Hotels Prep For BYOD To Ensure Guest Satisfaction

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Chris Davis again, blogging about what’s trending at HITEC 2013,  the world’s largest hospitality technology show, held in Minneapolis, MN. The conference, put on annually by Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP), brings together the brightest minds and hottest technology in the hospitality industry.

One of the sessions I attended this week focused on the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend – one of my favorite topics. The mention of “BYOD” often brings to mind the network security concerns and increased bandwidth demands that may result from employees using their own devices for work purposes. But BYOD also has a significant impact on hotels—not only from a workforce perspective, but in relation to guest satisfaction.

For hotels, the BYOD option is a must-have. Travelers, whether business or personal, rely on their mobile devices 24x7, and expect that during their hotel stays, their high-speed Internet connection will be equal to (or maybe even better than!) their work or home access. Guests’ overall satisfaction relies heavily on this access.

With more smart devices activated daily than there are births, the hospitality industry has seen a sharp increase in the number of wireless devices that travelers typically bring.  In fact, it’s not unusual for them to bring (and simultaneously use) an average of three personal devices during their stay. This level of BYOD can place tremendous strains on a hotel’s network bandwidth, ultimately slowing down service, and potentially posing security risks.

For hotels, the need for a BYOD policy has never been more evident. Creating a policy for acceptable devices and network usage is a relatively easy and effective way to help manage guest expectations. Guests have a better understanding of accessible applications and related charges, and having them acknowledge receipt and understanding of the policy when logging in to the network can help with the overall experience. With a policy in place, hotel IT professionals are able to manage the security of the network and protect customer data.

This is hot topic that will continue to be an issue of interest for the hospitality industry – and the rest of us, too! Questions about how Windstream can help manage effects of BYOD? Just click over here to connect with a trusted Windstream advisor