Bandwidth – Editor’s Note
In this month’s issue we introduce you to a new HIS team member, take you on a fast trip to Little Rock (see below), give you a glimpse of the future, discuss upgrades, and deliver some technical and fun stuff.
Our installation Spotlight takes us to Little Rock, Arkansas where Larry Carpenter, Matt Nunn and their crew worked with our team to upgrade their Wi-Fi network. Good stuff!
Our Scoop section roams the universe, searching for relevant articles to help your establishment run better.
We close with some fun vids we have curated just for you.
We would love to hear from you – feel free to write and let us know what you need and want.
Holiday Inn Presidential Hotel
We magically transport you to the beautiful, engaging and historic downtown district of Little Rock, Arkansas, where you can feel the area’s quaint history mix with modern living. Here you will find the regal-like Holiday Inn Presidential hotel. They offer free Wi-Fi access to their guests, which of course was installed by the good folks at Hotel Internet Services. The installation featured the Ruckus ZoneFlex R700 802.11ac smart Wi-Fi access point. It is possibly the highest capacity and highest performing three-stream access point on the market today.
We had the opportunity to reach out and speak with Matt Nunn, Holiday Inn Presidential’s Revenue & IT Manager. He had a few nice things to say about us.
“Hotel Internet Services is by far the best internet service company that I have had the pleasure of working with in my 20 years of hospitality work. I had been researching different companies for my hotel’s upgrade when I first came across Hotel Internet Services.”
“The sales team was very professional and accommodated my every request. It took some time before we signed with them as we did our due diligent research into the correct product and company for our building. The sales team worked with me 100% and never pressured me into a sale.”
“Thinking that we might have budget concerns, they even offered a quote on a medium priced Wireless Access Point that they felt would still work well in our building. We pleasantly surprised them with our order of the best WAP in the market for our size property, the Ruckus R700 featuring dual band 3×3:3 802.11ac technology.”
“The installation team was on property within 2 weeks of signing the contract and did an incredible job, explaining everything along the way. The network’s reliability is such a relief and the customer service line for guests is also fantastic as it takes pressure off the front desk and puts the guest in the hands of a professional IT agent! I also get daily reports from the Customer Service department detailing which guests they have helped. Over the last two months, only a handful of calls have had to go to the Customer Service department, of which they have helped everyone!”
“We have been very happy with the equipment purchased, installation, reliability of the network, customer service on both guest and administrative sides, and the winning personalities of everyone at Hotel Internet Services.”
“One of our long time clients that generally use a large amount of bandwidth during their monthly meetings just recently sent us a congratulatory email on our internet upgrade in regards to the ease of accessing the network, the speed at which they could work, and its reliability (did not drop signal to a single one of them).”
“I would highly recommend Hotel Internet Services to anyone that wants to take the guess work and frustration out of providing reliable internet to their guests!”
Three Keys to Protecting Guest Credit Card Data
As the hospitality industry prepares to usher in the New Year, hoteliers around the world are hoping that momentum from 2014, which included notable Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) gains for many, will continue into 2015. Cloud, analytics and big data will remain top-of-mind for most organizations, as will security, particularly in relation to both the cloud and protecting guest credit card information. With the increasing frequency of data breaches across the U.S., the hospitality industry is taking extra precautions to ensure the protection of guest credit card data.
DarkHotel malware attacks target poorly secured networks, especially in hotels
The DarkHotel cyberespionage campaign making headlines now is not your typical advanced persistent threat (APT). According to a report released by Kaspersky Lab, a couple of key elements make DarkHotel unique among cyberespionage threats…. DarkHotel specifically targets high-profile business executives: CEOs, senior vice presidents, sales and marketing directors, and top research & development staff. In other words, it’s designed more for corporate espionage than state secrets. Read More>
When Is It Time to Upgrade?
While you weren’t looking and doing what you do best (taking care of your guests) there have been some major upgrades and changes in technology which would necessitate a change to keep said guests Internet healthy and happy. The biggest guest complaint is slow or unreliable Internet. Maybe it is time to upgrade?
- Roving Devices: Your guests are bringing a myriad of devices: computers, smartphones, tablets, and wearable tech from watches to Google Glass. Every family member has their own device, placing even more and more burden on your network. Connecting that many devices, especially since they are mobile, presents a challenge for any wireless network. Your access points may not be up to the job as they were not designed for today’s mobile devices. Fortunately, Ruckus has solved that problem and as one of their premier installation experts we have the technology to meet the challenge!
- Aging Technology: Believe it or not if your gear is more than two years old – it is old in Internet years. The standard today is 802.11AC if you don’t have it, it is time to move up. This is always a tough one to bear. Unfortunately, older equipment is just not up to the job. It is simply not keeping up with the demands of today’s Internet users. Your equipment needs to provide a strong signal to all your rooms. If it does not, you are bound to have some very unhappy guests. Unhappy guests lead to unhappy reviews and no one wants that. You may need more access points or other newer equipment. We would be more than happy to evaluate your network to make sure even outlying guests get the signal they need. Reliability is key!
- S-l-o-w Internet: Today’s guests are used to using their devices at home to stream movies, play games and chat in real time with friends. They don’t want to hear excuses as to why they cannot watch what they want, when they want. Yep, it may be time to upgrade and keep all your guests happy.
- Security: Last and certainly not least, Internet Security is of utmost importance. What was safe before, isn’t so safe anymore. The bad guys are overloading the Internet with scams, phishing, viruses and other assorted malicious software. Upgrading to the latest equipment and software becomes vital.
- PMS Interface: There is quite a stir going on with regards to automated check-ins, check-outs, mobile payments, etc. It is imperative that your network interfaces with the latest technologies providing your guests with an incredible experience.
If you are still wondering about upgrading your wireless network, think about this. Imagine the reviews and guest upset if you do not. We know it is vital to make these changes and we will do our best to make them affordable and as seamless as we can. Now imagine your guests’ faces when they can zip through the Internet at rapid speeds, watch their movies, play their games and tell their friends about your incredible establishment.
Mr. Herman comes to HIS following a seventeen year stint at Lodgenet Interactive, where he served as Regional Sales Manager. He well understands the role technology plays in the hospitality industry and HIS’s position in it: “Technology in the guest-room is extremely dynamic and needs to keep pace with the guests’ in-home experience (both TV viewing content and Wi-Fi). My goal is to help make HIS the leader in the Hospitality Industry for both Wi-Fi and IPTV. Our company is positioned to grow very rapidly and I am excited to be part of that expansion.”
While free Wi-Fi remains the most desirable in-room amenity, more travelers are looking for complimentary breakfasts according to the latest Hotels.com® Amenities Survey. Not surprisingly, hotel guests preferred Wi-Fi over any other in-room feature as the need for constant connectivity remains at an all-time high. Travelers also identified the bathroom shower and room size among the most important in-room features.
View Rankings >
• Check out this SmartBrief Poll: Do you plan on offering free Wi-Fi in 2015? Learn More>
We’ve seen the future and it is coming to you really, really soon!
In a recent issue of HospitalityNet, columnist Larry Mogelonsky wrote an article entitled “How Location Analytics Will Help Your Hotel.” As your guest is strolling through your corridors, their location is tracked and you can let them know about any special offers as they continue their exploration. They could be passing by one of your restaurants and you could tell them the specials of the day to get their taste buds quivering and mouthwatering.
“What is this marvel of modern science? Let me explain it in a generalized manner (which isn’t necessarily the route taken by all companies involved) so we don’t get bogged down in IT jargon. It all starts when a smartphone comes within range of a wireless internet hub. At this point, the Wi-Fi router detects the mobile’s 16-digit signature (unique to that phone) and vice versa. No information is exchanged between the two machines; it’s simply a handshake to acknowledge each other’s presence.”
Here’s a great glossary from Search Engine Watch compiled by Monica Ho. It defines all the important aspects. “A number of new terms have come to the marketplace since mobile’s explosion… We’ll start by highlighting essential industry terms related to mobile targeting, cutting through the overused jargon to handpick and clearly define a number of mobile targeting terms that have become part of the industry landscape for veterans and newbies alike.”
For hotel guests, Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury like infinity pools, designer toiletries, or complimentary dry cleaning. Business travelers increasingly consider it a necessity, just as important as bottled water. A Hotels.com survey found that hotel guests would overwhelmingly choose free Wi-Fi over any other in-room amenity. Read More>
Each issue we will provide you with a short break from the work-a-day crazies with some videos we curated. Some of them will be industry related. Take a moment and enjoy. Some of the strangest things seem to happen in hotels let alone the entire hospitality industry.
On the customer service highlight reel:
– In this incredible clip from Seinfeld we discover a new level of customer service with the infamous Soup Nazi:
The rather strange Mr. Bean checks into a hotel
In this series of videos, Mr. Bean always with competitive spirit, races a fellow guest to see who will get to his room first and then once in his room – well see for yourself. You may need to develop a taste for Mr. Bean
Flash Mobs: I love flash mobs. They produce enjoyment in real life and video. I always seem to get chill bumps while watching them. In this first one, at the public library in Valladolid, Spain the unsuspecting patrons get their minds blown, as the flash mob sings.
Fast food and a flash mob at a food court singing the Hallelujah Chorus.