guest experience 
  • Bespoke Hardware: Only bespoke hardware designed for Hotel room should be considered at in-room tablets. Consumer devices are not fit for purpose in a Hotel bedroom. There are few suitable docking devices, charging options are often stolen and they include external ports to encourage hacking. Also - designs change too often. 
  • Remote Support Remote: monitoring & remote software update capability is imperative when choosing a vendor. Imagine being asked to send someone to every room to update the tablets software? When tablets are “hidden” in a hotel room they are not easy to access by hotel staff if they need to be updated. Your vendor must therefore have developed Android OS and remote support capability. 
  • Statistics and Dashboard: Tablet’s can provide a window into the guest activities so effective statistics and reports by your chosen vendor is extremely important.

What are the critical integrations that my hotel will need when selecting a tablet provider?
  • Property management system: PMS integrations are not normally required unless it’s imperative to allow the guest to view their bill on a tablet. Some vendors can generate personalized content on their tablets without the need for a full PMS integration 
  • Restaurant POS: Having a POS integrated directly into the tablet allows hotels to greatly optimize their revenue streams and staff. For example room service orders are processed more efficiently, and up selling options are easily added to boost revenues. 
  • Hotel operations software: Allowing guests to quickly and easily make requests is a major benefit of in-room tablets. Integrating guest messaging services and ticketing request system allow managers to better optimize staff, reduce costs and increase guest satisfaction.

What makes great guest room tablets?
The ROI can vary based on the type and size of hotel as well as services offered, but nearly all hotels that have installed in-room tablets report a positive and measurable ROI, typically in excess of 300%. The combination of in-room cost savings, optimization of staff and expanded revenue streams all great contribute to the ROI of in-room tablet systems.

Make sure that you choose an in-room tablet solutions that is easy to install. Some companies will deliver tablets ready to be plugged in and connected to the wifi. It is best to choose a tablet supplier that offers their services via the cloud and 24/7 remote support for the rare occasions there is an issue with the system.

Hotels need to be in control of the content, once it has been set up by the vendor. It’s imperative that hotels can update their own content on the tablet when the need arises.

For pricing info on guest room technology trends, FAQs and more download the 2019 Hoteliers Guide to Guest Room Tablets

How long does it usually take for a hotel to implement new guest room tablets?
Most Hotels would expect to have a system installed 6-8 weeks after signing contracts, they are obvious exceptions, as some larger properties may include a lot more content to setup.