Techniche Consulting Services, one of the leading IT infrastructure consultants and Systems Integrators in India has strong capabilities to provide end-to-end infrastructure solutions. Some of the key focus areas of the organization include expertise in the complete gambit of IT infrastructure, expertise cover data communication, networking products and solutions, voice and non-voice services, security and surveillance systems, processes and a huge range of applications and systems. Techniche has a strong foothold in the hospitality industry managing the end-to-end tech infrastructure of many premium hotels and resorts in India and other parts of the world. In an exclusive chat, Dev Ranjan Banerjee, Partner of the company speaks on the ways to grab key accounts in the hospitality industry. Edited excepts
According to you, what are the key ways the hospitality industry is looking at technology?
In both premium hotels and resorts, technology is becoming a key enabler. For example, days are gone where you would see a hotel staff including the security and house-keeping having a big walkie-talkie for internal communication. Using WiFi, now many hotels are implementing VoIP based calling.
Another key implementation by many hotels is adopting Near Field Communications (NFC) for knowing whereabouts of the guests checking in. The major part where hotels are becoming heavily dependent on tech are in areas like PoS, monitoring of doors, fire-exists and majorly hotels are very particular on security systems beyond monitoring.
In recent years, hotels are becoming easy targets for any terrorist attacks or other mishaps. How is the hospitality industry is prepared for it?
Yes. In general, the decision maker is always the business owner. It is sad, the overall approach towards technology by a hotel is not preventive. For example, the recent attack in Sri Lanka is a good case study. The attackers were able to approach the spot easily as the hoteliers were not aware such attacks would happen. Even then, it was only the footage from their CCTV systems had helped.
How do you see the Indian hospitality industry prepared in terms of technology?
I notice two trends here. One hand, I notice the premium hotels and resorts are advanced even than the western, European and in some Middle-East countries. We are matured in terms of technology enhancements. I personally had traveled to a few countries and I say this out of experience after staying in those places.
Not just hotels, I notice that Indian resorts are way ahead in terms of technology. Because, if we take network connectivity as an example, Indian resorts are excelling in terms of providing seamless connectivity to the customers even in interior places. However, when we come down a tier lower- a family-run hotel or even a traditional motel in a highway, technology is kept at the least preference. For them, technology is always an expense which they cannot avoid due to various reasons.
Where do they lack in terms of spending?
They always wait for something to happen rather than being prepared for the worst. I know established hotels have not changed the password for WiFi for the past 3 years. Even these CCTV and other digital proofs from guests are demanded only because the government has policed them to do.
There are many hotels where the CCTV doesn’t function or even if it does, the images are blurred to the core. In fact, the time has come that we need to install CCTVs in hotels beyond recording. Thus the traditional and small hotels need to go a long way to ensure that in both surveillance and networking, they should ensure their perimeters are protected physically and digitally.
Are you on the opinion that stringent Government norms will increase IT spend in the hospitality business?
Yes. When the law is made stringent, no one can avoid making their organization IT-ready. That will have maximum impact when technology addresses their pain-points. For instance, the Adhaar details fed in the hotel might be shared with the police station in the nearest area. Thus, it makes the job of police as well as the hotelier easier. Even the police don’t need to visit every hotel for verification and be productive.
What are the key things one should have to be successful in the hospitality business?
Hospitality is a different ball game, unlike manufacturing or automobile. Hospitality industry during IT deployment will be of two aspects- project and operations. Channel partners need to develop a deep understanding on the hotel industry. For example, there are cases where we hand-over the IT infrastructure even before the operations starts. However, the chief chef of the hotel might come and say that a particular kitchen equipment should be replaced or misplaced against a CCTV camera which might not absorb heat. Such preparedness will come only if we understand the details of how the industry works.