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Hotel VoIP PBX System, installation in the USA

Hotel Jerome – USA

“Historically we have used Avaya or Mitel for our basic installs. The big piece for me was the constant need for additional licenses. For every little feature, seat, device, etc. we needed to implement we needed new licenses, which became quite a burden over time.”

“I’m a big advocate of open source software. I like the fact that you pay for the piece and then you can do what you want with it – that just makes sense for me. So, we were looking for a solution which would allow us to get what we need, and then later expand, without having additional burdens such as license restrictions.”

“More than anything, I’ve been really impressed with the support response from Xorcom.”

Tim Dickson

Director of Technology , Auberge Resorts

Main Challenge
Modernize this historic hotel’s phone system to support VoIP

Xorcom Solution Complete Concierge, Blue Steel IP-PBX CXT3000 + 1 XR0049 Astribank with 1 PRI and 16 FXS ports + 70 Xorcom XP0120 IP Phones + 90 VTech IP Phones

 

VoIP System for Hotel

The Hotel Jerome is a 93-room property located in the Rocky Mountains, in the heart of Aspen, Colorado. Originally built in 1886, it is famous as the first hotel with running water, as well as an elevator, west of the Mississippi. The hotel has recently undergone renovation. The phone lines, in particular, needed an upgrade, since the older infrastructure included CAT3 cabling + DSL. However, although analog is the preferred connectivity method (for reasons of fire safety, due to its behavior during power outages), the existing conduits were unsuitable in size. Enlarging the conduits was ruled out, in an effort to preserve the structural integrity of the historic building as much as possible. Exasperated with the licensing policy of Mitel, the previous PBX manufacturer, wherein each feature, seat or device required an additional license, the team at Auberge was keen to move to an open source solution. They originally considered Digium, since at the time they were the most well-known and widely supported telephony solution based on open source. A colleague, an integrator in California who had recently undergone certification training on the Xorcom solution, recommended they use Xorcom for the project. The Auberge team took a demo unit for testing, and liked the fact that Xorcom has a solution specifically geared for the hospitality industry – the Complete Concierge™. The Astribanks really suited the implementation requirement, so they opted for the Xorcom bundle. Mr. Dickson notes that Auberge Resorts had previously chosen Xorcom equipment a few years back for two other properties: Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, California and Element 52 in Telluride, Colorado.

Customer Voice Communications Requirements

The customer had an explicit need to have the originating Caller ID carry over during call forward. This required customization of the default CompletePBX™ installation, which was handled by the technology team at Auberge Resorts. In order to preserve guest privacy the customer did not want the hotel room number identified in the voice mail greeting (e.g., for an unanswered call the default recording is: “You have attempted to reach the guest at extension 122.”). This also needed some custom programming, in order to override the standard greeting syntax. Also, hotel management often receives requests from guests to set their room phones to “Do Not Disturb” (DND). Although the IP phones can support this feature easily, it is a complex requirement from the IP-PBX side. Instead of inconveniencing guests with an explanation of how to do it themselves, a customized feature for the front desk to enable this status for an extension (for both lines in the room) with the push of a button was desired.

Proposed Solution

To handle the hotel’s telephony requirements, Auberge Resorts chose Xorcom’s flagship product, the Blue Steel CXT3000. It is a heavy-duty, stand-alone, pre-configured, out-ofthe-box solution featuring Xorcom’s CompletePBX distribution, hot swappable disk drives, and two built-in redundant power supplies supporting up to four Astribank units internally (24 Astribanks total).

In addition, Xorcom’s Complete Concierge interface between the IP-PBX and the hotel’s Property Management System (PMS) was purchased. An Astribank, used to supply additional telephony interfaces, 90 VTech IP phones for guest use and 70 Xorcom XP0120 for operations rounded out the proposed solution. Implementation took place at a leisurely pace over the course of a month, since the hotel was closed for renovation at the time.

Results

Although the Auberge Resorts technical staff hasn’t yet participated in the certification training periodically offered by Xorcom, they are very independent as far as the installations go, noting that the on-line documentation answers most of their implementation questions. The next property in the Auberge group to require an upgrade to their existing (Mitel) telephony system is the Malliouhana in Anguilla (the Caribbean), which is scheduled to open after remodeling on November 1, 2014. Interestingly enough, the project manager for the hotel remodeling project (Solutions in Tandem, in Puerto Rico) had already set his sights on a Xorcom telephony solution, prior to discussing it with Auberge Resorts.