Home Getting a Jump on the Latest Technology with Technovation Solutions

Getting a Jump on the Latest Technology with Technovation Solutions

The lobby of Technovation Solutions’ Technovation Center is the gateway for the company’s unique, immersive environment dedicated to showcasing high-tech products and concepts for hospitality, gaming and other business sectors.

Located on a small side street in a light-industrial area of southwest Las Vegas is a small building filled with high-tech products and new concepts for hospitality, gaming, retail and other industry sectors.

Technovation Solutions showcases a broad range of technology solutions from 23 partners in a unique immersive environment. The products, which include varied offerings such as digital way-finding, in-room guest controls, automated F&B solutions, table game management systems, supply chain management software and much more, are up and running in the company’s Technovation Center, which includes a simulated VIP suite, hotel lobby, casino floor, restaurant and meeting areas.

Interested companies seeking to improve their operations and better serve their customers can send key executives to tour the center’s user environments and see, touch and feel the products in action.

“The goal is to build customer experiences and to provide the technology and staff enablement tools required to execute that experience, and to do that in an immersive way,” said Techovation Solutions CEO Peg McGregor.

Customers touring the center can actively engage with the technologies in use in each area, giving them a better understanding of the innovative tools and how they might deploy such technologies.

Many of these technologies involve abstract concepts that can be tough to wrap your head around, according to Technovation’s Director of Operations and Experience Sean Gallagher. Customers are reading about these new technologies or discussing them over the phone, but that is often a poor substitute for hands-on experience with the product.

“It isn’t until clients immerse themselves in the Technovation environment that they get to experience, and truly understand, what a full circle customer journey could look like,” Gallagher said. “Part of what we get to do here is weave our different partners and their services into that all-inclusive story that they’re looking for.”

Clients also experience both the customer-facing and back-end solutions, because understanding the back-end is a significant consideration when making decisions on new hospitality solutions, McGregor said. “It’s about providing the staff with the experience and tools necessary to execute the guest experience.”

Technovation personnel lead the tours and work closely with clients to understand their challenges and priorities and help define collaborative solutions. The innovation partners also benefit, gaining insight from Technovation to help them better understand client demands, ways to improve their products and possible avenues of collaboration to achieve solutions.

“Those collaborations become important not only for us in terms of what we’re able to put in front of the client but also in terms of the partners and the value add that the partners get as a consequence,” McGregor said.

The VIP suite at the Technovation Center showcases innovative guest room features.
The VIP suite at the Technovation Center showcases innovative guest room features.
Interest in the Technovation Center has been high, McGregor said, noting the firm works with several corporate gaming clients in Las Vegas and that its advisory board includes leaders from many hospitality and gaming companies.

“We’ve gotten a ton of recognition now on the basis of partners who have come to the table and joined in with us,” she said. “We are also fostering partner sales, and we’ve been able to do that not only in terms of domestic brands but international brands as well, so that’s pretty exciting for us and our technology partners as well. Clients have been impressed with the ability to one-stop shop and see some the best available technology.”

Interest stems partly from a need to satisfy changing consumer desires for the latest hospitality trends, McGregor said. “Many of the major Las Vegas brands, with slot revenues down, realize that going forward they need to be hospitality brands, not merely gaming brands. So what does that mean? It defines a fundamental shift in thinking from merely enhancing casino revenues to understanding and enhancing the entire guest experience from food and nightclubs to mobile check-in and digital concierge apps. Beginning to think through the entire customer journey and enhancing each touch-point has become far more significant in client planning and strategy.

Companies are also seeking to address consumers’ desire for a more connected, more seamless experience. “The notion of standing in line for 30 minutes for check-in probably doesn’t cut it with most guests,” she said. “So how do you change that? What are the technologies out there that allow you to start thinking through the changes?”

That’s the kind of question that companies are answering through new technologies, she said. “It’s about somebody landing at McCarran, and the hotel, knowing that they’ve just landed, can check them in right then and there, and the controls in their rooms start getting set to their preferences. There’s a whole story that you can begin to tell around that… It’s sort of figuring out what is that seamless experience for the guest, and, given different brands, how do you start putting that together.”

Technovation Solutions also provides other services, including user groups, training programs and a new series of expert events on specific subjects relevant to hospitality, such as effective social media use or cyber security.

From a partner perspective, Technovation delivers strong value to companies seeking to get their products in front of the right companies.

The casino area of the Technovation Center highlights high-tech table game products.
The casino area of the Technovation Center highlights high-tech table game products.
One such partner is Woodlands, Texas-based Genesis Gaming Solutions. The Technovation Center features several of Genesis’ high-tech table game solutions, including its patented BRAVO Card and Chip Detection system that features light sensors embedded under the table felts to detect when cards or chips are placed in position and signals the system that a hand and proposition bet is being played at that spot. It also showcases the SmartTender automatic beverage system for which Genesis is a nationwide distributor. The product, touted as the world’s first portable touch-screen bar, can pour hundreds of drinks with a patented touch-screen system and is designed to control liquor costs by eliminating over-pours, spills and free drinks.

“I think Technovation is a great idea. They offer a center where potential customers and other vendors can see all the latest and greatest technology products. I believe our membership has really benefited us,” said Genesis Gaming President Randy Knust. “The groups that visit the center are usually upper management representatives from large corporations looking for products that can enhance their operations. Anytime you can get your products in front of decision makers, it is a great opportunity. The groups that come through the center usually represent a wide cross-section of the company including operations, accounting and IT,” Knust said. “As the different groups come through the center, we evaluate if there is interest in our products. At that point Peg and her team will help schedule follow up discussions and meetings,” he said.

The center also hosts groups from outside Las Vegas or even outside the United States—groups that may not necessarily cross paths with Genesis Gaming or other member partners, Knust said. “Any type of contact with a potential customer that you would normally not have an opportunity to meet with is always a good thing.” Knust said he also sees the value in interacting with other innovation partners. “It also offers us access to technology I don’t know about or would never run into otherwise. There are all sorts of technologies that may augment what we have.”

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