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The Umstead Hotel and Spa, a 5-star property located just outside Raleigh, North Carolina, has selected Evolve Controls and Intelity to deploy a fully integrated wireless room control and guest services solution through hotel tablets. This innovative approach is designed to enhance each guest’s stay at the property by combining the power of in-room control features with convenient access to hotel services and information through tablets provided to each guest room.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation, a leader in the hospitality industry and one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers, is always looking for new ways to enhance the guest experience. Today’s customers have high expectations when it comes to personalized services and functionality at the hotel and in their room.

How many times have you visited a hotel and turned up the heat or air conditioning just because you could? It’s not your house and you’re not paying the bill. If you have to stay away from home, you might as well be comfortable, right?

This scenario happens a lot and the data backs it up. In fact, hotels consume an enormous amount of energy; 50 percent more than similar sized residential buildings, despite having only about a 65 percent occupancy rate on average.

Evolve Guest Controls LLC announced yesterday that the Board of Directors has appointed Kristin Miller as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Ms. Miller will succeed Len Horowitz, Founder of Evolve. Len will remain with the company in his new role focusing on strategic development and global customer relations, and also continue to serve on the board of directors as Vice Chairman.

Every company wants to be innovative. A Google search of the term ‘‘innovation’’ brings back nearly 400 million results. We operate in a business climate where the pace is accelerating exponentially while seething with competition. While many companies want to keep up, only a few actually do.

Fast-growth companies understand that their most valuable resource is human capital. Innovation isn’t born in the strategy, the process, or the code. It’s born in the people you hire. By developing a clear vision and systematic approach to build a culture of innovation, companies can unleash the lifeblood of sustainable competitive advantage.

When I read that hotels in Japan would soon unveil robot staff, I got a flashback to The Jetsons. We may not have flying cars yet, but Rosie the Robot maid is becoming a reality.

Many have lamented the lack of innovation in the hotel industry, but there is a flurry of recent activity that shows this is about to change.

Much has already been done to enhance the guest experience before they enter the hotel room. Mobile bookings are on the rise, hotels are beginning to adopt wearable technology, and some travelers can access room keys from a smart phone.

To make lobbies livelier and stays more personal, hotels are enlisting Microsoft products and platforms. The hotel lobby has lost much of its cache. You check in, you check out. You might partake in a continental breakfast in an adjoining room, but not a lot of time is spent in the actual lobby these days. Concierges live in our phones, and the experience of lingering over wine or cocktails around a live piano in the lobby is nearly extinct.

Remember that 90s movie, Smart House? It’s no longer fictional (besides the insane nanny that takes over). Audiences laughed at a house taking care of you and ogled at its futuristic features. While I don’t know of a house that cooks breakfast, were getting pretty close. Smart appliances and home automation, along with wearables, were the biggest trends coming out of this year’s CES show. As people become more connected, we’re seeing those same experiences extended into the travel and hospitality space, making our lives “smarter,” both at home and away.

Ninety-six percent of unhappy customers don’t complain and 91 percent of them will simply leave and never come back. Further, 55 percent of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service. In light of these statistics, hoteliers must put customer satisfaction at the forefront.

recent study shows that 80% of companies think they provide a superior customer experience, but in reality only eight percent of those companies’ customers agreed. That’s a huge disconnect.

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Contact Rick Bess

rbess@evolvecontrols.com