"Would I recommend Sentis? Without a shadow of a doubt. For their professionalism, the results of their work, the delivery, and the execution. A five-star service for a five-star hotel."
The Capital Hotel in the heart of London’s Knightsbridge is one of only a handful of hotels in the exclusive Pride of Britain Collection. The multi-award-winning establishment is ranked in the UK’s top 100 hotels and is also a member of Luxury Hotels of the World.
The hotel was opened in 1971 by hotelier and visionary David Levin, and the model he created of a small, five-star hotel became the blueprint for modern boutique hotels. Today, the Capital is still owned by the Levin family, with David’s daughter Kate now the General Manager.
In addition to the hotel, there is a Michelin star restaurant (Outlaw’s at the Capital), a luxury apartment block, and a bakery that together, comprise the Capital Group.
With so many business functions to control, IT is a critical component for the management team.
Urvashi Parekh, the Group’s Financial Director explains: “Even though we’re only a relatively small hotel, we still place huge reliance on our IT systems and infrastructure. We have multiple packages that all need to ‘talk’ to one another, at the core of which is our Property Management System; Opera. That handles reservations and room bookings and has to link to the various online booking platforms, the restaurant and bar till systems, Sage Accounting, and our bakery management system, BAPS.
“Over and above the hotel-specific systems, we need email, data storage, the ability to print, and all the other IT things every business requires. And of course, for all those elements we need appropriate support.”
For Urvashi, finding the right kind of support became critical following an issue with her previous supplier.
“We undertook a project to upgrade our server architecture. Despite site visits and a good deal of preparation for what should have been a fairly simple switchover, the experience was far from perfect and we were left without access to certain systems for several days.”
Prompted by the difficulties with the project, Urvashi began the search for an alternative supplier and was introduced to Sentis.
Says Urvashi: “When I met the people behind Sentis, they demonstrated a refreshing and transparent approach to the way they do business. It wasn’t simply about their IT skills, and that gave me the confidence to switch to them as our supplier of choice.”
When the time came for the next major project, Urvashi’s confidence in Sentis was put to the test.
“We had to upgrade our Microsoft Exchange server and right from the off, the process was very well handled. It was explained to us that there might be some downtime, but that it would be kept to a minimum and that work would be done at times that would cause the least disruption. We knew what to expect and were comfortable with that. In the event, there was no downtime whatsoever which absolutely justified our decision to choose Sentis.”
But it’s not just the major projects where Sentis have proved their worth. By making the effort to spend time at the business and to get to know the people, Sentis are able to add value, not just fix problems.
Urvashi explains: “Sentis are very pro-active. They are keen to understand our business and our requirements not just now, but months into the future. And it’s not in order to hard-sell either, it is so we can realistically plan for what we will need in relation to what we want to achieve.”
A great example is the hotel’s WiFi capability. Like all modern hotels, guests expect WiFi access wherever they are in the building and expect it to be fast and have plenty of bandwidth. Having carried out a WiFi deadspot survey, Sentis are now managing a project to improve both the reliability and performance floor-by-floor.
For Urvashi, it is the combination of expertise and commercial awareness that makes Sentis so special. As she says: “Would I recommend Sentis? Without a shadow of a doubt. For their professionalism, the results of their work, the delivery, and the execution. A five-star service for a five-star hotel.”