By Scott Meacham
Copyright © 2014, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
An Oklahoma company and its new technology are disrupting the hospitality industry and enhancing guest experiences in 90 countries around the world.
Oklahoma City-based Monscierge had already placed its new product in hotels in dozens of different countries when things kicked into high gear last year with an agreement in Europe with Accor’s Novotel, the world’s largest hotel brand.
Monscierge is now rolling out to nearly 3,000 of Accor’s hotels throughout 90 countries and in multiple languages.
When Monscierge started up about five years ago, the company planned to provide an interactive touch-screen lobby system to the hotel industry. The company wasn’t interested in being a me-too that simply made advertising-driven content easy to access.
Instead, Monscierge set out to provide hotel guests with trusted “local” recommendations delivered through strategically placed digital touch screen concierge devices in hotel lobbies and other high traffic areas.
Then came the tsunami of mobile devices and mobile apps, and Monscierge morphed to become so much more than the original business plan.
“We adapted to the market and recognized that the real scalability of our business was on the mobile side,” Monscierge CEO Marcus Robinson said. “Everyone in our company worked behind the scenes with hotel staffs to understand how our technology could best enhance the guest experience so that we could put together the product that the guests wanted.”
Monscierge confirmed that guests did want mobile applications with “local” information about what to do and where to go, and that hotels want to build loyalty through branded applications that communicated constantly with guests. They also found that texting and walkie/talkie inside hotels between employees left a lot to be desired.
Monscierge built a series of cloud-based, hotel-branded mobile applications for both iOS and Android platforms and products.
From Florida to Florence, the Monscierge app allows hotels to communicate with guests in the guests’ native languages (including traditional and simplified Chinese, a significant incentive for early adopters in European hotels).
Guests can do everything from pre-planning their trip, to booking a taxi, to requesting room service, extra towels or a late checkout. Hotel employees can use the app to communicate with guests and each other. Robinson says that, surprisingly, the feature that is one of the most popular with both hotels and guests is the ability for guests to contact the hotel’s valet to call up their cars.
Today, Monscierge provides tools to connect hotels and brands around the world to every part of a guest’s journey, building loyalty and trust that translates into sales.
So the next time you are traveling in Boston or Beijing, be on the lookout for a little bit of Oklahoma know-how spread around the world.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Meacham at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.
Did You Know? Angel activity is on the rise with more high-valuation deals closed in 2013 than the previous year with median round sizes holding steady at $600,000 per deal. SOURCE: The Halo Report