Primed for a Mobile Future – Atlantis, The Palm


tlantis, The Palm is the first entertainment resort located at the center of The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The unique ocean-themed resort opened in September 2008 and features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterscape amusement at Aquaventure Waterpark, all within a 46 hectare site. Atlantis, The Palm is known as the culinary destination in the region with a collection of world-renowned restaurants, including Nobu and Ronda Locatelli. The resort boasts an impressive collection of luxury boutiques and shops as well as extensive meeting and convention facilities.
From the hotel architecture to the award-winning restaurants and must-visit aquatic attractions, this is one of Dubai’s luxury resorts that never ceases to amaze the senses.

The Challenge


tlantis, The Palm has earned a reputation for being a luxury hotel that provides guests with excellent service, largely due to the contributions of the housekeeping staff. Prior to using mobile devices, each housekeeping staff member was given a printed sheet listing the rooms they needed to clean.

Unfortunately, this method did not account for all housekeeping changes, including late guest checkout times and guests not wanting to be disturbed. “These delays accounted for a considerable amount of wasted man-hours during peak seasons,” said Joe Tesfai, senior vice president of information technology, Atlantis, The Palm.

Through market research, Mr. Tesfai and his team identi¬fied a software-based solution that promised to dramatically change the way the housekeeping tasks were managed and assigned.

It integrated with front-of-house computer systems, keeping room information up to date for housekeeping staff. This solution required each staff member to use a network-connected iPod® within the hotel. To support and deploy more than 150 iPods, they needed a mobility management platform to enable comprehensive mobile device administration.

Bring your own device (BYOD) was also an important option for Atlantis, The Palm. “In the past, our executive team used BlackBerry™ devices for company email access,” Mr. Tesfai noted. “Other employees expressed a desire to use their personal smartphone to access company email and resources, so ¬finding an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform that could support BYOD functionality was essential for enabling greater employee productivity.”

The Solution


r. Tesfai and his team researched a number of EMM providers in the marketplace.

Guided by EMW, a leading Middle East-based supplier of ICT products and services, Atlantis, The Palm selected AirWatch® by VMware® as its provider of choice. The roll-out was managed by EMW in collaboration with the hotel’s IT team. EMW also provided detailed technical trainings to streamline day-to-day operations at the hotel.

With AirWatch, administrators can now track and monitor managed devices wherever they are and can push critical ro¬le and security updates to the devices without requiring staff interaction. “We were impressed by the AirWatch content delivery capabilities,” said Mr. Tesfai. “The ability to containerize content and deploy it directly to multiple devices is something we now see as essential to hotel operations. It helps us ensure that every device is up to date and maintains a high level of security while limiting data leakage.”

Atlantis, The Palm also plans to use iPads® to streamline the guest check-in process and to create digital menus for its signature restaurants. “We are striving to reduce check-in lines for guests by providing booking details on iPads to hotel staff,” explained Mr. Tesfai.

“Adopting the tablet alternative to hard copy menus allows us to dynamically update food pricing and availability and share special offers with our guests. Mobile devices impress our guests andenhance the world-class customer service that we provide,” he said.

AirWatch enables the hotel to embrace BYOD, which allows more than 800 devices to access corporate information and email. The cloud-based nature of the solution means device management is possible from any computer with a Web connection, allowing Atlantis, The Palm to keep track of hotel-owned and BYOD devices from any location. This has contributed to a return on investment for the hotel within a few months of initial implementation.

While improving employee satisfaction, BYOD has also meant that employees approach IT to ¬x broken devices or retrieve lost devices less frequently. “The consumerization of technology is pushing the hospitality industry to quickly adopt new trends. AirWatch enables us to keep pace and implement a mobility program to ensure we are a step ahead of the competition,” said Mr. Tesfai.

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