How Hoteliers Can Create an IoT Network Strategy that Meets Both Business Needs and Guest Expectations

Since their initial introduction, IoT technologies have taken the hospitality industry by storm and have created much excitement over the limitless possibilities they offer. Even prior to the pandemic, as much as 70 percent of hospitality executives indicated the presence of at least one active IoT project at their properties. With much of the industry now recovered and welcoming guests back in large numbers, IoT adoption rates are only set to increase further as hoteliers strive to differentiate within an ever more competitive market.

Yet while many may be familiar with IoT benefits that can include heightened experience personalization, faster service response times and lower operating costs, fewer have a grasp on what it takes to ensure a successful solution rollout. For the unwary hotelier, IoT technology can represent several potential pitfalls if not adequately planned out that can lead to higher expense, frustrated guests and more work for already overstretched employees.

To sidestep any unwanted and likely costly surprises, today’s hotel businesses should always have a well thought out strategy they can rely on to obtain the results they set out to achieve. Applicable to hotels and resorts of any type and size, here are three key steps able to ensure an IoT platform deployment that always lives up to both hotel and guest expectations alike:

Step 1: Define the Desired Outcome and What Success Means

Regardless of industry, businesses can often jump towards IoT as something that must be adopted simply because it’s the ‘next big thing’ in increasing profits and standing out from the competition. However, moving forward with IoT using this kind of mindset more often than not leads to missed opportunities to maximize the improvement of operations. At its worst, it can also result in operations potentially grinding to a halt if insufficient research has been done to identify the possible implications of a solution’s adoption on existing systems and services.

Before even beginning to review their IoT technology options, hoteliers should first ensure that they have a clear picture of precisely what it is that they are looking to achieve. Is it a reduction in time it takes to complete service requests? Perhaps a mobile-enabled task management system might make for the best investment. Is a hotelier mostly concerned with reducing out of control utility costs? An IoT integration that can detect real-time room occupancy to automatically adjust in-room amenity settings could do much to lower monthly energy bills. If the idea is to ‘wow’ guests with a truly exceptional stay experience, technologies that can leverage mass data to make personalized service recommendations are now widely available.

Hotel Internet Services Publishes GuestCast Usage Analytics Demonstrating Hospitality’s Growing Demand for Content Streaming Technology

Leading provider of in-room entertainment solutions reveals new insight into guest streaming trends and behaviors.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — September 20, 2022 Hotel Internet Services (HIS),a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has today released a set of valuable analytics showcasing how content streaming trends continue to evolve throughout the global hotel market. Leveraging data combined from properties equipped with its GuestCast streaming platform, HIS by publishing such analytics aims to provide the industry’s hoteliers with up-to-date insight on how to adopt an in-room entertainment strategy that aligns with modern guest behaviors and expectations.

With content streaming now the predominant form of entertainment in consumer homes, HIS GuestCast analytics likewise reveal that hotel guest preferences for using streaming technology have only increased.  For example, GuestCast was found to be used by guests for an average of over 3 casting sessions per room each day.  Streaming session length now averages four hours and 17 minutes for each guest, while 44.6 percent of guestrooms had their GuestCast devices utilized on a monthly basis. These analytics together notably demonstrate the growing reliance that guests place on the ability to stream their own content verses using more traditional entertainment options such as Cable TV or video on demand.

HIS’ GuestCast analytics also reveal how hotel guest streaming behaviors continue expanding to include an ever more diverse range of streaming subscriptions that a property’s solution should be compatible with. The top ten most used streaming services now include:

• Netflix
• YouTube
• Hulu
• Disney+
• Prime Video
• HBO Max
• Spotify
• Peacock
• YouTube TV
• Paramount+

“We’ve known that content streaming has eclipsed traditional TV for some time now, but what hoteliers need to recognize is that the presence of a streaming platform within guestrooms is no longer up for debate- guests are demanding access to the technology and are seeking to use it more and more throughout their stay,” said Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services. “Keeping pace with guest in-room entertainment expectations importantly doesn’t just involve adopting any kind of streaming device, but one that can provide the flexibility and ease-of-use that guests experience when at home.”

As a streaming solution purpose-built for hotel environments, GuestCast is notably designed to be instantly compatible with virtually any streaming subscription a guest may wish to access on guestroom TVs. By also offering a simplified device-pairing process allowing guests to cast content by simply scanning a QR code, GuestCast is also credited with eliminating commonly encountered troubleshooting issues. According to the latest device usage analytics, GuestCast only receives support call requests by one percent of users, which translates into approximately one out of 100 guests. This further reinforces GuestCast’s main objective of serving as an intuitive and user-friendly casting platform that even unfamiliar first-time users can interact with hassle-free.

A key differentiating feature of GuestCast which allows it to collect usage data is its innovative GuestCast Analytics Dashboard. Available to any hotel business that deploys the casting platform, the GuestCast Analytics Dashboard provides each property with a real-time analysis into the performance of in-room entertainment strategies. In addition  to tracking GuestCast usage rates, the dashboard can even monitor the strength of guestroom WiFi signals to ensure that connectivity remains high-quality and in line with guest needs.

For more information about the full range of technology solutions available from Hotel Internet Services, please contact Shelly Chandler at 866-265-7575 Ext. 737 or email shelly@hotelwifi.com.

Fill out this form to find out more about GuestCast or call 855-909-3711.

Radisson Hotel Pendleton Airport Case Study

Radisson Hotel Pendleton Airport Case Study

Installation Spotlight

Introduction

With spectacular views of Oregon’s Blue Mountains, Radisson Hotel Pendleton Airport serves as an ideal location where guests can unwind and take in the sights as they arrive at their destination or continue on with their travels. The 75-room hotel features a range of amenities to make each guest’s stay enjoyable and comfortable, including high-end cuisine, an onsite fitness center and meeting spaces. Guests staying at Radisson Hotel Pendleton Airport can also benefit from the property’s commitment to providing a internet access experience that conforms with modern lifestyle needs.

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Challenge

As a property that caters to a large number of guests staying due to flight layovers, Radisson Hotel Pendleton Airport understood the vital importance of WiFi for travelers seeking to stay in touch with family and friends, to perform work or to keep themselves entertained. Yet as with many properties across the industry, the hotel suffered from patchy WiFi signal coverage and slow speeds that jeopardized guest satisfaction rates. A hotel operated by Makad Corporation, an organization with decades of expertise in hotel development and management, property leadership sought out a network solutions provider that could offer unmatched WiFi service quality at an affordable price.

After performing research into several competing providers, Makad Corp. selected HIS as the ideal partner to resolve spotty WiFi coverage and slow speed issues. Using HIS expertise, the property was able to implement a cost-effective upgrade that nevertheless delivered high-performance connectivity throughout all onsite areas. This included HIS strategically installing state-of-the-art Ruckus access points, ensuring strong WiFi signal penetration that can reach guest devices regardless of any physical obstructions such as the presence of thick walls.

“For each of our hotel locations, Makad Corp. aims for only the best in WiFi service performance as we understand how vital it is to addressing today’s guest needs…. This meant that we were interested in working with the industry’s leading network technology provider and HIS fit the description perfectly. From initial planning to the implementation phase, HIS delivered a transparent, swift and painless experience, with the end result exceeding our expectations. Thanks to their responsiveness and willingness to do what is needed to achieve desired results, we look forward to expanding our relationship with HIS to enhance the online connectivity of other Makad Corp.-operated hotel locations.”
Elie Makad

CEO of Makad Corporation

By partnering with HIS, Radisson Hotel Pendleton Airport also gains access to 24/7 support services. Staffed by industry-leading network technology experts, HIS support ensures the swift resolution of any WiFi performance issues that can negatively affect guest experiences. HIS 24/7 support is also readily available to assist with guest troubleshooting concerns. This can include providing assistance with WiFi login difficulties, setting up a private VPN and much more.

Project Requirements

  • Ensure high-speed and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity that meets with guest expectations throughout all onsite hotel areas.
  • Maintain consistently high service quality to prevent any lapses in guest satisfaction.

Solution

  • Utilize HIS industry expertise and access to the latest in network technology to guarantee a fast and strong Wi-Fi signal penetration able to reach guest devices regardless of location.
  • Offer instant access to 24/7 HIS support in order to swiftly resolve virtually any network performance or guest troubleshooting issue.

Scottsdale Plaza Resort & Villas Case Study

Scottsdale Plaza Resort & Villas Case Study

Installation Spotlight

Introduction

Situated on 40 acres in Arizona’s Paradise Valley, Scottsdale Plaza Resort & Villas is an upscale destination offering a wide range of amenities for leisure and business travelers alike. Guests staying at the resort can look forward to attractions that include five heated swimming pools, two tennis courts, scenic hiking trails and a full-service salon and spa. For those staying for an event or conference, the resort also boasts a total of 50,000 square feet dedicated to hosting events of any kind.

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Challenge

Seeking to take full advantage of the return of physically held events and enhance its reputation as a successful event host, Scottsdale Plaza leadership recognized the crucial importance that high quality Wi-Fi access plays in influencing attendee satisfaction. Whether for a business conference where attendees require internet access to perform tasks or a wedding ceremony where invitees wish to share photos with family and friends, the property determined that it required a network overall in order to meet modern online needs and expectations.

Following recommendations from sister Highgate Hotel properties which had previously experienced the results provided by HIS, Scottsdale Plaza partnered with the technology provider to revamp its conference area network abilities and ensure consistently high service standards. With HIS technology and expertise, including the strategic placement of advanced Ruckus access points, the property is now able to ensure a fast, strong and consistent Wi-Fi signal regardless of the number of attendees or where on conference area floor they may be located.

“It can sometimes be stressful for a hotel operator who is vetting for IT solutions through a managed service provider, but HIS ensured all angles and aspects were fully covered… We were under a tight deadline requiring a complete overhaul of our internet solutions for our public and meeting spaces. While we initially thought that the installation would be daunting, HIS delivered a plan and a product for expansion that proved otherwise. Any hurdles were quickly resolved to our satisfaction and we look forward to a lasting relationship with HIS for all of our event connectivity needs.
Travis Giles

Resort Manager at Scottsdale Plaza Resort & Villas

By partnering with HIS, Scottsdale Plaza was notably also able to benefit from the provider’s innovative Conference Planner tool. An end-to-end solution for managing an event’s network needs, the HIS Conference Planner includes a range of valuable features that make overseeing performance and scaling to specific connectivity requirements both easy and hassle-free. With a single dashboard, Conference Planner capabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Effortless creation of individual conference profiles for storing and tracking information such as event login credentials, and bandwidth resource levels.
  • Instant and easy configuration of VLANS, subnets, DHCP pools and layer 3 ACLs
  • Access to intuitive reports and graphs detailing bandwidth usage, the number of users and devices, as well as analytics on any transactions made.
  • Abilities to review upcoming conference and meeting schedules using monthly, weekly or daily calendars.Multiple login page customization options that can include uploading a conference’s logo, homepage link and agenda.
  • Options to create recurring conferences with the click of a button.

Project Requirements

  • Deploy an advanced network that can guarantee fast speeds and reliability for conferences and events regardless of the number of attendees seeking to connect personal devices..
  • Implement a solution allowing the resort to effortlessly plan, monitor and adjust connectivity configurations for each hosted event.

Solution

  • Leverage HIS expertise and technology, including the strategic deployment of Ruckus access points to ensure consistent high-performance connectivity for all conference space areas.
  • Implement the HIS Conference Planner to provide event organizers with a single, user-friendly dashboard for overseeing and managing all Wi-Fi performance-related tasks.

How to elevate the in-room entertainment experience by Hotel Management by Lodging Magazine

Long gone are the days when internet was a “nice to have” amenity. Today’s guests often travel with multiple connected devices that require greater bandwidth for activities like streaming video and virtual meetings. What’s more, hotel teams and properties are increasingly reliant on the same infrastructure that supports guest WiFi networks. Three hospitality technology experts shared with LODGING their recommendations for investing in a property’s connectivity infrastructure to meet modern guest and operational demands.

Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services, says the trend towards guest service digitalization and the growing prevalence of smart technology in hotels has led to property internet networks being even more essential to operations and guest satisfaction rates. “Today’s hotel networks are required to be faster, more robust, and able to provide consistent reliability across a property to prevent lapses in service quality. A network that fails to live up to these increasing needs not only risks bringing various property systems requiring an online connection to a grinding halt but will inevitably fall below modern guest expectations, resulting in a drop in business reputation and revenue,” Patrick explains.