By Meghan McCarthy, the Regional Sales Manager for Partner Organization and Commercial Segment for Cisco UAE.
In the Middle East, hospitality is part and parcel of everyday life – from destination dining, to weekend entertainment, to welcoming visiting friends and family.
So when we talk about the transformative effect of technology, in the Middle East – and especially in the UAE and Dubai - that has to include Smart Hospitality.
With Smart Tourism a Dubai Smart City pillar, and 25 million visitors expected for World Expo 2020, hotels also need to find a competitive differentiator - Dubai is adding 24,000 quality rooms and serviced apartments by 2017 alone, according to a report from JLL.
The days when clean bed linen and a mint on the pillow were enough to win guests over are clearly long gone. Now guests – and that includes all of us, since we all travel at some point – want their hotel experience to include so much more. That includes when they arrive at the front desk. We've all experienced the frustration of trying to check into a busy hotel and having to wait to get the concierge's attention – or gone down to the lobby to ask a question and had to wait while a large group checks in.
Imagine then a video solution that allowed you to access a virtual concierge service – and imagine if that service could be made available on every floor, even every room. Cisco's Video Concierge services, based on our Telepresence solution, can make this a reality.
When visitors arrive, they can self-register. While guests wait in the lobby, they can access promotional and tourism information. In their rooms, guests can project films from their tablet onto the in-room TV screen.
And with Dubai ramping up its status as a top destination for business travelers, hotels are increasingly enabling employees to connect over a secure guest WiFi service to work while on the go, or to conduct TelePresence interviews with customers around the world.
Hotels in Dubai are rapidly making these visions become reality by implementing Cisco's Smart Hospitality solutions that integrate voice, mobility, high-speed Internet access, and TV with existing back-office systems on a single network.
Cisco's wide range of scalable Connected Hotel and Hospitality technology solutions for hotels of all sizes, including room automation, video collaboration, contact center, and cloud.
Core applications, such as Cisco Jabber for instant messaging and presence, TelePresence and end points, attendant consoles, contact centers, voicemail, paging, and management enable a hospitality applications such as front of house Property Management System, virtual front desks, guest services, legacy communications, room automation, and business services.
As a result of implementing these solutions, hotels can manage and improve customer service levels, improve the guest experience with video, monetize collaboration investments, bridge legacy communication platforms, improve the in-room experience, automate inventory, and integrate call accounting.
The benefits are clear: hotels find greater operational efficiency and improved productivity, leading to increased guest satisfaction. That leads to increased return visits, and new business through recommendations from guests and independent industry guides.