1,800 participants at hotel expert round with m3connect

During the Corona crisis, hotels are looking for growth drivers and find them in the modernisation of their IT networks. A group of experts reported from practice at the Digital Forum of the Allgemeine Hotel- und Gastronomie-Zeitung in February. Emilio Dragas, CEO of m3connect, and Niklas Unger, Director of IT & Digital Business at B&B Hotels, explained how B&B Hotels drove the digitalisation of its properties. 1800 participants were interested in their insights regarding the change of the infrastructure at the virtual part of this year’s German Hotel Congress.

The rollout at B&B Hotels was preceded by an intensive conception phase. Before new processes and a new Property Management System (PMS) were established in 138 properties in less than 6 months, a new foundation had to be laid. “We first defined the requirements for the Future Network project together with B&B Hotels,” described Emilio Dragas from m3connect. “Therefore, we specified all the important goals such as high bandwidth and high-speed internet, redundancy and failover, performance monitoring and SLA transparency, security and the ability to provide applications and cloud services easily and quickly.” All of this needed to be available not only at existing hotels, but also at all new properties. “Our goal was to create a hotel out of a suitcase – that means, we are able to provide the complete infrastructure to every new hotel in the shortest possible time,” Emilio Dragas described.

Niklas Unger from B&B Hotels confirmed the head start that the networked infrastructure of m3connect enables: “A well-organized network creates the basis for further growth and for service-oriented processes from which the guest benefits.”  As an example, he cited the cashless processing of services, which B&B Hotels is currently pushing forward in order to offer guests further added value.

Although the path of B&B Hotels with m3connect was confirmed as a sustainable model for hotel chains, the operators of individual businesses and holiday hotels still questioned how they could position themselves to follow the trend. They too “should take stock,” Emilio Dragas recommended. They too “would have to look at the whole in order to divide a big investment into several building blocks.”

At the end of the digital forum, it was clear that today’s investments in network infrastructure are tomorrow’s profits for hotels of all sizes.