UCC Opportunities in the Hospitality Space
Sep 15, 2016
I’ve just completed a new Market Insight entitled “UCC Opportunities in the Hospitality Space” taking a deep dive into the implementation of communications and collaboration technologies in this specific vertical, which is commonly perceived as a laggard in terms of UCC adoption.
Here follow key highlights of our findings:
- As organizations around the world embrace digital transformation, the hospitality industry is following suit, adopting advanced communications and collaboration technologies to gain operational efficiencies and improve the customer experience.
- Businesses in the hospitality vertical market have been slower to adopt Internet protocol (IP)-based unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions than other verticals, mainly due to infrastructure challenges. However, the market offers considerable growth opportunities as aging infrastructures are upgraded to accommodate new market requirements and dynamics.
- The need to optimize hotel daily workflows, the desire to connect a highly mobile industry, and the need to provide a memorable guest experience have been identified as the main drivers for the deployment of advanced communications and collaboration tools.
- There are around 200,000 hotels offering approximately 17.5 million guest rooms around the world with Europe being the largest market, followed by North America, Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), and Middle East and Africa (MEA).
- Out of the 200,000 hotels approximately 55.0 percent belong to the budget/economy category (1 to 2 stars), 35.0 percent to the mid-scale category (3 to 4 stars) and 10.0 percent to the upper-scale/luxury category (5 stars and above).
- Frost & Sullivan estimates that 25.0 percent of the hotels in the world have already moved to IP-enabled systems, as either upgrades from legacy systems or greenfield investments in new builds.
- The move towards IP communications within the hotel environment has been driven by both the need to upgrade obsolete TDM PBX infrastructure and the desire to enable advanced communications and collaboration services for internal users and guests.
- The high-end hotel market segment has adopted new IP communications and UCC services more extensively, due to the greater need to improve the guest experience. Mid-scale hotels as well as budget/economy guesthouses are only now considering the move to newer communications infrastructure, as more cost-effective UCC options and hosted/ cloud-based communications solutions become available.
- Major trends affecting the market include: the evolution of cloud communications deployments; the proliferation of hospitality-geared mobile solutions; the embedding of UCC tools into hotel workflows; the growth of all-in-one IP media phones within upper-scale/luxury hotels; the usage of biometrics for crime prevention and guest identification; the growth of audio-visual technologies within meeting spaces; the usage of near-field communications (NFC) for guest value-added services; and the need for a social customer service strategy.
- All major enterprise communications vendors target the hospitality vertical with various telephony and UCC solutions. Six vendors—Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Avaya, BroadSoft, Huawei, Mitel, and NEC—offer particularly compelling hospitality solutions.
- Frost & Sullivan research shows that Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is the leading vendor in Europe, followed by Mitel. Mitel is the leading vendor in North America, followed by Avaya. NEC is the leading vendor in Asia, followed by Avaya and Huawei. Avaya is the leading vendor in Latin America, followed by NEC. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is the leading vendor in Middle East, followed by Avaya and NEC. NEC is the leading vendor in Australia.
- While still new in the market when compared with the other enterprise communications vendors, BroadSoft has been growing its hospitality customer base around the world mainly due to the increasing appeal of hosted/ cloud-based communications among hotel facilities; its acquisition of SDD, one of the leading hospitality software and application providers; the launch of UC-One Hospitality, its hosted UCC offering specifically geared towards the hospitality vertical; and its growing channel partner ecosystem.
A growing number of hotels around the world are implementing advanced communications and collaboration technologies. New communications and collaboration solutions are not only providing value, convenience and personalization for guests, but are also enabling efficient interactions among staff members and creating potential revenue streams for hotel owners.
Mohamed Alaa Saayed
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