In today’s fully wired world, more clubs have recognized the need to provide ways for members to stay connected for business and personal reasons, even when they’re using the club to “get away.” It’s no longer a matter of if clubs should provide connectivity from within their facilities, but how and to what extent, so that all members’ needs for lifelines back to the “real world” can be fully and easily accommodated.
The Granite Club in Toronto already had two wired workstations available for its members to use, located in the Meeting Resources Centre within the club’s private dining area. But this setup was not proving particularly accessible or visible to the majority of the club’s members.
THE GOAL:Provide Internet connectivity for use by members of the Granite Club in a more convenient and accessible way.THE PLAN:Extend wireless service to more parts of the building, and add more member-use computer workstations in a more visible location.
THE PAYOFF: Members continue to discover, use and appreciate the ability to have a quiet place to access Internet service after working out or dining at the club; requests from individual members for IT staff assistance with computing and connection needs have decreased significantly.
The club’s IT Department looked at options for providing multiple computers for member convenience in a more visible and active area of the club. At the same time, with a nod to the realities of the 21st Century, the club took the step of installing wireless service throughout the building, so members could have access for personal devices such as BlackBerries and iPhones. Various member locations in the club, such as social areas and meeting rooms, were identified as “Internet-friendly,” while WiFi access was restricted in other areas, especially where the club’s playschool is located, for the protection of younger members.
Adding wireless capability also gave the IT technicians, working in conjunction with the management staff, more flexibility to find the optimum location for additional computing stations that could be made available for public use. Eventually four additional stations were located within one of the designated wireless access zones on the club’s third floor, near the entrance to its Fitness Centre, Curling Lounge, and Sports Desk.
Members now actively use the four new workstations, with more discovering the system by the day. “This is a great place to get away from the hectic household and find a quiet place to do e-mails after working out—hooray, Granite Club!” one member commented.
At the same time, the support workload of IT staff members who were frequently asked by individual members to help them set up their personal computers for Internet connections, wired or wireless, has decreased significantly. C&RB