Unplugged- Things to think about as you get ready to take your hotel operations mobile

With Alicia Marz-Fox and Dan Petersen

As many of you blog followers already know, the MICROS OPERA team has been working on our next generation product and are thrilled to be launching our front desk mobile product on our new OPERA 9 user interface.

As we have been going through our pilot process we have been learning valuable lessons from our beta customers.  We wanted to share it with you just in case you are thinking of moving your operations team onto mobile devices.

LESSONS LEARNED ON THE ROAD TO THE DESKLESS FRONT DESK

Start by asking yourself:

  • What aspects of my operation could I run on a mobile device?
  • Who is going to use these?  Housekeepers? Front Office Staff?  The GM? The concierge?
  • What devices will fit these business needs?
  • If you are going to use tablets, how are the users going to hold them?  Are you planning on stands?  Credit card swipes? Think of the logistics.
  • If you are planning on going mobile, do you have a PCI secured WIFI?
  • How will you secure your mobile devices? – Keep in mind that portable things have a habit of walking…
  • How are you going to keep the devices powered up? Find a way to ensure you don’t run flat at a crucial time.
  • Do you have an area where you can actually use these mobile devices? If your front desk has a barrier between you and the customers, maybe mobility in that area isn’t the best idea.
  • What about staff coverage? – If your whole front office team is just one person, then perhaps adding mobile devices won’t help that much.
  • Devices, devices, devices. What is your plan for key creation, printing of folios, capturing signatures, and swiping credit cards?
  • Lastly, for check-in and out, think about your business process. How are you going to handle cash payments, room blocking, reg cards etc?

We think you’ll find that answering the first 2 will help you decide on the 3rd and so on so forth.

As far as the PCI WAN goes – I had no idea what that entailed but my colleague pointed me to a really nice concise link which gives an overview of what is needed.  Although, you should get your IT folks to vet the connection properly.

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/documents/pci_dss_wireless_guideline_info_sup.pdf

Anyone who wants to come and play with our cool new toys can come and visit us on the MICROS stand at HITEC.  Hope to see you there!

Find out more about what MICROS can do for you! For more information contact us at info@micros.com Phone: 866.287.4736 (US and Canada)

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