Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group gets into bed with Microsoft to deliver cloud guest tablets

Microsoft is collaborating with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to provide Windows 8.1 as a platform for offering tablet devices to the luxury hotel group’s guests.

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Microsoft is collaborating with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to provide Windows 8.1 as a platform for offering tablet devices to the luxury hotel group’s guests.

The group is piloting Microsoft Surface Pro tablets at four of its hotels in London, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Tokyo, providing in-room tablets that feature a custom Windows 8.1 start screen and modern touch apps.

In conjunction with Microsoft, Mandarin Oriental has created a suite of five customised Windows 8.1 touch apps, available in nine different languages, that manage services for in-room dining, concierge and housekeeping requests, a guest compendium that provides information about the hotel’s facilities, and access to guest feedback and guest preferences.

Mandarin Oriental’s intention is to make its wealth of online marketing content, hotel information and guest services more easily accessible to its digitally savvy guests. Leveraging the Microsoft platform, Mandarin Oriental is able to integrate a combination of services - formerly offered via the television, telephone or guest directory - with content available on the company’s website, to deliver a more intuitive in-room experience for guests via the custom touch apps.

Monika Nerger, CIO of Mandarin Oriental, said, “We are currently operating in 25 countries, and with our expansion into new markets we needed a powerful, secure, yet easy-to-manage solution with robust language support, which Microsoft technologies can offer. Through this partnership we can create digital experiences that cater to our guests’ needs and expectations whenever they stay with us.”

The hotel chain worked with Microsoft and hospitality solutions partner iRiS Software Systems and application development and design company InterKnowlogy on developing the tablet platform.

Each touch app is infused with Mandarin Oriental luxury brand elements and completely configurable via a cloud management solution offered by iRiS Software Systems, which runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Guests may also log into the Surface Pro tablet using their own Microsoft accounts to access personal email and files on OneDrive, as well as use their favourite apps associated with their Microsoft account profiles.

Upon checkout, the device is automatically wiped clean of personal guest data and restored to the hotel’s customised homepage design.

Mandarin has 44 hotels across 25 countries, with around 11,000 rooms. Nerger said, "We will continue to tailor the solution as we extend the tablet deployment to more of our markets, with an initial target installation of 1,000 tablets across the portfolio in the near future.”

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