Wyndham Hamilton Park employees used Nextel PTT phones for fast, on-the-go communication around the hotel's large property. Alas, the Nextel network was shut down. The hotel needed PTT capabilities for instant communication and group calls.
"Employees were running up and down stairs to find someone to relay requests. Zello optimized operations at our property. If you can't service the guest, then what's the point?"
Wyndham Hamilton Park services guests in 219 rooms and 40 conference rooms. The hotel supports up to 400 people for conferences, events and special occasions. With more than 27,000 square of property, the staff needed walkie-talkie functionality to meet and exceed the needs of guests and employees. "We needed to not only focus on our external customers (guests), but also internal customers (staff). Focusing on the needs of our staff allows us to better serve our guests," said Jim Devore, Director of IT. Employees were running up and down stairs to find someone and to relay requests, needlessly squandering time and energy. With engineers working on rooftops, Wi-Fi coverage was vital to allow them to use the communications technology. With Nextel PTT phasing out, they sought another push-to-talk solution. They needed something more than cell phones because the communication had to be instant. Employees also needed to know others have received the communication and the ability to conference with a large group.
Before Nextel shut down, several carriers approached the hotel offering free devices and discounts for their PTT service. Wyndham employees tested the service and found it failed on many levels especially with low quality reception around the property. In asking corporate for other solutions, they learned about Zello because another Wyndham property used the service.
Jim Devore, IT Director of the property, set up and implemented Zello@Work by himself, which is a testament to the simplicity of the technology. With Zello@Work, Wyndham Hamilton Park now has a more feature-rich PTT service than it did before because employees benefit from smartphone functionality and flexibility. Security replaced ancient two-way radios with iPhones. In addition, because Zello can operate on a WiFi network, hotel staff began using iPod Touch devices to communicate.
The hotel employees like Zello for its simplicity, clear audio, and no delay. "It's user-friendly and all contacts and groups are in there," said audio visual team member Sean Oates. Delay was a frequent problem with other PTT solutions. According to Devore, the hotel is now 80% to 85% more efficient with Zello@Work than with PTT solutions offered by other carriers today. "It's now much easier and faster to connect with engineering or the bellman," said front desk employee Maria Zuniga.
The staffs’ most favored feature of Zello is the ability to switch their status from “Available” to “Busy” so others will know they're not available or busy in meetings. However, what caught Devore’s interest even more was how he found Zello to be a great complementary product to the Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS). "Zello and HOTSOS work hand in hand … two sides to the same coin”,he said.
As with all hotels, cost control is always a key concern. According to Devore, the switch to Zello saved 75% on recurring communications costs. Since they already paid for the devices, the Zello@Work is their only monthly fee. The huge cost savings allowed them to allocate the money to other high priority projects such as Wi-Fi deployments and upgrades. "Zello optimized operations and reduced our costs at our property”. claimed Devore.
The Wyndham is the largest hotel chain in the world with more than 7,000 properties primarily catering corporate clients for conferences, seminars and retreats. The staff at Wyndham Hamilton Park supports hundreds of guests on its 27,000 square feet of property consisting of 219 guest rooms and 40 conference rooms.