Microsoft Corp. has announced it will collaborate with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to provide Windows 8.1 as a platform for delivering a premium digital experience to the luxury hotel group’s guests. The Group is piloting Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in four of its award-winning properties in London, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Tokyo, providing in-room tablets that feature a custom Windows 8.1 start screen and modern touch apps. In conjunction with Microsoft, Mandarin Oriental has created a suite of five custom Windows 8.1 touch apps, available in nine different languages, that manage services for in-room dining, concierge and housekeeping requests, a guest compendium that provides information about the hotel’s facilities, and access to guest feedback and guest preferences.
Mandarin Oriental’s intention is to make its wealth of online marketing content, hotel information and guest services more easily accessible to its digitally savvy guests. Leveraging the Microsoft platform, Mandarin Oriental is able to integrate a combination of services formerly offered via the television, telephone or guest directory with content available on the company’s website to deliver a more intuitive in-room experience for guests via custom touch apps running on Microsoft Surface Pro tablets.
“As a brand known for our legendary hospitality, we’re always pushing ourselves to create unique, premium guest experiences,” said Monika Nerger, CIO of Mandarin Oriental. “We are currently operating in 25 countries, and with our expansion into new markets we needed a powerful, secure, yet easy-to-manage solution with robust language support, which Microsoft technologies can offer. Through this partnership we can create digital experiences that cater to our guests’ needs and expectations whenever they stay with us.”
Working with Microsoft and hospitality solutions partner iRiS Software Systems and application development and design company InterKnowlogy, the Group’s custom Windows 8.1 touch app will allow guests to quickly and easily request hotel services, such as housekeeping, laundry and in-room dining. Each touch app is infused with Mandarin Oriental’s luxury brand elements and is completely configurable via a cloud management solution offered by iRiS Software Systems, which runs on Microsoft Azure. Offering an even further customised experience, guests may log into the Surface Pro tablet using their own Microsoft Account to access personal email and files on OneDrive, as well as use their favorite apps associated with their Microsoft Account profile. With Microsoft’s remote data removal functionality and write filtering, the guest profile and personal data will be removed from the device. Upon checkout, the device is automatically wiped clean of personal guest data and restored to the hotel’s customised homepage design.
“Through the Microsoft platform, we have a bespoke digital experience that allows guests to easily place a complex meal order and request other guest services with a touch of the finger,” Nerger said. “Early feedback from our guests has been extremely positive, and we will continue to tailor the solution as we extend the tablet deployment to more of our markets, with an initial target installation of 1,000 tablets across the portfolio in the near future.”