To ensure the best possible experience for people visiting Wenngarn Castle, Wenngarn Group wanted to make it easier for visitors to explore everything that the historic development has to offer.
Working with partner Sisyfos Digital, Wenngarn Group created an innovative mobile app using IBM Cloud platform—putting everything visitors need for their stay in the palm of their hand.
Boostssatisfaction by enabling visitors to make the most of the facilities on offer
Turnsvisitors’ mobiles into digital keys, helping them skip reception and check in fast
20%boost in average property values delivers return on investment for residents
Business challenge story
Seizing an opportunity
After three years of extensive development, Wenngarn Group opened the Wenngarn Castle estate to the public—attracting thousands of visitors every month. To keep its visitor numbers growing and enhance the value and prestige of its properties, the Group wanted to ensure that it was delivering the highest-quality guest experience.
“Wenngarn Castle is one of our largest ever renovation projects,” explains Olle Larsson, CEO at Wenngarn Group. “Because it is just a short distance away both from Sweden’s main airport and from the capital, Stockholm, we immediately recognized the potential to transform the space into a thriving community.”
He continues: “Last year, I visited one of the largest theme parks in America with my family—and finding our way around was a tough challenge. One of the park’s representatives showed us that there was a mobile app we could use to find our way around, check out restaurants and see how long the ride queues were, all in real time. The app transformed what would otherwise have been a stressful visit into a great experience, and I immediately recognized that we could use the same concept at Wenngarn Castle.”
Wenngarn Group wanted to deliver a completely seamless experience to all visitors and residents. The aim was to enable them to use their mobile phones to do everything from opening their hotel room to making restaurant reservations.
Olle Larsson adds: “Wenngarn is close to the ancient royal site at Sigtuna, and the whole estate is alive with history. By digitizing the physical landscape using a mobile app, we knew we could do more than just deliver maps and helpful tools to our guests—we could take them on a journey through Wenngarn’s past, and delight them with recommendations of places to visit that they may not otherwise have seen.”
Digitizing the landscape
To help turn its vision into a reality, Wenngarn Group engaged an expert team from IBM Advanced Business Partner Sisyfos Digital.
“We wanted to transform our concept into a living, breathing prototype quickly, and we felt that teaming up with a specialist provider was the best way to achieve that goal,” explains Olle Larsson. “Of all the vendors we considered, the Sisyfos Digital team stood head and shoulders above the rest. The solution Sisyfos Digital proposed gave us the confidence that their team really understood our business objectives, and were committed to working together with us in a true partnership.”
As the foundation for the new mobile app, Sisyfos Digital recommended IBM Cloud—a platform that enables businesses to create, deploy, and manage cloud applications rapidly and cost-effectively.
“Speed and scalability were both key factors that made IBM Cloud platform the right fit,” continues Olle Larsson. “Our aim was to develop our app on iOS and Android to ensure that as many people as possible could benefit from it—and we needed a way to minimize the complexity of developing and testing on both platforms. IBM Cloud platform offered us exactly that: a system of ready-made components that developers can combine quickly to build, test and deploy working applications rapidly.”
Through a series of in-depth workshops on site, Sisyfos Digital worked with employees, visitors and residents at the estate to identify the requirements for the app, and give them an opportunity to try out new builds and share their feedback.
“Our work with ebgs was a truly consultative process, and the team engaged every part of the Wenngarn community with the project,” comments Olle Larsson. “By bringing in feedback from so many different groups of users, we successfully mapped out compelling, seamless journeys for everything from checking into the hotel through to a virtual tour of the castle estate.”
Within just eight months, Wenngarn Group launched its new mobile app for staff, residents and visitors.
“The first version of the app includes a virtual map of the Wenngarn estate, helping visitors find facilities such as parking, cafés and museums,” says Olle Larsson. “By geofencing areas of interest using the iBeacon protocol, the app can even relay facts and stories about the history of the area as people walk through the grounds. This information can be updated using the back-office management feature of the application, which means we can make changes without the need to involve a developer.
“We’ve created innovative experiences indoors, too. Hotel guests can use their phones as digital keys for our gym and conference center. And if anyone sees something that isn’t working property, they can submit a request for maintenance through the app there and then—enabling us to react quickly to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable stay.”
Delivering exceptional experiences
Today, more than 500 residents at Wenngarn Castle are using the new app in their day-to-day lives.
“We offer a very diverse range of facilities, and it can be difficult for guests to see everything we have to offer if they’re visiting for the first time,” says Olle Larsson. “In addition to all the things guests might expect to find—for example, daycare for children and a visitors’ center—we have more unusual attractions such as our own microbrewery.
“By empowering our visitors with this knowledge at their fingertips, we can help them discover and experience the unique Wenngarn that they want to see, boosting their satisfaction and improving our reputation.”
Wenngarn Group is also offering conference visitors a positive experience—inspiring repeat visits and future event bookings.
“Using the Wenngarn app, our conference guests can check in at the touch of a button, and get all the keys, passes and directions they need loaded straight onto their phone,” Olle Larsson explains. “As well as taking the stress out of finding the best place to park the car if guests arrive on a rainy day, the app also enables them to relax and unwind after their working day. They can browse and book tables at our bars and restaurants, and find the fastest walking directions to get there.”
He adds: “Without question, our app is a significant competitive differentiator—and by delivering these kinds of seamless, high-quality experiences to our visitors, guests and residents, we can keep people coming back for more. In addition to driving our revenues by attracting major conferences to the estate, the value of some of our properties has risen by up to 20 percent—a sign of how desirable a destination Wenngarn is becoming.”
Looking to the future, Wenngarn Group plans to continue to enhance the Wenngarn app with new features—and deliver the concept as a service to other organizations.
“One of the next steps for our app will be to add payment functionality—enabling people to purchase using their phone, and further reducing friction in their journeys,” comments Olle Larsson. “We are also about to launch a digital referendum for all our residents, giving them a say in how we should develop the estate next—for example, by building a new swimming pool.
“Based on the success we have had with the Wenngarn app, we see great potential in helping other businesses to digitize their spaces in the same way. We are now working closely with Sisyfos Digital to bring the new concept—named App2b—to market.”
He concludes: “Our work with Sisyfos Digital has transformed Wenngarn Castle into a richer, more satisfying experience for our visitors, guests and residents—and we couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.”
About Wenngarn Castle
Founded in the sixteenth century, Wenngarns slott (Wenngarn Castle) is a former royal estate near Sigtuna, Sweden. Located on a site with more than 1,000 years of history, Wenngarn Group and Sisyfos have recently redeveloped the estate into a modern, vibrant community, complete with residential properties, a hotel, conference center, gym, bakery, restaurants and more.
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Sisyfos Digital helps companies analyze and identify needs for digitalization of their business. They answer questions about what you can and should digitalize and how a particular organization should handle the digital challenges and opportunities offered.
In addition to business consulting for digitalization, the company is developing its own line of products that consist of some unique digital platforms tailored to each customer's unique needs. These platforms provide customers with a stable solution for a relatively low cost, while the solution can start to be used in the short term. Examples of platforms today are our award-winning CGATE™ for true digital collaboration and our digital business solution for physical environments.