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Hotels: Take a Cue from Forward-Thinking Hospitals

Today’s consumers are as tech-savvy as ever, and expect the same type of immediate, customized experience they enjoy in their personal lives at home to be available wherever they are. And they want this without having to carry their own computer or tablet everywhere they go. Realizing this, some forward-thinking hospitals offer patients an iPad — paired with an Apple TV — in each room.
The Jacobs Medical Center at the University of California, San Diego is one such hospital. Every room has an iPad and Apple TV loaded with the latest medical apps. When a patient is admitted, they are given a login for the devices which give them details about their caregivers, and controls for their room, such as lighting and temperature. The patient also has the ability to go over their personal medical records and view details about upcoming procedures. The Apple TV offers patients streaming video and other digital entertainment. They can even download and use FaceTime and Skype or games to entertain visiting children.
In this article, Jamf discusses how hotels could use this same technology to their advantage prior to check-in, during the stay, and during check-out.
Before guests even get to their room, Apple TV devices in the lobby could be used to guide them to the correct iPad for check-in. This could save hotel staff the time it takes to manually accommodate each customer allowing them to focus on more pressing, larger issues and provide better care to guests who need more attention.
To begin with, the iPad could be used to greet the guest with a personalized message loaded by staff upon their arrival to their room. Additionally, the devices could be pre-loaded with any apps, movies or resources deemed beneficial. Plus, any app, TV program or movie that the guest finds on the iPad can easily be displayed on the TV screen and would provide ease-of-use compared to searching through a TV guide. Of course, hotels could allow guests to order room service, contact the concierge, request housekeeping, view their bill and even adjust room settings, such as temperature and drapes, from the comfort of their bed using the iPad and an app such as Crestron.
Following a stay tailored to their needs, guests could use a self-checkout model and, with a couple of taps on an iPad, be on their way. For guests that are in a hurry, there’s no need for them to wait in line or interact with a staff member.
To make this process a reality, hotels must purchase Apple TV and iPad devices through Apple or an authorized Apple reseller. Then hotel IT can leverage Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP). This allows for an “out-of-the-box” experience, where IT can leverage a management tool to automatically enroll, configure and setup new iPads and Apple TVs. Empowered staff simply plug in the device to power it and turn it on, and the iPad and Apple TV are ready for customers.
Going even further, IT can utilize a mobile device management (MDM) solution to pre-configure devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi, display room service menus, highlight area attractions, display available apps, or even put the device into single app mode, further simplifying the experience by providing guests with one app that provides easy access and control for everything.
If IT feels there are apps and videos that some, but not all customers would enjoy, they can post them in a self-service style portal for on-demand access.
The most important aspect of this entire experience is ensuring guests feel they are receiving a personalized and secure device with each stay. So, wiping each device of any personal information left by the guest is key. To eliminate the need for manual wipes and restores that would require IT to physically touch each device — and that could be hundreds daily — IT can leverage MDM to remotely wipe and digitally sterilize each iPad and Apple TV. As soon as a guest checks out, IT can immediately and automatically ready the iPad and Apple TV for the next visitor. No room visits are required.
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