GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT BUSINESS CENTERS

Embassy Suites Hotels has introduced Embassy Business Link, an upgraded business center powered by Uniguest and with remote printing capabilities from PrinterOn.

“Guests told us that to be a serious business hotel, we had to have a serious business center,” says Phil Beilke, director of brand quality, Embassy Suites. That's why Embassy Business Link features two work stations with high-speed Internet access, security software, copying and laser printing capabilities, and other office tools. The rollout, just begun to the 180-plus Embassy Suites, is expected to take a year.

“We have been working with both Uniguest and PrinterOn for more than a year now,” Beilke says. Several hotels that had worked with Uniguest suggested to brand officials that it should be deployed systemwide.

Other attributes of Embassy Business Link are 24/7 accessibility; complimentary computer usage, local faxing and HSIA by hotel guests; complimentary black-and-white printing, with color printing available at a low cost per page; and easy access to popular e-mail programs and local city guides.

“Our research told us that guests want a consistent solution or experience,” Beilke says. “They want to know they have the same software available that they had at the last Embassy Suites, so we went about working with Uniguest to provide solutions specific to the brand.”

Key concerns were availability of Microsoft Office products and “a solid printing solution,” Beilke says. “One of the primary reasons guests use a business center is to print documents, so we needed to come up with a solution that would enable that and give them control over how that happens.”

Uniguest and PrinterOn enable guests to print to Embassy Business Link in a confidential mode activated at the center by a PIN, “or they can have the document print directly to the front desk with a cover sheet that has their suite number or name on it and we will deliver it directly,” Beilke says. The latter option works through the PMS.

Embassy Business Link is an “actual, separate business center,” in a room of its own. They aim to be quiet and they will feature laser printers and a multifunction device bundling printer, copier and fax machine. The printers will be Mac-friendly, Beilke notes.

In a related move, Wayport has introduced Wayport CyberCenter Express, a business solution enabling hotel guests to connect to the Internet in lobbies and other public areas. It offers walk-up HSIA and access to various Microsoft applications. Customers can access CyberCenter Express services by swiping a prepaid Wayport card or a major credit card. The station provides card verification and acceptance online, connecting the customer immediately to the Internet.

Its turnkey approach provides installation, 24/7 support, remote management and the necessary patches and updates.

The installation features a 17-inch LCD monitor with a color display, an Intel Pentium 4 processor and Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Office 2003 Basic

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