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PBX/software smooths visits.


Guest at the 170-room Holiday Inn Orlando West, near Florida's Disney World, can get up to three automatic wake-up calls per day. They can even program them all by themselves.

They're greeted by name when calling the front desk.

Hotel housekeeping and maintenance chores can be handled more efficiently now.

A Harris "Accommodator" software package, a customized voice and data system that work's with the Harris 20-20 digital PBX and tandem switch, has been installed.

The fourth-generation 20-20 offers a full complement of voice and data switching features, nonblocking architecture, full redundancy (optional), multivendor and specification compatibility, and desk-to-desk functionality.

The Accomodator handles such functions as:

* recording check-in/check-out information,

* message waiting,

* guest directory information,

* room status,

* room telephone disable,

* and the automatic wake-up calls.

The two-storey hotel, which has operated at an occupancy rate of more than 70% since opening 15 years ago, caters to guests ranging from corporate businessmen to vacationers.

The switch replaced a 10-year-old analog PBX with limited traffic-handling ability and low reliability.

The new PBX has up to 1920 universak ports for truncks or lines and can handle up to 52,000 calls per hour, with a mean-time-between-failure rate of one every 27 years, according to George Proctor, director of domestic sales and marketing for the Digital telephone Systems Division of Harris Corp.

Under $100,000

"The cost of each system varies according to configuration and telephone equipment specified," he adds, "but the cost for an average 300-room hotel or motel is normally less than $100,000."

"You can do everything on one system," says Brent Bublitz, front-desk manager at the hotel. "You can check guests in and out, turn their room phones on or off, activate phone message lights, and program wake-up calls at guest requests."

When a guest checks out, the phone is now automatically disabled through the front desk so that unauthorized calls cannot be made from the vacant room.

In the past, the desk clerk had to call each room for wake-up calls. Now, the clerk enters the desired wake-up time for the guest, and the system takes care of it.

Various greetings can be provided to guests answering wake-up calls, including playback of recorded messages.

Guests are not limited to one wake-up call. The system can schedule up to three calls per room per day. It can even allow guests to set up their own reveilles.

Once a guest checks in, his name and room number are programmed into the system. Then, when he calls the switchboard, the operator can greet him by name, on the basis of information provided by the Harris Optic Teleset display-phone page and attendant workstation.

The on-line guest directory provides access to registered guest listings with convenient single-key dialing.

"It adds that personal touch our hotel was looking for," Bublitz says. "Our guests are impressed when we address them by name."

Know What's Clean

A housekeeping feature on the system enables maid service to keep records for which rooms to clean. The front desk can monitor that status through the system. A maid can change it by dialing the room phone. A guest checking out automatically changes room status to unclean.

Maintenance requests can be tied into the system. If a light bulb is out, housekeeping can log a repair request into the 20-20 from the room, and maintenance is informed.

Along with managing hotel telephone communications and record-keeping requirements, the PBX/software package has rectified a serious problem of charging guests for 800-number calls and privately billed credit-card calls--an error caused by a glitch in the hotel's old cost-accounting system.

"Guests got a little angry about the erroneous charges," Bublitz remembers.

The new system helps the hotel decipher toll-free from chargeable calls.

Before message-light capability, hotel personnel ran around hand-delivering messages. "Now, all we do is press a button," Bublitz says.

"If a guest sees the message light on, he just calls up and gets the message.

"It's a huge step up for your operation. The system simplifies our communications needs quite a bit," he says.

"Before, the front-desk staff was doing a lot of busywork. Now we channel more time and energy toward guests and the services we provide them."
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:to Orlando's Holiday Inn
Publication:Communications News
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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