New developments, are a different story, however, as it's nearly impossible to make a case for anything other than an all-IP network solution. In that instance, the case becomes finding the best value -- the combination of a quality solution and an effective, future-proof solution. It's safe to say, though, that when the communications network is part of a $4.5 billion dollar development, that choice leans heavily towards the capabilities of the solution, as in the case of the new Resorts World at Sentosa, a 121-acre resort set to open on Singapore's vacation island of Sentosa early next year.
The property will include at six hotels, a casino, the new Universal Studios Singapore, a Marine Life Part, Maritime Experiential Museum, the Equarius Water Park, and a number of other entertainment and dining opportunities -- a truly all-encompassing vacation experience.
As you can imagine, communications at such an expansive new set of facilities designed to offer the ultimate vacation spot must be first class it the experience is to meet expectations. After all, the ability of some 2,000 staff and administrators to effectively meet the needs of its customers will hinge upon their ability to communicate. This includes not only voice communications, but enhanced video and data as well, supporting everything from a reservation system and other basic guest services to casino surveillance and other resort-wide security services and more.
If you've ever been to a major hotel and casino, you can likely imagine the importance of communications to just that facility. Then add all the other attractions, and that complexity is increased exponentially -- which is why an established communications network vendor is required, one that has the experience and the solutions to build such a network, and support it.
For Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), that partner is Alcatel-Lucent, which will design and deploy the advanced infrastructure that will support the resort's extensive needs, including a state of the art Unified Communications solution for staff and guests, as well as a contact center solution.
Alcatel-Lucent certainly falls into the "established vendor" category, having a long, global history, when you consider its previous separate entities -- Paris-based Alcatel and the U.S. firm Lucent Technologies, which merged back in 2006 to create the new global giant.
Since then, the firm hasn't been without its struggles -- though it's certainly not been alone in that respect, when you consider the layoffs and earnings reports at many of the world's leading businesses. However, it has also not stopped looking towards the future with a positive outlook and, as CEO Ben Verwaayen recently noted, the most recent quarter was about "putting together the new Alcatel-Lucent."
Any merger of two large global businesses is bound to come with its share of trials and tribulations, but Verwaayen added he is "pleased with the customer response to our new direction and strategy. Their confidence in our capabilities is strong, as illustrated by our recent wins in 3G and LTE, as well as the encouraging increase in our order intake in both North America and Asia Pacific."
Speaking on behalf of one of those APAC customers, Mr. Yap Chee Yuen, senior vice president of Information Technology for RWS explained, "We chose Alcatel-Lucent for its broad product, services expertise as well as global presence."
The key, for RWS, was that, in addition to its expertise in providing a solution, it also has the ability to support the deployment post-deployment, becoming a long-term partner, rather than merely an equipment vendor. Specifically in the hospitality space, Alcatel-Lucent previously developed similar networks for well-known brands like, The Mandarin Group, M Hotel, the Ascott Group, and The Amara Group, giving it the experience a new venture like RWS requires as it moves towards its opening next year with 1,800 guest rooms and more than 3,000 phones.
Some of the notable features of the Alcatel-Lucent solution include:
- Alcatel-Lucent Hotel Link (AHL) -- The solution allows a centralized link to the property management system across all the properties;
- Military-grade Encryption -- For secure IP communications throughout the casino, hotels, and administration network;
- OmniTouch Unified Communications -- Provides administrators and back-of-house users with a feature-rich desktop interface, including seamless integration to email, fax server, voice mail, and My Teamwork notification server;
- OmniTouch Contact Center -- Offers visual IVR and a graphical interface for simplified and more efficient contact center operations.
Importantly, as any next generation communications solution should, the system also is easily upgradable, as future needs require, including plans to add enhanced capabilities into the guest room communications system.
Certainly, the hospitality space isn't the only area of expertise for Alcatel-Lucent -- it's only a part of its overall strategy to deliver the latest next generation communications solutions to businesses in any vertical market. But, its experience in this particular space, which boasts some of the most demanding communications environments in the world, should provide a real advantage as it continues on its mission to "transform communications for a world that is always on."