Rosen Hotels draws new business guests with powerful phone and data communications.
The Challenge: Technology Within Reach for Visitors
You're opening a beautiful new hotel in Orlando with huge convention spaces, a golf course, and plenty of other amenities. But Central Florida is a world-class resort destination, and competition is fierce. To succeed, you'll need to attract top companies from high-tech, pharmaceutical, and other leading industries. How do you get high-powered business travelers to choose your hotel over all the others?
In the hospitality industry, anticipating and responding to customer needs is key to long-term success - especially when targeting business travelers. That means making the latest technology and services readily accessible to guests. As Rosen Hotels and Resorts prepared to open its new 1500-room Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, the company had to offer everything a business traveler would need. Secure, convenient Internet access wasn't enough - every other hotel already offered that. Rosen Hotels realized they would have to raise the bar.
"We were looking for a solution that would enable us to give our guests more freedom and self-service," says James Bina, Director of Information Technology at Rosen Hotels and Resorts. "To do this, our guest rooms needed to deliver sophisticated communications features that are not being offered in our marketplace."
Providing a better guest experience was only part of the challenge. Rosen Hotels is constantly expanding and improving guest services, and needed a planned, strategic solution that would let the company evolve its network as its business needs changed.
The Solution: Personalized Guest Services
To address this challenge, Rosen Hotels turned to Cisco® Unified Communications, which brings together voice, video, and data communications on a single IP network. The Cisco solution provides phone and high-speed Internet service in every guest room. The same network can also deliver pay-per-view television, wireless Internet access to public spaces, and other services.
By running voice and data over the same network, Rosen Hotels can give business travelers access to powerful communications tools they can access right over the phone in their room. For example, Rosen Hotels tied its Percipia hospitality software to Cisco Unified Communications Manager software to let visitors view their reservation information, order room service, or access customized voice mail over the phone or on their television set. If they are part of a group, they can view a group directory on the phone display or dial other guests directly, without having to go through the hotel desk.
"Our philosophy was that if you could perform a task on a phone, you could also do it on a TV," says Bina. "The Cisco IP phones in our rooms are more expensive than traditional handsets, but we believe the services we can offer outweigh that additional cost," says Bina.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager also lets Rosen Hotels support phone conferencing in house, instead of working with expensive outside vendors. BellSouth was the chosen vendor for the Cisco Unified Communications Manager installation for Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. A recent Sage Research study showed that this approach can save organizations an average of 30 percent on conferencing expenses. To keep visitors' sensitive business and personal information secure, Rosen Hotels installed a Cisco PIX® 525 Security Appliance to help protect the network from hackers.
To improve its call center operations, Rosen Hotels is using Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, an integrated "contact-center-in-a-box." The Rosen Hotels reservation department uses Cisco Unified Contact Center Express to monitor and queue calls and route calls to a reservations service when the queue is busy or the call center is closed. The hotel's IT operations group also uses it to monitor and queue calls.
"Cisco Unified Contact Center Express gives management reporting tools that allow us to better serve our guests and customers," says Bina.
"The Cisco solution lets us take our resort to the next level, delivering the services guests want and giving us a competitive edge over other properties in our market."
- James Bina, Director of Information Technology, Rosen Hotels and Resorts
The Result: Superior Services with Room to Grow
By providing powerful communication services directly to its guest rooms, Rosen Hotels has been able to stay a step ahead of other resorts in a hotly competitive marketplace.
"We're attracting new groups because of the technology we're putting in the rooms," says Tony Fulton, Telecommunications Engineer at Rosen Hotels. "We expect the system to quickly pay for itself."
Because Cisco Unified Communications is easier to manage and maintain than traditional phone systems, it also helps Rosen Hotels to make its own operations more efficient, saving time and money. For example, the in-room group directory can reduce time spent with a hotel operator.
Managing phone moves is easier as well. "The Cisco solution makes it faster and easier for us to handle moves and locate staff when they change locations," says Brooke Weitz, Manager of Guest Relations. "Staffers can just pick up their phone and plug it in at the new location. In the past, it might take months to update the phone directory."
Because Rosen Hotels is constantly expanding and improving guest services, the Cisco solution - built with growth in mind - was an ideal fit. Rosen Hotels can continue to add new features as they're needed; building new applications onto its network investment is allowing them to stay ahead of the competition.
"We wanted to make sure that we were designing a network that would support all of the services we needed immediately, as well as services we hadn't yet considered," says Bina. "Future expansion was an important consideration for us. We plan to expand our in-house communication in the near future to take advantage of our wireless connectivity," says Bina. "For example, by combining Cisco Unified Communications Manager with our Express hotel service applications, we will be able to track and perform maintenance requests and respond to guest needs using handheld devices or phones. From a technology perspective, the Cisco network is bringing us all closer together."
Rosen Hotels' voice and data solution was part of a larger strategic plan that they had been working on for three years. "Cisco was part of it from the very beginning," says Bina. "Cisco was the only vendor that was able to offer a complete roadmap approach with integrated security and voice solutions."