Welcome to our third news blog from Lakeshore Operations GmbH.
One or the other is certainly aware that we have worked for the cruise industry for many, many years and this is still one of our priorities.
This industry is really exciting!
In our view, the cruise industry is one of the most exciting industries for IT. This is precisely where digitization is needed to optimize the work processes on board, because on each ship usually several thousand guests have to be supplied at the same time. This can only work if the work processes are completely organized and optimized. Without the efficient use of IT, this is completely unthinkable.
On the other hand, a veritable competition for the latest innovations for the guests has erupted between the various cruise companies. There are often used IT innovations to increase the attractiveness of their own offer.
We always see the cruise industry as a forerunner here. Most of the solutions and ideas that have established themselves there are then also drawn into land-based hotels with a slight delay.
What an amazing development!
One project in which we have gained a lot of experience is the area of interactive television, especially in the guest cabins. For us a classic example of what a rapid development this area has made in the past 15 - 20 years or will do in the coming years.
About 20 years ago, there was a CRT TV in each cabin, where the general TV programs or ship internal TV-channels could be received. On one or the other vessel, there was even a nautical chart in the TV, where the current position of the ship was shown.
Then came the breakthrough!
A short time later came the breakthrough of the IPTV, in which the programs were no longer received via coaxial cable but streamed over a network cable. That opened up completely new possibilities. At the time, however, it was uncertain whether the existing network infrastructure on a ship was sufficient. This project was not without risk at the time. What happens if more than 1000 guests want to watch TV at the same time? Does the system break down or was the technology able to handle this network traffic?
Unbelievable, what a huge effort!
At that time, together with a partner company, we really set up and tested all, all, all the TVs of a new ship (more than 1,500 televisions) in a large warehouse. What an effort? At that time it was quite a hardware battle. But the result was sensational. There was no problem with bandwidth from the network or from the servers. We were able to stream the different videos on all TVs at the same time, without interruption or aborts. This was clearly the sign that the chosen path was the right one.
How much complexity does the guest tolerate?
Problems rather caused the many functions, which were installed in the system now. So we wanted to provide the guests not only with TV or video, but with all sorts of information and features.
Therefore landed then suddenly felt 27 menu items in the TV. The guests found it difficult to orientate. That certainly stressed the one or the other guest during his navigation within the system. With each function, the complexity of the system grew and thereby the risk to failure.
The experience has shown us that the solution lies in simplicity. Prefer to do less features but make the existing functions as simple as possible. Here is the phrases "Simplicity before complexity" once again very clear.
Which remote is suitable for that?
With a TV there was and is always the hurdle, how can I operate the TV at all. The selection was actually only the classic infrared remote control. As a result, there were limiting functions where everything had to be solved with the arrow keys "left", "left" or "up", "up", and so on. This really makes the handling of more complex functions as a nightmare.
We also had a special remote control via Bluetooth connected. However, the complexity increased immediately and was much more difficult to manage. If the Bluetooth remote does not work on more than 1000 cabins then that's no fun anymore. The infrared remote control was much more reliable.
In the meantime, there are a variety of IPTV systems for hotels in the market available, which are often very similar. The biggest effort is really just the integration with the hotel's IT system on the ship. But this is no longer a real problem due to manageable customizing.
Interesting is actually the fact that the TV in a hotel is actually no longer used as an interactive device. When we stay at the hotel, we realize that we almost do not turn on the TV there.
The smartphone has become our communication center. There we inform ourselves about the current things around us. Watch Netflix, Amazon Prime or Youtube videos. The classic television is less and less popular. Ask your children, if they know the german "Heinzelmännchen" at all!
We are sure!
We are sure that the TV in the future will only be the enlarged display device of the smartphone. That's why it's even more important to have a simple connection between your own smartphone and the TV. Some hotels already offer this service. The breakthrough is not yet.
It's likely that this feature will be widely used on your own TV at home, before the hospitality industry will be upgraded.
Here, the faster one will be able to harvest the new potatoes again.
From our point of view, over the past 20 years the television has changed from a simple to a complex device. However, this TV will once again become a very simple display device in the next years.
Exciting for you!
The Lakeshore Operations GmbH is a software house, which was founded in 2016 to support companies in the digitization processes. We can draw on more than 20 years of experience. With IT experts from Rostock and Hamburg as well as programmers from Poland, Lakeshore Operations GmbH has a powerful team to support large or small companies in their IT or software projects.
Which way do you want to go?
Have you decided to bring your company up to date with digital progress? Do you want to find the right solutions so that you can shorten your work processes? Then you are exactly right here.
This will enable you to overtake your competitors and secure a place in the market. It is not the big one who eats the little one, but the fast one who eats the slow ones.
We wish you much success!
Jürgen Möller & Gunnar Bock