The insider: Illario Vuan

Today’s hoteliers are striving to gain back the “tech” leadership versus their guests. Consumer electronics through smart gadgets, like smartphones and tablets, have significantly shortened and accelerated. Technology has become a normal day-to-day component in our life making it increasingly challenging for the hotel managers to create a “wow” effect for their concept and smart solutions.



SS. Maria Theresa Luxury Ship by Uniworld – Red Carnation Hotels


Hub Premier Inn, London


Mr. Illario Vuan, founder and chairman of the VDA, a leading Italian group in the development of Room and Building Automation, innovative IPTV solutions and Smart Switches for the Residential and Hospitality industry, will assist us in investigating how upcoming automation technologies will play a key role in the crafting the development of future Smart Solution for Hotels.


Q: Mr. Vuan, Smart Cities, like Dubai, are increasingly looking at implementing and embracing new automation and smart technologies to better interact with their residents, manage the core processes and enhance their overall value proposition. Can you expand on this?


A: Through the implementation of upcoming technologies, Smart Cities can now effectively reach two key objectives at the same time: create significant additional value for their integrated master plan projects while enhancing the real estate asset value and residents’ living experience. In addition this increases the quality of life of the Smart Cities leading to a better market positioning while differentiating their global value proposition in respect to traditional metropolitan conglomerates.


Q: From a Hotel Developer perspective, what are the core advantages in implementing these technologies?


A: For Real Estate Investors and Developers, the adoption of innovative technologies, is key to optimize their time to market, enhance the value proposition of their projects, as well as delivering a better product in terms of energy efficiency and security. This process leads to a higher intrinsic value of the property, reduced management costs and maintenance costs and a much lower impact on the environment.

I strongly believe that a project that approaches green building materials and smart technologies from the initial design and concept phase, has a higher potential to deliver a more solid las ting value proposition while providing an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach.



Eccleston Square Hotel, London


To give developers the highest grade of flexibility, we widened our product portfolio with both wired and wireless automation solutions, based on ModBus, KNX and Z-Wave solutions. They all deliver the same solid and effective results. However, in deciding which system to adopt, every project needs to be analyzed in-depth, so as to understand it’s core objectives and then to tailor the optimal solution.


Q: According to your vision, what are the key drivers to deliver outstanding guest experiences?


A: VDA mission since its incorporation has been focused in delivering the best solution for the hotel in-room automation. Throughout the years we have developed an in-depth knowledge of this industry. This has allowed us to be the key driver of success in our R&D and new product releases. I believe that this can be applied even to the Hospitality approach. Keep updated on new technologies and systems, never forgetting the design trends, can help to develop stunning projects. Consider, for example, the case of Vitrum Smart Switches: the combination of a design vision with smart technologies has led a great success.


The meaning of ‘Hospitality’ itself has significantly changed widened its scope over the years mainly driven by an exponential growth in technology and guest expectations. We have been one of the pioneers of sensing this innovation and we launched in the early 90’s our first solution for what we would call today, Infotainment. This intuition leads the group to become a global leader in the IPTV panorama.


Recently we have been focusing all our R&D effort in analyzing all the opportunities related to the in-room technology convergence and we have crafted a seamless integrated cloud based solution that blends together IPTV box and box-less universe, the ultimate In-Room Automation, smart and BYOD device control, cross platform guest content streaming, real time front and back end hotel management and an innovative and proactive upselling solution. Our new approach will deliver unparalleled value to the hotel managers and a stunning range of features for the guests to enjoy with ease of use and a cool and bold design.


Q: Do you see any convergence between the Hospitality and the Residential industries?


If we look at what has happened in the past, we will notice that for a substantial period the Hotel industry has lead the technological and design innovation. In recent years though, this has been drastically inverted and residential projects now often feature very high end and innovative solutions both in terms of technologies and architecture an interiors.


All this has lead to a deeper technological knowledge of the general public and therefore hotel guests. This process has unleashed the creativity of the Hotel Industry architects, consultants and managers, who are not afraid anymore in using new technologies, but now look at all opportunities that arise alongside their full implementation, stretching from energy efficiency to all-round guest satisfaction. This is a more balanced environmental policy, that does not comprise their quality standards. We are thrilled about the various synergies that will drive these industries over the next 5 to 10 years and that the VDA group will be leading this innovation.