Resource Technology Management Helps Hotels Get Tuned In to HDTV

  • Resource Technology Management
  • 08.12.08
With more than 150 years of collective hospitality industry experience, Resource Technology Management (RTM) has earned a reputation among leading hotel companies for its expertise in providing outsourced technology consulting and management.

Recently, the 15-year-old company that provides services to more than 1,200 hotels has been focused on helping owners manage the challenging HDTV and flat-screen conversion process to meet brand standards.

“One of the biggest issues facing hoteliers today is HDTV conversion,” said Terry Mueller, RTM CEO and a 27-year telecommunications industry veteran. “Not only are managers challenged with purchasing new TVs at the best price, but they also need to consider installation, theft of the new sets by employees and guests, furniture to accommodate the sets, cable infrastructure to support the required HDTV programming standards, and existing agreements with the program providers. Obtaining the necessary HDTV programming, combined with the obstacle of existing provider contracts, is a significant industry challenge. That’s where RTM can assist – we provide full brand-compliant project management to meet franchisor requirements.”

For management or ownership groups with multiple properties, these projects will demand huge amounts of attention and time from the corporate office through the maintenance teams at the properties, Mueller said. RTM performs the turnkey project management allowing the hotel’s staff to stay focused on their daily responsibilities. With the scale of such a project seemingly enormous, RTM will offer management of the entire project to be completed short term - before the December 2009 transition.

RTM COO and Partner Donald Shouldice said hotels are finding it virtually impossible to extricate themselves from existing pay-per-view and free-to-guest contracts.  RTM provides valid strategies to reduce or eliminate upgrade infrastructure expenses and not roll over on recommendations provided by the suppliers. From negotiations with HD content providers to installation and security measures, it is crystal clear why expert project management is needed.

“There are two main reasons why hotels are upgrading to flat screen TVs,” Shouldice said. “First, it’s a brand requirement for any new build hotel. Thankfully many of the brands have pushed the requirement for flats into late 2009, as they are hearing cost complaints from franchisees. Second, flat screen TVs –- although not equipped with high-definition programming –- add sex appeal to the guestroom. More and more hotels are making this transition, and those that don’t will find it increasingly difficult to remain competitive. Unfortunately, there is no return on investment for owners.”

RTM provides the following scope of service for HDTV conversion:

  • Review the contracts and status of the free-to-guest service provider at each property.
  • Prepare a contract abstract for each property and a summary by vendor.
    Make recommendations where appropriate to replace existing vendors or renegotiate present Agreements.
  • Contact each provider to complete the Property Survey form to determine the present infrastructure and the ability to support HDTV programming.
  • As necessary, send Resource personnel to the property to complete the Property Survey. The Client is responsible only for actual travel and lodging expenses as it pertains to Resource personnel.
  • Make property specific recommendation required for HDTV signal compatibility.
    Prepare, issue, and evaluate a Request for Proposal for properties that will require a new cable plant to support HDTV programming.
  • Provide project management for upgrades or cable plant replacement at each property.
  • Provide to Client a recommendation to contract with reputable third party to install flat panel sets with security clamps, place existing televisions in a secured location provided by the property, and remove all card board and other packing material.
  • Provide acceptance document of the flat panel installation and quality of the picture.  

Additional services provided by RTM include: hotel guest Internet support 24/7/365, hotel telecom service validation consulting, bill review/payment coding, expense services, circuit provision consulting and hotel brand compliance standards management.

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