By Thomas Lyle on May 5, 2014 at 1:37 AM
Cloud-based computing is a very powerful and convenient way to manage your hotel management software system. The Cloud simplifies your IT requirements and enables you and your staff to have access anytime and from anywhere.
One frequently recurring question is what happens should the Internet go out? How can my team work and check-in / checkout guests?
Firstly, most of the time when the "Internet goes down" the issue is a local one that is typically resolved with a simple reboot of the router. Assuming that access to the Internet is truly down due to a problem off the property - such as a line being dug up or other problems with the ISP there are a number of other options.
- Back-up Internet Connection - It is always a good idea to have a separate Internet source provided by a second Internet provider. This enables you to switch to the back-up connection when your primary provider is having problems. This solution has the added advantage of allowing you to use a network for your guests (who tend to consume bandwidth with videos and music right as your check-in rush is in full swing) and one for staff. Not only does this remove bandwidth issues from sharing the Internet with guests but it also increases security as the "public" is not using the service.
- 4G Internet Connection - In lieu of a dedicated Internet connection line one can opt for 4G connection from your local wireless cell phone provider. Using a USB 4G modem that is either plugged into the front desk computer or a special wireless router, you can have fast Internet connection for your staff should your man connection go down. The 4G option can be utilized full-time by your hotel front desk staff or used as a back-up. The advantage of using it for back-up purposes is that it allows you to use the 4G cellular service for staying connected away from the property. We have found the Cradle-point MBR95 router to work exceptionally well as a 4G router.
- The Cradle-point MBR95 4G WiFi Router available on Amazon.com
- Cellphone / Mobile Device - As a truly web-based hotel management system you have the ability to use the data service available in your smartphone, tablet or even some eBook readers. While the small form factor may not be ideal for all day, every day usage it is certainly a viable alternative and very handy when you are in a bind.
These days, many take continuous, uninterrupted Internet service as the norm while others in more remote locations face frequent outages. The thought of losing that connection to your data is a scary proposition for any hotel manager. However, it is a problem that can easily be mitigated with a small investment and some pre-planning.
We'd love to hear your ideas and solutions for keeping your hotel connected to its management software.