The current trends in cloud telephony technology are relevant in today’s hospitality industry, as speed and precision have become a major requirement in the sector. “Fast” is the new buzzword: fast bookings, fast check-ins, fast and free Wi-Fi and fast responses to customer service needs. Hotel patrons are driving hoteliers to upgrade their services and amenities to match guest expectations of value, innovation, immediacy, convenience and mobility.
Today’s guest’s definition of a great stay experience now includes amenities such as free Wi-Fi, online bookings, mobile apps for managing bookings and ordering room service from in-room tablets. Hotels that have adopted newer technologies faster than their competition are not only more appealing to guests but are also increasing the profitability and efficiency of their properties.
One of Brooklyn’s Premier Hotels
Since opening in 2016 in Williamsburg, The William Vale has become a buzzing hub for Brooklyn visitors and locals, whether that’s over a drink at the pool, a rooftop film screening or dinner at Leuca. The William Vale is the ideal home base for visitors looking to experience the creative energy that makes Brooklyn so vibrant. The hotel has 183 rooms, all with balconies, and a rooftop pool with a view of midtown Manhattan.
An Old-Fashioned PBX Requiring Too Much Housekeeping
The William Vale Hotel had an issue with its in-house PBX: being a traditional Brooklyn hotel, it was built with an a traditional, old-fashioned telephony system, and there were a number of troubling issues, including yearly maintenance costs, on-site support, integration of the hotel’s PMS (Property Management System) and overall system management.
The hotel had an on-premise PBX in its “technical area,” but no one took ownership of the PBX. The William Vale had to enter into new maintenance agreements and bring someone onsite whenever there were issues, or whenever moves and changes were required. The yearly cost of maintenance continued to increase, while spare parts for the system were becoming harder and harder to find. The prestigious hotel’s outdated PBX couldn’t offer its hotel guests and staff the kind of features they required.
How Vodia Helped
The William Vale Hotel reached out to Vodia and requested we take a look at their system and help them move to the cloud. Our PBX met all the requirements the hotel needed for its telephone system. The William Vale had previously examined a hosted system, but it was too expensive and required too much support – with our ITSP, we were able to greatly reduce the “cost of ownership” for the hotel.
Vodia PMS integration enables our cloud PBX to integrate with over 70 compliant PMS systems used in hotels and other hospitality environments. Our PMS functionality enables the Vodia PBX and a hotel’s PMS to synchronize the status of guests, rooms and other housekeeping functions between the PBX and the front desk.
Increased Efficiency through One Entry Point – the PMS
Integrating the Vodia Networks cloud PBX increased the efficiency of the William Vale property and staff by saving time lost on manual duplicate entries into supporting IT systems. There is no longer a need for the hotel to copy guest details, rates, availability, phone usage and credit limit from their PMS into their phone system – this is now synchronized automatically between the Vodia PBX and the William Vale PMS via a robust two-way interface.
The Vodia cloud PBX synchronizes room availability with the front desk by automating housekeeping functions, which means the William Vale avoids overbooking by staying up to date with the actual availability of its rooms. Maid codes initiated from the hotel rooms automatically notify the front desk when the room is ready for the next guest.
Integrating the Vodia cloud PBX with the William Vale PMS system enabled the hotel to make use of Internet-based SIP trunks for external calls, resulting in significant costs savings for the hotel; reducing telephony costs makes it possible for the William Vale to pass on cost savings to its guests which, in turn, makes the hotel more competitive. Finally, the William Vale is a multi-property hotel chain, and integrating all of its onsite PMS systems with a single Vodia cloud PBX has lowered infrastructure costs across the organization.
Special Hospitality Features of the Vodia Cloud PBX
- Check in/check out of room: After guest checks out, mailbox, call lists and other data are cleared
- Housekeeper codes: Housekeepers can use room phones to indicate the room has been cleaned
- Post call charge: A simple CDR mechanism emulates the RS-232 connection from legacy systems
- Credit limit for guests: Define how much cost a guest can incur on a room phone
- DND: Sync the do-not-disturb between the room and the phone system
- Restrictions: Define which numbers a guest can call, including hotel extensions and/or external calls
- Emergency calling: Emergency calls from hotel rooms are automatically redirected to the front desk (or extension chosen by the administrator) so hotel staff can triage the emergency and relay pertinent information to emergency services (hotel room, parking access strategy)
The result for The William Vale and its guests? Everyone – guests, staff and management – is sleeping a lot easier.
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