Calibre One Case Study

Perks Hotels

About

The Perks Hotels group owns the iconic Hotel Richmond in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, the Pier Hotel overlooking the beautiful Boston Bay in Port Lincoln, and the New Whyalla Hotel in the “Steel City” of Whyalla. Employing more than 100 staff, its revenues are generated from functions, food and beverage, accommodation and gaming. Established 23 years ago, the Perks Hotels group started out with one small hotel and originally ran its business from a “big green book”, explained founder Ashley Perks. Now its operations are reliant on technology from its H&L point of sale (POS) solution to booking systems and email access for approximately 30 of its staff.

South Australian hotel group achieves operational security through 24×7 ICT support and a move to cloud

Challenge

Ageing, in-house servers and phone system, and unresponsive IT support services had caused operational outages and security breaches.

Solution

Upgrade to unified communications and migration to Microsoft Office 365. Calibre One’s Telstra Managed Services Helpdesk and Managed IT Services are providing Perks Hotels with a single point of contact and ticketing system for all support requests, service level priorities for critical operations, billing support, and management for orders and provisioning of new services.

Services Provided

Benefits

  • 24×7 helpdesk support for all ICT services, ensuring operational continuity 
  • Reduction in ongoing telco costs, and improved overall communications
  • Improved performance, reliability and security with replacement of ageing, unstable and insecure onpremise technologies with cloud-based solutions
  • Better visibility and control of telecommunications consumption and spend

Calibre One deploys unified communications, cloud services and establishes a cloud migration path for Perks Hotels

"We are not an office, we are open 20 hours a day; which means nine to five, ‘best effort’ it support doesn’t work for us."

Ashley Perks
Managing Director
Perks Hotels

Supporting a 20-hour Business

A major server outage and a phone hacking incident in early 2018 were “a big game changer” for the group, said Perks.

“We had a very old phone system and we were having problems. We discovered our PABX had been hacked and people were diverting calls from Nigeria.”

“Then, our server went down on a Friday night, and we couldn’t get a response from the IT support company who had told us they were 24×7. It brought our business to a standstill – no emails, no bookings, no tills – until another IT company saved us the following day,” said Perks. “We didn’t get a reply from our support provider until Monday morning. It was too late by then.”

Perks brought Calibre One on board to upgrade the phone systems, assess the group’s overall IT requirements, improve security and take over 24×7 ICT support and management, including Perks Hotels’ Telstra Internet and mobile services.

“We are not an office, we are open 20 hours a day; which means nine to five, ‘best effort’ IT support doesn’t work for us,” said Perks.

“Calibre One has a great ticketing system, so we don’t need to follow up and their response time is excellent. They have a good culture, with a willingness to just get it done,” said Perks.

Unified Communications

With copper infrastructure being decommissioned due to the NBN rollout and Perks Hotels dealing with an ageing and insecure phone system, one of the first projects Calibre One completed was the upgrade of its phones to a NEC UNIVERGE SV9100 unified communications (UC) system. Running over a SIP network, the new NEC UC solution supports better collaboration among staff and more responsive customer service, and significantly reduces the costs for leased lines and ongoing call costs across the hotel group. To date, phones have been rolled out throughout the Richmond Hotel using a 2Mbps fibre connection, with the New Whyalla Hotel and Pier Hotel to be migrated over to UC once the Telstra Business SIP connections have been commissioned. “Calibre One completed a smooth cutover to the new phone system – I didn’t even notice it happening,” said Perks.

With copper infrastructure being decommissioned due to the NBN rollout and Perks Hotels dealing with an ageing and insecure phone system, one of the first projects Calibre One completed was the upgrade of its phones to a NEC UNIVERGE SV9100 unified communications (UC) system. Running over a SIP network, the new NEC UC solution supports better collaboration among staff and more responsive customer service, and significantly reduces the costs for leased lines and ongoing call costs across the hotel group. To date, phones have been rolled out throughout the Richmond Hotel using a 2Mbps fibre connection, with the New Whyalla Hotel and Pier Hotel to be migrated over to UC once the Telstra Business SIP connections have been commissioned.

“Calibre One completed a smooth cutover to the new phone system – I didn’t even notice it happening,” said Perks.

Moving to Cloud

Calibre One also identified the hotel’s reliance on its ageing in-house server infrastructure as a risk to the organisation, and has already migrated staff across to Microsoft Office 365 for email and its other business productivity applications. A plan is also in place to replace Perks Hotels’ current intranet site with Microsoft SharePoint Online and move all other services over to cloud-based infrastructure, so the in-house servers can be decommissioned.

“Once we have everything moved across to the cloud, it takes away a lot of the worries we have now in keeping our systems running,” said Perks.

There has been a recent upsurge in the South Australian economy with significant new investments in the region, most notably a $1 billion transformation plan for the Whyalla steelworks. That’s having a flow-on effect for the local hospitality industry, and Perks Hotels is now considering future expansion. “We are looking for different strategies to grow the business, and the move to cloud is giving us greater flexibility and agility to do this,” said Perks.

Perks also has confidence in Calibre One as the right technology partner to support the group’s future business plans. “I just trust them,” he concluded.

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