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Starwood Hotels & Resorts expands mobile presence with new initiatives

The company partnered with Keynote to ensure that the content and functionality of its mobile apps and Web sites met corporate brand standards. The company believes this partnership will cement its position in the mobile space.

“Starwood Hotels & Resorts is using Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere Platform to help ensure their mobile initiatives across their dozens of properties,” said Josh Galde, senior marketing manager at Keynote, San Mateo, CA.

“This includes Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton and others that are all in the process of launching their mobile strategies,” he said.

Mobile efforts
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is looking to test compliance of dozens of its mobile apps and Web sites for properties such as Westin, Le Méridien and Sheraton.

Through the mobile apps, consumers can find hotels, learn about services, view pictures of properties and rooms, as well as book reservations.

Over a one-month period, Starwood was able to perform manual testing of its mobile apps and Web sites.

Testers were able to remotely interact and control every aspect of the mobile device including pressing handset buttons, viewing LCD displays, listening to ringers and tones, playing videos, tapping and swiping touch screens, muting, powering on/off, downloading apps, sending/receiving messages and anything else they could do if they held the physical device in their own hands.

This helped the company review and audit every aspect of its mobile and Web properties.

Mobile portfolio
In 2011, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, attempted to provide its visitors with a well-rounded experience with extra emphasis on comfort by introducing a mobile application (see story).

Last year, Starwood Hotels & Resorts enabled its preferred guests to upload their member card to the Passbook application for the iPhone’s iOS 6 for instant access to account information and reservations at all nine of its brands including the St. Regis and The Luxury Collection (see story).

Most recently, Starwood Hotels & Resorts extended the mobile reach of its Starwood Preferred Guest program through the release of an Android application that offers similar capabilities to its iPhone application (see story).

“Mobile is playing a significant role in enterprise strategy this year,” Mr. Galde said. “If they haven’t already, businesses are implementing mobile strategies and determining the best ways to manage those.

“We see vertical markets like travel and hospitality taking a deep look at serving mobile consumers and leveraging tools that will make keep it most efficient for the business with their existing resources,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York