100 Perfect of the World Cell Phones to Open Doors with OpenWays’ Apps

  • OpenWays
  • 11.03.09
This week at the 2009 International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York, OpenWays, a global provider of mobile-based access-management solutions for the security and the hospitality industries, will unveil a revolutionary solution that securely delivers a key over the air to the right cell phone in order to open the right door lock or access control reader.

Leveraging some of the most advanced cryptology standards, OpenWays delivers a safe and sound application that works on all cell phones without any hardware or software add-ons. It is simple, highly secured and works anywhere in the world.

The co-founders and well-known security and hospitality industry veterans behind the OpenWays solution includes Pascal Metivier, Paul Zimmerman, Josh Alper and Mauri Maza.

OpenWays will debut in booth No. 3169 at IH/M&RS, Nov. 8-10, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.

“Automated checkin and checkout solutions have been of high interest for years in the hospitality industry as a means to allow guests to avoid the time-consuming and burdensome checkin and checkout process,” said Metivier, OpenWays founder and CEO. “After all, waiting in line is highly incompatible with the expectation of a pleasant stay.

“Mobile network operators and hotel executives for years have had a shared vision for bringing cellular-technology to traveling consumers for services including loyalty management, travel companion applications, credential management, hotel checkin/out with key and lock management, voucher management, convention management and more,” he said. “In fact, several hotel chains have already engaged with offering cell phone-based checkin and checkout solutions to their guests, but none of them has yet found an immediate solution for delivering the room key to the guest phone. That is what OpenWays solved and offers now.”

He explained that OpenWays’ is based on an open platform that is fully interoperable between carriers and can be deployed very easily and quickly worldwide, without having to wait for other technologies that could take years to reach critical mass like near-field communication (NFC).

“With the ability to address 100 percent of today’s cell phone users, OpenWays is paving the road to NFC by enabling the 4 billion cell phones in service today with a contactless solution for which we filed several patents,” Metivier said. “On behalf of the OpenWays team, we are proud to see the shared hotelier/traveler mobile room key vision come to fruition, and we are thrilled to be first to introduce and deploy it to the global hospitality industry.”

Previously Metivier served as president of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality EMEA, parent company of VingCard, Elsafe, TimeLox, Uniquey and SafePlace companies. He also led a major ASSA ABLOY group NFC mobile phone initiative. Metivier possesses 16 years of experience in access management and electronic lock/door hardware solutions. He also held leadership positions with Onity, Senercomm, CISA Security Products, CISATRON LTD, CISA Spa and SECURIDEV/FONTAINE. Paul Zimmerman most recently served as director of online solutions for TimeLox North America (ASSA ABLOY Group). He brings to OpenWays more than 15 years of experience in electronic locking systems and access control. Josh Alper previously served as general manager of Page-A-Lock Online LLC, operations and technical manager for CISA Security Products Inc., and vice president of SmartLock North America. He brings to OpenWays a 25-year background in electronic locks and systems integration. Mauri Maza, a 15-year veteran of the electronic and access-management industry, brings to OpenWays his research and development expertise.

“OpenWays brings numerous benefits to the industry,” Metivier said. “It removes the need for a guest to stop at the front desk or at the kiosk upon arrival, thus streamlining checkin and eliminating the frustration of waiting in lines; It contributes to reducing the number of front desk transactions allowing for reducing front desk operating expenses; and, it contributes to selling hotel stays at a greater profit margin when the solution is leveraged to the benefit of the chain and property-direct sales channels.”
OpenWays also allows for better guest service, said Paul Zimmerman, including features like “change my room” and “extend my stay”, all managed online through the use of the guest cell phone without having to ever get down to the front desk to get a new key card.

“OpenWays offers significant security and operational improvements by managing master keys in an online fashion with real-time cancelation in case of a loss, and it eliminates the need for hotels to purchase, issue and dispose of plastic key cards for cell phone users,” he said. “This not only saves time and labor costs, but it significantly helps the environment.”

Finally, Zimmerman said OpenWays aids in a hotel’s e-marketing efforts by providing a vehicle for continual communications with the guest before, during and after his/her stay. It also helps hotels to deploy value-added mobile applications, including loyalty programs, widgets, Web2Mobile, etc., with automatic hardware and carrier detection allowing for full content compatibility.

According to Zimmerman, OpenWays is extremely user friendly and highly secure. It is simple to operate for all users because it leverages what people already know to do with their phone.

“OpenWays is enterprise friendly because it interfaces with central reservation systems, property management systems and the major electronic locking systems on the market today,” Alper said. “In addition, it works with all new and existing electronic locks or access control systems regardless the card technology being used (magnetic stripe card, smart card, proximity card, RFID cards, etc). This means it doesn’t matter what type of existing hardware the hotel has, a simple upgrade to what already is installed will have OpenWays immediately operational.”

OpenWays also is consumer friendly because it is 100 percent compatible with all cell phone network technologies (GSM, UMTS, CDMA, 3GCDMA, LTE, WIMAX…) and all Mobile OS standards (BlackBerry, Apple iPhone, Symbian, Google Android, JAVA J2ME, MICROSOFT WINDOWS mobile…), he said.

“The OpenWays contactless solution is fully interoperable between carriers and can be deployed very easily and quickly worldwide. In addition, we are leveraging very high industry security protocols to offer a safe application,” Alper said. “This application is being made available to hotel chains and independents through a network of integrating partners, including the major electronic lock manufacturers, system integrators, kiosk and CRS/PMS providers.”

At IH/M&RS, OpenWays will demonstrate its application and announce a series of integration partners at a press conference to be held Nov. 8 at 10:15 a.m. in booth No. 3169.

By dematerializing keys and cards and sending them over the air to cell phones OpenWays also is making a significant contribution to the environment. Millions of plastic key cards are wasted every year. Travelers keep them and they eventually end up in the waste bin. Hotel key cards are made of PVC, which is highly polluting and highly toxic when burned in waste treatment facilities.

“There are no key cards greener than the OpenWays credentials as they are only made of data,” said Josh Alper. “Our solutions pragmatically contributes to carbon foot print reduction plans and are very well aligned with the sustainable development policies of our customers.”

OpenWays is a global solution provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Seoul and Paris, OpenWays provides technology solutions allowing for the secure issuance and delivery of access rights and keys process via any cell phone operating on any network. The OpenWays solution is truly unique as it built on the concept of credential dematerialization. The OpenWays mobile room key solution works on all the 4 billion cell phones in service in the world today.

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