Derek Wood is managing director of Derek Wood Associates, Ltd., an independent hospitality consultancy and training company based in the U.K. With over 25 years of experience, Wood is a frequent speaker at HITEC and a director on the HFTP Global Board.
How is in-room technology changing? How will it evolve over the next two to five years?
In-room technology is positively ‘leaping’ forward. There are some really great new technologies being introduced each year. Over the next two to five years we will see the complete integration of TV and mobile applications, as well as see 3D TV come of age. We will also see the requirement for bandwidth increase — no big surprise there I guess!
Name three areas within hospitality technology that are evolving the most?
- Security continues to be high priority. Whether it’s PCI compliance or protection against hackers, vast resources are being applied to these areas.
- Mobile technology is developing at an alarming rate. The adoption of mobile applications will provide hoteliers with a whole new way to interact with their guests in 2011.
- The last, but not least is CRM technology. Using specific guest-related data to the advantage of both the hotelier and the guest will develop to a new level this year.
What kind of guest technology thrills you when you encounter it at a hotel or resort?
I like the kind of technology that makes life easier for me (but must be easy to understand and use). Self check-in kiosks really can ease the hassle of check-in. Personalized applications that encourage me to use hotel services and facilities. Technology that assists the staff in recognizing me, and calling me by name as I check-in. Applications that target MY requirements, MY likes and MY recent profile activity are going to THRILL me.
Have you ever had a “WOW!” moment in hospitality technology? If so, when and what was it?
The “WOW!” moment I always remember was the first time I rang down to front office and was greeted by my name. Mind you, this was around 1988. However, the principle of creating that moment has not changed. Personalization still remains the single most effective way to wow a guest. Intuitive CRM systems that are in development will take this to another level.
This Ask the Experts column was featured in the March issue of the HITEC News Flash.