More Hospitality All-Stars

Two in hospitality serve up some network innovation.

BIGARI FOODS

Bigari Foods, a McDonald's franchise that operates in Colorado Springs, Colo., has taken the fast-food industry into a new world with its innovative use of call-center technology, point-of-sale software and converged voice and data IP services from Masergy Communications. The company has integrated these technologies to enable centralized meal order processing. Customers can place orders from the Playland rather than having to come to the restaurant's front counter, for example. Likewise, a restaurant can offer multiple drive-up lanes without dedicating an order-processing station to each one. The orders are processed centrally at the call center. The company says the convenience factor has led to up-sell revenue on 85% of transactions and a 33% reduction in the staff required at 24-hour outlets. Bigari Foods handles 10,000 transactions daily through the call-center system, with an expected volume of 3.6 million total transactions by 2007. The company expects significant growth as a result of eliminating the need for orders to flow through a restaurant's front registers. The franchise recouped its $70,000 investment in the centralized call center in eight months.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES

HOSPITALITY QUICK STATS

MEDIAN PROJECT DURATION:

Nine months

MEDIAN PROJECT BUDGET:

$300,000

NOTEWORTHY:

Mean one-year ROI for winning hospitality projects is 182%

Worried about losing connectivity as you're steaming toward the Caribbean? There's no problem if you cruise on Carnival's Valor, the first 100% Wi-Fi-enabled ship. The Miami cruise line has outfitted the Valor from bow to stern with four distinct wireless LANs - the corporate data network, the public I-café network, the crew I-café network and an 802.11b/g VoIP network. Wireless VoIP phones are especially helpful in boosting employee productivity. Carnival built its wireless infrastructure using Cisco Catalyst switches and Cisco Aironet access points. For the voice telephony, it uses Cisco wireless IP phones, Cisco Call Manager software and a Siemens PBX. C-band satellite technology carries ship-to-shore communications. Carnival says it cost $700,000 to build the wireless infrastructure, with an expected ROI of $725,000 the first year and $2.5 million in year three.

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