Amazon CTO Discusses Potential of Amazon Alexa in Hotel Rooms at AWS re:Invent

During the keynote address at AWS re:Invent, a learning conference hosted by Amazon Web Services for the global cloud computing community, Amazon's Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels examined the potential of Amazon Alexa in the enterprise and highlighted the measurable business impact that Volara’s Voice Hub for the Hospitality Industry is already having at hotels across the country.

Volara has been collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) over the past year to deploy and manage Amazon Echo Dot devices in hotels across the country. The devices leverage the just announced Alexa for Business and run Volara’s software – which enables local management of the voice-based interactions engaging guests and seamlessly integrates those interactions into the leading technologies operating in hotels today.

Vogels' assertions about the efficiency gains and positive experience of engaging with Amazon Alexa are proven out in the utilization data Volara is seeing at leading hotels across the country. Volara is voice automating an average of:

  • 240 item and service requests per 1,000 occupied room nights
  • 700 guest questions about the hotel and surrounding area per 1,000 occupied room nights

Traditionally, guests have called down to the front desk on the landline telephone found in every guest room. This antiquated and resource-intensive practice is being eliminated. Today, Volara is saving hotels 12 hours of staff time per 1,000 occupied room nights.

With Volara and Amazon Alexa’s collaboration, hoteliers are able to:

  • Answer questions about the hotel and surrounding area
  • Receive and route item and service requests
  • Provide recommendations from the concierge
  • Create truly remarkable voice-based guest experiences

These experiences are unique to, and consistent with, the hotel brand, but have included:

  • Personalized arrival greetings from local celebrities
  • Custom-branded games built uniquely for hotel guests
  • Hotel-curated musical experiences in the guest room

Volara – in collaboration with AWS – has put hotel services conveniently in front more than 400,000 guests. Volara is deployed today at hotels across the United States, including those under all of the major flags. 

"Our experience at the Alexis hotel has been consistent with what Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels described in his speech," said Jenn Gile, Assistant General Manager of the Alexis Hotel by Kimpton in Seattle, Washington. "The staff time saved by the Volara-powered Amazon Echo Dot devices at the Alexis – which adds up to over 40 hours each month – has enabled our professional team to focus on higher value engagement with our guests – i.e, those interactions that require a distinctly human touch."

“Guests of Thompson Hotels are extremely tech savvy, and many of them have Alexa in their own homes. At Thompson Seattle we strive to provide a seamless technology experience for our guests when they travel and we are fortunate to be able to partner with a local company like Amazon. In addition to helping our guests be more efficient by using Volara-powered voice commands for concierge services and in-room controls, we are also enabling our guest services team to be more efficient," noted Amanda Parsons, General Manager of Thompson Hotel Seattle. "Guests may now get quick answers to many of their questions – from the hotel's WiFi password to the hours of our restaurant and rooftop bar – without having to pick up the phone, dial and wait for a response. In the meantime, our staff spends less time on the phone and more time with our guests, focused on personalizing and enhancing their stays.”

To learn more about Volara and the power of voice-based guest engagement, click here.