The Background: The Citywest Hotel, Conference and Event Centre is located on the outskirts of Dublin, and has a longstanding tradition for hosting some of Ireland’s most prestigious national and international events. With a capacity of 2,000 guests at larger events, many of these have featured on national TV.
The Challenge: When NTES were invited to survey the venue in 2014, we found that the existing network had been relatively neglected for the main part of a decade, and investment in technology had not kept pace with the emerging needs of Citywest.
Protection levels were not what guests might have expected, and a number of key security issues were quickly identified.
Our Involvement: Our initial response was to implement a temporary server solution that would provide a little ‘breathing space’ while permanent resolution was in progress.
To achieve this within an optimal timeframe and with minimal interference to the day-to-day operations of Citywest, we lived in the hotel for two weeks, as a team. Not alone did we relocate our full team, but we set up a full-scale ‘portable office’ with our phones, our PC’s and our personal professional technology.
We provided a very agile service during the entire implementation process, and dealt extremely professionally with the regular curve balls that were thrown our way. Typical of this was the fact that when the core router completely failed, we rebuilt it completely on a new platform within just two hours.
One of the most obvious issues to be tackled was the fact that bedrooms did not provide wireless access for guests, so we were tasked with identifying and reviewing four wireless company providers. This was a major gap between customer expectations and the abilities of the venue to deliver class-leading wifi.
We reported back on all technologies, including the service levels that they provided. We eventually rolled out the wireless implementation programme across a total of 180 access points, with a capability of connecting a massive 20,000 people.
This not only addressed all current needs, but future-proofed Citywest for many years to come. This was delivered comfortably in advance of our deadline, minimising interference of the hotel’s day-to-day operations.
The Outcome: In response to our initial proposal, we had also been asked to look at overall internet connectivity. Following our involvement, Citywest will be one of the first hotels in Ireland to have a 1GB fibre internet link, ensuring that they’ll be the Conference Centre in Ireland from a connectivity perspective.