FROM TRAGEDY TO OPPORTUNITY – Hospitality Technology Post Pandemic

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October 26, 2020
Security
David Durko

FROM TRAGEDY TO OPPORTUNITY – Hospitality Technology Post Pandemic


As the hospitality industry begins to see the green shoots of recovery and properties reopen, as sentiment turns from doom and gloom to hopefulness, we look forward to returning to a normal operating environment. Normal in that business and tourist travel crowd hotels and restaurants worldwide. The hospitality industry faced the pandemic head-on, forced to learn some valuable lessons forced to examine hotel operations. The industry learned that most properties did not have a functional business continuity, resiliency or disaster recovery plan, and few were equipped to provide a secure work from the home environment.

Cybersecurity fell victim to the rush of retooling the operating environments. Some of the biggest changes made and ones likely to remain as we return to normal is the centralizing and sharing of reservation services, remote revenue management (more properties to manage per revenue manager), and availability of a safe, stable work from home solution. As often happens during times of adversity, technology has risen to the occasion offering solutions to problems in new, innovative and cost-effective ways. We now can combine and implement two great technologies to ensure greater efficiency, significant cost savings, and improved performance for hoteliers all over the world. Heralded as innovative while yielding significant cost savings and meeting the needs of a diverse and disparate workforce virtual desktop/server infrastructure (VDI) has re-emerged. This is not your grandparent’s version of VDI, but instead it is a new hosted and fully managed VDI solution leveraging the power and security of SD-WAN technology.

Combining virtual desktop infrastructure with SD-WAN networking shrinks the hardware footprint and costs associated with new hardware and hardware refreshes, shrinks support costs as a hybrid-VDI includes network, desktop and server support and allows users to work from their devices (BYOD) from anywhere in the world at any time. Virtual desktops are not new. What is new is the combination and collaboration of proven technologies to support the superior user experience and reduce otherwise significant capital and operating expenses. Virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI is a technology that refers to the use of virtual machines to provide and manage virtual desktops and servers. VDI hosts desktop and server environments on a centralized server and deploys them to end-users on request. VDI can be either persistent or nonpersistent. Each type offers different benefits. With persistent VDI, a user connects to the same desktop each time, and users can personalize the desktop for their needs since changes are saved even after the connection is reset. 

In other words, desktops in a persistent VDI environment act exactly like a personal physical desktop. Hoteliers can easily connect to applications (PMS, POS, etc.) and fully utilize all of the services (print, credit card pin pad, scanners) they would normally use in the course of business. In contrast, nonpersistent VDI, where users connect to generic desktops and no changes are saved, is usually simpler and cheaper, since there is no need to maintain customized desktops between sessions. Nonpersistent VDI is often used in organizations with a lot of task workers, or employees who perform a limited set of repetitive tasks and don’t need a customized desktop. This solution is ideal for reservation agents who only use a web browser or one or two specific published applications. VDI offers many advantages, such as user mobility, ease of access, flexibility and greater security. In the managed VDI solution desktop management, server management, user management, security management, and log management are all maintained centrally in a simple pay one price model. In the past, its high-performance requirements made it costly and challenging to deploy on legacy systems, which posed a barrier for hoteliers. However, the rise in enterprise adoption of hosted VDI scenarios that offers a solution that provides scalability and high performance at a lower cost.

Some of the key benefits to corporate offices and hotels individually are: · Remote access: VDI users can connect to their virtual desktops from any location or device, making it easy for employees to access all their files and applications and work remotely from anywhere in the world. · Cost savings: Since processing is done on the server, the hardware requirements for end devices are much lower. Users can access their virtual desktops from older devices, thin clients, or even tablets, reducing the need for IT to purchase new and expensive hardware. · Security: In a VDI environment, data lives on the server rather than the end client device. This serves to protect data if an endpoint device is ever stolen or compromised. · Centralized management: VDI’s centralized format allows IT to easily patch, update or configure all the virtual desktops in a system. Hybrid VDI The hybrid VDI model is far more efficient and has expanded the hospitality use case. The solution can be completely hosted, presented as a mix of on-premise, and hosted, or fully hosted. The true value in terms of operation and cost savings comes from the mixed model.


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