Case study: The perfect hotel business center
Norman Langlois, General Manager
The Hillcrest Hotel, a Coast Resort

The Hillcrest Hotel is located in Revelstoke, BC, the gateway to Glacier & Mount Revelstoke National Parks. With 75 rooms, a health club, conference rooms and a gourmet restaurant, the hotel is a regional destination for everyone from skiers to business travelers, families and hikers. In today's connected world, everyone wants internet access. While the Hillcrest Hotel does offer wireless access, hundreds of guests walk through their doors every month without laptops. For General Manager Norman Langlois, it was important to offer all guests computer and internet access, including those traveling without laptops.

Finding the ideal solution

Shortly after the hotel opened in 1999 they deployed a commercial Internet kiosk. Mr Langlois recalls, "The equipment was lousy, speed was slow and guests complained, so we took it out, tried to operate it ourselves, but that too was a non-starter. We ended up with more viruses and headaches than we could deal with. So next we tried another kiosk company but guests were unhappy with the equipment. I decided there had to be a better way and that's when I found Userful."
The solution seemed ideal: an all-in-one Business Center for his hotel. It consists of one computer with four independent workstations attached to it, and all the public access software built in for free. Best of all, it's headache-free for staff because Userful remotely manages and maintains all the software.

Safe, secure, and easy to set up

There is a lot to consider when choosing a Kiosk or Business Center solution. Putting computers out for public use can be a huge drain on staff time. Security, viruses, hardware, spyware, and privacy protection are all huge, ongoing issues. Internet Cafe and Business Center providers need a turn-key solution that takes care of these headaches for them, freeing them to attend to the core duties of their business. This is where Userful Desktop comes in. It includes all the needed software from office suite and web browser to privacy protection and security. Userful Desktop has a built-in charging mechanism for pay-as-you-go internet access using prepaid cards. It also comes with toll-free and email support. All of this is free; the only cost to the host site is the computer hardware.
Mr Langlois ordered a custom-built table to ensure the system looked good in his unique lobby, and then pulled the Userful Desktop out of the box. He recalls, "In terms of set-up it was pretty much plug and play, virtually effortless. There was a little drawing showing what to plug where and we just followed that. We were certainly pleased with how smoothly it went." Having four workstations instead of just one also ensures the hotel has enough stations to deal with peak hours when many guests want computer access.

Hillcrest's investment pays off

Langlois and his staff began to sell prepaid cards, for which the hotel kept half the revenue. Hillcrest guests now have access to a full selection of software from web browser to chat, games and an office suite, at a price-per-minute set by the hotel. The system has been a welcome addition to guest services. "My staff was very positive and the service has been well received by our guests. That's the main thing we want. We're in the business of happy customers. We've done this as a customer service."
Judging by the Hillcrest Hotel's prepaid card sales, his guests have indeed been happy. Hillcrest's daily prepaid card revenue will soon have paid off their investment in computer hardware and monitors, proving Userful Desktop is not only a superb service for guests but also a great return on investment.

Case 8.6 of 10 on the basis of 3249 Review.