Supplier spotlight: in-room technology

Paul Stevens By Paul Stevens
Uploaded 6 days ago

BHN rounds up the latest innovations in virtual concierge applications and in-room technology.

Criton

Criton allows hotels to wrap all of their guest-facing technology into a fully customisable, branded app for guests to download onto their own phone.

Criton CEO and founder, Julie Grieve, said: "Improved guest personalisation is a top strategic priority for 70 per cent of hotels over the next three years. The issue hotels face is making the investment in guest-facing and in-room technology pay back via the operational efficiencies it can bring and via enhanced guest satisfaction and ultimately recommendation and rebooking".

"We believe the future of guest-facing technology is to own a device, as guests carry that with them at all times and are comfortable using it.

"There's great evidence from in-room ordering services like Qikserve that hotels can see a 20 per cent increase in room service orders if it can be ordered online.

"Hotels should work with solution providers who understand their technology will be part of a suite of guest technology who offer as much flexibility in integration and branding as possible. 

"We bring each of the guest-facing technologies into one guest portal app, which can be a web app or native depending on the technologies the hotel has chosen. We add in design and content control, allowing hotels to upsell services and give guests what they want, in the palm of their hand," she added.

Criton also won the 'Best Technology Provider' award at the 2018 Travolution Awards and the 'Industry Breakthrough and Innovation Award' at the ASAP Awards 2018.

For more information, visit www.criton.com. 

YourWelcome

YourWelcome is a leading provider of guest management tools for short stay operators.

It launched in 2016 with its flagship product, the YourWelcome transactional tablet, enabling operators to up-sell services directly to their guests during their stay and make a passive income from guests accessing on-demand services such as food delivery. The YW tablets are installed in 12,000+ properties in Europe, US and Australia.

YourWelcome's guest algorithm analyses historical guest search and purchase behaviour on a per property basis to predict what the next guest will buy and when during their stay. This enables YW to serve offers that will have a higher conversion rate, while offering a more personalised stay for the guest.

In addition, YW has launched YourWelcome Advance, which brings advance check-in to the short stay sector. The product enables operators to confirm guest contact details, access guest ID and up-sell pre-arrival offers such as airport transfers and early check-ins. 

YourWelcome is working with the leading in-property tech providers to create a single unified guest interface for controlling smart home devices.

YourWelcome CEO Henry Bennett said: "Our rapid growth has been based on creating a modular platform that empowers operators to pick and choose features that help enhance their guest experience. By the end of Q3 this year, we expect to be live in 20,000+ properties, serving close to 100k guests per month."

The short stay sector will mirror the hotel sector as it moves from a purely occupancy revenue model to a mixed model with growth in selling services. YourWelcome's suite of products will grow and continue to offer operators from 5-5000 properties the tools to enable them to monetise the guest during their stay.

Bennett said: "Operators desire for direct bookings is understandable, especially as OTA's take a bigger percentage of booking and charge higher fees. However, direct bookings put the onus on operators to verify the guest to prevent fraudulent bookings.

"YourWelcome is highly effective at helping operators with this challenge," he added.

For more information, visit www.yourwelcome.com.

Angie Hospitality

Angie Hospitality has integrated its virtual assistant solution with room control platforms, including Honeywell's INNCOM Guest Room Automation System.

The integration by the voice and AI solution developer means all guest-facing room automation features can be controlled via the device's interactive voice interface or touchscreen. Hoteliers provide enhanced guest comfort and convenience, while improving energy efficiency and reducing operational costs. 

Angie's support of guest room functionalities includes temperature control, allowing guests to remotely control room thermostats via voice or the device's built-in digital touchscreen.

Occupancy sensors in the thermostat can detect and adjust its settings when a room becomes vacant, so hoteliers can save up to 30 per cent in energy costs per room each year. Other guest room amenities can also be controlled via Angie's interactive voice control or touchscreen, including lighting, drapes, minibars, televisions, safes and door locks.

Apurv Johari, general manager of INNCOM by Honeywell, said: "We are proactively integrating with voice control vendors as voice technology is the future of luxury hospitality. Hotels want to provide a superior experience comparable to what guests have in their home.

"Home voice control devices are in wide adoption and Honeywell is working with hotels to provide the same convenience in guest rooms," he added.

Angie's platform also serves as an IP telephony solution, replacing guest room telephones and adding an entire suite of convenient amenities. The system's high-fidelity Bluetooth speakers serve as alarm clocks and allow guests to make hands-free phone calls.

As a secure in-room access point, the platform also immediately upgrades property Wi-Fi to meet today's ever-increasing bandwidth and security needs.

Angie Hospitality CEO Ted Helvey said: "Angie Hospitality was founded to provide hoteliers with the tools necessary to meet today's demands for faster, more efficient, convenient and personalised service. We are honoured to work with leading providers, like Honeywell, to enhance our mutual customers' abilities to meet those needs."

Angie's room automation integration allows individual hotels to select which specific functions they wish to integrate, including analytics and monitoring functionality. Via a property management portal, hoteliers can review usage data that is securely and anonymously collected, providing them with valuable information on how to further enhance guest experiences and service performance.   

For more information, visit www.angie.ai.

Crave Interactive

In 2018, Crave saw remarkable growth and its award-winning in-room tablets are now contracted in over 110 sites in 19 countries across the globe.

These properties range from small boutiques with only 25 rooms to large Casino Resorts with over 4000 rooms.

The company had significant expansion across the Americas, from Canada down to Costa Rica, with 21 resorts installed in Mexico today. Our growth was also seen in Australia, Dubai, Thailand, Bahamas, Japan and the UK.

Carve says its customers all recognise the benefits of installing tablets, once the first hotel in a group is installed, more inevitably follow.

Crave in-room tablets eliminate the paper and printing costs and allow hotel management to be more dynamic, as content change is quick and easy. Costs are reduced, revenues and satisfaction scores are increased.

A dynamic messaging platform enables hotels to communicate with guests to inform or promote services, plus the guest can make any type of requests without picking up the phone. Crave in-room tablets mirror consumer behaviour of ordering online and waiting for delivery, which in a hotel can be in minutes.

Crave's in-room tablets are sleek, robust and are designed for the rigours of the hotel guest. They include bespoke docking stations, speakers, and USB charging ports, plus any guest data is completely secure.

For more information, visit www.crave-emenu.com.

Zenya

Hotels need to provide an amazing service and create a unique guest experience to create meaningful differentiation from their competition and create sustainable revenue growth. People are creatures of habit, and habits of convenience are hard to break while hotel guests expect technology to integrate into their stay seamlessly.

Fear of shifting guest preferences, strong focus on budgets, and rapid evolution prevents hotels from adopting useful technologies so they struggle to keep up with guests' needs.

Zenya CEO Jesal Sangani said: "For our hotels, It's all about keeping it simple. Zenya comes in different packages, so hotels can get the full suite, pre-arrival to checkout for guests and employee, or choose individual modules that fit their needs and budget. Also, automation helps managers codify their operational process, so it works all the time and lowers the cost of operation and training."

With Zenya, hotels benefit from automating all guest communication, knowing their needs across each guest journey, sending alerts to staff about guest requests and finding out about any unsatisfied guests before it is too late. Guests have a personalised digital concierge at their fingertips as the mobile concierge is provided via email or text before they arrive.

When in their room, Alexa skill brings even more natural voice requests for room service, information, and more. Each hotel can configure personalised responses to bring out their personality and voice while delivering amazing service.

Zenya also assigns issues to the right team member and alerts them of the assignment. With the Amazon Echo Show's display, Zenya can cycle through information to promote hotel amenities such as ordering in-room services or booking a spa to generate revenue for the hotel.

It also replaces music speakers, alarm clocks and in-room directories giving a modern design and experience. Zenya's solutions provide a positive return on investment, and there is a solution for any budget.

For more information, visit www.zenya.io. 

Ruckus

The hospitality industry has transformed from simply providing a room, to delivering an experience for guests.

Today, many of these experiences rely on unbeatable technology. Ruckus Networks, an Arris Company, has been a trusted partner of the hospitality industry, with their shared history beginning in 2010 by launching a bespoke guest room access point. Ruckus is deployed in millions of guest rooms around the world.

With guest Wi-Fi now well established for many brands, the focus moves to how to create efficiencies and optimise business critical solutions to further evolve the guest experience.

The demand on the network is increasing with screen cast solutions used to stream rich content without disruption from any device; to task management solutions used by hotels in restaurant and bars and mobile reception solutions to seamlessly check in guests.

Multi-gigabit speeds without cable plant retrofit means access points and switching must work together like never before. Ruckus' portfolio delivers up to 2.5Gbps per port, and its multi-gigabit switches offer uplinks of 100 gbps to future-proof any network.

Additionally, IoT is now a reality for many, connecting "headless" devices and sensors to automate functions and gather data.

Ruckus launched its IoT Suite in 2018, which provides a converged network, simplifying IoT endpoint onboarding, management and policy setting. This shortens deployment duration and reduces the cost to support multiple IoT solutions, meaning it opens new doors for hoteliers by providing a cost effective and simple roll-out for hotels to deploy staff panic buttons, connected temperature sensors and more.

Ruckus is also working with Assa Abloy to facilitate the implementation of connected door locks to further contribute to driving improvements in guest security and comfort.

There is a reason why 70 per cent of the hospitality market, and 86 per cent of the world's luxury properties rely on Ruckus.

For more information, visit www.ruckuswireless.com. 

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