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Negotiating the Internet: Equipment and Beyond . David Bankowski IT Manager, Electronic Communications 25 July 2008. Insert graphic. Agenda. Understanding Hotel Data Services Wireless Networks – Things to Think About Negotiate to Conference Requirements Support.

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Negotiating the Internet:Equipment and Beyond

David Bankowski

IT Manager, Electronic Communications

25 July 2008

Insert graphic


Agenda

  • Understanding Hotel Data Services

  • Wireless Networks – Things to Think About

  • Negotiate to Conference Requirements

  • Support


Understanding Hotel Data Services

  • Internet Services

    • Some hotels may have one network supporting staff, guests, and conference attendees

      • Typical guest and hotel staff usage peaks are at different times of the day

    • Hotels will have just enough bandwidth to support “typical event” requirements

      • Typical event is defined as classroom or theater style with some Kiosk providing general-use internet

    • Hotels generally do not provide QoS (Quality of Service) of Internet bandwidth

      • Example: A hotel has a total of 4.5 Mbps Internet bandwidth

        • If several hotel guests are downloading videos or large files, the conference may be impacted by the shared service

    • Most hotels are 2-5 years behind in networking technology


Understanding Hotel Data Services

  • Knowledge of IT Services

    • Hotel sales representatives generally do not understand technology questions

      • It is always best practice to ask for the IT service provider contact information to discuss the hotel’s network in detail to review items such as:

        • Number of users accessing the network at one time (peak performance)

        • Time of day for peak network access

        • Potential issues to address in advance

    • Hotels generally outsource IT services

    • Know who your hotel’s IT service provider is

      • IT service providers such as iBahn or Guest-Tek provide enterprise levels of infrastructure and service

      • Some hotels use local IT service providers that may be small in size which may mean economy or consumer grade infrastructure and support


Understanding Hotel Data Services

  • Other Items

    • Convention Centers will generally have a higher grade infrastructure and support service over smaller hotels

    • Cell phone coverage may be spotty in some areas of hotel or convention center

      • May affect those that use Blackberry or Broadband Wireless cards with their laptops for Internet access

    • Have table areas set up for attendees that have power strips for time in-between conference sessions


Wireless NetworksThings to Think About

  • You must understand how the wireless network is designed

    • Separate or shared service between guest rooms, public areas, and conference areas

    • What areas are covered by the access points

    • What is the contingency in case of access point failures

    • How many access points are available in the meeting space

      • 30-40 users can saturate an enterprise grade WAP with general internet access

      • 15-20 users can saturate an enterprise grade WAP with local file sharing/in-room servers

    • Are the access points configured for optimal coverage

      • Multiple access points on the same channel provide no more capacity than a single access point

    • Is the wireless network secured or unsecured

      • Multiple events may provide potential security breaches


Negotiate to Conference Requirements

  • Initial RFQs or RFPs should include all anticipated data services

    • Wireless, video conferencing, VPN, electronic surveys, computer kiosks, Internet connectivity

  • Allows the event planner to negotiate with the hotel prior to signing a contract

    • Focus on reducing or eliminating wireless Internet charges

      • Never pay for both guest room and conference area wireless Internet access

      • Some hotels share the same network between guest rooms and conference areas-why pay more for the conference area?

    • Plan to use services of other events in a similar timeframe

      • Example: 12Mbps of dedicated Internet access will be installed for a conference the week before, can we use that same service for our event?

    • Remind the hotel that filling room space is the real revenue generator

      • Focus on reducing the hotel’s percentage of the markup of the data services


Negotiate to Conference Requirements

  • Before signing any contracts

    • Make sure you have agreed to a cost of data services that will not be exceeded, especially if the contract is being signed 3-10 years in advance of a conference

    • There must be a clause to renegotiate data services as the event approaches

      • Can you predict where the technology will be in 5-10 years or the cost of it?

      • What is the hotel provided state of the art services at contract signing time, but doesn’t upgrade the services between the contract signing and the actual conference?

    • If you are not comfortable in understanding any technology offerings, have someone review them


Negotiate to Conference Requirements

  • To get dedicated or priority service, expect to pay a premium

    • Dedicated services are only used by the conference and may not use the hotel network, but directly connect to an Internet service provider

    • Priority services may mean hotel network services may be guaranteed to a minimum level

    • Increases management of the service by the IT service provider

  • Try to understand the attendee’s technology profile

    • Are most carrying laptops or Blackberry/iPhones?

    • Will the expect VPN or email (SMTP) services?

  • Understand what is covered in the data services, especially if you are supplying your own wireless network equipment


Negotiate to Conference Requirements

  • Must have a vision into the future, especially if the contract being negotiated for an event is 5+ years out

    • Technology changes every 18 months

    • Set limit on data services cost within the contract with a renegotiation clause

    • Internet access costs will continue to come down

      • In 2005 the IEEE Operations Center paid $21,000/month for dedicated Internet access of 90Mbps through two providers

      • In 2007 the IEEE Operations Center paid $20,000/month for dedicated Internet access of 160Mpbs


Support

  • During an event, make sure you fully understand the support structure

    • Venue’s assigned on-site technical support person may still need to contact the Network Operations Center services provider located in another city

    • What contingencies are in place for service failure?

      • Keep track of the downtime and, upon conclusion of the event, review with your convention service manager for a reduction in total fees due for the service

    • What are the Service Level Agreements (SLA)?

      • May differ during normal business hours and weekends

    • Hire local IT services


Support

  • Use a professional service to assist in the planning of the event

    • IEEE Meeting & Conference Management

      • Negotiate about 2-3 contracts per month of varying size and scope for usage of data services

    • Look for a subject matter expert within the conference committee that can provide insight into data services and/or negotiating contracts


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