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/Client Story


A digital concierge to assist guests during their stay.

Two phones against a purple backdrop, both with the SkyCity app open on-screen.

Connecting physical and virtual hospitality experiences.

  1. 01Conducted onsite research to gain a deeper understanding of existing processes and pain points
  2. 02Designed a digital platform to address these pain points
  3. 03Launched an app for iOS and Android with payment system integration, powered by our API-driven micro service framework

The Challenge

SkyCity is one of the largest tourism, leisure and entertainment companies in Oceania. Their innovation team wanted to enhance the experience of customers at SkyCity through technology and partnered with us to create a digital platform that would engage customers on a deeper level and remove existing pain points. With only 22% of hotels reporting that they feel they are innovators in digital guest engagement (in a Hospitality Digital Transformation Survey by Alcatel Lucent), SkyCity knew this would sharpen their edge over the competition.  

The Solution

Customer feedback revealed that their interactions with SkyCity felt outdated and manual compared to digital interactions with other businesses. Based on the feedback, we chose to focus on room service, restaurant ordering and payment processes as the key focus areas to explore.

In the design phase, we shadowed hotel staff and worked with them to truly understand their pain points. Working collaboratively with SkyCity, we designed detailed wireframes for ordering and payments, while allowing for the addition of more services in future. Prototypes for the core ordering and payment flows were created for user testing with staff, operations teams and customers. After validating the journey and value proposition, we completed the UI with an updated look and feel based on SkyCity’s latest brand guidelines.

The final solution was a mobile app for iOS and Android, allowing ordering within the hotels and payments at restaurants, connecting to the POS and DPS payment gateway. Mobile ordering allows guests to check the menu before or during their stay, pay with a credit card or charge it to their room. A separate app for runners allows them to view current orders and let the guests know when the order is on its way to their room. The payment service involves iBeacons installed at SkyCity’s restaurants and bar, which can detect a guest’s phone and account details over Bluetooth. The guest can open a tab, which is automatically updated and visible on their phone. To pay, the guest can simply walk out of the venue: the action triggers payment and the option of leaving a tip. This system placed SkyCity well ahead of the 85% of hotels that did not have location-based technology at the time (Alcatel Lucent Enterprise, “Hospitality Digital Transformation Survey”). The complex integrations and system management are all connected using Roam’s backend framework, Sauce: an API-driven micro service framework that allows these types of products to get to a production release at speed.

The Results

The app was rolled out across two of SkyCity’s Auckland hotels in the initial pilot phase, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff and customers.

“Roam is really keen to try and experiment and learn and do different things. That capability to be nimble and passionate was so important – we need to be able to work with companies with the same ethos.”

- Alexandra Cunningham

Customer Experience Strategist

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