Technology has made inroads in several industries and the hospitality industry is catching up. The hospitality industry is growing and adopting mobile technology to offer a heightened customer experience. Given the advantages of using mobile technology in enterprises, the hospitality industry is in a transformation phase and is swiftly moving towards using smartphones and tablets for employee operations as well as patron service.
Mobile Technology in Hospitality
Hotels are using mobile devices to optimize their operations and logistics as well as improving customer satisfaction. Major hotel chains are simplifying their check-in process by using hotel management software, which can be integrated into tablet kiosks. Tablets are placed at the reception and guests can enter the details, select their preferences and required in-house services. They are also improving their in-room experience with the help of mobile devices allowing customers to place orders, request room service, control room environment, etc. Some tech-savvy restaurants are using tablets so that the customers can place an order easily. The tablets are placed on tables or are handed to customers through which they can place an order.
Even though this transformation in the industry has various advantages, it also comes with certain challenges.
Mobile Device Management Challenges in Hotels
Manually configuring a large inventory
Growth in the adoption of mobile technology in the hospitality industry makes it difficult for management to manage the devices manually. A typical 3-star to 4-star hotel might have more than 50 rooms (each equipped with a device) plus the ones used in lounges, waiting areas, cafes, restaurants and check-in counters. So even for a stand-alone hotel, manually configuring devices for apps, content, branding and managing this large number of devices is challenging and requires several productive hours of work. If it’s a hotel chain, with several properties in a diverse location, each property needs to have an IT team to configure and provision the same at each location.
Avoiding Misuse by the employees
The hotel-owned devices can be easily misused by the employees for personal purposes to install non-business related apps like games and social networking apps which can result in increased data cost and decreased productivity. Not to mention, a distracted hospitality employee is a big turn-off for the customer/guest.
Maintaining the device performance
With devices spread at various sub-locations even within a property, it is difficult to keep a track of each device’s operation and performance. Which devices need to be charged? Keeping a track of this is challenging since predicting usage for estimating battery life is difficult. And there are several other operational challenges such as tracking which ones need a software update and which ones need a content update, for instance.
Ensuring device security
Although most devices used in the hospitality industry do not contain sensitive data on them, the chances of the devices being stolen or lost are still undeniable. It is hence important to track the device location and trigger an alert if the device is taken outside the hotel/restaurant premises.
Scalefusion MDM for Hospitality: The Key Benefits
Scalefusion dashboard is easy to use and the devices (Android, iOS, macOS and Windows 10) can be configured in bulk, over the air. This saves time in individually configuring the devices. Scalefusion MDM also offers partnerships with OEMs and ODMs to install Scalefusion as an in-built functionality for special-purpose/custom-made devices. Once set up, the admin will see all the registered devices on the dashboard and the end-users (guests/employees) won’t be able to exit or stop the Scalefusion application.
Kiosk mode for dedicated use
The Scalefusion kiosk mode allows the admin to enable/disable the apps (both private and public) on the device. For guests, admins can push a list of apps for entertainment, room-service, food-ordering, etc and block the rest. For the devices used by the employees, admins can push the business apps. Blocking non-business related apps will restrict employees to use the devices only for its intended purpose. By using Scalefusion Kiosk Browser, the admin can whitelist websites from the dashboard and allow access to only the whitelisted websites.
The admin can remotely track the devices and get the real-time location of the devices on the dashboard. The admins can set multiple geofences and every time a device leaves or enters a geofence, an alert is triggered. For large properties and nature resorts, this can also be a great way to trace guests in case of emergencies.
Be it providing hotel property-related content and service handbook to guests or passing business-related material to employees, Scalefusion MDM for hospitality enables content management where IT admins can remotely push relevant content on devices. Also, content management comes in handy for pushing digital content for displays, presentations in hotel lobbies and waiting areas.
Scalefusion MDM comes bundled with Eva Communication Suite which can be a replacement for a room intercom. Guests can contact the room service, front desk and other hotel touch points using the Wi-Fi connection. Similarly, for devices used by employees, this can ensure secure business-only communication.
Scalefusion MDM offers a virtual inventory management system where you can track the entire device inventory, keep track of performance, location, battery, storage and data usage. WIth Scaleusion IT admins can automate periodic compliance checks to detect errors and issues. Furthermore, if the device runs into an error, it offers remote mirroring and troubleshooting with Remote cast and control to quickly resolve device issues. A single IT admin can thus manage a large device fleet, spread across multiple locations.
The hospitality industry is changing rapidly with the patrons demanding exponentially improved services using technology. To keep up with the demand as well as to automize, sophisticate the conventional processes, a digital transformation is inevitable. Scalefusion MDM for hospitality helps in the same with its all-in-one solution to manage employee devices, digital signages and in-room devices.
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Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.
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