Welcome to the first issue of Connected! Each issue will provide you with the latest information on our products and services, technical tips, spotlight installations and even an inside look at HIS. We will supply you with the latest technological advances and news for the hospitality industry including the latest in in-room entertainment innovation and beyond. We will give you a look at the future of our industry and how to cope with today’s problems. Connected! is geared to your Internet technology needs for now and tomorrow.
In this issue we take you on a techie’s delight, a tour of one of our latest installations – the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. We certainly ran into some interesting challenges there, which our crew successfully tackled. You can read about it here.
Your guests have security issues and we can help you with them, checkout our security section below.
Our innovative Fusion Gateway deserves a few words in our product section and with one short video we answer the question why Ruckus!
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.
900 wooded acres of rolling hills, 600 spacious suites, a new luxury spa, six heated pools, four restaurants, three bars and a collection of four golf courses designed by Larry Packard, and lest we forget Wi-Fi by Hotel Internet Services. Here’s what Innisbrook Golf Resort IT Director J. Rigg White had to say about the entire process:
“Innisbrook’s previous Wi Fi systems were supposed to deliver property wide coverage, but never did, even as more APs were added. There were always problem locations where getting a signal was difficult, and other areas where connections were either slow or inconsistent.”
High speed Wi-Fi Internet access and ubiquitous coverage is in demand by resort and hotel guests. Simultaneously, the wireless-only devices being brought into the resort has multiplied dramatically. Innisbrook needed to switch out older technology to state-of-the-art Smart Wi-Fi and they responded rapidly to guest needs, selecting Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products and technologies.
Once we made our Wi Fi move, we quickly discovered that on top of surprising performance increases delivered through its adaptive antenna technology, the Ruckus ZoneFlex system had a much lower total cost of ownership. Not only did we see lower capital costs from having to deploy fewer APs but we were able to deploy these systems much more quickly, in many cases using their Smart Mesh technology to overcome wiring limitations. The unique combination of these technologies and capabilities let us streamline the whole deployment process while delivering much stronger and faster Wi Fi throughout the entire property.”
“The new FUSION S Series Gateway Server helps us manage our network in amazing detail. Now our users are guaranteed all available bandwidth giving them ample speeds to power all of their mobile devices and laptops.
“Hotel Internet Services installed an extremely fast, reliable Wi-Fi network- Our guests are very happy with their Internet experience! “
Security in the House
Computer security is always of concern. If you are not already familiar with them, here are a few security experts you may want to hook up with or at least get their newsletters.
Bruce Schneier: Cryptographer, computer security and privacy specialist, and writer. Truly he is the man when it comes to security. A very poignant and reliable voice.
Krebs on Security: Brian Krebs is one of the most knowledgeable writers on the computer security scene. I never miss his posts.
Kevin Mitnick: One the world’s most famous hackers who has gone legit and has become the one of the most prominent cybersecurity gurus around.
Internet Security Training
KnowBe4: If you are interested in training your team and avoiding the pitfalls of phishing, spearphishing, etc., you may want to look into some type of security training. The best I have found is from KnowBe4 – Stu Sjouwerman teamed up with the aforementioned Kevin Mitnick to create the pen ultimate training course. Not only will they train your staff but they will test the effectiveness of the training with before and after investigation. “The bad guys go after your employees because they are easy to trick with social engineering.”
It sounds like something from Star Trek, something Scotty would manipulate at the transporter room control panel. And perhaps that it is not so far from the truth. It is all about connectivity anyway and what’s the big deal, transporting bodies or transmitting Wi-Fidelity? Beamforming is simple in concept but can be difficult to implement although our friends at Ruckus really have it down. Bottom-line, instead of using a shotgun approach and broadcasting the signal to a wide area, and hoping to reach your target, beamforming or BeamFlex as Ruckus calls it, concentrates the signal and aims it directly at the target? Here’s a great video that explains how it all works: Click Here To View Video>
TechTip: FUSION S Series Gateway
As Innisbrook Golf Resort IT Director J. Rigg White so eloquently stated in our feature story, the employment of the Fusion S Series Gateway was key to the success of the installation. This baby was designed for high performance and scalability and is totally capable and scalable of supporting up to 10,000 simultaneous users.
You can find out more by clicking here >
2015 promises to be an exciting year for the hospitality and travel industry according to Hotel News Resource. It does not come across as a surprise by any means that travelers are demanding fast and free Wi-Fi, but what is interesting is how they are using their devices. “Travelers simply expect to be connected whenever they are… Mobile dominates travel. Airlines and hotel operators will increasingly have to accommodate the desires of mobile travelers who expect to be able to complete bookings through apps, pull boarding passes, and perform nearly any other function.”READ MORE>
Devices & More Devices
The 2014 Expedia Mobile Index, was conducted among 8,856 employed adults across 25 countries to discover mobile behaviors, trends, and preferences among travelers. Above all, travelers want convenience. Wi-Fi continues to be one of the most important amenities for today’s traveler. About 86 percent of travelers rate Wi-Fi as important when booking a hotel, with “complimentary Wi-Fi” being ranked above business centers, wired Internet, and other business amenities. Per Expedia President and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi:
“We are entering a new era where people are moving fluidly across desktop, phone, tablet, even wearables as they dream, plan, book and then ultimately take their trip. Travelers are not only researching and booking trips on mobile, but they’re also complimenting their meals, complaining to providers and capturing every trip detail. This is the new normal when it comes to travel. We chose to take a closer look at multi-device habits amongst both leisure and business travelers worldwide to better understand how technology is being used throughout the journey so we can continue to deliver contextually relevant mobile experiences.”
Best Western’s newest hotel offering, Vib (pronounced Vibe), is a stylish and technology-centric hotel concept created to meet the needs of today’s connected traveler. Vib, which is short for “Vibrant,” is a hotel prototype designed for urban markets. Vib’s high-density concept will be cost-effective to build and operate, making it an attractive option for owners and developers. READ MORE>
Cellphone batteries may be improving but they eventually run out and inevitably this happens while you are not at home or office with your charger nearby. I remember running into a RadioShack to recharge my phone while I browsed the store. ChargeAll wants to change that by making chargers ubiquitous as outlets. LEARN MORE>
Meeting Space Connectivity Whitepaper
Hotels with poor wireless connectivity in conference and meeting spaces get low guest satisfaction scores and lose valuable revenue. Many properties have spent money upgrading their bandwidth and connectivity in guestrooms and lobbies while ignoring meeting space. Download the “Meeting Space Connectivity: The increasing demand for reliable WLAN in hotel meeting space” whitepaper. Note: HIS has the answer to your conference facility blues. Learn 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.
Front Desk First Impressions: Our friends at the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute produced this one featuring the 25 greatest unprofessional Front Desk sins committed by hotel Front Desk associate (as compiled from a survey of front office managers).
Harlem Shake: Catch the crew at Hotel Solamar in San Diego flexing their dance moves with Harlem Shake version 1.0, Kimpton style! Kimpton seems to be a very imaginative bunch.
Stand by Me: Playing for Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music. One of my favorite songs of all time reverberates globally. Listen in!
Matt: I have been a great fan of Matt Harding since I saw his first video in 2004 or so.
This one is from 2012. Take a look maybe you will become a fan too.