Warwick Westminster, Paris, France
Le Warwick Paris Hotel, Paris, France
Barsey by Warwick, Brussels, Belgium
Existing Wi-Fi networks having issues connecting the latest iPhones in all three European hotels.
Q. Can you tell me a bit about the Warwick Hotels and their relationship with GX2?
A. The Warwick Hotels and Resorts began with the acquisition of the iconic Warwick Hotel in New York in 1980 followed by Hotel Warwick Champs-Elysees in Paris, now the Le Warwick Paris Hotel. They now have around 50 sites around the world.
GX2 has been providing the Guest Wi-Fi for a few Warwick properties in Fiji and Vanuatu for several years now. Conveniently, both GX2 and Warwick have their North American Head Offices located in Denver Colorado.
Q. What were the issues that started the conversation about Europe?
A. In several European properties, the hotel was finding that their guests with the latest iPhones were frequently not able to connect to the Internet. And if they could get a connection, it would be unstable and likely to disconnect.
Q. Just iPhones?
A. Yes. Just iPhones.
Q. What were the implications for the hotels?
A. The Warwick Hotels are a premium brand with guests that expect great service in every respect. Particularly with Wi-Fi which is becoming a necessity of similar importance to hot water in a hotel. In this particular part of the world, Apple devices are the most popular brand of phone – therefore the number of guest complaints about Wi-Fi was becoming very significant.
Q. Why was his problem occurring and what did they do about it?
A. Apparently, the incumbent Wi-Fi management provider was simply not able to troubleshoot a solution to keep these devices connected, so The Warwick reached out to GX2 Technology. They needed a solution that could be implemented fast to arrest growing negative reviews about Wi-Fi.
Q. What do GX2 do about it?
A. We have an office in London that supports customers in Europe. It is also one of our 3 Call Centers that provides support for our hotel guests and staff around the world. We sent some of our Engineers over to have a look at the hotel with the biggest issues, Barsey Brussels.
The problem was that the existing Wi-Fi hardware needed an upgrade. Not only did it not support the latest 802.11ac standards but the software did not have the capability to fully support the way that the latest Apple gear works with Wi-Fi.
We replaced the existing Access Points and Wireless Controller with the latest Ruckus APs and Zone Director.
The previous provider was gracious enough to work with us to minimize any issues integrating into their existing network. The new solution addressed the issues immediately and guest satisfaction improved dramatically.
Several weeks later, GX2 successfully implemented similar solutions at the Warwick’s two Paris hotels, Westminster and Le Warwick and is now providing 24/7 support at all locations. The number of guest Wi-Fi issues has also been dramatically reduced.
Q. Are there any other aspects to these three sites apart from the core Wi-Fi?
A. To be able to troubleshoot, authenticate and bill customers (if desired by the property) we need to integrate the Wi-Fi system with the Hotel PMS. With the Warwick properties, we configured an interface with the Oracle system in each site. Additionally, GX2 is developing a connection between the Wi-Fi and the Hotel Loyalty System. With the interface to the Loyalty system, the Warwick will be able to automatically allocate higher bandwidth to their VIP guests and deliver a superior experience to their best customers.
Q. How do you support these sites.
A. We have around 350 sites all over the world and it impossible to have people on the ground everywhere so we design our Wi-Fi systems and the underlying IP infrastructure to make remote diagnosis and repair as streamlined as possible.
A well designed-and-implemented Wi-Fi network doesn’t break very often. When/if it does, our ability to quickly work out what has gone wrong and then work with the hotel engineering/IT staff, vendor support programs and/or local partners to replace a faulty component means that we can be confident of a quick resolution. The last part of the puzzle is our ability to gently handle the guest when they have the inevitable problems such as getting their flight-mode iPad to connect to Wi-Fi.
GX2 was able to address our immediate iPhone connection issues and worked in a professional manner to help us migrate smoothly from our previous provider. The level of 24/7 world wide support and custom integration into our PMS and Loyalty systems is essential to us providing the level of Wi-Fi support our guests expect. GX2 is a true partner.
Regional Director IT, Warwick Hotels, Europe
GX2 GOS Gateway Appliance
Ruckus Wireless APs
Ruckus Wireless Controller
HP Core and Edge Switching
GX2 24/7 Guest Support