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The Albion Hotel Miami Beach Leaves PBX Behind for Cloud-Based Virtual Communications, Business Analytics

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The Albion Hotel Miami Beach in Miami's famed Art Deco District is part of Rubell Hotels, a family-owned business well known for transforming architecturally significant historic hotels into affordable cultural hubs. This particular hotel combines the family’s love of art and architecture with a bright, modern feel. The Rubell family has owned The Albion Hotel Miami Beach for nearly 20 years. In that time, the hotel has been the understated home to many of the individuals who spearheaded the transformation of Miami into one of the cultural centers of the world.

Despite the wide variety of excellent features and services the hotel was able to offer guests on property, The Albion Hotel Miami Beach suspected it was losing some telephone reservation business due to the poor quality of its phone service.

Staff members at The Albion Hotel Miami Beach worked daily with a 15-year-old analog PBX that was both inflexible and expensive to support. Its features were out of date and parts were hard to find. Additionally, even though the hotel wanted to added phone extensions for its 25 employees and 15 additional extensions for other areas of the hotel (gym, café, pool, etc.), the current PBX was unable to do so. However, hotel staff felt that upgrading to a new PBX would be too expensive and disruptive for business and so dealt with what they had.

In a fortunate turn of events, Ray Pasquale, CEO of Unified Office, became a regular guest at the hotel.

“He observed some issues that we were having with our communications system and workflows and talked with us about his solution and how it could help us work more effectively while increasing our customer satisfaction and reservations,” said Maximo Soncini, Revenue Manager, The Albion Hotel Miami Beach.

“Ray took a keen interest in our overall business. He surveyed us for any business issues that we would like to improve and then designed a service to meet these needs. We never thought that a business communications system could help improve our overall operations, but this one did,” Soncini added.

The hotel implemented Unified Office’s Total Connect Now (TCN), a managed business communications service that integrates voice and video communications, messaging, service-level monitoring, business continuity, and business analytics tools into a seamless, high quality, and reliable communications service. The service also provides hotel staff with real-time performance analytics and the latest in work-flow choreography as well as automated notifications for reservations and scheduling.

“They took our hotel from an antiquated, outdated system that was very inflexible and delivered 21st century capabilities, enabling us to operate more efficiently and provide a higher level of customer service to our guests. The service is also extremely flexible and can be changed by our staff to reflect changes in workflows and hotel operations when they occur,” Soncini stated.

This flexibility means a human is always available to speak with new and returning customers. Hotel staff can also easily manage and configure every aspect of the service remotely via Unified Office’s TCN Operational Management Suite (TCNOMS) web-enabled portal from any device. The Albion Hotel Miami Beach employees can easily change the messages played to customers while they are on hold, and they can change their own voicemail and text messages themselves whenever they want.

Even if the hotel’s broadband connection went down or was degraded, calls would be switched over to Unified Office’s 4G LTE service.

TCN also enables The Albion Hotel Miami Beach staff to conduct business no matter where they are at any hour of the day. Unified Office’s call choreography feature will send incoming calls from customers to a pre-defined group of people in a certain dept. If the first person who receives the call is unavailable, others will be able to answer the call wherever they are, on any device, even if they are out of the office. This ensures that customers will not have to go into voicemail during business hours.

“We really like the fact that our guests no longer have to experience dropped or clipped calls, busy signals or worst yet being placed on hold or put into voicemail. With Total Connect Now we will never miss a reservation. No matter what,” Soncini said.

Additionally, The Albion Hotel Miami Beach can now customize its call routing choreography to find the right person in a timely manner either through a call tree or an IVR.

“The entire installation process took place outside of the hotel’s main operational business hours,” Soncini said. “Our wiring was old and needed upgrading in the hotel and Unified Office stepped up to take care of that task for us so we could migrate to VoIP technology. All of this plus integrating our many room phones happened seamlessly over the course of a few days with no disruption to our business.”

In addition to saving on expensive legacy PBX parts and service, The Albion Hotel Miami Beach is also avoiding the expensive fees that they were paying their phone company for T1 access. Unified Office’s HQRP™ platform solves the quality and reliability problems inherent with cloud-based VoIP/UC offerings. HQRP™ eliminates the need for costly dedicated phone circuits such as T1 access lines, MPLS tunnels and other expensive legacy techniques that are typically used to try to create quality and reliability. Unified Office takes care of all of their business communications for them, so they no longer have to deal with multiple vendors.

Unified Office is also in the process of integrating with hotel management solutions including the property management system (PMS), which will bring all of the information on their customers into their phone system including bookings, billings, reservations, preferences, etc., so they can access it all in one place as they answer a call. The Albion Hotel Miami Beach will also use Unified Office’s analytics for an at-a-glance view of customer service responsiveness in real-time. This along with the call recording features will help with staff coaching and will be used to enhance customer service.

And soon, The Albion Hotel Miami Beach will be able to take advantage of Unified Office’s in-room portal for guests. The tablet will allow the hotel to partner with and promote local restaurants and tourist venues, acting as an in-room concierge, while also earning referral fees from these businesses. It also will offer self-ordering functions for room service and housekeeping.

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