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UC deployment in Hospitality: Why, How & What!

The Deployment: Normally, UC deployment involves an integration of the various bits & pieces of communication channels such as voice and voice messaging, calendaring, IM (Instant Messaging), presence, audio & video conferencing, mobility and web collaboration. The integration and deployment models encompass key strategies that are either Process or Productivity specific. Presence remains the core competency of Individual Productivity specific integrations while business process specific deployments focus more on process-streamlining through process automation or elimination i.e. reducing the response time, managing flows, and eliminating device and media dependencies. Though the business process UC integration approach is more complex, it usually reflects better on the bottom line as compared to personal productivity methods alone.

Tech-trends: In general, latest UC tech-trends exceedingly emphasize making communication more collaborative, socially-aware, real-time, rich and mobile than ever. Best developments through-out the industry include a gradual shift from device-based to user-based i.e. truly real-time Presence. Also, the outsourcing model of enterprise communications with guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) aka on-the-go, as-needed or Communication-as-a-Service (CaaS) is equally in. Caas or Cloud-computing allows organizations to implement UC without spending on buying, hosting and managing communication equipments. Similarly, UC security product and solution portfolios are also expected to show a proportionate rise with the acceptance and growth in UC market.

Solutions for Hoteliers: In the Hospitality & Travel scenario, UC bring brilliant opportunities to enhance communications, reduce 'human latency' and enrich the overall guest experience. With UC, hotel management can get secure & unremitting access to the guest information and similar resources while the clients get ubiquitous access to uninterrupted service.

Service is a premium in the hospitality industry and a successful UC integration could just guarantee that. For instance, an intelligent, integrated CRM business communication solution such as HiPath Hospitality Service Center from Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN) can optimize workflow to ensure customers receive the highest levels of customer care or support. Hotels can maximize their service levels and minimize the communication costs, both at the same time.

Key Areas: A contact center, for instance, is lifeblood for Travel and Hospitality industry today. Hoteliers need contact center solutions that are designed to help their business retain, grow, and increase customer loyalty maintaining the high-standards of service. Since Customers evaluate the quality of service on their total experience – that’s the sum total of impressions made throughout the relationship, across multiple channels, over time. That's why it's important to have a call center management solution in place that integrates easily, is user-friendly, allows for performance monitoring and maximizes your investment in people and technology.

Fortunately, hoteliers have a whole range of solutions to choose from based on their specific requirements and preferences. A growing hotel chain that prefers a cost-effective solution which fits into its existing infrastructure and offers high levels of flexibility in terms of upgrade and compatibility, can consider solutions like OpenScape Contact Center Enterprise. Such open-standards based solutions fit easily into the existing IT-infra and are multi-site, multi-channel skills based routing and reporting engines that enable inbound voice, email, web chat, FAX, voicemail, and callbacks for medium to large contact centers. Such solutions benefit by driving first contact resolution, optimizing contact center resources, enhancing customer service delivery, adapting easily to meet customer needs and simplifying implementation & operation. Similarly, for small to medium contact centers OpenScape Contact Center Agile may be a comparable single-site engine. Other focused products like OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integration for Contact Centers incorporate real time information from Twitter to help agents deliver better service or sell more products.

Asheesh Pandia

The author heads Communications for SIEMENS ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS (SEN INDIA)

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