The Cloud Five
A quarterly newsletter designed to keep Cloud5 customers and friends in the know including important company updates, exciting wins and things to come.
CLOUD5 NEWSLETTER – ISSUE 28
A Message from the CEO, Mark Holzberg
Once again, it seems, our industry is on the precipice of change. On one hand, we’re continuing to see the resurgence of travel, with record high numbers in terms of RevPAR and ADR, and occupancy back up to 2019 levels. In September we also saw construction boom back to pre-pandemic levels, and many in our industry, though hesitant, remain hopeful. All that said, macroeconomic headwinds are hard to ignore and even harder to predict. Analysts forecast that the chances of a recession in the next year are now at 100%. When this will hit, how forcefully and how it will impact hospitality is anyone’s guess.
I must confess, it feels strange to be both hopeful and apprehensive at the same time. It’s hard to imagine the worst when Q4 has already been an incredible quarter of growth for Cloud5. We’re honored to welcome more than 178 new customers into the Cloud5 family – including exciting new additions to the MDU side of our business – a couple of whom we highlighted further down in this edition.
While the industry overall is bouncing back, one area of challenge that has remained a constant is staffing. As you know, our industry is still facing record-high staffing shortages and hotels are hamstrung like never before. In response to this, Cloud5 is excited to announce the launch of a new service: Vendor Management. This solution leverages the deep expertise of our project management team to help properties bring critical projects across the finish line on time, on budget and within proper scope. We have a deep bench of project managers that can step in to help properties with planning, execution and communication across multiple vendors to streamline processes and ensure smooth project completion.
Staffing shortages are also impacting the call handling and reservations desks of properties. As travel returns in full effect, we’re seeing an influx in new business to our contact center because hotels have an immediate need for experts trained in guest relations and proven to increase bookings and conversions. In fact, we’ve seen such growth that we’ve expanded our operations to include a new contact center location in South Africa, in addition to our 7 near-shore locations throughout Canada.
Another ongoing issue is the supply chain. We’re working hard to manage all the moving pieces and logistics of unpredictable equipment delivery and communicate the best we can with customers on pricing, timing and project management aspects of installs. But the truth is that it’s difficult. While we’re trying to be as open and transparent as we can, we understand it is a frustrating and challenging time. So, please, if you ever have any questions, call us or reach out to your sales representative, and we’ll try our best to get you the answers you need. The latest news we have from our sources is that OEMs are optimistic about a June/July 2023 timeframe to complete the backlog. That said, we’re still recommending that properties needing an upgrade plan at least 12 months out to secure their spot in the queue. This is just one of the industry trends we’re watching. You can check out our full list in our new hospitality trends infographic below.
As the year winds down, Cloud5 is busy working with properties to recession-proof networks, support operations and conferences, and strengthen IT infrastructure so they can deliver the high-quality customer service their guests expect. We’re looking forward to 2023 with hope, but also in the full knowledge that hospitality is resilient – if we’ve learned nothing since 2020, we’ve learned that! So, cheers to you, to the holiday season and to what lays ahead.
Events & Happenings
Event Recaps: Boutique Hotel Owners Conference & OPTECH 2022
The Cloud5 team has been busy this quarter attending several conferences and events in the industries we support.
Last month, were honored to sponsor the Boutique Hotel Owners Conference in partnership with BLLA in California. As BLLA members, we are excited support the unique needs of boutique hotels. We loved meeting owners, operators and vendors in the boutique industry and look forward to growing those relationships.
Following our time in California, we attended the OPTECH 2022 show in Las Vegas to meet and expand our multi-family property relationships. Sessions were thought-provoking and we’re excited to bring new best practices to our MDU offerings.
Let’s Connect at an Upcoming Event
Being out at events with clients, friends in the industry and partners is always something we look forward to. Let’s connect at one of our upcoming shows:
- InterFace Nashville
November 16, 2022 | Nashville, TN
December 5-8, 2022 | Miami, FL
Hotel Network Infrastructure: Avoiding Transport Network Chokepoints
Our VP of Product, David Heckaman, weighs in on how the advent of WIFI 6, the increased availability of multi-gigabit circuits, and the trend of brands evolving throughput standards, is requiring properties to start looking at their overall network infrastructure to identify chokepoints that could inhibit the combined throughput of guest usage.
Click here to read the article in Hospitality Technology.
Cloud5 Response to the Fortinet Firewall Vulnerability
It is our job to stay abreast of potential threats that might impact the integrity of our services. In this vein, we want to share that we are aware of the firewall vulnerabilities identified with Fortinet. We have already verified the release on firewalls at all our sites to ensure they are not on an affected version and remediated any that were affected to prevent potential threats.
As always, if you have specific questions about your property’s service or want a better understanding of our approach to mitigating issues such as this, please reach out.
We are proud to partner with properties all over the US and North America for their network and telecommunications needs, and Q4 has been a fun one as we added many new customers to the Cloud5 family.
WELCOME TO THE CLOUD5 FAMILY!
Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
This piece of paradise in The Bahamas is an iconic resort that was looking to upgrade its HSIA network. With 3,400 guest rooms, approximately 100,000 additional square feet of conference facilities, and the 30,000 square-foot flagship Mandara Spa, this project was a significant undertaking and required great communication, collaboration and project management. Thank you to the Atlantis team for trusting Cloud5 with your business!
WELCOME TO THE CLOUD5 FAMILY!
Grand Adirondack Hotel, Lake Placid, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
The Grand Adirondack Hotel is nestled in the heart of Main Street, Lake Placid, and features 92 rooms, 2 restaurants, and a rooftop bar. Cloud5 installed the property’s phone systems and our team received a 5-star review from the property. Thank you to the Grand Adirondack team for trusting Cloud5 with your business!
WELCOME TO THE CLOUD5 FAMILY!
Contact Center Expansion to South Africa
Cloud5 announced the latest expansion of its Contact Center operations with the opening of a new location in South Africa. Initially tasked with handling reservation calls for one of hospitality’s fastest-growing North American companies, Cloud5’s South African contact center underscores the industry’s continuing rebound and will expand its offshore capabilities as market conditions continue to evolve.
Product Development Update
Cloud5 Launches New Vendor Management Solution
Staffing shortages, new hires with little hospitality experience and project lists a mile long… this is just some of the client feedback that led us to launch our new Vendor Management solution.
Vendor Management leverages the deep expertise of the Cloud5 Project Management Office (PMO), to help properties:
1. Streamline, centralize, and effectively manage multi-vendor projects, keeping them on time, on budget and within scope.
2. Manage the full lifecycle of vendor relationships as a single-source of contact – from contract negotiations, and day-to-day management to issue escalation and resolution.
If your property has projects that need expert PM help, or could benefit from day-to-day vendor support, we’d love to hear about it. Let’s connect!