Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 32 | Page 90

/////////////////////////////////////////// INDUSTRY WATCH every family member carries his/her mobile devices for personal entertainment as well. And when they arrive at a hospitality venue, they demand to connect to everything all the time, making it essential for the hotel to provide a memorable guest Wi-Fi experience. Guests expect always-on Wi-Fi to find in- venue activities, access self-service apps and stream content without delay. This mobility has created a need for hotels to engage guests through smartphone apps and opened the door to adding more context- aware communications. Advances in location technologies now also allow venues to customise the guest experience based on who and where they are, for example, turn-by-turn navigation within a mobile app or location-based notifications to a guest on the property. • Increased need for secure networks, as more and more data and users flow through the network. • Increased demand for high-speed reliable ADVANCED ANALYTICS/BIG DATA AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) ARE TWO TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL BE KEY IN SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY. untether their front-desk staff so they can assist guests anywhere on the property. Wi-Fi for high-bandwidth streaming, as guests bring their own devices and content. What IT trends are currently influencing the hospitality sector? What technologies are hotel operators looking at? Do you have any tips to help IT managers and CIOs build a competitive hospitality infrastructure? The following are some of the trends we have been seeing in the regional hospitality sector: When building a competitive hospitality infrastructure, the CIO should keep the following points in mind: • Wi-Fi standards and hardware/ hardware placement: There are now indoor and outdoor 802.11ac APs that allow for high-bandwidth streaming from guests’ mobile devices throughout the property (for both .n and .ac supported devices), as opposed to containing wired/ wireless connections to individual hotel rooms. For example, for guests this might enable streaming high-bandwidth movies and music applications in outdoor pool areas and for hotels this could mean running high-resolution IP cameras and digital signage over Wi-Fi as well. • Context-based engagement: The increased amount of data that is available on the Wi-Fi network has • Guest satisfaction: Every guest is a public reviewer (whether it is through travel review sites or personal social media channels), so ensuring that they have a good experience is paramount to increasing loyalty and rebooking. While personal interactions with staff can certainly make an experience memorable, improving technology-related offerings and amenities (Wi-Fi, mobile apps, etc) is a surefire way to reach and meet the expectations of all guests. • Mobile engagement opportunities: Increasingly, hotels are looking for additional ways to engage their tech-savvy guests during their stay. By providing guests in-app tools, such as indoor maps 90 INTELLIGENTCIO • • • • and wayfinding features, hotels let guests easily find what they’re looking for and self-service from their mobile devices without delay. New revenue channels: Mobile engagement solutions can also be used to alert guests to in-house restaurants or other location-based services to increase share of ‘wallet’ and reduce guest abandonment during their stay. Improved operations: Hotels that upgrade their Wi-Fi to handle high- bandwidth applications can run mobile point of sale and property management system applications that decrease guest response times and enable hotel staff to service guests anywhere on the property. Onsite physical security: Hotels that upgrade their Wi-Fi to handle newer, high-resolution IP surveillance cameras can further protect guests, proprietary goods and associates as hundreds of individuals enter and exit the venue daily. Network security: Hotels that invest