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Modernizing Your UC Is All About Smart Investments

Smart investments in your UC solution can open your doors to contactless check-in, voice AI integrations, and simplified staff training.
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Today’s guest experience starts long before a traveler checks in.

First impressions are made through numerous travel apps, enabling easy access to property photos and reviews, and most bookings can quickly be completed through online travel agents (OTAs), which guests are using in ever-increasing numbers.

So, with fewer guests booking rooms directly by phone, where does this leave your hotel’s telephony? It is easy to overlook when most bookings come in through online channels, but unified communications (UC) solutions – including but not limited to telephony – play an essential role in delivering a modern guest experience. In fact, one could argue a modern UC solution is more important than ever.

During the pandemic’s early stages, many hotel managers discovered that quickly updating their auto attendant was the most direct way of sharing information with guests when the unexpected happened.

But the reasons for investing in your UC infrastructure go beyond crises. A recent survey by Lucidworks found travelers are more than three times as likely to opt for a hotel room versus a short-term rental. The biggest reason? The wider range of amenities that a hotel offers. Guests prefer easy access to room service, spas, and onsite dining.  Seamless communication underpinned by modern UC solutions are vital to delivering superior guest experiences.

There are also important operational and staffing considerations. Modernized UC plays an integral role in developing a work environment that is collaborative and agile. Recent research from Techaisle shows nearly a third of businesses in the hospitality, travel, entertainment, and leisure sectors cite a lack of adequate technology as adversely impacting their employees’ ability to work remotely – whether that be from home or simply away from their usual work location.

Get Current and Do More

The good news is investing in your UC doesn’t mean starting from scratch, especially if your legacy on-premise solutions still work. Instead, the focus should be on modernizing your existing UC technology to better align with your business goals, staffing levels, and your customers’ evolving expectations.

Strategic UC investments can also enable valuable integrations that go well beyond basic telephony. For example, if a guest requests extra towels, a modern UC back-end enables those and other requests to be managed via an app instead of calling the front desk. An alert is then sent by text message to your housekeeping staff, streamlining the request. Underpinned by a modernized UC, this model ensures requests are completed promptly and enables more efficient monitoring and execution of staff movements, especially during overnight hours when staffing levels are at a minimum.

Of course, the benefits of modernized UC systems don’t stop there. Smart investments in your UC solution can open your doors to contactless check-in, voice AI integrations, and simplified staff training. All without having to rip and replace what you currently have. That means fewer disruptions, increased security, and cost savings.

These smart investments also aren’t just for large hotel chains either. Scalable solutions mean smaller boutique inns and spas can also enjoy tangible benefits from a fully integrated cloud-based communications system that combines voice, email, chat, and social media. Whether you have 10, 100 or 1,000 rooms, simplifying your call flow and integrating your communications stack allow you to handle calls more efficiently, boost bookings, and leverage business analytics to strategically focus resources where you need them most.

The Next Steps

So how do you get started? The best option is to find a UC partner who can support the flexibility and interoperability required to leverage what still works for you. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in UC anymore, especially in the hospitality sector, where various pieces of hardware and software must be able to work together any time of day or night.

Techaisle’s research also shows the hospitality sector, along with retail, is less inclined to move to Unified communications as a service (UCaaS), but again this isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Cloud solutions come in many flavors, and a flexible UC partner can provide you with cloud options that work best for you. For some organizations, that could mean the security of a private cloud, the simplicity of a public cloud (UCaaS) solution, or a hybrid cloud option that provides the best of both worlds for your unique needs.

Whatever you choose to best meet the needs of your guests and staff, the critical thing to remember is that a migration path that leverages your existing technology investments is the best path forward.



Ashley Williams specializes in the hospitality vertical and supports Mitel’s Hospitality Specialized Partners. She works closely with the major hotel brands, industry consultants, analysts, ownership, and management groups to showcase the benefits of modern UC solutions to improve hospitality guest and employee experiences.

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