Why You Need a Managed Network Services Provider

See the Big Picture:

By Scott Morrison Director of Marketing, Deep Blue Communications | February 21, 2016

From guest services and operations to conference space and poolside dining, the need for a complex, connected and dependable network is critical to the success of any hotel. But without the proper planning, installation and maintenance, your network may be underperforming and not capable of handling the demand that is increasing exponentially by the day.

How Has Technology Grown in the Hospitality Market?

Networks are no longer used only for pay-per-view movies, phone service and wired computer connections. These days, guests check-in and expect seamless services from the minute they enter the property to check-out – and everywhere and every minute in between. Not only do business travelers come armed with an average of three wireless devices, but now leisure and family travelers are well-equipped with smartphones, tablets, eReaders and wearables as well. People want to stream games, shows and movies while wearing a personal fitness device and accessing social media. All at the same time. Multiply this by hundreds of guests and we begin to see where our networks can fail, and where suddenly a bad connection becomes one negative review after another. Excellent connectivity for all technologies is no longer an option – it is a requirement.

But it isn’t just the hotel guests who need reliable connections. Hotel owners and managers are utilizing devices and Location Based Services (LBS) to increase revenues and reward guests with loyalty programs, targeted offers and personalized service – all delivered on a network to their in-room video service, smart phone, email account, social media and e-commerce sites. The back end systems that run hotels rely on robust networks to keep business booming. For example, by connecting employees via handheld devices, managers can streamline communication so properties can optimize their daily operations and create efficiencies. New software and services are creating the opportunity for sales and guest interactions where none existed before. From security and operations to housekeeping and room service – each element of a guests’ stay and an employee’s day is touched in some way by technology.

How are Networks Changing to Accommodate the Growth?

In the golden olden days of implementing cable TV or a simple phone or computer system, multiple networks were managed by disparate vendors without anyone really looking at the big picture. But there is a growing trend these days towards a more integrated model that enables properties to add new services and functionality in a more cost effective way. Unlike even a few years ago, the hospitality industry is being taxed with understanding and implementing all of the security, technology and network services required to accommodate the proliferation of connected devices.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.