[Infographic] Hospitality Sector Losing Out from Poor Wifi Provision
Small and medium-sized hospitality venues are failing to grasp how much a reliable Wi-Fi network matters to guests, according to a new study by global networking company NETGEAR.
A significant 76 percent of hospitality venues are convinced that their quality of service and facilities are far more important to customers than Wi-Fi.
As many as 43 percent believe customers think poor or non-existent wireless access is a price worth paying for the experience on offer. However, the study shows that consumers disagree with these assumptions.
A third (33 percent) of leisure travellers say they would not return to a hotel that offered inadequate wireless access, and this number rises to two-thirds (67 percent) of business guests.
For boutique hotels, this could result in a potentially damaging drop in occupancy rates, further compounded by guests abandoning on-site restaurants and cafes for places where they can connect.
The study also shows that the boundaries between work and leisure time are blurring. People on a leisure break are now just as concerned about losing online contact with work (22 percent of young professionals aged under 24) as they are about missing updates from friends and social networks (29 percent of the same age group).
These findings are reinforced by other recent surveys that show 31 percent of UK holiday-makers rate good internet access above a clean room or a brilliant hotel restaurant, and that one in three customers will stay longer, and one in five will pay more, at a venue that offers reliable Wi-Fi.
Jonathan Hallatt, NETGEAR’s Regional Director UK, Ireland & South Africa, said: “Smaller hospitality and leisure venues must accept that for many people Wi-Fi is now a basic need. Wherever we are, whether it’s for work or pleasure, we immediately look for Wi-Fi access so we can stay in touch with our online world.
“People expect to be able to decide for themselves whether or not to connect, not to have that decision made for them. Failure to provide a reliable wireless network means customers will spend less money while they are with you, shorten their visit and never return. The financial impact of this cannot be ignored. Strong and consistent Wi-Fi should be seen as a revenue generator, not a cost.”
NETGEAR advises smaller hospitality and leisure venues to go for an easy-to-implement and cost-effective solution that does not required advanced IT skills, can be installed quickly using existing infrastructure and that delivers consistent wireless access across the venue.
For example, hotels can deploy in-room, wall-mounted wireless access points that provide fast and reliable download speeds. A central wireless controller can manage all these access points and provide a single view of how the network is performing so the venue can react quickly to any changes.
See the infographic here: http://www.netgear.co.uk/images/pdf/netgear_hospitality_wifi_infographic.pdf
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”