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Innovation Hub

Welcome to our news and blog section. Here you will find the latest updates from theICEway and our IT specialists at ICE. We are frequently invited to attend and speak at industry events, so if you don’t want to miss out on those, this is the page for you.

With more than 20 years’ worth of experience in cruise, travel and healthcare, you will also be able to read more about these key sectors. Of course, at the heart of it all is Information Technology – which some of you may know as ‘IT’ – and we’ll certainly include news on that.

Our ecosystem of companies was founded upon 3 guiding principles, or values: People, integrity and innovation. We always aim to infuse our every effort with one or all of these. The first, ‘people’, includes not only our people, but also those we work alongside each day. If you are reading this, then you can rest assured that it also includes you.

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Cruise lines: Save time & money with tzChromar®

Today we are revisiting a core part of our IT offering, a product unique to theICEway and one which many cruise lines are currently using. The issue of time zone change management has long plagued the cruise industry. Manual and partially automated processes have helped but tzChromar® is the ultimate solution. Find out how it can save both time and money.

6,500 Onboard IT Crew Hours Saved In 2022

Historically at sea, a vessel’s on-board IT management traditionally changed time zones via one of 2 methods:

- Changing the ship’s master clock
- Manually setting the time zone within PMS and POS applications

These manual processes have been crucial to the cruise experience as a whole, allowing crew members and guests to see an accurate ship time. Without these changes, confusion would arise as crew members are unaware of when to start their shift. Guests would also struggle to know when to get ready for an excursion, or when the shops were due to open.

Let’s focus on the crew side of things for a moment; currently, tzChromar® is making ~500,000 device changes in a year. That is across 18 ships and for circa 10,000 devices. Consider what that means for those crew previously responsible for making such changes manually. Think about your own experience of changing times, for example when the clocks go forward or back in the UK. This writer for one has to make at least 4 changes, to a watch, a cooker and to several clocks. Now imagine having to do that not twice per year, but every single day. Multiply that number 4 by 2,500 times and you have the 10,000 device changes that tzChromar® is currently managing. That is a lot of time to spend doing anything.

TzChromar®: The Right Time For Cruise

This cruise IT solution is revolutionising onboard time zone change control. Key benefits to date include streamlining the onboard experience for guests and crew. This has then led to enhanced customer satisfaction for the latter. In the beginning, tzChromar® was designed to simply make time zone management easier. Seamless synchronised time zone updates of all onboard devices are achieved via the click of a button. Time zone changes can either be scheduled or applied instantly. The vessel’s current position is also plotted and cruise lines are presented with a fleet-wide overview of their ships.

When you adopt this timely solution, our team are always available to offer advice and support. Whether that be during implementation or with subsequent time zone reporting, they are there for you. From ship to shore administrators, all those involved in making time changes are fully catered for. You can choose to have a cloud-based or individual ship service, meaning that the solution can be installed on a system as a virtual machine. This is particularly useful for ships with irregular connectivity.

“The Passenger Experience Is Everything”

So says David Tibbles, Product Manager for theICEway and a chief brand ambassador for tzChromar®. He goes on to state that “[this IT solution] can help to make that [experience] an even more seamless one.” Let us now re-focus on that all-important guest experience. This Trip Advisor thread is very revealing as to just how important an accurate sense of time is to cruise ship guests*.

Not knowing what the time is, regardless of where you are, can be very disorientating. This is especially so when you are in one set location – and being at sea is the epitome of a ‘set’ location! Simply put, the wrong time on a ship causes frustration and can have a huge financial impact. By moving away from manual and partial automation, time zone changes are managed much more efficiently. Cruise lines, watch this short tzChromar® video to find out how you can save time and money by freeing up onboard IT crew hours.

*NB: Views expressed on TripAdvisor are not necessarily reflected by theICEway.

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