Leisure & Hospitality International 2018 - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 31
O P E N K EY
get ahead of any technology provider and
own the technology, so he sought out capital from several hotel ownership groups
including Ashford group of companies.
After receiving funding from the
Ashford companies, Person and his staff
researched lock technology and began
meeting with the lock companies that
supply Ashford hotels. The first OpenKey
prototype was developed in 2014 at a 351room Hyatt Regency hotel.
In addition to its ongoing relationships
with digital lock manufacturers, OpenKey
has also formed partnerships with other
technology companies including PMS
provider SMS and Intelity, a guest-service
platform. "Focusing on the mobile key
first and becoming really good at that
helped us to grow quickly," Person says.
"Our partnerships with lock companies,
property management systems and
others make it very easy for companies to
start using us."
A GLOBAL FOOTPRINT
The demand for mobile key technology
has grown rapidly in recent years, with
major chains such as Hilton and Marriott using it throughout their properties.
OpenKey attributes its fast growth to a
universal approach to the lock market.
"We offer a very easy way for hotels to
deploy mobile keys," Person says.
OpenKey's marketing efforts have
historically focused on boutique and independent hotels that wish to compete with
larger brands. "Our goal was to become
the most known solution in independent
hotels and then expand to larger brands,"
The company continues to partner with
lock manufacturers and others in an effort
to expand. "We have a global strategy.
Now that we're in nine countries, we think
it is important to support as many lock
partners as we can," Person says. "We are
reaching out to resellers and other partners to gain a broader global footprint."
OpenKey has traditionally focused on boutique and independent hotels that wish to compete with larger brands.
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