Future Guest Experience 2020

September 28 - 29, 2020

Las Vegas, NV

Here's How OpenKey Is Bringing Mobile Keyless Entry to Hotel Properties Worldwide

Brought to you by WBR Insights

All businesses operating today do so in an era where demand for instant gratification is at an all-time high - and the hotel industry is no exception. According to research by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality, just a five-minute wait at check-in causes guest satisfaction to drop by 50%. In 2014, when TJ Person founded OpenKey, he knew that mobile key - a technology solution that allows guests to unlock hotel rooms with their smartphone - was going to change that statistic. "Mobile key was going to be a significant tool for guests and their interaction with hotels," Person said in an OpenKey blog post in May last year. "I saw huge value there."


The front desk check-in ritual has been a routine part of the hotel experience forever. However, it can be lengthy and frustrating. After traveling for umpteen hours - hauling luggage from home to car to airport to taxi to hotel - travelers just want to get into their rooms as quickly as possible. But they often find the check-in and key issuing experience to be slow and cumbersome. Instead of getting much-needed rest, they are forced to wait around in the lobby, tired, bored, and frustrated.

Enter OpenKey - the industry standard for mobile key in hotels. When the company first started out, it was focused on integrating with just the top four or five hotel brands in the world. However, the team, led by Person, soon realized that the company's true value was going to be found amongst independent boutique properties instead. "Smaller brands were looking to have the same technology that a Hilton or Marriott was going to have and be able to give their guests that same experience," Person said. "We found a lot of success in the arena. A lot of hotels, particularly the independents, don't have the security resources to devote to build mobile key, so we gave them an easy way to do just that."

Now, OpenKey has secured a string of partnerships with other hotel technology providers to bring automated mobile key delivery and mobile keyless entry to even more hotel brands - both large and small - around the world.

Improving the Check-in Experience

In December, property management system (PMS) provider Springer-Miller Systems (SMS) completed a next-level integration with OpenKey, meaning that hotels that use the SMS platform can now enjoy automated mobile key delivery to guests as part of their service.

Now, in one easy step, front-desk agents can issue a secure encrypted mobile key to a guest's smartphone immediately upon hotel check-in. The agent simply enters the guest's mobile device number into the PMS and the OpenKey system interfaces with the SMS platform to handle the creation and delivery of the digital key to the phone. It's a speedy and effortless check-in experience.

"In today's digital age, forward-thinking hoteliers are leveraging technology in ways we've never seen before," said SMS VP of Sales and Marketing, Michelle Young. "Similarly, providers must respond to these needs in an efficient manner. We are proud that alongside OpenKey, we can be part of the solution for hotel properties seeking to deliver exceptional guest-centric service."

OpenKey also formed further partnerships with PMS provider StayNTouch and hotel management solution (HMS) provider Infor in October and December last year respectively. Now, hotels around the world that use Infor and StayNTouch systems can automate mobile key delivery, making it incredibly fast and convenient for front desk agents to manage guest reservations and issue mobile keys - freeing up time to focus on ensuring hotel guest needs are met.

(Image source: siteminder.com)

Also in December, OpenKey partnered with the global hotel industry's leading guest acquisition platform SiteMinder to make the delivery of automated mobile keys faster and more widely available to hotel properties worldwide. Together, the leading tech giants will reach more than 160 countries where their platforms are currently active. Hotel properties that subscribe to both a SiteMinder Exchange-connected PMS and the OpenKey mobile platform will have access to OpenKey's automated mobile key feature.

"More and more hotels have come to realize how employing the latest technology can mean a greater focus on delivering a seamless guest experience," said SVP of Strategy and Partnerships at SiteMinder, Dai Williams. "We are thrilled to collaborate with like-minded partners such as OpenKey, which have been instrumental in driving the change that seeks to meet the evolving needs of today's travelers and the hotels where they stay."

Final Thoughts

OpenKey strives to be a big part of the hospitality technology picture when it comes to enhancing the guest experience. Ultimately, the company is on a mission to solve one of the biggest pain points for hotels - a poor check-in experience that causes guest satisfaction to drop and online review scores to suffer. With its continued expansion and a string of new partnerships, OpenKey's innovative mobile key solution is revolutionizing the check-in experience at more hotels than ever before.

"The efficiency and success that hotel properties are experiencing with automated mobile key delivery are exciting to be part of," said Brian Shedd, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for OpenKey. "Our goal has always been to revolutionize the hotel industry and reshape the standard for guest service. We are pleased with the results to date and will continue to work with innovative partners to deliver seamless and convenient hotel guest experiences."

Hospitality technology is set to be a hot topic at Future Guest Experience 2019, taking place this September in Henderson, NV.

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