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Radisson SAS wants PDAs for managers

Radisson SAS Hotel looking for all-in-one mobile device to link staff communications

The Radisson SAS hotel in Dubai's Media City is on the lookout for PDA devices for its managerial staff to provide them with mobile e-mail access and VOIP functionality.

The implementation is expected to launch within six months, after the communication system has been upgraded. Although the hotel has not yet approached any vendors for proposals, it has already ruled out the popular Blackberry device in favour of Windows Mobile-based PDAs.

Dinto Joseph, IT manager at the Radisson said communication is vital in the hospitality sector: "We use e-mail, telephones, and wireless devices to communicate. It's a great idea if we can get an all in one device where e-mail comes to your PDA, and your office phone will ring on your PDA connected on your local wireless network using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) technology that replace carrying wireless communication devices separately."

Joseph has held off on approaching vendors with a detailed device proposal because he first wanted to make sure his infrastructure can support the new devices.

"We have been getting inputs from the vendors in use on our network on what sort of systems we need for SIP telephony and push e-mail, I have the requirements from the corporate office, and I've also been asking my peers to see what products are available in the market."

On the choice of Windows Mobile handsets for the proposed system, Joseph explained that user comfort will be a prime factor if they are to switch from their regular handsets.

"It has to be built in like a normal mobile phone, and should have a qwerty keyboard, which really makes them comfortable when they use it for texting and so on. The software is Windows - that has to be a good choice if you go for a known system," he stated.

He also explained why he opted against selecting RIM's Blackberry devices: "I would say that device is strong enough but it's not a touch screen, which I would still prefer to go for. At this stage, our corporate e-mail server is also not Blackberry compatible."