Scandic Hotels and Swisscom Hospitality have jointly announced the signing of a partnership agreement to deliver next-generation hotel high-speed internet access (HSIA) services. Swisscom is enabling Scandic Hotels to offer a differentiated Internet guest journey in line with the group’s vision and client-focused brand standards. The first important milestone has been reached with the successful go-live of the Swisscom Internet Access gateway in 135 Scandic Hotels across four countries.

The latest generation of Swisscom Gateway is the fruit of more than ten years’ experience of providing HSIA solutions at major hotel brands. The Swisscom Gateway incorporates a comprehensive industry feature set and can be customised to meet client-specific needs.

"We have the opportunity to recognise our repeat guests even before they come to reception and personalise our services from the first moment they are on-property."

For Scandic Hotels, a completely new navigation experience has been developed to provide a service in line with the group’s corporate vision of becoming one of the most loved and respected consumer brands in the Nordics. Scandic Hotels is leveraging Swisscom’s Gateway technology to automatically recognise returning guests, and deliver a personalised message to them regardless of where they are staying across the footprint of hotels. This new level of service, combined with an ergonomic, click-to-connect log in experience means guests get on line with the absolute minimum of fuss, and highest levels of personalisation.

To support anticipated demand for services, Scandic Hotels is delivering very high capacity circuits to its properties, and has opted for Swisscom’s High Capacity feature, which supports as many as 5,000 simultaneous users per property.

"Thanks to Swisscom’s new generation Gateway, connecting to the Internet in our hotels is starting to become as seamless as picking up your wireless signal at home or in the office," says Martin Thell, CIO for Scandic Hotels. "The benefit of this is not only a great service per se, but also an important new customer touch point that we want to explore for the sake of greater client proximity."

"We have the opportunity to recognise our repeat guests even before they come to reception and personalise our services from the first moment they are on-property. It only underlines the pivotal role that high-speed Internet plays in providing a seamless guest experience in hospitality today," he added.

Following the deployment of the Swisscom Gateway, Swisscom’s local deployment teams will systematically upgrade the Wi-Fi coverage within all 160 Scandic properties. The networks will benefit from the latest access points and Smart WLAN controllers from Ruckus Wireless, a long-standing Swisscom partner. The process will involve detailed site surveys, an evaluation of the existing networks and the design of a target infrastructure to be robust and scalable to support other IP-based applications in the future.

"I am extremely pleased to support a brand as vibrant and progressive as Scandic Hotels with our next-generation guest and network technologies," says Pål Byberg, VP global accounts and partnerships at Swisscom Hospitality Services. "The Swisscom Gateway delivers precisely the features and functionalities as defined by Scandic Hotels. At the same time, we layer advanced service management to guests, hotels and the chain through our support function."

Swisscom’s support and monitoring tools have also given Scandic’s IT team complete control over all 160 hotel networks, at all times. "The Swisscom support tools were a key differentiating element that gave us confidence to pass all service issues through our in-house service desk, in full knowledge that our partner Swisscom is there 24×7, 365 days per year if we need them," said Martin Thell.

He added: "We see Swisscom as a true technology partner, be it for their strategic insight and advice, their proven capability to design and build complex hotel networks, or operationally with their specialised skills and tools to help us manage our hotel networks, and drive a superior guest experience in our properties. This including, but not limited to the recently signed HSIA services."