ATLANTA—While much of the industry’s focus is on the impacts of COVID-19—and strategies, procedures and products to put in place to mitigate concerns—the problems the industry faced before the pandemic are still there. Namely, concerns about employee safety and the implementation of panic-button devices to improve security.
Centegix, an IoT company with experience in the K-12 education sector, has recently expanded to hotels, offering up its CrisisAlert solution specifically tailored to hospitality environments.
“Our mission is to innovate technology to save and enrich lives,” said Brent Cobb, president, Centegix. “Hospitality industry executives approached us because the panic-button solutions protecting hotel staff were all unproven, mobile phone app-based solutions. Those executives had seen every solution on the market, heard about CrisisAlert, and asked us to consider entering a major brand’s panic-button selection process. We entered late, displaced the market leader, and were selected to start deploying our technology in Q4 2019. We quickly realized that the hospitality market was a great extension for our platform. The solution has already been used to save lives.
Cobb noted that there are several factors hoteliers should look for in an alert solution: It should provide total property coverage; it should deliver the precise location of the individual requesting help; it should be discrete and easy to use; it should be a managed platform; and it should be easy to install.
“Many solutions in the marketplace rely on cellular technology,” he added.” However, cellular coverage is not available in many rooms, and rarely available in maid closets, stairwells, back-office area, or elevators. If you are in the business of protecting people, you need to be certain your technology can be used anywhere on the property, both inside buildings and in outdoor areas. Our platform ensures every square inch of the property is covered so that a staff member with one of our badges can ‘push button, get help’ anywhere on the property.”
And precision is key. “Cellular and WiFi-based technologies are not able to deliver room-level location accuracy,” he said. “Our technology platform includes locating devices that provide precise room-level location information and within 10 feet in all spaces.”
CrisisAlert is an incident alerting solution that protects housekeeping staff by empowering anyone with a CrisisAlert badge to discreetly signal for help. It offers complete site coverage, precise location for responders, SaaS-based software that is automatically updated, completely managed service with proactive monitoring for all devices, and full 911 integration with the flexibility to notify local responders (hotel staff or local security). This last feature was driven by feedback from hotel operators.
In addition, the analytics dashboard gives property management real-time access to alert data, including alert type and resolution status that provides actionable insights that can be used to drive business decisions.
“The platform we deploy for hospitality is very similar to the one we deploy in the education sector, except the requirement for campus-wide alerts is largely reduced,” Cobb said. “Hotels do not have protocols to ‘lockdown’ a site. Rather, their priority is support for their staff. Our platform has an alert called ‘staff alert’ that provides an immediate response to an individual. This alert type represents more than 90% of the use of our solution in the education sector, and it is a perfect fit for hospitality.”
He noted that there are several ways this technology will evolve. “We are launching walkie-talkie (digital text to voice) integration. This will allow hospitality operators to leverage existing investments,” he said.
Additionally, video integration is on the horizon. “We know customers will need to provide video feeds for law enforcement, and we are working on video integration where it has been deployed in hotels,” he said.
And, from an asset management standpoint, Cobb added, “Our solution can be utilized by hotels to locate meal carts, beverage carts, luggage carts, shuttles, and other assets for management and planning purposes.”