Are you prepared to meet your hotel’s evolving network requirements and position your property to attract greater market share?
Not only has developing a long-term network strategy become a business necessity, but it’s become essential to win back guest confidence and differentiate from the competitive set. Hotels now need to leverage technologies that help maintain social distancing, offer guests’ interactive digital experiences and achieve maximum operational efficiency. Here’s three steps to prepare your property for long-term success:
Step 1: Identify your needs
Increased technology demands must be supported by a high-performing, reliable network that offers high-bandwidth and flexibility. Here are some considerations when determining your network needs:
- Can your network easily accommodate your changing needs?
Does your network infrastructure give you the flexibility to easily make adjustments, such as modifying bandwidth? An agile network gives you more control, allowing you to respond quickly to changing needs.
Conduct network testing: Capacity testing measures network speeds and throughput, and identifies current (or potential) bottlenecks. This helps you know if you need to add bandwidth or upgrade your network infrastructure to meet future demands.
- Does your bandwidth offer the ability to adapt to future advances in hospitality technology?
Hotels with an advanced WiFi solution can quickly scale bandwidth to implement innovations such as guest-facing mobile apps, artificial intelligence, digital guest services and keyless room entry — while still providing consistent coverage and a seamless user experience.
Plan ahead for increasing demand by investing in a solution that allows you to easily add more capacity to your wireless network as your needs change, without having to overhaul or build an entirely new network.
Test your current bandwidth usage to identify your needs. Use a network monitoring tool and study usage reports to identify key trends, peak usage times and bottleneck sources. This will help determine if you are at capacity with your current bandwidth, and whether or not you will need an increase as you implement new technologies to adapt to changing market conditions.
Step 2: Determine if owned or managed services are right for you
As you plan your network infrastructure needs, one aspect to consider is whether you want to own and support all of it yourself. Here are some key factors to think about when making this decision:
- Flexibility: When you buy your own equipment, you’re investing in a specific network infrastructure with a fixed capacity. If your needs change faster than anticipated, or if network demands are underestimated, you’ll have to invest more money and time to upgrade. If flexibility is a priority, a managed solution lets you adjust capacity as desired and ensures you’ll have access to the latest innovations as technology evolves,
- Reliability: When you own your network equipment, you’re responsible for all maintenance and repairs. How might this affect the reliability of your network? With a managed solution, you have the peace of mind from a service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees network uptime and issue resolution response times.
- Budget: Do you prefer large up-front expenses or monthly recurring charges? Some hoteliers choose the single capital outlay of buying and installing their own equipment; for others, a fixed monthly managed service rate makes budgeting easier.
- Staff capacity: Does your staff have the capacity to effectively maintain, troubleshoot and support your network, while also leading hotel technology innovation and guest satisfaction? If so, then owning your network infrastructure might make sense. But a growing number of hoteliers are finding that a managed solution frees staff from performing routine maintenance tasks. So, they can spend more time on strategic initiatives that support revenue growth.
Step 3: Choose the right partner
Your choice of service provider matters. You want a service provider that is not just a technology vendor, but a partner, fully invested in your success. The right partner will help you every step of the way, ensuring maximum return on your technology investment. When choosing your partner, ask these three questions:
- Do they provide comprehensive 24/7 support? You want to find a provider that offers enhanced service-level-agreements (SLA) and 24/7 support, guaranteeing quality performance and minimizing the strain on staff and guests.
- Do they offer full network management or leave network management to your staff? If you have decided that managed services are the right choice for you, verify that any potential provider offers full managed services. Ask what’s included in these managed services and compare in order to determine who is providing the most comprehensive management support.
- Do they provide all of the solutions you need for long-term success? Consolidating all of your solutions under one provider eases the burden of management, decreases costs and maximizes effectiveness. Leveraging one provider allows them to evaluate your needs from a “big picture” viewpoint. Having separate providers for each solution, makes connecting disparate tools and processes significantly more complex.
With comprehensive management support and full portfolio of connectivity, voice and in-room technology services, Spectrum Enterprise helps meet your needs today and prepare for evolving needs tomorrow. Discover if Spectrum Enterprise is the right partner to start evaluating your needs and build a successful, long-term tech strategy.