Markus Boberg, VP of business development for Assa Abloy Hospitality, discussed the technology challenges and priorities for 2017 with HOTEL MANAGEMENT.
HOTEL MANAGEMENT: What was the largest technology challenge you were forced to overcome in 2016?
Markus Boberg: It is clear that mobile solutions and keyless access for hotels is steadily on its way to reaching a critical mass of installations and may not continue to need the boost from providers that it used to. The challenge we have faced now and in the past year is in getting the end user (the hotel guests) to fully embrace the technology that is becoming available to them.
HM: What are your technology priorities in 2017?
MB: Our priority here is to always continue our work to create and implement the most innovative, next-generation technologies based on growing market trends and customer feedback. It’s important to us to answer the needs of current and potential customers by constantly providing the key technologies they need to operate. Our priority in 2017 is to continue to be on that leading edge of innovation.
HM: What emerging technology will have a place in hotels in 2017, and why?
MB: Mobile-access solutions is an emerging technology that will find its place in more hotels in 2017. Mobile access is key in allowing hotels to streamline processes and services for guests, plus it gives mobile-oriented travelers the ease of use and quick access they demand. For hotels using mobile-access solutions, they’re already catapulting their brands into the future of hotel technology. We predict more hotels will jump on the trend in 2017.
HM: What are some of the biggest mistakes hotels make when integrating with technology?
MB: Something we have seen a lot of are hotels that do not use systems that can easily integrate with their [property-management system], causing hotel staff to have to enter information manually into multiple systems. One thing we’re really big on at ASSA ABLOY Hospitality is implementing “future-proof” technologies that have the capability to be upgraded to fit new emerging technologies. We have seen many properties still struggling to adapt to this.
HM: What is one technology at home in the residential market that should be brought to hotels?
MB: Connecting personal smart devices with entertainment systems is a trend on the residential market that is really growing and, with the right elements added to fit the hotel industry, would be great in hotels as studies have shown that travelers want hotels to offer the same comforts of home. Mobile-access technologies and capabilities are already augmenting guest experiences at hotels—allowing guests to use their own devices for entertainment will increase this experience.