Hybrex Solutions - Hospitality
Communications systems requirements for the Hospitality industry have several key areas of focus. The primary focus is the guest, their convenience and pleasure, for if they are happy the business benefits from their patronage, recommendation, and return trade. The secondary requirements are for a system that is easy to use and control, reliable, and integrates well with the other systems and procedures of the Hotel or guest establishment.

The Hybrex GDS Hotel series platform satisfies the above requirements and more which is why it generates considerable favour in the hospitality market. For establishments with as few as 10 rooms to those with over 600 rooms Hybrex GDS Hotel provides a platform that integrates all the communications needs of the lodging, for both the guest and the hospitality provider.

For the guest there is the convenience of a telephone service that is personalised with their own voicemail and message notification, personal control over wakeup messages, Do Not Disturb, and other features such as: room to room calling if configured; caller ID on display enabled phones; outside callers ability to call direct to the room if so configured. If ACP phones and RFID cards are used the guest will also enjoy the convenience of their authorized access to secured areas and the confidence that engenders.

For Hotel management the features available are numerous: Front desk operations that are very comprehensive and easy to use; integrated Call Accounting and automatic charge generation for customer billing including itemised billing if required; for larger establishments there is a full Property Management Interface for connection to PMS systems such as Fidelio for example; choice of trunk interfaces and cost control for telephony services; Auto Attendant to reduce incoming call handling requirements; for room phone control there are many easy features - Check-in, Check-out, room status, call credit limit, wakeup call history, etc; if ACP phones are used for secure portal access logs can be made available if required; and many other features.
Please see below for more descriptions :

Hybrex Hotel - Key Feature Highlights :

Guest Room Phone Features :

System and Management Features :

  • Guest Room Phone Voice Services :

    The GDS Hotel Guest Voice Services package presents a complete and effective solution to guest telephony needs:
    • Each Guest Room has its own voice mail box with Hospitality based voice prompts for ease of use for all Guests.
    • The GDS system will walk the Guest through their voice mail with easy to understand voice prompts, giving the following options:
      Dial 1 = To play the Guests current messages.
      Dial 2 = To setup a wake-up call
      Dial 3 = To set Do Not Disturb status on the room phone.
      Dial 4 = To set a password for room Voice Mail (optional for the guest)
    • If there are any new messages for the Guest the GDS will light a “Message Waiting“ light on the Guests room phone.
    • The GDS will generate Wakeup calls at the requested time, playing a Wake-up greeting personalized to the Hotels requirements.
    • Single digit dial options are available from Guest phones for services such as Room Service, Restaurants etc.
    • Options to allow dialing direct to Guest room from outside via Auto Attendant, and/or room to room dialing, can be provided by GDS programming if required.
    • Two unique safety features are available:
      Emergency 000 Call Notification to Hotel management, and Emergency Assistance Alarm.
    • Guest Voice Mail is reset and all greetings are cleared automatically on check-in of a new Guest

  • Front Desk Operations and Admin Phone Services

    Hybrex understands that every Hotel is different in it's Operations and that the communications system needs to be fully flexible to match these unique requirements. The GDS Front Desk Console will be a digital display phone, for example the DK2 and may be accompanied by DSS console/s for Guest room BLF indication. Other administration phones may be digital display types setup in a similar fashion, or can be other types (see below). Front desk and admin phones are granted console status in order to access GDS Hotel admin features. The GDS Systems Console and Administrator Phones can be setup to use one of the following modes or if required a combination of these modes:

    1.   Console Voice Mail Administration Mode:
    The GDS offers an unique voice mail administrators mode that enables complete staff flexibility: using a cordless phone for example, any staff member can move around the Hotel and still control the following GDS functions via this Voice Mail Administration Mode. A super advantage of this mode is that it requires the absolute minimum of staff training to use: an administrator just dials a short code and then the GDS system will walk the administrator through the options with easy to understand voice prompts, giving the following options:
    • Dial 1 = Check In & Out.
    • Dial 2 = Set Automatic Wake-up call.
    • Dial 3 = Leave a voice message for a Guest room.
    • Dial 4 = Control Guest room Do Not Disturb.
    • Dial 5 = Check Guests room phone for messages.
    • Dial 6 = Reset the Guest rooms mailbox password.
    • Dial 7 = Lock or Unlock a Guests room telephone.
    • Dial 8 = Control of normal Voice Services Card administration (AA greetings, Delay Operator, etc.).
    With reference to the above wireless handset example, numeric function codes can be assigned to some system features allowing said wireless phone to access features such as:
    • Paging - Internal, Zoned, and External.
    • Transfer an outside caller to a Guest, or other, mailbox.

    2.   Attendant Console Key Mode:
    Any number of Consoles can be set up with one touch (DSS) keys to control Hotel functionality. Whilst individual DSS keys can be set up for each function a more common implementation is one DSS key is nominated as the 'Hotel' key. This key is pressed followed by a digit to enable the function. Using this method as the example the functions available are:
    • Hotel 1 = Check In & Toll Class control.
    • Hotel 2 = Check Out (also locks room phone).
    • Hotel 3 = Account Enquiry.
    • Hotel 4 = Charge Rate Setting.
    • Hotel 5 = Printout Room charges.
    • Hotel 6 = Page Length (for printout).
    • Hotel 7 = List Records (used/free).
    • Hotel 8 = All Extensions Total.
    • Hotel 9 = Credit Limit Set for Guest Room.
    • Hotel 0 = Wake-up Call History Print/Clear.
    • Hotel * = Room Status Change - Dirty/Clean.

    Other features available on a Hotel Console will be:

    3.   PC Base Front Desk:
    The GDS Hotel Series offers a direct Web browser interface for PC control of Hospitality functions. For a small to medium Hospitality establishment this may be all that is needed, in conjunction with the above described features, for management of Guest Voice Services. A distinct advantage with this form of setup is there is no extra equipment required, for example special printers etc., as PC system items are used.
    With the GDS connected to the Hotel LAN, using a browser on the Front Desk PC (or other Admin PC) the following features are available :

    Console Login Features:
    Initial login to a console extension provides access to a range of system features useful for system administration.
    These features allow Hotel administrators to control common specific aspects of the system behaviour without the need to call for technical support. As can be seen from the screen example below, system functions available are:
    • Normal Setting: Control of Call Forward, DND, and Password status of the console extension.
    • Voice Mail: Console Maibox Password and Message Lamp control.
    • Speed Dial: Control of Personal Speed Dials for the console extension.
    • ACD Report: Not used for Hotel systems.
    • Conference Rooms: Control of the phone system 'Conference Rooms' - not generally used in Hotel systems.
    • Hotel Programming: Specific Hotel features - see below.
    • Console Programming: Control of:
      • Extension Naming - eg. Set Guest Name on room phone.
      • System Speed Dials.
      • System Date & Time.
      • System Alarms - Not generally used for Hotels
      • Conference Room Passwords
      • Auto Day/Night Switching schedules
      • Day / Night Ring Assignment

    Hotel Programming - Specific Features:
    From the console login shown above the Hotel Specific features are accessed. The following features are available:

    • Check In Room - Single or multiple - check-in and enable room call accounting.
    • Check Out Room - Single or multiple - check out, print room call charges, and lock room phone.
    • Charge Enquiry - Singe or multiple - Show current room call charges for review or print.
    • Metering Rate - Set system call charges for PSTN and ISDN trunk use.
    • Wake Up - Set single or multiple room Wake-up calls or cancel wake-up calls.
    • Report Format - Set format for printed reports
    • Clean Room - Set single or multiple Room Status (Dirty/Clean).
    • Voice Mail Box Room Reset on Check In.

    Below are a couple of examples of browser screens for the above features - click to see a larger view:

    An interesting aspect of the above ability to deal with multiple rooms in one motion is that it allows for efficient account handling. An example is where say a tour group is being checked out of the Hotel: the group room numbers are all entered in the one screen, and upon check-out the phone account charge reports are presented individually but sequentially in the one print session, saving considerable time and effort for Hotel staff.

    4.   Property Management System (PMS) Integration:
    The GDS can integrate to most Front Desk or Property Management packages. This can be done via its own CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) protocol or by using a Fidelio Certified PMS (Property Management Services) integration.
    Connection to PMS packages is via the GDS Ethernet LAN port or RS232 interface. The functionality offered will depend on the particular software package you select, but the GDS can offer the options as described above for the PC Base Front Desk.

  • Unique Emergency Safety Features

    On any business premises the safety and well-being of the people within the premises is of the utmost importance. Where the business is a Hotel or accomodation provider the very nature of the business means there will be many people within the premises, both Guest and support personnel, who require a safe environment. So any item that enhances safety in this environment is a good investment. Should a threat to the health of a guest or personnel arise it must be responded to in the most appropriate way and in the shortest time possible. It is also desirable that Hotel staff and administration are fully aware of any such event so they can render any assistance necessary for the comfort and safety of the individual in trouble. Hybrex GDS Hotel has two unique emergency safety features that will enhance the facility of any Hotel or accomodation establishment using a Hybrex Hotel system. These features are :

    A.   Emergency 000 Call Notification :
    If a Guest picks up their phone and dials 000, the GDS will immediately proceed to dial the Emergency Services, at the same time the GDS will call all Hotel Operator Consoles, the Consoles will display an Emergency Notification on the screen giving details of the room the call is from, when any one of the Hotel Operators answers the Emergency call they will immediately be put into a conference with the Guest room and the Emergency Services and can manage the Emergency Situation.
    There are also two optional enhancements available to this feature:
    (i) The GDS can be optioned to play recording in the background of the Emergency call. This recording will state the Hotel details, address, and room number for the call, providing a distinct advantage for Emergency personnel where the Guest may be confused, may not know where they are, or cannot speak English. The background message stops when a management or operator phone (console) joins the call.
    (ii) Often in a situation where there is danger people will panic and make mistakes in dialing, or dial the emergency number familiar to them which may be incorrect in the circumstances. The GDS is very flexible in that it can be programmed to allow dialing mistakes and still place the Emergency call. For example a person may dial 911, or 9911, or 0000, or 9000, and the GDS will still place the call to 000. Note: this programming isn't fixed, it's entirely flexible so the same concept can be applied to NZ for example where the Emergency number is 111 - and any common misdials of that number can be accomodated.

    B.   Emergency Assistance Required Alarm :
    Another unique feature of the GDS is provision for an “Assistance Required” alarm. Utilising the existing Guest room phone wiring and a call button, or buttons, the GDS can provide an Emergency Assistance Required call option for the Guest Room. When the call button is pressed the Hotel Console phones will ring and display Emergency Assistance Required and the Guest room number, enabling Hotel staff to respond immediately to the situation.

GDS Hardware Options

  • Range of trunk interface types available:
    Interface modules are available for Hybrex GDS for all common types of network connections : PSTN, ISDN Primary Rate (PRI) or Basic Rate (BRA), VoIP trunking, and GSM. Whatever the location, size, or needs of an accommodation establishment are, all options are covered. For most establishments PSTN or ISDN network connections will be the norm. For establishments wishing to minimise call tariffs VoIP trunks or GSM interfaces merit consideration. In all cases the combination of integrated Hybrex LCR programming for dialing control creates an automatically optimised system.
    More information about GDS trunking options and configuration can be found on the Corporate Solutions page for ISDN & PSTN, VoIP trunks, and GSM interfaces.

  • Extension equipment options for Hotel needs :
    For Hotel systems two classes of telephone handset are used. Guest room phones are predominantly analogue (SLT) phones and for this the GDS provides analogue interface modules with CLI and message lamp capability in numbers to suit the application. The choice of handset is up to the Hotel provisioner with any A&C ticked handset useable.
    For administration and services handsets the range of Hybrex digital handsets is applicable. For Operator Consoles the Hybrex DK2 handset, offering 4 line backlit display and Bluetooth option, is the clear choice. This, partnered with the companion DK2 DSS console, which offers 66 DSS keys lit with bi-colour LED's, and is useable in multiples of up to eight units, can form a complete telephony workstation covering all operator needs. The DSS consoles, if used, provide multiple keys for 'at a glance' visibility of Guest room status, easy call transfer, and/or other dedicated function uses (one touch keys). Other models in the Hybrex range, such as the DK3 handset which also partners aesthetically with the DK2 DSS console; and the new contemporary styled multi-keyed DK6 handset, are also useable or the above if desired, but will probably be more applicable to secondary consoles, administration and services phones. A notable point about all these models is they have displays which is a considerable advantage for admin and services phones.
    A description of available extension equipment would not be complete without mention of Hybrex doorphones and in particular the Hybrex ACP:
    The Hybrex Access Control Phone (ACP) is worth consideration where portal access is required. The ACP is a handsfree phone that also has the ability to control access through doorways that have electric door strikes (locks) fitted. Access is controlled by the use of  RFID card or fob, keyed in entry code, or both; or of course from the extension the ACP is programmed to ring when the Call button is pressed. For card or code access GDS programming allows governance of time of day, and day of week, access rights for each card holder, for each ACP portal. ACP also has security features that prevent unauthorised access by wiring alteration and can be configured to trip alarms if interfered with, or monitor alarms. For movement reporting Hybrex Access Manager (AM) software is available to provide records of cardholder movements: providing tracking as well as security - an example where Hybrex software represents additional value to the user as part of the product feature set.
    For a Hotel that has security in mind Hybrex ACP has many uses: it can provide authorised all hours automatic entrance, floor, or area control for Guests and/or staff. As a phone it can provide the means to contact reception from outside the access point; in this role it could also be used for night switched remote office contact (like a night bell with more features for example); or provide the ability to call a Guest room directly if required (option); another example is if the ACP is fitted outside a room it could be used to answer the door without having to open the door, as well as being able to allow secure entrance via control of the door lock. As a handsfree phone it could be used in situations where intercom calls have a need to be answered without having to lift the handpiece or touch the phone for whatever reason. The Hybrex ACP is a versatile device.

Other Features of GDS Systems

  • Flexible programming :
    Hybrex systems have a rich and facile feature set which can be employed to meet the great variety of behavioural requirements for a business telephone system. This flexibility is the result of the combination of thoughtful design and extensive programmability. Hybrex GDS systems employ a Web based interface for programming so are easily programmed onsite. With a GDS connected to an Ethernet network that has Internet access, remote programming is easily configured making authorised system access for monitoring, maintenance, support, and backup, available to support personnel anywhere there is an Internet connection. This represents a considerable advantage both in economics and efficient response for business management and service concerns alike.

  • Range of options for call handling :
    Hybrex GDS Hotel systems provide for call handling in many ways, some of which are :

    • Flexible ring assignment :
      Allows for call presentation as and when desired. The GDS has a fully cascaded ring structure allowing any variation imaginable. GDS Hotel provides adminstration control of ring assignment - see Front Desk Operations.

    • Call transfer :
      Calls can be tranfered to any extension or off premises if required. All transfered calls carry the CLI of the original caller with them. A useful function for off premises transfer is an inherent feature of ISDN trunks, if fitted, where calls can be transfered at the exchange level (explicit call transfer) thereby freeing up system trunks for new calls.

    • Call forward :
      Each individual console or admin extension can set call forward for busy and/or no answer, or all calls. This may be to voicemail, another extension, or external. These settings are available via console login - see Front Desk Operations. Functions such as 'follow me' can also be employed. Possibly not applicable for some Hotels but programmable trunk by trunk, incoming calls can also be forwarded off premises after hours, or automatically picked up and played an after hours message.

    • Operator Overflow :
      If the Hotel Front Desk is particularly busy the Hybrex 'Operator Overflow' function can be programmed to take the call, and play the caller a soothing message, then music on hold - or custom promotional message, and an optional second message until their call is answered. Operator overflow, or ACD-1 as it is technically known, is essentially a queueing facility with the call otherwise following the normal ring assignment.

    • Auto Attendant :
      In many cases operator intervention in call handling is desired to be minimised. In this instance there are functions Hybrex can provide to handle calls efficiently in an automatic way. The Auto Attendant / Direct Inwards System Access (DISA) facility can be programmed to handle calls by providing the caller with a message structure that allows them determine the destination of their call. This destination may be a particular sector of the Hotel eg “press 1 for reception, press 2 for room service, ..” etc. We commonly refer to this as 'single digit DISA'. Or using the DISA technology for incoming calls they may dial the room number they desire, if they know it, and the call will be passed to that room phone. DISA can be programmed with a pickup delay so it operates as a backup to normal call handling with all the features mentioned above and more if desired. For GDS Hotel DISA also provides for features such as the ability for a Guest to access their voicemail from outside by dialing to their room and then using a passcode replay their messages.

  • Conference Facilities :
    All Hybrex systems have multi-party conference facilities that can be initiated by a user. The GDS in particular has an automatic 'Conference Rooms' feature. There are eight Conference Rooms available with capacity currently for up to eight members per conference. This is a very useful business feature and easy to use in that a user, having been notified of a conference time and entry code, calls into the system and is greeted by the Auto Attendant then dials the entry code and is then joined to the conference. This feature would not be generally applicable to Guests - however one can imagine an enterprising Hotel may offer it as a service to groups for example. Conferencing ability, and the 'rooms', would be very useful for Hotel admin and staff purposes however.

  • Outgoing Call Cost Reduction :
    For businesses of all types, and particularly as the size of the business increases, the opportunity to reduce call cost outlay poses an advantage worth noting. Hybrex systems provide various ways of reducing call costs :

    • Least Cost Routing (LCR) :
      There are a variety of suppliers telecommunications services available in todays market. Each supplier differentiates themselves by the services they provide and the call costs they offer. These call costs can vary appreciably according to time of day and/or destination. Commonly a business will have a main supplier but can arrange accounts with one or more other suppliers that offer lower cost calls at times. By programming Hybrex Least Cost Routing can, for an outgoing call, chose the trunk to be used and modify the dialed number so that the call is placed via the path of least cost. This is done automatically by the system according to LCR programming and is transparent to Hotel staff and Guest. In addition to that LCR in the Hotel situation is a very powerful tool. For Guest phone and admin phone alike it not only provides for cost reduction for outgoing calls but also provides for automatic operation of many other services according to the number dialed and what GDS LCR is programmed to do with that number. An example is the misdila correction mentioned in the emergency safety features. Automatic operation and cost minimisation - GDS LCR is a powerful tool to have.

    • VoIP Trunking and GSM Interfaces:
      VoIP calls are considerably less costly than standard network calls. Calls to mobile via a GSM interface can also offer cost savings against standard methods. Both these methods are available for Hybrex GDS, and managed using the GDS LCR functionality mentioned immediately above. More information about GDS trunking options and configuration can be found on the Corporate Solutions page for VoIP trunks, and GSM interfaces.

  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) :
    Hybrex systems are CTI enabled, and Hybrex software is available, to provide an enhancement of your telephony assets. There are a range of CTI options available. The options most pertinent to Hotel Applications are:

    • Property Management System (PMS) Integration:
      The GDS can integrate to most Front Desk or Property Management packages. This can be done via its own CTI Computer Telephony Integration) protocol or by using Hybrex Fidelio Certified PMS (Property Management Services) integration. Connection to PMS packages is via the GDS Ethernet LAN port or RS232 interface. The functionality offered will depend on the particular software package you select, but the GDS can offer the options as described above for the PC Base Front Desk.

    • Call Accounting System (CAS) :
      For Hotel implementations that choose not to integrate with a Property Management System as above, there is the inbuilt Call Accounting provided by the GDS Hotel Series firmware - this is detailed in the above described PC Base Front Desk. This is focused on Guest room phone charges and makes it easy to run customer billing with the other front desk operations.
      Should the Hotel also wish to know or record all call details and estimated Telco charges for calls out of the GDS system there is another option, and that is Hybrex Call Accounting System (CAS). Hybrex CAS is a server/client software set that is run on a PC and connects to the SMDR CTI stream from the GDS system. CAS provides the ability to monitor and report system usage by many qualifiers in combination or as required - eg trunk, extension, group, account, dept, time period, etc to name a few. Using this information and programmable rate tables CAS is able to provide a fairly accurate reports on call costs. CAS data is also exportable in forms readily useable for many other forms of business reports and usage. Hybrex CAS software is available in several forms for all Hybrex systems.
      Hybrex CAS is not the only option for call accounting of this sort though as the SMDR (system message detail record) data stream output by Hybrex systems is standard meaning most, if not all, third party call accounting software can utilize it if required.

    • Access Manager :
      Hybrex Access Control Phones (ACP) are able to control doorlocks by the use of RFID card/key and/or code. See Extension Options above.
      Where ACP are used the companion Hybrex Access Manager (AM) software can provide management, logging, and reporting of portal access by: portal number, card/code number, time of day, etc. This provides an added level of security for premises that use ACP.
      As a side note an option that could be employed with ACP's in combination with Access Manager is the combination could be used as a 'Bundy' system for personnel for example, in addition to the security functions mentioned above.

    • TAPI Protocol Interface :
      In the abscence of PMS as noted above another option that may be employed, if a particular application was available or required is TAPI. TAPI (Telephony Applications Programming Interface) is a protocol used by Microsoft Windows applications to enable telephony integration. This protocol is standard and published so there are many applications (software) that have been written for various purposes that use TAPI.
      Hybrex systems are TAPI v2 enabled by virtue of the Hybrex supplied software components "T-Server" and "TSP".