|The hospitality industry is a competitive one with thousands of choices that need to be made nearly every day. From what thread-count sheets to purchase to how big the kiosk monitor should be, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and sometimes miss the bigger picture. A crucial choice that every hotel needs to make is regarding its Wi-Fi network. While wireless access has been treated as a network of convenience, today’s guests are very demanding, bringing an average of two and a half mobile devices with them during their visit. Wi-Fi experience can be correlated to better guest experiences and higher returns.
Leveraging the WLAN Asset
Hotels can use WLAN to solve many communications challenges they encounter on a daily basis—from delivering guest access everywhere in the hotel, to using staff communications to improve productivity and responsiveness.
Hotels need an infrastructure that can adapt and address challenges to meet customer expectations and improve the guest experience, while providing a highly mobile and flexible environment. As a result, a growing number of hotels are relying on WLAN to provide staff communications and 24/7 connectivity for guests and staff.
With a strong WLAN environment, employees are able to communicate with one another and interact with customers in real-time to provide a personalized customer experience. Guest requests and needs will be met in a timelier manner, and hotels are also able to collect data and learn about their guests’ preferences when choosing a hotel.
Key Factors to Consider
Choosing and customizing your WLAN environment is based on a number of factors specific to each hotel property. Here are a few to keep in mind when making your decision:
Current Infrastructure- Your property’s current network wiring and infrastructure will influence what type of WLAN solution you can use to upgrade your current environment. For example, some older buildings may currently use their existing telephone wiring to provide in-room internet and network connectivity for staff. That means you might continue to leverage this infrastructure and potentially minimize the cost to re-wire your property to offer guest high-speed, Wi-Fi internet access. Technology to improve the speed, reliability and reach of this option is rapidly evolving, and property owners should stay on top of these developments when upgrading their network.
If your property has Ethernet (CAT5) wiring in place, your best option is to leverage this wiring where possible for guest rooms and meeting spaces to reduce wiring costs. This will be highly dependent on a WLAN site survey which maps out the best placement of wireless access points for the coverage requirements. Consider Wi-Fi access points designed and built for guest rooms to address coverage issues.
Structural Limitations- Having a basement or an underground garage can be a huge asset to a hotel. But it can also be a communications nightmare. A weak WLAN environment can hinder mobile device communication and thus, staff effectiveness. If the valet attendant cannot radio a license plate and valet ticket number to a garage attendant, customers suffer the consequences of longer wait times for their cars.
Have your property analyzed for potential “dead zones” for your staff’s communications network. The solution could be as simple as installing more or stronger access points to increase the range of your network. By doing so, you can ensure seamless communications throughout every square foot of your property.
Outdoor Access- Another important factor is the importance of outdoor network access for both guests and employees. Guest lounging poolside, an outdoor restaurant or staff members who require communications or mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions for a sales transaction will all require wireless network access. In this case, a traditional, indoor-based WLAN environment may not provide strong enough signals or coverage for guests to sign onto the network, or for employees to use on their mobile devices.
Imagine having pool servers able to use wireless-enabled tablets to instantly place and accept payment for guest food and drink orders. This improves the accuracy and timing of orders, and leads to an improved guest experience…all on your own, secure network. If this type of outdoor access is important to you and your guests, then you’ll need to install weather-resistant access points to extend your indoor network to the outdoors.
Technology Requirements- If you are planning to engage guests through their Wi-Fi devices, offer more on-line services or upgrade your staff communications and mobile devices, your WLAN network’s capabilities need to be evaluated. The network will need to support the density for guest access and voice communications.
This type of flexibility allows for varied and improved use of your WLAN. This includes greater security and access during meetings and events that require support for thousands of devices in use simultaneously. WLAN can also be used to provide relevant offers via guest analytics, mobile concierge, and mPOS and catering.
By upgrading the WLAN environment, a hotel can bring their staff communications to the next level and improve the guest experience. A dynamic, reliable network can be the key differentiator in a guest’s choice of where to stay and can set up your property to be ready for the next improvements in technology and access.
Tom Moore leads Motorola’s strategy and direction for the hospitality and healthcare industries. This includes voice of the customer, partner strategies, driving revenue-based programs to support marketing, sales, and product management initiatives.
Sunday, March 03, 2013 by buy discount viagra online
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