Delivering managed, secure Wifi access across the UK for Village Hotel Club

07 Sep 2020 Retail, Leisure and Travel

Village Hotel Club has recently undertaken a rebranding and refurbishment plan across the chain of 31 locations within the UK. They were actively seeking a wireless networking solution that could act not only as an essential business tool but also provide a platform to support a wide range of new features and services across the business.

The Challenge

Rapid changes in the way that the public and business demand wi-fi connectivity meant that the legacy wireless system was unable to support the business’s future plans.

From self service check-in, smart fitness suites and business conference connectivity to guests working online, streaming TV on mobile devices in bedrooms and public areas, the new solution needed to be robust, reliable and secure.

The highly adaptable Meraki cloud wi-fi solution enables me to quickly react and fulfil both business and client demands of this fast evolving, always connected society we work in. Telefónica Tech has provided first class technical skills and advice to us throughout the planning and implementation of this project. Their proactive managed service continues to provide peace of mind now that the roll-out is complete.

DAN MORLEY, HEAD OF IT INFRASTRUCTURE †

Service Overview

Goal

Robust, reliable and secure

Service

Managed service and MPLS

Outcomes
  • High availability and performance of network
  • Broader service offerings to customers
  • Improved service levels to the business

The Solution

We collaborated with MLR Networks to roll out a Cisco Meraki wi-fi solution across all of Village Hotel Club’s UK locations. The solution is proactively monitored and managed remotely by us.

Alongside MLR Networks, we had already collaborated at three of the new locations opened by Village in late 2014 and 2015 to install a Cisco Meraki wi-fi solution. Following the success of the project and the customer and corporate experience at these hotels, Village decided that this solution was to be implemented at all locations across the chain.

Cisco Meraki was chosen as the solution of choice after careful consideration of the alternatives available on the market. Features such as the ability to provide secure access within a single unified solution to both customers and staff alike was seen to be of significant benefit.

The working partnership brought Village the expertise and skills of two complementary specialist teams. MLR performed wireless network surveys prior to each installation to determine the optimum locations for access points at each hotel to ensure the best connectivity and signal strength possible.

We configured each individual access point and network switch whilst also devising the policies and rules that allow Village to control guest access and secure corporate access. Overlaying this, we provide a managed service for each hotel location ensuring that the wireless network, in addition to the core corporate network, is proactively monitored and managed. Utilising the Cloud-based Cisco Meraki management console, the managed service team remotely manage each individual hotel location and make changes where necessary from our Network Operations Centre

Conclusion

The new wireless solution provides high performance and availability to the business, meaning that a broader range of customer-facing services can now be delivered. The managed services enable the Village IT team to focus on its core activities. Village Hotel Club is now able to offer staff and customers more reliable and faster connectivity. New functions to improve customer experience and increase revenue have been enabled, such as: a self-check-in service at reception; wireless PDQ and payment terminals; “smart” fitness equipment to allow guests to connect into their fitness apps.

The flexibility of the new solution enables Village’s Meeting and Events team to control and dedicate allocated amounts of bandwidth in the meeting and event spaces within each hotel. This was something that hadn’t previously been possible and had a significant impact on customer experience and satisfaction.

The cloud-based Cisco Meraki management console allows the managed service team to remotely manage each individual hotel location and relieves the Village IT team of the operational burden so that they can focus on other commercially important projects.

† The customer reference was provided prior to CANCOM in the UK&I becoming Telefónica Tech in the UK&I and the names have been changed for ease of reference.

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