Guests seek a personalised digital experience with the ability to communicate with the hotel at any point in their stay via their own mobile devices. Thierry Bonnin, vice-president of global accounts and vertical markets at ALE International, explains how the company's hospitality solutions enable customers to meet the changing needs of guests; and cut costs.
Ten years ago, a landline that connected the room to the reception was all that a guest needed. However, in the past few years, technology has changed considerably, as has guests' behaviour.
These days, the typical traveller has a smartphone or other devices and won't easily forgive a lapse in connectivity. A survey conducted across 28 countries found that 67% of hotel guests would not return to a hotel with low-quality Wi-Fi. Guests want a personalised and digital experience that enables them to interact with the hotel via their own mobile devices, from the point of booking right through to the end of their stay.
"Customers staying in a hotel are looking for something similar to what they have at home," explains Thierry Bonnin, vice-president of global accounts and vertical markets at ALE International. "ALE International has come into the market with solutions that enable guests to integrate their own personal smartphone with hotel services."
The company has been in the hospitality sector for over 20 years. More recently, it has radically shaken up its customer offering with mobile services that span the entire guest experience. It offers solutions to enhance guests' experiences and streamline hotel operations while cutting costs.
The roomset isn't dead; it simply needs to be retooled. Several years ago, ALE International became the first vendor to install touchscreen phones in hotel rooms, which offered a wide array of applications alongside the ability to make calls.
The 8088 Smart DeskPhone has a customisable interface, ideally suited to the hospitality market. Essentially a universal remote control, it can be used with the Smart Guest Application Suite, which enables the guest to adjust their room environment (temperature, lights and air conditioning) by swiping a screen.
A notable customer is 45 Park Lane. The Dorchester Collection hotel, which opened in London in 2011, was seeking a single, central and portable device to control room features with the flexibility to add others as required.
Bonnin says: "45 Park Lane was looking for a brand new technology to make the hotel unique. We installed a customised solution for them. They've been able to decrease the total number of solutions and the number of ports in the room, because everything is completely embedded and integrated."
The company has joined the BYOD (bring your own device) revolution with its Mobile Guest Softphone, which is a free app that can be downloaded at check-in. This turns a guest's device into an extension of the roomset. It provides all hotel services in the guest's chosen language via a customised hotel directory, and can be integrated with third-party e-concierge applications.
As guests' experiences become more mobile, so will employees need to be more reactive. ALE International offers products such as wireless DECT handsets for smooth workflow management and communications. These simplify teamwork for staff by promptly relaying information to the front desk.
ALE International's simplified network architecture saves hotels money every year. With lower maintenance costs and fewer service interruptions, it improves efficiency and reduces operational expenditure. That is not to mention the extra room revenue that can be generated.
"We offer end-to-end solutions across Wi-Fi networks, telephony networks and applications," explains Bonnin. "At ALE International we have a single management tool, which enables the hotelier to control everything, ensuring they don't spend too much money and only pay for what is useful."