The need for a phone system in hotels and the hospitality industry has waned since the adoption of cellphones across the United States. Since then, guest room phones have mostly been used for internal calls to the front desk, room service or other guests. This has made maintaining and upgrading these systems almost pointless, and according to Unified Communications Strategies, the only reason that hotels still use them is because supplying a room phone is required for an establishment to have a 2-star or higher rating.
However, the cloud could be a way for hospitality businesses to improve the uses and reduce the cost of operating a premises-wide phone system.
Currently, most hotels that utilize a VoIP phone system only use it for the front desk and reception area, according to the news source. However, with the rising demand for broadband and wireless access in guest rooms, these same establishments are looking into infrastructure upgrades that integrate easily into an existing phone system. Combined with cloud VoIP solutions, this would allow a hotel to improve its guest room phone services without buying expensive new technology.
With cloud VoIP service, a hotel could also open up new customized options for guests, such as easier access to valet and food services, or even sell ad space in its phone system. As VoIP phone systems are programmable, the hotel could also allow guests to easily set wake-up calls, valet service, or book reservations at connected restaurants or resorts.
The cloud is particularly useful for these services, as it lowers overhead costs, allowing a hotel to implement services without spending the time, manpower and resources on setting up guest rooms with new phones. Operating these types of services in the cloud cuts down on implementation time, and also removes support and security responsibilities, allowing the business to focus on its primary tasks and save money on hiring additional, dedicated IT personnel.
According to the news source, this opportunity can not only save a hotel significant resources on its phone system, but also potentially increase revenue and expand the possible uses of a dead feature.