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Guests today are looking for hotels and public venues that exceed the technology experience they’ve grown accustomed to at home. And it’s easy to take for granted that content and connectivity are just there, especially in hospitality. We quickly access new movies in our hotel room, demo a video at a trade show and our phones work like a champ even outside a concert venue.
Great technology can be harder to notice because it fits our needs so well. But what makes it great? No one understands that better than John Fountain, Cox Communications’ Director of Technology at Hospitality Network and Blueprint RF, having worked within hotel technology since the late nineties.
At the heart of Cox Communications’ hospitality arm is technology integration for hotels, casinos, convention centers, stadiums and arenas across the United States. Along with providing managed services for brands such as Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt, Fountain and his team supported Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium and the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“Success is getting 100,000 people on the internet with few complaints,” Fountain said of the trade show that drew more than 115,000 attendees in 2023. Cox installed 1,700 internet access points within the 3.2 million square feet facility’s convention hall to provide connectivity to the massive crowd.
Photo via @CES Twitter
A high-speed internet connection is extremely critical, “like water,” Fountain said. He noted how the way a building is wired can make connectivity difficult. Yet the company’s ability to work anywhere, regardless of infrastructure, and provide good quality internet to guests sets them apart from others in the industry.
Beyond connectivity, Fountain named other components of smart hospitality technology that help enhance and streamline the guest experience including:
Cox recently developed a hotel industry-specific in-room entertainment system offering the latest Hollywood movies, free-to-guest channel lineups and popular content streaming apps such as Netflix and YouTube. The system can be navigated in 42 different languages and casting is also available from guests’ devices to the hotel TV screen.
Another emerging technology is Cox’s digital compendium called iGuestbook®. Interactive guest services make it easy to request fresh towels, check restaurant hours or simply check out. This system allows hoteliers to capture the unique flavor of every property and promote amenities, dining establishments and entertainment through attractive images that boost guest spending.
“It’s all packaged together so the hotelier doesn’t have to worry,” Fountain said earnestly.
When it comes to the future of hospitality tech, Fountain is betting on more sensors, video, virtual reality and gaming.
With many aspects of technology available to create an outstanding guest experience, the first question is where to start. Connect with our friends at Cox Communications to schedule a free consultation to determine your network requirements and what systems you need to support guests of today and tomorrow.