Feb-March 2016 Connected

Editor’s Note:yellow-pencil

Dear Friends,

As we enter the New Year, it is wonderful to see how well our industry is doing. However, with that success comes some problems, notably security. The hospitality industry is one of the most attacked in the world. There are a number of reasons for this, antiquated equipment, inadequate or untrained staff and the sheer quantity and turnover of users, i.e. your guests.

Fortunately, there are some solutions. In this issue of Connected, we will let you know what we are doing to protect your network. This is a must read. Additionally, our Scoop section will provide you with more info on how to maintain security for you and your guests.

We’ve streamlined Connected! We know how busy you are so it is a much faster read but with the same important info to help you.

If you have any questions about your network security, in-room entertainment or your wireless network give us a shout!

Larry Jaffe

Security Spotlight:  FUSION Serves as a Vital Line of Defense

keayboardlockedOur objective continues to be to strengthen the ability of our hospitality clients in order to protect sensitive online data. This is made possible thanks to our secure and reliable FUSION Gateway solution. FUSION is a proprietary and proven IP and voice network gateway that continuously evolves its encryption and other security protocols, in order to fend off the latest threats to online security.

As news of online security vulnerabilities and data theft continues to resurface repeatedly throughout the hospitality industry, FUSION serves as a vital line of defense against the increasing scale of network attacks. Engineered by programmers with decades of experience in the security industry, FUSION is unique in its capabilities to shield customers during the most sensitive of data transactions, such as when guests provide personal credit or banking data to hotels. For instance, FUSION receives continuous software updates to ensure that every aspect of the system is as up-to-date on the latest known vulnerabilities as possible. This is accomplished by the platform’s ability to analyze which weaknesses have been exploited by hackers in the past, and revising its programming accordingly. FUSION also goes a step further by anticipating potential factors and vulnerabilities that may lead to a future online attack, and taking steps to prevent them.

FusionBox_large_front_1The FUSION Gateway really raises the bar on what hotels should demand and expect from their IP and voice network providers, when it comes to effective security,” said Trevor Dowswell, Chief Technology Officer at Hotel Internet Services. “Not only is the solution PCI compliant, it is an application layer, transport layer and IP layer firewall, allowing finite control of every packet and its destination. Combined with exact, and security conscious, installation standards, the FUSION Gateway was designed to ensure that each network segment is strictly segregated and off-limits to all other traffic. For example, hotels that use our solution are confident that administrative data is kept completely separate from guest data traffic, and therefore the risk of sensitive information being unintentionally shared or falling into the wrong hands is eliminated.”

As a result of not relying on open-source SSL, FUSION customers were fortunately immune to any negative fallout from 2014’s catastrophic “Heartbleed” security bug that resulted in consumer data being breached at companies around the world. FUSION is also specifically formulated to withstand commonly used hacking tactics, such as a “brute force dictionary attack.” This is a scenario where hackers use software to input a multitude of different word combinations to penetrate the security of a system. Under such an attack, FUSION can resist an onslaught of 100,000 word attempts an hour for an entire year. It is also invulnerable to “denial of service” attacks, where hackers initiate so many requests for service that a system cannot recognize legitimate requests, and subsequently fails.

Network Security

“For an added layer of security, FUSION can also create a private network for each hotel guest, if desired,” said Rafael van den Berg, Operations Director at Hotel Internet Services. “This feature allows guests to log in, enter passwords and use personal devices with complete peace-of-mind.”

Also serving to enhance convenience, FUSION’s “at home experience” feature provides guests with a virtual network that allows them to securely access their devices from anywhere throughout a property. Guests visiting the pool area for instance, are able to print documents remotely by sending a request to their printer located in their guestroom and connected to their personal network. A guest that inadvertently left a device behind in their guestroom may also be able to retrieve vital documents by initiating a secure file transfer. The service can also shield properties from unauthorized guest activities, such as illegal downloads. Instead of running the risk of having online access turned off by an Internet Service Provider, hoteliers can automatically prevent illegal activity in a manner that is both highly effective and considerate of guest privacy.



Editor’s Note: Our friends at Malwarebytes have been very busy. These posts cover unwanted programs aka PUPs and Ransomware. Ransomware is one of the biggest dangers out there. How would you like your network and data held ransom for an unmentionable fee? Check out what Malwarebytes is doing about it

How to Avoid Potentially Unwanted Programs

malwarebyte_imageIf you’ve ever downloaded software onto your computer, chances are you’ve unknowingly cluttered your machine with PUPs. Here’s what you need to know about these sneaky programs… Here are a few things that PUPs can do: slow your computer down, display numerous annoying ads, add toolbars that steal space on the browser and some collect private information. . Read More from Malwarebytes >


Introducing the Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta

ARWFor the last four years, ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest threats to cyber security that I’ve seen in a long time. Names like CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, and CTBLocker keep average computer users and IT security Jedis alike up at night. For good reason: Ransomware is cunning, effective, and proliferating, and the cyber security industry hasn’t really had an answer for it. But we’ve got one now.  Read More from Malwarebytes Labs > 


Balancing Security, Aesthetics in Hotel Design

20160223_SecurityArchitecture-FeatureHotel architects and designers try to weigh the needs for a secure property without turning the building into an unsightly and unwelcoming fortress.  Part of making guests feel comfortable is maintaining their sense of security, and hotel designers must walk the thin line of creating a safe environment without sacrificing the property’s visual appeal.  Read More from Hotel News Now >

Scam of the Week – Netflix For Free

suspendedNetflix’s popularity continues to grow fast, and they recently launched their streaming service globally. Obviously, that makes them a hacker target. At the moment, there are active malware and phishing campaigns targeting Netflix users. The operations are sophisticated, so it is likely this is the work of an Eastern European cybermafia.

Read More from knowbe4>


How to Avoid Hackers that Target Hotels

stop_hackersI’ve reported on this before, but it’s time to check in again on hotels as targets for hackers. Cyber thieves love hotels—and not just the front desk. They target hotel spas, parking facilities, and anywhere there’s either Wi-Fi or the opportunity for a credit card transaction.
 Read More from petergreenberg.com>



‘Darkhotel’ Fear Stalks Hospitality Industry: 5-Star Hotels Rope in Cyber Auditors to Curb Data Theft

data_theftOnline content streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, have proven a challenge for cable and satellite companies’ business strategies, but one other area is facing the chopping block because of streaming content: video-on-demand in hotel rooms. As guests want faster Wi-Fi and more bandwidth during their stays to power their own content, the demand for in-room video-on-demand is going down, hoteliers said.   Read More from Hotel News>


‘QWERTY’ and ’123456′ Top List of 2015′s (Worst) Passwords

BN-LV811_CMOlap_G_20151224125251For the first time last year, “1234567890,” “qwertyuiop” (top row of keys on a standard keyboard) and “welcome” landed spots on the list of the year’s most common passwords. Passwords are getting longer, but they’re not getting stronger. According to data from SplashData, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based company that makes password-management applications. These examples are longer than perennial favorites “1234,” “12345″ and “qwerty,” which still rank high despite users knowing better, but they add little complexity.   Read More from The WSJ.D>


New York’s New Free Citywide Wi-Fi Will Be More Secure Than Hotel’s Network

The days when New York City children could stop in front of a payphone, point at its clunky handset and coin return slot and say “What’s this thing?” are drawing to a close. Starting this month, the city will be replacing thousands of pay phones with free Wi-Fi hotspots as part of its LinkNYC project. By July, there should be 500 hot spots scattered throughout the five boroughs, a number that will eventually increase to more than 7,500. Not only will the Wi-Fi speeds be up to 100 times faster than your average wireless carrier, they’re also more secure than the Wi-Fi you’re borrowing from one of the city’s 8 billion (a rough estimate) Starbucks locations.  Read More from Road Warrior Voices >












December Connected

Editors Note:yellow-pencil

Dear Friends,

I would like to take a moment to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Let’s make 2016 a year of incredible positive change in our environment. If we all make a concerted effort, we can really improve ourselves, our families, friends and the entire planet.

Have you ever visited the Berkshires? It is an incredibly beautiful part of our country nestled in the mountains of western Massachusetts. The Berkshires is home for the renowned Tanglewood Music Centers, some incredible restaurants and a thriving art scene. This month our installation spotlight takes us to Vacation Villages Berkshire, a most aesthetic resort and a most interesting place to get connected.

Our Scoop section, as usual, scours the media for helpful hints and insight into the hospitality biz. We close with some fun vids we have curated just for you.

If you are interested in upgrading your Wi-Fi network, we have a new services brochure. If you would like our BeyondTV Brochure, our Wireless Streaming Study, or info on Fusion Gateways they are just a click away.

We would love to hear from you – feel free to write and let us know what you are thinking about the state of things wireless or not.

Larry Jaffe


Spotlight: Vacation Villages Berkshire

b2We had the opportunity to speak with the Vacation Villages Resort Manager, Robin Hammersmith-Cameron. Do you remember when Wi-Fi was limited to guest rooms, the business center and perhaps the lobby? Connectivity is all around us and of great importance, especially in a resort location, where guests wander the grounds. So yes, Vacation Villages has Wi-Fi in the rooms, in the lobby, in the biz center, by the pool and as Robin exclaimed: “The signal is so good, that that now we can walk the roadway of the property and have sufficient coverage.”

Prior to the HIS installation and upgrade, there were definitely some connectivity issues. The network was very slow and truly inadequate for their guests. Robin stipulated that the new network would meet their criteria for superlative Wi-Fi – “Reliability, speed and ease of connectivity!”

b19According to Robin, the installation went very smoothly and they look forward to seeing the response from guests as they get into their peak season.

Editor’s Note: That’s how we roll. Don’t you think your establishment could benefit from a little HIS TLC?


Get your
Free Wi-Fi Evaluation Today!



Editor’s Note: As we approach the end of the year, I wanted to share some excellent marketing articles that will help you create an incredible 2016 for your organization.

Top-3-Digital-Marketing-Trends-for-2016-Which-You-Should-Be-Starting-in-2015-Making-It-TV-720x480Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 (Which You Should Be Starting in 2015)

Here are three strategies to make sure you’re ready for the challenges of 2016 ahead of time. Read More from Making it>



Five Social Trends Marketers Won’t Be Able to Ignore in 2016

Editor’s Note: Short interesting article from AdAge on the latest in social marketing. Key point is about Messaging platforms (any system on the Internet that exchanges messages for the purpose of communications).

When it comes to social and digital marketing, 2016 is going to be an adapt-or-die year, one in which marketers will need to evolve as tectonic shifts in the way people use social networks and consume media on them will force massive change.  Read More from Advertising Age >

Portrait-Millennial-Traveler-Lead-ImageNew Skift Trends Report: Portrait of the Millennial Traveler 2016

Editor’s Note: I love Skift, they always seem to be on top of the industry and perhaps a few steps ahead. This is a great briefing on the buzz term of the year – Millennials!

Millennial travelers represent a lucrative source of spending for travel brands but also a confusing web of contradictory habits than can be difficult to unravel. What deeper insights are really driving millennial travel habits, and how are marketers adapting their strategies to cater this surging age group?  Read More from Skift>

Young adult using a smart phoneHotels cater to millennials’ need for free-Wi-Fi, personalized travel

Remember when . . . hotel guests were over-the-moon to find fresh baked cookies at check-in and a Keurig coffeemaker in their hotel room? Today’s generation of travelers — Meet the Millennials — have their own set of standards and priorities. Sure, they still want their cookie (gluten-free, please) and morning cup of coffee (preferably fair-trade beans roasted by a bearded guy and his dog in Portland), but they also demand those Instagram moments — and the technology to quickly post them. For insights into this industry-altering group and how properties are wooing them, we spoke (via e-mail) with Gautam Lulla, president of Travel Tripper, which provides technology to hotels worldwide. Read More from The Washington Post>

Depositphotos_69631799_s-2015A Bad Review Is Forever: How to Counter Online Complaints

Editor’s Note: Excellent article on how to handle bad reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc. Must read!

Andrew Gruel, chef and owner of the Slapfish restaurant chain, responds to about 50 online reviews a day, positive or negative. For the California restaurateur Andrew Gruel, poor online reviews demand rapid responses. One of his new Slapfish restaurants, serving sustainable seafood, was hit this year with dozens of bad reviews that complained about its prices (too high) and portions (too small).   Read More from The New York Times>

BeyondTV-Remote_Netflix_BTV_logoStreaming content pressures video-on-demand

Online content streaming services, such as Pandora and Hulu, have proven a challenge for cable and satellite companies’ business strategies, but one other area is facing the chopping block because of streaming content: video-on-demand in hotel rooms. As guests want faster Wi-Fi and more bandwidth during their stays to power their own content, the demand for in-room video-on-demand is going down, hoteliers said.   Read More from Hotel News>

Editor’s Note: Checkout our BeyondTV

BEACONSAR1215How Hotels Are Using Beacons and Augmented Reality

The technology landscape in the hospitality industry is constantly evolving. There is a perpetual need for hotels to adopt the latest technology, or risk falling behind the competition. Two emerging technologies in particular that hoteliers should consider adopting are beacons and augmented reality.   Read More from Hospitality Technology>




Editor’s Note: If you are interested in using beacons or location based service, let me know and I will arrange for one of our hospitality technology consultants to talk with you.







005What Guests Want: Hotel Search Keywords and Stats

Other than cost what else are today’s travelers looking for when choosing a hotel? Hotels.com surveyed 1000 travelers from around the globe and here are the results.  Read More from Hotel News Resource 



Depositphotos_71931977_s-2015Streaming Video Now Accounts for 70 Percent of Broadband Usage




You use your Internet connection to do all kinds of things. But you use it for one thing much more than anything else: To stream video and music.  Read More from recode 

565c7f9c5e7aeb7a6e219ca2_capella-hotel-dc-cr-courtesyWhy Hotel Check-Out Times May Become a Thing of the Past

Some hotels are getting rid of traditional check-in and -out times to cater to a new kind of traveler… Flexible check-in is also a dream for business travelers, who might have a meeting soon after arrival and would love the chance to shower, change clothes, and drop off their luggage.  Read More from Conde Nast Traveler 


guestroom1115 (1)Modernizing the Guest Experience

Several years ago, the in-room guest experience could often seemed dated and uninspiring. With all the technology advancements available, it was a mystery why the guest experience seemed locked in 1995. Fast forward a few years, and the in-room hospitality experience has changed radically with the introduction of open, cloud-based software systems. These new technology platforms enable anyone in the hospitality industry (from retail to cruise to hotel) to connect with customers and guests through a smart digital display which delivers targeted content, ad messages and interactive features.  Read More from Hospitality Technology 


Captain Video




This month we have some more of those rather strange yet funny hotel and travel videos. Take a moment and sit back and enjoy.

IKEA: The Other Letter

Even though this is not directly related our business, this very touching message applies to just about all walks of life and especially to the hospitality industry.

Top 10 Most Inspirational Ads of All Time

I tend to agree with the commentary about these ads: “These are the ads that changed the way some people looked at the world.”


Yelp Is Your Awesome, Goofy Savior in Its First National TV Commercial

Yelp isn’t just for restaurant recommendations. It can help you find reviews on everything from auto shops to hair salons to “extreme golf” driving ranges, the app and website says in this amusing commercial—its first to air on TV nationally.






Funny Commercial Hotel Room Key

This is a really funny spot. I will say no more just enjoy. It is short but sweet with a hint of irony.


October 2015 Connected

Editors Note:yellow-pencil

Dear Friends,

The hospitality industry is doing right fine according to all the reports I have read. And that all important mantra regarding keeping guests happy and enjoying the hotel experience is observable throughout the industry. It is a wonderful characteristic of the hospitality industry (unlike some others) to treat customers with the specialness and courtesy they deserve.

One of those areas is of course all about connecting (Drum roll for our newsletter name – Connected! please). As has been the case for the last couple of years, Wi-Fi is a necessity and not a luxury. Hotels are discovering that they need more and more bandwidth, as guests want to watch what they want, when they want from their own devices or streaming. Equipment is becoming antiquated faster and faster as the technology advances even faster. One of our objectives, at Hotel Internet Services, is building networks for our clients that take future technologies into account. Our Fusion Gateways set us apart from other installation companies due to its advanced technology and features.

Our installation spotlight this month takes us to Roswell, New Mexico where we upgraded the Wi-Fi system at the local Holiday Inn Express & Suites.  General Manager Jill Cleveland, made us feel right at home.

Our Scoop section as usual scours the media for helpful hints and insight into the hospitality biz. 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 are thinking about the state of things wireless or not.

Larry Jaffe

Spotlight: The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Roswell, NM

holiday-inn-express-and-suites-roswell-2532066243-4x3“We are so pleased with the new equipment and the service. We haven’t had one guest complaint since it was installed and prior to installation we had numerous complaints per day. It has been a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Wi-Fi is available throughout the facility. We asked Jill what are the most important factors for her guests regarding their wireless connection.

“Guests feel that WI-FI should be easy to connect to and stay connected throughout their stay. It should be effortless and something they don’t have to think about. Our business is all about 100% guest satisfaction.”

Jill said that the installation went incredibly well.

"VFMLID=32974931"“Our installer was efficient and he handled everything quietly and quickly. There was very little disruption of service and our guests commented immediately about the speed and ease of use of the new equipment.”

They were extremely happy with not only the installation but the follow-up customer service and care exclaiming: “We are ecstatic.  We have not received any complaints since the install. Everyone has been professional and courteous.”

When we asked her if her guests are happy with the new network? She replied “We are so happy.”

Get your
Free Wi-Fi Evaluation Today!




We would like to introduce a new section of Connected called “Resources”. This will be a resource section with valuable downloadable information.













Can Bad Wi-Fi Ruin a Great Hotel?

When Conde’ Nast sits up and takes notice about the importance of Wi-Fi, it is quite an acknowledgment!

It’s time for us all to admit it: hotel rooms increasingly resemble each other. Crisp white sheets, power showers, and slightly baffling bedside consoles to decode before turning out the light—it’s as if there’s a master bedroom somewhere from which every designer draws inspiration. And as it grows harder than ever to differentiate my overnights, memories are often demarcated by the highs and lows—or rather speed-ups and slow-downs—of the in-room internet. Forget Michelin stars, it’s Mbps that matter.  Read More from Conde’ Nast Traveler Now>


The way hotel guests consume entertainment is changing  scoop2-image

Typically the first thing a hotel guest would do when he or she walks into the hotel room would be to turn on the TV and passively consume whatever channels were thrown at them. Today, the modern tech-savvy guests bring their entertainment with them; from tablet-based devices to accounts and memberships such as Netflix  Read More Shiri Sivan> 


scoop3-imageA startup guide to hotel e-commerce

Don’t know where to start when it comes to creating an e-commerce plan? Here’s a guide to get you on the right track. Having looked after a portfolio of hotel websites over the past five years, I have seen how fast e-commerce changes every year. There are fundamentals that never do change and that should be a part of your plan. Here are the basics: Read More from Hotel News net>



business-travelerHow Hotels Are Catering to Business Travelers in Emerging Tech Cities

More than two-thirds of American adults now own a smartphone, making mobile technology part of daily life for most travelers. As such, travelers now expect to see mobile technology integrated into their hotel experiences. Gone are the days when offering Wi-Fi at a hotel was enough; travelers are booking hotels, finding travel information, and controlling every detail of their trips from their smartphones and tablets.
Read More from Hospitality Net>

How Hotels Can Better Target the Bleisure Traveler

Have you discerned the many faces of your bleisure customers? Hotels want to intelligently target deals to the right traveler, however, people travel in different contexts, and so a single traveler profile is actually made up of multiple ‘personas’ defined by the context of their trip. A woman travelling to a business conference, for example, will want options such as express check-in; the same woman who extends her stay to enjoy some relaxation time will be thinking about the hotel spa facilities.  Read More from Hotel Technology>



clipart_of_10921_sm_2Captain Video

This month we have some more of those rather strange yet funny hotel and travel videos. Take a moment and sit back and enjoy.

24 Hours of Cupcakes 

Okay, so like I know this is not exactly about hotels, or even travel, but who doesn’t love seeing Jack Bauer in action?

The Nine Hour Capsule Hotel

Have you ever heard of a Capsule Hotel? If you are a minimalist, this might be just the right place to hang your hat. The hotel’s name refers to the idea that you’d only need to spend nine hours there. Nine Hours believe you’re better off spending as little time as possible under their roof: just one hour to get ready for bed, seven hours to sleep, and one hour to get up in the morning. This is definitely a different take on hospitality trends.

Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures!

If you ever wondered what goes on in a hotel with some rather unusual guests, book a room at Oscar’s! Oscar’s Hotel is based off a short film Liguori created alongside production company New Form Digital. The series takes place at its titular establishment, where young, ambitious manager’s assistant Oliver keeps watch over the monstrous, fantastical tenants.

Hotel Transylvania 2 – Official Trailer (HD) 

I loved Hotel Transylvania and am so looking forward to #2! This fall, Drac’s Pack is back!! Watch the brand new trailer to see Drac, Johnny, Mavis and Dennis on a whole new human / monster adventure!


Are you connected?

Editors Note:yellow-pencil

Dear Friends,

Welcome to autumn. All the leaves may not be brown and the sky certainly is not gray but it is a blast to be through summer and into a change of season. And just a short note to all you bacon lovers, you now have your own dating site at Find Bacon Love. Just sayin!

This month we visit San Diego and the historic Keating Hotel originally built in 1890. HIS installed a wireless network that supported tiered services, including basic Wi-Fi for free, and premium Wi-Fi for a fee with authenticated sign-in capabilities for guests.

Our Scoop section as usual scours the media for helpful hints and insight into the hospitality biz. 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 are thinking about the state of things wireless or not.

Larry Jaffe

Spotlight: The Keating Hotel

cropped-05IZP1MK6UAOTT2VE9GYBKBURGA93The Keating Hotel, a luxury hotel in San Diego, needed to replace its outdated and unsecured Wi-Fi infrastructure. With an increase in guests and devices competing for bandwidth, the hotel’s Wi-Fi experience became slow and inconsistent, impacting guest satisfaction.

The Keating Hotel originally provided basic, complimentary Wi-Fi for its guests and employees. The Wi-Fi network was unsecured, so anyone within range could access and use the network. With so many guests and unauthorized users simultaneously accessing the network, the hotel’s Wi-Fi experience did not meet guest expectations.

“The quality of our Wi-Fi didn’t match the boutique luxury experience we wanted for our customers,” said Keating Hotel General Manager Shane Pappas. “Connections constantly dropped and customers were complaining. Our leisure guests bring multiple mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to stream video or play online games. At the same time, our business guests required secure and uninterrupted access for email and online calls. Our Wi-Fi was so bad it had become a detriment to the guest experience.”

stanza-chicThe hotel required better network coverage and more control over who accessed its Wi-Fi and how they used it. “We needed a way to provide every single guest with high-quality Wi-Fi all of the time,” said Pappas. “It was time to invest and upgrade our wireless platform and infrastructure.”

The hotel required a wireless platform that would support tiered services, including basic Wi-Fi for free, and premium Wi-Fi for a fee. To prevent non-guests from accessing the network, the Keating Hotel needed individual and authenticated sign-in capabilities for guests. The hotel also wanted a dedicated network for its staff.

To achieve this level of control, the Keating Hotel would have to integrate its wireless services with the hotel’s property management system (PMS). “Integrating with our PMS was one of our biggest challenges and became our primary goal to allow our guests to access their own Internet connection,” said Pappas.

HIS did an assessment and evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the hotel’s current wireless network and got to work. In order to access the hotel’s PMS system the Fusion Gateway was selected.

HIS installed the new wireless platform and integrated the network with the hotel’s PMS program as well as setting up the tiered Wi-Fi to support individual guest access, hotel staff access, and business meeting group access.

6e02caf18199aecfb8aa5b7d540d9d62“The installation was seamless,” said Pappas. “We didn’t experience any outages in the process of rolling over to the new wireless networks. Our guests had no clue we were transitioning wireless networks. The entire process was quick and painless. And with the HIS support, we don’t have to worry about fixing the network if it ever goes down or if guests experience any sign-in issues.”

By integrating its property management system with the new wireless network, the hotel can now manage and quickly assign individual networks to employees, guests, and business groups to provide adequate bandwidth and network speeds.

“It’s a night and day difference from our previous network solution. We no longer have areas where Wi-Fi isn’t accessible, and thanks to the easy integration with our property management system, guest authentication is a breeze,” said Keating Hotel Marketing Manager Steven Manners. “The solution was affordable and turnkey. Since we don’t have to hire a full IT team to manage the network, we can allocate our budget and our staff to truly deliver a high-touch guest experience.”

Editor’s Note: That’s how we roll. Don’t you think your establishment could benefit from a little HIS TLC?

Get your Free Wi-Fi Evaluation Today!




We would like to introduce a new section of Connected called “Resources”. This will be a resource section with valuable downloadable information.













connectedemailimage2Streaming content pressures video-on-demand

As the demand for faster Wi-Fi and greater bandwidth continues to grow, hoteliers are finding that guestroom video-on-demand is no longer as lucrative as it once was. Online content streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, have proven a challenge for cable and satellite companies’ business strategies, but one other area is facing the chopping block because of streaming content: video-on-demand in hotel rooms. As guests want faster Wi-Fi and more bandwidth during their stays to power their own content, the demand for in-room video-on-demand is going down, hoteliers said.   Read More from Hotel News Now>

guestintelligence091515What Your Hotel Needs to Know about Guest Intelligence  

Guest Intelligence is the in-depth analysis of online reviews and guest satisfaction survey data – which includes both during- and post-stay surveys, to provide detailed insight into what guests like and dislike about their stay, and determine how your hotel can improve the guest experience. By collecting and analyzing guest feedback, you no longer have to guess which actions will improve a future guest’s stay.  Read More from Hospitality Technology> 

Blog_Header_New7-151The Internet of Things: The Impact on the Travel and Hotel Industry

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a relatively large topic that is widely circulating around these days, but I think it is very important to point out its practical implementations. According to HOSPA in 2013 there was one device connected to the internet per person on earth. They forecast that by 2020, this number will increase to 9 devices per person. Currently, 80 ‘things’ connect to the internet every second but we will see this figure rise to more than 250 ‘things’ connected to the internet every second in just the next few years. Read More from Hospitality net>


3 Major Firms Target IoT, Plus 5 Get-Started Tips

Three major tech firms made big news this month in the scramble for IoT dominance. The hospitality industry, despite its reputation as a technology laggard, has been dabbling in Internet of Things before the term got its buzz on. (For example, digital dialog between energy management systems and guest room door locks, or freezers that monitor how long a door has been open.)
Read More from Hospitality Technology>

hotel-guests-mobile-bedFour point check-list to take hotels into the hyper-connected world

It is apparently not just the preserve of small, independent hotels that are trying to capture the attention of tech-savvy guests. Until very recently, many believed the giant chains of the hospitality world were held back by their size or lack of understanding of the mobile connected of the modern traveler. Leave the cool, techie stuff to those with the ability to innovate quickly – at least, that was the perception.  Read More from Tnooz>

files.aspxHotel Hell Wants You!  

The next season of the hit TV series is looking for new hotels to feature. Will it be yours? 

Fox network’s Hotel Hell is returning for another season and the production company behind the hit series is looking for new hotels, motels and inns to bring back to life for the television series starring well known chef and personality Gordon Ramsay. Check out one of the videos below.  Read More from Hotel Interactive>


clipart_of_10921_sm_2Captain Video

This month we have some more of those rather strange yet funny hotel and travel videos. Take a moment and sit back and enjoy.

Air France Ad Captures Google’s Top Travel Brand Video Of 2015

According to Google Air France’s ad is more popular than any other video from any other travel company so far in 2015. More than 50 million people have viewed the video on YouTube.

Hotel Hell Season 2 Episode 5 Calumet Inn

The once-historic hotel is being run by two spoilt sisters, Rina and Vanda Smrkovski, who received it as a gift from their father. However, the sisters are not up to running to hotel, and blame all of their shortcomings on everything except themselves, including the hard working staff. Ramsay gives them several options: shut down the hotel, sell it, or hand over its operations to a proper general manager. The sisters choose the latter and Ramsay helps improve staff and visitor morale, as well as the hotel and restaurant. He also sends the sisters away to grow up.

These Are the World’s 9 Best High-Tech Hotels

vid_imageWhen you stay at the futuristic hotels of the 21st century, you’re not just away from home, you’re in an alternate reality that includes check-in kiosks, holographs, and infrared sensors that can control literally everything. How far away are we from a world where hotels are totally digital, and robots run reception and tend bar? Well, the revolution has already begun.



Experience the Power of a Bookbook™

Nothing to do with the hospitality industry but this is oh so clever video from Ikea. “At only 8mm thin, and weighing in at less than 400g, the 2015 IKEA Catalogue comes pre-installed with thousands of home furnishing ideas.


July Connected – Spotlight: Monetizing Wi-Fi

Editors Note:yellow-pencil

Greetings Folks,

Hard to believe it is already July. This year has felt like one of those high speed bullet trains. It seems like it was just New Years.

This month we are discussing that all important subject of money as in how to monetize your Wi-Fi network when you have free Wi-Fi. Yes, I know that sounds oxymoronic, but read the article and you may be surprised, or pleased, or both. Check out this month’s Spotlight: Monetizing Wi-Fi!

We just completed our annual guest/hotelier Wi-Fi study. For appropriate reason we call it “An Intimate Look at Hospitality Wi-Fi: A Study of Guests and Hoteliers.” We really dug into the psyche of guests as regards to their needs and wants of wireless Internet access. See below for a glimpse at the study and a link for you to download it.

Our Scoop section as usual scours the media for helpful hints and insight into the hospitality biz. We close with some fun vids we have curated just for you.

If you are interested in upgrading your Wi-Fi network, we have a new services brochure. If you would like our BeyondTV Brochure, our Wireless Streaming Study, or info on Fusion Gateways they are just a click away.

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.

Larry Jaffe

Spotlight: Monetizing Wi-Fi

monetizing_wifiIn survey after survey and study after study, free Wi-Fi is the most wanted and needed amenity. This demand is so strong that according to our recent study, 72% of the guests we surveyed declared that not having free Wi-Fi is a deal breaker when choosing a hotel. There is no question that free Wi-Fi is here to stay, but how are hoteliers going to keep up with the demand for more and more bandwidth. Guests travel with smart phones, tablets, laptops and they expect to hook up to your wireless network with all these devices. Put a family in the room and usage multiplies rapidly.

Not only do guests expect top notch wireless connectivity available 24/7, they expect it to be fast! However we all know faster internet means more cost to the Hotel. Who should pay for this? The guest or the hotel?

Where is all this bandwidth going to come from and how do you put all these guests and their families and their devices online? Hotels are already investing in a Wi-Fi infrastructure but now have to increase bandwidth to allow for video and music streaming, etc. It is only fair for a guest to expect reasonably good quality free Wi-Fi in order to access email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. However when it comes to guests watching Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube in crystal clear HD quality; it’s also fair that there should be a cost for this type of premium access.

Think about it, hotels are already taking a hit with video on demand not being much in demand. Are they now supposed to pay for the bandwidth of the upstart (video streaming) that is replacing their in-room entertainment revenue source? Moreover, paid Wi-Fi proved to be very lucrative and was a significant return on investment for the hotelier. So now what?

The Advent of Tiered Bandwidth

iStock_000013004854XSmallNow that free Wi-Fi is an intrinsic part of doing business, hoteliers have been searching for another means of both recouping their investment yet still delivering an exemplary service that keeps the guests happy and their craving for bandwidth satisfied. In our recent study, 53% of the guests surveyed said they would be willing to pay an additional nominal fee for the increased speed and bandwidth. The sweet spot for hoteliers was $4.99. By implementing a tiered offering, guests who do not require increased bandwidth and are perfectly happy with the free Wi-Fi that the hotel offers, are not penalized by having to pay for it. Those guests who require greater bandwidth for streaming content or transferring larger files would simply pay an upcharge. This is not unlike consumer offerings from cable companies that upcharge you if you want faster access.

This premium service would help on the hotel’s ROI and pay for the infrastructure. Accordingly, it becomes very simple for the hotel and the guests. With Tiered Bandwidth, their basic internet browsing is free but if they should require additional bandwidth, guests would be able to purchase “Enhanced High Speed Internet.” In this way, everyone gets the bandwidth they need, without bringing down the hotel’s network.

Design & Installation

The more Internet-centric we become, obviously, the more bandwidth. Hoteliers and installers need to take this growing need into consideration and put these forecasted requirements into the design, whether it be a new installation or an upgrade. One of the determining factors is the Wi-Fi Access Point. Guests share the bandwidth from the AP they are using. The hotel, along with the installer need to determine how much bandwidth is needed by how many guests thus determining how many Access Points are necessary.

The Ultimate Gateway

A009_C092_0101CQThe perfect tool for implementing tiered bandwidth is our Fusion Gateway (www.fusiongateways.com). The device enables hotels to be able to bill their guests for tiered levels of access. Additionally, there is direct credit card integration with over 40 different merchant gateways, PMS integration using multiple PMS vendors and prepaid access cards. The Fusion gateway allows bandwidth tiers, and failover so there is “Always On” WIFI.

The Great Differentiator

Hoteliers will find that initiating a robust state-of-the-art WIFI system is a necessity in today and tomorrow’s marketplace. It is a major differentiator in separating out your establishment from the competition. When you can deliver seamless connectivity to your guests that enables them to rapidly logon to the network and of course stay on it, while delivering plenty of bandwidth and 24/7 guest support, you will have the happiest of guests. They will write good reviews and tell their friends about your hotel.

With the proliferation of internet-enabled devices rapidly increasing each year, tiered bandwidth makes the most sense for both monetizing the network as well as keeping guests happy.

New Study Highlights User Wi-Fi Desires


Click Here To Get Your Copy

In order to keep our finger on the guest pulse, we recently conducted a survey of over 500 hotel guests to determine how significant a role Wi-Fi was in their travels. Then to understand the hotelier side, we surveyed some 200 hoteliers to get their input on this all important amenity.

We wanted to know what devices guests carried, their Internet habits and desires and what they needed as well as wanted from their digital hospitality experience. This included the importance of streaming for guests with its native need for increasing bandwidth, which of course leads us to a more robust Wi-Fi network.

At the core of today’s guest experience is connectivity and the quality of that connection. Guests no longer are stationery with their laptops. They have become moving targets with their smartphones, tablets and coming advances in smartwear. This is not your daddy’s Wi-Fi. What was workable two years ago is no longer acceptable. Antiquated Wi-Fi networks account for the majority of today’s user complaints with dropped, weak or inconsistent signals.


Should every consumer product be able to communicate with a smartphone?

Here’s a very interesting article on the Internet of Things…

It started with home appliances, but this year has seen the idea of “smart” consumer products extend to soccer balls and liquor bottles as the technology evolves and promises more seamless engagement opportunities for product marketers than was previously available.  Read More from Hotel News Now>

GBTA Study Reveals Business Travel Trends, Attitudes and Pain Points

630x355“A massive technological transformation is changing the face of business travel,” said GBTA Foundation vice president Joseph Bates in a statement. “At the heart of this radical disruption is Wi-Fi, which has become the indispensable technology for travelers. Wi-Fi and mobile technologies allow travelers to stay connected whether in their hotel rooms, at the airport, or at 30,000 feet. This transformation will only accelerate, and business travelers will demand always-on connectivity and mobile applications that allow them to stay in touch 24/7.” Read More from Travel Pulse> 

Hotels Gearing Up for Wearable Technology

dick-tracy-smartwatchDick Tracy has nothing on today’s smart watches

Technology used to be considered impersonal. You know, the idea of the “robotic mind,” no human interaction. But, the reality is technology is actually very personal and becoming more so by the day. Devices are so in sync with their users, they’ve become the personal secretaries to the masses. This is even more true when talking connected wearables. Read More from Hotel Business>


The History of Wearable Technology – Past, Present and Future

pulsar-calculator-watch-e1437408610748What is wearable technology, where does it come from, who invented the wearable technology, what is the future of wearable technology? These are questions we are asked every day. The words “wearable technology” instantly make most people imagine a fitness tracker, a smartwatch or google glasses.
Read More from WT VOX>

BYOT – Now you have free Wi-Fi, do you have plans for free car charging?

Tesla-600-300x300Got Tesla?

In the continual challenge to keep pace with guests BYOT, is free car charging the next addition to the value-add/customer expectation? Three Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® properties in California and Washington State are setting new standards in sustainability, partnering with Tesla Motors, to offer the Tesla Destination Charging Program for guests with electric vehicles. Read More from eHotelier>

A Road Map to Combating Human Trafficking

TraffickingThe hospitality industry is doing its part to fight slavery

The numbers are simply staggering. According to the International Labor Organization, there are currently more than 20 million victims of human trafficking globally, roughly 4.5 million of which are forced into sexual exploitation. Even more tragic, children are often the victims of sex trafficking; in fact, the average age of entry into the sex trade for girls is 12 to 14 years old. As hard as it is to imagine, this problem is not relegated to far-off places on the other side of the globe—human trafficking, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children, is a very real and widespread issue here in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that as many as 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation each year. In response, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed broad bipartisan legislation this year to help victims and to crack down on perpetrators of this heinous crime. Read More from Lodging Magazine>

clipart_of_10921_sm_2Captain Video

This month we have some more of those rather strange yet funny hotel videos. Take a moment and sit back and enjoy.

Imagine a world without the World Wide Web

An amusing glimpse of the world without the Web.

It is 1989. Tim Berners-Lee, whilst working at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, has an idea to create something called the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web, over the course of the following 26 years has turned countless facets of everyday life, be it business or personal, on its head. The travel industry, as we all know, is one of a string of industry sectors to find itself operating in a fundamentally different way because of the advent of the web. Search engines, online travel agencies, metasearch, supplier brand websites, etc. Where would we be without them now? But consider what modern life would be like if Berners-Lee had not followed through on his idea. Check out the video.

Short, Funny, but a Little Frightening

Very funny short film about a couple who visit the Pier Hotel Limerick and are treated to a few nice surprises! Their tag line at the end: Service so good, you want to take it home with you.


Expedia has a new series of commercials that kind of funky and humorous.

Jet Blue Flight Etiquette Videos

Jet Blue has this crazy set etiquette videos that have to produce at least a chuckle. Enjoy them at your own risk.  They cover everything from how not to nap on a plane, to exiting and everything in between.


June Connected

yellow-pencilBandwidth – Editor’s Note

Yes it is June! HITEC is just around the corner and we hope you will be joining us there. Please come by Booth #812 and swipe your card. You just might win yourself one of those hot new Apple Watches. We will be demonstrating the hot hot hot BeyondTV Wireless Streaming System as well as providing consultation on creating a robust Wi-Fi network.

This month we spent some time with Matt Willis, Assistant General Manager, of Larkspur Landing in Folsom, California. Larkspur is part of a family of eleven all-suite hotels conveniently located in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. They specialize in extended stay guests and have some special needs in their Wi-Fi networks.

If you are interested in upgrading your Wi-Fi network, download our new services brochure. If you would like our BeyondTV Brochure, our Wireless Streaming Study, or info on Fusion Gateways they are just a click away.

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.

Larry Jaffe

HITEC Expo – World’s Largest Hospitality Technology Show


June 15-18, Austin, Texas – Booth 812

Every year hospitality and technology professionals converge at HITEC and this year promises to be better than ever. Hotel Internet Services installs uncompromising Wi-Fi networks to the hospitality industry. Simultaneously, our Fusion Gateways are setting new standards. Additionally, we recently introduced the revolutionary in-room entertainment system – BeyondTV.

  • The BeyondTV Wireless Streaming Player is the first fully integrated hospitality streaming product on the market today, enabling the guest to have a complete in-home entertainment solution right in their hotel room. What Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV bring to the home, guests can now recreate in their hotel room with the added benefit of being able to avail themselves to hotel amenities and services. BeyondTV allows today’s travelers to view their own content on the TV whether it be Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. BeyondTV represents a major milestone in in-room entertainment.
  • Fusion Gateways enables you to combine multiple Internet pipelines to satisfy the ever-increasing bandwidth demand and achieve maximum utilization of each feed thanks to our advanced bandwidth aggregation and load balancing mechanism.

You don’t want to miss this! Make sure you stop by booth 812 and you might win an Apple Watch! Just scan your card.

Schedule a Demo>


Installation Spotlight

Main entranceWe recently spoke to Matt Willis, Assistant General Manager, of Larkspur Landing in Folsom, California. Larkspur Landing is a collection of eleven extended stay, all-suite hotels, conveniently located in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The hotel is located near Sacramento, capitol of California. They offer many amenities for the extended stay traveler including free Internet service. Hotel Internet Services was contracted to upgrade their existing network.

As an extended stay establishment, providing services for their guests is a little more intricate than for the usual business traveler. This is especially the case when it comes to Internet access where guests, because of the duration of their stay are much more dependent upon the establishment’s Wi-Fi.

Here’s Matt’s take on it:

“In a transient hotel where people are only staying one night or two at the most, I think there is always that thought that I’m leaving in a day so it isn’t a huge deal.  At our hotel, we have people stay with us for weeks, months, even years at a time.  For them, they need the internet to be fast and reliable daily to maintain a normal working and personal lifestyle.  Of course, any hotel can have a demanding guest, regardless of length of stay.  However, if a guest is going to come stay with us for a month and they aren’t impressed or wowed right off the bat, they could possibly check out early and we could lose a month’s worth of revenue.  Things have to go just right to maintain a longer term guest in my opinion.”

Photo_-33Wi-Fi is provided throughout Larkspur Landing. They firmly believe that guest devices should be able to access the Internet from anywhere on the hotel grounds, this includes guest rooms of course, the lobby, and the business center. Prior to the recent upgrade, they were experiencing connectivity and speed issues. This was affecting their guests more than anything else.

In order to rectify this situation and optimize their wireless network, HIS came up with a game plan that would make the guests and the hotel happy. We upgraded their existing Ruckus WAPs to 802.11AC, and then performed a Zone Director 1200 upgrade. APs were installed on all the floors in the hallways outside various rooms to provide maximum coverage. A new Fusion A200 was installed to complete the job. We also got Larkspur on a web power switch so that we can reboot their equipment remotely should there be a problem. This provides us with the ability to restart the system ourselves. This means we don’t have to go through the onerous task of trying to find an untrained hotel staff member and walk them through it. The web power switch (www.webpowerswitch.com) is the perfect solution for our maintenance team.

We asked Matt what he considers to be the most important factors in having superlative Wi-Fi available to his guests.Hotel lobby (Medium)

“Everyone wants to stay connected. If service goes down or draws to a halt because of low speed, guests will say something about it. It’s all about functionality and speed. With the upgrade, we’ve had no outages and no dramatic slowdowns. This has contributed to creating a great guest experience. The goal of our hotel is a home away from home atmosphere and a large part of that is matching or exceeding what a guest is used to in their own home. With the internet that can be a real challenge, but HIS knew exactly what equipment was needed and how best to install it. The gentlemen who came to do the work were true professionals. They were quick and efficient and the impact to our guests was minimal.”

According to Matt, the installation was a big success and guest satisfaction surveys have shown a big improvement in Internet expectations and he could not be happier with this upgrade. He appreciated the amount of care and consideration HIS put into the endeavor.

“We have had many long term guests stay with us and fortunately some of them were here before the upgrade and after the upgrade. They were able to give firsthand experience to just how much of an improvement this was. Our survey scores have been up and no one has said anything about the Internet going down. It’s truly a big deal to us and our guests.

“It’s one thing to provide a great product, but it’s a completely different challenge to provide a service that equals such a product. The fact that you want all of this feedback, good or bad, shows me that you care about your customers even after the job is done. That is true customer care.”

There you have it! Another successful installation from Hotel Internet Services where successfully connecting people up is our job!



11 factors for successful Wi-Fi implementation

Galen Collins from Hotel News Now has put together a great article regarding Wi-Fi implementation.shutterstock_141509308-[Converted]

Survey after survey has identified Wi-Fi as an important priority among travelers. Hotel Wi-Fi networks, however, are often plagued by various service issues—such as dead zones, sudden disconnects, slow speeds, rejected connection requests and jitter—and are unable to meet the coverage, performance and capacity needs of hotels. The financial implications for poor Wi-Fi service are profound. Growing hotel guest broadband consumption also is making long-range technology and infrastructure planning difficult. Read More>


The State of the Wi-Fi: a Look at Hotel Internet in 2015

hotelwifi0515-graphicThe renowned Travel & Leisure Magazine gives its take of hotel Wi-Fi.

After years of pressure from disgruntled guests over Wi-Fi charges, hotels are coming around. In the past year, nearly every major brand that was still charging for Internet access has done away with basic fees—either for all guests (bravo, Hyatt) or for loyalty-program members (Hilton, InterContinental, Marriott, Starwood). Read More>




Hotel Wi-Fi Focus: Access & Security

Tammy Mastroberte, Contributing Editor of Hospitality Technology Magazine has penned an interesting article on hotel Wi-Fi as well.PW0515

When it comes to guest satisfaction in the hotel industry, quality, reliable and accessible Internet access is a top priority. Guests are often traveling with multiple Wi-Fi devices (with hotels reporting anywhere from 3 to 5 devices on average), and consumption continues to increase. Hyatt Place recently found in a guest survey that free Wi-Fi was the top amenity searched for when choosing a hotel. Hotels are responding by adding more bandwidth: according to Hospitality Technology’s 2015 Lodging Technology Study, 43% of hotels will boost the bandwidth available to public spaces over the next 18 months, and one-third will upgrade bandwidth inside the guestroom. Read More>


Captain Video

This month we have some more of those rather strange yet funny hotel videos. Take a moment and sit back and enjoy.




– So you want to be a hotelier?  – Here’s an amusing spoof about the roles and situations in the hotel industry.  YoungHotelier.com seems to have had a good time putting this one together.


Americans in Paris – Ahhh the thought of Paris brings smiles and wondrous memories. In this video Kevin and Janice live their romantic dreams as they enjoy the city until…


Great Story – For a one minute video, the hero in this story somehow manages to go through a lot from terrorists chasing him through the forest (plenty of AK 47s), hiding from them in a high-hide, getting his hiding place sawn through by a Logger, to find himself hugging the sawn log as he falls off a waterfall. I won’t spoil the end. 🙂