New AV Control System Aims to Help Hotels Compete Post-COVID-19

DALLAS—As businesses rebuild and reopen, they’ll need to differentiate themselves from the competition in a number of ways—from design to amenities to experiences—but do it in a way that enables guests to remain socially distant.

“As hotels begin to reopen and welcome their guests back, managers are looking for new ways to engage with customers while maintaining social distancing and reducing physical touchpoints,” said John Dorsey, CEO of SAVI Controls, designer and manufacturer of commercial AV control and automation solutions. “Having digital displays that feature customized AV and automation systems can help deliver on guest engagement—like welcoming guests and highlighting key experiential features of the hotel, while also integrating increasingly important public safety messaging to ensure a safe customer experience and regulatory adherence.”

Dorsey noted that the biggest questions hoteliers and AV/IT management teams have right now are “How can we instill confidence in our guests that all necessary health precautions are taken?” and “What are the most cost-effective, engaging ways in which we can do this?”

“The role of digital displays and AV systems, in this case, delivers on the need to communicate these messages,” he said. “Plus, digital display and sound systems can be consistently updated with the most recent information, recommendations and policies, keeping guests in the know and at ease without additional strain on resources.”

SAVI Controls has unveiled SAVI 3, a next-generation AV control and automation solution designed to streamline installation, programming and expense across commercial projects of virtually any size.

“Today, more than ever, businesses (like the hospitality industry) rely on reliable and high-performance audio/video experiences to communicate, sell, market, entertain, educate, train and support their customers and differentiate their businesses. But this technology has traditionally been difficult to install, costing integrators and management teams alike precious time and resources,” Dorsey said.

“As a team of commercial AV integrators ourselves, our vision in launching SAVI 3 was simple: to distill the complex hardware and software programming that typically comes with AV installations into a modern, simplified approach that strips away the time-consuming, mundane tasks, making the process shockingly simple,” he added. “Expensive commercial AV control systems often involve complicated customization and configuration that drives project time for integrators and their customers, so we created SAVI 3 to eliminate those stressors and help businesses achieve their objectives faster.”

Dorsey stressed that a simple UI and programming experience can do more than just make a system easier to use. “It can help save money and time, improve customer experiences and make the commercial install experience in general less painful, giving installers more time back to work on other customers and grow their business,” he said.

What sets SAVI 3 apart? “It’s robust enough to support thousands of displays and sources, and so easy to program. SAVI 3 allows setup in hours—vs. days, weeks or months,” Dorsey said. “Its network-oriented design eliminates failure points, cables and the need for additional devices across every job, saving time and money for installers that also translates into savings for hoteliers. Perhaps most importantly, it has an intuitive, clean interface, making it one of the easiest apps to use in the commercial AV space—even the least tech-savvy members of staff can access and make changes quickly and easily. And, as we navigate new COVID-19 protocols, SAVI 3 allows staff to use their own devices to control systems, from smart phones to tablets, which is ideal for mitigating the risks associated with viral spread.”

Dorsey noted that the solution can be used in many types of hotels because it is so customizable. “Whether the main priority is to implement new audiovisual elements in an entertainment space within the hotel, to revamp menu boards in a hotel’s in-house restaurant, or simply to add additional signage and sound systems to boost messaging or communicate COVID-19 policies, SAVI 3 is suitable for a variety of use-cases and applications,” he said.

It’s important to make sure the hotel is getting the solution that’s right for it, he said.

“One of the biggest challenges that comes with implementing a new commercial AV and automation system is that most systems are programmed on a highly technical level, with more attention to the latest bells and whistles than to the end-user experience,” he said. “Learning complex systems can exhaust resources for hoteliers, leaving less room for serving guests and using more time on getting signage and sound systems to work. To avoid this issue, it’s important that hoteliers and management evaluate which features are most important for their business’ new AV system and choose an interface that both supports that need and offers easy ways to customize and launch content.

“Customization, ease-of-use and sleek design are three demands hoteliers and installers alike seek most in an AV system. In the competitive hospitality industry, it’s important that hotels can leverage these systems to differentiate their brands and services without putting strain on their employees and resources,” Dorsey concluded.