by Derk Steemers

Hotels and the hospitality industry have been offering their guests entertainment options for a long time. Guests expect a television in their room. It would be empty without it. However, not every hotel has the same perspective on what that television set should offer and with what purpose. Let alone which technologies they should use to get to that goal.

Video on Demand is on its way out

Lieven Van Beversluys, IT manager at Thon Hotels Benelux, no longer believes that offering Video on Demand, like most hotels still do, is worth it. He says, “we want to let our guests bring their own content and stream it from their device to a television set. Without them needing to download any additional apps to do so.”

Thon Hotels is the biggest player by far in Brussels, with more than 1500 rooms in the Belgian capital. The hotel chain focuses on business travelers, “but we receive the odd leisure tourists during the weekend.” Lieven Van Beversluys is responsible for the IT solutions at their locations in Belgium and the Netherlands. “Think providing wifi, phone connections, software switching and routing, television systems, you name it.”

Watching series the way you do at home.

As the majority of guests are business travelers, the hotel chain wants to make them feel as much as home as possible. Watching tv series or movies is part of that. “Most of our customers are from Europe, so we offer our guests as many channels as possible from each country. Often that is not enough. First of all, we can’t offer commercial tv channels, and second, they are available online for free most of the time anyway.”

Find out how Lieven Van Beversluys and Thon Hotels Brussels use Flowr’s mirroring and BYOD feature to create the best possible customer experience.

Posted by TAKTIK on Monday, 20 November 2017


When presented with this challenge -making customers feel at home, while offering a limited tv package- Lieven Van Beversluys decided they needed a different entertainment solution. “We were looking for a very simple system. It had to be easy for the end-user, our customers. Simply put, we wanted a tv with a very easy-to-use menu with at least one tv channel from every European country. On top of that, we wanted to give our guests the option to mirror their devices on our tv screens. So that if our customer has a smartphone, no matter if it is an iPhone or Android, that he or she can watch their own content on our screens without ever installing any additional apps.”

Mirroring was an essential feature for Thon Hotels as the previous solution was no longer holding up to the demands of the guests.“We had two different entertainment solutions, but these were too complex. We had Video on Demand through this, but we saw in our data that this was barely used anymore, so we stopped offering this all together. It costs too much and it was no longer adding value for our guests.”

Moving away from Video on Demand and going towards mirroring was a reaction to a change in consumer behaviour. ”Today people really want to stream their own content. You can’t deny that anymore. If I look at my own children, they no longer watch tv: they stream everything. People no longer want to wait for a show to air. Viewer behaviour has completely changed and we need to offer the customer something that acknowledges that.”

Getting to Flowr

Thon Hotels had been looking for a new software solution for a while, before they got in touch with Flowr. “We met the people at TAKTIK after an acquaintance of mine changed jobs and could now offer us more relevant software solutions for the goals we wanted to achieve. After seeing their demonstration of Flowr and receiving their quote we decided that Flowr was the most interesting solution for us.”

The future for Thon and Flowr

Thon’s hotel rooms in Brussels are now running on Flowr. “The installation went smoothly and was done very professionally. It went exceptionally well, I absolutely can’t complain.” After implementing Flowr in Brussels, there are already plans to install it on other locations as well: “For now the solution has only been implemented in Belgium, but it is certainly in the planning to do the same in the Netherlands.”

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