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Competitiveness Case Study: Alternative Networks

Profile Photo By: British Hospitality Association
March 29, 2012

Competitiveness Case Study: Alternative Networks

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Firmdale Hotels: productivity

Award-winning Firmdale Hotels is one of the most innovative and respected boutique hotel operators in the UK. Its six London hotels, as well as Crosby Street in New York, showcase

Firmdale Hotels uncompromising approach to quality, commitment to excellence and putting customers first.

The challenge

As with many other companies in the hospitality sector, Firmdale Hotels wanted to avoid dependency on their legacy TDM telephony equipment. The limited functionality of the phone system was holding back the company?s aims and goals of enhancing the guests? experience.

Migrating the Mitel systems to the 3300 IP controller allowed Firmdale to replace the aging operator consoles, connect the sites via IP to enable free site-to-site calls, improve integration with other key applications and improve the flexibility of front office/concierge staff, resulting in faster response to guest questions.

?It was the knowledge and experience of the pre sales technical staff of the Alternative team that impressed me the most? commented Mark Rupert Read (Group IT). ?This gave us the confidence to push ahead on this project?.

The Solution

The opening of the Haymarket Hotel was the first opportunity Firmdale had to deploy a 3300 IP based system. Since then, all but one of the other hotels have been migrated.

Alternative assisted with the development of the SIP migration, to the TelecomEye Call Logging and Voicemail application, which simplified the physical line connection, which in turn reduced running costs.

Upgrading the operator consoles for IP versions, and rolling out 5340 IP phones with cordless handsets has also seen a dramatic improvement in efficiency and provided a flexible environment for the front desk/concierge functions. Consoles can be easily moved from one location to another with minimum intervention, and a major benefit is the ability to display the guest?s name and room number on the Ascom DECT handsets.

The Results

Since the opening of Crosby St in NY, which was also a Mitel 3300 IP platform, networked to the rest of the UK real estate, the solution has impressed Mark Rupert Read. ?Firmdale now enjoys zero call costs when calling inter hotel, including the US? he said. ?An added benefit is also being able to identify the internal caller before answering the call?.

?Front desk staff can now keep the telephone conversation going when moving between the front desk, back office and luggage areas, making the conversation more efficient. And no more twisted cables!?

?Our concierge now has three pages of speed dials, making calling their contacts more efficient. The 5340 phones have call logs on the handset showing missed and received calls, which is a useful feature should a guest call down and we were unable to take their initial enquiry?.

?The new platforms have also reduced the amount of hardware and associated floor space within the comms area of each hotel, which in turn has reduced running costs. Overall, we?re very satisfied with what we have implemented and look forward to future enhancements that fit with what we are achieving at Firmdale?.

Source: BHA

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