WiFi Performance Monitoring for the Hospitality Industry: Checking Up on Your Network as Guests Check In
Today’s travelers are tech savvy and tech reliant, and they just won’t stand for slow, unreliable WiFi at a hotel or resort. If they can’t quickly and painlessly send work emails, attend Skype meetings from their room, or stream movies on their laptops, they’ll hop on Yelp (even if they have to wait until they get home for a better WiFi connection!) and write a bad review. And worse, they’ll probably check into a different hotel on their next trip.
If you’re in charge of providing guest WiFi at your hotel or resort, you’ll find that network performance monitoring is enormously valuable for managing your large-scale wireless network. It gives you important visibility into how each network component is performing so you can stay ahead of potential issues. This sort of visibility helps contribute to a frictionless guest experience.
Hospitality WiFi Networks Are Complex
In our experience, hospitality WiFi networks make for some of the most complicated designs, and the challenges carry over from design to network monitoring:
- Constant turnover in end users: Unlike, say, an office environment, where for the most part the same users are returning each day with the same devices, hospitality is all about accommodating guests, and with new guests checking in every day, your WiFi network is like a revolving door of new users, constantly onboarding and authenticating new devices.
- Complex physical layout: Hotels and resorts are made up of dozens or hundreds of guest rooms, outdoor spaces like pools and even private beaches, and multiple common areas like lobbies, gyms, and conference rooms. And nowadays, travelers expect WiFi coverage in all of these zones. It’s not impossible to provide that kind of coverage, but it is difficult and requires careful engineering. Once deployed, every network component—every access point, switch, connected device, etc.—needs to be monitored, because every component is a potentially vulnerable part of your network.
- Increase in smart hotel rooms: The Internet of Things has checked into many hotels and resorts, and it’s here to stay. If you haven’t already, it’s only a matter of time before your hotel or resort will be introducing smart amenities like vending machines, door locks, climate control, light switches, alarm clocks, and more. They all rely on robust WiFi to work properly and delight your guests, so you need to know how your network is performing at all times.
Because hospitality wireless networks are so large and high-maintenance by nature, proper network performance monitoring is an absolute must.
Anticipate and Deliver
Hospitality is powered by anticipating the guest's needs and delivering the solution quickly and conveniently.
Westin hotels do this through their Gear Lending program. Wisely acknowledging that travelers often bring with them the best intentions to work out in the hotel gym but don’t always remember to bring their tennis shoes, Westin provides freshly cleaned workout clothes and shoes to borrow for a nominal fee. They’ll deliver everything you need right to your door within 15 minutes of your request.
In our experience, it is always better to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to WiFi performance. Partnering with a managed network provider like SecurEdge means you will have a system and plan in place that will help you avoid the vast majority of problems that have the potential to take your network down.
And in the rare instance when network monitoring can’t prevent a problem from popping up, it does mean that we can help you troubleshoot that problem in a fraction of the time and get your network back to optimal performance, without negatively impacting the guest experience.
What Does SecurEdge Network Monitoring Entail?
Hospitality is a 24/7 industry. Your guests expect instant WiFi connectivity at any given time, day or night—which means your network always needs to be running at its optimal level.
That’s why SecurEdge Services include 24/7 network monitoring that will detect changes in network performance and immediately alert you to the affected areas. This will help your IT team identify, isolate, and troubleshoot problems way more quickly, which means less network downtime and in turn, happier guests.
Radio Frequency monitoring in Securedge Cloud Manager grants the IT team unparalleled visibility into the real-time health of the network. Monitor network usage across your devices and locate areas that are underperforming or devices that are overloading your network. Your floor plans are uploaded into the cloud and easily accessed to monitor the health of your hardware. See real-time health status of your wired switches and wireless access points and manage accordingly. Track devices across your area network and see their utilization and performance to further measure and optimize your wireless network.
Our monitoring software is also constantly collecting performance data over time (which allows you to do trend analysis) and information about connected clients, the devices they’re using, and the applications they’re running on your network. When put together, all of this information paints a complete picture of how your network is being used, how well it’s performing, and what changes might need to be made.
Building Brand Loyalty through Reliable WiFi
In the hospitality industry, happy guests make repeat customers. Delivering stable, high-performing WiFi is a key part of winning over the travelers passing through your hotel or resort and turning them into lifelong, brand-loyal guests. That’s why it’s so important to properly monitor your WiFi network’s performance.
Convinced that your large-scale wireless network could benefit from performance monitoring? We’d love to support your efforts. Find out more about partnering with SecurEdge.
Dana Adams blogs regularly for SecurEdge and other tech companies. She believes technology should serve people, not the other way around. When she's not blogging, you'll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family and two rescue dogs.