There are so many buzzwords, trends – some might even say fads – in the industry today that it can be difficult to know where you should be applying your energy, which programs you should pursue and where you should spend your money. LAN Management is one of those buzzwords right now. It is definitely not a fad and, done well, could be a smart idea for your business as there are a number of benefits.
What is LAN Management?
Broadly speaking it is the implementation of a managed service that operates over a converged network, or ‘LAN’, potentially involving multiple products, services and hardware, all managed by a single party.
Why should I care?
See LAN Management as something that can give you flexibility in your operation. Done right, it will enable you to evolve your guest offering or your back-of-house administration, or both, without constantly needing to reinvest in new hardware and new partners to deliver your services.
Is there a cost to this?
Of course there is. There will also be a transition period in which risk will need to be mitigated as previously stand-alone networks and applications that were designed and built in isolation come together to create a holistic network environment.
But on the plus side, LAN Management will enable your systems to communicate better and capture more data to help you identify your guest’s preferences. What’s more, collapsing your network implies cost savings on hardware and creates a situation where development of your proposition becomes less about what you buy (and how much it will cost you), and more about how you will operate.
How else can I benefit from it?
LAN Management should offer an operational environment with little downtime and almost error free operation over multiple systems. Most importantly, it should offer quick resolution. Have you ever suffered from multiple vendors finger-pointing at each other saying the problem is at somebody else’s end of the network? With LAN Management, this goes away.
What is more, having robust service level agreements and a single network manager gives you much greater control over security, privacy and data compliance at a time when regulations all over the world are tightening.
Sounds good to me, but how does my guest benefit from this?
That’s easy, LAN Management over a converged network will allow you to make the most efficient investments in technology, upgrade services more frequently and enable systems to truly talk to each other. This will put you in a position to deliver excellent, truly tailored services to give your guests precisely what they want. And they will love you for it.
And probably keep coming back to your hotel as a result.