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News : In-room entertainment is the future!

In-room entertainment is the future!

Entertainment is one of the pillars of the hospitality guest experience. Over the past two decades hotels have moved from being at the forefront of entertainment and guest accessible technology provisions. Long gone are the days when hotels are recognised for providing a better entertainment and technological experience than the majority of their customers had at home.

Hotels have recognised the need to provide their guests with the kind of connected TV experience they are becoming used to at home. Through Smart TV functionality, guests are able to enjoy the experience in the hotel as they can at home ­ to browse the web, chat with friends, update their Facebook, and use apps right on the screen.

The major brands have seen strong demand for their Smart TVs in the consumer market and this is expected to continue, with 82 million connected TV’s in homes worldwide, forecast to grow to 892m by 2016 (source: Informa). This highlights how people increasingly look to the TV to access web applications and content.

According to Allan Packer, Silver Lining’s Managing Director, ‘We are very excited about supplying our hospitality customers with Smart TV technology for their hotels and restaurants. We are encouraging our customers to embrace these new opportunities and bring this new technology into the hospitality sector. We are committed to providing competitive advantages to our customers to improve their revenue. ’

The hotel environment however is more complex than the home environment, with sufficient bandwidth to support multiple users a significant consideration for hotels, as well as appropriate management of the network required to support them. This is where Silver Lining, a managed service provider, with their experience supporting the hotel industry and expertise in networks and digital IP technology are well placed to successfully bring this new technology into the hotel environment.

Allan Packer continues, ‘It is early days for Smart TV and other devices with some technical complexities in the hotel environment to overcome. That is why our specialist team is working closely with customers to provide expert advice and guidance to deliver the appropriate solution to meet their needs, plus the list of benefits for our customers and their guests are endless.‘

From the moment guests arrive, mobile devices can help immerse them in a cutting-edge sensory experience. A guest who is greeted with mobile check-in options or digital menus displayed on tablets or smart TVs will be assured they have chosen a tech-savvy hotel equipped with the latest modern conveniences.

With mobile devices in hand, concierges can complete the process with a few taps of the finger ­ no check-in desk required. At busy times, check-in staff bandwidth can be extended by equipping additional concierges with tablets and having them circulate in the lobby/reception area.

Hoteliers can also display special offers on digital menus so guests can see what the hotel has to offer the moment they walk through the doors. When guests arrive in their rooms, Smart TV’s can be used to control the temperature and lights. Guests can also use their in-room Smart TV’s to access a digital guest services directory, a modern innovation that can save hotels thousands in printing costs. Some hotels are even using Smart TV’s as digital menus for requesting room or turndown service or a valet, so guests never have to pick up the phone. By integrating apps into existing systems, guest orders can be automatically entered into the order system at the hotel restaurant or guest services desk, saving time and freeing up hotel staff to perform other tasks. It also allows guests to connect with their social media accounts, emails etc. We encourage hotels to add an extra charge should the guest wish to access a library of films and programmes. By allowing the visitor the option to access this extra service, with an unlimited choice of films and programmes we improve the user experience and move away from the days of hotels charging £15 for a single viewing.

While the benefits of mobility and the latest technology in hospitality are clear, IT may worry that keeping track of all those devices and keeping customer information secure will cause major headaches. Silver Lining can provide a solution that can track mobile assets in real time, so that they are alerted as soon as an in-room device leaves the premises.

As the British Hospitality Association’s preferred supplier in Information Technology and telecommunications, Silver Lining Convergence Ltd is committed to introducing new business experiences across a diverse spectrum of industries from retail to healthcare, hospitality to insurance. We believe technology brings business and customers together - to better share, collaborate and discover new opportunities. With a market-oriented approach to innovation, Silver Lining are transforming the UK’s managed service IT and communication solutions through TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, Wi-Fi and more.

For more information on our hospitality solutions contact Silver Lining today for a free consultation. 

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