Cloud 5's Five Trends that Will Shape Hotel Investment in Communication Networks in 2017

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Tips for Re-Designing Hotel Communications to Satisfy the “Always-Connected” Millennial Guest

When planning for the new year, hoteliers should consider how to architect efficient, cost-effective communications networks

In 2017, hotels will continue to have their communications networks shaped by the preferences of today’s always-connected guest - integrating Private LANs, Hotspot 2.0, Seamless In-Room Automation, Bandwidth Orchestration, and Data Mining and Analytics, to accommodate the growing dependency of millennial travelers on their personal devices.

The trends were identified by Cloud5, which provides advanced cloud-based data and voice solutions for more than 4,000 hotels touching millions of users - including end-to-end High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA), converged networks, cloud PBX/VOIP, network design and WAN/LAN management, and contact centers.

“Working with thousands of hotels, we have a unique perspective on what is driving communications investment – and what is likely to lead in the future,” said Mark Holzberg, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Cloud5. “The dominant theme in 2017 will continue to be today’s millennial traveler - the ‘always-connected guest,’ and the demands the traveler brings in a new era of mobile communications.”

When planning for the new year, hoteliers should consider how to architect efficient, cost-effective communications networks that integrate these features:

1.    Personal Area Networks (PANs) – Guest rooms are evolving to become more like home technology environments, with networks supporting a wide range of personal devices – enabling personalized, efficient connectivity. That means networks must be organized around the individual “just like home,” allowing guests to interconnect different devices over Wi-Fi, while providing security to the hotel network. For 2017, it’s all about making it personal!            

2.    Hotspot 2.0 – Seamless connection to the Internet and the guest’s most popular data/video applications are key, to ensure guest satisfaction and instill loyalty by delivering a simplified connectivity experience. The goal is to provide the same level of seamless automation, on property, that a guest experiences when roaming with her cellphone. Leveraging the hotel network to deliver a familiar experience of immediate access to apps such as Facebook or Instagram, as well as video streaming on Netflix or HBO, across all guest devices. Allowing guests to move seamlessly between devices – phone, tablet, and computer – with ease is what the millennial guest expects during a hotel stay.

3.    Seamless Authentication and Integration to Personal Devices – No surprise, but today’s generation of travelers wants one step login or authentication when they arrive on property. Since guests would rather use their own mobile devices, the hotels must evolve new solutions that integrate one step access to communicate with hotel staff and control the stay experience. This functionality enables guests to engage when and how they want to – by text, by phone call or by direct control of room devices, including thermostat, door locks, or guestroom phone. Millennial guests want to communicate from anywhere on property, all through their own mobile devices, controlling their stay experience from requesting late check out, ordering drinks by the pool, or requesting extra towels for the room. It’s the first step to preparing the way for IoT functionality for the hospitality industry.

4.    Bandwidth Orchestration – Today more than ever, hotels need to be able to control and manage property-wide bandwidth, utilizing existing circuits in concert with one another for optimal performance, a process enabled by new Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions. Hotels must control ever-increasing bandwidth costs, while meeting guest expectations at the same time. SD WAN helps hoteliers get the most value from the communications lines a hotel already has in place to minimize costs while providing a great guest experience.    

5.    Data Mining and Analytics – Understanding how guests interact with your hotel’s technology is critical to improving the guest overall experience. Innovative network architecture and solutions from mature service providers can empower hoteliers to correlate, visualize, and utilize this data in new ways that can shape and enhance your guests’ stay- and electing the right partner to manage your network, interpret the data and make recommendations to improve the experience and optimize cost, will make all the difference in 2017.                                            

Chris Wieland, Chief Technology Officer at Cloud5, said, “These trends reflect what’s here now and coming next in hotel communications, and indicate how innovation can be harnessed to enhance guest satisfaction – without building cost upon cost. Responding to the new needs of today’s traveler, we’re happy to partner with hotels to generate solutions that evolve, and work – for guests as well as the hotels that host them.”

Cloud5 provides a full range of cloud-based solutions hospitality to manage voice and data networks cost effectively while optimizing guest service.

For more information about Cloud5’s Solutions, visit http://www.cloud5.com, or call 877.241.2516.

About Cloud5 Communications

Cloud5 Communications simplifies complex networking and support for the hotel industry. It delivers a comprehensive user-friendly platform that brings together advanced cloud-based data and voice solutions, including end-to-end High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA), converged networks, cloud PBX/VOIP, network design and WAN/LAN management, as well as contact centers, for more than 4,000 hotels touching millions of users worldwide. The rapidly growing company has more than 500 employees worldwide with its headquarters in Chicago. Visit http://www.cloud5.com for more information.

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Michael Frenkel
Cloud5
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