Nomadix International Q&A with Hauke Lenthe, Managing Director for EMEA & APAC

Over the course of its 20 year history, Nomadix has developed strong relationships with our global partners who provide valuable local support and expertise to hotels and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) like student housing, senior living and co-working spaces around the world.

With our new portfolio of solutions able to satisfy demand for high-performance connectivity and entertainment wherever the user might be, our managing director for EMEA and APAC, Hauke Lenthe, shares his thoughts on the international opportunity that he sees for Nomadix in 2021. 

Hauke has been in the hospitality technology industry for over 20 years and previously worked in the Middle East for over 10 years in a commercial leadership role at hospitality connectivity and entertainment specialist iBAHN. 

Q: What is Nomadix’ international history?

In over 20 years Nomadix has become the connectivity technology choice for major global brands. We facilitate more than 5 million connections daily, and our experience and understanding of hotel brand standards means that we’ll naturally support existing customers such as Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt, as they launch new hotels in international markets.

Moreover, some countries that previously had strong domestic markets, have recently launched new initiatives to attract inbound tourism and overseas investment. As these local markets develop, our experience means that Nomadix is an obvious partner to connect travellers to their experiences where they work, eat, play and stay.

We are already known in the hospitality market for our internet gateways, which support half a million rooms in thousands of hotels around the world, through our local partners who provide managed services and other specialist expertise. 

Our leadership in internet connectivity has also seen us develop a strong managed Wi-Fi solution to connect both user and IoT devices in venues like office spaces, student and senior accommodation, and apartment buildings.  A number of our international partners such as Purdicom in the UK, are deploying the technology at workspaces. By adding this shared service, building landlords can offer the convenience of high-performance Wi-Fi to individual tenants, rather than each business having to manage a separate contract with multiple ISPs. 

We believe that there is a huge opportunity as we recover from the pandemic, develop new ways of working, and as organisations make high-performance enterprise connectivity a priority to support their teams wherever they are.

Q: What is Nomadix’s international strategy in 2021 and how is this different from its previous approach?

Nomadix watchers will have seen us launch a number of new products in 2020 to satisfy today’s international travellers and to provide strategic value to hotels. Our portfolio now includes managed internet services, TV casting (BYO) and digital voice assistants. These have vastly expanded what we offer the market and, alongside our established internet gateways, allow hotels to lead the way when it comes to making tourists from all around the world feel at home, wherever they stay.

Our expanded portfolio creates a significant opportunity for our partners, and we recognise that the market needs to know about our new innovations alongside our existing history as a reliable, high-performance gateway company.

We are also working closer than ever with hotel brands through our new VP of Strategic Alliances, Paul Payette. This allows us to develop and align our strategy with our end users, which can only strengthen the opportunity for our channel.

We already had a strong managed Wi-Fi solution for MDU, but 2020 uncovered a number of new global markets. Macro events such as the pandemic, remote working requirements and the continued trends for the development of multi-function live/work communities in many inner cities, have created new user demand for shared Wi-Fi services. 

With the boom in sectors like senior living, student housing and shared office spaces, we are able to help landlords and property owners to offer a convenient way to provide secure, reliable internet services, while at the same time opening up a new business stream by monetising internet access for their tenants. We’ve begun working with a number of new partners with dedicated MDU expertise to support this market. 

Alongside our products, Nomadix has also expanded our marketing team to increase our brand profile and to support our channel. 

Q:  Which markets does Nomadix work in and which new markets will it enter in 2021?

Nomadix is already established around the world, and 2021 will see us focus on our existing hospitality and MDU markets.  My job is to listen to and learn from our partners to understand how we need to adapt our strategy to support them in their local markets. In parallel, we’ll be working with the hotel brands to understand their needs, culture and local market demands.

The hospitality sector in different countries is at varying stages in its recovery from the pandemic, and we want to make sure that hotels know that Nomadix can support them when the time is right. 

One example is our Angie Hospitality by Nomadix digital in-room voice assistant that has been developed specifically for hospitality. As a contactless technology that can remove many of the touch points in a hotel, we’re seeing interest from brands now that want to create a safe, trusted environment as guests return.

Q: What Nomadix solutions should international customers be excited about and why?

We are working with our partners now to launch our new Casting product to international hotels. Casting allows guests to connect their own devices to watch their own choice of content, entertainment or media on the in-room TV. It’s a completely different, superior guest experience that can attract new and repeat travellers.  

In-room TV use is at an all-time low in hotels mainly because of the limited channel choice. But by allowing guests to watch apps like Netflix and Hulu on a bigger, higher quality screen, hoteliers can help to create a ‘home away from home’ stay. Where language is an issue, casting their own content apps can allow guests to feel less isolated and happier when travelling overseas. 

I’m also passionate about the benefit of Passpoint Wi-Fi which allows guests to get online automatically at any property in a hotel’s international network. It is an important guest experience development for hotels that want to deliver a higher quality of service for loyal customers by keeping their guests connected, wherever they are. 

Knowing and understanding guest behaviour has always been the highest priority for hotels, but they’ve been held back by old technology. Passpoint enables enhanced connectivity which will create opportunities for brands to get to know their customers and to better engage with them.

Finally, while I can’t pre-announce the details, I can say that we’ll be making an exciting new gateway announcement in the second half of the year, which I believe to be the perfect solution for mid-range hotels, where much of the opportunity lies for our channel.

Q: Describe the Nomadix international partner network: Where is it and what type of partners does it have?

Nomadix has customers in 150 countries, with 29 channel partners in APAC in major markets like China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, India and Australia.

In EMEA, we work with 18 partners and can support hotels and MDUs in every country. Recently we’ve signed new agreements with The Network Group (TNG), which has become our distributor in Saudi Arabia, and with Purdicom, which is our new distributor in the UK.

Q: What is your message to international hospitality and MDU enterprises this year?

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new digital technologies and we are keen to work alongside hotels and MDU customers as they introduce a next generation customer journey.

Many brands have taken a fresh look at their whole technology stack with loyalty and CRM at the centre. By listening to hotels, we’re able to provide strategic value by delivering on the guest demand for contactless technologies, enabling a seamless guest journey, or by allowing travellers to watch their own content.

For MDUs, we will be understanding how our products can deliver top-quality shared internet connectivity for the new workspace, communal living and multi-function complexes that are developing, and allowing building owners to monetise the service.

2021 will be an exciting year for Nomadix and our international partners. I’m looking forward to announcing new customer projects and taking our products into new markets.

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