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Hotel Technology Do's and Don'ts

Category: Hotels, Posted:04 May 2013 | 14:32 pm

In our latest installment from hotel tech guru Terence Ronson from Pertlink in Hong Kong the following is a list of IT Do's which is published with his permission –
1. Use digital signage instead of printed posters
2. Put some free bottles of water in the mini bar so that they are nice and cool
3. Check all the peep holes on guest room doors to make sure they are secure and the right way round
4. Mount irons on wall brackets in closets instead of placing them on the floor or shelves
5. Clearly display broadband charges, if your hotel has any and have a sign-on page if your Government so requires it
6. Make it easy to switch off all lights in the Guestroom from the bed – especially the bathroom and Vestibule lights
7. Make it easy to plug in a hairdryer, shaver, or electric toothbrush in the bathroom
8. Make the lighting in the bathroom bright enough for doing makeup – ask a Woman to check it
9. Have an illuminated make-up mirror in the bathroom
10. Have universal power sockets with USB power sockets easily available for guest-use in public areas, especially Lobby Lounges, Dining areas, Club Lounges and Poolside – also have international adaptors handy
11. Have an emergency torch/flashlight in the guest room
12. Offer free boarding pass printing in Business centers
13. Provide Apple computers in the business center, and not just Window's PC's
14. Have an Apple Notebook power adaptor available for a guest to borrow in case they accidentally forget theirs at home.
Same applies to iPhone/iPod, Blackberries and other popular devices.
15. Use wireless mice at the Front Desk
16. Have a smartphone compliant version of your hotel data file available for download on your website at the same time make sure your website is mobile compliant
17. Work with your system providers so that they produce eForms and not printed reports – especially Registration cards and Folios
18. Make sure excess power and data and power cables are neatly tied, or cut to the right length. If that is not possible, cover them somehow
19. Have a simple but easy to read digital clock in the bathroom
20. Encourage staff to bring laptops or Tablets to meetings and use them for note taking and not use paper pads
21. Have easily accessible universal power sockets with USB power sockets in Meeting rooms as more and more people bring tech with them and need power
22. Have plenty of Universal power sockets with USB power sockets by the Guestroom desk, or if not possible, place a small power bar in the desk drawer complete with adaptor
23. Have a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray lending library if you have such a player in the Guestroom
24. Have your Concierge know where is the Apple Service Center and also other popular brands like IBM, DELL, Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, HTC and Blackberry
25. Have a person or system to monitor social networking sites for mentions about your hotel and respond appropriately and in a timely manner
26. Have competent front line staff on-property who can deal with Guest TECH queries – make sure they have the requisite social and interpersonal skills as well
27. Monitor what is written about your Hotel on Social networking sites like Trip Advisor
28. Have easily accessible empty power sockets at the LEFT and RIGHT side of the bed – for Guest use only – with USB power sockets not needing adaptors
29. Realize that when you buy technology – you need a support agreement as well – and this often doubles the Tech cost over 4-5 years
30. Put a notice on your HSIA sign-up screen that your government may block access to certain websites and internet services if they apply to you. Have your IT People know how to workaround this if the Guest asks
31. Check your TV channel reception from time to time and make sure it's nice and clear
32. Make sure the electronic door lock on the guest room door closes quickly when the door shuts
33. Check the speed, noise and effectiveness of the air-con fan coil in the guest room
34. Print your IM address on your Business card like a Skype ID – maybe even use a QR code
35. Put an internet browsing station in the Staff Canteen for Staff to check email during breaks
36. Encourage your Guests to also perform a virtual Check-in to such sites as Facebook and Foursquare when they physically Check-in to your establishment
37. Get your technology vendors to update you twice a year on their roadmap – maybe under NDA
38. Add CCTV cameras inside your Data Center – one that is directed to the server racks and the other, to the entrance door
39. Use electronic locks on your Server racks – not just metal keys
40. Remember that guest's trust their mobile phones to wake them up – more than they do your wake-up call service
41. Perform regular complete system and data backups and store them off-site
42. Consider placing a 'dock extender' cable into the cable pack that you may be placing in your rooms so that a Guest can connect an iPad to the iPod/iPhone dock you are providing
43. Have iPhone 5 adaptors on hand
44. Have staff who do in-room check-in, offer to help guests connect their computer to the HSIA/Wi-Fi as well as make them an Espresso should you have such a machine in the room
45. Allow guest's to tailor make their fruit basket if you plan to give them one – not everyone likes green apples and pears – same goes for turndown amenity – not everyone wants or can eat chocolates or sweet items
46. Offer ePostcards from your website
47. Have a shelf in the toilet cubicle where guest's can place their mobile phone/Tablet and maybe a book
48. Work in your own guestroom from time to time and see how comfortable and practical it is – especially the height of the
chair in relation to the desk
49. Use a bio-metric reader or PIN pad for staff entrance/egress that is linked to the Time and Attendance/Payroll System
50. Make sure the light inside the wardrobe does switch off when the door is closed
51. Consider [carefully] about moving some of your IT Services to the Cloud – make sure you fully understand the small print on the SLA (Service Level Agreement) about 'uptime', 'data ownership' and 'migration' from property based systems – also data privacy and security issues
52. Make sure your room safe is bolted down to a floor or wall and cannot be easily removed
53. Monitor the TV volume in the guest room so that it can go down very low and not too high. Some guests like to leave the TV on all night but at a very low background volume
54. Have a very low nightlight in the bathroom/toilet
55. Deploy the very best cabling backbone you can
56. Allow Guests of Residential Conferences to use the same LOGIN ID and Password that they use in the Guestroom for access to the WI-FI in the Meeting Room – don't make them pay or Log-in twice
57. Encourage Guests to communicate with your Hotel through popular Social Networking sites such as Facebook and
Twitter
58. Have air-conditioning auto cut-off in the Guest room if balcony doors are left open
59. Consider using Motion/Presence [PIR] detectors rather than key cards to control energy in-room
60. Check from time to time in-the-floor power sockets – the metal type which are supposed to lift up when the clip if flicked – most often they stick after a while having been covered with floor polish and dust
61. Talk to your HSIA/Wi-Fi provider about 'roaming agreements' and having pass-thru services to such membership services as Boingo and iPass
62. Consider having a secure place where Guests can deposit their valuables and gadgets at the poolside or beach if they want to take a dip in the pool or use the sauna
63. Have Wi-Fi at the poolside and Beach
64. Test your [magnetic] key cards to see if they de-magnetize when placed next to a mobile phone – often they do and is a great inconvenience to the guest as well as an operational chore
65. Encourage Guest contact staff to attach VCF files in emails
66. Consider using QR codes on your printed materials and special e-Coupon offers
67. Put your Hotel onto Skype and encourage that as a method of communication with Guests
68. Recycle used laser toner cartridges
69. Think about installing a 3G mobile hotspot in the Airport Limo so the Guest can use the service to/from the airport
70. Have your IT team join such organizations as HFTP and HTNG so that they keep up to date with Hotel Technology – you should also sponsor them as well as have them attend various Conferences and Exhibitions
71. Consider carefully all the implications of Cloud Computing to include: Loss of connection, Data Security and Data Privacy
72. Looking into MDM – Mobile Device Management if such devices are connected to your network and/or supplied by you
73. Regularly check and install Service Packs and software upgrades

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