IP PHONES GIVE MANDARIN AN EDGE

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is a technology leader in five-star hospitality, operating 21 hotels in 13 countries. Its newest, the 179-unit Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, features a broadband network with advanced security functions including Internet protocol (IP) phones, high-speed Internet access and wireless LAN.

Mandarin Oriental selected NEC Corporation as its partner, based on NEC's technical capabilities, numerous installations and rapid-response, 24/7 support system.

“Our target clientele includes guests from the financial or entertainment industries, as well as guests who are seeking high-end leisure activities,” says Geoff McClelland, vice president of technology and hotel development for Mandarin Oriental. These guests are demanding.

“We heard that in many cases, guests had difficulties accessing virtual private networks (VPNs) at other hotels, and when groups were considering using Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo for events and gatherings, they often sent an IT manager ahead to test our system in advance,” says General Manager Christian Hassing. “We believe a reliable IT environment that offers easy access to the Internet and VPNs will give us a major advantage over the competition.”

In construction of this system, the group focused on creating an intelligent, upgradeable network that could be the core of the hotel's business operations, and at the same time enable data transmissions from guestrooms as well. It was particularly important that the network offer high-speed broadband access from guestrooms, using both wired and wireless connections, as well the flexibility to accommodate IP phones and streaming transmissions for movies and other contents.

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