Apollo hospitality acts as a single platform that can digitally transform the customer experience at both venues and events. By integrating and remotely managing all touch points the customer can enjoy a contactless, cashless and much more personalised experience. Using ‘Cloud’ based ‘open source’ technologies, Apollo is used by event and venue operators alike to integrate the issuance of any ticket form with access to the event and all on site transactions. This ensures promoters can stay in touch with the fans before, during and after the event. All hardware is globally sourced and locally assembled, at which point The Hub will transfer the chosen Apollo applications onto the networked device. The Apollo platform is proven, open, reliable, secure and currently best value in market – your mission will be our command.
Core to Apollo hospitality is the administration console and dashboard. This is known as ‘The Commander’ and is used 24/7 for real-time remote management of any networked device, software functionality and data transfer that takes place. Any Apollo installations are supported remotely by ‘The Commander’ and maintained under a service level agreement with a large number of field engineers on demand.
The Hub Apollo cloud based platform is powered by ten interoperable software engines. These can be customised and integrated to deliver the desired end-to-end personalised customer experience:
Spider ensures all components are remotely managed 24/7 and in real time.
Spider ensures all fan based interactions at all touch-point devices are managed centrally. It also ensures devices are always on as well as recording transactions and enhancing the venue experience.
Many IT systems and networked devices are used to operate venues and events e.g. contactless wristbands and handheld readers at gate or card payment readers at bars. They are rarely integrated with each other and as a result expensive to set up and run. Apollo integrates these systems reducing costs and giving the venue operator central management over all aspects of the operation such as: car parking; ticket issuance; access gates; digital signage and faster payments at all retailers on site. This improves operator controls that improves the overall customer experience but reduces the costs in order to do so.
Spider integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Snoopy ensures all data processing is secure and security standard compliant.
Snoopy acts is pre-certified for the issuance of both secure tickets and acceptance of secure payments (PCI DSS). This reduces set up costs and implementation time as well as optimising both passenger convenience and trust.
Event IT security issues have historically been hardware driven, i.e. related to physical devices. However as the internet, mobile and contactless technologies have grown, security needs have developed and now involve a combination of digital software encryption as well as physical prevention. Snoopy ensures all data and devices on the Apollo platform are highly secure using a private public key exchange model with a combination of digital encryption and physical security. At events this includes for example access control handhelds, on site retail and any on the move transaction. Apollo is compliant with EMV, PCI DSS and multiple ISO standards for any device configured for attended or unattended payments.
MasterCard integrated Apollo and ticket machines at Festivals which they sponsored in order to provide proof of technology in trial for cashless events. The solution was eventually fully audited in 2011 to securely encode and instantly issue an open loop EMV chip held on a card, mobile or wearable device. In 2015 it was also developed for Closed loop solutions but using Open loop security and encryption.
Snoopy integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Eagle is a global payment portal open to accepting any form of payment.
Cash, card or emerging payments are all incorporated in Eagle. This reduces set up and payment service fees as well as maximises the fans’ choice of how they want to pay. Mobile and contactless payment solutions are of particularly value in hospitality events and venues.
Eagle is a digital payment portal which acts as a highly secure gateway to devices that accept any form of payment. In addition Apollo can also instantly issue and reload value onto any device such as tokens in Festivals. At point of sale Apollo has already been used to process self-service cash and card payments for over 10 years and has even been future proofed to manage the new notes and coins being introduced in 2016. In 2007 Eagle was the first application to be accredited by the UK banks for unattended card payments. More recently Eagle has become the only application to integrate with Barclays Pingit a mobile ‘wallet’ app across any device. The Pingit integration allows mobile payments from any fare collection device, not just the mobile phone. Finally, Apollo enables anybody to become a merchant which can reduce Payment Service Provision (PSP) fees. As a result Eagle is being used to reconcile, as well as report on sales as well as payments.
Venues have primarily been cash driven events. The Hub has been used to remotely process cash payments for over 10 years and is future proofed to manage the new notes and coins being introduced in 2016. However, cash management costs are expensive and bring with them the risk of fraud. Apollo Eagle is an alternative and highly secure gateway and portal accepting any form of emerging payment e.g. Boku. In 2007 Eagle was the first application to be accredited by the UK banks for unattended card payments. More recently Eagle has become the only application to integrate with the fast growing Pingit
Eagle integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Intrepid creates and delivers on demand location based information.
Intrepid provides dynamic location based content to any networked device and ensures the fan is up to date at all times thereby enhancing the fan experience at the event.
Intrepid can be used to create personalised location based experiences with special offers as a result of connecting to Apollo. In 2010 Intrepid integrated Visit Britain web services for a tourist visitor in Chester who was at a specific venue. On confirmation of the venue, Intrepid would automatically offer up relevant Visit Britain offers related to that destination. All Apollo connected devices can use Intrepid to deliver specific location based offers and say mobile vouchers which can be redeemed immediately and generate additional operator revenues and fan based transactions.
Intrepid integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Aquarius issues all forms of ticket from any internal or external web service.
Aquarius can delivers ticketing in any form, any type and at any time allowing total flexibility in pricing to even out footfall. This provides the fan with better value for money and a far more convenient access.
Aquarius issues any event ticket type in any form. Aquarius has its own ticket engine but can also import 3rd party tickets taking a web service feed from an outside ticket issuer. Tickets have traditionally been paper with mag stripe or barcode on them. These are now migrating to QR codes and 2D options as well as the fastest growing ticket form factor which is a contactless smart card. Examples of this are closed loop such as Oyster or the more recently an EMV open loop contactless card which have been revolutionising Transport for London (TfL) and are likely to do the same for venues and event ticketing. Aquarius has been built to be open to any smart form factor acting as a ticket token including smartphones and smart wearables all of which can act as merchanise for the fan team or band.
Aquarius integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Antares continuously manages fixed, WiFi and 3G/4G connections 24/7.
Apollo requires a low signal strength to connect The Commander to any device. Keeping the passenger ‘always on’ opens up new opportunities for both fan and promoter as a result.
Venue communications is a complex area given the huge amount of capacity required at major events with many people in a restricted area. Antares monitors fixed, WiFi and 3G/4G connections. It has been built to ensure the reliability of connection lines between the operator and the devices, whether 3rd party or in house. Depending on the chosen connection, Antares can be used to ensure that the signal strength is at an optimal level to reduce downtime. Antares is also used to configure physical devices to gain access to Apollo and ensure firewall access. It is also being used to set up networks of Beacons or sensors to ensure communications are secure as well at maximum strength.
Antares integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Falcon acts as a gateway for SMS, MMS, text, email and encrypted messages.
Intelligent mobile messaging integrated into Apollo is key to keeping the fan up to date and in touch at all times thereby enhancing the experience.
Directing supporters and fans to where they want to get is a key aspect of hospitality. Falcon manages SMS, MMS, text, email and encrypted messages. Apollo, powered by Falcon, connects with devices over the air (OTA) either via mobile networks or the internet. Falcon includes an SMS gateway service which allows a computer to send or receive short message service (SMS) transmissions to or from, a telecommunications network. The Falcon SMS gateway supports media conversion from email and other formats. The Hub deployed the first commercial SMS for Vodafone in 2001 and has run the National Express coach m-ticketing system for over 8 years.
Falcon integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Orion gathers, analyses and reports on any data handled by Apollo.
Orion can process real time information from any touch point that informs business decisions. This helps increase productivity across the board and also personalise the fan relationship with the promoter.
Orion is focussed on gathering and analysing data. It has been built to provide the key categories of business intelligence such as:
Except for spread sheets, these are sold as standalone tools, suites of tools, components of ERP systems, or as components of software targeted to a specific industry such as hospitality. The tools can also be packaged into data warehouse appliances with the ultimate aim to personalise the customer journey.
Orion integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Saturn issues and acquires for both open and closed loop account based programmes.
Saturn is an account based engine that can be customised for smart fan based ticketing which drives convenience on site and loyalty that increases the lifetime value of any individual fan.
Saturn is an integrated end to end system used for account based fan based ticketing and VIP status. Orion can support a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application by setting up fan accounts and developing a user profile over time. In 2011 Apollo helped launch a MasterCard PayPass and contactless mobile strategy for sponsored music and sporting events. Saturn instantly issued and reloaded Prepaid EMV cards that were both access and payment devices. It still remains the only mobile solution fully audited by MasterCard for this function and has recently been re-engineered for on demand closed loop event personalisation and issuance.
Saturn integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
Challenger is an added value portal used to enhance the core business offer i.e. the overall passenger experience not just the A to B journey.
Apollo has the ability using the Challenger engine, to plug in any related fan based requirement for events e.g. public transport to the event car parking, retail offers and shopping at event, VIP entrances etc . This can significantly enhance the full end to end customer journey over and above the actual performance or match.
Challenger acts as an open engine for any idea and web service that may enhance the overall fan journey. This may well be in ways we perhaps have yet to imagine as promoters are being encouraged to look beyond the traditional access controls and on-site retailing. Challenger has been deliberately set up to help promoters to trial these new ideas e.g. wearables and merchandising.
As an example of added value at events The Hub was asked by APT skidata to customise Challenger and integrate Apollo it with their Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) car parking solution. We called it Plato Pay and drivers could have their car registered on their ticket. This is an example of how The Hub and Apollo can integrated different functions using a central system which will save hardware costs and make the fan experience much faster and more convenient.
The Hub welcomes any challenge from any transit operator to enhance their customer journey in new and innovative ways
Challenger integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.
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