Bringing Digital Entertainment Into Focus for Hoteliers

As the digital entertainment journey continues to evolve within the hospitality space, hoteliers are faced with more complex decisions than ever before about exactly how to provide their guests with both a memorable and seamless experience. 

Whether you’re talking about live TV programming, streaming services or wifi networks, guest expectations have risen to new heights in a post-COVID environment where they demand their hotel technology meets or exceeds what they have at home. Creating a technology platform that can satisfy those needs is indeed a daunting task for hotel owners and operators, but the good news is there is no shortage of viable and customizable options.

DISH Business has been building solutions designed to meet the unique needs of the hospitality industry for decades, including a 2021 launch of the SMARTBOX2 headend distribution system which improved upon the original SMARTBOX design based specifically on the changing needs of hoteliers. Kris Singleton, SVP, DISH Business, maintained that the very foundation of the company is built upon its spirit of innovation. 

“It’s a natural part of our DNA. We are very much an innovative company that looks across industries to really solve problems.One of the exciting things we’re working on now is how we can evolve and improve the larger digital entertainment journey. That includes bringing streaming applications into our business model, as well as delivering value to our customers above and beyond linear content,” she said.  

Regardless of what platform or service it is, Singleton further maintained that DISH Business represents far more than a TV content provider, but rather can be viewed by owners as a long-term tech partner with leading-edge solutions.  

“We’re constantly thinking about how we can solve problems. Not just from a hotelier’s perspective, but also from that B2B2C perspective. We’re really focused on staying ahead of evolving guest expectations in order to deliver an exceptional experience,” she noted. 

Singleton noted the most recent phase of innovation aimed at enhancing the guest experience was the creation of its OnStream platform, which is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) delivering content to screens, displays, and mobile devices with flexibility to integrate with hotels’ backend systems.

“OnStream makes it easy for the hoteliers to configure their content management system. So it accommodates how they want to present the specifics of their property, their brand’s look and feel, and incorporate personalizations like loyalty points or group block messages within the UI,” she commented. 

Singleton added that because it’s “agnostic to the content and the hardware,” OnStream can easily plug into other platforms like a property management system, or revenue optimization program, as an example. 

“We can integrate with the marketing automation systems so the properties don’t have to create a new profile, new content or new marketing distribution. They’ve already done all of that. OnStream gives them the ability to serve targeted marketing messages based on the data they have to visitors across the property,” she said. 

Meanwhile, tapping into the trend of mining and fully leveraging the data hoteliers have on hand, through technology integration OnStream also provides properties with the ability to customize and personalize their respective marketing messages down to the individual guest level, according to Singleton.  

DISH Business remains focused on helping hoteliers with managing and automating the data, according to Singleton. She noted that includes things like AI machine learning, as well as capturing data from all the components of its platform. 

“How can we take that data and consolidate it into, not only information, but knowledge and wisdom so that it enables the properties to make better decisions operationally?” she said. 

The importance of customized solutions for property owners can’t be understated as they look for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitive set. OnStream represents an open-sourced platform “designed to be agnostic and modular in the architecture of it,” according to Singleton. She noted as an example that a property’s welcome page can be easily configured.  

“It is fully customizable, so we can adjust and flex to accommodate the needs of what any brand, including independents, may want. It will handle the spectrum of configuration all the way to customization. I think that that’s important because today that differentiator is in the look and feel,” she said. 

For owners, investing in any technology generally comes down to realizing a return on that investment. Singleton extolled the benefits of modular construction, which ensures “you can start out small and use components that only make sense to you right now.” 

Leveraging that modular construction to make sure that hoteliers can effectively utilize the existing infrastructure was a critical consideration for DISH Business when building its platform. 

“Being able to maximize the previous investment in technology and that infrastructure is one thing that we’ve really been focused on in the architecture. We wanted to make sure that we are enabling the longevity and maximizing the investments that have been made in the physical property to ensure that we can elongate that as long as possible,” she said. 

Singleton concluded, “the bottom line is we’re trying to make sure that we maximize investment so that properties aren’t having to shell out money year after year to constantly evolve and upgrade just to keep up. We make it more of a software platform.”

In line with that, DISH Business continues to look at new solutions and ways to enhance the guest experience.  To get a first-hand look at these future-forward technology solutions and learn more about what’s ahead, visit DISH Business at HITEC (Booth #901) and The Hospitality Show (Booth #923).

Brought to you by DISH Business.