#hoteltechnetwork

27-28 May

2020

Warsaw,
Poland

The hotel of the future: Interview with GM about technology in 2030

news 2 photo

What IT tools and platforms does the hotel of the future require? What might be the technology competencies of future hotel general managers? This imaginary interview between EHL professor Ian Millar and BOSC6 student Kelly Sebastianutto propels us into a top London hotel in 2030 where Kelly is the newly-appointed General Manager.

New position, how do you feel about it?

Great! But also a little bit overwhelmed as the industry has really transformed itself since I graduated from EHL in 2022. Since starting this role 6 months ago, we have already made numerous changes to our tech operations. Thinking back to 2022 when we were coming out of the pandemic, I remember vividly your elective course on Hospitality Technology Strategy. Many of the things we discussed I’ve already or will be implementing into my hotel operations and strategy.

What technology experience can you share?

The first thing was to take a 100% cloud-first approach. We have moved all our systems to the cloud and I operate SAAS as well as PAAS. Of course with this comes security issues, and I have a great IT team who take security very seriously as well as all the compliance I need to ensure we do correctly (PCI, GDPR). I only work with systems that operate on open API model.

I also took the first months to give my staff a better technology experience. The guest rooms are planned for renovation next year so I will wait a few months before starting on the guest experience. I have implemented a staff “PWA” that allows for real-time communication, employee sentiment and surveys, all the info they need to do their daily jobs and we have just activated the team virtual training program. So the PWA has a virtual onboarding module that all new employees take.

The initial feedback is superb as it gives them flexibility with their time but of course the interaction with their managers and colleagues is vital. These tools enable them to do their jobs better, better productivity and overall experience as employees, but not to replace the human touch. There is also a wellness module offered to the staff to help them relax and unwind, and one cool feature is they can swap their shifts with colleagues, giving them a better work life balance and last minute family time.

Describe a typical day as a hotel General Manager

Well, like all hotels there is no real ‘typical day‘. Firstly, as we are open API, I have realtime access to all the KPI and key numbers I need to know. I have a real-time dashboard on a screen in my office and also have those numbers on my phone in real-time. OCC% ADR, revenue so the key metrics are there. I have also adopted the “healthy building” mindset so I have installed various IoT solutions. For example I could receive a real-time alert that room 301 is showing signs of increased damp and humid air from the in-room IoT sensor. I confirm the alert and a message is sent to head of engineering and housekeeping to meet straight away in the room.

Another example could be I receive negative sentiment on a review site about bathroom cleanliness, I am able through data to know which housekeeper cleaned that room. This housekeeper is contacted through the internal app and asked to complete some additional virtual training on bathroom standards. A message is also sent to the executive housekeeper to follow up on this as the housekeeper concerned is excellent but needs some training.

A final example: occ% is low for next week according to predictions, AI has analysed the data and given me three options to activate. I choose option 1 and new availability and prices are live on our website as well as our automated CRM had done a campaign to relevant previous guests especially promoting kids’ activities and the spa as next week is the half term holidays.

Name a few hotel technology trends

Firstly RPA. This has been excellent for us and removed so many back-of-house manual processes. We hardly work with Excel anymore. With the cloud solutions I have all my data and my dashboard can be configured to how we need it. Machine learning has come a long way and now is also affordable and relevant for us.

One thing we have just put in place is the adoption of SSI (self-sovereign identity). This is a game changer for hospitality. It has also reduced my reliance on OTA’s and I already have much healthier direct bookings than other hotels. Blockchain keeps everything safe for me, and also, the “basket” approach where individual personalisation of the stay is possible has worked well, and our guests love it. Our restaurant reservations with hotel guests is already up 10% as they book dinner along with their room, which they could not do before. Plus my spa has told me more treatment reservations are coming in as well.

How are you using technology for your strategic planning?

I actually remember back to one of your lessons where you used the phrase “Data driven decisions” and it’s something that has stuck with me since then. When my team and I do strategic planning, data is front and centre. Not one decision is based on gut feeling. We only make decisions using data. Of course, our hospitality experience plays a role, but the data does all the talking. I have a data scientist in my team who works with all department heads and builds our data platform that we use when planning.

What is you main tech project in the near future?

Our next objective on our digital transformation scoreboard is to use technology to tackle labour shortages. Using technology to fight labour shortages does not mean that we will be losing the high touch our industry is known for – quite the opposite, in fact. The right use of technology can support the high-touch in the hospitality industry to improve/enhance the service and, at the same time, reduce needed labour for mundane tasks. This allows us to focus on the interaction with the client during any service, whether is it at Reception, or In-room check-in.

Ian Millar concludes

It’s good to see industry people like Kelly. She has fully understood that technology is about enabling things; it’s not really about the technology itself but more about what it can do for you. Cloud computing adoption and Open API are great ways to build a technology stack. It makes it so much easier to adapt and be agile in systems integration. Of course, there is the ever-growing area of compliance, especially GDPR. But as can be seen in this interview, the main reason for a successful technology strategy is the mindset. Having the mindset and company culture that technology will enable a better business, and you are halfway there.

What does a hotel General Manager do? A guide to the abbreviations:

  • SAAS – Software As A Service
  • PAAS – Platform As A Service
  • PCI – Payment Card Industry
  • GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation
  • PWA – Progressive Web App
  • API – Application Programming Interface
  • OCC – Occupancy
  • ADR – Average Daily Rate
  • CRM – Customer Relationship Management
  • RPA – Robotic Process Automation
Which technologies & apps will have the greatest impact in 2022?

The pandemic accelerated digital transformation by 10 years (McKinsey & Company) and today’s travel consumers have become more digitally and tech-savvy than ever. Many of today’s travelers’ service expectations are around self-service, around do-it-yourself, from online planning and booking, to preferences for contactless check-in, mobile keys, voice assistants, and communication with hotel staff via messaging.…

The hotel of the future: Interview with GM about technology in 2030

What IT tools and platforms does the hotel of the future require? What might be the technology competencies of future hotel general managers? This imaginary interview between EHL professor Ian Millar and BOSC6 student Kelly Sebastianutto propels us into a top London hotel in 2030 where Kelly is the newly-appointed General Manager. New position, how…

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Barco

Barco ist ein weltweit führendes Technologieunternehmen, das vernetzte Visualisierungslösungen für die Märkte Unterhaltung, Unternehmen und Gesundheitswesen entwickelt. Unsere Lösungen haben eine sichtbare Wirkung, indem sie den Menschen fesselnde Unterhaltungserlebnisse ermöglichen, den Wissensaustausch und die intelligente Entscheidungsfindung in Unternehmen fördern und Krankenhäusern helfen, ihren Patienten die bestmögliche Gesundheitsversorgung zu bieten.

Barco hat seinen Hauptsitz in Kortrijk (Belgien), erzielte 2021 einen Umsatz von 804 Millionen Euro und verfügt über ein globales Team von mehr als 3.000 Mitarbeitern, deren Leidenschaft für Technologie in über 500 erteilten Patenten zum Ausdruck kommt. Barco ist seit 1985 an der Brüsseler Börse notiert. (Euronext: BAR; Reuters: BARBt.BR; Bloomberg: BAR BB)

Für weitere Informationen besuchen Sie uns auf www.barco.com, folgen Sie uns auf Twitter (@Barco), LinkedIn (Barco), YouTube (BarcoTV), Instagram (barco_nv) oder liken Sie uns auf Facebook (Barco).

Barco is a global technology leader that develops networked visualization solutions for the entertainment, enterprise and healthcare markets. Our solutions make a visible impact, allowing people to enjoy compelling entertainment experiences; to foster knowledge sharing and smart decision-making in organizations and to help hospitals provide their patients with the best possible healthcare.

Headquartered in Kortrijk (Belgium), Barco realized sales of 804 million euro in 2021 and has a global team of 3,000+ employees, whose passion for technology is captured in +500 granted patents. Barco has been listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange since 1985. (Euronext: BAR; Reuters: BARBt.BR; Bloomberg: BAR BB)

For more information, visit us on www.barco.com, follow us on Twitter (@Barco), LinkedIn (Barco), YouTube (BarcoTV), Instagram (barco_nv) or like us on Facebook (Barco).  

MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG

Transmitting information via fiber optic connections offers numerous benefits. MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG recognised this very early on. As one of the pioneers, the company has developed and produced high-performance communications and transmission systems in Germany since 1993. Individually matched to the demands of diverse usage areas and embedded in comprehensive concepts for individual sectors. But, above all, close to the customer. Technical challenges from customer projects are incorporated directly into product development. This way, IP-based automation solutions are created for modern buildings, cost-efficient network concepts for the office and workspace, robust and fail-safe solutions for industrial environments, optical transport systems future-oriented wide area networks and efficient coupling of sites and computer centres. 

Company Profile:

Since 2001, m3connect has grown to become one of the largest wireless Internet service providers in Europe.

Globally, m3connect serves around 13,000 of its customers‘ sites in over 23 countries. As a thought leader in cloud technologies, m3connect has been extending its self-developed platform for more than 20 years.

M3connect provides best-in-class wireless Internet networking with flexible design, works with state-of-the-art technologies such as WiFi, private LTE and 5G and creates innovative software solutions such as SD-WAN. The range of services is extended to include WiFi portals, digital signage, in-room TV solutions and even VoIP. 

Company Profile:

HRS Hospitality & Retail Systems is an international company with an excellent reputation for service. With over 10,000 customers spanning 90 different countries, HRS is a leading supplier of IT solutions for the hospitality industry. We are Oracle Hospitality’s largest partner with a team of experts ready to support you 24/7. HRS offers a wide range of innovative solutions, including Property Management, POS, Spa & Guest Activities, Business Analytics, Payment Gateway, Mobile Applications, Channel Manager, Online Distribution Services, Finance and HR Systems, Passport Scanning & Recognition, and much more.

HRS Hospitality & Retail Systems is your one-stop supplier of top-quality service, outstanding support, and the best products in the hospitality sector.”

Statement:

We are excited that in-person events are coming back and look forward to many interesting conversations. The Hotel Technology Network Summit 2022 is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and connect with friends and partners.

Hospitality & Retail Systems is a market leader in IT for the hospitality industry and provides innovative solutions for all your software-, hardware-, consulting- and support needs to maximize your company’s efficiency – Maurice Piesker, Sales Manager DACH-Region  

Company Profile:

Legrand Integrated Solutions is the Legrand group brand focusing on Guest Room Management Systems (GRMS) and integrations.

This team is focused on delivering not only the tailor-made Guest room automation solution to your hotel project but is also specialist by smart third-party integrations with other technologies existing in the project such as access control systems, booking software’s etc. The ultimate goal is to reach the highest guest comfort but also to enhance the staff service and the hotel energy efficiency all at ones.

As technology expands, hotel guests continue to search out new and original experiences during their stay, and that’s why next to the integration of the light, shutter and temperature a full integration with a hotel management software, access control, 3rd party heating cooling systems & full building automation is highly required.

Legrand Integrated Solutions offer a wide range of integrated solutions for all project types

Quote:

Legrand integrated Solutions is delighted to announce their participation at “hotel technology network summit 2022” in Berlin. We look forward to this opportunity to demonstrate, hotel investors, how to reach enhanced guest comfort, best staff service and energy efficiency all at ones with our Legrand Guest Room Management System- Davide Zanzi, General Manager 

NFON

NFON GmbH, based in St. Pölten, is a subsidiary of NFON AG. Headquartered in Munich, NFON AG is the leading European provider of voice-centric business communications from the cloud. The listed company (Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Prime Standard) includes over 3,000 partners in 15 European countries, seven subsidiaries and counts 50,000 companies as its customers. With the core product Cloudya, the smart cloud communications platform, NFON offers simplified voice calling, easy video conferencing, and seamless integrations for CRM and collaboration tools for small and medium sized companies. The NFON portfolio consists of four segments: Business Communications with Cloudya, Customer Contact, Integration and Enablement. NFON guides companies into the future of business communication with intuitive communication solutions.

Mitel

Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance for hotels and any business offering guest management services. The entire staff strives for this. A communication solution, seamlessly integrated into the business processes, perfectly supports employees in their day-to-day work serving the guests. It increases productivity and quality of services, while keeping operating costs low. This is why smooth communication is at the heart of every successful hotel. Mitel customers enjoy flexible, scalable, secure communications, optimized to meet the needs of the hospitality industry, from small economy hotels through to some of the world’s most famous luxury hotels. Powering more than 2 billion connections every day, Mitel helps businesses connect, collaborate and take care of their customers. Mitel’s business communications experts serve more than 60 million users with over 2500 channel partners in more than 100 countries. Doing so Mitel is also close to you

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

Worldline

Worldline is the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. Worldline delivers new-generation services, enabling its customers to offer smooth and innovative solutions to the end consumer. Key actor for B2B2C industries, with nearly 45 years of experience, Worldline supports and contributes to the success of all businesses and administrative services in a perpetually evolving market. Worldline offers a unique and flexible business model built around a global and growing portfolio, thus enabling end-toend support. Worldline activities are organized around three axes: Merchant Services, Mobility & e-Transactional Services and Financial Services including equensWorldline. Worldline employs more than 9,400 people worldwide, with revenue of circa € 1.6 billion on a yearly basis. Worldline is an Atos company.

Siemens

Smart infrastructure (SI) from Siemens makes the world a more connected and caring place – where resources are valued, where impact on the world is considered, where sustainable energy is delivered reliably and efficiently. It provides the flexible infrastructure to allow society to evolve and respond to changing conditions. SI addresses the urgent challenges of Urbanization and Climate change by connecting Energy systems, Buildings and Industries. Technology and the ingenuity of people come together to be at one with our environments and to care for our world. Siemens Smart Infrastructure is doing this from the macro to the micro level, from physical products, components and systems to connected, cloud-based digital offerings and services. Siemens offers a broad portfolio of grid control and automation; low- and medium-voltage power distribution, switching and control; and building automation, fire safety and security, HVAC control and energy solutions. The headquarters of Siemens Smart Infrastructure is located in Zug (Switzerland). The company employs worldwide approximately 71.000 employees.

Otrum

Otrum is the market leading hosted solutions partner to the hospitality industry, with software operating across multiple platforms including TVs, signage and smart devices. Research and development is an integral in-house function and, with full control of product IPR, Otrum can rapidly address market needs. Otrum Enterprise is the in-room segment leader in functionality, stability and ease of use, all of this over existing infrastructure. Otrum Enterprise is used by over 1.5 million guests each month. Otrum Digital Signage provides powerful communication throughout an entire property, with a superior wayfinding service, meeting overview screens and digital door signs. Otrum Digital Signage is installed in over 600 hotels. Otrum operates with a network of strategic partners throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. The company been at the forefront of in-room guest centric technology since 1985. For more information, visit www.otrum.com.