Rohan Jani is associate vice president of technology at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he oversees company-wide vision, strategy and execution of multiple business-critical hotel technologies. He is also responsible for advising owners and operators on technology capital planning and investments, providing counsel on potential hotel acquisition opportunities, and leading Hyatt’s digital strategy and loyalty app development. He is active in several hospitality technology organizations, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG).
One of Jani’s major initiatives at Hyatt has been to deploy digital key technology. “It’s just a matter of time when guests will stop using plastic key cards and embrace the keys on their phones like they do with airline boarding passes,” he said. The company partnered with Apple to bring room keys into Apple Wallet through NFC technology. “This will be a game changer,” he predicts, as guests use their iPhones and Apple watches to access their rooms.
Jani and his team also have enabled guests to stream their own content on guestroom television screens. “Many people now subscribe to one or more streaming services and they want to watch their shows while on the road.” Hyatt leveraged the power of Google’s Chromecast solution to allow guests to stream shows, music and sports from their phones to the TV. “We’ve created a more home-like environment, which enhances guest satisfaction and boosts repeat visits.”
Additionally, the Hyatt technology team has developed a software product called Colleague Advantage to streamline front desk operations. The unified user interface integrates the tools and tasks supported by the multiple systems a front desk employee is required to use, including property management, central reservations, loyalty management and sales. “Now, front desk staff don’t have to open 10 applications to complete the check-in process. Colleague Advantage aggregates all the information,” he said. As a result, service is more efficient, staff training time is condensed, and guest and employee scores have improved across the brand.
Jani is also mindful of environmental sustainability and recently launched a product called Digital Compendium that harnesses the power of QR codes to provide up-to-date hotel information via guest smart phones. In the last 12 months, the solution has been deployed in more than 500 properties and used by more than 2.5 million guests. “It’s a huge win all around,” he said. “Guests are able to get the latest information quickly and easily, our hotels are realizing significant savings in paper printing costs, and the environmental benefits are enormous.”
- Family: Married with a five-year-old son. “My wife and son are the authors of four children’s books, a series about an alligator named Chocovela and his many adventures.”
- Hobbies: Outdoor activities, including tennis, soccer and swimming. “My family and I visit beaches in Florida all the time.”
- Go-To Periodical or Website: Hospitality Upgrade magazine. “I read it cover to cover.”
- Book: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide by Todd Lammle. “It’s an awesome book that helps you build fundamentals in data networking and apply them in real life.”
- Music: Bollywood. “Nothing else even comes close!”
- Travel Destination: Kauai. “It has beautiful rainforests, great beaches and some of the best hikes in the world.”
- Advice to Young People: “Surround yourself with great mentors and learn from their experiences.”
- Dinner With: Al Pacino. “He’s my favorite film star and one of the most influential actors of the 20th century.”