It wasn’t long ago when the resale of guest room and conference phone service was a cash cow for hotels, but changes in technology have led hoteliers with expensive and over-powered legacy systems with proprietary software/hardware to experience “PBX Regret”. It’s easy to understand why and so it’s important to choose a system that will give you the most value for the least amount of cost.
Phone System – PBX
Simplify your Selection – Install and Support
Be sure to understand who is providing your post-sale implementation and service agreement. Is your PBX provider experienced in hospitality and approved? Who will be onsite to install the equipment, when and how long will it take? Hoteliers should ask for a detailed deployment plan and, preferably, work directly with the company ensuring the warranty/support rather than a reseller.
Optimize and Reduce Costs – Purchase Options
Jockeying for market position, PBX providers have invented a number of ways to package their products to appear economical. Some show a low upfront cost with a huge monthly OPEX burden while others build in proprietary phones, gateways and other products and mark those up. It’s crucial to take time and parse out the pieces of each quote to find the right vendor for your hotels. Make a true “apples to apples” comparison by looking at the cost of the solution and all its components over 5-10 years, the cost of replacing part/all of the solution, the repair and truck roll costs. Be wary of “all inclusive” solutions with inflated costs as well as solutions that charge for what should be considered standard service like software upgrades, PMS integration, and auto-attendant.
Mitigate Risk – Future-Proof Yourself
In order to not be a victim of “PBX Regret”, it’s important to partner with a provider who is invested in the industry, one who is familiar with and preferred by your hotel’s brand, one who is staying up to date with the ever-changing laws around guest and staff safety and a partner with a strong support infrastructure to ensure QoS. It may cost more and there may be monthly expenses, but the PBX is still one of the most important pieces of equipment in your hotel. The phone in the room, the ability to locate staff and guests across the hotel, to alert emergency services and to secure voice and internet data all make the PBX an owner’s first line of defense.