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Case Study — Digital Student IDs Elevate Educational Experience

Higher education is as much about learning soft skills and real-life applications as it is about the degree earned. What does that mean for industries undergoing immense digital transformation? It means that learning environments should reflect the real world to offer students relevant experiences with the spaces, information, people and tools they will encounter after graduation. For hospitality, this is especially true as the industry accelerates adoption of technologies that shape guest experiences. Universities are moving toward touchless, digital-first student experiences, including the utilization of digital student IDs.

Elevating the Educational Experience With Digital Student ID Cards

Hospitality students gain work experience in a variety of settings. Restaurants, resorts and hotels all rely on knowledgeable and skilled graduates entering the workforce. As guests have come to expect a mobile and contactless experience — from check-in and room access to retrieving menus on a mobile device — expanding the college mobile ecosystem offers students a convenient, secure and modern experience mirroring those they are being prepared to facilitate.

Everything here is about the student experience,” said Mano Soler, Director of Student Services and Operations at Les Roches Marbella. “It is our main driver and the reason we embrace and foster innovation — because innovation makes our students’ lives easier and supports their wellbeing through secure technology. The students will eventually leave this campus and, in turn, take that know-how and excellence into the world with them.

Les Roches Marbella Implements Digital Student IDs

When students come to study at the prestigious Les Roches Marbella campus in Spain, they are not just attending one of the world’s leading hospitality business schools, they are also enveloped in extraordinary innovation and sophisticated living.

The institution’s aim is to deliver academic rigor with a twist of innovation and entrepreneurship to its 1,000+ students from all corners of the world, collectively representing more than 80 nationalities. This real-life training site for elite hospitality professionals offers an authentic, hands-on experience to its students — one that reflects the luxurious living and progressive comforts expected from high-end hospitality properties and their employees.

Les Roches Marbella is always ahead of the curve and a model campus when it comes to exemplary learning using cutting-edge technologies. As such, administrators value the continuous evolution of its mobile ecosystem. One aspect they sought to enrich was integrating digital student IDs to access facilities across their coastal Mediterranean property in Spain. The project’s objective was to migrate to a mobile credentials-based system where a student's plastic access card is replaced by a digital ID on a smartphone or mobile IDs. Students can use their mobile phones to access buildings and benefit from the university services, such as campus printers, vending machines, cafeteria services, laundry machines, parking garages and more — a full array of services covering almost all aspects of campus life.

The Path to Student Mobile IDs — Defining the Requirements

Credentials have undergone a lot of changes over the last decade. The university was looking to expand its digital transformation initiatives to provide various benefits, including:

  • Optimizing manual provisioning and deprovisioning of cards — The school needed efficiency around the new student intake registration and check-in process each semester
  • Upgrading disparate systems and vendors — Stakeholders wanted to work with a single company to supply both the hardware and software elements to deliver on the project. In addition, it needed the solution to support both Android and iOS phones, as well as physical card technology, until the school fully transitioned staff and faculty to mobile IDs.
  • Elevating student experiences with a one-stop credential to access university services — Administrators wanted to drive improvements through back-office processes and procedures to save time and resources and enhance everyday life on campus through modern technology

Most importantly, as a higher education establishment with upscale expectations and an outstanding reputation, Les Roches Marbella required a proven partner with shared values and a focus on innovation.

Navigating the Upgrade Challenges for a Path to Digital Student Cards

Replacing each touchpoint where a physical card was used to instead utilize a digital student card stored on a smartphone required deep analysis and complex integration work. HID and Les Roches Marbella partnered to design a system that met each requirement. The result is a mobile access solution integrating 40+ access points featuring mobile identification, app, portal and reader technologies. The project incorporated HID OMNIKEY® readers and reader modules, HID Signo™ access control readers and HID Seos® mobile credentials to create a holistic solution embedded in the school’s parking garage system, vending machines, laundry facilities, printers, point-of-sale systems, attendance tracking and access control technology.

The Benefits of a Digital Student ID Solution

Les Roches Marbella was clear on the value and vision for its mobile ecosystem. Recognizing that today’s student populations are digital natives, the school embraced going mobile-first to attract and retain students. The university continues to see the benefits:

  • Secure cloud provisioning and deprovisioning of credentials — Streamlined registration processes are now a reality. One hundred percent of students use the mobile access system on campus to register digitally. Credentials provisioned over the air to a smartphone make scaling individual access up and down significantly easier for IT, faculty and students, and create touchless, safe interactions within the higher education institution.
  • Integrated, connected architecture — Smarter integration of digital technologies and an overhaul of administrative and security processes campuswide deliver an extremely efficient, flexible and scalable solution. The mobile ecosystem will grow with the school as technologies evolve and digital trends continue to transform.
  • Modern, elevated student experience — Mobility paired with academic excellence and prestige roll up into a comprehensive, high-quality, educational environment. The mobile access system aligns with the school’s wider objective of innovation and excellence in global hospitality training — both within its own brand family, as well as within the broader realm of higher education.

Les Roches Marbella Plans to Expand the Digital Student ID Project

Beyond elevating the student experience through the convenience of mobile IDs and strengthening overall security, the Les Roches Marbella teams already have many new use cases in the works across its premises. One of the next initiatives focuses on automated student attendance tracking that’s expected to save time at the beginning of each class period and serve as another way to further support and protect students.

Our eyes are wide open to all the possibilities afforded by the marvelous world of mobile authentication and verification, and each week we come up with new ideas for the continued transformation we have in motion on our campus,” said Juan Luis Velasco, IT Manager at Les Roches Marbella. “Our students love this newfound convenience, and our staff members are reaping the benefits of this technology overhaul.

How Can Digital Student ID Cards Improve Your Campus?

Any size campus in any sector of education can benefit from digital transformation. The most rewarding aspect for Les Roches Marbella? The ability to connect its students in a way that’s important, convenient and meaningful to them — keeping them connected and secure via a device that’s an extension of their daily lives.

Download your copy of the Les Roches Marbella case study to learn more about mobile ID implementation and how to apply the learning to your own campus.

Helmut has been in the security business for more than 25 years in various management roles for some of the leading suppliers of a broad range of security solutions. He also holds some patents. Within the last 20 years he has successfully led different engineering, global product management and marketing teams. His portfolio includes one of the first VPN products ever as well as solutions for HW-based encryption solutions in combination with RFID technologies managed by his various teams. He has been with HID now for more than 10 years with a focus on RFID technologies, and is used to challenging the status quo in seeking more customer-friendly solutions and services.