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Negotiating the Internet: Equipment and Beyond David Bankowski IT Manager, Electronic Communications 25 July 2008 Insert graphic.

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Presentation on theme: "Negotiating the Internet: Equipment and Beyond David Bankowski IT Manager, Electronic Communications 25 July 2008 Insert graphic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Negotiating the Internet: Equipment and Beyond David Bankowski IT Manager, Electronic Communications 25 July 2008 Insert graphic

2 Agenda Understanding Hotel Data Services Wireless Networks – Things to Think About Negotiate to Conference Requirements Support

3 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

4 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 hotels 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 hotels 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

5 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

6 Wireless Networks Things 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

7 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 hotels percentage of the markup of the data services

8 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 doesnt 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

9 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 attendees 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

10 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

11 Support During an event, make sure you fully understand the support structure –Venues 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

12 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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