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OpenWays Introduces Mobile Master Key

OpenWays simplifies hotel master key management by harnessing mobile technologies
to make all locks "on line" without costly infrastructure

Visit OpenWays in Booth #3172 at IH/M&RS Nov. 13-15 in New York

Chicago — October 21, 2011 — Hotel managers have long experienced the logistical and costly hurdles of having to manage the loss of staff master key cards. With the uptake of Mobile Key by OpenWays – the industry’s first and only ubiquitous mobile phone guest front desk bypass method allowing the unlocking of guestroom doors – hoteliers have been quick to realize the additional opportunity to help mobilize their workforce. As a result, OpenWays announces the launch of Mobile Master Key.

Appropriate administration of master keys is critically important for the safe and secure management of any hotel. 
“Currently, when a master key is lost or stolen, each and every lock must be manually re-programmed to ensure that anyone finding the master key cannot open every door in the hotel," said Pascal Metivier, OpenWays founder and CEO. "Master Key losses happen more often than we think. What's important is that the loss is reported quickly so hotel staff can immediately walk to every lock in the property and get them reprogrammed. The procedure is a must to keep proper security, but it is a major burden and it repeats itself every time a master key card is lost."
With OpenWays Mobile Master Key, neutralizing a lost or stolen master key happens simply with the push of a button. There are no locks to walk to and reprogram. It's a highly secure and easy process. Since reporting the loss now has limited consequences, staff members are more inclined to immediately report a loss vs. trying to find their plastic card for hours before eventually reporting the loss to hotel security."  
While it is essential to audit all plastic master keys for safety and security reasons, the intensive use of each traditional master key subjects them to greater wear and tear. When they become damaged or demagnetized, the hotel employee must stop what he or she is doing, secure any property in their possession (for instance housekeeping/linen carts) and obtain a fresh master key. Mobile Master Key enables housekeeping, engineering, maintenance and of course those staff with security responsibilities to use a simple mobile phone without the risk of card damage.
“Core to our solution is the convenience factor for guests in being able to use their mobile device as their room key," Metivier said. "Since it is compatible with every mobile device on the market, inexpensive devices are now available to put Mobile Master Key in the hands of all appropriate staff members too." 

Insant On-Line Master Key Management
In addition to the online and real-time control of Mobile Master Key, management can now track their use instantly while also running reports and analyzing statistics. Equally beneficial, this can be conducted from anywhere -- including in front of the door itself -- without the burden of uploading lock data with a handheld device to then download it to a central computer to eventually see what happened.

Tony Kotelman, chief engineer at the Holiday Inn Suites Chicago O'Hare Rosemont, is a fan of Mobile Master Key. As one of the first properties to install the solution, he said having a mobile method for propagating electronic locks after a traditional plastic master key has been lost is the most efficient way to operate. (Click here to view Kotelman discussing Mobile Key by Holiday Inn.)

"It’s not uncommon to find a room key laying on the ground, and it could be disastrous if that key is a master belonging to hotel staff,” Kotelman said. “Rather than having engineering walk to each door in order to cancel the master code in every lock of the hotel – and for us that’s over 300 doors – we can simply cancel it online and re-issue new credentials at the server level. Being able to do this online is saving us a lot of time, and our staff can be used more productively to resolve other guest or facility issues.”
On average it takes two minutes per lock to switch out a traditional master key code using the manual process. For a property with 350 rooms or more, it can take up to a full day or longer just to reprogram master key settings at the lock. During this time, security is compromised, and no one can really be sure that every lock was reprogrammed.
“We are extremely happy with Mobile Key because we don't worry any longer about lost keys,” Kotelman said. “It was very easy to install and took only four days to get the entire property equipped.  Now when we find a lost keycard, or if housekeeping tells us their master key isn’t working, we can stop the credential in real time, and without any hassle get a new credential issued. It also gives us real-time tracking and audit trail of all keys, including master keys.”
The OpenWays Mobile Master Key also helps with:
  • Mobile Task Management by SMS or Email with Automatic Master Key Rights Management – Staff members can be assigned tasks including instructions on where to go and what to do. The OpenWays Mobile Master Key can be set to only access the room that requires work.
  • WiFi and Data Plan Benefits – The devices issued to staff could be basic mobile phones or smartphones. Because smartphones operate on a data network, operators can use the hotel’s WiFi network. Using a simple iPod Touch or similar device with WiFi capability means lower costs and it prevents staff from using the device for personal use.
  • Ubiquitous Support – The OpenWays Mobile Master Key works with all 5.8 billion mobile devices on the market. The integrated Mobile Key solution is compatible with the major electronic door locks on the hospitality market and it is compatible with ALL cell phone network technologies and ALL Mobile OS standards.
"By controlling the credential issuance in an on-line and real-time fashion, OpenWays is bringing on-line management capabilities to stand alone off-line electronic-locking systems in a highly efficient and cost-effective manner," Metivier said. "We see this as a major benefit in today's security-conscious world."
Visitors attending the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York Nov. 13-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center are invited to see the OpenWays Mobile Master Key solution in Booth No. 3172. To pre-schedule an appointment, call Andrew Sanders at (732) 707-1869 or email

About OpenWays
OpenWays is a global solution provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Seoul and in Europe, OpenWays provides technology solutions allowing for the secure issuance and delivery of access rights and keys process via any cell phone operating on any network. The OpenWays solution is truly unique as it built on the concept of credential dematerialization. The OpenWays mobile room key solution works on ALL the 5.8 billion cell phones in service in the world today. For more information, please contact Barb Worcester at +1 440 930-5770 or email More information can be found by visiting


Barb Worcester
PRPRO /OpenWays
Tel: (440) 930-5770

Andrew Sanders
Tel:  (732) 707-1869

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