A NEW HOTEL BRAND, A BRAND NEW SOLUTION
Amalgamated Holding Limited (AHL), operators of the multi-award winning QT Hotels & Resorts, the Art Series Hotels, and Rydges Hotel & Resorts, have expanded their hotel business with the opening of the first ATURA Hotel in Blacktown. To ensure that great service, unique art-inspired design and first-class facilities are available to all at an affordable price, Atura has commenced operations in Blacktown with a brand-new state-of-the-art hotel perfectly located in the heart of Sydney’s burgeoning West.
The Atura Blacktown needed a reliable, flexible PABX phone system that could meet the needs of its guests, staff, hotel administration and conferences both now and well into the future. It also needed to be scalable, thereby future-proofing for further expansion. The IT department began by comparing traditional phone systems and IP systems, with cost being a key consideration.
“The evolution of mobile phones means that there’s no longer revenue in calls for us, so we were anxious to make sure we had something that was extremely cost effective,” explains Craig Simpson, Head of Hotel Technology. “When we went to market to obtain quotes, besides quality and reliability, our main motivation was capital expenditure and operational expenditure.”
Broadband Solutions suggested an IP-based, full-feature PABX running via a single fibre connection that could be used for all guest and hotel administration phone calls and Internet.
“We went to market just looking for a PABX and what they offered us was a one-stop shop as far as an Internet, PABX, and a Telco provider all-in-one, so it was really quite a unique approach,” says Simpson.
“Where this solution really started to shine was in all its auxiliary benefits. It’s scalable, so ultimately we could swing another hotel off this infrastructure; the call costs are dramatically lower; and there was a huge competitive advantage going to market in being able to offer our guests free local and STD calls.”
The new system has proved to be fast, secure, reliable and easy to use. “It’s solid, it’s stable, it’s configurable – it’s everything we were promised,” says Simpson.
Implementation was also a breeze. “Broadband Solutions were astute and on time. They were also flexible, which is the most important thing with a new build.”
The new system has led not only to huge savings on calls, but also to a single network solution that is extremely well suited to today’s global, mobile workforce. “Staff can be on site or off site anywhere in the world and calls will go to their device, which acts as a desk phone. They could be on a mobile phone in Jamaica and that digital extension will ring their mobile.”
At Simpson’s request, Broadband Solutions also customised the PABX to work through iPods, iPhones and iPads using a free app. Broadband Solutions is now developing its own app for this purpose and the hotel is investigating the possibility of providing all housekeeping and maintenance staff with iPods, instead of wireless handsets or radio, which they could use receive and make calls and have jobs assigned via SMS and other software integrated within the app.
“Their customer service and support is definitely exceptional,” says Simpson. “They are Australians in Australia who care, which is quite unusual these days.” “They absolutely understood hospitality. They understand the urgency of our business and its 24-hour nature and the needs of guests. They also just understand business.” “When you combine these unique elements with amazing service, why would you go anywhere else?”.
THE NEW SOLUTION AT A GLANCE
- Fibre connection for guest Internet/admin Internet/ VoIP technology
- ISDN 10 On Ramp: for call termination
- SIP Trunk for Voice termination
- On-site IP PABX, including an additional on-site PABX as back up
- Cisco IP phone handsets
- Integration of PMS with IP PABX
- Installation and training
Implementing a hosted IP-based PABX from Broadband Solutions has allowed Atura Blacktown to save dramatically on call costs and setup costs, ongoing line rental, and hardware and maintenance costs, with the result that the hotel is able to offer all guests free local and STD calls – a huge competitive advantage. The system also provides the flexibility and convenience of a phone system that can be accessed from anywhere online by way of an easy-to-use graphic user interface.
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