Q&A session with Student Business Project coach, Ian Millar, who tells us about his latest project client, INTEL, and their desire to use the Internet of Things in the hospitality market.
IM: The term IoT describes physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, processing ability and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or communications networks. The sensors provide vital information for smoother, more efficient and more intelligent operations. They offer supply chain logistics’ solutions.
All consumer-based devices function better with the help of IoT data. Imagine the regular readings of fridge temperatures, would you rather send out someone every hour to check and list the state of the fridge or have a IoT sensor that sends an alert to a smart phone to advise of any temperature changes? The same applies to air quality, room heating and the general health of a building.
2. How did a company like Intel come to be an SBP client?
IM: it’s amazing to think that the world’s leading chip maker (77$ billion last year) turned to an SBP to understand how IoT can be used in hospitality. This is both flattering and indicative of the power of the SBP network. We had done a project for Yoonik last year and the recommendation reached Intel via word of mouth.
The EHL Student Business Projects (SBP) are known for their high quality and value. No matter the industry sector, if it’s vaguely related to the world of hospitality, people turn to EHL. There is no definition of Internet of Things in hospitality, so the SBP defined one!
Learn more about the Student Business Project.
3. What were Intel’s main takeaways?
IM: The SBP helped Intel understand that IoT is essentially of interest to certain types of hospitality properties, and above all, to asset managers - since it helps to increase the value of assets and reduce overheads and spending. IoT leads to clarity on the make-up and structure of a hospitality building especially where managers, operators and owners are concerned.
However, it’s hard to impose IoT technology on a franchised hotel structure due to potential current contracts. IoT is more suited to luxury and upper upscale than to 3-star or below, simply due to the costs involved and the complexity of the technology stack.
Service apartments and residence-style accommodation are the fastest growing market in Europe thanks to the rise in remote working possibilities. Guests want more of a smart home and less of traditional hotel structure. This expanding niche market suits IoT facilities with sensors embedded in curtains, heating, lighting, fridge and oven to facilitate a busy person’s stay – and yet still feel like more of a home.
Another important takeaway was the realization of how IoT is key for optimizing behind the scenes operations. With many hoteliers still reluctant to accept that contactless is indeed the future, there is no denying that the back-of-house and engineering departments can benefit enormously from the technology that IoT offers. This is due to the fact it does not touch the customer experience and that, since it is mainly sensor-based, it is linked heavily to the physical asset (i.e., the building).
The client's view
“Intel is committed to empowering the next generation of hospitality leaders and working with our partners to provide the technology and solutions to enhance guest experiences. Sponsoring an EHL Student Business Project as part of this commitment was something we really value at Intel. The students were knowledgeable, professional, and passionate. Their findings will influence the industry and have helped drive Intel’s hospitality strategy for 2021 and beyond.” Joe Jensen, VP, Internet of Things Group - General Manager, Retail, Banking, Hospitality & Education, Intel.
Registration is open for the next SBP session that takes place in April 2022.
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