WhiteSand Tech Report – July 2010

This is the second in our series of presenting new and interesting uses of technology in the casino-hotel-resort environment. This month we look at an example of technology vendors pushing features and functionality down to mobile, handheld devices. This continues to demonstrate a trend of resort operators providing authority and access to empower the patron in order to enhance customer service and improve their overall experience while on property. It’s all about making things faster, easier, more convenient and putting more control of the experience to the customer.

Not too long ago it was the self check-in kiosks, brought in to reduce the lines for just those special times of day when even ten front desk stations manned with clerks were not enough. The kiosks actually work now and many patrons even prefer them to overly chatty front desk clerks.

MICROS’ Opera Property Management System is a leader in this brand of technology, whether it’s providing the ability for your guests to manage all aspects of their trip to your resort using the handheld device of their choice. Some operators may just want to minimize the time to check in. Initially some of these “apps” were designed for the iPhone, but will also be available as a mobile website and widget or portal in the near future. Opera’s MyStayManager can also run wirelessly on a tablet pc and can utilize signature capture software to complete the solution for hotel operations. Each subscriber can have its own branded and custom-designed MyStayManager app with the look and feel of each app unique to your property.

It’s the next logical step driven as much by the gadget obsessed patron as by the hotelier’s desire to save costs and provide a cool “differentiator” from their competitors. These new “apps”, developed in branded and non branded formats, provide the ability to:

  • Search for, customize and reserve a room
  • Self-check in to the room from anywhere (onsite or off)
  • Secure deposit payments
  • Change the credit card payment methods
  • Check out when the visit is complete
  • Make other reservations (spa, show restaurant) before or during your stay, and,
  • Create and maintain your itinerary on your device
  • Order room service, additional towels or submit a maintenance request to Facilities
  • Retrieve messages
  • Manage guest preferences (e.g., newspaper, type of pillow, smoking/non-smoking, etc.)
  • Accept offers and add packages to a reservation
  • Update guest locator details
  • Look up hotel events
  • Request housekeeping, turndown, laundry and bell services
  • Set green or non green preferences
  • Make table reservations at restaurants attached your property
  • Make golf and spa reservations
  • Manage guest profiles
  • Schedule a wakeup call
  • Access third party online services (for example to find nearby theaters and restaurants)

The Opera MyStayManager provides all of the tools available to book your reservation as you would find on your reservation website. The MyStayManager application, in theory could be used to encourage guests to enjoy additional amenities such as the spa, food and beverage outlets, shows, as well as delivering unique offers and loyalty club benefits directly to the patron.

Have you ever spent twenty minutes going to the opposite end of the fortieth floor hallway at midnight, only to discover your key doesn’t work? Then you trudge back down to the front desk, with all of your bags, to have the front desk clerk program another card key and then hike back up. MICROS has partnered with Saflok to provide the ability to open your hotel room door with your mobile phone. Now, you can just call them, and have them generate the correct “tone” through your device to open the locked door.

You now have the ability, in theory, to book your trip, check in, book, schedule and enjoy all of the amenities and then check out, without having to speak to anyone in person.

Nirvana for the true “techie” – and don’t forget to Tweet and then write about it on Facebook. An online demo is available.

Find out more about MICROS, Opera and their new modules at micros.com.