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With the news cycle laser-focused on the looming threat of a COVID-19 second wave happening in nearly every territory, it is up to each and every hotel to ensure we are all fully compliant with virus safety guidelines in order to restore group booking confidence. And the only way to ensure compliance with these safety guidelines is through contactless and compliance technologies to give guests a strong guarantee of proper sanitization as well as peace of mind.

A great deal has been written over the years about the viability of moving a hotel’s property-management system (PMS) to the cloud to take advantage of the latest technologies, but hoteliers need to realize that it’s not the only viable option. All platforms have advantages, including self-hosted, private cloud and on-premise solutions that leverage the latest mobile, contact free and web-based technologies. Independent operators can still enhance the digital guest experience, support personalized and mobile check-in, deploy contact free technologies, and secure hotel/guest data even if their PMS does not reside in the cloud. It should not be a question of “Cloud or On Premise?” but rather “Does the PMS solve your business objectives in both technology and service?”

Much has been written in the mainstream hospitality press about the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the industry. Hotels are in more pain than at any time in our memories. Because of the extensive media coverage, I won’t dwell on this topic further in what is primarily a technology column. But it’s the background for this week’s column, and so merits acknowledgement.

Are You All In?
Posted: 07/27/2020

Imagine everyone in your organization engaged, aligned, and performing to their potential. Imagine everyone playing “All In.”

Great organizations have synergy. Their culture allows them to play to a rhythm at a different tempo than the average organization. How do you get that at your organization?

Many front-line hospitality workers rely on tips for a significant part of their paychecks. If not for tips, many hotel associates who serve as waitstaff, bartenders, housekeepers, bell staff, concierges and pool attendants would soon be looking for other jobs. This is a regional issue: in most of Asia and Europe, staff get higher base pay, and tips are either not expected at all, or are truly discretionary. But in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other countries, tips are an important reality, and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon.



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CES 2016: How the Future is Limited Only by our Imagination

01/12/2016
by Bill Geoghegan

For those of us who are fascinated with technology, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a lot like Christmas. It comes very quickly and is over before you know it.

This year’s CES was billed as the largest trade show in the world, boasting 3,600 exhibitors more than 2.4 million square feet of convention space. The show is open only to the “trade” and press. While the primary target of the exhibitors is to show off their latest wares to distributors and retailers, the show has become a launching pad for a wide range of technologies.
 
CES 2016 included the launch of the Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle, and so many automobile manufacturers were showing connected versions of their cars that some dubbed the show as the “Car Electronics Show.”

Virtual reality headsets were prolific, with Samsung creating a motion ride that rocked and rolled over 50 people simultaneously with each one wearing their $99 gear VR headset. In conjunction with VR, there were a number of vendors showing easy to use 360-degree cameras, and it is not difficult to see the potential for previewing travel experiences, allowing potential guests to view a hotel lobby and room on a VR headset prior to booking.

While mega-corporations such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LG, etc. show their line of products, the one thing that stands out is that sensors are being built into everything. It was estimated that of the 20,000 products displayed at CES, 15,000 included at least one sensor. Accelerometers, motion sensors and cameras have become low-cost commodities, and the software necessary to couple these sensors can be easily written. From thermostats that sense movement within a room to locking systems that sense motion and use facial recognition to allow access through a door, the future looks like we are limited only by our imagination.

While there are very few hospitality specific products on display, there were a few that caught our eye. One of the new directions for technology is the Internet of Things (IoT) in which devices become addressable and controllable through the cloud.  In the hotel and casino environment, this means that electrical outlets, environmental systems, lights, coffee pots, etc. can all be controlled on a room by room basis. Since each individual device is addressable via Wi-Fi or other wireless service, there is no wiring necessary to gain the benefits of device control. One standard that is gaining traction is Z-Wave, with a number of product developers building to the standard.

While small vendors frequently get lost within the giant displays, many of the large manufacturers will cede exhibit space to smaller vendors which use their technology. Within the Intel exhibit, we found Savioke, a delivery robot company which has installed their systems in a number of mid-level hotels. A guest requesting pre-packaged food or drinks, extra towels, shaving or showering essentials can call the front desk, which can in turn put the items for delivery into the robot. Using various sensors and programmed connections, it will then navigate the elevators and hallways to deliver the goods to the requesting room, with security measures that determine whether an occupant of the room has opened the door, at which time the top is unlocked and the contents can be retrieved.  Savioke claims a 98 percent accuracy, and an average delivery time of 4 minutes. The system is programmed to the specific hotel as part of a rental program that does not require any capital investment.

While the vendors and exhibitors at CES do not typically address hotel and resort-oriented products, it is relatively easy to see how many of the technologies being introduced or exhibited can benefit the hospitality industry in the future.

Oh yes, and there were a lot of drones.

About The Author
Bill Geoghegan

LGT Consulting


 
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