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10 Best Mobile Apps/Developers Software Vendors for Hotels

Give your guests the luxury to choose how they want to communicate with your hotel while giving y...
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This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
Most Popular
This vendor is the most popular in the category with 13 reviews across 2 countries.
84
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 ALICE Guest, Focus on quality interactions using the communication method your guest prefers Improve ratings with automated surveys... read more

  • Based in
    New York (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 100 employees on Linkedin
Angel is a white-label guest application that doesn't require a download to a device, and allows...
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
65
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

Empower your guests with the ability to communicate conveniently on their own devices with Angel, our mobile web-based (no download needed) guest... read more

  • Based in
    Miami, Florida
  • Founded in
  • 30 employees on Linkedin
We offer single or multi-property, custom brand, mobile SDK, and universal Mobile App solutions t...
61
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 customizable Mobile Apps are a multi-faceted solution that provides your operations team with a direct digital connection to your guests. Key... read more

  • Based in
    Orlando (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 88 employees on Linkedin
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Criton

Ranked 4th in Mobile Apps/Developers Top Alternative: ALICE (Guest) (8.4 /10)
On Demand Guest Service
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
57
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

Criton enables hotels, serviced apartments, and indeed anyone who is providing accommodation, to digitise their guest information and wrap all of... read more

  • Based in
    Edinburgh
  • Founded in
  • 31 employees on Linkedin

Runtriz

Ranked 5th in Mobile Apps/Developers Top Alternative: ALICE (Guest) (8.4 /10)
For more than 10 years, Runtriz has helped the hotel community engage with guests to provide a be...
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
49
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

Runtriz powers incredible guest experiences seamlessly across hotel mobile and digital channels.  We are the trusted guest engagement solution... read more

  • Based in
    Los Angeles (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 12 employees on Linkedin
Mobile Applications, Guest Engagement, Mobile Development, Hotel, Hospitality, Analytics, Softwar...
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
46
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

GuestDriven is a Mobile Guest Engagement platform. It enables hoteliers to drive more revenue through mobile interactions and personalization of... read more

  • Based in
    Montreal (Canada)
  • Founded in
  • 6 employees on Linkedin

neorcha

Ranked 7th in Mobile Apps/Developers Top Alternative: ALICE (Guest) (8.4 /10)
mobile app, guest facing technology, digitization, mobile ordering, e-dining, digital guest reque...
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

neorcha is a SaaS company providing hotels with fully integrated digital solutions and customer journeys, for modern, digital travellers. The... read more

  • Based in
    Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  • Founded in
  • 9 employees on Linkedin
I am MAX, Personal Smart Assistant solution allows you to squeeze maximum from your hotel
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

Solution is helping hotels to solve their daily problems, increase sales of hotel services and make the reception more efficient. It is an... read more

  • Based in
    Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • Founded in
  • 4 employees on Linkedin
Digital Guest Communication, Digital Guest Directory, Hotel Newspaper, Wi-Fi Landing-Page, Guest...
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

Guests expect digital technology in their hotel. However, the digital communication between guests and hotels usually ends after booking. Thus a... read more

  • Based in
    Kempten (Allgäu) (Germany)
  • Founded in
  • 42 employees on Linkedin
Your mobile link to your hotel or rental stay
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

Mobile key access to your room and all amenities simply by downloading the STAYmyway app for your destination. Receive important... read more

  • Based in
    Coral Gables (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 2 employees on Linkedin

Recent Mobile Apps/Developers articles

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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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Determining the right technology to engage guests

There are many great technology options available to use within your property, and the expectation for your guest engagement is at an all-time high. Technology has even been one of the top stories at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, including the engagement experienced by those in attendance. How to you decide, then, what technology works for your property and your budget?  Consider these points when you are bringing on new technology to help your decision process. Focusing on mobile engagement: Your property may vary in size, yet your guests will be moving around within it. This is where a mobile environment comes in. Don’t keep your guests from experiencing your property and your technology via a familiar device. This includes your website and guest services engagement. Whenever you bring in a new technology, see how it works in a mobile environment. Creating an amazing guest experience: The true litmus test for whether you should add new technology should always be if it adds to the guest experience. Does the new technology help them provide feedback, take control of their stay, or quickly and easily order services? Is the technology easy to use and work as the guest would expect? Your guest will be happy to give you feedback, so be sure to test the technology and ask how the experience was for them. Capturing data to continue to optimize: One of the main reasons to have technology as part of the guest experience is to be able to capture data that can be used to tweak and optimize the experience. This takes out guessing and puts unbiased data in the driver’s seat. Even a few data points can help move your technology strategy along for better engagement. As a final note, many technology companies provide training as part of an installation package. If you want to get the most out of the technology, be sure to leverage the training so you understand and use all the features available. Technology can be a powerful tool for guest engagement, and can make your property stand out.

Lisa Apolinski
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Guest Experience: Moments of Difference

We are learning from psychology that if we want to retain customers, then merely good or even excellent service is not enough. Because of the ways in which the brain remembers we must create 'moments of difference' which differentiate the customers' experience.The psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains that the brain tends to remember specific moments rather than the total experience. Kahneman discusses the relationship between the 'experiencing self' and the 'remembering self' and these concepts have a direct impact on the ways in which we offer customer service and how we retain customers.He explains that we do not remember the totality of any interactive experience, whether that be a 5 minute phone call or a one week holiday, we only remember moments from that experience. And, the remembering self mostly recalls the different, unusual, unexpected and exceptional rather than the mundane and ordinary.For instance, if we stay in a hotel and the reception is good, the room is clean and the food is fine; there is nothing different, nothing in particular for the guest to remember. So, the remembering self recalls the experience as ordinary. For this reason, if we want our customer service to be regarded as exceptional, then staff need to create 'moments of difference'.Moments & Memories Customers turn 'moments' into 'memories' from which they create their remembered 'stories' which they pass on to others and retain in the remembered self. The more of these 'moments' we can create for customers, the stronger the memories, the more vivid the stories and the more likely they are to return.For instance, when asked about a recent visit to a resort hotel, a guest replied 'yes, one day a member of staff told us there were both seals and dolphins in the nearby bay, it was something we shall never forget'.So, instead of remembering the whole one week experience of their stay, they remembered a few specific moments, which they turned into stories for their remembered self and it is these stories which they use for their future buying decisions and which they relate to others.Unsurprisingly, remembered stories tend to be those when emotions are raised. Of course, these can be either good or bad. The secret of exceptional customer service is to allow staff the freedom to create these moment of difference. When staff are unduly restricted by policies and procedures it becomes more difficult to create the moments of difference which will be collected in the remembered self.'Moments' can occur throughout the service experience, but the crucial times are first impressions, staff interactions and endings.First Impressions “ Short Contacts “ Lasting Impressions First impressions are important because a lack of familiarity raises anxieties and in turn emotions are heightened. Hence the experiencing self is sensitive at this stage of the interaction and a warm greeting is often transferred into a lasting memory within the remembered self. Where customer service occurs over an extended period of time, short contacts are important as they increase the perception of friendliness. Short contacts are any brief exchange between a member of staff and a customer and should occur whenever a member of staff is close to a customer. Lasting impressions come from staff doing something or giving information which creates a memorable 'moment of difference' which significantly improves the stay. Staff who are 'looking to help' and taking proactive action to assist or give information will create the moments which customers remember. The last impression is the goodbye and unsurprisingly the remembered self seems to recall interactions later in the experience more readily than those earlier. Creating Moments of Difference. Allow staff to be inspirational. Encourage staff to help, give information and make recommendations. Create at least one special moment and memory. If they are repeat guests, help to build on their memories. Make the experience more personal. Remember and use names. Do something or give something which is unexpected. Give staff enough freedom to be able to do the exceptional. Have fantastic, friendly and easy receptions and great goodbye's

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.

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Millennials + Mobile: A Match Made in (Hotelier) Heaven

Most people today are aware of the HUGE impact that mobile phones have had on our everyday lives; of course, it allows us to communicate at any time via many different messaging mediums, but there is also a significant change in the way mobile has affected business. People no longer have to be at home, sitting in front of a desktop computer, to be an online consumer; today, they're online, on-the-go, 24/7, as the vast majority of people “ or at least those in the Baby Boomer generation and younger - have a mobile phone or device of some sort. Heck, even my 91-year old mother has a smartphone “ and she can't even work the TV controller! (Now granted, it's a first-generation flip phone with a few apps she never uses, but it makes her feel like she's part of today's mobile society.)If you're one of the few who hasn't joined the mobile movement, you're in a small minority; recent studies show "the majority (95%) of Americans own a mobile phone of some kind, and most (77%) use a smartphone". Globally, "almost two-thirds of the world's population has a mobile phone¦ half use a smartphone".It's clearly a significant trend, but what is more important is how hoteliers can leverage this phenomenon to increase business. In terms of booking travel, "two-thirds of US travelers have shopped or booked (air or hotel) on a mobile device, and nearly half of those are under 35 years of age." ­­The same trends apply worldwide as­­ "mobile bookings made up 27% of all online travel bookings during Q2 2016".As I'm sure you are aware, the new generation of travelers (a.k.a. Millennials) live almost every aspect of their life via their smartphones “ and that includes travel research and booking! "Around 98% of Americans, aged 18 to 35, own a smartphone" and "75% of Millennials want to travel abroad as much as possible (compared to 52% of other generations)". So it's easy to see why mobile is imperative for hotels that want to boost bookings and revenue earned from this new (and largest) generation of travelers. ­­As a hotelier, how can you optimize your efforts to encourage Millennials to book with your brand or property?To better understand the behaviors of Millennial travelers looking to book a hotel room, let's examine a few things they identify as their biggest (mobile) dealbreakers:Broken or Ineffective Mobile Websites It's a well-known fact that consumers have little patience with poor mobile websites; this is even more critical for Millennial travelers who grew up with technology and believe that "it should just work". Beyond that, there is the additional need to ensure that your property provides a good user experience (UX) as it will drastically improve your conversions and ROI. Studies show that "57% of users won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site" and, because Millennials are heavily influenced by peer recommendations, a poor mobile site (or app) can have a significant negative impact on your bookings and revenue.Yup, you heard that right: if your mobile website isn't making it easy and painless for potential guests to search for rooms, compare options and book, it is VERY likely that you're not only missing out on valuable bookings but also giving them to your competition!Inconsistencies of User Experience Across all Channels Ready for another buzzword? Today's consumers are looking for an omni-channel experience, which, in layman's terms, means that users want the same (or similar) brand experience, regardless the channel through which they engage with your brand. As a matter of fact, "83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important" so, in addition to having a mobile website that works well, it is also important that your guests' mobile experience is consistent across all channels. (This point is particularly important to Millennials bookers!)You obviously cannot have complete control over your property's branding and the mobile user experience of the indirect channels (i.e. OTAs) but on your own channels, it is integral that you maintain consistent brand presentation and pricing. Whether they book through your desktop website, mobile website, mobile app, email, call or text, your customers should be receiving the same recognition and service at every touchpoint.Inability to View Video Via Mobile Did you know that "48% of Millennials view video solely on their mobile device"? No wonder they are always staring at their mobile devices!So it stands to reason that if your mobile site doesn't have the bandwidth or capability to showcase the videos that you have on your desktop website, almost 50% of your potential guests (i.e. Millennials) will never see your video content. Because we know that video is a highly effective marketing medium for travel companies ("45% of leisure travelers booked instantly after watching a video of the travel activity¦ 72% of business travelers and 74% of affluent travelers booked upon watching a video"), this mobile mistake could cost your property a lot of revenue.There you have it: three big problems that will push Millennials into the arms (or to the mobile website) of the competition! Next week, join us in this same space to learn more about the two types of mobile tools (apps and mobile websites), and to examine which is most useful in attracting the new generation of travelers.

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