i-GuestSwisscom Hospitality Services and FCS Computer Systems (FCS) have announced the integration of their respective applications portfolios. Through a dedicated application programming interface (API), FCS’s i-Guest mobile application ‘talks’ to Swisscom Hospitality’s ConnectedHotel TV and IPTV systems, replacing the TV remote control with the guest mobile phone and further enriching the in-room entertainment experience. At the same time, guest orders and service requests placed through Swisscom Hospitality’s ConnectedHotel TV and IPTV systems seamlessly integrate with FCS e-Connect and c-Connect for various guest service requests to be fulfilled by hotel’s staff.

Swisscom Hospitality offers a suite of convergent guest room solutions including ConnectedHotel TV, IPTV, high-speed internet access, voice over IP and room controls, providing hoteliers with multiple media channels to customise the guest experience and to promote their service offerings. Swisscom Hospitality’s ConnectedHotel TV and IPTV systems in particular engage guests through their interactive user interfaces, and invite them to explore all services offered by the hotel. Swisscom Hospitality’s guest room applications have been integrated with over 80 point of sales (POS), property management (PMS) and rating systems.

FCS offers a portfolio of both guest-facing mobile apps and hospitality operational solutions designed to improve guest personalisation, drive hotel revenues and facilitate service fulfillment. Through i-Guest, hoteliers can extend their hotel brand to the guest’s mobile devices, while putting hotel services in the hands of the guest at all times. On the back-end side, i-Guest, e-Connect and c-Connect interface with FCS Unicorn to Swisscom’s system for a holistic guest experience from the TV to the guest’s mobile device.

FCS e-Connect is a web-based centralised work order management system for both guest service requests and inter-department job requests, which improves the internal operational flow. FCS c-Connect is the new cloud enabled version of e-Connect for those hotels that want to subscribe to FCS’ hosted solution or set up a private cloud solution for all their properties at their own datacentre. FCS Unicorn is the latest cloud-enabled universal interface and high-end billing solution which can be installed on-site for multi-property or hosted as a private or public cloud solutions.

Using the smartphone as a remote control

Swisscom Hospitality and FCS applications now integrate with all key hotel systems – including the hotel’s property management system, the PABX and other rating systems – through a single processing interface. This ensures the consistent processing of guest service orders regardless of where they placed the order, be it the TV screen or the guest’s personal device. At the same time, hoteliers can cover their entire guest application needs through the combined Swisscom Hospitality and FCS portfolio at a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).

Integrating the respective features of both parties’ applications, the new Swisscom Hospitality application programming interface (API) is paving the way for a new media use in the guest room. For instance, with i-Guest the guest mobile device can drive the TV screen in addition to performing its own, native features: as soon as it is registered and recognised on the Swisscom-managed network, the mobile phone serves as an extension of Swisscom ConnectedHotel TV or IPTV and operates the television interface seamlessly as a remote control.

"Our integration capability enables far-reaching scenarios for a new guest experience where all guest room functionality becomes mobile and independent of existing room hardware," comments Thomas di Giacomo, VP global service development for Swisscom Hospitality. "At the same time, Swisscom Hospitality can monitor and manage all application interfaces 24/7 one-stop. We look forward to leveraging this potential through our global partnership with FCS. We can jointly deliver not only in EMEA and Asia-Pacific, but also in the Americas and for chains naturally on a global scale."

"This solution is a breakthrough for all hoteliers that wish to provide more than one way to serve their guests. Guests now can obtain hotel information and services anytime and anywhere on their own devices or within their room via their TV," says Akina Ho, VP of strategy and global business development for FCS. "The partnership with Swisscom ensures that our combined solution can now be consistently deployed globally which solves a major headache for lots of hoteliers that want to obtain a consistent brand image and offering across the world as they expand."