WiFi & Managed HSIA
Core to every hotel business is a robust and cost effective guest wired/wireless network and internet service. With High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) now a key differentiator for the majority of the travelling public in their choice of hotel accommodation, htm have developed a wealth of experience and knowledge surrounding this key hotel technology in order to provide consultancy, superb service and on-going 24/7 guest & hotel support.
The big change in recent times is the understanding that this WiFi network can now be used as a replacement for DECT systems (Voice) and this means that a different set of rules apply when constructing a new WiFi network, an area that traditional WiFi installers in hospitality could struggle to understand. Rather than spend money on maintaining old DECT systems, why not spend this money on improving WiFi and then using Smartphones or modern WiFi Cordless phones to roam the building. Samsung, for example, has perfected a solution for using WiFi when inside the building and seamlessly transferring to the GSM network as you walk out of the building…see our section on “Wireless Voice / Mobility”.
Working with partners that offer tried and tested products as well those pushing the innovation boundaries, htm are well-equipped to design and offer a solution, developed with a robust suite of products.
From the design of a solution to its delivery, you can have peace of mind in htm’s engineering and project team to help your business needs. With a decade of experience in wireless technologies, we have a capability to understand wireless coverage across the most challenging of environments. Our skill in the design and placement of access points to maximize coverage and to ensure maximum throughput of data has been a key factor in our high client retention over many years. This encompasses the use of sophisticated WiFi survey planning software to produce heat-maps of WiFi coverage.
Any guest wireless service relies on a number of key factors, these being Network, Internet Gateway & Access Point Technology, as well as guest support & on-site services.
At htm we have a longstanding relationship with ANTlabs for their leading Internet Gateway product (InnGate). Our decision to use this as a core portfolio item has been part of our wireless solution for many years. With the need for greater flexibility to “dynamically deliver” a hotel’s incoming internet bandwidth and to then “dynamically deliver” guaranteed levels of bandwidth for key areas or clients, only gateway products that have a high Quality of Service (QoS) capability will be able to deliver this. ANTlabs also have an optional Multi Quality of Service module that allows for the ultimate in bandwidth allocation. This allows for some guests to be given “Guaranteed” levels of bandwidth.
Working with each client, we design and implement a guest portal page, reflecting their brand and property, allowing each guest to connect via a chosen method whether complementary or through chargeable means with the addition of guaranteed or fixed bandwidth options.
Central to htm’s relationship with our clients is the support that we deliver for each of their customers across each of their properties. Using one of the largest hospitality call centres in the world, equipped with call centre technology to take guest enquires 24/7 with additional 2nd & 3rd line UK support for more complex guest issues, htm have all aspects of support covered, including the ability to provide hotels with call recordings and a multitude of reporting tools. Using our core service skills and site information, our agents can help guests resolve local technology issues in a speedy fashion to ensure guest satisfaction.
When an issue requires on-site support, all our engineers are multi-skilled in their capacity to resolve both voice & data technical problems. Depending on the service contract chosen, htm can be on site in 4 hours attending to issues and keeping site contacts informed of progress and resolution. htm take service seriously and have made significant investment in the development of a Client Dashboard which allows each of our clients to view their site/s to see current availability, bandwidth usage and revenues generated. Please ask us for a demonstration of this service offering.
htm are here to specify, evaluate with you, then install, support and provide future technology advice so you stay at the front of your guests’ minds when they seek to book with you next.
Telephony & Call Accounting Solutions
Despite the growth of mobile traffic in both business and everyday life, fixed telephony and telephone systems are still a core requirement for hoteliers. From call centre solutions, booking environments, and operator positions through to IP admin telephones and front of house devices, htm have partnered with a selection of vendors that offer best of breed technology in this area.
htm install phone systems and related telephony products from Samsung and Mitel, along with their system telephones and integrated voicemail platforms. htm has taken its time to choose the right partners, using many years technical and customer support experience to develop the product portfolio and this is constantly evolving, hence our most recent exciting partner status with Samsung.
The evolution of technology in hotels and businesses, big and small, has seen a dramatic move to replacing aging PBX (or PABX) systems with new systems which rely on IP (internet protocol) technologies such as VoIP or SIP trunking. This move is driven by both functionality and cost and at htm we’ve already helped customers embrace these technology challenges and we are here to help you with your own migration path. From understanding a current situation, its positives and negatives, through to ascertaining aspirations and new requirements in a new voice platform. Finally, any of these latest solutions can be provided as either a cloud-based managed service or a traditional installation, or a combination of both.
Our relationship with Mitel dates back over 20 years and we value the reliability of the hardware and the UK-based support that our engineers receive. Mitel’s hardware and software solutions are all highly professional and it is for this reason that Mitel has succeeded with so many UK hoteliers – its Hotel-specific software features, powerful screen-based operator consoles and intuitive IP Featurephones for Administrative staff all add up to form a sensible telephony solution for a hotelier.
World-renowned for their consumer technology, htm have recently partnered with Samsung as we believe they offer a really new approach to communications, one that is built around the way people use their mobile devices. Integrated telephony & voice, mobility & WiFi and a wealth of features and benefits designed as a unified platform of possibilities. The big difference is that it is all so easy to use!
Traditionally a hotel required a separate PBX, guest WiFi, back office LAN infrastructure & for cordless capability (a DECT infrastructure). With Samsung’s enterprise eco system you’ll be using one infrastructure. Samsung have been designing and building technology for most of the major global network vendors and now their Enterprise Eco System uses all that skill and experience to deliver a new portfolio of products for telephony and wireless services.
So whether you’re connecting to guest internet, housekeeping devices, back office management or telephony, Samsung have a hospitality solution to meet your needs today and into the future. We are already delivering this innovative solution and if you would like to know more or you have a need for a quote, please contact us.
Meteor Call Accounting see Imaginesoft
With the advent of mobile technology, global calling plans and a universal awareness of calling rates from hotels, the guest room telephone has fallen from favour in recent years as a mechanism for making outbound calls. At htm we believe there is still a revenue stream available to hoteliers by means of offering a “no-limit calling plan” for every guest for a nominal flat fee rate, which can be offered as a room addition or, indeed, it can be built into the overall room rate. Working with some of our clients, htm have been able to identify a revenue model that offers guests a service that can deliver a revenue stream, but at the very least offer an additional value-add and differentiator from others. Our Call Accounting platform by Meteor is flexible, secure and has an easy to access web portal for reporting, billing or system management. Installed in hotels across Europe, Meteor is compatible with all leading types of telephone systems and htm offer a number of commercial options within the service and support offering. contact us for more information
The three common questions htm are asked about Meteor Call Accounting:
- What is important about Call Accounting and Management?
- Why do I need it?
- How can I make the investment pay?
There is so much pressure on telephone revenue in hotels these days, you could ask “why invest in such a system?”.
Meteor satisfies the need to provide good quality information about guest expenditure, support executives travelling to your hotels who now have to be able to demonstrate the ‘business purpose’ behind their travel, meetings and even meals in restaurants. It increases your ability to fulfil this need to provide documentary evidence, your due diligence telephony checks and, we believe, compliance with the rules of the most demanding potential customer purchasing departments.
htm understands the need for the hoteliers to protect their biggest asset, their hotel guest. We work hard with hoteliers to provide and support you, if required, with marketing and implementing aggressive calling packages.
This could include:
- A “free calling” plan for the first ten minutes for Executive floor or VIP guests.
- Guest or staff fraud management.
- Tiered billing and rate management, align htmVoice minutes to wholesale or correct country dialling patterns.
It could improve your guest satisfaction results of our client hotels. What happens in your hotel every February the 14th? You are quick to advertise a Valentine’s Special with wine and chocolates, yet how many parents receive the opportunity to quickly call home for free to check on their children?
Meteor – the intelligent solution. As used by hundreds of Accor sites across the world including Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Suitehotels, Etap Hotels. Also installed in many Le Meridien properties in Europe and some selected palace hotels including the Lotti Hotel in Paris, the Hotel Amigo in Belgium, the Columbus Hotel in Monaco to name a few. In the UK and Ireland, Meteor has been installed in nearly all HTM-maintained sites.
Meteor voicemail is the ultimate service for handling your hotel guest and staff messages. A proven hotel and serviced apartment voicemail solution, installed in hotels throughout Europe, fully supported by the htm service team.
The Meteor Voicemail solution also acts as an auto-wake-up solution, with proper alarms on failed wake-up calls and full, detailed historical reports on wake-up call activity. Invaluable! Meteor is fully integrated to MICROS Fidelio and other leading PMS systems for hotels so that any failed wake-up calls are prompted onto FOH screens.
Try managing a group wake-up call for 200 guests. Auto-wake up solutions from Meteor are easy!
A guest arriving tired, possibly on the red-eye into Heathrow enters their room. She is only thinking of starting the laptop, collecting the e-mailed presentation from the office and to freshen up. A colleague in another room telephones, followed by a call from the London office and then an ex-colleague who knows the flight has arrived. The result is a rushed and possibly stressed guest, who fails to use the time after arriving to her best advantage. Voicemail is still a valued service.
Voicemail for guests was primarily a tool for staff to be able to leave messages for guests instead of taking down written messages. It is STILL used to put through callers for guests which is a much easier option for staff. Don’t forget that trying to encourage staff to “take messages” for guests can result in disasters. Language errors, translation errors, with the best will in the world, are bound to happen and it is much safer to encourage a caller to leave a message for your guest. Don’t risk it, use voicemail!!
Meteor system Wake-Up calls are used by hotel guests at some hotels up to a maximum of 35% Monday to Friday during certain weeks of the year. The global Meteor average across all installed hotels is less at 10 to 20%, subject to leisure guest content, weekends and holidays.
Connectivity & Network Infrastructure
The key to successful internet and telephony services for any property is the network connectivity being delivered to support these services. With such a crucial area, clients have often looked to make their own arrangements concerning this and for htm to connect on to their network. This we are happy to do but htm can, and do, support customers for their network services and we can provide a wide range of solutions including business broadband and DSL, high availability network connectivity (100 Mb – 1Gb), SIP trunks as well as traditional lines and minutes.
Working within the hospitality market, htm have found specific niche vendors a better route for services, capable of delivering higher levels of service quality and high availability network connections than the larger, more obvious “national or international companies”. Most importantly, htm have used our preferred routes as they have guaranteed internet breakout bandwidth levels with minimal bandwidth contention on shared services.
Our partners have Data Centre Hosting capability, Failover and Disaster Recovery (DR) options available to us.
08 & Non-Geographic Numbers
The 0800 / 0845 / 087 or 0330 numbers offered within the htm solution suite can provide your hotel, group of hotels or chain with a unique telephone number. A way to allow your customers or prospects to call you at no charge or for a small premium from any telephone in the UK, using the 08 or 03 pre-fix numbers.
You may have such numbers already in use, or simply be seeking a new premium line for your hotel guest support line to generate an additional incremental revenue source. One independent hotel client ordered one number, just to provide an added value 0800 fax service for their key clients. – a simple way to offer exclusivity and a real hotel guest differentiator. To enquire please click here.
ADSL, Broadband, ISDN, Telephone Lines and Calling Costs
htm offers you the chance to review your hotel and guest use of the telephone, tailoring a telephone, SIP or broadband tariff to best fit your needs. htm review this annually with you to ensure that you scale up or down as required.
One example which interested one client was to set a guest tariff to include the first 10 minutes telephone talk time free, reduced long distance rates and an improvement in the internet access bandwidth. The solution was provided by one provider and saved just over 18.0% on their existing total charges.
It could be argued that this is the area where hoteliers have not been mindful of the impact of technological change,1308 Cable,Cat 5,Coax, fibre and in some hotels Cat 6 cable networks now exist side by side. There are no cheap low-cost solutions when it comes to the basic infrastructure of your hotel.
Changes in Franchise Standards, demands to supply the latest Wi-Fi, Guest Internet and other services all place a lot of pressure upon the hotel owners or managers as they try to remain competitive.
This is where the past hotel project experience and detailed knowledge of many hotel properties in the U.K. and Ireland enables htm to offer a unique common sense approach to meeting your needs. It is believed that hoteliers want a cabling network which can:
- Provide flexibility, including fibre cabling where possible to enable the hotel to construct, in minutes, impromptu networks that can handle voice, data, video and other media at any desired speed.
- Address changes in guest use whilst generating economies for the hotel through integrated networks, reduced space or improved work processes.
- Ensure network infrastructure longevity as hotel guest bandwidth demands increase to 100 megabits, or for an additional gigabit and eventually even 10-gigabit transmission speeds.
- Overcome distance issues at some hotels without having to re-cable in the future, from a meeting room 300m away to a floor riser on the 25th floor.
- Satisfy the future changes in hotel Internet reservations, web based bookings, internal administration and mobile working.
htm will work with you and your management team to discuss the implications of your current network capabilities and issues, the use of copper, Cat5e, Cat6 and fibre networks and your future needs. This is then encapsulated into an agreed structured cabling plan. The plan may call for a complete replacement of your cabling network, it may just require htm to fix current issues and work to an agreed support contract, working in stages because of the scale of the work involved.
Satisfied cabling project outcomes have included:
- An improvement of voice quality calls after a new fibre run was installed in a lift shaft
- Mapping out and updating the patch panels in the communications room to reduce support calls.
- Improving staff working practices by developing new colour coded conference and banqueting patch panel system and enable them to sell incremental services.
htm has an in-depth understanding of hotel data and telecommunications cable and riser management. We ensure that the hotel guestrooms and administration areas have secure and reliable communication, data & telephone extended demarcation points.
Hotels find value in htm being the single point of contact and conduit between the multiple technology services providers. We can if required, provide ad-hoc or regular on-site hotel visits as required. Applying our knowledge, experience and understanding of hotel buildings yields lower costs, a faster turn-around time, less hassles and fewer problems for you.
Our hotels like the idea of having one company accountable for their buildings’ communication and data systems. It helps knowing who to call and having the confidence and trust in them to work well in sensitive guest bedroom areas, where discretion is extremely important.
htm believe that by guaranteeing a secure, reliable and efficient service, our hotels will benefit from:
- Development of a strategic and trusted partnership
- Greater accountability
- Improved quality of service ( on all 1308, CAT5e, CAT6 and Fibre networks) .
- Lower Total Costs (All technology vendors managed effectively to avoid duplication of work or billing)
- Scalable infrastructure which addresses changes in technologies and guest needs.
htm have made a decision to only support SMART TV solutions and not to engage with Pay TV models. Having worked within the hospitality market for many years and having seen the changes in the TV space we believe the marketplace is in a stage of major change, especially given the use of personal devices and tablet technology. This move reinforces the need for enhanced higher bandwidth not Pay TV solutions. Instead we believe that a Freeview channel list, together with some premium Sky and foreign channels fulfill the majority of customer needs. To this end htm have a capability to deliver leading screen brands and through our partners can deliver the TV channels you need.
Guest Bedroom Phones & Accessories from VTech
VTech is the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless telephones, and the largest supplier of electronic learning products from infancy to pre-school in the US and Western Europe.
The VTech hospitality contemporary range of telephones has been showcased by htm as our preferred manufacturer of choice for handsets. Its broad selection of contemporary designs, classic styles, analogue and SIP phones provide customized and reliable communications solutions for hotels, resorts and conference centres. Its continuous pursuit of innovation has allowed it to deliver key differentiators to the hospitality market, such as antibacterial plastic, battery back-up technology and Energy Star® qualified products. For more information, please visit www.vtechhotelphones.com or simply contact us.
Digital Signage & Kiosks
As a provider of guest wireless and SMART TV services, htm have a capability to deliver fully managed Digital Signage and Lobby Kiosk technology to service public area and business centre needs. Working with industry standard hardware and software vendors, our solutions can be easily installed, using wired and wireless infrastructure technology and can be delivered as a monthly managed service cost or as a capital cost with support contract. Contact us for more info
Mobility Solutions & VoWiFi
htm, like many other telephone vendors, have seen the evolution of roaming related devices in the industry. Deployed by hoteliers as a means of keeping key staff connected for maintenance, housekeeping and management, the use of paging and DECT related products is well known. With the advent of SMART mobile devices and convergence of devices onto telephone systems using internet based wireless networks and their access points, the capability to deliver Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) is now a cost effective proposition that every business should consider. At htm we have embraced the innovative work undertaken by Samsung in their delivery of a single entity in the form of a “Technology Eco System” delivering fixed telephony and mobile communications over a Samsung wireless infrastructure. One network, delivering all your communication needs across the property. And when you step outside, your mobile moves seamlessly onto your chosen airtime provider network thereby maximizing internal and external mobile hardware and minimizing cost of both devices and call charges.
Managed Conference Solutions
Every hotelier today sees meetings and conference (MICE) solutions as a core revenue stream for their business. Meetings and Conference attendees are now a more sophisticated group in their business requirements extending far beyond good food and beverage and nice surroundings. Technology is now a key discussion topic for most meeting and conference organizers and whether it is for 10 people or a 1000 attendees, technology, and in particular quality internet connectivity, is a prerequisite for most people. At htm, our knowledge of internet access and dynamically managing the provision of bandwidth across a property is second to none. Our capacity to facilitate a shared service that apportions the “right” guaranteed level of bandwidth for each event whilst still delivering acceptable service levels for guests is a skill that we pride ourselves on. We are here to help with this core element as part of our HSIA managed solution or as a separate service offering.
In addition we can assist you in the delivery of technical resource at your event to assist in set-up and running and we are happy to work with your clients directly or indirectly to deliver the technology elements of their event. This service offering is one that you, as a hotelier, can badge and brand as part of your conference solutions portfolio. Contact us for more info
Support, Service Levels & Analytics
The potential disruption to a hotel caused by a communication or technology breakdown, the call down to the Front Desk by an irate guest and the subsequent feedback via social media are all events that no hotelier wants to experience. At htm, our service, support and account management capabilities have all been contributors cited by our clients as reasons for remaining with us. Our friendly team place you at the centre of our business and linked with our technical knowledge and back office IT systems, we are here to help when things don’t go according plan, as we put it Delivered, Supported, Reported.
As part of any service or solution delivered by htm, our virtual team of project managers, account managers and installation engineers work towards an agreed customer goal and key installation criteria with you. On competition of a project, the documented service plan is handed over to our service team to consolidate this into our service systems and more importantly our Client Dashboard.
One of our projects for the last 2 years has been to develop a “Client Dashboard” that gives our clients access to statistics and general information on all the systems we support / solutions we are managing. This covers all technologies such that you can see all your services and systems through one portal. This clearly only applies to systems we support and systems that are new enough for us to be able to extract data. As you can see from th example below, you would be able to see data and reporting on all our general Service Desk, HSIA Gu:est Support Desk platforms along with SNMP charts to instantly view the status of any IP device on your network. Whilst some companies offer similar services, htm is unique in the breadth of products we cover under a SINGLE Dashboard.
Standard Service Level Support
htm can design a service contract around your individual business needs, but our standard, non-Guest HSIA, offering with critical failure coverage is our primary service which supports the majority of our hotel clients with Mitel and Samsung telephony and Meteor call accounting and voice mail. Whether you’re in central London, Dublin or Aberdeen, htm standard hardware and software support maintenance contracts allow us to help keep your business operational.
Standard Service for Telephony & Meteor – Monday to Friday, 09:00 am – 5.00pm (excluding Bank Holidays)
Standard Service includes :
- Telephone system cover
- Internal system cards
- System handsets
- Internal building cabling
- Key interface alarms (as per technologies or systems being supported)
- Network support, subject to agreed SLA
- Meteor Call Accounting
- Meteor Voicemail
- Meteor Messaging
- Meteor Back-Office Server and reporting
- Key system and billing interface alarms (as per technologies or systems being supported)
Should this be not enough, you have the flexibility to choose from any of the following commonly requested options:
- 24 hour a day cover, 365 days a year
- Weekend and public holiday cover
- Central processor only cover
- VTech Bedroom Telephone (Analogue or SIP) Maintenance
- Tele- worker handsets and other key worker only cover
- Additional system training cover (helps address issues relating to loss of knowledge due to staff turnover)
- Disaster recovery – making provisions to have your systems up and running should the worst happen to your business (i.e. fire or flood)
In addition, htm also offer bespoke services which are specifically tailored to your hotel needs, it may be something such as asking to include:
- 15 minutes per site per day (fixed, not cumulative) free telephone system remote programming for moves or changes.
- Reduced engineer on site response times than those normally contracted.
- Engineer on site for key conference, contracted out to event organizer for VoIP and Wi-Fi set-up and support.
- Structured cabling support services for integrated solutions
Contact us for more info
HSIA Guest Support – 24/7/365
The use of leading edge technologies from Samsung, Ruckus and ANTlabs means we can assure you of first time Internet connectivity rates comparable with the best of the global guest Internet providers. htm realize that with the diverse range of devices being brought to a hotel by a guest, there are always reasons why a guest may need to make a support call due to issues getting on line.
This is why our HSIA Guest Support comes with a high quality offering as standard, usually contracted over a period of three years. Most faults are fixed remotely, however when necessary, we will, as you would expect, send an engineer to your hotel to fix the problem. htm’s Network Operating Centre (NOC) monitors the broadband connection to the hotel constantly to minimize potential disruptions to the guest HSIA service and report any fault to the service provider, then update the hotel (usually before the hotel realises it has a problem). All information pertaining to calls, issues and bandwidth availability, as well much more, is delivered onto our Client Dashboard for you to review as part of your IT management tools.
HSIA Guest support includes:
- Guest Internet system cover – 24 hour a day cover, 365 days a year
- Billing interface alarms (as per technologies or systems being supported)
- WiFi access points and other equipment covering the hotel lobby, public areas or meeting rooms
- Additional training cover (helps address issues relating to loss of knowledge due to staff turnover)
- Disaster recovery – making provisions to have your systems up and running should the worst happen to your business (i.e. fire or flood)
- Client Dashboard
In addition, htm can also offer bespoke services, these could include:
- SIP telephone and content management services
- Billing rate changes and programming for marketing and sales campaigns, free for 30 minutes, free for visiting VIPs – it can all be done.
- Engineer on site to support your conferencing and events staff at key conferences (subject to satisfactory notice).
- Branded support services with your own guest telephone number and response (minimum guest connection room number required)
- Load balancing and bandwidth management support on integrated networks