Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay Leverages HP and Aruba Technology to Future-Proof Network

The Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay has deployed a converged network consisting of core and edge switches from Aruba as well as a property-wide, high-speed 802.11ac wireless internet network from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to enable guests to enjoy free Wi-Fi across the 365 guest rooms, meeting rooms, restaurants and other public areas. With this deployment, the hotel aims to increase reliability and future-proof its network infrastructure and enhance guest experience by addressing the needs of business and leisure travelers who increasingly utilize internet-enabled mobile devices.

This is the first Steigenberger hotel in the UAE and it recently opened in October 2015 and its management was quick to realize the need for investing in a state-of-the-art wireless connectivity infrastructure. “Our chain of hotels sets high standards for all services including Wi-Fi as this is now a factor that greatly contributes to our guests’ positive experience. Especially in the Middle East where tech-savvy travelers are equipped with an average of three smart devices, the need for high-speed wireless services is imperative,” said Dinto Joseph, Director of IT at The Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay Dubai.

The Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay, is also the first property of Twenty14 Holdings, the hospitality investment arm of LuLu Group International, in UAE. “We always welcome innovative ideas based on the ever changing nature of the hospitality industry and demands of guests. Twenty14 Holdings is committed to taking the best advantage of the latest technology and adapting them at all of our properties,” said Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Twenty14 Holdings. Twenty14 Holdings currently has assets spread across UK, GCC and India.

Guided by Maxtouch Computers, a UAE-based IT solutions provider, Mr. Joseph and his team reviewed technologies from leading vendors. The team’s diligent market survey found that Aruba, with its numerous successful high-profile deployments in the hospitality sector, stood out from the pack. “Aruba’s strengths in the hospitality sector are evident as they provide a very impressive range of solutions that deliver Wi-Fi coverage in line with the high expectations and ever increasing needs of today’s travelers,” said Mr. Joseph.

The multifunctional Aruba 103 series wireless access points (APs) were selected for deployment in the rooms so as to maximize mobile device performance while minimizing interference from cellular networks. For the higher bandwidth requirements and connection densities of the meeting rooms, restaurants and public areas, Aruba 200 series APs were deployed. These gigabit Wi-Fi capable APs support 802.11ac, the latest and fastest standard for wireless technologies. Similarly, Aruba’s rugged 270 series 802.11ac capable APs were used to provide coverage in the outdoor areas while remaining aesthetically appealing and tolerant to harsh weather conditions. All systems were deployed across the hotel in under a month, a testament to the ease of installation of Aruba’s technologies and the expertise and professionalism of MaxTouch Computers.

The hotel has also utilized two Aruba 7200 series mobility controllers to simplify management of its new Wi-Fi network. “With 422 APs across our property it is labor intensive to manually configure and troubleshoot each physical device. This would also undoubtedly cause inconvenience to guests whose comfort is our highest priority,” said Mr. Joseph. “The mobility controllers allow us to centrally manage the entire Wi-Fi network, automatically update APs and ensure everything is running smoothly with the minimum amount of time and effort.”

In addition to the wireless technology from Aruba, the hotel installed HP 5406-44G core switches and HP Edge switches for IDF services. The network is designed as a converged network in which data, voice and video services are running on a single network infrastructure with complete failover redundancy from core to edge level. The core network is designed to physically separate the guest services and admin office services to achieve the highest security.

The hotel’s guests have already responded very positively to the internet service as it delivers good coverage and excellent performance. Backed by this confidence, The Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay now intends to utilize the Wi-Fi infrastructure as a platform to deploy guest fronting Wi-Fi enabled smart devices for room management and other services that drive guest enablement.

“The overall customer satisfaction with our hotel's Wi-Fi service scores high and this is the best measure of success. Based on our experience, Aruba's solution exceeds expectations and we highly recommend it for the hospitality sector,” said Mr. Joseph.

Graeme Kane, Business Manager, Hospitality at Aruba said, “Aruba's technology is the cornerstone for wireless, working with HPE Networking's extensive wired switching portfolio to enable hotels to build a unified wired and wireless solution seamlessly. The best in class joint solutions have enabled both companies to be ‘vendors of choice’ within the hospitality domain and the proof of this can be seen from our vast portfolio of leading hotel chains consisting of International & local hotels across the Middle East. We are happy to add Steigenberger to this illustrious list.” And look forward to continue to work with them as they expand in our region.