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How Hilton Leverages Mobility

Hilton Worldwide ( is always looking for ways to remove the friction from travel. One way to do this is through offering digital products that can streamline and personalize the guest experience. For example, Hilton is planning to introduce mobile keys later this year, enabling guests to use smartphones to safely and securely unlock hotel room doors – in addition to the gym door, elevators and other areas on-property requiring secured access. By the end of 2015, the mobile-enabled room key feature will be available at the U.S. properties of four brands: Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. Looking ahead to 2016, Hilton plans to deploy the solution globally.
Currently, guests can select the exact hotel room they want prior to arrival by viewing digital floor plans and maps during the HHonors digital check-in process. Mobile-enabled room key coupled with digital check-in with room selection technology puts guests in control of their entire stay experience all powered via their mobile device.

What can often be a challenge is finding success within the rapid pace of change. Technology is changing at warp speed and with that, so do consumers’ digital desires. You may have invested in a certain strategy centered on a particular platform, and then the platform could change, or the medium could no longer be available. Here are a few strategies that Hilton uses to make sure our digital strategy remains relevant and impactful.

Focus on purposeful innovation
At Hilton, we focus on listening to guests’ pain points, developing digital products that can make their lives easier, and deploying them at scale so guests have a consistent experience no matter where they stay. We try not to get distracted by innovating for innovation’s sake. This allows digital and IT teams to be true partners, producing digital products guests want, delivered soundly on channels they prefer. Digital innovations are a company-wide effort, focused on collaborating to do what’s best for our guests. Our global digital and IT teams lead the charge, supported by multiple departments, including marketing, training and legal.

Let guests dictate digital direction
Hilton often looks to the guests themselves for inspiration and direction when it comes to technology initiatives. By analyzing their feedback on SALT surveys and identifying key pain points, we’re able to focus efforts on creating digital products that will truly make their lives easier.

Our guests want to connect with us whenever, wherever and however they choose – they expect this. Therefore, much of our future depends on how easily guests can engage with us on mobile, social and online channels.

As a result, we’re committed to being present to our guests on the digital channels and platforms they use most – ensuring each guest enjoys a streamlined connected experience. By refining our digital tools to fit customer needs, we not only can give our guests exactly what they want on the platform they want it, but we can reach them faster and with greater ease.

Be accepting of and ready for change
The pace of technological innovation is a challenge for every company playing in the digital space today. We combat this by taking an agile development approach to innovation, which allows us to identify guests’ needs and quickly deliver digital tools to meet and exceed expectations. Being nimble with our digital strategy also lets us change priorities and directions if we see guests’ requests or technological trends changing.

What was your first job? 
McDonald’s in high school, Monster Energy first professional job (product innovation).

Who inspires you? 
Herb Kelleher.

What are your hobbies? 
Music and travel and I have worked in both industries for mobile.

What technologies excite you?
Micro location, anticipatory computing, deep learning and connected computing.

Sage Advice: 
Many tech and hardware innovations have been developed to evolve the market to this point. Be ready to invest or divest early and often.

What is one other job that you would like to try?
Race car driver.

What is one goal that you would like to achieve in your life?
Forever change the way consumers interact with the physical world with digital products.

What three people would you invite to lunch? 
Henry Ford, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk

What is your favorite book/movie? 
Barbarians at the Gate

What is your favorite vacation spot?


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