Utilize hospitality systems technology. Increase your ADR.

Guest Technology Expectations

Broadband Internet access, client VPN, electronically stored guest preferences, RFID key entry and safes, on-demand movies, entertainment and accessibility, video conferencing and audio/video integration are all part of today’s hotel guests’ expectations. From the perspective of a hotel, the requirements and demands of the guests is what makes a hotel offer its available services.  It is a common trend that guests attach a high degree of expectation with technology requirements from the hotel with high functionality and high availability while to enjoy all of it with practically no charge.  Hotels often question themselves as to how they can keep their guests satisfied while staying within their designated budget. The expenditure for keeping in track with the guests’ expectations is at a very high level and the cost for guestroom technology has no bounds.  Every hotel cannot fulfill each and every expectation of all the guests as they have a strict budget to follow.  However, every property needs to keep aside steady investment in technology and the effective keys for achieving this are:

  • Have a brief idea about the expectations of the guest mix
  • Offer the guests the fundamental technology services
  • Make sure that you have in-house adequate infrastructure that keeps up to the standards of the guest sub-sets while being able to maintaining revenue from these standards
  • Make sure that the guest service infrastructure is leveraged with a higher level of staff efficiency

Expectations from hotels will vary according to the guest mix and the target market.  However, your hotel property should cover the topmost priorities of most of the guests, leaving out a few which will not hurt your investment budget in the long run.

The Back Office Systems

To offer the best guest experience, the heart of the hotel, “The Back Office” systems must be available, reliable and secure.  All systems are expected to have maximum uptime.  Unlike a typical office environment, hotel back office systems do not close at 5PM and do not recognize any holidays.  The back office systems need to be running on a solid infrastructure and on reliable hardware and software.  It handles all the hotel’s data and electronic processing. It is important to understand that the back office system includes all hotel applications which sustain the internal operations of the hotel.  Aside from empowering the the front office systems, the back office systems work to fulfill the hotel’s mission and serve the link between the front office and other operations, administrative and financial departments.  If you wish to implement guest-centric strategies into your hotel, you need to interface the back office systems to guest-facing technology services which offer automated authentication, authorization and accounting to streamline the hotel’s property management system.  These guest-face technology services include services such as Internet access and in-room entertainment. Some of the commonly used systems in the hotel industry are:

  • Property Management Systems
  • Accounting Systems
  • Human Resource Systems
  • Event and Catering Management Systems
  • Call Accounting Systems
  • PBX and Voicemail Systems
  • Electronic Key Entry Systems
  • Restaurant and Retail Point-of-Sale Systems
  • Inventory Control Systems
  • Video Surveillance Systems
  • Building Automation Systems (HVAC, Lighting Control)
  • Digital Signage Systems

An Hospitality IT Professional's Role

A hotel’s IT manager’s roles and responsibilities will at minimum require the following:

  • Maintain daily hotel IT operation
  • Identify problem areas
  • System maintenance
  • System security
  • Project management
  • Budgeting
  • Analysis of new technology
  • Propose / review new technology
  • Understand hotel operations
  • Understand users’ needs
  • Self development on IT knowledge
  • Vendor management
  • Bridging technology into hotel operations
  • Align IT systems to achieve organizational goals

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Preferred Hospitality IT Vendors

Property Management System (PMS): Micros OPERA, Galaxy Hotel Systems – High Speed Internet Access: VP Networks (Formerly Value Point Networks), PSAV – Server Hardware and Networking: SonicWALL, HP, Allied Telesis, Cisco Systems – Electronic Keylock and Access Control: Vingcard Elsafe, Smart-Tek Communications – Telephone PBX: Avaya, NEC Unified Solutions – Point of Sale (POS): Squirrel

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