Global Observer

E-concierge service showcased in Paris to launch soon

E-concierge service showcased in Paris to launch soon

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PARIS -- A French start-up aims to revolutionize concierge services and their ability to meet client needs with a newly developed smartphone platform.

PARIS French start-up BoxInfo is in talks with French hotels to launch new smartphone technology called BoxPad that will allow hotel guests to order services from the comfort of their phones and iPads.  The e-concierge program, developed by Rouen-based Boxinfo, is a platform available for hotel concierges to digitally enhance their guests’ experiences.  The idea was showcased during the travel and technology conference TOTEC earlier this month in Paris.

Private concierges are some of the most expensive services for travelers coming to Paris. Hiring a private concierge service is an expensive option for Paris-bound travelers.  Though price ranges vary drastically, a shopping experience alone can run visitors up to 750 euros for a day of private services including restaurant reservations and private shopping appointments.  Prices range drastically but a shopping experience alone can run visitors up to 750 euros for a day of such services.  BoxPad hopes to make services more accessible by using existing hotel concierges and arming them with the technology to optimize their offers.

BoxPad developer Francois Blancher said that the system was conceived to take advantage of smartphone technologies that he believes will be more widespread in the future.  Instead of working with hotels directly, Blancher decided to launch his start-up to create a generic platform that would be adaptable to different market environments.  “These are complex, time-consuming and costly to develop.  First we have to approach these technologies with solutions and general functionalities that can be adaptable to the existing market,” he said.

And the most vital market for the Box Pad, he believes, is the hotel industry.  “It’s effectively a complete platform that integrates many services that we have derived for the first and most promising market: hotels,” Blancher said.

The platform could allow hotels or concierge services to create an online community for hotel guests – a sort of social network within the hotel.  Spa services, restaurant recommendations, and events with other guests can all be organized on BoxPad for guests armed with iPads or smart phones.

“For example, it permits the hotel to organize in real time its services like the restaurant, the bar-lounge, the spaces, etc.” Blancher said.  Once established, BoxPad will be adaptable to each hotel, with developers able to create individualized reservation systems or preferred customer advantages.

Blancher said that while BoxPad is already negotiating with its first hotel, no details are yet available as to when and where the technology will be available.

Photo: Nile Guide

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Bryan Pirolli

Correspondent (Paris)

Bryan Pirolli has worked for Conde Nast and Travel+Leisure and has written for EuroCheapo.com and Concierge.com. He holds a degree from New York University and is currently studying at the Sorbonne. He is based in Paris, France. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure