I took few days of rest with the family on Paradise Island. Huge hotel and attractions facilities of Atlantis are impressing by size, location and weather (compared to snowing Boston). So, if you are all for pools, dolphins, coral reefs, multi-color fishes, this is a place to be. However, when it comes to customer facing technologies, you can quickly find yourself back in 1999. The only one thing that will remind you 2010s will be the allowance to use 4 devices for one internet connection purchase to connect you to the outside world. Inside of the hotel, the only thing you have is room phone line and guest services button. After few days of such experience, it made me think about some PLM and other technologies hotel can adopt sooner than later.
3D Mockup and Virtual Navigation
Hotel guide provided few pages paper map with low resolution pictures and index of POIs. You have low chance to understand the location of the attraction. Don’t even try to figure out the walking distance and time. To use this map for navigation and to plan your activities upfront is impossible. Maybe you don’t need to do it. But when you want to take kids from point A to point B, it can be useful. While most of hotel visitors keep mobile devices in their hands, to provide some digital tours (before the visits) as well as 3D walking navigation application on site can make your life much easier.
Product Sales Configuration
Well, as you can imagine, hotel is not just about rooms. It is also large amount of additional facilities, attractions and other points of entertainment you want to use. You need to spend a significant amount of time trying to understand what is available, when and decide if you want to use them. Very limited information is available upfront before your visit. It sounds like an opportunity for customizable product configuration. This tool can be used during the booking process and will allow you to choose all entertainment and other options. Some of them can be purchased and some of them just added to the portfolio for later purchase decision. Everything I said is not a rocket science for PLM and other tech today.
Process and activity planner
When you are in the hotel, you want to plan a specific activity. Sometimes your plans and interests are changing. How you can manage all these things in an easy and painless way. The only tool at your disposal today is phone with a button called “guest service” or front desk service with waiting queue. Too bad. It sounds like a good application for one of the available project and process planning tools with calendar and scheduling options.
What is my conclusion? People are interested in services and not in technologies. The easiest way to sell technologies is to show services people can use and buy. Nice weather, beach, pools and exotic animals are nice attractions. However, services are getting more and more important these days. The available technological services will play more important role in our decision making about future vacation options. PLM and other tech business dev people looking for the opportunities beyond aerospace and defense should take a note. Also, red alert to tech managers of hotels and travel industry companies. Just my thoughts…