What's been keeping the SmartRoom technology from reaching the actual guest room? The answer isn't the technology to implement the SmartRoom, but the method by which these technologies can be deployed and actively managed. With the rate at which technology is advancing, the community is uncertain as to how much and when to invest in SmartRoom technologies and most importantly which vendor's technology will be the best.
Certainly the franchises want the benefit of the SmartRoom, with all the bells and whistles, for many reasons. The most prevalent is the opportunity to increase brand loyalty-remembering that the customer is king. The brand that can provide the exact configuration of a room to a guest's specific comfort points is the brand that will win and retain the guest's business.
Imagine a room that is tailored to the individual based on their personal profile, a room where:
- The channel lineup is programmed to be the guests 10 specific networks on predefined channels
- The temperature controls automatically drop at 10:50pm to the guests sleeping temperature, but then rise at 6:50am.
- A room whereby the lights slowly increase beginning at 6:50am, the TV comes on at 7:00am, and the volume incrementally increases every minute until movement is detected
- he guest's agenda, travel arrangements, and new emails are displayed on a “home channel” on the TV
This is a customized guest room that will not only win the guest loyalty but the replacement costs of time and effort will the keep the guest from moving to other brands.
Of course there are other reasons, not the least being cost savings, controlling the expenditure of energy in unused rooms (i.e. cooling, lights, managing window coverings), or reducing the labor of managing the room (i.e. room status, tracking mini-bar usage, and room quality assurance). But these are all secondary, as they represent a savings to the individual operator, but are not activity increasing the revenue, or luring customers into the facility.
As a technologist working with hundreds of properties and actually being the first wireless vendor to brief Cendant Corporation on the advantages of wireless networking in 2002, I also possess an extensive background in systems engineering, and Total Cost of Ownership and the specific component Reoccurring Cost Assessment the answer are straight forward.
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