Real-time communications are at the core of networking challenges facing hospitality providers today. The Internet has revolutionized how mobile workforces access information while away from the office, leveraging bandwidth intensive services like unified communications (UC), video calls and streaming.
To meet this need, hospitality providers began offering their customers high-speed Internet access (HSIA) in guest rooms a few years ago. Mobile workers grew accustomed to this service, quickly setting a new level of expectation for their stays. Today, Internet access might even be considered as critical as plumbing and electricity in guest requirement priorities. To keep up with that demand and deliver reliable HSIA under the pressures of real-time communications, hundreds of properties have come to rely on SD-WAN Solutions.
SD-WAN: Affordable, Efficient HSIA
These days, if an Internet link that serves guests fails, it could result in a loss of guest loyalty and hotel revenues. Business travelers have a critical need to connect to corporate applications such as email, VPN, shared documents and internal Web applications. Also, with new Internet-based applications like VoIP, SkypeTM, NetflixTM, BitTorrentTM and YouTubeTM, user demand for existing bandwidth is increasing, and existing links can quickly become oversaturated.
SD-WAN solutions like Martello’s Elfiq Networks provide flexible, affordable and efficient management of multiple Internet links. These solutions address the network performance challenges of real-time communications, transforming the guest experience. Using Internet links from multiple sources on multiple technologies, Internet access uptime can reach 99.999%, ensuring connectivity for demanding business customers and guaranteeing future business for hotels.
There is an overall cost reduction by removing some of the more expensive links, such as T1’s, and combining them with low-cost DSL or cable modems. Properties can deliver on the promise of constant and reliable Internet access while reducing monthly operating costs.
Unified Communications (UC) Performance Management: Reliable Communications Around the Clock
Managing the performance of UC systems on networks can be challenging in the 24/7 world of hospitality. Dropped voice calls, delay or echo can disrupt both employee and guest communication, negatively impacting the guest experience. The hospitality industry needs a solution that monitors and manages the performance of UC systems, reporting on key UC metrics such as voice quality, delay, jitter and packet loss. Martello’s Vantage suite includes UC Network Health Testing and a network site qualification tool called UCScore, ensuring that hospitality providers can prevent, detect and address network problems impacting UC performance, and have them resolved before they can impact the guest experience.
As guest demand continues to grow for the delivery of real-time communications, the hospitality industry is rising to the occasion. Hospitality providers are sourcing out solutions that meet the needs of guests and offer a differentiator to hotels in a crowded market. Using link aggregation and SD-WAN technologies, hotel operators are able to efficiently monitor and maintain a state-of-the art network while at the same time saving time on the cost of bandwidth. By pairing that solution with performance management software, hotels can truly transform the guest experience by optimizing real-time traffic such as VoIP.
Looking for more? See how the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group solved their bandwidth challenges.