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Technology Rock Stars Stephane Magnat Club Med Americas

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April 08, 2022
Technology Leaders
Fran Worrall - fran@hospitalityupgrade.com

2022 Technology Rock Stars:
Stephane Magnat

Senior IT Director, Club Med Americas


 


 

Stephane Magnat is senior IT director for Club Med, the pioneer of the all-inclusive holiday concept, offering 70 resorts in Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and North Africa. He joined the company more than 20 years ago, beginning as an in-house applications manager. Prior to joining Club Med, he worked with Magic Software, a start-up company that is now a global provider.

Magnat has been responsible for a number of major technology initiatives since joining Club Med, but he is especially proud ofStephane Magnat 2022 three projects that have streamlined operations. The first was the transformation of the brand's contact center. ‘We migrated our contact center solution and the telecommunications network to a fully IP-based cloud platform, moving from a very heterogeneous, complex and obsolete ecosystem to a fully integrated platform,” he explained. The project resulted in the company becoming more agile, entirely PCI compliant and delivering omnichannel propositions to clients. What’s more, Club Med is now able to track, consolidate and analyze data for more accurate reporting. “We can track every guest interaction and deliver more personalized service.”

Magnat also undertook an end-to-end network transformation at all Club Med Americas resorts. “The pandemic afforded us a rare opportunity to rebuild resort infrastructure while our properties were closed,” he said. Using smart building technology, he eliminated the MPLS data network, the on-premises telephone system and all of the telecom circuits, including long distance and local landlines. Now, everything resides on a single network and transmits over the internet, including internal systems and applications, IPTV, voice and guest Wi-Fi. “It’s complex on the logical side but much more efficient and cost effective on the physical side. It’s also a great enabler for our future digital initiatives.”

His third project was to replace guest room phones with tablets. “We had already eliminated our telecommunications infrastructure, but we pushed it even further and eliminated the phones,” he said. Tablets are loaded with a phone app, and guests can make free and unlimited calls to any country. Additionally, they can download the phone app on their own devices, sign in with their room extensions and use it anywhere on property. Club Med has also leveraged the tablet so that guests can do everything from ordering services to signing on to their entertainment platforms and casting content to the TV. “There’s no limit on what we can do with the tablet,” he said. “It has really boosted the guest experience.”

Club Med has partnered with 3CX, a telecommunications company that bases charges on concurrent lines rather than per-room fees. As a result, the company is realizing enormous cost savings. “They were willing to work with us in a different way, and it has been a game changer,” he concluded. “We’re operating much more efficiently and saving money in the process.”

 

STEPHANE’S BEST:

  • Family: Married, with four children and a dog.
  • Hobbies: Running, tackling home renovations and traveling with family.
  • Go-To Periodical or Website: Flipboard app. “It aggregates articles from around the web, all geared to my interests.”
  • Book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. “It’s more than 75 years old but as relevant today as it ever was and for all ages. It encourages you to dream and use your imagination.”
  • Music: Tunes from the 80s. “It’s the era I grew up in.”
  • Favorite Travel Destination: French Alps. “We take a ski trip every year.”
  • Advice to Young People: “Use your job to express yourself. Both you and your employer will benefit.”
  • Dinner With: Pink Floyd, a British rock band known for its extended compositions and philosophical lyrics. “I love their music, and I’d like to know how they got so creative.”

STEPHANE’S INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS:

 

There will be a shift in the way property management systems are designed. “Hyper-personalization of the guest journey will necessitate a move toward building the PMS around the customer and not the room. The room is just one of the many services guests are expecting.”
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Payment platforms will evolve. “Back-end systems are so rigid compared to the new methods of payment that are emerging. With the push from digital wallets and the cryptocurrencies coming down the pipeline, there will be a major shift to keep up with it all.”

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There will be a revolution in in-room entertainment.“Today’s in-room entertainment is sub-par and much too complex, with cable TV falling into disuse,” he said. “Eventually, guests won’t have to sign in to accounts to access entertainment. It will be a completely seamless experience.”
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