“Brickhouse cottages” is the most recent project by Nature Trails Hotel Chain located in Hambantota, around 2Kms away from Bundala Bird Sanctuary. It has 25 cottages, a restaurant and open area for camping activities.
This is a report made on the proposed project for making the system of “Brickhouse cottages” computerized as they were doing all works manually. Implementation of the information system can improve the effectiveness of hotel. Computerized system allows better communication, record keeping, accurate decision making, and storing operational data in a hotel CITATION Ber18 l 1033 (Markgraf, 2018).
This report has highlighted on the hardware, software, the networking infrastructure, internet connectivity and security required for the information system of cottages and other areas. Moreover, the assumptions made when implementing this project is also included.
This is a proposal created to provide the hotel with an information system for better and secure services as they currently handle all operations and data manually. In addition, the computerized system can store more information and can be used or checked whenever it is needed. Gathered information can be used to predict what to improve in future in order to facilitate customers with great amenities and maintaining the value of the hotel paving a way to attain success in business CITATION Dan17 l 1033 (Lauren, 2017).
This has been considered by the management of “Brickhouse cottages” to improve the developments and operations of the business. Marketing department of the hotel also have showed interest in this project as it will be more effective for promoting and advertising the business all over the world via information technology.
HARDWARE: REQUIREMENTS AND JUSTIFICATION
Hardware is one of the key component for a good information system. Hardware are the physical aspects of a computer system. Without any hardware, a computer system would not be present and cannot use any software in the system (Computer Hope, 2018).
Here are the required hardware and their justifications:
Without computer, information system cannot be complete. It is an electronic device where data is entered, processed and an output is provided (Goodwill Community Foundation, 2018). Every department of “Brickhouse cottages” must have a pc in order to computerize the work. Computers must be equipped with best software and hardware to run the information system smoothly. Specific software for any department must be installed respectively on their computers.
Surveillance camera is an important device for hotel management to observe the activities happening within hotel boundaries. Therefore, the management of “Brickhouse cottages” will be able to ensure security and safety for its guests. Hotel security staffs must maintain and install cameras in hotel.
Ethernet connections or wireless adapters:
Wireless adapters keep everyone connected via internet. This provide faster communication within or outside the hotel and sharing of files or documents can be done within seconds. Hence, this can save a lot of time for “Brickhouse cottages”.
Telephone can be helpful for staffs and guests to get in contact. Guests in “Brickhouse cottages” can order anything to eat from restaurant via telephone and they can contact respective staffs for room services. Moreover, telephones can be used to provide any outsider with information regarding their concern. Thus, for “Brickhouse cottages” telephone is an essential.
Access control machine:
Security and safety needs to be done in a way that does not intrude on guests’ privacy and comfort. An access control system is best way to attain it. This machine assisting restriction access to certain or other resources (Rouse, 2018). Once this machine has installed only the key holder can open the room via access control. This can make guests at “Brickhouse cottages” feel more comfortable and safety.
SOFTWARE: REQUIREMENTS AND JUSTIFICATION
Software is a collection of instructions (programs) used to operate computers and related devices. Software programs ensure that front desk, housekeeping, restaurant and management staff will perform their roles smoothly (Zwass, 2018).
These are the most important software needed to run an information system properly;
1. Operating System:
It is a large program behind the curtain controlling and managing the hardware and other software on a computer. Minimum requirement for an operating system is windows (XP or later) or mac OS. It allows multi-tasking on windows which will save time. It is recommendable for “Brickhouse cottages” to have windows XP or later with reliable storing or safety software. As it is relatively cheap compared to mac OS
2. Customized hotel software:
A customized software for “Brickhouse cottages” can be really useful to keep thing organized and well recorded or stored. The software must be able to store every information regarding the activities of every customer from booking to checking out of the hotel. Moreover, other operations related to hotel staffs or management also can be stored on this software. Another software can also be made to make booking more convenience for the guests. Therefore, information can be used make better decisions in business.
Installing just a surveillance camera will not provide safety for guests. A surveillance application is important for maintaining a secure environment for staffs and guest within the hotel and keeping record of their activities stored. In case any accident happened to any of customer or staff at “Brickhouse cottages”, recordings of surveillance cameras can be used for investigation.
Financial and accounting application:
This software must include several responsibilities, from sales and marketing to room rentals and facilities management. This application will deal with every activity related to finance hence it can assist “Brickhouse cottages” to track their financial information, allowing them to measure the hotel’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Microsoft office package:
Microsoft applications are best for office uses. This software is free and very powerful. This helps staffs at “Brickhouse cottages” to do documentation and store some other information like financial statistics on excel sheets. Hotel administration can share formal information on mail via Microsoft outlook. These files can be stored for future hence making it reliable.
Networking infrastructure hardware include from firewalls and switches to wireless controllers and access points. The IP network will be used for all of the Hotel services including real time systems such as Voice, CCTV being installed. Part of hotel management is gathering and distributing information, and information systems can make this process more efficient by allowing managers to communicate rapidly via internet.
As Brickhouse cottages have a large area, they must have a great networking system to be connected with each other. This includes system of surveillance cameras to watch what is happening in every part of hotel at the same time. Surveillance cameras and access controls are connected via Ethernet cables they can be viewed using their respective IP address. Moreover, they can create an office network for sharing files, documents and other reports with staffs.
Brickhouse cottages Hotel must appoint an information technology department to maintain, test and install all the equipment, software and networking system for a better information system.
INTERNET AND CONNECTIVITY MECHANISMS
The Internet is one of the most transformational technological innovations in human history. The Internet is a global wide area network that connects computer systems across the world (Digital Unite, 2018). There are several ways or methods of connecting to the Internet
There are two access methods direct and Indirect and these can be either fixed or mobile. Indirect access includes connecting to internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet which is very common. Direct access is connecting to the internet directly using 3G/4G on your smart phones while travelling or on a trip.
The Brickhouse cottages Hotel consists of 25 cottages and a restaurant. So they must have a full coverage Wireless LAN for guest access with the latest hardware. Whether it is a hotel, airport, casino, convention center or cruise ship, secure and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity is now an expectation and an integral part of delivering a quality guest experience (HT, 2017).
Brickhouse cottages is to have a faster and reliable internet connectivity mechanism which will make the hotel works and operations faster. File sharing or sending mails can be done within seconds over internet shortening the time to transfer files or any formal letters to every individual separately on their doors. Internet connectivity should be safe and secure as hacking and other fraudulent activities are currently being done through internet. Brickhouse cottages must have a separate internet connectivity for staffs to maintain other hotel activities. This internet connectivity must have restriction to enter non secure websites and other security measures must be taken.
Providing an accommodating atmosphere that does not compromise safety is the biggest challenge that hotels face. Achieving these goals requires a complex plan that starts with staff training and guest education about safety and security issues. Here are some of security concerns that may raise with the solutions for them (Chartier, ,2014).
1. Stealing money and valuables from guest rooms:
There has been lot of cases where valuable of guests are stolen from their own room. This must be prevented by the Brickhouse cottages by upgrading the room keys and locks to the latest. Access control is an important part of hotel security to prevent it. Hotels need to ensure that their key card access systems are not vulnerable to hacking or unlawful access. Locks that keep track of who goes in and out of a room can be a great preventive to theft.
2. Criminals being disguised as hotel employees:
To prevent this problem every staffs of Brickhouse cottages must wear a company-issued uniforms and name tags. Uniforms should not be allowed to be taken home or anywhere outside the hotel to prevent any possibility of such an activity occurring. The uniform not only helps guests easily identify who they can reach out to for assistance, but it can also make them feel safe, knowing that your staff is constantly keeping an eye on the property.
3. Crimes occurring due to lack of security:
Train your staff to check credentials of every contractor that walks onto your property, whether they’re delivering flowers or fixing a sink. Make sure you thoroughly check the background of any contract partners as well, such as security officers or landscapers. Surveillance cameras can be installed but it is not enough to just install cameras; make sure to check them too. There are activity-activated cameras that issue an alert when there’s activity somewhere there shouldn’t be, or you might hire a third party to monitor your cameras.
Assumption made while implementing this project:
Hotel staffs has basic knowledge of information technology
Chartier, B (2014) Identifying 9 Solutions to Key Hotel Security Concerns Available at: https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/85653-identifying-9-solutions-hotel-security-concerns (Accessed date: 5 September 2018)
Computer Hope (2018) Hardware Available at: https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/h/hardware.htm (Accessed date: 25 August 2018)
Digital Unite (2018) What is the internet? Available at: https://www.digitalunite.com/technology-guides/using-internet/connecting-internet/what-internet (Accessed date: 5 September 2018)
Goodwill Community Foundation (2018) What is a Computer? Available at: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/computerbasics/what-is-a-computer/1/ (Accessed date: 6 September 2018)
Hospitality Technology (2017) HT-NEXT: Is Your Hotel Network Infrastructure Future-Ready? Available at: https://hospitalitytech.com/ht-next-your-hotel-network-infrastructure-future-ready (Accessed date: 28 August 2018)
Lauren, D (2017) Hotel Management Information System Available at: https://bizfluent.com/facts-7258540-hotel-management-information-system.html (Accessed date: 18 August 2018)
Markgraf, B (2018) Importance of Information System in an Organization Available at:https://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-information-systems-organization-69529.html (Accessed date: 15 August 2018)
Zwass, v (2018) Information system Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/information-system#ref218049 (Accessed date: 27 August 2018)