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HTNG Announced 2013 EMEA Technology Innovators Award Winners

Monday, November 25, 2013  

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) and Hotel Lugano Dante Center Recognized for Creative and Innovative Applications of Existing Technology

CHICAGO (November 25, 2013) – Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, today announced that it has recently recognized two EMEA-region hotel companies with its EMEA Technology Innovators Award for the creative and innovative application of existing technology within their hotels. The winners were Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) and Hotel Lugano Dante Center. Professor Ian Millar, of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, announced the winners of the 2013 EMEA Technology Innovators' Award in a ceremony during HTNG’s recent European conference in London.

Award winners and judges at the ceremony in London. From left: Ian Millar, Dr. Carlo Fontana, Thomas Nievergelt and Douglas Rice.

“HTNG created this award to recognize hoteliers who most effectively use existing technologies to add significant value to their business,” commented Douglas Rice, Executive Vice President & CEO of HTNG. “Even though we’ve been impressed by the vendors’ innovations we see each year, which we recognize with our Most Innovative Hospitality Technology award, we know that innovation isn’t defined only by vendor products. Sometimes it is in how hoteliers use existing technologies.”

Ian Millar, Professor of IT in Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, commented, “It was a pleasure to have taken part in the second edition of the EMEA Technology Innovators Award with yet again many outstanding submissions. What we saw in almost of all the applicants is that hoteliers are seeing how the use of technology can enhance the customer experience. They are bringing the hotel closer to the guests, which helps the hotel better understand the needs and wants of the hotel guests.”

The winners of the award for 2013 each made brief presentations about their projects during the general session of the conference. The winners, including a summary of their innovation, follow:

  • Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) created a central ticketing platform for hotels and offices to manage guest and staff requests and issues, following an IT call-center model. The team developed a Service Centre application on a Microsoft Sharepoint platform with a separate SQL database for ticket reporting data. The ticket application itself is a joint venture between 5 Zurich based companies (from different industries), who met every 6 months to make financial and planning decisions. The project replaced a structure where each property had its own dedicated system; the new system costs about 1/10 of the prior structure and requires less staff. An analysis of guest survey data with one hotel showed that guest satisfaction increased about three months after deployment of the tool, and interaction between departments improved. Next year Mövenpick plans to add a mobile app and investigate the possibility of integrating with property management systems. The award was accepted by Thomas Nievergelt, Vice President, Enterprise Applications and Processes for Mövenpick.
  • Hotel Lugano Dante Center - Seeking to differentiate its four-star property though outstanding customer service, the hotel developed the Happy Guest Relationship Management (HGRM) tool from the ground up. Starting in 2009, the hotel distributed iPhones and iPads to all staff of the organization, to allow for full engagement with the guest. Starting from the guest reservation, confirmation, arrival, through the in-room experience and the entire customer journey, guests receive a fully personalized hotel experience. Guest can directly communicate with reception staff for any need, from check-in to guest room personalization in great detail: room temperature, pillow and bedding types, minibar beverages, amenities for children and much more -- even down to personalizing the toilet paper. The relationship with the guest continues also after the stay, which has resulted in increased guest loyalty and direct bookings. There is almost no paper used by the property and most every document that used to be printed, is now available to staff member within a few seconds. Guests who use the system rate the hotel very positively in online ratings services, thus improving their brand reputation and earning the hotel the greatest number of online guest comments in Switzerland. Both the Harvard Business School and Bournemouth University (UK) wrote up the HGRM innovation as a case study in a creative approach to customer service. Dr. Carlo Fontana, the General Manager of Hotel Lugano Dante Center, accepted the award.

In addition to this award for hotelier innovation, HTNG also manages an annual innovation competition for technology providers, called the Most Innovative Hospitality Technology Award. The award will soon open up entries for its fifth year of competition, to highlight innovations released during 2013. HTNG hotelier and consultant members will vote on the winners of this competition, which HTNG will announce at its annual North American Conference near San Diego, California on March 6, 2014. Companies interested in entering that award program should visit www.htng.org/innovation-award for information.

 

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About the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne

The Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) offers university-level studies to talented and ambitious students who are aiming for top careers in the international hospitality industry. In addition to its international recognition, EHL constantly integrates market trends and new technologies into its three academic programmes:

  • Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management
  • Executive MBA in Hospitality Administration

EHL is part of Switzerland’s University of Applied Sciences and is accredited both by the Swiss federal government and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Higher Education Commission).

Since it was founded in 1893, EHL has educated more than 25,000 hospitality industry executives. The worldwide network of alumni represents an invaluable asset for every member of the EHL community. Today, over 1,800 students from almost 90 different countries enjoy the unique and enriching environment of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

For more information about the EHL, please visit www.ehl.edu

 

About Hotel Technology Next Generation

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, nonprofit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants, media and academic experts. HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing specific business problems. HTNG fosters the selection and adoption of existing open standards. Where necessary, it also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality industry.

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others. Currently more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including most of the world’s leading hotel companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants. HTNG’s Board of Governors, consisting of 18 top IT leaders from hotel companies around the world, itself has responsibility for about 3.1 million guest rooms. HTNG publishes workgroup proceedings, drafts and specifications for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. Specifications are released to the public domain as they are ratified by the workgroups. For more information, visit www.htng.org.