In the Midst of Turmoil
I feel like I’m starting all my posts in the same manner at the moment, and like everyone out there, I wish that wasn’t the case. COVID-19 has caused a huge amount of turmoil across the entire world, yet many people know the hospitality industry, and the partners who support it have been the hardest hit. Before I go on though, I would like to take this opportunity to give my heartfelt thanks to our healthcare workers and those who keep us safe, across the globe. Without those who work tirelessly in hospitals, surgeries and clinics, police our streets to keep us safe and those who haven’t stopped for a break in weeks, I’m sure we would be in a significantly worse situation.
I said in my first post a few weeks ago, these measures won’t be in place forever, and even as I write this today, I’m positive that is still the case. My belief is that by coming together, as one world, united against this, we will make it through as best we can. Here in the UK we are seeing an amazing volunteering effort. With applications for volunteers exceeding required targets by 200%, a clear message that people wish to do their bit for, ‘the greater good’. I’m sure if anyone has seen the film Hot Fuzz, that line might raise a wry smile.
We have seen some huge efforts across many industries as well. Ford has temporarily halted production of cars in certain plants to start manufacturing ventilators. Here in my hometown of Malmesbury in the UK, Dyson are using the previously mothballed warehouse in Wiltshire to begin manufacturing ventilators this side of the pond. So, while industry is doing its bit, it does make me think, could others do more? I’m not saying I have all the answers. I wish I did, however so far I can only see the same as everyone else…that we must pull together. Ironically, while it is togetherness as nations and a world that will get us through this, one major action that will help us, is physically staying apart. I learnt today that Claridge’s (one of our clients) is opening its doors to look after 40 doctors, nurses and other frontline staff. Well done Claridge’s for stepping up and making a massive difference for these critical care workers! You can read more about this here – Claridge’s offers accommodation to NHS Together through technology & together with technology Technology has become such a huge focus, almost overnight, often for people who previously only tolerated it. Workplaces have adopted remote working where possible, which has shown us the amazing impact the right solutions can have. Those disaster recovery plans, tested yearly have proved a success for many organisations. Zoom, the provider of remote conferencing software, has seen a huge spike in its share price, showing the understanding people now have for the value of such tools. While technology has brought us together in the workplace, it is also helping us consume content, a favourite topic of mine. Over The Top (OTT) apps have been around for some time. Both usage of existing apps and availability of new apps is growing exponentially. Even more so now a large portion of the global workforce are at home, looking for something to occupy their time. Demand has been so high on services such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon prime, that they are throttling the quality of their content to reduce stress on networks. The concept of a ‘watch party’ once the preserve of a select few, is now the norm.
The great news is, as the world’s appetite for consuming on demand content via OTT apps grows and grows, ROOMNET are prepared. ROOMNET TV gives hotel guests access to a huge number of OTT apps and the full Apple App Store. When hotel guests begin returning (hopefully very soon!), with a new appreciation and expectation for on demand content, ROOMNET is ready and can help your hotel deliver. Anyway, I’m not actually here to make a point about Hotel TV or OTT Apps, but they do help to illustrate my point. As I raised at the beginning, a number of companies in the manufacturing space are doing their bit. For that I am eternally grateful, as I’m sure many others are. What about our technology solution providers and hardware manufacturers? As I have shown in the last few paragraphs, they are seeing demand like never before for their services, software and solutions. Demand that of course will generate revenue now, but I expect will continue long after this pandemic is a distant memory. I don’t have all the answers, but I hazard a guess that at the tech, software and content giants, they have some people who do. So, without calling any of them out individually, I ask them. What are you going to do to assist the global plight? Now AND in the future. You are not wrong to make hay while the sun shines, as that is the nature of business after all. But, with your smart people and deep pockets, please consider how you can assist the world right now, when its people are desperate for your help. Now is your time to shine and be remembered for the right reasons! Of course, many of them are…Whilst I’d like to list all the major brands that are re-tooling to make ventilators, like Dyson and the Mercedes F1 team (and many others) that are providing support in so many different ways, I think a small round of applause to Amazon for offering their Audible books service subscription free of charge for children, whilst they’re all forced to stay at home! You can read all about this on Techradar’s website. For the other wealthy organisations that haven’t offered support yet. Why don’t you rent out some hotels near hospitals, so that our critical healthcare (and other key workers) can be looked after and near the place that they’re most needed!