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Starwood Hotels - Resorts

When Starwood went looking for a better way to handle their communications, they knew exactly what they wanted. With nearly 1,200 properties and more than 170,000 employees in about 100 countries worldwide, they needed technology that could be integrated across all their existing solutions, in all types and sizes of properties.

“We had a lot of legacy systems in our 530 or so hotels in North America and a lot of diversity with regard to manufacturers and age of equipment,” said VP of IT Mark McBeth. “With Mitel, we can just plug in a system and have it work with the equipment in the field and the devices in the guest rooms.”

Starwood chose the Mitel MiVoice Business and MiVoice 5550 IP Console for all of its North American hotels. Just having the technology, however, is not enough. In the hotel and resort business, it’s essential that it work the way it’s supposed to—all the time.

“In a hospitality environment like ours,” McBeth said, “the expectation is that technology works flawlessly every time, and with Mitel that’s exactly what we get."

Goals
  • Streamlined, efficient communications 
  • Improve collaboration between employees and locations 
Results
  • Easy-to-use, efficient communications system
  • Reliable technology for 24/7 use
  • Increased interoperability across the board

We needed a product that we can deploy across all of our brands, all sizes of properties, all types of properties.

And we were looking for a solution that had interoperability with a wide array of equipment that we had out there in the properties. Whether it was network equipment from Cisco from HP and others, or whether it was the guest room telephones which come from a handful of vendors. We also had products that took up a large vast of space in our real estate within our properties that we needed to address. And we needed something that was reliable that would be able to take us into the next generation of technologies.

On the infrastructure side, we have Cisco and HP primarily in the environment. And then we have a series of partners that provide HSIA to us with various gateways and requirements and communication challenges of their own. That interoperability that Mitel brings gives us some freedom with regards to our choices with what we inter-op with and what we deploy in our hotels, whether it's a different guest room phone, a display phone, a different manufacturer's switch.

One of Starwood's other strategies is to move as many applications as we can above property, or into a hosted environment, or cloud, and voice is one of those. And we think that Mitel's well positioned for that because they have the experience in the hospitality industry where others may not. And in that model, we can take advantage of economies of scale, we can take advantage of virtualization, and ultimately we're looking for lower total cost of ownership.

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