As the hotel market continues the migration of hotel devices, moving from standard serial connections to Ethernet TCP/IP connections, property management system vendors face a daunting task of enhancing their existing device interfaces from serial to TCP/IP. Numerous property management system vendors now turn to new ways of connecting to hotel devices to gain this connectivity, instead of expending valuable development time releasing enhanced interfaces. Fortunately, there are many options available.
Why Network TCP/IP in Hospitality?
The benefits are numerous for hotels to integrate IP based devices:
- Communications are in real time, thus allowing hotel staff to provide immediate guest assistance.
- Connectivity is more stable, which reduces technical support requests and provides increased availability of services to guest.
- Remote configuration and diagnostics allow system vendors to access and troubleshoot and fix hotel device immediately without the time delay and costs of having to dispatch a technician.
- Device infrastructure can be located anywhere throughout the hotel property, allowing back office to optimally utilize limited space.
As vendors migrate to this architecture, expect that all categories of their interface library will have IP interfaces – including: voicemail, minibar, in-room Internet, and energy management.
There are manufacturers of hospitality solutions that supply over 50 available IP interfaces to various PBX, call accounting, pay movie, point-of-sale, and door key hotel systems.The buy-vs.-build analysis clearly indicates the vast advantage to outsource interface supply to products like Comtrol’s Lodging Link vs. continuing to develop internally. PMS companies are eager to again focus on their core competency of developing a more feature rich property management system for hotels, instead of dealing with device interface software. The decision to outsource was compelling, as the task of facilitating software protocol connectivity across various devices is frustrating for PMS vendors. Currently, 63 PMS vendors worldwide have elected to simply develop one interface to Lodging Link’s protocol translation software and tap the extensive library of available Lodging Link interfaces.
Therefore, as the task of interfacing to more complex, TCP/IP connected hotel devices accelerates – timing is ideal to tap the expertise LodgingLink interface solution provides.