Managing bandwidth in the hospitality industry

George Linu, Business Unit manager ME & India of F1 Infotech, says hotels are diligent about maintaining the guest experience.

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Managing bandwidth in the hospitality industry George Linu from F1 Infotech says that hotels must deliver high quality internet to their guests as if a guest is unhappy, they are unlikely to be repeat customers.
By  George Linu Published  May 13, 2013

George Linu, Business Unit manager ME & India of F1 Infotech, says hotels are diligent about maintaining the guest experience.

What problems does the hospitality industry face when managing bandwidth?

Hotels are diligent about meeting the expectations of their guests. They cannot afford to offer amenities that create headaches for their guests and staff, which is what often happens when Wi-Fi/DATA networks become overloaded.

What difficulties are faced by the hospitality industry in network management?
IT administrators are responsible for the backbone of modern information technology systems which are reliant on complex network infrastructures. For medium to large-sized companies there can be literally hundreds of thousands of devices which are mission critical to company operations.  The server and network devices can include many different types of hardware from a variety of vendors, security components, switches, routers, and other components that make up the infrastructure. Some of the challenges in terms of a manual approach to managing server and network infrastructures include:

Configuration tasks
Network growth
Network security:
No centralised management
Lack of accountability

What solutions can the hospitality industry apply when managing their bandwidth and network?
Thanks to a higher availability of solutions providers and automated tools, bandwidth and network management can be simplified. This leaves more time for IT staff to focus on new company innovations instead of performing time consuming and repetitive tasks.  Automated tools provide a way to keep track of configurations, reduce the possibility for human error, improve policy compliance, and reduce operational costs. Additionally, many companies choose to use a virtualisation solutions provider that can oversee and manage server and network infrastructures either onsite or from a remote location.

Most solutions providers offer configuration, change, and compliance management services.  They are also equipped with the necessary automation tools to reduce errors and perform audits and reports on the status of network configurations. With a quality virtualisation solution in place companies can make the best use of their resources and time.

Should a hotel look at a complete automated network management solution, or is it better to have a manual approach?

Both are equally important for a fault-free network. One of the fundamental challenges facing network professionals is balancing ongoing responsibilities with reacting to daily events. Many spend the bulk of their time putting out fires or responding to unanticipated business requirements — often at the expense of dealing with the routine “care and feeding” of network operations. A new generation of automated network-management software and services is helping in-house staff address this challenge.

These let network professionals establish regular patch-management procedures to safeguard against escalating security threats; and create system-monitoring routines to identify load imbalances, which could cause service disruptions or performance problems. They also discover, inventory and track assets to make sure that hardware and software licenses are up-to-date and that problems can be resolved faster.

What are the worst case scenarios for hotels that do not manage their networks or bandwidth correctly?

Network has become critical to the daily lives of so many guests that being unable to get online effectively can nullify all other efforts by the hotel to provide a positive experience. This can have a negative effect on the hotel as well as the guest, as a disgruntled guest is unlikely to become a repeat customer.

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