Connecting Dots: Managed Network Services Enhance Guest Experience and Boost Bottom Line
By David Hogan Executive Director of Major Accounts, Heartland Payment Systems | May 05, 2013
It goes without saying that network connectivity is critically important for hotels. After all, your operations - and your guest experience - rely on it. Affecting everything from your property management system (PMS) and payments processing to high speed Internet access (HSIA) and cellular service, your network is the central nervous system of your property. But as advances in technology impose increasing demands on your infrastructure, managing your network and ensuring connectivity is more challenging than ever.
That's in large part because as a society, we are more connected than ever. Consumer adoption and use of Internet-ready devices like smartphones and tablets in recent years has been nothing less than explosive. At the same time, there has been a mass migration of business technologies from offline to online and cloud environments. As these environmental factors converge, I would venture to say that network congestion is significantly higher now than it was just one year ago.
There's no question that we have entered a new technological era. So why are so many hoteliers still using the same network platforms and service providers that they always have? It's a costly mistake that we see all too frequently in various industries, including hospitality. As we connect the dots between a hotel's network, guest experience and profitability, you'll see just how the benefits of managed network services far outweigh the capital investment.
Keeping Your Guests Connected
Think about it. After a long day of travelling, your guests settle into their rooms. What's the first thing they do? Before they unpack, or even sit down, they try to get online. Whether it's business travelers anxiously connecting their laptops to respond to the day's emails, or vacationers using their tablets to find information on nearby attractions, connecting to the Internet is top of mind.
Offering Wi-Fi is no longer a differentiator but an expectation. And if your guests are not able to connect seamlessly to your network, you'll know about it. While nine times out of 10 connectivity issues stem from user error, they're an inconvenience nonetheless. The front desk staff may have the Wi-Fi password but be limited in their troubleshooting capabilities. They don't necessarily know the ins and outs of your network, nor should they. After all, you have IT professionals or partners for that task. But if they're anything like the IT pros who work in hotels that I know, they're probably extremely busy all the time.