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Nobu Hospitality standardises on Aruba to deliver five-star guest experiences

Nobu Hospitality standardises on Aruba to deliver five-star guest experiences

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Providing a superior guest experience in the hospitality industry is crucial to success in today’s digital age, and offering anything less is simply out of the question. Nobu Hospitality therefore required highly secure and reliable Wi-Fi, as well as a range of IoT applications, that help provide a superior experience for its guests. Rodney Linville, Global Corporate Director of IT for Nobu Hospitality, explains how Aruba enabled this.

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has announced that Nobu Hospitality, a luxury lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, is standardising on Aruba as its preferred network infrastructure vendor for three of its new hotels in Chicago, Warsaw and London Portman Square. Using the foundation of Aruba ESP, a combination of Aruba wired, wireless and security solutions, Nobu Hotels is enabling highly secure and reliable Wi-Fi, as well as a range of IoT applications, that help provide a superior experience for its guests, replete with all of the comforts and technologies they have at home.

To accomplish this, the Edge – where data is generated, secured, analysed and acted upon – must serve as the foundation for leveraging actionable analytics from Nobu Hotel’s integrated network, business applications and guest preferences, to deliver new on-property guest experiences.

According to Rodney Linville, Global Corporate Director of IT for Nobu Hospitality, Aruba’s open, secure and nimble cloud-native infrastructure was the ideal choice to reflect the Nobu Hotel brand. 

“The Aruba infrastructure allows us to easily layer services and add applications that will deliver the customer experience our guests are seeking, as well as help our employees become more efficient,” said Linville. “The performance, reliability and built-in firewall and security features Aruba offers stood out and will make it easy for our IT team to continually upgrade and provide a superior experience for our guests and hotel teams.”

With the help of key integration partners, Nobu is deploying a range of Aruba solutions at its various properties. Among these are Aruba Edge and core switches, ClearPass Policy Manager and Aruba location-ready APs, the latter of which are designed specifically for hospitality and IoT use cases. This is particularly important for Nobu as the IT team is pairing the Aruba Bluetooth beacon and Zigbee radio technology in the APs with solutions from key IoT and analytics partners, including the following:

  • ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions for automating access and identity controls with door locks and enabling contactless check-in, allowing guests to use their smartphones to gain secure room access.
  • React Mobile to create a safe working environment for their staff with an enterprise class Employee Safety Device platform, as required by local or union regulations.
  • Skyfii for improving hotel operations and the visitor experience.

The secure Aruba infrastructure also supports the hotel’s mobile Point-of-Sale and Property Management Systems which are critical to addressing guests’ needs, regardless of where they are located on the property. For example, guests will be able to check in or out of the property, or access concierge services, without having to visit the front desk or lobby area.

As Nobu continues to add new services and applications to streamline operations and enhance its guest experience, and expand its global footprint, Linville says that the IT team will continue to rely heavily on its Aruba network infrastructure and will evaluate additional Aruba solutions such as Aruba Central and SD-Branch.

Intelligent CIO caught up with Rodney Linville, Global Corporate Director of IT for Nobu Hospitality, to find out more about the Aruba solution and its benefits.

Please can you give an overview of the company and your role in the business?

Nobu Hotels is a global lifestyle brand that is synonymous with minimalistic, instinctive design, fine ingredients, a powerful energy and an innate passion for service. With over 25 years of success in the hospitality industry, Nobu Hotels was founded in 2009 by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, with the first Nobu Hotel opening in 2013 in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. With 12 hotels already open, the company is currently on a rapid development track with plans to open seven new hotels, spanning five continents. 

As the Global Corporate Director of IT for Nobu Hospitality, I oversee all aspects of the company’s global IT infrastructure.

What were Nobu’s main objectives when searching for a vendor and why did Aruba fit the bill?

In our search for a stable and manageable infrastructure, we required a few key factors that were critical for the future success of our hotels, guests and our associates. When making the switch with our wireless, IoT integrations, security, innovation, cloud management and performance were all key considerations. Aruba met all of these criteria while being a fraction of the cost of other manufacturers.

Can you explain in more detail how Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP) will enable a superior guest experience?

This infrastructure allows us to easily layer on services and add various applications that will deliver the world-class customer experience that our guests and associates are seeking. Aruba ESP delivers an all-in-one platform that will optimise and secure our networks and help us plan accordingly for our future infrastructure needs.

How do you think the solution has improved the guest experience on a long-term scale and how is it unique? 

We have to consider not only our requirements today at its full usage, but also where the demand of service will be in future years. Seamless technology is success within itself as we want to address all of the current and future needs of our guests and associates.  

How scalable was the solution and how has it enabled you to future-proof operations?

We have to be serious about scalability as wireless is no longer just a valuable feature – it’s a must-have and it’s got to work – and our guests and associates expect a seamless experience. With technology changing rapidly, we needed to choose a solution that would grow with us and be flexible in order to support the future needs of our hotels.

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