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  • Writer's pictureAnu Metsallik

Case Study: Nordic Hotel Forum Strategic Adoption of Technology for Guest Satisfaction

Located in the heart of Tallinn, the Nordic Hotel Forum features 258 guest rooms, two restaurants, a leisure center, and a conference center, and stands as a beacon of modern hospitality in Tallinn, Estonia. With a commitment to sustainability and a dedication to providing exceptional guest experiences, the hotel underwent total renovation during the covid pandemic and lockdowns and updated its systems to integrate cutting-edge technologies into its operations.

The case study was conducted and filmed in collaboration with Ruckus Networks, HotelBuddy, Pro IT Teenused and Nordic Hotel Forum.

"In recent years, we’ve encountered numerous challenges, prompting us to explore technology solutions to enhance our daily operations. We were keen on incorporating contactless technology into our hotel," says Feliks Mägus, the CEO and Owner of the Nordic Hotel Forum.

Central to the transformation of the Nordic Hotel Forum's guest experience was the implementation of the HotelBuddy—a comprehensive digital guest journey solution on a web-based platform that enables guests to enjoy a seamless experience from check-in to check-out on their phones without the need for interaction with hotel staff.

Nordic Hotel Forum was one of the first hotels to adopt the full Hotelbuddy solution. Since its adoption at the end of 2021, the usage rate has been steadily increasing, with positive guest reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and, positioning the Nordic Hotel Forum as an innovative and tech-savvy hotel in Tallinn.

Guest reviews from Tripadvisor and
Guest reviews from Tripadvisor and

What Does the Digitalized Guest Journey Look Like?

Thanks to the 2-way integration with Fidelio, the PMS Hotel Nordic Forum is using, HotelBuddy  can send guests a secure link via email and SMS inviting them to check in online by filling in their personal data, upgrading their room, booking extra services, and communicating via chat with the hotel reception, should they have any further inquiries pre-arrival. Once online check-in is completed and their room is ready on the day of arrival, guests receive a notification on their phones with their room number. With all paperwork taken care of, guests can now proceed directly to their room and open their room door with the mobile key through Hotelbuddy web-app accessible on their preferred browser on their phone.

"HotelBuddy platform offers a comprehensive digital guest journey solution with a hardware component that can be installed on any electronic door lock, regardless of the manufacturer. This enables hotel guests to enjoy a seamless experience from check-in to check-out without the need for interaction with hotel staff," explains Hannes Mulla, founder of HotelBuddy and ProIT.

The statistics reveal that at Nordic Hotel Forum approximately half of guests choose to check-in online. Last month, April 2024 for example, 46% of guests filled in the registration card online, 14% activated the mobile key, and 12% also checked out on their mobile devices.

HotelBuddy Mobile Key solution works in any web browser and does not require app downloads
HotelBuddy Mobile Key solution works in any web browser and does not require app downloads

Prerequisites For Making It Work

HotelBuddy has developed its own unique IOT door lock modules that can easily be installed in any electronic door locks. Once the modules are in place, the second component - a robust and reliable IoT-ready Wi-Fi network comes into play.

Hannes Mulla who has over two decades of experience providing hotels with complete turnkey solutions through his Estonian-based IT company PRO IT before founding HotelBuddy, explains: "Having explored several solutions, we found that only RUCKUS offers the network infrastructure needed to support the 100% web-based HotelBuddy self-service solution in a secure and reliable environment. As the only RUCKUS Elite Partner in the Baltics, we were able to use a Full Stack Ruckus Solution at Nordic Hotel Forum to offer top-tier technology that elevates both the guest experience and hotel operations."

Pro IT installing Ruckus Commscope Network to enable HotelBuddy at Nordic Hotel Forum
Pro IT installing Ruckus Commscope Network to enable HotelBuddy at Nordic Hotel Forum

Let's Get Technical

With HotelBuddy door lock modules, each connected lock transmits and receives data via an IoT-enabled RUCKUS AP, which is then linked to the RUCKUS IoT controller. These IoT modules are radio or radio-and-sensor devices that connect to a RUCKUS IoT-ready AP, enabling endpoint connectivity based on standards such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee, and LoRa2314.

To upgrade the in-room entertainment and cater to guests who wish to access their personal content via the hotel television without uncomfortable pairings and logins, Nordic Hotel Forum uses Hotelbuddy’s state-of-the-art casting solution to enable their guests to stream their preferred content in a simple and secure manner. 

This is made possible through RUCKUS patented Dynamic PSKTM (pre-shared keys) (DPSK) technology. DPSK enhances network security by assigning unique encryption keys to each user or device, eliminating the risk of unauthorized access common with shared PSKs. This means guests can enjoy their personal content securely, without worrying about potential breaches. Furthermore, DPSK technology simplifies the connection process, as guests can easily connect to their unique network with a unique Wi-Fi password they get from their app dashboard.

Guests can cast Netflix, Spotifyand Youtube from their mobiles to hotel TV without pairings or logins
Guests can cast Netflix, Spotifyand Youtube from their mobiles to hotel TV without pairings or logins

A Powerful Marketing Tool

Kaidi Krimm, Marketing Manager of Nordic Hotel Forum says “State-of-art hotel technology, when implemented thoughtfully, is a powerful marketing tool. HotelBuddy's focus on contactless ease and self-service highlights the hotel's modern approach and guest-centricity. While some may fear technology creates a detached, impersonal customer service experience, Hotelbuddy actually empowers businesses to serve customers on a deeper level by enabling personalization of marketing messages, automation of tedious tasks, and providing more efficient ways to address customer needs."

"Modern hotel technology streamlines guest experiences and unlocks valuable data, making marketing for the hotel both easier and more effective," adds Kaidi Krimm. "Self-service environments that allow guests to personalize their preferences create a seamless and comfortable stay. This translates to happy guests who are more likely to leave positive reviews, recommend the hotel to others, and potentially return. Positive online reviews are a goldmine for attracting new guests. Furthermore, guest data collected through technology can be used to personalize email marketing campaigns, highlighting services or amenities relevant to specific guest preferences."

"Thanks to digitalizing business operations, the hotel benefits from many angles: HotelBuddy greatly diminishes the reception staff’s administrative workload, freeing up their time to offer a more personalized and attentive customer service. Consistent room upgrades and supplementary services can be proposed to each guest, given that the technology delivers the same level of service every time. At the same time, switching from paperwork to a digital platform reinforces the Nordic Hotel Forum sustainability principles of going paperless and plastic-free," says Hannes Mulla.

Feliks Mägus concludes, “With Ruckus Networks and Hotelbuddy solution we can make our guests happy, which is the most important thing!"



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