How the cloud helps hotels hit new heights with their comms services

Open Touch

Meeting the digital demands of both guests and employees has become a major priority for the hospitality industry in recent years.

Hotels are facing the need to provide more than just basic wi-fi services as increasing numbers of guests bring with them multiple, internet-enabled devices and expect fast and reliable connections.

To address this demand, leading communications and network solutions provider SBL, which last year opened an office in Manchester, has just announced the launch of Qunifi, a new set of cloud-based product offerings.

Hospitality providers using Qunifi products will benefit from scalable business telephony and unified communications which connect employees, streamlining business processes, and ultimately improve the customer experience for their guests.

Chris BrassingtonCloud-based solutions provide a platform for IP enabled devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets to communicate and connect anywhere on the premises.

The first product offered under Qunifi is the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise OpenTouch Enterprise Cloud (OTEC).  As the sole provider of OTEC in the UK, SBL is uniquely placed to offer this innovative ‘consumption-based’ licensing  model to hoteliers based on occupancy rate.

This means that the solution can be scaled up or down to address seasonal peaks. With Qunifi, hospitality providers can service guests with a much more contemporary, personalised hotel experience by using the cloud as a flexible method of delivery.

“The launch of Qunifi follows SBL’s extensive growth over the last 12 months – with growth seen in our hospitality customer-base,” says CEO Chris Brassington (pictured top). “Qunifi addresses the hospitality market’s demand for bespoke, consumption-based cloud solutions.

“Hotels can rely on the scalability, protection and security of cloud-based business telephony and unified communications products to deliver the strongest possible returns on investment.”

The new cloud-based product builds on the success SBL has achieved with communications systems for hotels throughout the UK and overseas.

Girl in bedroomAmong its customers is The Ritz in London where SBL installed an Alcatel-Lucent OXE IP-based telephony system that provides a flexible and resilient platform for all 780 of the hotel’s telephone handsets – 480 in its 137 bedrooms, with the remaining 300 for hotel staff.

The Ritz answers approximately 40,000 inbound calls each month, all within three rings, and they must also provide a first class, ultra-reliable, secure telephone system for their guests, including celebrities and dignitaries.

SBL’s system provides many advanced features for guests. For example, VIP guests can create private caller groups between them and the rooms of their travelling companions, and phone bills can also be compiled for them in flexible ways, such as providing a single bill for such groups.

“The Alcatel-Lucent phone system we now have is very modular and allows us to upgrade parts of the system without replacing all the hardware, which gives us plenty of opportunity for expansion,” says Richard Isted, IT Manager at The Ritz.

“Having worked with SBL for a number of years, we have formed a great partnership that enables us to deliver a first class guest service.”

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