IT is the Gamechanger in Hospitality Industry

We spoke with Hoteliers across the board and there is no denying the importance which is given to IT technologies being implemented by hotels to meet demands of the modern guest.

(Clockwise from top left): Indrajeet Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Sales & Marketing at The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts; Aseem Kapoor, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi; Sanjay Gupta, General Manager, Le Meridien, Gurgaon; Aditya Sanghi, CEO of Hotelogix; Nikhil Dev, IT Manager at The Leela, Gurgaon; and Sanjeev Bhatia- Information Systems Manager, The Imperial New Delhi.

ACCORDING TO the Oracle Industry Connect’s Hotel 2025 survey, guests are willing to engage with brands that offer new technologies. The survey also found that hotels should be wary of implementing automation without personal service. Customising technology to accord a seamless experience for guests from the moment they register in a hotel till they check out is crucial in these fast times.

Indrajeet Banerjee, Associate Vice President - Sales & Marketing at The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts, says, “Moving past the basic in-room necessities, it is not uncommon to see a digitally controlled stay experience with IPOD control panels, interactive mirror TVs, IPAD menu selections, bookings apps and new age tech-TVs. The industry has welcomed technology with open arms and has set about trying to incorporate it in a manner that guarantees the highest quality of experience for its clientele and a competitive edge”.

 “We are constantly checking and double-checking our technology for glitches, updating regularly and frequently. We take our guest feedback very seriously and are continually trying to exceed their expectations,” says Aseem Kapoor, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi.

Speaking about some recent technologies used in hospitality business, Kapoor said, IT security to prevent hacking into the system and exposing sensitive customer information, more functionality in the mobile apps to create a user-friendly interface and give the customer high levels of satisfaction, Wi-Fi in all parts of the premises to ensure superior connectivity, better technology in the room in the form of high-end coffee-machines, steam irons, and HD TVs are some of the vital examples.

High speed and free internet facility is the most crucial thing for a hotel to retain its guests. Sanjeev Bhatia- Information Systems Manager, The Imperial New Delhi, says that the internet not only speeds up the day to day work making it error free but also helps in archiving of guest data. E-mails via intranet or internet, social media networks, free WI-FI, updated instant communication modules and feedback systems are some facilities to make sure that our service standards remain top notch and unmatched.

Sharing similar thoughts, Sanjay Gupta, General Manager, Le Meridien, Gurgaon told us that the hotel spends roughly 10 percent of their total revenue on technology. “We use 100 mbps of high speed internet for guest network and a complimentary speed of 5 mbps. For the ease of other operational departments, we use software such as PMS (property management system) that helps the departments to easily verify guest profiles and update the same. Another useful yet latest software specially used to sort the inventory is known as Material Control that is generally used in the back-end functioning called SAP,” he says.

Speaking about the upgradation in technology, Nikhil Dev, IT Manager at The Leela, Gurgaon says, “In 2008 we were the first hotel to implement the IPhone in the guest rooms with the integration of I-services to provide one stop update to the guest related to the weather to share trading to concierge. Recently we are upgrading our IP TV making it more Interactive and user friendly with better graphical experience.”

One of the new trend used by hotels is cloud technology, Hotelogix is one such platform. Its cloud-based PMS gives flexible control to property owners/general managers and revenue managers, centralizes hotel operations, improves guest loyalty and experience, increases savings and enables mobility through iOS and Android apps.

On asking about how does Hotelogix tackle any security concern, Aditya Sanghi, CEO of Hotelogix says, “we have to accept the fact that any technology can be compromised. Having said that, we, at Hotelogix follow stringent processes and adopt the latest technologies to safeguard data. All user data transmitted over the Internet is encrypted and stored securely on state-of-the-art AWS servers. This applies to the data that we backup at regular intervals, too. Also, we maintain audit logs for all data accesses and events.”

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