Intercontinental Hotels Group uses Cisco technology to create a superior guest experience


  • The biggest source of guest dissatisfaction is Wi-Fi access and a lack of hotel services

  • IHG had more than 100 Internet service providers, each with its own onboarding experience

  • Lack of visibility and control of hotel networks created an inconsistent guest experience


IHG implemented one central technology platform, IHG Connect, which includes:

  • Meraki Complete Stack with access points, switches and firewalls, provides fast, reliable and secure guest Wi-Fi

  • Enterprise Mobility Services Platformsupports authentication and personalization, property management systems, location services, guest engagement


  • Guest satisfaction has improved by more than 10 percent.

  • A better guest technology experience is boosting loyalty program membership

  • Streamlining the guest login process is increasing guest Internet subscription rates and results in more visibility for advertising

In 2016, there were over 6.4 billion devices connected around the world. Gartner predicts by 2020, that number will triple and will continue to climb every year. The consumer expectation to be seamlessly connected to Wi-Fi when entering building will soon be as common as having access to a bathroom or water. With such high expectations for exceptional connectivity, making sure Internet access is reliable and fast is crucial. One of the places people expect to have the same, if not a better, experience than what they have at home is when they stay at a hotel.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) saw this as an opportunity for differentiation. IHG has more than 5,000 properties in over 100 countries, operating 12 brands. IHG has partnered with Cisco to transform the guest internet experience and build a foundation for the future.

“One of the biggest challenges facing the hospitality industry today is technology,” said Shawn Olmstead, Hotel Manager at the Intercontinental Barclay in New York City. “The world we live in is evolving so quickly. We need to stay on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver a superior guest experience.” IHG set out to implement a platform that provides the same seamless Wi-Fi experience globally.

With this granular data integrated into loyalty programs and CRM systems, IHG will be able to continuously personalize the guest experience and increase guest satisfaction. Guests can also readily access essential hotel services using their mobile device - check-in/out, room service, supplies, baggage pickup, etc.

“We’re on a mission to transform the guest Internet experience and Cisco’s infrastructure provides a consistent and reliable global platform for this transformation,” said Jeff Eckard, VP of Global Hospitality Technology at IHG. “We’ve seen

unprecedented double-digit increases in guest satisfaction scores since implementing our IHG Connect platform.”

The company is standardizing on Cisco networks across all of its properties around the globe (both owned and franchised) to provide a consistent experience and flexible set of guest services. The Cisco Meraki stack, including access points, switches and firewalls, enable IHG to deploy a Cloud Wi-Fi experience at all of their properties, regardless of which service providers are in their area. They now have visibility and control of the Wi-Fi experience at each hotel, while simplifying their network and decreasing service provider support by 30%.

With the proliferation of connected devices, a safe and reliable network for guests is a top priority. IHG is seeing this rapid growth and ensuring their properties are well equipped to enable pleasant experiences in every aspect of their stay. With the new systems in place, they are not only expecting to see a 10% increase in their loyalty program, but five-million-dollar reduction in both their data center operating costs and Hotel Internet Service Provider (ISP) costs.

IHG is leading the hospitality industry, helping drive a superior guest Internet experience, build loyalty and lay the foundation for future technology initiatives as they expand on the connected services they offer. The platform is helping them to manage each property more effectively, assuring optimal inventory management, use of resources, staffing, and security.

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