Navigating the Upgrade to Next-Generation Hotel Communication Systems


Introduction: Why Staying Tech-Savvy is Essential in Hospitality

In the fast-paced world of the hospitality industry, keeping up with the latest tech isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s absolutely crucial. Think about it: 50 years ago, hotels could get by being a bit behind the curve, but those days are long gone. Now, with AI and tech evolving at breakneck speed, not staying on top of the latest trends could seriously hurt your business. Integrating cutting-edge communication systems like VOIP PBX with Property Management Systems (PMS) isn’t just about being fancy; it’s about staying efficient, competitive, and making your guests’ stay smoother and more enjoyable. If you’re slow to adopt these changes, you’re at a real risk of falling behind.

Just look at Airbnb. They swooped into the lodging scene, grabbed a huge chunk of the market, and they did it all thanks to their smart use of technology. It’s a clear sign that in today’s world, technology isn’t just part of the business; it is the business. For traditional hotels, this means that embracing new technologies isn’t optional anymore. It’s the key to keeping your doors open and your rooms filled.

Why You Want to Read This Article?

While everything (okay, a lot) in this world is driven by commerce, we’ve tried to keep this article as interesting and helpful as possible, steering clear of an overt advertisement tone. Feel free to mentally replace “Improcom” with the name of your favorite company; the insights and advice here are universally applicable and valuable for hotel owners and managers. This article aims to provide a learning resource, guiding you through the nuances of modernizing your hotel’s communication system in an ever-evolving technological landscape.

The Limitations of Old-School Phone Systems

If you’re running a hotel with a trusty old PBX key system, it’s time to take a hard look at upgrading. Sure, these systems have been reliable workhorses, but they’re starting to show their age, especially when it comes to expansion and integration with modern tech. The biggest hiccup? They just don’t play well with today’s Property Management Systems (PMS) and the ever-growing range of AI-based software. This gap isn’t just inconvenient; it’s a barrier to staying competitive. The market’s changing fast, driven by tech advancements, and sticking with outdated systems could leave you trailing behind.

The Wiring Woes and Wi-Fi Workarounds

Here’s a kicker – those old phone systems often run on cabling that’s pretty much a relic in today’s network infrastructure. Upgrading to a shiny new system might mean overhauling your entire cabling – a hefty investment by any measure. Now, you might think, “What about Wi-Fi IP-based phones?” Sure, they sound like an easy fix, but tread carefully. If your hotel is one of those charming, older buildings with thick walls, Wi-Fi could be more of a headache than a solution. Weak signals, dropped calls, and a barrage of guest complaints could be your new normal. And the cost of constant tech support? That’ll add up, making the total cost of ownership way higher in the long run than just biting the bullet on a more substantial initial investment.

The Importance of PMS Integration

Integration with PMS and other systems is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. Modern PBX systems gel seamlessly with most PMS systems, making operations smooth and hassle-free. Names like Fidelio and Mitel? They’re fully supported. This integration is key to streamlining your services and keeping everything running like a well-oiled machine. It’s the kind of upgrade that not only improves day-to-day operations but also significantly enhances the guest experience.

The Value of Professional Help

Now, you might be tempted to cut corners and rely on your in-house team for this upgrade, but let’s pause and consider the potential pitfalls. There are countless ‘small issues’ that can pile up and derail your project before it even reaches the finish line. Take the hotel that bought a batch of used phones online, only to find that half had unchangeable custom firmware. Or the one that, almost at project completion, discovered their CMS couldn’t fully integrate without an expensive additional module. And let’s not forget the company that chose an open-source PBX, seeming cost-effective until a security breach led to a staggering $7,500 bill in unauthorized calls in only one night. These examples highlight the nuances and complexities of such upgrades, where professional expertise can be the difference between success and a costly, frustrating ordeal.

One more example: a hotel chain took over a building from a previous owner who had cut corners on cabling by hiring the cheapest team available. The job was done, sure, but with a glaring oversight: no one bothered with proper documentation or labeling of the work. Fast forward to when it was time to install the IT equipment, and the new team faced a tangled puzzle. They spent twice as much time just trying to figure out the wiring maze, which led to a hefty bill. This expense was significantly more than what it would have cost if things had been done right the first time. The specialists, who naturally charge much more than your average cable guys, had their work cut out for them. This scenario perfectly encapsulates the adage: being cheap at the start doesn’t always mean you’ll save money in the long run.

Remember, the devil is in the details, and in this game, overlooking them can be a costly mistake.

Partnering with Improcom for Your Hotel’s Communication Upgrade

Now, let’s talk about a team that knows a thing or two about upgrading hotel communication systems – Improcom. This NYC-based telecommunication company has been in the game for over 25 years, bringing a wealth of experience ranging from data-center cabling and camera surveillance to IP support and custom software integration with modern CMS/CRM/PMS systems. You might think this range is a bit broad, but it’s exactly this diverse experience that gives them the edge in accurately estimating projects and proposing cost-effective solutions.

Tailored PBX Solutions from Improcom

Improcom specializes in delivering top-notch PBX solutions, tailor-made for the unique demands of the hospitality industry. They’re not just about installing a new system; they focus on integrating the 3CX PBX seamlessly into your existing infrastructure, ensuring it works hand-in-hand with your Property Management System (PMS).

The Reliability of 3CX PBX

When it comes to your hotel’s reputation, every guest experience counts, and a reliable communication system is key. Improcom’s 3CX PBX solutions are designed for superior reliability and are fully compliant with emergency 911 requirements. Imagine having instant notifications for emergency calls from any room in your hotel, allowing for quick and appropriate response – that’s the kind of reassurance Improcom’s systems provide.

Seamless Integration with PMS

One of Improcom’s standout strengths is ensuring your PBX system and PMS are in perfect sync. Whether it’s popular protocols like Fidelio or Mitel SX2000 PMS, they integrate these seamlessly into your setup, making the transition smooth and hassle-free.

Custom Solutions for Unique Needs

And if your hotel uses a less common PMS? No worries. Improcom excels in custom integration services, catering to the specific needs of your hotel. Their approach is all about versatility and efficiency, demonstrated by their custom open-source PBX-PMS integration for CloudBeds Hotels, a leader in cloud-based PMS.

A Track Record of Trust

Improcom’s expertise is trusted by renowned names in the hospitality sector, including two hotels in the esteemed Wyndham/LuxUrbans Hotels network. Their track record is a testament to their ability to deliver effective and reliable solutions tailored to the hospitality sector’s needs.

So, if you’re pondering over upgrading your hotel’s communication system, consider having a chat with the folks at Improcom. With their blend of experience, technical know-how, and commitment to tailored solutions, they might just be the partner you need to bring your hotel’s communication capabilities into the modern age, without the stress and hassle.



Alex Romanchuk

Improcom, CTO