Spot On Networks, headquartered in New Haven, CT, provides communications and internet services to businesses and residential subscribers. GuestWiFi, headquartered in New York City, provides network design, installation and management of Wi-Fi in hotels. Each company developed its business on Pronto Networks’ UniFI OSS and operates Wireless ISP networks using components of Pronto Networks Managed Services.
“Pronto’s Managed Service offering enabled us to focus on the sales and marketing of a new amenity in the hospitality market segment,” says Joe Germanotta, President of GuestWiFi. “As our business evolved from ‘for-pay’ to ‘free-access’, Pronto’s MSP service platform proved a cost-effective way to adapt. Initially we used Pronto’s 24x7x365 customer service but maintained our own Tier I/II network support. As our business grew, so did the demands our customers made on customer service and network support. We began to look around for a solution. Spot On Networks provided a very cost-effective one.”
I think our experience with Spot On will become a model for how a WISP can enhance service without investing in an expensive operations center and a substantial training and payroll commitment.”
Joe Germanotta of GuestWiFi
“Early on we decided it was crucial to maintain direct relationships with our WiFi subscribers and the management of the buildings where we provide service,” explains Richard Sherwin, President of Spot On Networks. “So we built our own customer service and network operations center in New Haven. This gave us a way to turn our real time monitoring ability into real time problem solving. We realized neither subscribers nor building management would tolerate anything less than quick, personal attention. Providing that has been a big part of our success. Now we have figured out how to share that with other WISPS.”
Both GuestWiFi and Spot On Networks deploy network architecture that includes leased line broadband connections, multiple wireless access points and a Pronto Service Controller or Gateway. The Pronto device provides the authentication and login pages, the walled garden features, and the traffic management capabilities that enforce the user’s Service Level Agreement.
“With the exception of the access points, our network architecture is basically the same as GuestWiFi’s architecture,” Sherwin explains. “Since we both utilize Pronto Networks controllers and gateways and the UniFI OSS, we were able to seamlessly merge GuestWiFi’s customer service and Tier I/II network support function into Spot On’s network operation center.” GuestWiFi simply ported its existing 800 number to Spot On and we quickly integrated its 24x7x365 customer service function into Spot On’s system.”
“Spot On Networks added responsive and rapid network monitoring and Tier I / Tier II technical support for GuestWiFi,” confirms Germanotta. “It was a very cost efficient way for us to enhance the service we provide. I think this will become a model for how a WISP can enhance service without investing in an expensive operations center and a substantial training and payroll commitment.”
“We had a very smooth transition,” Germanotta adds, “and are very pleased. Now, customer service representatives speaking with hotel guests can communicate real-time issues directly with engineers in the network operations center. As a result, situations that may affect multiple users are proactively resolved. Since we partnered with Spot On, the number of customer service calls has gone down and customer satisfaction has gone up.”
“Our network operations team is very hands on,” Sherwin explains. “For example, if we get multiple calls from one location, say a particular hotel, our customer service manager immediately escalates this information to the Tier I engineer who investigates the OSS location information and reacts. If one or more access points are down, our engineer calls the site, notifies management of the problem, and talks them through power cycling the units. Sharing customer service network information with Tier I/Tier II support in real-time makes a significant improvement in network reliability and customer satisfaction. And for the hotel front desk or building management to get this information in real-time is unique and is the quickest way to get a frustrated user on line.”
“This is all possible because of Pronto’s components,” Germanotta repeats, “and our experience can easily be duplicated through Spot On by any other service provider utilizing Pronto systems and components.”
Spot On Networks provides Wi-Fi Internet service in MultiFamily residential buildings in major U.S. cities using the Pronto UniFi Wi-Fi Managed Services platform. GuestWiFi provides wireless Internet service to hotels across the United States.
Pronto Networks provides carrier-class Operations Support Systems (OSS) that enables network operators to deploy and manage WLAN networks. Both Spot On and GuestWiFi rely on Pronto systems and components.