Centara Hotels & Resorts partners with Aruba to deliver engaging guest experiences
Engaging Hotel Guests in the Mobile age
The hospitality and tourism industry in Thailand has gone through significant changes. Besides a healthy flow of tourists from China, tourists from across Asia are also increasing. Centara Hotels & Resorts now have to cater to a new customer profile. Adrian Hardwick-Jones, Vice President Design and Technical Services, Centara Hotels & Resorts, elaborated:
“Today, 80 percent of Centara’s guests come from Asia while we used to see more Caucasians from the West 10 years ago. Also, guests these days come with their own digital devices. They probably get more content on their devices than from hotel TVs.”
The Network as a Strategic Business Enabler
Today, 80 percent of Centara’s guests come from Asia while we used to see more Caucasians from the West 10 years ago. Also, guests these days come with their own digital devices. They probably get more content on their devices than from hotel TVs.Adrian Hardwick-Jones, Vice President Design and Technical Services, Centara Hotels & Resorts
Centara set out to look for a partner that could support its transformation to cloud and mobile. Aruba’s solution stood out from the competition, especially in its superior performance, stability, and scalability.
Adrian commented: “We wanted a new network that can support 4G, and eventually 5G, coverage that ensured all the business components within our hotels are talking to each other. Guest interface is important, but what is more critical is the integration behind the scene and this is where we need it to be smart in our new business model.”
Wi-Fi Offers Unmatched Connectivity
One of Centara’s top priorities was to set up a robust Wi-Fi network. This included the deployment of an Aruba AirWave Network Management System and a network solution that offered unmatched connectivity across the properties.
Centara’s cloud strategy means that it now has a standardized, shared service model with data stored and accessed from a centralized integrated system. This translates to a single platform where management has visibility into the entire operation, as well as a revenue management system that links all properties.
Aruba’s high-performance and secure Wi-Fi infrastructure was centerpiece to this strategy as it supports the growing number of mobile devices that both guests and staff use.
AirWave provide visibility and mobility
Centara’s IT team gets visibility into the network with the Aruba AirWave Network Management system. The tool allows the team to actively monitor the performance of the network, see client behavior and identify problems before disruptions to connectivity and application quality occur.
Adrian said: “With the centralized integrated system, we are managing 8,000 rooms across all the properties and not 40 different hotels from planning to reporting. For instance, each item on a room service menu can now identified with a single code and this allows management to see how the item is selling across all the properties.”
Centara’s staff are now equipped with smart phones and tablets that allow them to stay connected to the company’s network and access business applications on the go.
Improved cybersecurity and data privacy
Centara has also implemented measures to protect the data stored in its centralized integrated system.
These measures include safeguarding access through the internet and network, as well as the proper use of passwords and granting only specific staff access to the data.
The team has also looked into safeguarding data privacy, especially in the use of and sharing of customer data, to ensure GDPR compliance.
Leapfrogging the Competition in Digital Transformation
Centara’s digital transformation has resulted in sweeping changes to its operation, processes and systems across its properties. Deploying a smart digital workplace has allowed it to take advantage of technology trends like Internet of Things (IoT) and proliferation of mobile devices alongside changes in work and guest preferences.
According to Adrian, Centara has been able to liberate hundreds of staff from administrative duties and menial tasks through technology adoption. For many, this means opportunities to skill upgrading or reskilling for other roles.
Furthermore, with a centralized system, staff training is conducted in clusters. This means training for 18 to 20 staff simultaneously rather than six to eight per time. This cut speed of roll-out and reduced training costs by almost 70%.