Good Wi-Fi is now considered as integral to a satisfying hotel stay than location and a comfortable night’s sleep. So when London’s Kensington Close Hotel planned a huge refurbishment to add more than 300 bedrooms in 2013, it knew its low-grade broadband connectivity was in dire need of an upgrade that reflected its four-star status.
The hotel, which employees 350 people as part of the Cola Hotels Group, had a poor wireless system that only provided service in public areas. While guests increasingly expected on-demand services in their room, the hotel still relied on analogue TVs and a standard phone system. The existing network was flat with no core and had only standard network switches with no management.
Having already used British IT services provider Rockford IT for some consulting on its software systems, the hotel asked the company to design an infrastructure that would deliver the solutions it wanted.
‘We were impressed by their technical director’s knowledge of Cola’s needs, and his professionalism and personal touch,’ says Laszlo Nyari, general manager at Kensington Close Hotel.
Rockford mapped the existing infrastructure and laid down a new one ready for switchover. The new network had an HP core with two HP5400 switches, 70 fibre-runs leading to 70 HP2600 access switches and 200 HP wireless access points. Two WatchGuard 5 firewall clusters were installed to allow for complete availability.
While the project was staggered in order to minimise inconvenience to the hotel’s guests, Rockford’s work involved technicians on-site for two weeks and the solution went live when the reform was completed at the end of 2013. Rockford now provides on-site dedicated IT managers and full second and third line support. All of the hotel’s systems connect to Rockford’s data centres with the solutions sitting within that infrastructure.
The hotel now has premium-guest Wi-Fi access, a VoIP telephone system and IP televisions in all rooms. It can also provide corporate conferencing to customers with high-bandwidth services up to 100Mbps per second. The deployment has resulted in more than £20,000 a month in additional revenue for the hotel.
‘Before deployment we faced unreliable connectivity, inadequate cabling and a poor customer experience where wireless and room entertainment was concerned,’ says Nyari. ‘Rockford prepared a detailed structured cabling and network plan for the building which allowed us to manage the deployment.
‘We now have a premium offer that delivers a consistent and reliable service for our guests, and it has enabled us to considerably boost our revenue.’
Rockford is now managing a project to deliver a 1GB leased line to improve the hotel’s conference offers. It has also provisioned a real-time back-up-and-restore solution to ensure its guests and staff see minimal disruption if any of its business-critical servers fail.
This is a sponsored advertorial by Rockford IT.