(RFID World Canada) Interview with George Winker, VP Sales North America for VingCard Elsafe.
1. Brief Company Profile
The world leader in hotel security technology, VingCard Elsafe has products installed in more than 39,000 properties worldwide, securing in excess of 6.5 million hotel rooms. Their extensive product line comprises the most advanced electronic locking solutions, in-room safes and energy management systems on the market today, providing unprecedented facility system integration and innovation that is shaping the future of the industry.The company is part of the ASSA ABLOY Group, a publicly listed company on the Swedish stock exchange, and the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of locking solutions
2 When was your company founded and what is the approximate employee size?
Since its inception in 1979, ASSA ABLOY has grown from a regional company to an international group with 32,000 employees and sales nearing $5 billion.
3. What are some major challenges that RFID technology will be able to address in the near future?
RFID is already improving guest satisfaction for hundreds of hotels by completely eliminating issues with demagnetization of key cards. In the future, RFID will provide a platform for guests using Near Field Communication (NFC) cell phones to personalize their check-in and go directly to their rooms.
4. Where are we in the life-cycle of RFID investing and development?
RFID is currently a mature product, constituting almost 60% of new locks in 2011. However, there will definitely be ongoing investment to support emerging technologies like NFC, hotel app integration and communication with in-room systems like energy management.
5. Do you see any specific industries or geographic markets that will propel demand in RFID technology over the next 3 years?
The lesson of 2011 is that RFID is for everyone regardless of location, market segment or hotel type. The true driver or RFID technology is now the hotel guest who wants to have a seamless, hassle-free check-in at every hotel, every time.
6. How do you see the entire RFID market shaping out over the next few years? How big is this market opportunity?
Although RFID has gained a large share of our business in the past 24 months, we have every expectation that number will continue to grow and within 5 years will become the majority of the marketplace. In 10-15 years, magnetic-stripe locks will likely be as common in the industry as a hard key is today.