Hilton is promoting wireless printing at all hotels worldwide: Hilton unveils mobile printing application for guests,
"We are always looking for innovative ways to meet our guests’ needs, and HP’s ePrint application provides them with on-the-go and convenient technology,” said Robert Webb, Chief Information Officer, Hilton Worldwide. “Using HP ePrint, guests can quickly print out e-mail, spreadsheets or other documents from their BlackBerry smartphones while waiting for the hotel elevator, and by the time they get downstairs, their copies will be ready for them to pick up.”
The article does not say whether or not the service is free or if Hilton sees this as a Profit Center.
Marriott already has e-folio, e-breaks and other alerts that hit my Smartphone, but only Marriott Mobile is viewable on a Blackberry screen.
It appears Hilton, Fedex, and Air Canada are on-board with PrinterOn targeting rollout in June. If there is a cost, it's likely doomed.
I think Marriott's complimentary print-on-demand model already in-place at Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and Courtyard brands is better thought out. The printers are well-maintained, offer high-quality grey scale, paper is ample and the devices are available 24/7.
When you're on the road travelling for business, reliability, privacy and security are key factors. Printing a boarding pass or directions is one thing, but a 12-page contract? If you print while en-route from your room to check-out, what if someone intercepts the document?
Sounds like there are potential risk factors in mobile printing that could prove very challenging to an already challenged front desk crew. I'd rather the front desk engage during check-in/check-out than be diverted when another guest has a problem printing.
About eFolio from Marriott, it isn't attached at the marriott site for past reservations like hilton does it. Marriott, like Hilton sends it via email, but if you delete that eFolio there is no way to get that from the website in a PDF format, unless you call Marriott.
If Marriott has changed that since, I would love to know where to get past reservations (eFolio in PDF format).
About the printing solution that Hilton does, it is based on Windows printing, which from an enterprise perspective is a poor design. What Marriott should do and Hilton, is to look at a printing solution from Novell called iPrint.
iPrint, based on IPP standards will allow Marriott Inc to design, deploy and setup printing for each and every hotel and well as control all printer drivers centrally and can automatically download those drivers to those printers. Marriott properities need to invest in work horse printers and then your printing problems will be resolved.
Years ago, about 15, I proposed that idea and someone talked to Marriott about that. iPrint is an incredible printing solution and would ease the pain we experience now with printing while on the road.