Siegel Sez

June 15, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT


Headline
Summary
Full Body
June 02, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel

I am writing this week’s Siegel Sez before receiving Jon Inge’s technology review for this week. He always shares a comment or two before the news and I cannot wait to read his thoughts this week especially. As you might have heard, the two Jo(h)ns, John Burns and Jon Inge, were elected to the HFTP Technology Hall of Fame. Both are very worthy of this honor and have done much to expand the understanding and advancement of technology in our industry. I couldn’t help but smile when getting this announcement. John Burns was one of the original subscribers to my very early attempt at publishing a newsletter about technology back in 1992. I got to know Jon Inge when he was the guy in charge of technology for Westin Hotels and Resorts. Both have been writing for Hospitality Upgrade for many years sharing their knowledge with the industry and making everybody’s life easier. Jon Inge has foolishly asked me to introduce him at the induction ceremony at HITEC’s opening session on Tuesday morning, June 20. Doesn’t he know I love to embarrass people? Congratulations to both.

Based on the pre-registration numbers for HITEC and hotel room availability (you better book quickly) it looks like HITEC will be unbelievably well attended this year. I must warn you that my next comment will not be unbiased since I am a member of the HITEC advisory board responsible for putting together the educational program. There will be strong sessions and some not so strong, there will be people that love them and others who hate them which come with the territory. HITEC is the only industry event that has been very successful attracting both high-tech and low-tech types who want to learn what is going on in their segment of the industry. Along with the educational sessions and a sold-out exhibit hall, there are networking opportunities that never cease to amaze me. Everybody who is anybody is at HITEC and I love that. Just a little more than two weeks to go, and I cannot wait. Make sure you include plans to visit the Guestroom 2010 area of the exhibits. There is some very cool technology being shown though I must admit the bed made of nails might be my favorite. It makes sense since the hotel industry has been promoting their beds for years now. If you are exhibiting at HITEC and want us to help you promote your announcements before the show, please e-mail mailto:sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com. She is putting together some creative ways to help you get the word out.

I spoke at the North American Wi-Fi Symposium presented by StayOnline last week in Miami. What fun. I was given lots of latitude so of course I talked about everything from hockey, Cambria Breeze (my favorite race horse) to wireless and lots of other things in between. It was a great conference, well attended and had a facilitator, Craig Mathias from the Farpoint Group, who was fabulous. Craig will also be doing a session at HITEC and if your schedule allows it, you should attend. It is kind of scary how all the changes in the wireless world might affect the hotel industry. I was honored to be invited and given the opportunity to speak. It was a unique, fun and valuable conference.
mailto:rich@hospitalityupgrade.com


Technology NEWSSTAND

Systems News in Plain English
from Jon Inge

TOP O' THE NEWS
- Online bookings continue to rise, but travel agents still generate higher-revenue business
---------------------------
Online bookings continue to rise steadily, according to TravelCLICK’s eMonitor results for the first quarter of 2006. Worldwide electronic hotel revenue booked through the global distribution systems (GDS) and key Internet sites combined was up 12.9 percent over the same period last year. Room nights were up 7.6 percent, and ADR increased by 4.9 percent; the average length of stay was unchanged at 2.14 nights.

Interestingly, travel agents continued to provide significantly higher revenue business for hotels, with an average rate 37.1 percent higher than that for room nights booked via the Internet. Travel agent bookings account for 84.9 percent of total room nights booked electronically through the GDSs.

The rising tide of hospitality business is lifting all boats, though. The travel agent bookings showed a 5.0 percent increase in ADR and a 13.9 percent increase in revenue versus the first quarter of 2005, while online consumer-booked room nights saw a 2.7 percent rise in ADR and 5.8 percent in revenue.
**
I’m sure Rich won’t let me get away without mentioning my upcoming induction into HFTP’s Technology Hall of Fame, so let me just say that I am moved and deeply honored to receive this recognition. I’m even more delighted that this year’s other inductee is John Burns, who encouraged me to take the plunge into consultancy 10 years ago, and has been a constant supporter, guide and friend ever since.
**


PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
- John Burns and Jon Inge to be inducted into the HFTP Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
- Kim Tisdale and Laura Brouk hired by SynXis as Vice President of Service Delivery and Vice President of Business Development, respectively
- Jim Mitchell promoted to EVP Information Technology at La Quinta
- Debbie Leander launches Turning Stone Software for design and development services
--------------------------
For more on People on the Move for June 2, 2006


PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
- Softwear Group announced INNterprise multi-property management system
--------------------------
The Softwear Group announced its INNterprise multi-property management application, an extension of its INNcompass PMS. Described as a hybrid centralized/distributed system, it can be configured as either a centralized or distributed system, aligned more or less in either direction depending on the exact needs of any particular hotel company. http://www.softweargroup.com/
**


RESERVATIONS
- Hampshire Hospitality & Leisure selects TravelCLICK's iHotelier for 48 properties
- House of Blues Hotel in Chicago switches to iHotelier
- UK’s Thomson announces formation of Thomson Labs, to showcase new technologies
-------------------------------------------
Hampshire Hospitality & Leisure has selected TravelCLICK's iHotelier central reservation system to power the distribution strategy (including Web site reservations and GDS connectivity) for its 48 properties throughout Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles.

The 367-room House of Blues Hotel in Chicago has switched to TravelCLICK's iHotelier central reservation system (CRS) for its GDS connectivity and online booking engine. The House of Blues Hotel will also use TravelCLICK's market intelligence solutions, including Hotelligence and FuturePACE. http://www.hampshire-hotels.com/, http://www.houseofblueshotel.com/, http://www.travelclick.net/
**
UK travel company Thomson announced the formation of Thomson Labs, which will showcase new ideas to existing customers and give them the opportunity to help develop future travel technology. Three technologies that could impact travel in the near future were identified as biometric fingerprint scanning for retrieval of personal booking information at a travel kiosk, airport check-in desk or hotel, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) linked to bar code reading mobile phones for online retrieval of data keyed to a printed advertisement or reservation confirmation bar code, allowing RFID-triggered check-in, and voice search technology for hands-free search requests via mobile phone browsers.
**


MARKETING/MANAGEMENT
- Softwear Group announces Chain-Link CRO/guest recognition system to bridge multifranchise PMSs
- Starwood contracts with Leonardo Media for online media-content distribution
- Leonardo completes Phase One of Content Integration Partnership with ICE Portal
- NORTHWIND announces Maestro Guest Experience Management (GEM) application
----------------------------
For more on Marketing/Management for June 2, 2006


REVENUE MANAGEMENT
- Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur, has selected Optims
----------------------------
The 516-room Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur has selected Optims Hotel Revenue Management System, which will be interfaced with the hotel’s Fidelio v7 PMS. http://www.optims.com/
**


F&B/POINT OF SALE
- MICROS to resell VeriFone's customer-activated electronic payment applications
---------------------------
MICROS Systems will resell VeriFone's customer-activated electronic payment applications, fully integrated with MICROS RES 4.0. Products included in the agreement are the new Vx 670 mobile payment system and QX720 outdoor payment system, the Omni 7000 family and the multimedia-enabled MX870. The integrated pay-at-the-table approach provides a more secure way to collect payments and supports the consumer shift to PIN debit. http://www.verifone.com/, http://www.micros.com/
**


GUEST SERVICES
- HFTP provides glimpse of technologies to be featured in GUESTROOM 2010 hotel room
- Choice selects EthoStream for high-speed Internet to 800+ Econo Lodge locations
------------------------
HFTP has provided a “teaser” glimpse of the technologies to be featured in its GUESTROOM 2010 prototype hotel room at HITEC this June. Rather than list all the different devices, HFTP stated that “Guestroom 2010 and its adjacent pavilion will feature a bed without a mattress, a 3D TV without the accompanying glasses, a shower that cleans itself, a sound that helps you concentrate, light and art that match your mood, a valet that is always there, a faucet that recharges itself, an alarm clock that hides if you don't wake up, a highly unusual room design, and many other items.”
**
Choice Hotels has selected EthoStream to roll out high-speed Internet to its 800+ Econo Lodge franchise locations. EthoStream has added proprietary Choice technology into its EGS v4.0 gateway, which will be re-branded as the Econo Lodge Internet Gateway. EthoStream will provide support for the property guests as well as system management and monitoring. http://www.choicehotels.com/, http://www.ethostream.com/
**


BACK OFFICE
- M3’s AccKnowledge hosted accounting application offers Flex Budgeting
------------------------
M3’s AccKnowledge hosted accounting application now offers a Flex Budgeting module, designed to show management how much money is in select income and expense accounts in relation to the hotel’s budget. http://www.hotelaccounting.com/
**


COMMUNICATIONS
- Percipia establishes strategic relationship with Hong Kong’s Symphonic InfoCom
------------------------------
Percipia has established a liaison office and strategic relationship with Hong Kong’s Symphonic InfoCom Ltd to grow market share for its hospitality IP systems in Hong Kong and China. Symphonic InfoCom will provide local installation and customer support. http://www.percipia.com/
**
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And now for you-know-what!

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.  Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.  "Careful," he said, "CAREFUL!  Put in some more butter!  Oh my GOD!  You're cooking too many at once.  TOO MANY!  Turn them!  TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter.  Oh my God! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER?  They're going to stick!  CAREFUL ... careful!  I said be CAREFUL!  You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking!  Never!  Turn them!  Hurry up!  Are you CRAZY?  Have you LOST your mind?  Don't forget to salt them.  You know you always forget to salt them.  Use the salt.  USE THE SALT!  THE SALT!"
The wife stared at him.  "What in the world is wrong with you?  You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied, "I wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."



June 14, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Siegel Sez

I am writing this week’s Siegel Sez before receiving Jon Inge’s technology review for this week. He always shares a comment or two before the news and I cannot wait to read his thoughts this week especially. As you might have heard, the two Jo(h)ns, John Burns and Jon Inge, were elected to the HFTP Technology Hall of Fame. Both are very worthy of this honor and have done much to expand the understanding and advancement of technology in our industry. I couldn’t help but smile when getting this announcement. John Burns was one of the original subscribers to my very early attempt at publishing a newsletter about technology back in 1992. I got to know Jon Inge when he was the guy in charge of technology for Westin Hotels and Resorts. Both have been writing for Hospitality Upgrade for many years sharing their knowledge with the industry and making everybody’s life easier. Jon Inge has foolishly asked me to introduce him at the induction ceremony at HITEC’s opening session on Tuesday morning, June 20. Doesn’t he know I love to embarrass people? Congratulations to both.


Based on the pre-registration numbers for HITEC and hotel room availability (you better book quickly) it looks like HITEC will be unbelievably well attended this year. I must warn you that my next comment will not be unbiased since I am a member of the HITEC advisory board responsible for putting together the educational program. There will be strong sessions and some not so strong, there will be people that love them and others who hate them which come with the territory. HITEC is the only industry event that has been very successful attracting both high-tech and low-tech types who want to learn what is going on in their segment of the industry. Along with the educational sessions and a sold-out exhibit hall, there are networking opportunities that never cease to amaze me. Everybody who is anybody is at HITEC and I love that. Just a little more than two weeks to go, and I cannot wait. Make sure you include plans to visit the Guestroom 2010 area of the exhibits. There is some very cool technology being shown though I must admit the bed made of nails might be my favorite. It makes sense since the hotel industry has been promoting their beds for years now. If you are exhibiting at HITEC and want us to help you promote your announcements before the show, please e-mail mailtsharon@hospitalityupgrade.com. She is putting together some creative ways to help you get the word out.



I spoke at the North American Wi-Fi Symposium presented by StayOnline last week in Miami. What fun. I was given lots of latitude so of course I talked about everything from hockey, Cambria Breeze (my favorite race horse) to wireless and lots of other things in between. It was a great conference, well attended and had a facilitator, Craig Mathias from the Farpoint Group, who was fabulous. Craig will also be doing a session at HITEC and if your schedule allows it, you should attend. It is kind of scary how all the changes in the wireless world might affect the hotel industry. I was honored to be invited and given the opportunity to speak. It was a unique, fun and valuable conference.
mailtrich@hospitalityupgrade.com



June 14, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English
Online bookings continue to rise, but travel agents still generate higher-revenue business
Online bookings continue to rise steadily, according to TravelCLICK’s eMonitor results for the first quarter of 2006. Worldwide electronic hotel revenue booked through the global distribution systems (GDS) and key Internet sites combined was up 12.9 percent over the same period last year. Room nights were up 7.6 percent, and ADR increased by 4.9 percent; the average length of stay was unchanged at 2.14 nights.



Interestingly, travel agents continued to provide significantly higher revenue business for hotels, with an average rate 37.1 percent higher than that for room nights booked via the Internet. Travel agent bookings account for 84.9 percent of total room nights booked electronically through the GDSs.

The rising tide of hospitality business is lifting all boats, though. The travel agent bookings showed a 5.0 percent increase in ADR and a 13.9 percent increase in revenue versus the first quarter of 2005, while online consumer-booked room nights saw a 2.7 percent rise in ADR and 5.8 percent in revenue.
**
I’m sure Rich won’t let me get away without mentioning my upcoming induction into HFTP’s Technology Hall of Fame, so let me just say that I am moved and deeply honored to receive this recognition. I’m even more delighted that this year’s other inductee is John Burns, who encouraged me to take the plunge into consultancy 10 years ago, and has been a constant supporter, guide and friend ever since.


June 14, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS



- John Burns and Jon Inge to be inducted into the HFTP Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
- Kim Tisdale and Laura Brouk hired by SynXis as Vice President of Service Delivery and Vice President of Business Development, respectively
- Jim Mitchell promoted to EVP Information Technology at La Quinta
- Debbie Leander launches Turning Stone Software for design and development services
--------------------------
For more on People on the Move for June 2, 2006

June 14, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Softwear Group announced INNterprise multi-property management system
--------------------------
The Softwear Group announced its INNterprise multi-property management application, an extension of its INNcompass PMS. Described as a hybrid centralized/distributed system, it can be configured as either a centralized or distributed system, aligned more or less in either direction depending on the exact needs of any particular hotel company. http://www.softweargroup.com/
**

June 14, 2006

RESERVATIONS




- Hampshire Hospitality & Leisure selects TravelCLICK's iHotelier for 48 properties
- House of Blues Hotel in Chicago switches to iHotelier
- UK’s Thomson announces formation of Thomson Labs, to showcase new technologies
-------------------------------------------


Hampshire Hospitality & Leisure has selected TravelCLICK's iHotelier central reservation system to power the distribution strategy (including Web site reservations and GDS connectivity) for its 48 properties throughout Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles.


The 367-room House of Blues Hotel in Chicago has switched to TravelCLICK's iHotelier central reservation system (CRS) for its GDS connectivity and online booking engine. The House of Blues Hotel will also use TravelCLICK's market intelligence solutions, including Hotelligence and FuturePACE. http://www.hampshire-hotels.com/, http://www.houseofblueshotel.com/, http://www.travelclick.net/
**
UK travel company Thomson announced the formation of Thomson Labs, which will showcase new ideas to existing customers and give them the opportunity to help develop future travel technology. Three technologies that could impact travel in the near future were identified as biometric fingerprint scanning for retrieval of personal booking information at a travel kiosk, airport check-in desk or hotel, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) linked to bar code reading mobile phones for online retrieval of data keyed to a printed advertisement or reservation confirmation bar code, allowing RFID-triggered check-in, and voice search technology for hands-free search requests via mobile phone browsers.
**


June 14, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Softwear Group announces Chain-Link CRO/guest recognition system to bridge multifranchise PMSs
- Starwood contracts with Leonardo Media for online media-content distribution
- Leonardo completes Phase One of Content Integration Partnership with ICE Portal
- NORTHWIND announces Maestro Guest Experience Management (GEM) application
----------------------------
For more on Marketing/Management for June 2, 2006

June 14, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur, has selected Optims
----------------------------
The 516-room Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur has selected Optims Hotel Revenue Management System, which will be interfaced with the hotel’s Fidelio v7 PMS. http://www.optims.com/
**

June 14, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- MICROS to resell VeriFone's customer-activated electronic payment applications
---------------------------
MICROS Systems will resell VeriFone's customer-activated electronic payment applications, fully integrated with MICROS RES 4.0. Products included in the agreement are the new Vx 670 mobile payment system and QX720 outdoor payment system, the Omni 7000 family and the multimedia-enabled MX870. The integrated pay-at-the-table approach provides a more secure way to collect payments and supports the consumer shift to PIN debit. http://www.verifone.com/, http://www.micros.com/
**

June 14, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- HFTP provides glimpse of technologies to be featured in GUESTROOM 2010 hotel room
- Choice selects EthoStream for high-speed Internet to 800+ Econo Lodge locations
------------------------


HFTP has provided a “teaser” glimpse of the technologies to be featured in its GUESTROOM 2010 prototype hotel room at HITEC this June. Rather than list all the different devices, HFTP stated that “Guestroom 2010 and its adjacent pavilion will feature a bed without a mattress, a 3D TV without the accompanying glasses, a shower that cleans itself, a sound that helps you concentrate, light and art that match your mood, a valet that is always there, a faucet that recharges itself, an alarm clock that hides if you don't wake up, a highly unusual room design, and many other items.”
**
Choice Hotels has selected EthoStream to roll out high-speed Internet to its 800+ Econo Lodge franchise locations. EthoStream has added proprietary Choice technology into its EGS v4.0 gateway, which will be re-branded as the Econo Lodge Internet Gateway. EthoStream will provide support for the property guests as well as system management and monitoring. http://www.choicehotels.com/, http://www.ethostream.com/
**
June 14, 2006

BACK OFFICE



- M3’s AccKnowledge hosted accounting application offers Flex Budgeting
------------------------
M3’s AccKnowledge hosted accounting application now offers a Flex Budgeting module, designed to show management how much money is in select income and expense accounts in relation to the hotel’s budget. http://www.hotelaccounting.com/
**

June 14, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



- Percipia establishes strategic relationship with Hong Kong’s Symphonic InfoCom
------------------------------
Percipia has established a liaison office and strategic relationship with Hong Kong’s Symphonic InfoCom Ltd to grow market share for its hospitality IP systems in Hong Kong and China. Symphonic InfoCom will provide local installation and customer support. http://www.percipia.com/
**


June 30, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Rich Siegel

Siegel Sez
June 30, 2006


Was there a love fest in Minnesota last week? Did the 4,700 attendees at HITEC all fall in love with the city of Minneapolis? It sure seemed that way. There was a great convention center, most hotels were within walking distance of the venue and there was an area of the city called Nicollet Mall with numerous bars and restaurants where many of the show attendees could be found throughout the week enjoying the spectacular evenings. The many parties had a wide range of establishments to choose from and all were fabulous. What a great choice to hold HITEC, I am sold on this location.

Personally I had some very moving moments during the show. My favorite was having the honor of introducing Jon Inge as this year’s second inductee into the HFTP Technology Hall of Fame. To do it following John Burns’ induction made it an even more special moment. Two great choices and both great friends, it was almost magical for me. Of course, that was quickly balanced out when the speaker after the ceremony picked me out of the audience to embarrass. Sure, ask the guy with the most screwed up personal life what women expect from a man. Just shoot me. But it was fun and the large crowd did seem to enjoy it. Connie Podesta was a great speaker and quite funny. Yes, I am a squiggly line and am proud of it.

My second favorite moment was how successful the Ask the Experts session went over this year. I moderated this session and threw a surprise to the panelists and audience by bringing in some unique experts to compliment the panel. Our 19-year-old college student Peter shared his vision of the hotel industry, how he books rooms and his expectations. When I asked him what he considered a luxury hotel and he answered where the people are friendly you should have seen all the heads shaking in the audience. We all learned a lot from him. My second expert was 70-year-old Gabi. Gabi is not computer literate and when I asked her how she contacts hotels she visits and she answered that she takes the time to hand write a letter and mail it, the audience busted out in applause. Peter and Gabi really added to the session. Thanks to Doug Koontz from Morgans Hotel Group, Nick Price from Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Michael Schubach from Club Resorts, and consultants Jon Inge and Mark Ozawa for putting up with my shenanigans.

Guestroom 2010 was a great success. Hospitality Upgrade was proud to be a media sponsor along with Lodging Magazine. The real accolades should go to IBM for being a great sponsor and HFTP for putting it together. It was unique, creative and easily elevated the whole HITEC experience. I just loved the bed. The success of this endeavor is because of both parties.

Finally, I need to ask a favor which I try to avoid doing via Siegel Sez. We launched a brand new Hospitality Upgrade Web site last week, the first new one in many, many years. If you would take a moment and click to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com and share some comments with us it would be much appreciated. Actually you should visit anyway because we have included some pretty embarrassing pictures from the many parties at HITEC. You can also watch the news clip from the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis that reported on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news about Guestroom 2010. You can find the pictures and the news clip on our Web site under the Cool New Stuff section.

Sorry this was so long but after all, this is our post HITEC Siegel Sez. Here now is the real reason we are here, the great technology review from the recently embarrassed Jon Inge. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what”.



 



rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
June 30, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

mailto:jon@joninge.com


-An excellent HITEC, and kudos to Minneapolis
- HTNG demonstrates six new systems integration links
- Need for technology catch-up identified as one of four transformative
issues facing hospitality industry
---------------------------

Another excellent HITEC has ended, with slightly lower attendance overall but with many vendors reporting a higher quality of visitors and a good percentage of serious buyers.  Every educational session I attended was packed, indicating outstanding work by the planning committee in targeting the right topics, and as always the networking opportunities were unparalleled. 

Minneapolis itself deserves a mention.  Not the most obvious choice for an international convention, it proved just about ideal, with good conference facilities (especially F&B), a compact city center with most hotels within walking distance of the show, perfect weather without the rumored bird-sized mosquitoes, and a friendly, welcoming attitude that encouraged many to wish the show could be held there every year.  How about it, HFTP?
**
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) demonstrated several new systems integration links at HITEC, including:
- A single guest itinerary with PMS, spa, activity and dining reservation systems producing a single, definitive version of the guest’s schedule during a hotel stay.
- An IP telephony system with roaming guest extensions via an 802.11 wireless network, voice messaging and PMS-based text messaging, plus itinerary display on an IP phone or television.
- An IP television showing a privately produced high-definition channel, encoded in real-time and beamed via satellite to the convention center, delivered as an IP stream to the television. 
- A docking pod for guest mobile devices which can work with any compatible entertainment system.
- Processing of cashless charging, comps, tender post and check-zoom capabilities between property management and point-of-sale systems.
- Implementation by several central reservation system, property management system and revenue management system vendors of the now completed message specification for reservation delivery and availability controls.
**
The need to catch up with technology was one of four transformative issues identified in 'Hospitality 2010,' a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University.  These factors are expected to be key success drivers over the next three to five years.

The driving need to catch up with technology was shown both by the increased demand for online booking and more personalized service, and by the industry’s historic record of being in the lowest quartile of technology spending within the consumer businesses.  All executives interviewed foresaw increased IT investments, particularly in reservations, distribution, loyalty programs and customer relationship management. 

The remaining three transformative issues were:
- Brand is expected to surpass location as the deciding factor in hotel choices.
- Substantial growth in travel within and to China, India and the Gulf States.
- Aging consumers will change the game as their population grows along with their continued desire to travel.


January 25, 2019

COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE



  • Beekeeper, the #1 Operational Communication Platform, is now available in Australia

  • SHR Announces Powerful Megasys and SmartHOTEL Integrations

 __________

Beekeeper, the #1 Operational Communication Platform, is now available in Australia
Technology 4 Hotels, a leading technology provider to the hospitality industry, announced that it has been appointed as the Australian hospitality channel partner for Beekeeper.
http://www.beekeeper.io/

SHR Announces Powerful Megasys and SmartHOTEL Integrations
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel distribution technologies and developer of Windsurfer® CRS, has unveiled two new best-in-class integrations; the Portfolio HMS by Megasys Hospitality Solutions, and SmartHOTEL’s PMS connectivity hub.
www.shr.global.




January 25, 2019

F&B/POINT OF SALE



  • Epson Adds Three New MAXStick Media Solutions to its List of Tested Media for TM-L90 PLUS LFC Thermal Label Printers

  • Aila Technologies Adopts Epson POS Receipt Printer for its Interactive Kiosk

  • Epson Adds Three New StickyPOS Media Solutions to its List of Tested Media for TM-L90 Plus LFC Thermal Label Printers




 

Epson Adds Three New MAXStick Media Solutions to its List of Tested Media for TM-L90 PLUS LFC Thermal Label Printers
At the NRF 2019 Retail’s Big Show, Epson America, Inc., a leading supplier of value-added point of sale solutions, announced it has added three new branded MAXStick media solutions from MAXStick International, a leading provider of liner-free, repositionable thermal label products, to Epson’s “tested” media list for its TM-L90 Plus liner-free compatible (LFC) thermal label printers.
http://epson.com/pos
Aila Technologies Adopts Epson POS Receipt Printer for its Interactive Kiosk
At the NRF 2019 Retail’s Big Show, Epson America, Inc., a leading supplier of value-added point of sale solutions, announced that Aila Technologies, provider of smart iOS-based devices and integrated scanning technology, has adopted Epson’s compact TM-m30 POS receipt printer for integration into Aila's Interactive Kiosk to enhance the customer experience and streamline operations for retailers. 
http://epson.com/pos
Epson Adds Three New StickyPOS Media Solutions to its List of Tested Media for TM-L90 Plus LFC Thermal Label Printers
At the NRF 2019 Retail’s Big Show, Epson America, Inc., a leading supplier of value-added point of sale solutions, announced it has added three new media solutions from StickyPOS, a leading provider of self-cleaning sticky thermal POS rolls, to Epson’s “tested” media list for its TM-L90 Plus liner free compatible (LFC) thermal label printers.
http://epson.com/pos


January 25, 2019

SECURITY



  • dormakaba USA Inc Launches an Online Keyless Access Control ROI Calculator for Vacation Rental Managers and Owners

  • New dormakaba USA Inc Vacation Rental White Paper Details Advantages of Online Access Control

  • VENZA® signs 80 more properties with Schulte Hospitality Group


 

dormakaba USA Inc Launches an Online Keyless Access Control ROI Calculator for Vacation Rental Managers and Owners
dormakaba USA Inc, a leader in the global market for access and security solutions, launched its online ROI calculator for the vacation rental industry.
www.dormakaba.com
New dormakaba USA Inc Vacation Rental White Paper Details Advantages of Online Access Control
dormakaba USA Inc, a leader in the global market for access and security solutions, released its latest Vacation Rental industry white paper, “The Smart Home Revolution: Three ways online access control is a win-win for you and your vacation rental guests.”
dormakaba.com
VENZA® signs 80 more properties with Schulte Hospitality Group
Schulte Hospitality Group not only decided to renew but to entrust 80 more properties to VENZA’s comprehensive security awareness training program.
venzagroup.com


January 25, 2019

HOSPITALITY EVENTS



  • Applications Now Open for Positions on HFTP Global Board and Executive Committee

  • Hospitality’s Marketing Gurus Honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards

  • HSMAI Announces 2019 Americas Board and Executive Committee


Applications Now Open for Positions on HFTP Global Board and Executive Committee
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is calling hospitality professionals who are innovative, strategic thinkers to join the association’s top leadership.
HFTP.ORG  
Hospitality’s Marketing Gurus Honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards
Excitement was in the air as the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) hosted its annual Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala honoring excellence in travel advertising, digital marketing and public relations.
www.adrianawards.com
HSMAI Announces 2019 Americas Board and Executive Committee
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) proudly announces its 2019 Americas Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The board is composed of a diverse range of travel and hospitality executives from a representative mix of HSMAI members.

 

January 25, 2019

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



  • Hotel fires robot staff after guest complaints
  • Innovation key for hospitality businesses to remain relevant
  • 2019 Top 10 Hospitality Trends
  • At Hotels, Space That’s Like the Office, ‘but Cooler’

 
 




January 25, 2019

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what …  A few points to ponder ...
 
Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. My blood
pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, I'd gained some weight,
and I didn't feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right doesn't have to be complicated and it would
solve my physical problems. He said just think in colors; Fill your plate
with bright colors; greens, yellows, reds, etc.

I went right home and ate an entire bowl of M&M's and sure enough, I
felt better immediately. I never knew eating right could be so easy.




February 08, 2019

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

That sure was a dud of a Super Bowl. Should I admit I nearly fell asleep watching it? Maybe it was the commercials that kept me awake. As I watched the Patriots celebrate and the Rams mope off the field as losers, I thought that another NFL season was over. Then I started thinking back to when the season started; not the first games but when training camps opened nearly two months before the first game. Every team had more than 90 players at their camps each player trying to earn one of the 53 spots and a job on an NFL roster with dreams of much success down the road. In the hotel technology world those dreaming of success are different sorts of players: they are the money people. The amount of money being invested in the hotel technology space is unfathomable.  Of course, there are the startups, but there is also those beyond starting up and are looking for investments to sustain and grow. I talk to many of these money groups and how they look at investing. They look at this world through a different lens than how I look at potential for success. Of course, maybe I dream too much and because they are dealing with dollars they take a much harder look. Those who will be joining us in Austin at the end of the month at the Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit will get to hear from one of the top investors in hotel technology, Dave Berkus. When I was in the PMS industry a million years ago Dave was my boss. You never know what the future holds. For those who invest in the hotel technology companies it seems similar to those trying to get a spot on an NFL roster. There are probably 10-15 open spots on a NFL roster and there are more than 40 players in the camps trying to get one of those spots. In the investment world I’m told if they are successful in investments about 20 percent of the time, they are ecstatic, 30 percent is a dream. Start-ups, second and third rounds it just goes on and on with the money out there. Investors are looking for the same thing, to win their own Super Bowl. It is interesting to follow this, to watch where the money goes, whose money is being used and how they measure success. Who knows, maybe they will be happy just making the playoffs. I know Dave Berkus will share winning and losing stories. Hopefully he will stay away from that one salesperson he used to work with selling property management systems that used to drive him crazy. Maybe instead of investing in technology companies they should just make bets every year on the Patriots winning the Super Bowl. I think that might have had a decent return over the years.
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest technology happenings in the industry with a prelude to what is actually going on in the industry not with technology but from the hotel side as we watch expansion, new brands and how their growth will be accomplished. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. And for the record, I don’t like the Patriots!
 
Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com




February 08, 2019

TOP O' THE NEWS



Major brands saw increases in occupancy and ADR, along with expansion across the globe

As 2017 came to an end, many industry forecasters predicted that the coming year would be a good one for hotels. And, for the most part, they were right. A strong economy, rising employment and higher consumer net worth translated into more travel (for both business and pleasure) as well as higher transaction volumes in 2018.

Leading independent investment research firm Zacks reports that hotels saw increases in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) in 2018. As early as the first quarter, the industry witnessed a better-than-expected rise in demand, with revenue per available room increasing by 3.5 percent.

According to data benchmarking firm STR, the industry is projected to report a 2018 year-end 0.4 percent increase in occupancy, a 2.6 percent increase in ADR and a 3.0 percent increase in revenue per available room as compared to the previous year. And, while occupancy increased across all segments, the luxury segment is expected to post the highest growth rates.

Many hotel companies, including major brands Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott, reaped the benefits of this good year. Here, Hospitality Upgrade recaps just a few of 2018’s highlights.
 
https://www.hotel-online.com/press_releases/release/2018-a-year-of-growth-and-profitability-for-hotels
 




February 08, 2019

TOP O' THE NEWS




- Caesars Entertainment Announces Plans for First Non-Gaming Hotel In The U.S., Introduces Caesars Republic Brand
- 40 Hyatt Hotels Expected to Open Throughout West Coast United States by 2021

- Shiji Acquires Touchpeak Software Inc, an International Payment Solutions Provider

 


Caesars Entertainment Announces Plans for First Non-Gaming Hotel In The U.S., Introduces Caesars Republic Brand
Caesars Entertainment Corporation, a diversified casino-entertainment company announced plans to open Caesars Republic Scottsdale, its first non-gaming hotel in the United States, as part of its plan to expand its brands and loyalty network through its licensing strategy.

40 Hyatt Hotels Expected to Open Throughout West Coast United States by 2021
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that Hyatt expects 40 new hotels to open in California, Oregon and Washington by the end of 2021, fueling Hyatt’s regional brand growth by nearly 45 percent.
www.hyatt.co

Shiji Acquires Touchpeak Software Inc, an International Payment Solutions Provider
Shiji completed the acquisition of Touchpeak Software, Inc. and its subsidiary EFT Middleware LLC.

February 08, 2019

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Erynn Torrenga and Young Lee Join INTELITY as SVP of Sales, East and VP of Finance; Benjamin Keller Promoted to SVP of Sales, West
__________

Erynn Torrenga and Young Lee Join INTELITY as SVP of Sales, East and VP of Finance; Benjamin Keller Promoted to SVP of Sales, West

INTELITY, provider of one of the travel industry's first and broadest enterprise guest engagement and staff management platforms, announced that Young Lee and Erynn Torrenga have joined the company.
Intelity.com



February 08, 2019

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Wild Rose Casinos & Resorts Implements Agilysys’ PMS and POS Solutions at Each of Their Three Properties
___________ 

Wild Rose Casinos & Resorts Implements Agilysys’ PMS and POS Solutions at Each of Their Three Properties
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that its InfoGenesis® POS and Visual One® PMS solutions were successfully implemented at Wild Rose Casinos & Resorts in Iowa to provide a more integrated technology infrastructure and superior guest experience across its three locations in Emmetsburg, Clinton and Jefferson.
http://www.agilysys.com



February 08, 2019

RESERVATIONS



- SiteMinder Reveals the Top 12 Hotel Booking Revenue Makers of 2018 as Consumer Choice Rises
__________

SiteMinder Reveals the Top 12 Hotel Booking Revenue Makers of 2018 as Consumer Choice Rises
SiteMinder, a global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, unveils its annual lists of the channels that brought the highest total booking revenue to hotels in the U.S. and Canada and other top travel destinations around the world in 2018. 
www.siteminder.com




January 11, 2019

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- 2019: The Year of Connectivity

- You Can’t Get Anything for Twenty Bucks These Days

- Traveling With Your Kids Will Make Them Better in School, Study Suggests

- Boeing's unveils radical 'transonic' wing design



You Can’t Get Anything for Twenty Bucks These Days

- 2019: The Year of Connectivity

- Traveling With Your Kids Will Make Them Better in School, Study Suggests

- Boeing's unveils radical 'transonic' wing design



January 11, 2019

COMMUNICATIONS



James is walking on a downtown street one day, and he happens to see his old high school friend, Harry, a little ways up ahead. "Harry, Harry, how are you?" he greets his old buddy after getting his attention.
 
"Not so good," says Harry.

"Why, what happened?" James queries.

"Well," Harry says, "I just went bankrupt and I've still got to feed my family. I don't know what I'm going to do."

"Could have been worse," James replies calmly. "Could have been worse."
 

A month or so later, James again encounters Harry, in a restaurant. "And how are things now?" he asks.

"Terrible!" says Harry. "Our house burned down last night."

"Could have been worse," says James, again with total aplomb, and goes about his business.


A month later, James runs into Harry a third time. "Well, how goes it?" he inquires.

"Oh!" says Harry. "Things just get worse and worse. It's one tragedy after another! Now my wife has left me!"

Harry nods his head and gives his usual optimistic-seeming little smile, accompanied by his usual words: "Could've been worse."
 

This time, Harry grabs James by the shoulders. "Wait a minute!" he says. "I'm not gonna let you off so easy this time. Three times in the past few months we've run into one another, and every time I've told you the latest disaster in my life. Every time you say the same thing: 'Could have been worse.' This time, for God's sake, Harry, I want you to tell me: how in Heaven's name could it have been any worse?"
 
James looks at Harry with the same little wisp of a smile. "Could have been worse," he says. "Could have happened to me."


December 14, 2018

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what …  A few points to ponder ...
 

Where to eat.....A group of 15 year old boys discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at the McDonald's next to Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because they only had six dollars among them, they could ride their bikes there and Jennie Webster, that cute girl in Social Studies, lives on the same street and they might see her. 

Ten years later, the group of now 25 year old guys discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the beer was cheap, the bar had free snacks, the house band was good, there was no cover charge and there were lot of cute girls. 

Ten years later, at 35 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was decided they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the booze was good, it was near their gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids. 

Ten years later, at 45, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the martinis were big and the waitresses wore tight pants. 

Ten years later, now 55, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the prices were reasonable, they have a nice wine list and fish is good for your cholesterol. 

Ten years later, at 65 years of age, the once again group discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the lighting was good and they have an early bird special. 

Ten years later, at 75 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped accessible. 

Ten years later, at 85 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because they had never been there before. 



January 11, 2019

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel


I have been to many CES events over the years, but the best ones are when I join Bob Gilbert and the private HSMAI tour put together for hotel executives. This year the group included executives from Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Red Roof Inns, and MGM Resorts amongst others.  I liked that these tours mixed the technology that could impact hotel business along with consumer technology. Blockchain, robots, facial recognition all the way to the smart bathroom with so much in between.  When companies like Proctor and Gamble remove someone’s freckles right in front of you that is amazing and a little bit creepy. It gives you a feeling of the wide range of technology advances that are becoming mainstream.  But you can’t dismiss the things that are coming sooner rather than later. I spent a great deal of time at the Qualcomm booth understanding how and what to expect when 5G becomes reality. All I will say is, get ready for driverless cars, they are definitely coming. We spent time with Google, and AI was everywhere.
 
CES can be overwhelming. Imagine a conference that attracts a crowd of 170,000 people. It was nice having lunch and catching up with Rahul Samant the CIO for Delta Airlines. Our conversations about technology both in the hotel and airline industries went all over the place. There were many industry folks attending CES. On Thursday night Mark Fancourt of testbed.vegas coordinated a dinner for nearly 40 industry people. It was a great way to end the week. There were many from the vendor community so the conversation quickly moved toward the Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit the end of February in Austin, Texas (www.hospitalityupgrade.com/vendorsummit ). It was funny with all the things we have put together for the event, many thanked me for bringing back our golf tournament. I guess it’s the little things in life that are important. If you are a vendor of technology and you need to partner with other vendors this is where you need to be. It is an invitation-only event so to find out more quickly get hold of Anne Boon at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com or call (678)802-5304. Just about everybody who attended EVS last year in West Hollywood already registered for this year and many were first time attendees last year. That is a sign that this is both needed and extremely valuable to the attendees.
 
One thing I have learned in life is the only constant is change. For a few years industry consultant Ron Hardin has opened the news section of this Siegel Sez with thoughts about how technology impacts the industry and us as individuals. Ron has been offered a great opportunity and will be ending his time with us. I will leave the rest of his career change to his brief comments before the news. We thank him and will miss his sometimes offbeat thoughts about where technology is going and where it needs to go.
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest happenings in the tech world for our industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Let’s all have a great 2019!
 
Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
 



January 25, 2019

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel



I never have a problem embarrassing myself, but it is nice to be able to share that embarrassment with people like Bob Gilbert from HSMAI and a few execs from Marriott, IHG, Hilton and others.  There are many thousands of you reading this, but how many have ever attended the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas? How about we give you a true feeling of the magnitude and varied nature when it comes to the technology that will impact us as hoteliers and everyday consumers?  Do you realize that 5G is a great deal more than faster phones? Facial recognition is not just about recognizing who you are but how old you are and how happy, sad or stressed you are? Thankfully they turned off how much you weigh. Have you ever played ping pong against a robot who will tell you what you are doing right and wrong? I think our wonderful videographer Liz Vogan did an amazing job sharing what the CES experience is all about and in under six minutes. Take a moment and click here to experience CES with a bit of an attitude. If you like it or hate it, feel free to share your comments. Who knows, maybe you will want to join the HSMAI crew next year on its VIP tour of CES.
 
I am thankful I am connected to so many hoteliers from big and small companies and also the vendors who supply technology to these companies. It is amazing how many times hoteliers share their frustration in the inability of their vendors to “connect” with each other. More than 14 years ago we created an Executive Vendor Summit to address these disconnects that plague our industry and the event continues to grow. This year it is nice that we will also have a couple of CEOs from the hotel industry join us and they will share their thoughts on where technology should be going. If you are a vendor of technology and have never been, please contact Anne Boon right away at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com or (678) 802-5304 (yes, some of us actually make phone calls) about how to get an invitation.  Who would think that getting large, small and even those barely past the startup phase technology vendors together would have such value? Yes, many compete for business but many also partner with other attendees or end up with new partners after attending EVS. Yes, a very unique event without potential customers there but those that have come one time always come back. Check out the bobbleheads!
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest technology happenings in the industry.  I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Remember, let me know your thoughts on our short CES video. Thanks.
 
Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com




January 25, 2019

Siegel Sez






January 25, 2019

TOP O' THE NEWS



  • Hyatt Launches Public Bug Bounty Program with Hackerone

  • Choice Hotels Goes All-In on AWS

  • Marriott International Announces Marriott Bonvoy – The New Brand Name Of Its Loyalty Program

 



Hyatt Launches Public Bug Bounty Program with Hackerone
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the launch of a public bug bounty program with HackerOne in which ethical hackers are invited to test Hyatt websites and mobile apps for potential vulnerabilities and securely disclose them to Hyatt.
hackerone.com/hyatt
Choice Hotels Goes All-In on AWS
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an Amazon.com company, announced that Choice Hotels International, Inc. is moving its infrastructure to AWS—going all-in on the world’s leading cloud—to boost its technology leadership position in the hotel industry.
www.choicehotels.com
Marriott International Announces Marriott Bonvoy – The New Brand Name Of Its Loyalty Program
Marriott International unveiled Marriott Bonvoy, the new loyalty brand replacing the current loyalty brands – Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – and reflecting the unmatched benefits, single loyalty portfolio and experiences announced last year.
www.marriott.com

January 25, 2019

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



  • Infor Announces $1.5 Billion Investment Ahead of Potential IPO

  • Paddlewheeler Creole Queen and Riverboat Louis Armstrong to Boost Guest Experience with Agilysys InfoGenesis® POS

  • Maestro PMS 2019 Development Roadmap Focused on Full-Tablet PMS, Guest Relationship Innovation

 



Infor Announces $1.5 Billion Investment Ahead of Potential IPO
Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, announced an agreement to receive a $1.5 billion investment from shareholders Koch Equity Development, LLC (KED) and Golden Gate Capital.
www.infor.com
Paddlewheeler Creole Queen and Riverboat Louis Armstrong to Boost Guest Experience with Agilysys InfoGenesis® POS
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that Hospitality Enterprises, known online as BigEasy, has chosen the company’s InfoGenesis point-of-sale solution for their operations at the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen and the Riverboat Louis Armstrong.
http://www.agilysys.com/
Maestro PMS 2019 Development Roadmap Focused on Full-Tablet PMS, Guest Relationship InnovationMaestro PMS has always focused on the luxury and full-service hotel, resort, conference center and multi-property independent operator, providing leading edge competitive property management system tools to assist in effectively running their operations.  Our service culture is a major focus of delivery to our clients, and continues to be an area we develop to offer highly respected support services in line with what the industry demands.
www.maestropms.com



January 25, 2019

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



  • Rainmaker Selects OTA Insight as Strategic Partner for Rate Intelligence

  • Rainmaker Closes a Record Year with An Increased Global Footprint, New Customer Growth and Innovation in New Segments

__________

Rainmaker Selects OTA Insight as Strategic Partner for Rate Intelligence

OTA Insight, the cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry, and The Rainmaker Group, a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, announced a new strategic partnership.
www.letitrain.com

Rainmaker Closes a Record Year with An Increased Global Footprint, New Customer Growth and Innovation in New Segments
The Rainmaker Group, a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality revenue and profit optimization software, announced that the company is starting 2019 with strong-than-ever numbers, a full implementation pipeline and continued growth in new regions.
www.letitrain.com




January 25, 2019

GUEST SERVICES



  • Black Oak Casino Resort to Implement INTELITY’s Guest Experience and Staff Management Platform  

  • INTELITY Looks to Win “Hospitality’s Hottest Technology” Designation at ALIS 2019

  • Synergy Global Housing Brings Volara-Powered Voice Assistants to New York Residences

 


Black Oak Casino Resort to Implement INTELITY’s Guest Experience and Staff Management Platform  
INTELITY, one of the global travel industry's first and most powerful enterprise guest engagement and staff management platform, announced that it inked a deal with The Hotel at Black Oak Casino Resort in Tuolumne, Calif.
www.intelitycorp.com/
INTELITY Looks to Win “Hospitality’s Hottest Technology” Designation at ALIS 2019
INTELITY, provider of the travel industry's first and broadest enterprise guest engagement and staff management platform, announces its presence at The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), which runs Jan. 28-30, 2019.
www.intelitycorp.com
Synergy Global Housing Brings Volara-Powered Voice Assistants to New York Residences
Synergy Global Housing, a subsidiary of The Ascott Limited and premier provider of furnished temporary accommodations for business and relocation stays, is voice enabling their new exclusive property in New York City with Volara-powered voice assistants.
https://www.volara.io/


January 25, 2019

BACK OFFICE



  • Chesapeake Hospitality Maximizes Data Management and Forecasting Efficiency with ProfitSword

__________
 
Chesapeake Hospitality Maximizes Data Management and Forecasting Efficiency with ProfitSword
ProfitSword, hospitality's premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the implementation of its ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution by Chesapeake Hospitality, one of the largest independent operators in the hospitality industry, specializing in full-service and upscale properties.
http://www.profitsword.com/




August 11, 2017

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

I would consider myself an ideas guy. I come up with ideas, some work but just as many don’t. But you never know unless you try, right? As we prepared for the recent HITEC in Toronto, we wanted to do something to celebrate our 25th year in business. Much has changed since I started a little 20-page newsletter on technology in 1992 and in fact, lots happened before that. So we decided to create a special issue of Hospitality Upgrade that we called the History of Technology with the help of Jon Inge. If you have not seen this issue, click here to get the digital edition. The feedback has been unbelievably positive and we thank those who have shared their stories. But the celebration was at HITEC, what could we creatively do to celebrate and have everybody join in? If you were at HITEC you probably saw the 8-foot high, 15-foot across timeline hanging in our booth. We encouraged attendees to share how the industry and technology has impacted their lives. And boy, did they share. Marriages, divorce, acquisitions, bankruptcies, you name it, they shared it. If you have 90 seconds click here to see how they shared their stories. It is quite funny. Business is business but sometimes it is fun to take a break, especially during the nonstop world of HITEC. Yes, we had a crazy idea and sometimes those ideas actually work. Watch the short video and let me know your thoughts. If you were at HITEC you might be in it!
 
Since today I am only going to focus on ideas that worked, it was 17 years ago where the idea came to being about bringing the technology leaders of the industry together once a year. That was the birth of the CIO Summit. Seventeen years later and four weeks from the event and we are overbooked with the summit. Good problem to have, right? This year in Denver we have more than 75 CIOs registered from every major brand, management companies, vacation ownership and gaming. What a group! The CIO Summit works because we limit sponsors, it is the CIOs’ meeting.
 
Those of you who have been following some of my non-work adventures via Siegel Sez, you know what my real love is, and it is not hotels or technology. It is the magic and beauty that comes with owning a thoroughbred. Our 3-year-old beautiful grey horse that we got as a baby started his racing career this year and to be honest, he didn’t quite understand that it is way more enjoyable to finish the race in front of the other horses, not behind them. If you own a race horse, you dream of running at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York, which is the most beautiful and historic race track in the world. Hoboe ran his first race at Saratoga this past Sunday, and thanks to Victor Vesnaver, you can see what happened by clicking here to watch the race. When it came to the last hundred yards Hoboe couldn’t decide if he wanted to keep running or not. Yes, I am a dreamer and on rare occasions, dreams can come true!
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest and greatest that is happening in the technology space. I thank Ron Hardin for sharing his thoughts along with the news. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Way to go Hoboe!



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 11, 2017

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Ron Hardin


 
I’ve been thinking about that internet thing. My ruminations on the subject were prompted by the news that Cox Communications has acquired Blueprint RF. I congratulate Ron Peterson, Blueprint RF CEO and co-founder, and the rest of his team. “Terms of the deal were not disclosed,” according to the press release, but I hope they all did well. The folks at Blueprint RF are some of the good guys in this business, and they deserve success. When I jumped back into hotel technology management in 1999, we were focused on the coming Y2K catastrophe – overblown, in hindsight, although there were some older applications that ralphed their cookies that night and never returned. But we were just starting to think about providing broadband internet access to our hotel guests. At the time, portable devices were cellular flip phones and laptops with modems. As we scrambled to replace old PBX systems that were sure to die on 1/1/2000, we made sure to upgrade to two phone lines per room, and a two-line phone with a data port for that laptop modem. Barely 2 years later, we were trying to figure out how to affordably and effectively provide “high-speed internet access” in our hotel rooms. Do you remember CAIS? How about Merlot? iBahn? The owner of the hotel company where I worked was a “pragmatic visionary” – he knew the internet would be important, but he just didn’t think that the early crop of solution providers were going to be around for the long term. He didn’t understand the technology, but he knew that feedback from other owners on early installations was shaky, and he could smell the stink of financial failure on the early revenue-share financing deals. By not jumping on that first wave, we were actually well positioned when early wireless network solutions became accepted and available. And I was fortunate to stumble across a scrappy little start-up called StayOnline, founded in 2000 by Antonio DiMilia and Ron Peterson. StayOnline used solid Cisco gear and a slick antenna invented at Virginia Tech that allowed them to get better signal coverage with fewer radios – an effective approach when only a small percentage of guests were using the service. I was fortunate to be one of their first large customers, and they grew and prospered. Ron and Antonio engineered the sale of StayOnline to LodgeNet in 2007, and it became LodgeNet Broadband. In 2011, Ron and team founded Blueprint RF and within a short few years grew that business into yet another market leader in the hotel HSIA space. Their success has led to yet another successful sale, this time to Cox. The press release states that Ron and the team will continue to operate the business under the Cox Business New Business Ventures umbrella.
 
Here’s one hotel techie wishing them the best of luck.
 
Ron Hardin
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech


****************************************

Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade
 
****************************************

August 11, 2017

TOP O' THE NEWS



- Wyndham Worldwide Announces Plan to Become Two Publicly Traded Hospitality Companies
--------------------------
Wyndham Worldwide Announces Plan to Become Two Publicly Traded Hospitality Companies
Wyndham Worldwide announced plans to spin off the company's hotel business resulting in two separate, publicly traded companies. Wyndham Hotel Group, with headquarters in Parsippany, N.J., will become a new, publicly traded pure-play hotel company with a portfolio of renowned brands. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, with headquarters in Orlando, Fla., will be one of the world's largest publicly traded timeshare companies and will be joined with Wyndham Destination Network, home to RCI, one of the world's largest timeshare exchange companies.
http://www.wyndhamworldwide.com
**

August 11, 2017

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS



- Cox Communications Acquires Blueprint RF
--------------------------
Cox Communications Acquires Blueprint RF
Cox Communications announced that it has finalized its acquisition of Blueprint RF, a leading managed network solutions provider serving major hotel brands and hotel properties across the United States. The acquisition of Blueprint RF, based in Norcross, Ga., immediately expands Cox Business’ ability to provide an array of managed products and solutions for hotel owners and their guests. Blueprint RF is an approved provider for leading U.S. hotel brands, which allows it to design, install, monitor and support wired and wireless network solutions for companies that own and operate hotel properties.
http://www.blueprintrf.com/
**

August 11, 2017

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Sabre Names Clinton Anderson as President, Hospitality Solutions
- Choice Hotels Appoints Patrick Pacious as President and Chief Executive Officer Succeeding Steve Joyce
- Crescent Hotels & Resorts Appoints Michael Metcalf to Chief Operating Officer
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Rohit Anand as Vice President of Brand Activation and Partnerships
- Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe’s Parent Company, Names Encarna Piñero CEO
- Hard Rock International Appoints Antonio Bautista as Senior Vice President of Company Cafe Operations
- Karisma Hotels & Resorts Hires Juan Pablo Franky as Chief Executive Officer in South America
- Debra DeShong Joins MGM Resorts International As Vice President Of Global Industry Affairs
- Omni Hotels & Resorts Names Daniel Surette as New Vice President of Sales
- Harri Appoints Cleo Clarke as Vice President of HR Strategy and Development
- RLH Corp. Moves Corporate Headquarters to Denver After 43 Years in Spokane
--------------------------
Sabre Names Clinton Anderson as President, Hospitality Solutions
Sabre Corporation, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, named Clinton Anderson as president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, effective Aug. 7. He will succeed Alex Alt who has accepted an executive position at another company. Anderson joined Sabre in 2014, and he currently serves as senior vice president of strategy where he has been instrumental in key product, technology, business and investment strategy initiatives.
**
Choice Hotels Appoints Patrick Pacious as President and Chief Executive Officer Succeeding Steve Joyce
On July 13, 2017, the Choice Hotels International, Inc., (NYSE: CHH) board of directors announced the appointment of Patrick Pacious as incoming president and chief executive officer. Pacious will assume this role and join the board of directors on September 12, 2017. After serving on the DineEquity, Inc., board for more than five years, Steve Joyce was named the company's chief executive officer, also effective September 12, 2017.
**
Crescent Hotels & Resorts Appoints Michael Metcalf to Chief Operating Officer
Crescent Hotels & Resorts, a leading hotel management company and employer of choice in the hospitality industry, has announced the appointment of Michael Metcalf as the company’s chief operating officer. A veteran hotelier, Metcalf possesses more than 25 years of hotel investment, underwriting, asset management and operations experience ranging from resort, luxury, upper upscale, convention, golf and condominium hotels.
**
Dream Hotel Group Appoints Rohit Anand as Vice President of Brand Activation and Partnerships
Renowned hotel brand and management company Dream Hotel Group appointed Rohit Anand as vice president of brand activation and partnerships. In this role, Mr. Anand will lead the company’s efforts to develop and implement immersive brand partnerships, programming and activations across Dream Hotel Group’s brands including Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels, furthering the company’s ethos of immersive hotel experiences.
**
Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe’s Parent Company, Names Encarna Piñero CEO
Grupo Piñero, the parent company of Bahia Principe – a leader in all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, has appointed Encarna Piñero as chief executive officer. The executive will maintain dual responsibilities as the company’s vice president, a position she has held since 2007. Her new responsibilities will include overseeing the development and execution of the company’s strategy, including the vision and success of Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.
**
Hard Rock International Appoints Antonio Bautista as Senior Vice President of Company Cafe Operations
Hard Rock International – owner of one of the world's most-recognizable and iconic brands – has appointed Antonio Bautista as senior vice president of company cafe operations. In this new role, Bautista, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, will lead the cafe operations team, including overseeing the brand's area vice presidents, facilities team and retail operations. Bautista will report directly to president of cafe operations of Hard Rock International, Stephen Judge.
**
Karisma Hotels & Resorts Hires Juan Pablo Franky as Chief Executive Officer in South America
Karisma Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning luxury hotel collection which owns and manages properties in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, announced the appointment of Juan Pablo Franky as chief executive officer in South America. Bringing with him more than 20 years of industry experience, Franky will spearhead the expansion of Karisma’s renowned brands into Latin America along with operations and sales across South America, starting with the opening of a new office in Bogotá, Colombia.
**
Debra DeShong Joins MGM Resorts International As Vice President Of Global Industry Affairs
MGM Resorts International announced that Debra DeShong has joined its team as vice president of global industry affairs. In this role, Ms. DeShong will lead the global hospitality and entertainment corporation's proactive media relations and messaging strategies for issues affecting MGM Resorts around the world. She will be based in Washington, D.C.
**
Omni Hotels & Resorts Names Daniel Surette as New Vice President of Sales
Omni Hotels & Resorts announced Daniel Surette’s appointment as vice president of sales. With more than 30 years in the industry and 20 years of senior-level sales leadership experience, Surette will be responsible for creating and implementing revenue-generating strategies across the entire luxury hotel brand. Surette will oversee Omni’s global sales team as well as its field area and regional directors of sales and marketing to set budgets and reach business plan objectives. He will report to Peter Strebel, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales.
**
Harri Appoints Cleo Clarke as Vice President of HR Strategy and Development
Harri appointed Cleo Clarke as new VP of HR Strategy and Development. Clarke has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, most recently as vice president of human resources at Eataly, where he was responsible for leading Eataly's human resources strategies and providing guidance and leadership to the company’s executive staff, C-suite employees, and the field human resources leadership team.
**
RLH Corp. Moves Corporate Headquarters to Denver After 43 Years in Spokane
RLH Corp., started after Expo '74, has moved its corporate headquarters from Spokane to Denver. The shortage of hotel rooms for people visiting the city during the World's Fair became the genesis for RLH Corp., the parent company of Red Lion Hotels. But after 43 years in Spokane, the company is giving up its executive offices in the Inland Northwest.
**


August 11, 2017

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Agilysys Reports Record Quarterly Revenue of $33.9 Million for Fiscal 2018 First Quarter
- Maestro PMS eLearning Simplifies Training, Boosts Staff Productivity for Independents
- StayNTouch Launches Seven Questions Checklist
--------------------------
Agilysys Reports Record Quarterly Revenue of $33.9 Million for Fiscal 2018 First Quarter
Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, reported operating results for its fiscal 2018 first quarter ended June 30, 2017. Total net revenue was an all-time quarterly record $33.9 million, compared to total net revenue of $31.0 million in the comparable prior-year period.
http://www.agilysys.com/
**
Maestro PMS eLearning Simplifies Training, Boosts Staff Productivity for Independents
With a legacy of providing property management systems spanning more than 30 years, Maestro’s team understands the needs of hotel operations and systems training. That is why it built online tutorials and e-learning functionality into the family of 20+ Maestro PMS property software solutions.
http://www.maestropms.com/
**
StayNTouch Launches Seven Questions Checklist
A new checklist has been launched by StayNTouch®, to help hoteliers make the right choice when investing in a new hotel solution. The checklist, "7 Questions to Ask Every Hotel Technology Provider Before You Say YES!" was developed to enable lodging companies of all sizes to make better decisions as they consider moving to a new property management system or other hotel solution.
http://www.stayntouch.com/
**
August 11, 2017

RESERVATIONS



- Sabre Releases Report: Nine Technology Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Travel Industry
- Best Day Travel Group Signs with SiteMinder, Strengthens Offering to Hotels
- Red Planet Hotels Announces Partnership with SiteMinder
- Vertical Booking Increases Portfolio to More Than 5,000 Hotels
- eRevMax Completes Two-way Integration with Go Global Travel
--------------------------
Sabre Releases Report: Nine Technology Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Travel Industry
Sabre Corporation, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, has released its latest technology forecast, Sabre Labs’ 2017 Radar Report. The report evaluates nine key technologies with an outsized impact on the travel landscape, looking at what’s happening today and what to expect for tomorrow.
http://www.sabrehospitality.com/
**
Best Day Travel Group Signs with SiteMinder, Strengthens Offering to Hotels
Best Day Travel Group, one of the leading companies focused on the tourism sector in Latin America, announced it has signed a connectivity agreement with SiteMinder, one of the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platforms. The strategic partnership provides Best Day Travel Group’s hotel clients greater reach and growth within international markets, with real-time delivery of reservations for hotels to meet the needs of the dynamic online booking market.
http://www.siteminder.com
**
Red Planet Hotels Announces Partnership with SiteMinder
Eight months after receiving a multi-million dollar investment to accelerate its expansion throughout Asia, Red Planet Hotels, the fast-growing Pan-Asian budget hotel chain, reveals it has begun building its empire with the help of one of the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platforms, SiteMinder. Red Planet Hotels owns and operates 24 hotels in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, and says employing one of the market’s most powerful distribution technologies is necessary to sell rooms that over the next two years will see exponential growth in numbers. The company’s expansion roadmap includes the opening of four new hotels in 2017 and a further eight hotels before the end of 2018 to offer travelers more than 4,000 rooms in total.
http://SiteMinder.com/
**
Vertical Booking Increases Portfolio to More Than 5,000 Hotels
Vertical Booking, a recognized leader in global reservation technology, announced rapid growth in 2017, with the addition of more than 588 hotels in the first 6 months of the year, bringing the total to more than 5,000 hotels in 106 countries. Vertical Booking’s portfolio of products and services provides hoteliers with access to some of the most innovative technologies in the market, allowing them to focus on driving revenue at their hotels.
http://www.verticalbookingusa.com/
**
eRevMax Completes Two-way Integration with Go Global Travel
eRevMax, the travel technology company for online hotel distribution and connectivity solutions, has completed two-way XML integration with opne of Europe’s leading travel wholesalers, Go Global Travel. Hotels using RateTiger and RTConnect, can leverage the interface to make real-time rate and availability updates and receive bookings generated on the channel directly into their property management system. Go Global Travel is a leading travel wholesaler operating worldwide. The B2B channel, offering a portfolio of more than 200,000 hotels and apartments, is connected to close to 20,000 retail travel agents and tour operators.
http://www.erevmax.com
**
August 11, 2017

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Rainmaker Continues Strong Growth Trajectory with Record Setting First Half of 2017
- OTA Insight to provide Innovative Rate Intelligence Tools for
Best Western® Hotels & Resorts
--------------------------
Rainmaker Continues Strong Growth Trajectory with Record Setting First Half of 2017
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud, experienced record-setting growth through the first half of 2017, adding to its momentum as a global leader in hotel revenue management software and services. Since January 2017 Rainmaker has expanded its reach in the number of properties using its platform, with a 41 percent increase in grouprev® and 21 percent increases in both guestrev® and revintel®. Additionally, in this same time period, Rainmaker’s revcaster® platform has activated nearly 500 new properties globally, surpassing 5,000 active installs for that product line.
http://www.letitrain.com/
**
OTA Insight to provide Innovative Rate Intelligence Tools for Best Western® Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels & Resorts, has selected OTA Insight to provide its industry-leading revenue maximization tools to its global business. OTA Insight’s innovative rate intelligence platform will help drive Best Western’s revenue strategy by supplying real-time dashboard and benchmarking tools to increase profitability. Best Western will benefit from OTA Insight’s state-of-the-art rate parity and online visibility tools. The solution will enable Best Western to monitor locally targeted online travel agency promotions and help ensure the best rate is always available on Best Western’s direct hotel website.
http://www.otainsight.com
**

August 11, 2017

GUEST SERVICES



- ADB Brand Recognition Spreading Industrywide
- Enseo Expands into 250,000 Hotel Rooms, Reaches 44 Million Guests
- Honeywell Implements Building Management, Energy Management Systems Throughout Australia's Crown Perth Complex
- Intelity’s Enterprise App Now Live at Grupo Posadas Hotels
- HotelTap Workplace Cloud Communication Tool Now Available as Mobile App
- Caesars Entertainment Launches the First WeChat Digital Payment Program in Las Vegas
--------------------------
ADB Brand Recognition Spreading Industrywide
After sponsoring HITEC’s opening party for a second consecutive year, displaying vuTyme in multiple partner booths and embarking on an aggressive public relations and advertising campaign, ADB’s brand recognition is at its peak. The company is making such a name for itself that some of hospitality’s biggest hotel brands and independent hotel owners, from Miami to Beverly Hills, sought out ADB in their efforts to find a more modern in-room entertainment platform. 
http://www.adbglobal.com/, http://www.vutyme.com/
**
Enseo Expands into 250,000 Hotel Rooms, Reaches 44 Million Guests
Enseo®, one of the leading out-of-home media networks, has expanded into 250,000 hotel rooms with its E3® entertainment, networking, and IoT solutions – an increase of 175 percent from 2016. Over the past 12 months, Enseo’s fully monitored, out-of-home network reached more than 44 million guests, doubling 2016’s previously reported 20 million guests.
http://www.enseo.com/
**
Honeywell Implements Building Management, Energy Management Systems Throughout Australia's Crown Perth Complex
Honeywell successfully implemented its networked building management and energy management systems at the new Crown Towers Hotel, which is an expansion of the Crown complex in Perth, Australia. The Honeywell Enterprise Building Integrator (EBI) and Building Management System (BMS) are integrated with Honeywell’s INNCOM guestroom energy management system (EMS) to optimize enterprise building controls, improve energy efficiency, and coordinate access controls, lighting and drapes.
http://www.inncom.com/
**
Intelity’s Enterprise App Now Live at Grupo Posadas Hotels
Intelity announced that the enterprise app it developed for Grupo Posadas S.A.B. de C.V., one of the largest hotel operators in Mexico, is now live at four brands: Live Aqua, Grand Fiesta/Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn, One Hotels and Gamma Hoteles. The launch of the Fiesta Rewards app powered by Intelity will enable 141 properties to communicate with guests more effectively throughout their journey and provide them with direct access to hotel services and information.
http://www.intelitycorp.com/
**
HotelTap Workplace Cloud Communication Tool Now Available as Mobile App
Today owners and operators of limited-service hotels with 50+ rooms are communicating with staff and responding to guest requests faster and easier than ever before now that the HotelTap "digital log book in the cloud" is available as a mobile app for Apple and Android devices, as well as Amazon tablets. HotelTap replaces notebooks, paper tickets, sticky notes, internal emails, spreadsheets, text messages and radios for recording and responding to guest requests, performing and tracking maintenance tasks, and resolving customer complaints. The new HotelTap mobile app is designed to share information via push notification between those who need to know, from department to department, employee to manager, and manager to owner.
http://www.hoteltap.com
**
Caesars Entertainment Launches the First WeChat Digital Payment Program in Las Vegas
Caesars Entertainment Corporation (Caesars Entertainment) launched WeChat Pay at 16 select locations inside Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and The LINQ Promenade, becoming the first in the hospitality industry to offer this prominent Chinese digital payment method in Las Vegas. The initial pilot phase of Caesars Entertainment’s WeChat Pay program began Aug. 8 in the Las Vegas market, echoing Tencent’s month-long global campaign of “wallet-free shopping spree.”
https://pay.weixin.qq.com/index.php/public/wechatpay
**
August 11, 2017

PERSONALIZATION/GUEST EXPERIENCE



- Belle Mont Farm Implements Guestware
--------------------------
Belle Mont Farm Implements Guestware
Guestware, one of the hotel industry’s leading guest experience management software solutions, has announced that Belle Mont Farm in St. Kitts, West Indies has implemented Guestware Select. With 84 cottages, seven farmhouses and five villas, the boutique luxury hotel was seeking a guest response solution to better serve their guests who have traveled far to stay at the stunning property. They selected Guestware based on the advanced technology of the software, and the well-known easy implementation process. Guestware Select is an affordable turnkey solution that leverages cloud hosting and remote deployment to help hotels and resorts optimize the guest experience and improve guest satisfaction scores for the last 20 years.
http://www.guestware.com/
**

August 11, 2017

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Minor Hotels Partners with CRM Leader Cendyn
- Cendyn Partners with roomMaster by InnQuest Software
- HEBS Digital Wins “Best of Show” Summit Creative Award for the LUMA Hotel Times Square Website
- NAVIS Introduces First-to-Market Solution to Recent Vacation Rental Listing Site Changes
--------------------------
Minor Hotels Partners with CRM Leader Cendyn
Cendyn, a leading CRM and sales platform in the hospitality industry, has been selected as the partner of choice for Minor Hotels, a diverse spectrum of hotel chains and brands. Cendyn was selected by Minor Hotels to help drive loyalty and improve engagement with their guests to deliver the right communication, to the right guest, at the right time. Using unrivalled connectivity to third-party vendors, reporting and analytics, Cendyn will provide all five brands in the Minor Hotels group with true intelligence of every guest, across all their hotels, no matter what channel they came through.
http://www.cendyn.com/
**
Cendyn Partners with roomMaster by InnQuest Software
Cendyn has partnered with roomMaster by InnQuest Software, a robust property management system (PMS), to provide hotels with a marketing automation and guest intelligence solution that integrates seamlessly across both platforms. As one of the leading CRM and sales platforms in the hospitality industry, Cendyn is continuously working with partners and hospitality leaders like roomMaster by InnQuest to improve its integration and connectivity capabilities.
http://www.cendyn.com/, http://www.innquest.com/
**
HEBS Digital Wins “Best of Show” Summit Creative Award for the LUMA Hotel Times Square Website
HEBS Digital announced it was awarded “Best of Show,” the Summit Creative Awards’ highest distinction, in the Tourism Website category for its design of the LUMA Hotel Times Square website. The Summit Creative Awards recognizes outstanding advertising and digital work by agencies across the globe.
http://www.hebsdigital.com/
**
NAVIS Introduces First-to-Market Solution to Recent Vacation Rental Listing Site Changes
NAVIS, a reservation sales and marketing technology provider for the hospitality industry, revealed the first-to-market solution in response to the recent HomeAway changes that have created concern and uncertainty for many vacation rental owners and property managers. On June 21st of this year, HomeAway announced that it would no longer distribute booking lead email addresses and phone numbers, creating concerns about the changing algorithms and policies of listing sites. The NAVIS product and engineering teams began working on a solution that would enable property managers to maintain their ability to service and nurture rental demand given these new listing site realities. This important product update will allow NAVIS clients’ inquiry data to still be captured and consolidated into one lead with Narrowcast.
http://www.thenavisway.com/
**
August 11, 2017

BACK OFFICE



- Three Hotel Companies Select Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting
--------------------------
Three Hotel Companies Select Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting
Aptech Computer Systems, a leading provider of hotel accounting software, hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting, forecasting and business intelligence systems, announced three hotel companies which operate a total of 10 properties selected Aptech’s PVNG Enterprise Back Office System. PVNG is a browser-based next-generation enterprise hospitality accounting solution with a simple menu structure and easy-to-navigate platform. Companies installing PVNG Enterprise Accounting include Stagewest Hospitality and The Colony Palm Beach.
http://www.aptech-inc.com/
**

August 11, 2017

COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE



- Choice Hotels International Selects AT&T Connectivity and Mobility
- Technology-inspired Hotel VIA Deploys FiberLAN GPON from DASAN Zhone Solutions to Provide High-speed Internet Access for Guests
--------------------------
Choice Hotels International Selects AT&T Connectivity and Mobility
AT&T* has been selected by Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, to deliver internet, Wi-Fi and mobility solutions. Choice Hotels franchises approximately 6,500 hotels representing more than 500,000 rooms worldwide across 11 brands, including Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. With AT&T internet and Wi-Fi solutions, Choice Hotels can offer franchisees a single provider to bring fast and reliable connectivity to guests. These solutions are now available at Choice properties across the U.S.
http://www.att.com
**
Technology-inspired Hotel VIA Deploys FiberLAN GPON from DASAN Zhone Solutions to Provide High-speed Internet Access for Guests
Before construction even began, the Hotel VIA management team set out to design a hotel with advanced technology in San Francisco. To deliver state-of-the-art services, Hotel VIA deployed a FiberLAN Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) from DASAN Zhone Solutions (DZS) at the 159-room hotel, which opened its doors in June 2017. As the first new boutique hotel built in San Francisco since 2008, the independent hotel offers technology amenities, such as keyless entry and a mobile concierge service app, to enhance the guest experience.
http://www.dasanzhone.com
**

August 11, 2017

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Oracle Hospitality Introduces New Data Science Cloud Services to Help Food and Beverage Operators Optimize Every Sale
--------------------------
Oracle Hospitality Introduces New Data Science Cloud Services to Help Food and Beverage Operators Optimize Every Sale
Empowering food and beverage operators to convert data into profit, Oracle Hospitality announced Data Science Cloud Services. With the new services, food and beverage operators gain the ability to analyze key information such as sales, guest, marketing and staff performance data at unprecedented speed – generating insights that lead directly to actionable measures that improve their top and bottom line.
http://www.oracle.com/hospitality
**

August 11, 2017

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Casino Pauma Chooses Agilysys Inventory and Procurement Solution to Reduce Costs and Boost Efficiency
- Clear Sky Software, Inc.® Announced the Release of Clear Sky HOUSEKEEPING for the Hospitality Industry
- New Luxury Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Installs the InvoTech RFID Uniform System
--------------------------
Casino Pauma Chooses Agilysys Inventory and Procurement Solution to Reduce Costs and Boost Efficiency
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that Casino Pauma in Pauma Valley, Calif., has selected the Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement solution to streamline its foodservice operation. The agreement continues Agilysys’s expansion in the tribal gaming market. The property’s management team wanted a comprehensive inventory and procurement solution that would automate processes, reduce costs and boost efficiency.
http://www.agilysys.com
**
Clear Sky Software, Inc.® Announced the Release of Clear Sky HOUSEKEEPING for the Hospitality Industry
This new software allows hotels and clubs to track and control their linens, supplies, uniforms and other housekeeping products. Clear Sky HOUSEKEEPING is offered as a complement to the company’s proven food and beverage inventory software and is available immediately for organizations desiring better inventory control of these items.
http://www.clearskysoftware.com
**
New Luxury Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Installs the InvoTech RFID Uniform System
InvoTech Systems, Inc., a solutions provider for hotels, casinos and resorts worldwide, announced The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah implemented its RFID Uniform System to manage uniforms for 600+ person staff. InvoTech has implemented inventory management systems for hundreds of international hotel, casinos and resorts worldwide. InvoTech has several Uniform System installations in the Middle East, but this is the first in Saudi Arabia. The InvoTech Uniform System is used in more than 35 Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide.
http://www.InvoTech.com
**
August 11, 2017

DATA SECURITY AND CYBER ATTACKS



- Cendyn Joins the Cloud Security Alliance
- IGMAS Achieves Prestigious PCI-QIR Status
--------------------------
Cendyn Joins the Cloud Security Alliance
Cendyn, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform in the hospitality industry, has announced it has joined the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). This membership with the CSA reinforces Cendyn’s long-standing commitment and heritage with cloud and data security across all its products.
http://www.cendyn.com/, https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/
**
IGMAS Achieves Prestigious PCI-QIR Status
IGMAS Technologies, a leading provider of hospitality infrastructure, application management and support services, announced that it has achieved the prestigious PCI-QIR status documenting its commitment to the security of its clients and their various business operations. PCI DSS provides a baseline of technical and operational requirements designed to protect payment card account data, and is intended for merchants and service providers, and any entity that stores, processes or transmits cardholder data (CHD) and/or sensitive authentication data (SAD). Hotel Systems Solutions (HSS) is a division of IGMAS Technologies, Inc.
http://www.hotelsystemssolutions.com/
**

August 11, 2017

SECURITY



- Galaxy Control Systems’ Integration with ASSA ABLOY Delivers Significant Savings for Installers and Integrators
- Urban Creation Implements ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access and Locking Solutions at its New Stylish Student Accommodations
- SALTO Releases Sleek New AElement Fusion Electronic Hotel Lock With RFID, Wireless and Mobile Technology
--------------------------
Galaxy Control Systems’ Integration with ASSA ABLOY Delivers Significant Savings for Installers and Integrators
Galaxy Control Systems has added to its already impressive list of partners by completing an integration with IP-enabled solutions from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. The combination of System Galaxy and WiFi and PoE locks from ASSA ABLOY Group brands Corbin Russwin and Sargent will allow end users and integrators to harness the power of these industry-leading solutions at reduced expense.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com/
**
Urban Creation Implements ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access and Locking Solutions at its New Stylish Student Accommodations
Bristol, U.K.-based property developer, Urban Creation, has successfully implemented the ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access solution at two of its new student accommodation sites. The Manor House and Charlotte’s Rise, historic buildings converted by Urban Creation into stylish student residences, are now offering secure and convenient access through ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access and VingCard Signature RFID door locks, allowing tenants to gain entry to their rooms and suites with a quick swipe of their mobile device.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com/
**
SALTO Releases Sleek New AElement Fusion Electronic Hotel Lock With RFID, Wireless and Mobile Technology
SALTO Systems, a leading manufacturer of electronic access control solutions for hospitality, has released the next level in hotel lock engineering for guestrooms: AElement Fusion. AElement Fusion is an electronic lock with a sleek reader accentuated by an interactive light ring that illuminates when access credentials are presented, providing a minimalistic design that blends with any hotel décor. The AElement Fusion is compatible with RFID and BLE (Bluetooth) technologies that integrate seamlessly with mobile applications including SALTO Systems’ JustIN Mobile.
http://www.saltohospitality.com/
**
August 11, 2017

HOSPITALITY EDUCATION



- HFTP and OpenTravel Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon
--------------------------
HFTP and OpenTravel Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon
The nonprofit groups, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) and OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel) have announced a partnership to accelerate the support of travel industry distribution standards, as well as the creation and adoption of hospitality technology standards across the entire spectrum of the global consumer travel experience. To facilitate the intended projects, OpenTravel will co-locate its corporate office with HFTP Global headquarters in Austin, Texas, starting in August 2017. The move will enable the organizations to combine resources to help develop standards that ease communications between disparate technology systems, enabling stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently.  
http://hftp.org/, http://opentravel.org
**

August 11, 2017

HOSPITALITY EVENTS



- HFTP Announces Keynotes for its 2017 Annual Convention
- HFTP Announces Advisory Council for its Second Annual HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018
- HSMAI Accepting Nominations for Top 25 Minds and Lifetime Achievement Awards
- IHG, Hilton, Wyndham, Priceline Group, Google, Booking.com, Skyscanner, & Expedia to Meet in Las Vegas This October
--------------------------
HFTP Announces Keynotes for its 2017 Annual Convention
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) added three informative and motivating keynote speakers to the education program for its upcoming Annual Convention 2017, an event the association has produced since 1952. This year’s HFTP Annual Convention is scheduled for October 25–27, 2017, at Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate in Championsgate, Fla.
http://www.hftp.org
**
HFTP Announces Advisory Council for its Second Annual HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), one of the only organizations producing nonprofit hospitality events at an international level, including the world's largest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), is pleased to announce the advisory council for its second annual HITEC Amsterdam. The next HITEC Amsterdam will take place from April 11–13, 2018 at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
http://hftp.org/, http://www.hitec.org
**
HSMAI Accepting Nominations for Top 25 Minds and Lifetime Achievement Awards
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is seeking nominations for the HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Awards and the association’s awards honoring the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization. Honorees will be celebrated during the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception & Gala on Feb. 20, 2018, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
www.adrianawards.com/gala/lifetime.asp, http://www.hsmai.org
**
IHG, Hilton, Wyndham, Priceline Group, Google, Booking.com, Skyscanner, & Expedia to Meet in Las Vegas This October
On October 19-20th, Senior Executives from IHG, Hilton, Wyndham, Priceline Group, Google, Booking.com, Skyscanner and Expedia will come together at EyeforTravel’s North America 2017 Summit. The 2017 meeting will attract more than 400 senior travel executives from across North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific – to discuss critical issues and challenges facing travel, as well as strategizing to safeguard against future disruptions in the sector.
**
August 11, 2017

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- RLHC Completes Mobile Payment Integration with MyWallet from MyCheck
- Trump Hotels caught up in data breach (again)
--------------------------
RLHC Completes Mobile Payment Integration with MyWallet from MyCheck
Trump Hotels caught up in data breach (again)
**

August 11, 2017

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…
 
A man wakes up in the morning and it is 5:55 a.m. The temperature is 55 degrees and the humidity is 55 percent. He turns on his TV to channel 5. He gets up and it is May 5th. He heads to work and his car has 55,555.5 miles on the odometer. He gets to work and goes to the 5th floor. He has five messages. It dawns on him. He rushes to the race track. His ticket is $5 and he is put in section 5, row 5, seat 5. In the fifth race is a horse called, "Double Nickels." He understands fate has spoken. He bets his entire bank account and maxes out all his credit cards. The race is won... Double Nickels came in fifth.
 
**



August 25, 2017

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

Do you know what GDPR stands for? If you are in the hotel industry you should. If you don’t, I strongly encourage you to read Ron Hardin’s opening to the technology news this week. At times I wonder what the world would be like without lawyers. Kudos to HFTP who earlier this year gathered industry leaders to organize and prepare the hotel industry for the GDPR deadlines that are upcoming in the not too distant future. It is said that the only constant in life is change, and things seem to change at a furious pace.
 
One thing that hasn’t changed:  those who are responsible for the hotel industry’s technology will be coming together in Denver at the CIO Summit in less than two weeks. Hospitality Upgrade’s CIO Summit has a record number of CIOs coming from across the globe to meet with peers for three days. For the first time in the 16 years since it was created, we needed a second hotel to handle the overflow attendance, but thankfully it is only two minutes from the front door of the Kimpton Hotel Born where we are holding our CIO Summit. I guess this is a good problem to have. Wish us luck.
 
Speaking of an amazing event, one thing that has amazed me is how many in the hotel industry love horses the way I do. I have had some great conversations with many who have all become Hoboe fans. Thank you for all the congratulations regarding Hoboe’s winning race which I shared last Siegel Sez. Hoboe ran a second race this past week against older (he is only three years old) and faster horses and nobody expected much. He just missed winning the race by a head. Two trips, two great results at historic Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York. Yes, we are in the home stretch of summer but for us it has been a good one! 
 
I will keep this short because I really do want you to read Ron Hardin’s opening. Then there is the technology news and finally I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 25, 2017

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Ron Hardin

A few months ago, I was having lunch with the head of an information security services group when he asked me what I thought about GDPR. I paused for second, and took a stab: “East Germany? As in, the German Democratic Peoples Republic?" Sadly, no. He was asking about the General Data Protection Regulation, an emerging regulatory initiative of the European Union. According to Wikipedia, the intent of the regulation is “to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The primary objectives of the GDPR are to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.”
 
The regulation was adopted in April 2016, and becomes enforceable after a two-year transition period, on May 25, 2018. One controversial aspect of the regulation is “extraterritoriality,” meaning that the regulation applies to organizations outside of the EU who collect, store and process the private data of EU citizens. The requirements are stiff, particularly for organizations not compliant with the preceding EU data protection directive of 1995, which GDPR replaces. And the sanctions range from a written warning of first (and non-intentional) non-compliance, to the imposition of regular periodic data protection audits and fines up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of global enterprise turnover, whichever is greater. Once it was explained to me (slowly), my first thought was that it would be unenforceable on businesses that only operate in the United States, or otherwise don’t have any operations in the EU.  But even if that is true, and you are in that category, chances are that you work with brands or other operators who do have operations in the EU and they will have to comply, which will create a ripple effect for you. And there is always the possibility that new opportunities for growth in your business may arise in the EU, and your organization should be prepared.
 
As I have said before about information security planning and PCI compliance, your first step should be to talk to a lawyer – get a clear legal opinion from a qualified attorney on what your legal liability and responsibilities are for GDPR – and do your own independent research on the subject. Many vendors and service providers are already starting to put out marketing messages which essentially ask, “Are you ready for GDPR?” While the question is valid, who it is coming from reminds me of “Are you ready for Y2K?”, “Are you ready for PCI DSS?”, “Are you ready for the Great Eclipse?” – you get it. There may be a place in YOUR plan for some of these services and products, but come up with your plan first, based on professional legal guidance plus your research, and with the buy-in of ownership and upper management. We’ve all been witness to previous cycles of information security, where many in the early days took the “why should I care” approach, which resulted in publicized data breaches, huge costs and interrupted careers. Keep your head in the game, not in the sand, and not in the clouds, and hopefully, not on a plate.

Ron Hardin
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech
**


August 25, 2017

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- NAVIS Expands Executive Team to Amplify Product and Service Innovations
- Sabre Names Vish Saoji as Chief Technology Officer
- Charles McKee Appointed as Chief Commercial Officer, Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
- Choice Hotels Appoints Raul Ramirez as Vice President, Strategic Finance and Financial Planning & Analysis
- GuestTek Appoints James Jessel as Vice President, Sales - Americas
- John A. Rubino Promoted to Executive Vice President of Interstate’s Crossroads® Hospitality Division
- Irene Hoek Appointed Vice President of Development, Europe for Rosewood Hotel Group
- Telkonet Names Beau Walter New Director of Marketing
- Wyndham Worldwide Announces Spin-off Hotel Company Executive Leadership Team
--------------------------
NAVIS Expands Executive Team to Amplify Product and Service Innovations
NAVIS, a reservation sales and marketing technology provider for the hospitality industry, announced that Jeff Schuett has joined the company as chief technology officer and vice president of technology. NAVIS has also promoted Brise Carpenter to vice president of client success, and Jeff Robertson to vice president of marketing. The newly formed management roster is another key indicator of the company’s momentum and record revenue in the company’s recently completed the fiscal year 2017.
**
Sabre Names Vish Saoji as Chief Technology Officer
Sabre Corporation, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announced that it has named Vish Saoji as chief technology officer (CTO), effective Sept. 5. As CTO, Saoji will be responsible for executing Sabre's technology strategy centered on scaling world-class platform capabilities and migrating to an open system environment. Sabre had previously announced Joe DiFonzo as its new CIO, creating two senior executive positions dedicated to technology management to provide additional resources and leadership. With Saoji's hiring, Sabre has completed filling its senior leadership team in conjunction with Sean Menke assuming the role of CEO in December 2016.
**
Charles McKee Appointed as Chief Commercial Officer, Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced it has named Charles McKee as senior vice president and chief commercial officer for the Americas. McKee will report to Ken Greene, president, Americas as well as Eric de Neef, executive vice president, global chief branding and commercial officer. He will be based in Minneapolis.
**
Choice Hotels Appoints Raul Ramirez as Vice President, Strategic Finance and Financial Planning & Analysis
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's leading hotel companies, announced Raul Ramirez has joined the company as vice president, strategic finance and financial planning and analysis. In this position, Ramirez will oversee and direct Choice's existing strategic finance activities and initiatives, including operational analysis, resource allocation, budgeting and forecasting, and multiyear planning. He will also work closely with Choice's senior leadership and key stakeholders to identify additional opportunities to grow the company's core domestic and international businesses.
**
GuestTek Appoints James Jessel as Vice President, Sales - Americas
GuestTek, a global leader in broadband technology and interactive solutions for the hospitality industry, welcomes James Jessel as vice president, sales-Americas. Mr. Jessel has more than 25 years of experience selling and marketing to the hospitality sector, most recently with Bulk TV & Internet as vice president of sales from 2012-2017. At the helm of DIRECTV’s Commercial Division from 1998-2007, Mr. Jessel increased subscriber activations and revenue within the segment, culminating in exponential growth both regionally and nationally. 
**
John A. Rubino Promoted to Executive Vice President of Interstate’s Crossroads® Hospitality Division
Interstate Hotels & Resorts, a leading U.S.-based global hotel management company, announced the promotion of John A. Rubino as executive vice president of Crossroads Hospitality, Interstate's select-service division, effective August 14, 2017. In his new position, Rubino will be responsible for overseeing overall management of the company's 181-hotel portfolio of select-service and extended-stay hotels in North America. Previously, he served as senior vice president of operations in the Crossroads division.
**
Irene Hoek Appointed Vice President of Development, Europe for Rosewood Hotel Group
Rosewood Hotel Group has appointed Irene Hoek as vice president of development, Europe. In this role, Hoek will be responsible for overseeing the development and growth of Rosewood Hotel Group’s footprint in the region. Hoek joins Rosewood Hotel Group with more than 20 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry and branded residential segment. Most recently, she served as the managing director of real estate development at Aman Hotels & Resorts, where she oversaw the growth of the Aman footprint worldwide.
**
Telkonet Names Beau Walter New Director of Marketing
Telkonet, Inc. (OTCQB: TKOI), a leader in intelligent automation and occupancy-based energy management technology, announced the hiring of Beau Walter as director of marketing. Walter is a B2B marketing leader with more than 15 years of professional experience in technology, services, manufacturing and distribution. Walter will be developing and executing Telkonet's overall corporate marketing strategy, managing the marketing team and engaging closely with the sales team.
**
Wyndham Worldwide Announces Spin-off Hotel Company Executive Leadership Team
Wyndham Worldwide announced executive leadership appointments for the new, publicly traded pure-play hotel company to be created by the recently announced 2018 spin-off from Wyndham Worldwide. With 18 brands and more than 8,100 hotels, Wyndham's hotel business is one of the world's largest hotel companies by number of properties. As previously announced, Geoff Ballotti, current CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, will continue to lead the hotel company as president and CEO. Also recently announced, David Wyshner has joined Wyndham Worldwide as CFO and will become CFO of the new hotel company upon spin.
**
August 25, 2017

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Multiple Infor Solutions Placed on the Constellation ShortList™ for HR, Financial and Customer Experience
- Maestro PMS Earns Repeat Business from Clients with Growing Portfolios
- Software Advice Names RMS in FrontRunners Quadrant for Hotel Management Software
- eRevMax Completes Integration with Hotel Management System Provider hoteliport
--------------------------
Multiple Infor Solutions Placed on the Constellation ShortList™ for HR, Financial and Customer Experience
Infor, a leading provider of beautiful business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, announced that it was named to the Constellation ShortList™ for Talent Management Suites, Price Optimization Solutions, Enterprise Cloud Finance, Global Human Capital Management (HCM) Suites and Configure Price Quote (CPQ). Infor was included on the Constellation ShortList because it provides the key functionality and requirements for early adopters as determined by Constellation Research.
http://www.infor.com
**
Maestro PMS Earns Repeat Business from Clients with Growing Portfolios
Attendees at the 2017 STR Hotel Data Conference in Nashville learned the hospitality industry is enjoying its seventh year of RevPAR growth with two more solid years forecasted. Successful independent operators expand their portfolios, and many Maestro PMS users install additional Maestro property management software systems. Maestro property software centralizes guest data, integrates operations and offers mobile and browser based tools to increase staff efficiency and enhance guest service across existing and new properties.
http://www.maestropms.com/
**
Software Advice Names RMS in FrontRunners Quadrant for Hotel Management Software
RMS Hospitality Solutions has placed as a “Master” on the FrontRunners quadrant for hotel management software. More than 130 hotel management products were evaluated for this top honor. RMS achieved Master matrix ranking based on its value score of 3.99/5.0 and its capability score of 3.35/5.0, each of which were determined by customer reviews and product performance details. FrontRunners is published on Software Advice, a trusted resource for software buyers. FrontRunners evaluates verified product data and end-user reviews from softwareadvice.com, capterra.com and getapp.com, positioning the top scoring products based on capability and value for small businesses.
http://www.rmsnorthamerica.com/
**
eRevMax Completes Integration with Hotel Management System Provider hoteliport
Hotel connectivity expert eRevMax has completed two-way integration with Scottish hospitality solution provider hoteliport. Through this partnership, hotels using the hoteliport PMS will be able to update all the channels available in the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem, directly from their hoteliport dashboard. hoteliport Hotel Management Software, developed by  acdit.com, equips hoteliers with a rich suite of tools for management of reservations, rate plans, agents, sales channels, billing and performance reporting.
http://www.erevmax.com, https://www.hoteliport.com
**
August 25, 2017

RESERVATIONS



- SHR Named to Inc. 5000 List for Sixth Time
- SHR Buys European Firm Cross-Tinental
- Upscale Washington Hotel Recommends eRevMax for Online Distribution
--------------------------
SHR Named to Inc. 5000 List for Sixth Time
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a leading provider and pioneer of advanced hotel distribution technologies, has been named to the Inc. 5000 list for the sixth consecutive year. The list is a prestigious and reputable annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America, and serves as a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurial leadership, ranking companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period. The company’s continued inclusion on the list has marked its rapid growth and its consistent push for the kind of technical innovation for which the SHR team is known. This growth is reflected in true numbers, with SHR consistently exceeding its revenue goals, increasing sales each year by almost 30 percent since 2012.
http://www.shr.global/
**
SHR Buys European Firm Cross-Tinental
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a leading provider and pioneer in the field of hotel distribution technology, has purchased Cross-Tinental, a well-known leader in the European hospitality tech consultancy sector, and reseller for SHR products. This purchase serves to immediately jump start SHR’s already growing European presence, giving the company a broader base to build upon in the coming years.
http://www.shr.global/
**
Upscale Washington Hotel Recommends eRevMax for Online Distribution
Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters has recommended eRevMax distribution solutions for improving online sales. One of Washington, D.C.’s premier hotels, the property has been using RTConnect for managing rates and inventory on multiple online sales channels directly from its property management system. Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters, an upscale boutique hotel with 199 rooms, caters to business and leisure travellers – both international and domestic. The team is leveraging RTConnect to manage rates and inventories in real time to ensure availabilities are up to date on all sales channels for maximizing booking opportunities.
http://www.erevmax.com/
**
May 19, 2017

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE




- TrustYou Names New U.S. Head of Sales, Continues Rapid Growth
- Kevin Carey Appointed as EVP, Chief Operating Officer of AHLA
- Eric De Neef Appointed as the Executive Vice President, Global Chief Branding & Commercial Officer of Carlson Rezidor
- Andrew Skobe Appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Carlson Hotels, Inc.
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Christian Cooper as Vice President of Information Technology
--------------------------




TrustYou Names New U.S. Head of Sales, Continues Rapid Growth
Jennifer Graziano has joined TrustYou, one of the world's largest guest feedback platforms, as its new U.S. head of sales. She will oversee TrustYou’s business development and account management strategy, working to increase market share and reach with major hotels across the United States. Graziano brings more than 15 years of sales experience through a unique blend of enterprise relations and firms in the travel industry, having held positions in organizations ranging from Oracle to Oakwood Corporate Housing.
**
Kevin Carey Appointed as EVP, Chief Operating Officer of AHLA
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced the appointment of Kevin Carey as executive vice president and chief operating officer. This newly created position marks a pivotal point in AHLA’s recent evolution and will ensure that the organization is well positioned to build new revenue streams and further enhance value creation for its 24,000-strong membership base. Carey comes to AHLA from American Express where he held senior roles in the company’s payments and business travel units.
**
Eric De Neef Appointed as the Executive Vice President, Global Chief Branding & Commercial Officer of Carlson Rezidor
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced the promotion of Eric de Neef as the executive vice president, global chief branding and commercial officer effective immediately. In his new role, de Neef, currently executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Rezidor Hotel Group (EMEA), will assume additional responsibilities and lead the branding and commercial organization for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group globally.
**
Andrew Skobe Appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Carlson Hotels, Inc.
Carlson Hotels, Inc., announced it has named Andrew Skobe executive vice president and chief financial officer. Skobe is based in Minneapolis and reports to John Kidd, newly appointed CEO of Carlson Hotels. In his new role, Skobe will be responsible for Carlson Hotels' finance, accounting, tax, insurance and treasury functions, as well as directing strategic investments and strategic sourcing for the company.
**
Dream Hotel Group Appoints Christian Cooper as Vice President of Information Technology
Renowned hotel brand and management company Dream Hotel Group appointed Christian Cooper as vice president of information technology. In this role, Cooper will lead the innovation and implementation of several large-scale IT initiatives to support the rapid growth and expansion of Dream Hotel Group and its portfolio of brands – Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels.
**

May 19, 2017

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- StayNTouch and MGM Resorts International Redefining Hotel Check-in on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond
--------------------------
StayNTouch and MGM Resorts International Redefining Hotel Check-in on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond 
StayNTouch, Inc., announced a strategic partnership with MGM Resorts International, among the world's leading entertainment companies, to provide an intuitive check-in and checkout process across all of its properties. To date, the StayNTouch platform has been installed at 15 MGM Resorts destinations, delivering increased guest satisfaction and a boost in hotel operational efficiency. MGM Resorts intends to install mobile check-in capability at all properties by the end of 2017.
http://www.stayntouch.com
**

May 19, 2017

RESERVATIONS



- Hospitality International Selects Sabre as its Strategic Technology Provider
- SiteMinder Penetrates Latin America, Signs RQ Grupo Hotelero as 26,000th Hotel
--------------------------
Hospitality International Selects Sabre as its Strategic Technology Provider
Hospitality International, a full-service online hotel franchisee company, with five distinct brands, Red Carpet Inn, Scottish Inns, Master Hosts Inns, Downtowner Inns and Passport Inn, has selected Sabre Hospitality Solutions as a preferred technology provider for its more than 280 hotels. Under the agreement, Hospitality International hotel owners will have access to Sabre’s best-in-class central reservation system (CRS), booking engine and call center services. Sabre’s CRS is powered by the SynXis Enterprise Platform, which integrates critical hospitality systems to provide a single view of the guests giving hoteliers the tools to deliver a seamless guest experience at every step of the guest journey.
http://www.sabrehospitality.com
**
SiteMinder Penetrates Latin America, Signs RQ Grupo Hotelero as 26,000th Hotel
SiteMinder, one of the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platforms, announced it has surpassed 26,000 hotel customers with the signing of RQ Grupo Hotelero, an established provider of extended-stay accommodation in Chile’s major business districts. The signing of RQ Grupo Hotelero’s properties in Santiago, Providencia and Las Condes comes mere weeks after SiteMinder’s exhibition at World Travel Market Latin America and the company says it plans to only deepen its penetration within the region.
SiteMinder.com
**


May 19, 2017

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- The Rainmaker Group Maintains Leadership Position in Hospitality Pricing Optimization and Intelligence Sector with Record-setting Growth in Q1 2017
--------------------------
The Rainmaker Group Maintains Leadership Position in Hospitality Pricing Optimization and Intelligence Sector with Record-setting Growth in Q1 2017
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), one of the industry leaders in profit optimization and intelligence solutions for the gaming and hospitality market, announced record-setting growth during the first quarter of 2017, welcoming more than 200 additional properties to its rapidly expanding global client base. In addition to growing the number of users for its comprehensive platform of pricing optimization and intelligence solutions, many existing Rainmaker clients also expanded their agreements during this time period, with several hotel groups taking their current Rainmaker solutions portfoliowide or implementing additional solutions from the Rainmaker platform to augment those already in use at their properties.
http://www.LetItRain.com
**


May 19, 2017

PERSONALIZATION/GUEST EXPERIENCE



- dormakaba, Intelity, StayNTouch Announce Webinar to Simplify Mobile Adoption
- Callaway Gardens Implements Guestware
--------------------------
dormakaba, Intelity, StayNTouch Announce Webinar to Simplify Mobile Adoption
Three of hospitality's leading mobile solutions companies dormakaba, Intelity and StayNTouch announced a collaborative webinar on May 31st at 1pm EST (10am PST) that will show operators how to plan and execute a mobile strategy that delivers a positive guest experience and creates greater operating efficiency. “Leveraging the Power of Mobility: The New way to Satisfy Guests” will be hosted by executives from dormakaba, StayNTouch and Intelity. In the webinar (register here), hoteliers will learn: How to offer guest convenience, access and an enhanced guest experience via mobile, why offering guests a choice in service is essential to increasing guest satisfaction, and how to stay ahead of the technology curve with the right mobile solutions.
http://www.kabalodging.com, http://www.intelitycorp.com, http://www.stayntouch.com
**
Callaway Gardens Implements Guestware
Guestware, one of the hotel industry’s most comprehensive and flexible guest experience management softwares, has announced that Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., has implemented Guestware Select. The popular destination needed a comprehensive guest response and preventative maintenance solution for its sprawling 13,000 acres of breathtaking gardens, four hotels and conference and recreation facilities. Utilizing a shared call center, the properties can immediately dispatch guest requests with Guestware’s rapid response tool directly to the staff’s mobile devices at any property.
http://www.guestware.com
**


May 19, 2017

GUEST SERVICES



- Bulk TV Earns No. 10 Spot Among Best Employers in North Carolina
- Honeywell's Hotel Guestroom System Upgrades Southern Hospitality at Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead
- Five-star Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Chooses Teledex Phones
--------------------------

May 19, 2017

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- TrustYou and Welcome Systems Form Strategic Partnership to Help Hotels Collect Guest Reviews
--------------------------
TrustYou and Welcome Systems Form Strategic Partnership to Help Hotels Collect Guest Reviews
Pursuing the joint goal of facilitating the hotelier’s everyday business and enhancing bookings, TrustYou, one of the world’s largest guest feedback platforms, and Welcome Systems, the British hospitality company behind the popular Welcome Anywhere hotel booking system, announced their new strategic partnership. Welcome Systems’ users now have free access to TrustYou Stars Lite, an advanced software solution to collect, analyze and market guest reviews.
http://www.trustyou.net
**

May 19, 2017

BACK OFFICE



- WoodSpring Hotel Property Management Implements Hotel Effectiveness in 107 WoodSpring Suites
- Tendoto Systems Launches Enterprise SaaS Platform To Measure Workforce Awareness
--------------------------
WoodSpring Hotel Property Management Implements Hotel Effectiveness in 107 WoodSpring Suites
WoodSpring Hotel Property Management has chosen Hotel Effectiveness as the labor management provider for its company-managed WoodSpring Suites properties. This partnership adds 107 hotels to the rapidly growing list of hotels using Hotel Effectiveness’ complete suite of labor management tools. The partnership provides the WoodSpring property managers with cutting-edge tools to match its employee schedules with their business volumes. It also improves the level of visibility into each property’s efficiency and allows WoodSpring to identify best practices across its company-managed locations.
http://www.hoteleffectiveness.com
**
Tendoto Systems Launches Enterprise SaaS Platform To Measure Workforce Awareness
Tendoto Systems announced the launch of the Blast Platform™, a workforce awareness enterprise platform that enables organizations to build, execute and measure organizational awareness. GameBlast™, the first application on the Blast Platform, enables fun and fast interactions with employees at all levels to deliver measurable awareness of mission -critical information. With GameBlast, organizations can improve employee awareness, elevate engagement and reduce turnover. The Blast Platform is built from direct experience with customers in the hospitality and distribution industries, where organizations successfully improved customer service, product knowledge and safety culture using Tendoto's previous product, Edify™.
http://blastapp.io
**


May 19, 2017

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- PAR Technology and TempAlert Announce IoT Partnership
--------------------------
PAR Technology and TempAlert Announce IoT Partnership
ParTech, Inc. (PAR), a leading global provider of point-of-sale (POS) and workforce efficiency solutions for the restaurant and retail market, announced that TempAlert, a specialist in temperature monitoring, has become an IoT integration partner with PAR’s SureCheck® Advantage Food Safety Solution. ParTech, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR). TempAlert will seamlessly integrate with SureCheck to enable 24x7 remote monitoring. Combined, these solutions maximize operational efficiency, compliance and quality control.
https://www.partech.com, https://www.tempalert.com/
**


May 19, 2017

SECURITY



- JUCY Snooze Christchurch Integrates ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access for Complete Guest Convenience
- Israel-based Self Check-in Startup Announces Official Status as ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Certified Partner
--------------------------
JUCY Snooze Christchurch Integrates ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access for Complete Guest Convenience
JUCY Snooze, a unique pod-hostel accommodation concept from JUCY New Zealand, opened its first property at Christchurch Airport in late 2016, with the installation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access for keycard-free entry and security. JUCY Snooze Christchurch is currently using the ASSA ABLOY Hospitality app to implement Mobile Access using VingCard Signature RFID door locks. Self-check-in stations have also been installed to eliminate the need for a traditional guest reception.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com
**
Israel-based Self Check-in Startup Announces Official Status as ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Certified Partner
Guest Experience enhancement mobile application startup, Check-In, announced its official status as an ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Certified Partner. This certification gives the Check-In app advanced capability, allowing guests to use the application to enter hotel rooms equipped with VingCard locks, through a simple swipe of their smartphones. Check-In, an ambitious small business based out of Israel (startup nation), aims to revolutionize the hotel guest experience and interaction with hotel staff.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com
**


June 02, 2017

Siegel Sez


by: Richard Siegel

It is June, so if you are in the technology or revenue management space there is a good chance you are heading to Toronto in three weeks to attend HITEC and HSMAI’s ROC. There are many reasons to attend these events, especially the networking with peers and visiting the exhibit halls to see the latest and greatest in the world of technology. I went to my first HITEC in 1984 and haven’t missed one since, so that means two things: I have seen the amazing growth of the event and I need to accept that I am getting older! When I started attending HITEC as a vendor I remember how I would rarely go to the education sessions except for the occasional general session. That slowly started to change and I was always amazed at the people I would meet in the sessions. Then back in the early ‘90s I was entrusted to create a session for HITEC, and since then have been part of some amazing presentations. I bring this up because right now I am preparing for hopefully a great one. There are always numerous technology projects going on in the industry, but there is nothing bigger than what IHG is doing in the world of central reservations. The company has been using its Holidex system since 1965, but it is in the midst of replacing it. I am thankful IHG will be joining my session and sharing what they have experienced with a project of this magnitude, why they are doing it and most importantly, where they hope to go with their new system. In this session we will keep focused on the world of reservations with the speakers sharing what hotels should be doing with social media to lessen the cost of guest booking, and we will share successful stories on how to get guests to book direct. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 28, at 3:45 p.m. It should be a great hour of your time.

Yes, this is a busy time for those of in the hotel technology world and especially for us here at Hospitality Upgrade. We are completing both our big summer issue and a special edition, the industry’s first-ever History of Technology. You will receive both if you are attending HITEC. Imagine what it would cost to automate a hotel in the ‘80s compared to what it costs now. The answers will surprise you. Try to figure out who the vendors were in the ‘70s and ‘80s and where they are today, as we followed all the acquisitions, mergers and those that failed. It was quite a trip down memory lane. Those that have seen our History of Technology have said it doesn’t matter if you have been in the industry five years or 50 years, you will get a lot out of the stories that were shared. I would love to share the list of those who helped us create it, but that would take forever. The big thanks goes to Jon Inge who was there from the beginning and was masterful in his leading the charge to create this amazing issue. If you are not a subscriber, please click here and you will also get this special issue in its digital format. Another announcement for Hospitality Upgrade is our brand new website that we will launch at HITEC. Talk about a labor of love, but it is beautiful and has so much more functionality and content for our readers. We are very excited about both as we take a fascinating look back at the History of Technology and we continue to look forward and provide cutting-edge technology content for an industry that we love.

Here now is the real reason we are here, our look back at the recent technology happenings. Yes, it is June 2 and the next three weeks will be nonstop updates as we get closer and closer to HITEC. We will be sharing all these updates with you via this Siegel Sez and Hospitality Upgrade’s Watercooler e-newsletter that is sent out to our subscribers. Put your seatbelt on as we start this wild ride. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Toronto here we come!



Rich@HospitalityUpgrade.com
June 02, 2017

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Dan  Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips

Introduction

Remember the days when our first question to any technology vendor (think PBX, POS, CAS, VMS) was whether or not they interfaced to the selected PMS? Interface was the word that the GM used to sound techy. Then we brought out the two-way interface, and then that slipped into the term, integration.

Well, I have put three apparently disparate articles into the Piqued Dan’s Interest section below. But, they do have at least one common denominator. To many readers the commonality might be something they have yet to hear about, and most likely many have not yet seen. But, I dare say, it should be one of the most sought-after technologies at HITEC in Toronto just a few weeks away.

What might it be? Some might call it a black box, or a hub, or more recently, a service bus. What does it do? It speaks and understands the language of interface. More directly, it seamlessly integrates with pretty much every system a hotel might install and then communicates between them.

When we talk about enhancing guest services, and personalization, and experience, and focused marketing, and guest recognition, and geo-location-driven content, and all of the other sexy things at HITEC, more than likely in order for them to do everything they claim, they will need a service bus.

Just like a fancy car has an engine under the hood, to get the solutions you want, you will need to do more than kick the tires; you need to find a bus!

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine



dphillips@dare2i.com
June 02, 2017

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS




- Best Western Hotels & Resorts Acquires Sweden Hotels
--------------------------

Best Western Hotels & Resorts Acquires Sweden Hotels
Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced the addition of Sweden Hotels – one of Scandinavia’s largest hotel groups – to the Best Western global family. As a result of the acquisition, Best Western Hotels & Resorts is now the largest hotel brand in Sweden, totaling 135 properties across the country – leading with 55 more properties than its next competitor. Founded in 1977, Sweden Hotels has provided quality hotel solutions to Scandinavia for more than 40 years. By adding 59 properties to the growing Best Western family, the brand’s guests are provided with increased opportunities to participate in the award-winning Best Western Rewards® (BWR®) program and even more destinations to visit.
https://www.bestwestern.com/



June 02, 2017

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE




- Scott Socha Named President of Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts Business
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Rob Dellibovi as Vice President of Global Sales
- Great Wolf Resorts Names Edward Malinowski as Chief Information Officer
- RLHC Names Calvin Anderson Senior Vice President and Chief of Revenue Optimization
--------------------------



Scott Socha Named President of Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts Business
Delaware North, a global leader in hospitality and food service, announced that Scott Socha has been appointed to the role of president of the company’s parks and resorts business. In this role, Socha will provide strategic direction and ensure that short and long-term plans are in place to drive business and enhance the company’s destination proprieties. The parks and resorts subsidiary provides hospitality services at state and national parks, historic attractions and Delaware North-owned resorts such as the award-winning Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Socha, who most recently served as a Delaware North vice president and the company’s treasurer, will continue to be based at Delaware North’s global headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y. He will transition into the new position beginning April 1.
**

Dream Hotel Group Appoints Rob Dellibovi as Vice President of Global Sales
Renowned hotel brand and management company Dream Hotel Group announced the appointment of Rob DelliBovi as vice president of global sales for Dream Hotel Group and its portfolio of brands: Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels. Bringing more than 15 years of corporate sales experience, DelliBovi most recently served as vice president of global sales for Dream Hotels, the company’s founding luxury lifestyle brand.
**

Great Wolf Resorts Names Edward Malinowski as Chief Information Officer
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., announced that Edward Malinowski will join North America’s largest family of indoor water park resorts on June 5 and serve as the company’s chief information officer (CIO). Malinowski joins Great Wolf Resorts from Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in Hong Kong, where he served as the company’s chief information officer overseeing the brand’s worldwide IT operations. Malinowski will manage the team responsible for managing the entire IT infrastructure, providing vision, strategy and IT governance across Great Wolf Resorts’ 14 lodge locations and corporate offices.
**

RLHC Names Calvin Anderson Senior Vice President and Chief of Revenue Optimization
RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) has continued its innovative and forward-thinking ways with the addition of Calvin Anderson as senior vice president and chief of revenue optimization. In this new role, Anderson will directly oversee all revenue management; work closely with global sales for contracting, quoting and corporate pricing strategy; and lead all aspects of RLHC pricing strategies, including, but not limited to, yielding, data analytics and incentive configuration. He will also co-sponsor all strategic marketing efforts through data analytics and attribution modeling. Anderson joins RLHC from Duetto, where he was vice president of managed services for the past two years. He also has senior revenue leadership experience at Hilton, Marriott and Highgate Hotels, among others.
**


June 02, 2017

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS




- Pursuit Selects Maestro Web Multi-Property PMS for 15 Properties Totaling 1,400 Rooms
- MyCheck Mobility Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA 5 Property System
- "RMS Hotel" to Give HITEC Attendees an Interactive Virtual Tour of The Hospitality Cloud
- FCS Streamlines Connectivity and Efficiency with Integration of CosmoPMS and FCS Unicorn
- IBC Marketplace Now Serving as Technology Management Hub for Independent Hotels
- Leeu Collection Standardizes Systems for Its Recently Acquired Linthwaite House Hotel with the Help of Xn protel Systems
--------------------------



Pursuit Selects Maestro Web Multi-Property PMS for 15 Properties Totaling 1,400 Rooms
Maestro PMS announced that Pursuit, an international independent hospitality destination company, selected the Maestro Web Property Management Suite to consolidate hotel management operations at Pursuit’s 15 distinctive lodging properties with more than 1,400 rooms. Maestro PMS is one of the preferred cloud and on-premise property management solutions for independent hotels, resorts, conference centers, and multiproperty groups. Pursuit is a collection of adventure travel experiences in Alaska, Montana, the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver, BC, Canada.
http://www.maestropms.com
**

MyCheck Mobility Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA 5 Property System
MyCheck, a leading provider of mobile payment platform solutions and Gold level member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced it has achieved Oracle Validated Integration of its MyWallet and Front Desk Widget solutions with Oracle Hospitality's OPERA 5 Property System. To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements to ensure solutions successfully and reliably meet the needs and priorities of the customers. With MyWallet integrated to OPERA v5, as a "master" mobile wallet, MyWallet enables guests to store multiple payment types, plus traditional credit cards, debit cards and pre-paid cards. With the Front Desk Widget integrated to OPERA v5, guests can view their hotel reservations, choose a room type, upgrade room types, check in remotely, view the folio, check out remotely, and change their payment types on the fly.
http://www.mycheck.io, http://www.oracle.com/hospitality
**

FCS Streamlines Connectivity and Efficiency with Integration of CosmoPMS and FCS Unicorn
FCS Computer Systems (FCS), a leading provider of operations-enhancing technology solutions and services, has announced the integration of its FCS Unicorn call accounting and interface gateway solution with CosmoPMS, a cutting-edge SaaS-based property management platform designed specifically to meet the needs of smaller properties. As a solution that provides these hoteliers with the tools needed to streamline operations such as guest reservations, rate pricing and room availability, CosmoPMS' compatibility with FCS Unicorn now further ensures the ability to attain full operational efficiency via seamless communication and management of back-end systems and services.
http://www.fcscs.com
**

IBC Marketplace Now Serving as Technology Management Hub for Independent Hotels
IBC (InnDependent Boutique Collection), a leading provider of hospitality technologies for independent hotels, announces that its IBC Marketplace has evolved from a stand-alone central reservation system (CRS) to an online portal for centrally managing all property technologies, including CRS, property management system, marketing, loyalty program, rate shopping, revenue management and more. This customizable, enhanced functionality will equip independent hotel operators with the tools they need to manage their hotel assets, including rates and loyalty in one place, determine which channels are generating the most business, and see which marketing programs are succeeding or failing and then retargeting offers for a better return on investment.
http://www.ibchospitality.com
**

Leeu Collection Standardizes Systems for Its Recently Acquired Linthwaite House Hotel with the Help of Xn protel Systems
Global hospitality management software company Xn protel Systems announced the Linthwaite House Hotel, part of the Leeu Collection, is replacing its existing systems with protel SPE PMS and xnPOS Point of Sale systems. The PMS implementation includes integration to PABX, GDS/web booking/channel manager, CRM, revenue management and the Leeu Collection’s existing procurement platform.
http://www.xnprotel.com
**


June 02, 2017

RESERVATIONS



- Vertical Booking Introduces New Premium Booking Engine
--------------------------

Vertical Booking Introduces New Premium Booking Engine
Global reservation technology leader Vertical Booking announced the release of its new Premium Booking Engine. The Vertical Booking CRS booking engine allows guests to book services and accessories in addition to their stay, through the dynamic packaging function. After selecting the room type and rate, guests may choose extra services, such as airport pickup, car rental, spa treatments or tickets for destination tours.
http://www.verticalbookingusa.com
**



June 02, 2017

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- The Rainmaker Group Solves Revenue Management Challenges to Bolster Growth at Westgate Las Vegas
--------------------------

The Rainmaker Group Solves Revenue Management Challenges to Bolster Growth at Westgate Las Vegas
The Rainmaker Group has successfully deployed its comprehensive suite of revenue management and business intelligence solutions at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, a popular casino resort that is celebrated for its variety of suites, onsite amenities, customer service and prime location adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center. In late 2016, the Westgate Las Vegas team deployed Rainmaker’s guestrev®, grouprev® and revcaster® solutions to optimize property pricing and revenues, with grouprev aiding the team in managing its impressive 200,000 square feet of meeting space. Since the implementation, the team at Westgate Las Vegas has seen a significant increase in YOY revenue, which is due in large part to the Rainmaker platform’s ability to provide a deeper understanding of demand by various customer segments.
http://www.LetItRain.com
**



June 02, 2017

PERSONALIZATION/GUEST EXPERIENCE



- Runtriz Leverages DataArt’s Expertise and ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Technology to Deliver “Front of the Line™” Program to Hotels
- Guestware Releases New Features
--------------------------

Runtriz Leverages DataArt’s Expertise and ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Technology to Deliver “Front of the Line™” Program to Hotels
DataArt has announced that it was selected by Runtriz in partnership with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality to help enhance its “Front of the Line” feature to reward guests with a VIP-level experience. It is unique as it builds on Runtriz’s installed base in more than 100 countries to enable hotel guests to use their mobile device to not only check in prior to their arrival, but additionally bypass the front desk at enabled hotels and head straight to their room, entering with Runtriz’s mobile key. The ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access solution greatly increases the guest experience, to allow guests to skip front desk lines and access their rooms via a secure, encrypted digital key on their smartphones.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com, http://www.dataart.com, http://www.runtriz.com
**

Guestware Releases New Features
Guestware, one of the hotel industry’s most comprehensive guest experience management (GEM) systems, announced a new release of its cloud software solution. The latest version adds new features and offers even greater ease-of use. Building on more than 20 years of technology, the latest version expands the Welcome Intelligences® algorithms empowering hotel staff to personalize guest’s experiences. Highlights include reoccurring automatic guest request fulfillment, multi-incident guest request entry, reservation event triggered dispatch, and much more. The latest release adds more automation so hotel staff can focus on serving their guests.
http://www.guestware.com
**



June 02, 2017

GUEST SERVICES



- Hilton Launches Revolutionary New Guestroom, Five Feet to Fitness™
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – One of Marriott International’s Loyalty Programs — Further Elevates The Member Experience Through Mobile Check-in
- ADB Enhances its 4th Generation vuTyme IRE Solution
- Intelity Recognized by Info-Tech Research Group as an In-Room Tablet Technology Champion
--------------------------



Hilton Launches Revolutionary New Guestroom, Five Feet to Fitness™
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) has unveiled Five Feet to Fitness™, an in-room wellness concept that brings more than 11 different fitness equipment and accessory options into the hotel room. The rooms are part of Hilton's innovation efforts to modernize the hospitality fitness experience and make it more inclusive for all by redeveloping fitness centers and offering fresh fitness concepts tailored to the hotel's location and regular guests. The new room type features an indoor bike from British cycling innovator Wattbike that is used for either longer "indoor-cycling" type exercise sessions or focused interval-training workouts. Next, dynamic Gym Rax™ functional training station provides unlimited strength, core, suspension and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style workouts to guests. At the heart of the concept is the Fitness Kiosk, a touch-screen display embedded within the Gym Rax system where guests receive equipment tutorials and follow guided workout routines. In partnership with Aktiv Solutions, Hilton has created more than 200 bespoke fitness videos in categories ranging from cardio, cycling, endurance, strength, HIIT, yoga, stretch and recovery.
http://www.hiltonworldwide.com/
**
 

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – One of Marriott International’s Loyalty Programs — Further Elevates The Member Experience Through Mobile Check-in
Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), an award-winning loyalty program that is part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), has launched SPG Mobile Check-In for members at 22 hotels in the United States. More hotels will begin offering this feature exclusively on the SPG Mobile app with the global rollout completed by the end of 2017. Marriott first launched mobile check-in, checkout and room-ready alerts in 2013. It is now available at all hotels that were in the Marriott portfolio before the company’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Marriott is now beginning to offer these convenient app features for SPG members checking in at Westin, Sheraton, St Regis, Four Points, Le Meridien, Tribute Portfolio and The Luxury Collection hotels. Enhancing and personalizing guests mobile experience is a focus for Marriott as more than half of smartphone owners use their devices for travel-related activities.
http://www.marriottnewscenter.com
**

ADB Enhances its 4th Generation vuTyme IRE Solution
At this year's HITEC, ADB will showcase its enhanced vuTyme 4.4, a robust in-room entertainment system packed with scalable features supporting all hotel tiers, from economy to luxury. vuTyme 4.4 is fully customizable and contains three choices of user interface, enabling hoteliers to apply their unique branding guidelines to unify the look and feel for guests. Each feature-set contains advertising campaigns, digital signage and local/hotel program channel. vuTyme by ADB will be on display at HITEC Toronto June 26 to 29 in booth No. 337.
http://www.adbglobal.com, http://www.vuTyme.com
**

Intelity Recognized by Info-Tech Research Group as an In-Room Tablet Technology Champion
Intelity, an innovator and leader in hospitality guest service technology,
was recognized by Info-Tech Research Group for its in-room tablet technology. In its In-Room Tablets Vendor Landscape report, Info-Tech Research Group compared nine in-room tablet vendors of which Intelity was designated a “champion.” Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape reports recognize outstanding vendors in the technology marketplace. Assessing vendors by the strength of their offering and their strategy for the enterprise, Info-Tech Research Group Vendor Landscapes pay tribute to the contribution of exceptional vendors in a particular category.
http://www.intelitycorp.com
**


July 27, 2018

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Visual One® Property Management System Adds Mobile Guest Check-in and Check-out and Improved Global Features
- The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts Deploys Infor HMS and SunSystems to Streamline Operations and Expand Global Reach
- Guest Loyalty Technology Gets Personal at Rodd Hotels & Resorts

 



The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts Deploys Infor HMS and SunSystems to Streamline Operations and Expand Global Reach
Infor, a provider of industry-specific cloud applications, announced that The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts has deployed Infor Hospitality Management System (HMS) for its hotel operations, and Infor SunSystems for its financial operations in its Bali, Phuket, Madrid and Amsterdam properties. The Hong-Kong based company owns and operates luxury hotels, resorts and manages experiential travel across Asia and Europe.
https://www.infor.com/industries/hospitality/

Visual One® Property Management System Adds Mobile Guest Check-in and Check-out and Improved Global Features
Agilysys, a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that Visual One®, an industry-leading property management system, has added additional mobile capabilities that provide hospitality operators with key features that improve their guests’ experiences. The new features enable guests to check in and out online and allow staff to increase productivity with mobile housekeeping. 
http://www.agilysys.com/

Guest Loyalty Technology Gets Personal at Rodd Hotels & Resorts
A  family owned hotel chain, which operates seven hotels and resorts and three golf courses, that prides itself on personalization for guest, recognizes its partnership with Maestro PMS is essential to its operation.
http://www.maestropms.com/



July 27, 2018

RESERVATIONS



- Palacina Berlin Puts Luxury Apartments on the Global Stage with Online Booking Technology by SiteMinder
__________

Palacina Berlin Puts Luxury Apartments on the Global Stage with Online Booking Technology by SiteMinder
An increase in online bookings for a boutique hotel offering luxury apartments in central Germany is showing a rising popularity of extended-stay accommodation in Europe and the material benefits of using cloud-based technology. Months after adopting the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, Palacina Berlin, which offers a home away from home for travelers inside a 134-year-old residence, reveals that an improved presence in the market has resulted in a surge in reservations through its hotel website and selected distribution channels.
https://www.siteminder.com



July 27, 2018

GUEST SERVICES



- The 2018 J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Released, Satisfaction Increased
___________

After Mastering Product Offerings, Hotels Must Turn Attention to Services, J.D. Power Finds

It’s a good time to be a hotel guest. Across the board, hotels are making their customers happier than ever, according to the J.D. Power 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Stud.SM Driven by increased approval of guest rooms and hotel facilities, overall satisfaction for the industry increases 8 points to 825 (on a 1,000-point scale). Service areas are also improving, but at a slower rate. According to Corwin, in consideration of economic cycles, hotels should emphasize refining their service effort which represents greater opportunity for improvement and requires less investment than capital improvements.
http://www.jdpower.com/




July 27, 2018

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Evention Debuts New and Expanded Solutions
__________

Evention Debuts New and Expanded Solutions
Evention's newly developed solutions include Group Billing by Evention and Credit Card Reconciliation by Evention. In addition, Evention's solution for cash recycling now offers a small-volume hardware option. Group Billing by Evention has been specifically designed for and tested by hospitality brands. Evention has partnered with two world-wide hotel companies to develop this all-encompassing solution. 
http://www.eventionllc.com/



July 27, 2018

SECURITY



- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Enhances VingCard RFID Door Locks with Support of NXP's MIFARE Plus EV1 IC
- GDPR Compliance Deadline Has Come and Gone; What Does it Mean for Hotels?
- Urgo Hotels and Resorts chooses VENZA® for InfoSec Training

 


ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Enhances VingCard RFID Door Locks with Support of NXP's MIFARE Plus EV1 IC
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, provider of advanced security solutions for the hotel industry, is announcing an enhancement of its VingCard RFID electronic locks with the support of NXP Semiconductors' MIFARE Plus® EV1 smart card IC. Through this strategic collaboration, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality is further strengthening its security protocol with the addition of a seamless and cost-effective upgrade path for hoteliers that also provides heightened security features for hotel staff and guests.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com/

GDPR Compliance Deadline Has Come and Gone; What Does it Mean for Hotels?
The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline has passed, and it now requires every hotel in the world to have guidelines in place that protect European Union (EU) residents’ personally identifiable information against security breaches. While a lot has been discussed to help hoteliers become compliant, many are wondering, “what comes next?” Dr. Amir Ameri, data protection officer for Beekeeper provides answers to some of hoteliers most frequently asked questions. 
http://www.beekeeper.io/

Urgo Hotels and Resorts chooses VENZA® for InfoSec Training
Given the high propensity for data breaches within the hospitality industry, Urgo Hotels and Resorts recently chose VENZA to educate its associates on protecting guest data. Both VENZA and Urgo encompass a culture that ensures every associate is part of the extended work family. Urgo Hotels & Resorts is family-owned and operated, with two generations of Urgos leading the company.
http://www.venzagroup.com/



July 27, 2018

HOSPITALITY EVENTS



- HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe Honored as Most Influential Hospitality Association CEO 2018
- AHLA Reacts to New York City Passing Strong Short-Term Rental Ordinance
- HFTP Annual Convention 2018 Online Registration Now Open, Keynotes Announced
- HSMAI Welcomes Nominations for Lifetime Achievement and Top 25 Minds Awards
- OTA Insight Gains Momentum Heading into NoVacancy Expo
- HFTP Announces Three New Global Chapters and Expands Student Chapter Networks
- HSMAI and Level60 Partner on Revenue Management Curriculum Tools and New Student Certification



HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe Honored as Most Influential Hospitality Association CEO 2018
Frank I. Wolfe, CEO for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals(HFTP®), was recognized as Most Influential Association CEO 2018 in Hospitality by the  European-based corporate finance publication Acquisition International (AI). 
Recipients of this honor are internally researched, shortlisted, judged and selected. The publication’s in-house research team looks into the global industry thoroughly in order to determine those most deserving of the accolade. Some factors the team takes into consideration include the nominee’s significant achievements over the past calendar year, company and career profile, commitment towards innovation and company performance under the individual’s leadership.
https://www.hftp.org/

AHLA Reacts to New York City Passing Strong Short-Term Rental Ordinance
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO Katherine Lugar issued the following statement in response to new short-term rental legislation passed unanimously by the New York City Council to bring strong platform accountability to the home sharing market.

HFTP Annual Convention 2018 Online Registration Now Open, Keynotes Announced
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has opened online registration for its Annual Convention, which it has produced since 1952. Following the traditional event format, the event will offer a variety of educational sessions, networking and vendor opportunities. HFTP has secured two keynote speakers who will discuss topics relating to productivity, engagement, collaboration and communication in the workplace: Colette Carlson and Curt Steinhorst. The HFTP Annual Convention will take place from Oct. 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
https://www.hftp.org/

HSMAI Welcomes Nominations for Lifetime Achievement and Top 25 Minds Awards
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Americas is accepting nominations for its Lifetime Achievement Awards and The Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization. Awards will be presented to honorees during the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on Jan. 22, 2019 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
https://www.hsmai.org/

OTA Insight Gains Momentum Heading into NoVacancy Expo
OTA Insight, the cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry, has announced a series of key partnerships in the Australia-New Zealand-Pacific region, as it continues to be a target growth market for the company.
https://www.otainsight.com/

HFTP Announces Three New Global Chapters and Expands Student Chapter Networks
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is excited to announce that three new, local chapters have recently been chartered: HFTP Greater Louisville Chapter, HFTP New York University Student Chapter and HFTP Kansas State University Student Chapter. HFTP chapters provide a wide array of benefits to an association’s membership — not the least of which is the collaborative building of knowledge and camaraderie among local and like-minded industry professionals.
http://hftp.org/

HSMAI and Level60 Partner on Revenue Management Curriculum Tools and New Student Certification
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) announced  a partnership with Level60 Consulting (Level60) to offer hospitality faculty members a course and classroom tools to teach revenue management, leading to a new HSMAI student certification.
https://www.hsmai.org/



July 27, 2018

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS



- AAHOA and GlobalHotelNetwork.com Announce Strategic Partnership
- Golden Entertainment to Acquire Edgewater Hotel & Casino Resort and Colorado Belle Hotel & Casino Resort from Marnell   Gaming
- Veturis Travel Partners with SiteMinder to Fuel Europe and Asia Growth
 


AAHOA and GlobalHotelNetwork.com Announce Strategic Partnership
AAHOA, one of the largest hotel owners association in the world, proudly announced a strategic partnership with GlobalHotelNetwork.com, a highly-respected global media brand and resource for the hospitality industry. The partnership will focus on content development and sharing for both GlobalHotelNetwork.com and AAHOA’s members and facilitating a discussion on topics such as domestic implications of global hospitality trends and the industry’s issue advocacy at the state and national level.
https://www.aahoa.com/
http://globalhotelnetwork.com/

Golden Entertainment to Acquire Edgewater Hotel & Casino Resort and Colorado Belle Hotel & Casino Resort from Marnell Gaming
Golden Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Marnell Gaming LLC, to acquire the Edgewater Hotel & Casino Resort and the Colorado Belle Hotel & Casino Resort in Laughlin, Nevada. The purchase price will be based on an 8.0x multiple of the combined trailing twelve months adjusted EBITDA of both properties as of November 2018, with a minimum price of $168 million and a maximum price of $190 million.
https://www.goldenent.com/

Veturis Travel Partners with SiteMinder to Fuel Europe and Asia Growth
One of Europe’s fast-growing bedbanks, Veturis Travel, has partnered with SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for the global hotel industry, to further cement its presence within the region and Asia. The wholesaler is upping its investment in cloud-based technology as part of a recent transition to dynamic online rates and a strategy to expand its direct contracts with hotels.
https://www.siteminder.com/

 

July 27, 2018

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- You Can Now Check In With A Facial Scan At Marriott China
- UAE Hospitality Industry to Reach $7.6 Billion by 2022
- How Many Followers Did Resorts and Hotels Lose During the Recent Twitter Purge?

 


You Can Now Check In With A Facial Scan At Marriott China

UAE Hospitality Industry to Reach $7.6 Billion by 2022

How Many Followers Did Resorts and Hotels Lose During the Recent Twitter Purge?



July 27, 2018

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what …  A few points to ponder ...
 
There was a young Scottish boy called Angus who decided to try life in Australia. He found an apartment in a small block and settled in. 

After a week or two, his mother called from Aberdeen to see how her son was doing in his new life. 

“I'm fine,” Angus said.
 
“But there are some really strange people living in these apartments. One woman cried all day long, another lies on her floor moaning, and there is a guy next door to me who bangs his head on the wall all the time.” 

“Well, ma laddie,” says his mother. “I suggest you don't associate with people like that.” 

“Oh,” says Angus, “I don't, Mam, I don't. No, I just stay inside my apartment all day and night, playing my bagpipes.” 
 
 




August 10, 2018

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

I rarely go to the movies, but this past weekend I went to see “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again.” If you enjoyed the original movie you will love the second one. I saw it in a packed theatre on the big screen and with a great sound system. When the movie ended the audience started cheering. I can’t remember the last time that happened at a movie. Then the lights came on and I noticed the crowd was made up of a wide variety of people -- many young and old. I liked that. When we were leaving the theatre, I walked out with a bunch of girls probably around 16 or 17 years old. I asked them if they enjoyed the movie and they were raving about it – what was their favorite scene, their favorite song, and they went on and on. I shared my favorite moments, and we laughed. I was glad I saw the movie in a theatre and not in the comfort of my living room.
That was a great escape but eventually I am back at my desk and the big focus this week is our upcoming CIO Summit in Seattle. This is our 17th year for the event and we believe it will be our best. We have a great crowd with so many first-time attendees. One of my favorite comments from a first-time attendee this year came from Brennan Gildersleeve who has had a long career in the technology space with Starwood and now heads up the technology efforts for Equinox and its hotels. When he received the invitation, he said “I’ve been waiting 17 years for this invitation!” I wonder if others feel the same way. The program for the CIO Summit will include many events and interaction with the other attendees. One of the best things about our summit, and in fact all industry events, is the interaction you have while attending. Maybe it is with suppliers, maybe it is with peers but a big part of it will be the new people you meet. I am sure many are like me deciding which events make sense to attend and, of course, there is the cost to attend and the time commitment to weigh, but how often do you look back and say you were glad you went? For me it is pretty much every time. This is an industry that is all about the people, the more you meet and get to know the more you enjoy it. Nothing beats the interaction, the sharing and the learning you experience when you are face to face with others who share the same concerns you have. So, as you go through the year and are invited or encouraged to attend an industry meeting or event that will help you in your current role, I encourage you to attend. Time and expense come into play but think of the possible return on your investment. I could have saved $16 and waited to watch “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again,” in the comfort of my home, but it would not have made the same impression or created the memories that seeing it in the theatre did. I am glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to “Go Again.”
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest technology news for the industry including opening thoughts from consultant Ron Hardin. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Four more weeks until Seattle, if you are a technology leader for your company, I hope to see you at our CIO Summit.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 10, 2018

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Ron Hardin

I try to keep up with the latest industry news, but it’s a challenge.  There’s a lot of it.  There are a great deal of different channels – Hotel Online being the best, of course.  And there is the constant need to separate the wheat (news) from the chaff (marketing hype).  Sometimes, a press release contains news, and sometimes a news article contains hype.  Caveat lector: let the reader beware.

Today, I note with interest some recent industry news items that piqued my interest. I’ll let you be the judge how much is news and how much is hype.  First off is the announcement that Hilton’s first tri-branded property has recently opened in Chicago adjacent to McCormick Place Convention Center.  This new hotel, operated by First Hospitality Group, includes 184 Hilton Garden Inn rooms, 187 Hampton Inn by Hilton rooms, and 95 suites under Home2Suites by Hilton flag.  My first thought when I saw the headline was a flashback to the crazy hitchhiker in the Coen brothers’ movie, There’s Something About Mary – his deranged idea for fortune and fame was to one-up a popular workout video, 8 Minute Abs, with a breakthrough new offering … 7 Minute Abs.  Hilton has 13 brands.  Marriott has 29.  Where is the logical end-point for multi-branding?  Unlike 7 Minute Abs, it’s certainly not a crazy idea.  It is one piece of real estate (location, location, location) with one building or multiple interconnected buildings, and the multi-branding allows the property to appeal to a wider range of customers without diluting or confusing the brand product positioning.  I personally would not prefer a Hilton Garden Inn room to a Hampton Inn room with free breakfast in the same building, but the success of these developments clearly shows the demand is there. 

The other recent news item that caught my eye is also about Hilton; in this case, about its new “Hilton Connected Room” initiative.  Hilton is moving with the current trend to leverage IoT (Internet of Things) to improve the guest experience and generate actionable data from the growing ecosystem of interconnected devices and applications.  As I discussed in a recent column, this is an inexorable trend fueled by the growing availability of intelligent, networkable devices in hotels – TVs, thermostats, door locks, door cameras (instead of peepholes, of course), shades and drapes, lighting, DND/MUR controls, etc. (The Great Divide of In-Stay Guest Engagement, March 2018, Hospitality Upgrade)  Hilton’s take on this smart room trend is to use the brand’s HHonors mobile app as the primary guest touchpoint.  It will be interesting to see if the company gets a measurable increase in HHonors enrollments by guests seeking to use these controls and services on their mobile devices, and what percentage of in-house guests actually use the controls and services from the mobile app.  Hilton also plans to have those controls and services accessible through the guestroom TV but given the plethora of different TV systems in place across the portfolio, that may be challenging in the short term unless they move toward standardizing TV platforms. 

As I’ve publicly opined, I believe hoteliers should provide a dedicated, easy-to-use touchpoint in the guestroom for these applications.  The ideal device would have a touchscreen, optionally support voice-control, and incorporate telephone and clock-radio functionality.  These devices are also becoming more affordable and more mainstream.  I had heard on the grapevine a while back that Hilton was evaluating in-room tablet options – hopefully, that will be an option for the connected room. The applications are already there; I hope they make them easily accessible without having to sign up for the loyalty program or download another app to our phones. 
 
 
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech




August 10, 2018

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS




- Travelclick Aquired by Amadeus
- Radisson changing hands again, Jin Jiang International Announces Acquisition 
- Aristocrat and Boyd Gaming Enter Into Long-term Strategic Systems Partnership
- AccorHotels Signs Agreement to Acquire 85% Stake of 21c Museum Hotels for $51 Million
- Hotel Effectiveness, the Leading Hotel Labor Management SaaS Solution, Announces Growth Equity Investment From Growth Street Partners

 




Travelclick Aquired by Amadeus
Travel technology company Amadeus IT Group has agreed to buy U.S.-based TravelClick for $1.52 billion, Amadeus said on Friday. Amadeus will partially finance the deal with a 1.00 billion euro ($1.14 billion) debt facility, it said. TravelClick is a provider of products and services for hotels, including online reservation systems.

Radisson changing hands again, Jin Jiang International Announces Acquisition 
Chinese hospitality and travel group Jin Jiang International Holdings Co. has agreed to buy Radisson Hospitality Inc., the Minnetonka-based company known for its Radisson hotels, from fellow Chinese conglomerate HNA Tourism Group.

Aristocrat and Boyd Gaming Enter Into Long-term Strategic Systems Partnership
Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. today announced it has been selected as the official Casino Management Systems partner of Boyd Gaming Corporation, one of the largest and most established casino operators in the United States.
http://www.aristocrat-us.com/

AccorHotels Signs Agreement to Acquire 85% Stake of 21c Museum Hotels for $51 Million
AccorHotels today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire 85% of 21c Museum Hotels, an award-winning hospitality management company pushing the boundaries of the museum and hotel worlds to create a new kind of travel experience. 21c combines a multi-venue contemporary art museum, boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants, with 11 properties currently open and under development across the United States.
https://www.accorhotels.group/group

Hotel Effectiveness, the Leading Hotel Labor Management SaaS Solution, Announces Growth Equity Investment From Growth Street Partners
Growth Street Partners today announced a minority growth equity investment in Hotel Effectiveness Solutions, the leading provider of hotel labor management SaaS for the hospitality industry. Hotel Effectiveness’ SaaS platform allows hotel owners, third party management companies, and property-level managers to control labor expenses according to occupancy rates, labor standards, and industry benchmarks.
http://www.hoteleffectiveness.com/



August 10, 2018

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Alila Hotels and Resorts Chooses Infor to Streamline Operations and Increase Business Efficiency
- Agilysys Fiscal 2019 First Quarter Revenue Rises to Record $34.0 Million
- Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a PMS
- Shiji Group Continues Global Expansion, Opens Office in Australia


Alila Hotels and Resorts Chooses Infor to Streamline Operations and Increase Business Efficiency
Infor, a leading provider of industry-specific cloud applications, announced that Alila Hotels and Resorts has deployed Infor Hospitality Management System (HMS) and Infor Revenue Management Solution (RMS) for its hotel operations in Kuala Lumpur to increase business agility and further enhance efficiencies
http://www.infor.com/hospitality

Agilysys Fiscal 2019 First Quarter Revenue Rises to Record $34.0 Million
Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, reported operating results for its fiscal 2019 first quarter ended June 30, 2018.
http://www.agilysys.com/

Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a PMS
Personalized service plays an essential role in the success of every resort operation. Luckily, today’s innovative PMS technologies are driving up-to-date business workflows, and introducing efficiencies that enhance the guest experience in ways that also grow the bottom line.
https://www.agilysys.com/

Shiji Group Continues Global Expansion, Opens Office in Australia
With over 8,000 hotels using Shiji products in the region and international offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau it became evident that to keep with Shiji’s tradition of customer service, an office was needed for Australasian customers.
http://www.shijigroup.com/?utm_source=hotel-online
 



June 30, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Inn-Client Server Systems (ICSS) unveils “atrium” PMS
- OSIB Operations Holdings orders AltiusPAR’s software suite for Europe-based hotels
- AltiusPAR announces RFID-based products for data collection and analysis
- Riptide Software releases Web-based resort management system
- SoftBrands adds Web booking engine to its Medallion PMS
- SoftBrands integrates Serenata @mail e-mail correspondence product with all four PMSs
- SoftBrands adds UK-sourced Cerenity Spa system to product range
- SoftBrands claims one PMS sold each working day, worldwide, for six months
- MSI releases Web-booking engine for WinPM system
- MSI releases Place Point touch-screen point-of-sale system
- MSI releases Pocket Concierge remote checkin/checkout handheld PDA
- MSI updates WinPM interface to NCR’s Express checkin/checkout kiosks
- MSI to use Pegasus’ Scottsdale Data Center as hosting facility for ASP-based systems
- MSI celebrates its 15th year in business
- Louvre Hotels to deploy centralized MICROS OPERA and 3700 POS in 210 hotels
- Pestana implements MICROS’ OPERA PMS at 23 properties in Portugal
- TWELVE Hotels and Residences selects OPERA, first system installed in Atlantic Station
- MICROS Systems ranked in three magazines’ fastest-growing lists
- Hotel Concepts announces Smart Client .net 2.0 version of Web-based Enterprise System
- Hotel Concepts awarded Gold Certified Partner status by Microsoft
- Festival Inns selects centralized HIS epitome.NET and core for nine Edinburgh properties
- base2stay selects centralized HIS’ epitome.NET and core for London properties
- HIS and Newmarket enhancing integration between epitome and Delphi
- HIS and Squirrel partner for seamless integration of PMS and POS systems
- HIS’ distributor for Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS announces new implementations
- HIS establishes direct office in New Delhi, India
- REMco Software releases two-way interface with InnLink’s CRS
- UK’s Warren House orders Visual One’s integrated front office, sales and catering systems
- Visual One announces Visual One DB graphical dashboard add-on for PMS
--------------------------

Inn-Client Server Systems (ICSS) unveiled its atrium PMS.  Claimed to offer more configurable parameters and business rules than other systems, atrium is being positioned as a revenue management-focused system offering increased control of the sales process, enforced rate management, seasonal minimums, rate code availability and yield levels. 
http://www.atriumpms.com
**
Dutch hotelier OSIB Operations Holdings has ordered AltiusPAR’s full suite of software applications for its Europe-based hotels.  OSIB plans to open two hotels in Amsterdam in early 2007, followed by rapid expansion into other regions of Europe.  AltiusPAR will provide its central inventory system, revenue management, Internet booking engine, global distribution connectivity, sales and catering and property management systems, including its new RFID-based technology. 

AltiusPAR announced RFID-based products to collect information such as checkin and checkout data, food and beverage purchases, luggage tracking and housekeeping records, plus software to analyze and manage it.  Areas covered include:
- Customer loyalty cards that can speed self checkin/out at kiosks, open room and office doors to interface with energy saving and security systems, and identify frequent customers as they enter hotels and restaurants.
- Luggage tags for tracking in hotels, airports and other transportation hubs.
- Housekeeping controls for status updates, work order/out-of-order setup and access security logs.
www.altiuspar.com
**
Riptide Software, a developer of government, aerospace, banking and creative services software, has released its Web-based resort management system (Riptide RMS) targeted at the condo hotel and timeshare markets.  Functionality includes unit sales management (including purchase benefits and sales commissions), property composition, property calendar, legal registration, general management, and detailed reports at multiple levels.  www.riptidesoftware.com
**
SoftBrands has added an integrated Web booking engine to its Medallion PMS, and has signed a worldwide distribution contract with Serenata for its @mail HTML-driven e-mail correspondence product.  @mail is already integrated with its Medallion, PORTfolio, LANmark and IGS PMSs. 

SoftBrands also added the Cerenity Spa system to its product range, a version of the UK-based Premier Spa system used by more than 1,300 clients.

SoftBrands stated that over two strong quarters from October 2005 to April 2006, it sold an average of one PMS every working day worldwide, bringing its customer base to over 1,800.   www.softbrands.com
**
Multi-Systems Inc. (MSI) has released a Web booking engine for its WinPM system, permitting individual booking, corporate booking, group booking and group inquiry.

MSI released Place Point, a touch screen point-of-sale system with a highly visual user interface and with retail, self-service and mobile (on Pocket PC devices) applications, and Pocket Concierge, a remote checkin/checkout handheld PDA.  Pocket Concierge can be used to create guest room keys, print registration cards and folios and retrieve guest messages.  Maintenance and housekeeping staff can also use it to update room status and to take rooms off market for repairs.

MSI has updated its WinPM interface to NCR’s Express checkin/checkout hotel kiosks.  The kiosk dispenses guestroom keys and a confirmation receipt upon checkin; at checkout, guests can return their room keys and receive a detailed receipt of their stay.  They can also add participating frequent flyer numbers and guest loyalty program numbers, with participating brands showing the guests their total accumulated loyalty points.

MSI has contracted with Pegasus Systems to use the Pegasus Scottsdale Data Center (SDC) as the hosting facility for its ASP-based PMS (EnterprisePM), WinPM Web booking engine and their supporting databases.  MSI’s ASP-based corporate services solution will eventually also be hosted by the Pegasus SDC.

MSI celebrated its 15th year in business at HITEC. www.msisolutions.comwww.pegs.com
**
Louvre Hotels will deploy MICROS Systems’ OPERA PMS, Reservation System (ORS), MICROS 3700 Point of Sale/Enterprise Management, and mymicros.net in all its 210 company owned hotels by the end of September 2006.  Louvre also designated MICROS as preferred vendor solution for the entire chain, which represents approximately 750 budget hotels in France (806 including the rest of Europe) under the Kyriad, Campanile and Premiere Classe brands.  All systems will be centrally hosted at MICROS-Fidelio’s Data Center in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Pestana Hotels and Resorts has implemented MICROS’ OPERA Property Management System at 23 properties in Portugal and hosted in three data centres, one of which is located within The Pestana Group infrastructure.  The OPERA Customer Information System will next be implemented for centralized profile management and support of the Pestana Elite Card membership program.

TWELVE Hotels and Residences has selected OPERA as its technology platform, centrally hosted in a multiproperty configuration.  The first property, TWELVE Atlantic Station, has deployed the OPERA PMS, sales and catering, Web services and Vision BI, and will shortly deploy the OPERA Revenue Management System.  The second property will open in the Centennial Park district near downtown Atlanta in mid 2007.  OPERA is integrated to TWELVE’s GHOST (Guest Hotel Operating System Terminal) in-room concierge services unit. 

MICROS Systems has been ranked No. 87 on BusinessWeek magazine’s Hot Growth Companies list, No. 72 on Business 2.0 magazine’s 100 Fastest Growing Tech Companies list and No. 75 on VARBusiness Magazine’s VARBusiness 500 list. http://www.louvrehotels.com, www.pestana.com, www.twelvehotels.com
www.micros.com
**
Hotel Concepts announced the Smart Client version of its Web-based Hospitality Enterprise Solution, using a .Net 2.0 framework to provide CRS, PMS and CRM modules.  All are slated for full release before the end of 2006. 

Hotel Concepts has been awarded Gold Certified Partner status by Microsoft, the highest level of Microsoft's Partner Program status available for independent software vendors. The award recognizes the company's advanced competency in providing custom build software and services.  www.hotelconcepts.com
**
Festival Inns has selected Hotel Information Systems’ epitome.NET Property Management System and core Reservation Portal solution for its nine Edinburgh properties, operating on a centralized system.

base2stay has selected HIS’ epitome.NET Property Management System and core Reservation Portal for its 67-room property in Kensington, London.  HIS’ .NET-based centralized system was selected to support the planned expansion of base2stay; as new properties are added the server will be moved from its initial hotel location into a central hosting facility.  All properties will also be connected to the HIS Reservation Portal for
real time Web bookings.

Libra International, HIS’ distributor for Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS, announced several new implementations.  Suncani Hvar Hotels in Croatia implemented HIS core and epitome in the first months of 2006 to provide the backbone for the group’s central reservations, distribution channel management and property operations.  Heliopark Hotels Group added six new properties over the last six months.  Heliopark centralizes all of its operations in Moscow using HIS core Central Reservations, Channel Management and epitome Property Management systems.

Newly formed Russian hotel group Orange Ring Hotels opened three hotels and a centralized reservation facility, all on HIS systems.  Orange Ring also offers representation services based on HIS core to independent Russian hotels under the brand name Optima. World Luxury Hotels also standardized on HIS systems for several Business class hotels it is scheduled to open later this year in Moscow. Libra states that it is installing an average of thee new properties a month on epitome PMS and POS systems. 

HIS and Newmarket International are enhancing the integration between the epitome Property Management System and Delphi Sales & Catering system for real-time synchronization of inventory and availability data.  This will ensure accurate non-group future consumption in Delphi, synchronized group blocks between Delphi and epitome, and better access to key information for sales managers.

HIS and Squirrel Systems have partnered to provide more seamless integration between their PMS and POS systems, under the somewhat cumbersome name of epitome Food and Beverage Management System Powered by Squirrel Systems.  The eFBMSPSS includes the SquirrelOne POS with IP connectivity to HIS’ epitome PMS, under a common user interface that allows users to access both PMS and POS features seamlessly at any time.  HIS’ service team will provide support for both systems. 

HIS has integrated Ennoview, Inc’s Envision Spa Management System and Active Golf Solutions golf and activity software into the epitome PMS so that reservation agents can book spa, golf and other activities while making a room or package reservation.  All bookings are added to the guest’s itinerary and can be e-mailed; cancellations in one system notify users if linked bookings exist in the others. 

HIS has established a direct office in New Delhi, India for better management of its customers in the region and to address new business opportunities. www.festival-inns.co.uk, www.base2stay.com, www.libra-russia.com, www.newmarketinc.com, www.squirrelsystems.com, www.ennoview.com, www.activegolfsolutions.com, www.hotelinfosys.com
**
REMco Software has released a two-way interface with InnLink’s CRS.  InnLink reservations can now be processed and downloaded automatically into the REMco PMS system; inventory allocations are automatically sent from REMco to InnLink.  www.innlink.com, www.remcosoftware.com
**
The UK’s Warren House, a 45-guestroom conference and training centre situated in a country house in Kingston, near London, has ordered Visual One’s integrated front office, sales and catering systems.

Visual One Systems announced its Visual One DB dashboard add-on for its PMS, a group of four 'gauges' each chosen to fit the data being displayed. Each gauge is a graphical display of the numeric result from any SQL query which can be written as required, such as this week's occupancy levels, the takings in a POS outlet or average debtor days.  www.warrenhouse.com, www.v1s.com
**


July 20, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

Fifty-one years ago, Herman was drafted by the Army.  On his first day in basic training, the Army issued him a comb.  That afternoon the Army barber sheared off all of his hair.
 
On his second day, the Army issued Herman a toothbrush.  That afternoon the Army dentist yanked seven of his teeth.
 
On the third day, the Army issued him a jock strap.  The Army has been looking for Herman for 51 years.



August 03, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez

August 3, 2006

I always try to be upfront with people, but sometimes my imagination gets the best of me. Last Wednesday I flew from Atlanta to Las Vegas and miraculously was upgraded to first class. I am sure I was the only person in this 24-seat first class that was not flying out for the World Series of Poker which started last week. Since my seatmate and others assumed I was going for the tournament, I decided I would play along. I always thought I was a dreamer, but these guys take the cake. Some of their stories really scared me. They play poker with friends, in local taverns and online. They borrow to come up with the entry fees and dream of millions. I shared with them my strategy for poker success which in itself was pretty funny since I barely knew what the flop, the river and the turn were. I think instead of television focusing on the successful players they should tell some stories of the many broken dreams of this tournament. There were some very amazing stories being shared on this flight.

Las Vegas is a place that never ceases to amaze me. On my trip all I seemed to do was eat and drink. I had breakfast with Tom Peck the new CIO at MGM/Mirage. I had lunch with Steve Murphy who is in charge of the technology for Wynn Resorts’ next property, Encore. I had dinner with Ron Dressin, his wife and Kim Devine from Red Rock Software. But my favorite was having dinner with Marshall Andrew the CIO at Station Casinos. Marshall took me to T-Bones, the unbelievable steakhouse at Station Casino’s newest property Red Rock Hotel and Casino. This place is beyond spectacular and is amazingly a long way from anything else in Las Vegas with its location at the base of Mount Charleston. Next time you are in Las Vegas you need to check it out. I am lucky enough to visit many new hotels throughout the year, but Red Rock was probably the most unique I have ever seen. It truly is redefining Las Vegas when a place like this can be so far from the Strip. But there is one thing that Red Rock has in common with every other hotel/casino I visit when in Las Vegas. They all seem to eventually help me lighten my pockets. I must have been influenced by the dreamers I met on the flight out to Las Vegas.

For those of you who live in Atlanta or will be in Atlanta in two weeks, don’t forget our social event on Thursday, Aug. 17 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel (http://www.renaissancewaverly.com). The early response has pretty much guaranteed this will be our biggest turnout ever. There is some serious networking that goes on in a very fun environment. This is simply what this entire event is about. If you are thinking of attending, please e-mail Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com so there will be enough food, the Waverly is excited to be hosting this event. If you have been putting off a business trip to Atlanta, I suggest you plan one for August 17. There are some great people you will want to meet.

Speaking of great people, Hospitality Upgrade’s CIO Summit at Amelia Island Plantation will have close to 50 CIOs from around the world attending this year’s very unique meeting, which is our largest crowd ever. The CIO Summit is invitation only, if you have any questions please e-mail me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com.

O.K., here is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what”.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 03, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge
 
TOP O' THE NEWS


- What’s in YOUR vacation bag?
---------------------------

For some people, getting away from it all on vacation means a complete rest from technology, but they’re in declining numbers.  Most vacationers take more and more technology with them, either to enhance their experience or to maintain some communications links with friends, family – or the office.  A recent Voice of the Traveler survey by the Travel Industry Association and Synovate asked 1,500 U.S. adults what they take and why.

Not surprisingly, cell phones (86 percent) and digital cameras (67 percent) topped the list, but fully one-quarter (24 percent) also take their laptops.  It’s not just so they can continue working; 18 percent use the Internet to stay connected with family and friends while traveling, and 16 percent use it to find places to visit or things to do.  Consequently, 15 percent choose accommodations based on availability of a high-speed Internet connection or Wi-Fi access.

Of course, some travelers do like to stay in touch with the office while they’re away; 10 percent owned up to that, if only to make sure there are no crises brewing.  Sadly, another 9 percent felt they have no choice but to stay connected, and a scary 6 percent said they actually like to work at their job while on vacation.

Interestingly, CD players outnumbered iPods or MP3 players, 21 percent to 11 percent. It would be interesting to know the age range of the survey respondents to see who’s carrying which.  The report suggests that these percentages are likely to reverse themselves as travel-related/destination-specific podcasts and downloadable music and video become more popular.

One thing’s for sure; vacation properties need to provide plenty of power outlets.

More information is available at http://www.tia.org.

**


 


August 17, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

TOP O' THE NEWS

- More thoughts on SoftBrands’ acquisition of HIS
---------------------------
After the surprise of the initial announcement, and both parties are to be commended for keeping this deal out of the usually all-seeing rumor mill, SoftBrands’ acquisition of HIS makes a great deal of sense.  HIS’ leadership has done a tremendous job in turning around a once-dominant company that had lost its way; they gave it a sense of direction and confidence, and kept it afloat while excellent new products were developed, but they lacked the resources to take full advantage of them.  SoftBrands has also had its challenges in the past few years, and while strong internationally, had never achieved the North American presence it desired. 

So now SoftBrands gets its U.S. presence and modern-technology .Net-based systems well-adapted to the U.S. market.  HIS gets a stronger international presence (especially European) and access to SoftBrands’ Bangalore development team.  HIS’ core and epitome.Net systems will be the main products, targeted at group clients, with SoftBrands’ Medallion PMS focused on smaller and independent properties.  SoftBrands’ Portfolio PMS will continue to be available to existing customers in Europe. 

The HIS name will be phased out, which is sad in a sense but is appropriate.  The new company combines the installed bases (and support revenue) from many of the most successful brands of the past; HIS, LANmark, CLS, Encore, Lodging Touch and more, but is really a new entity with enough resources to be a viable international competitor to Micros-Fidelio.  M-F has been our dominant vendor for many years; to its credit it has not been complacent but has continued to enhance and refine its Opera software to a high degree.  Nonetheless, the emergence of a serious, well-funded competitor can only be good for everyone.
**



August 31, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- GenaRes integrates AnyRate’s competitive rate intelligence software into its CRS
- IDeaS integrates revenue optimization with Visual One’s Property Management System
----------------------------
GenaRes Worldwide Reservation Services has integrated AnyRate’s competitive rate intelligence software into its CRS, complementing its earlier integration with EZ Yield.  GenaRes customers will be able to use the AnyRate competitive rate shopping programs at discounted fees, including the AnyRate Flash real-time rate search tool.  http://www.any-rate.com, http://www.genares.com
**
IDeaS announced the integration of its revenue optimization with Visual One’s Property Management System, to help set best available rates and maximize both transient and group revenue.  The integrated products have been installed at various joint clients including the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. http://www.ideas.comhttp://www.v1s.com
**

August 31, 2006

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Certain Software releases Version 4.7 of Register123
- Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) contracts with Passkey
---------------------------
Certain Software has released Version 4.7 of its Register123 meeting management application. Enhancements include more automated communications with travel agencies on changes in registrants’ travel information, on-site registration with kiosk badge printing and more flexible payment processing options including accepting cash payments and collecting wire transfer bank routing information.  http://www.certain.com
**
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has contracted with Passkey for online group reservations as part of its convention services package for event planners.  http://www.visitlasvegas.comhttp://www.passkey.com
**


October 19, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

TOP O' THE NEWS

- HTNG’s first European conference highly encouraging
---------------------------
Emphasizing both the international nature of HTNG’s approach to hospitality technology’s challenges and the high level of joint hotel and vendor commitment to resolving them, over 150 current and prospective members virtually all of CIO, CTO, GM or regional VP rank, attended its first European conference in Lausanne, Switzerland from October 11-13. 
 
Held at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, the presentations and interactive sessions focused on the particular challenges faced by European and Middle Eastern hoteliers.  These include the many cultural, language and regulatory differences, a tradition of strong, independently minded hotel owners and GMs who often prefer to buy from locally focused vendors rather than follow chain standards, and, especially in the Middle East, a practice of buying through third-party technology companies rather than directly from vendors.  As such, the region magnifies the systems integration and acquisition issues that launched HTNG, and it is therefore especially encouraging to see the strong interest shown by both hoteliers and local vendors in working toward their resolution.

Several workgroups reported very positive results from their hoteliers’ use of pre-certification product releases.  In response to questions on progress in general, HTNG emphasized that it is not attempting to set interface standards for the industry, nor to address all the major interfaces used or needed.  Its goal is to encourage vendors to cooperate in producing various sets of more highly integrated systems, using modern technologies such as Web services, by focusing on specific cases that its hotel members identify as high priority and commit to purchase.  The success of these examples is intended to encourage others to follow the same route, and judging from the continued strong interest in joining existing workgroups and setting up new ones, momentum is building nicely.
**



November 12, 2009

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista install hotel SalesPro, hotel ServicePro
- X2O Media announces Xpresenter interface with Newmarket’s Delphi
- Dawn Beach Club, St. Maarten, selects SPI Software's Orange Systems
---------------------------
The Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Lake Buena Vista, Orlando have installed hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro and hotel ServicePro systems.  The new-build properties have a combined total of 260+ rooms.  http://www.hotelsystemspro.com
**
X2O Media announced an Xpresenter interface with Newmarket International’s Delphi application, with Delphi event data to be exported directly to their digital signage display screens.  X2O has an exclusive agreement with PSAV Presentation Services to provide content design, management, distribution, monitoring, integration and support services for PSAV customers' digital signage.  http://www.newmarketinc.com, http://www.psav.com, http://www.x2omedia.com
**
Dawn Beach Club in St. Maarten, West Indies has selected SPI Software's Orange Systems Marketing, Sales and Finance modules.  http://www.spiinc.com
**
November 12, 2009

GUEST SERVICES



- Palomar Hotel, Philadelphia, opens with SuiteLinq distributed wirelessly to all rooms
- MBOi (Interactive) and 180SQUARED unveil Cirrus IPTV Managed Cloud Service
- Acentic partners with Philips for no-set-top-box high-definition service to hotel guestrooms
- Fairmont Pittsburgh implementing VingCard Signature RFID locks, VISIONLINE network
- TheWit Hotel, Chicago interfaces SAFLOK Quantum locks with MTech HotSOS
- SAFLOK launches RFID lock reader for wall mounting instead of on the door
- SAFLOK interfaces Messenger network technology with Control4’s Suite Systems
- OpenWays announces mobile phone-based guestroom access system
- SAFLOK enables its locks to read an OpenWays-enabled cell phone-delivered key
- Hyatt Regency Chicago first property to implement SAFLOK RF interface to INNCOM
- INNCOM listed in Connecticut Technology Council Tech Top 40 for second year
- iLuv releases iMM183 Hi-Fi Dual Dock Alarm Clock with Weather Hazard Alert
- LodgeNet licenses b-LAN technology to LG Electronics and Philips Electronics
- LodgeNet launches Guestroom Manager 2.0
- TeleAdapt announces new Audio/Video Pull-Through to link guests’ iPod/iPhone video/movies to guestroom TV
------------------------

The Palomar Hotel, Kimpton’s first Philadelphia property, has opened with SuiteLinq’s SuiteVOD guestroom entertainment services distributed wirelessly to all 242 guestrooms, a service known as IP-VOD.  SuiteVOD delivers Hollywood movies, music, concerts and more in standard and high-definition formats.  http://www.hotelpalomar-philadelphia.comhttp://www.suitelinq.com
**
MBO Video’s MBOi (Interactive) and 180SQUARED unveiled Cirrus Managed Cloud Solutions, an IPTV managed cloud service built with 180SQUARED’s v.Unison solution set and offering IPTV to multiple clients via shared infrastructure.  The Cirrus Managed Cloud Solution is based on Microsoft’s Mediaroom and offers various applications for clients to differentiate their IPTV services, including onscreen caller ID (VoIP and TDM compatibility), remote PVR scheduling and Whole Home PVR.  http://www.mbovideo.net, http://www.180SQUARED.com
**
Acentic is partnering with Philips to offer a no-set-top-box high-definition service to hotel guestrooms by integrating Philips' Ultimate HD TV sets with Acentic's Panorama In-room Hotel Entertainment Platform.  This is claimed to be the first integrated LCD TV for the hotel market offering full HD broadcast channels without the use of an external STB and associated cabling.  The first two implementations are planned for this month at the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam and the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel.  http://www.acentic.com, http://www.consumer.philips.com
**
The 185-room Fairmont Pittsburgh is implementing VingCard Signature RFID contactless electronic door locks and VISIONLINE wireless RF-online system.  The property is scheduled to open in March 2010.  http://www.fairmont.com, http://www.vingcard.com
**
TheWit Hotel in Chicago has implemented a new Web services interface between its SAFLOK Quantum guestroom locks and MTech HotSOS work order/guest response system, using SAFLOK’s Messenger LENS (Lock Event Notification System).  The LENS module allows for any number of concurrent connections with other systems, providing real-time notifications, for example, communicating to HotSOS when a door is left ajar so that HotSOS can create and issue a service order for security staff to verify the room security. 

SAFLOK has launched an RFID lock reader that can be placed on the wall instead of on the door, eliminating the need for lock trim and minimizing the impact on the hotel's decor.  SAFLOK has also enhanced its existing RFID remote control unit (RCU) reader to read RF signals from behind non-metallic surfaces, allowing the unit to be concealed behind glass or opaque materials.

SAFLOK has interfaced its Messenger network technology with Control4’s Suite Systems for smart rooms at hotel properties, allowing the SAFLOK lock to use the ZigBee mesh network to communicate with Control4 Suite Systems’ in-room controllers, thus sharing a communications backbone and maximizing the benefits of a single infrastructure.  A flagship installation of this integration will be the 4,000+ room MGM CityCenter Las Vegas, set to open later this year.
http://www.thewithotel.com, http://www.control4.comhttp://www.saflok.com
**
OpenWays announced its mobile phone-based guestroom access system, which delivers an encrypted key to the guest’s cell phone to open a door lock or access control reader.  OpenWays was founded by Pascal Metivier, Paul Zimmerman, Josh Alper and Mauri Maza, all with extensive experience in hotel locking systems; Mr. Metivier previously served as president of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality EMEA, Mr. Zimmerman as director of online solutions for TimeLox North America and Mr. Alper as general manager of Page-A-Lock Online LLC.  OpenWays claims that its technology works with all new and existing electronic locks or access control systems regardless of the card technology being used (magnetic stripe card, smart card, proximity card, RFID cards, etc), though it did not clarify how a cell phone signal will activate a magnetic stripe lock.

SAFLOK announced its collaboration with OpenWays, having developed an interface that enables SAFLOK locks to read a key delivered by an OpenWays-enabled cell phone.  The OpenWays-SAFLOK integration is available to new customers and to those with existing mag stripe and RFID installations. 
http://www.saflok.com, http://www.openways.com
**
The 2,019-room Hyatt Regency Chicago is the first property to implement a new RF interface between SAFLOK and INNCOM International technology.  The property is updating its SAFLOK locks from MT (multi-technology) models to Quantum units and installing energy management thermostats linked to the locks with an RF interface.  This integration lets the door lock communicate to the thermostat every time the door is opened, resulting in improved energy management and a reduction in operating expenses for the property.

INNCOM International has been listed in the Connecticut Technology Council UHY LLP Tech Top 40 for the second consecutive year, a listing of the 40 fastest growing Connecticut-based companies in the categories of software, IT services, life sciences, new media/Internet/telecom, advanced manufacturing and energy environmental technologies.
http://www.chicagohyatt.com, http://www.saflok.com, http://www.inncom.com
**
iLuv has released its iMM183 Hi-Fi Dual Dock Alarm Clock with NOA/S.A.M.E Weather Hazard Alert. The digital dual alarm clock includes dual iPod dock options and a Weather Band Radio with NOAA emergency alert system.  http://www.i-luv.com
**
LodgeNet Interactive Corp. has licensed its b-LAN (broadband local area network) technology to LG Electronics and Philips Electronics for inclusion in its newest high-definition (HD) television displays for the hospitality market.  The embedded b-LAN technology will enable the delivery of a wide range of interactive content and functionality on a more cost-effective basis, including centralized free-to-guest (FTG) channel management, video on-demand content and interactive guest services.

LodgeNet has launched Guestroom Manager 2.0, built on a new software platform with expanded capabilities and scalability.  The new platform has now been deployed nationwide to all customers using LodgeNet’s Gateway Server.  Enhancements include better spam management, bandwidth management, use leveling and overall stability, as well as multilanguage functionalities, system recovery and system restore functions.  The launch also includes implementation of an enterprise-grade Proactive Monitoring System to manage all equipment installed in the field at all properties, regardless of server platform, down to the device level   LodgeNet is also developing a next-generation Customer Reporting Service (CRS) software to combine reporting and system health visibility functions for properties, and plans to release it next year. 
http://www.lodgenet.com
**
TeleAdapt has announced a new Audio/Video Pull-Through to let guests watch the downloaded video and movies on their iPods and iPhones in high quality on the flat-screen TV, as well as listen to their own music through the in-room TV speakers.  http://www.teleadapt.com
**


July 15, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
July 15, 2010

Summer. In case you aren’t counting there are only seven weeks left for summer. As many plan vacations, some are planning for much of the fall activities. Here at Hospitality Upgrade, we are deeply into the planning for our ninth annual CIO Summit (www.theciosummit.com) in San Francisco. Maybe it is the allure of this infamous city by the Bay, but once again attendance is on pace to be our biggest ever. It is interesting that we are getting so many first-time attendees including quite a few from Europe and Asia this year. Our attendees are our greatest promoters. When they come once they always return and encourage others to attend. We had 53 industry technology leaders last year, and I’ll bet we go over 60 this year. The program is strong and always different from traditional industry events, but much of the success comes from the fact that it is all about the attendees who share with each other what is going on in their world. As a business I always wonder if we should open it up to more sponsors, but I think that would kill what we have created so we will continue to limit sponsorships. We do have one slot available for any vendor that might be interested; you can e-mail me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. Yes, seven weeks until I get to revisit my old stomping grounds.  I lived in San Francisco in the early 80s. What a great experience that was. It was there that I took my first job in the hotel technology space working for a PMS company when 90 percent of the hotels were still operating with some sort of NCR posting machine at the front desk. There are times that I miss the days of the room rack at the front desk, but then what would we do when you couldn’t find somebody’s reservation and you didn’t have the computer to blame? Read Jon Inge’s opening after this intro regarding how to handle a situation like this. Summer in San Francisco, I just can’t wait.

I’m going to do a before and after story with you today. I will be meeting my sister, my brother and his wife in Weston, Vt., to see my talented nephew in a summer theatre production of Avenue Q. There are very few choices near Weston so I quickly booked the same motel where my brother is staying. A Saturday night in a very popular summer vacation area and I got a room for $75? Not bad. A few days later I did a little research on the motel I booked and as I read the reviews on TripAdvisor and other sites I started to cringe. I mean really cringe. Now I know why the room is only $75. I travel often throughout the year, but I have a feeling this is going to be a first-time experience for me. I might bring a sleeping bag with me. When I shared my research with my sister-in-law she laughed and said let’s hope we are pleasantly surprised. I am going to share her optimism; after all it is only one night. Vermont in the summer looks absolutely beautiful, I can’t wait. Hopefully it will be a nice escape from the heat and humidity that has been a big part of our Atlanta summer. I wonder if the room at the motel will have air conditioning? Yes, this should be an interesting experience, that good or bad, I am actually looking forward to. Wish me luck!

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last couple of weeks including some highlights of his recent travel experiences. I hope mine will be better. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Enjoy your summer!
 
 


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
March 09, 2018

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS



- Interstate Hotels & Resorts Acquires Gateway Hospitality Group Management Platform
- MyCheck Acquired by Eyal Ofer's O.G. Tech Ventures
--------------------------
Interstate Hotels & Resorts Acquires Gateway Hospitality Group Management Platform
Interstate Hotels & Resorts, a leading U.S.-based global hotel management company, announced it has acquired the management platform from Gateway Hospitality Group. The 20-hotel portfolio will be operated under Interstate Gateway Management LLC, a subsidiary of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, with founder Bob Voelker and partner Ron Hutcheson joining Interstate in executive-level asset management and owner relations responsibilities for this portfolio. Gateway has a long track history of developing and managing high quality hotels throughout the United States. Aggregating to 2,544 rooms, the portfolio includes premium select-service properties under top lodging brands including Hilton and Hyatt in addition to two luxury boutique hotels located in five states and the District of Columbia.
http://www.interstatehotels.com
**
MyCheck Acquired by Eyal Ofer's O.G. Tech Ventures
MyCheck, a leading global provider of payment solutions for hotels and restaurants, announced that it has been acquired by Eyal Ofer's O.G. Tech Ventures, the tech investment arm of his international conglomerate, Ofer Global group, whose business interests include real estate and hotels, cruise and maritime shipping, oil and gas, technology and banking. MyCheck offers multilayered mobile payment products that equip hotels and restaurants with a powerful digital customer engagement experience covering all three aspects of the process: book, stay and dine. MyCheck has spent years developing and building a powerful platform with multiple integrations for leading providers in the PMS, POS, finance, loyalty, CRM, booking engines and alternative payment method areas to deliver seamless experiences for properties and guests. MyCheck's customer portfolio includes: Wyndham Worldwide, Red Lion Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Franco Manca, Cheesecake Factory, Prezzo and others.
http://www.mycheck.io  
**



March 09, 2018

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- GuestTek Expands APAC Executive Team
- Hilton Appoints Noelle Eder as Chief Information and Digital Officer
- Hyatt Names Mark Vondrasek as Chief Commercial Officer
- Kerzner International Names Michael P. Wale as Chief Executive Officer
- Prestige Hospitality Group Names Bill Gomez as Chief Operating Officer
- Apurva Chamaria Joins RateGain as Chief Revenue Officer
--------------------------


GuestTek Expands APAC Executive Team
As major hoteliers embrace growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific Region, GuestTek Interactive Entertainment Ltd. is expanding to meet the burgeoning demand for world class hospitality technology.  Leading the charge will be Scott Watts, newly appointed managing director of APAC. With extensive experience in both operations and the hospitality industry, Watts is well prepared to lead the APAC sales, operations and engineering teams. Additionally, Charly Tomkys will move to the company’s VP of Sales, APAC role. Tomkys joined GuestTek in early 2013 and has been a key player in the company’s sales growth. Tony Thompson will serve as vice president of operations, APAC, and will be based in Bangkok, Thailand.
**
Hilton Appoints Noelle Eder as Chief Information and Digital Officer
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) announced the appointment of Noelle Eder as executive vice president and chief information and digital officer. Effective March 19, Eder will oversee the continued digital transformation benefiting the guests and team members of one of the world's most hospitable companies. She will be based in Hilton's global headquarters in McLean, Va., and report directly to Jon Witter, chief customer officer.
**
Hyatt Names Mark Vondrasek as Chief Commercial Officer
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the appointment of Mark Vondrasek as the company’s chief commercial officer. In this role, Vondrasek will be responsible for the previously announced commercial services organization, driving guest and customer engagement functions while working across the organization to enhance the frequency and level of engagement with guests. Vondrasek assumed his new role effective March 1, 2018, and will continue to report to Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer.
**
Kerzner International Names Michael P. Wale as Chief Executive Officer
Kerzner International Holdings, the owner of the iconic Atlantis Resort and Residences and ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts brands worldwide, has announced the appointment of Michael P. Wale as its new chief executive officer. The company manages a portfolio of globally renowned, entertainment destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences and innovative entertainment experiences. Wale's successful career, to date, was with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and spanned almost 40 years, most recently as president for Europe, Africa & Middle East, directly overseeing the operations for almost 250 hotels and resorts in 60 countries.
**
Prestige Hospitality Group Names Bill Gomez as Chief Operating Officer
James C. Frenis, CHA, chief executive officer of Prestige Hospitality Group, LLC (PHG), announced the promotion of Bill Gomez to chief operating officer effective March 1, 2018, a newly created position for the rapidly growing hospitality development and management company. Mr. Gomez first joined PHG eight years ago and most recently served as vice president of organizational development responsible for building and implementing comprehensive leadership tools designed to help hospitality teams achieve superior results in sales and marketing, profitability and guest satisfaction.
**
Apurva Chamaria Joins RateGain as Chief Revenue Officer
Apurva Chamaria has joined RateGain as chief revenue officer. Previously, Chamaria was vice president and head of corporate marketing at HCL Technologies. Chamaria's role at RateGain is a global one, focused on aligning sales, marketing and customer success together to maximize revenue across all areas of the business. 
**


March 09, 2018

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Agilysys Solutions Selected by The Summit Hotel, Cincinnati to Optimize Efficiency and Enhance the Guest Experience
- Infor Announces New Collaboration with Deem
- Historic Airlie, International Conference Destination Relies on Maestro’s Cloud PMS to Support Growth, Go Green and Deliver Mobile Guest Engagement
- Stein Eriksen Lodge and Other High-touch Properties Use Maestro PMS Guest Experience Measurement to Engage, Build Loyalty and Create "Personalized Service" Culture
- TravelClick Launches Artificial Intelligence-powered Campaign Advisor
- Hotelogix raises funds from Vertex Ventures, others
--------------------------


Agilysys Solutions Selected by The Summit Hotel, Cincinnati to Optimize Efficiency and Enhance the Guest Experience
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that The Summit Hotel in Cincinnati will implement Agilysys’ award-winning solutions InfoGenesis® POS and rGuest® Pay for point of sale and payment processing. Scheduled to open in spring 2018, the new property will rely on Agilysys’ solutions to help ensure the security of guest payment information while delivering an outstanding guest experience from day one. The Summit Hotel’s management team wanted point-of-sale technology that would not only deliver comprehensive functionality, but also help optimize operations for the scalability required to support operations while any sized event is happening in the hotel conference center. Additionally, they required a payment gateway solution that would secure guests’ financial data and reduce the risks associated with credit card acceptance.
http://www.agilysys.com/
**
Infor Announces New Collaboration with Deem
Infor, a leading provider of industry-specific cloud applications, announced a strategic collaboration with Deem, a leading mobile and cloud technology provider for the corporate travel industry, to integrate travel and expense management solutions. Paired with Infor's flexible and configurable travel and entertainment (T&E) expense management solution, this integration offers customers more choice in travel and spend management vendor selection along with an integrated booking tool that automatically transfers data from the Deem Work Fource platform to Infor Expense Management. Integrating systems improves travel expense management for both business travelers and their employers.
http://www.infor.com/hospitality, http://www.deem.com
**
Historic Airlie, International Conference Destination Relies on Maestro’s Cloud PMS to Support Growth, Go Green and Deliver Mobile Guest Engagement
Airlie has 17 meeting venues on 300 plus acres, and for more than 50 years Airlie operated solely as a conference destination. When Airlie opened its property to the general public for social events and leisure guests, its existing system could not support its growth plans. Airlie’s team identified that it needed a full-featured, mobile-enabled integrated property management suite that provided flexible remote tablet check-in and credit card capture at separate property activity sites. After researching several systems, Airlie chose Maestro PMS in the cloud to support total property operations.
http://www.maestropms.com/
**
Stein Eriksen Lodge and Other High-touch Properties Use Maestro PMS Guest Experience Measurement to Engage, Build Loyalty and Create "Personalized Service" Culture
Ask guests what they want from a hotel and most will say an effortless personalized stay. To some that means an attentive staff that remembers them from their previous stays. To others, a clean, quiet room is more important. Successful operators know what guests want, and how to deliver it – thanks to Maestro’s integrated Guest Experience Measurement system, or GEM. GEM is an online mobile guest feedback solution that gives independent operators real-time visibility into what is most important to their guests.
http://www.maestropms.com/
**
TravelClick Launches Artificial Intelligence-powered Campaign Advisor
TravelClick, a leading global provider of data and revenue-generating solutions for hoteliers, announced the launch of Campaign Advisor on the company’s Guest Management Solutions (GMS) platform. Powered by data from billions of customer touchpoints across the entire guest journey, Campaign Advisor allows hoteliers to better target their marketing and drive more direct bookings. Campaign Advisor’s AI-powered, predictive algorithm maximizes bookings for hotels by determining the best send time for each guest.
https://www.travelclick.com/
**
Hotelogix Raises Funds from Vertex Ventures, Others
Hotelogix, a cloud-based hotel property management solutions provider, said that it has raised $5 million in a round led by Vertex Ventures. Early investors Accel Partners and Saama Capital also invested in the round. Hotelogix is an enterprise Saas (software as a service) solution aimed at small to mid-size resorts and hotels to manage operations like reservations, front desk interactions, housekeeping transactions, accounts, back office and payments. The Hotelogix platform is essentially an alternative to legacy ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and gives hoteliers additional capabilities to not only manage operations from any internet-connected device remotely but also link with online travel platforms for targeted marketing and integrated communication.
https://www.hotelogix.com/
**


March 09, 2018

RESERVATIONS



- IBC Hospitality Technologies Adds "Cash-back Rewards" to its IVH Travel InnCentives Loyalty Program
- Imlauer Hotels Welcomes a New World of Guests with SiteMinder
- TravelClick and Google Expand Partnership to Help Hoteliers Maximize Revenue in an Increasingly Competitive Market
- TravelClick Releases New Data Showing Rate and Bookings Growth Continue Positive Trend for Hoteliers in Early 2018
- DHISCO Launches Interface with Travel Packaging Innovator Peakwork
- eRevMax completes integration with TravelBird
- Pegasus Solutions Announces New Corporate Request for Information Tool to Better Connect Hotels to the Right Travel Buyers
--------------------------


IBC Hospitality Technologies Adds "Cash-back Rewards" to its IVH Travel InnCentives Loyalty Program
IBC Hospitality Technologies is adding more benefits to its InnCentives Loyalty Club. Effective immediately, members can receive cash back each time they make a reservation on IVHTravel. When an InnCentives member completes a stay, 5 percent of the total reservation value is placed into their digital wallet. Cash can accrue and be put toward future reservations, or it can be used to purchase gift cards from hundreds of participating restaurants, retailers and service providers globally. IVHTravel, powered by IBC, was designed by hoteliers to provide full guest information back to hotels to drive down customer acquisition costs and improve the guest experience. IVHTravel.com is specifically for travelers wanting a variety of global rewards when booking accommodations worldwide.
http://www.ibchospitality.com/
**
Imlauer Hotels Welcomes a New World of Guests with SiteMinder
Austria’s Imlauer Hotels announced it has appointed SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for the global hotel industry, to provide the technology it needs to broaden its visibility to guests online. Imlauer Hotels consists of four, four-star properties located in Salzburg and Vienna, which ranked among Europe’s top 10 destinations in 2017 as measured by international arrivals. Using SiteMinder’s technology, Imlauer Hotels can now market and sell its rooms on 350 of the world’s top hotel booking channels. The increased reach gives the hotel group the opportunity to boost reservations and revenue, and attract larger segments of both the corporate and leisure markets to which it caters.
siteminder.com
**
TravelClick and Google Expand Partnership to Help Hoteliers Maximize Revenue in an Increasingly Competitive Market
TravelClick, a leading global provider of data and revenue-generating solutions for hoteliers, announced its expanded relationship with longtime partner Google to enable hoteliers to drive more direct bookings and revenue. This partnership helps independent and small to mid-sized hotel chains to better identify, attract and convert guests when using the combined Google and TravelClick solutions. With Google Premier Partner Status, TravelClick can now offer its hotel customers priority access to Google beta products, elite account support and performance review with a dedicated, global account team and unique pieces of data for campaign optimization.
http://www.travelclick.com/
**
TravelClick Releases New Data Showing Rate and Bookings Growth Continue Positive Trend for Hoteliers in Early 2018
TravelClick, a leading global provider of data and revenue-generating solutions for hoteliers, released new data from the company’s February 2018 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR). According to this data, North American hoteliers are continuing to experience healthy gains across both average daily rates (ADR) and bookings for all travel segments, up 0.6 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of the year. Transient bookings are particularly strong in Q1, up 1.9 percent across the segment for both business and leisure travel. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is also up 2.7 percent for this sector.
http://www.travelclick.com/
**
DHISCO Launches Interface with Travel Packaging Innovator Peakwork
DHISCO Inc., one of the world’s leading hospitality distribution companies, announced it has launched a new interface with Peakwork AG, which offers next-generation, dynamic pricing solutions for packaging leisure travel. Based in Düsseldorf, Germany, Peakwork uses its Player Hub Technology to connect leading international tour operators and travel professionals with travel suppliers, enabling them to quickly and easily bundle hotels, flights, car rentals and other amenities. Peakwork has developed a new API to DHISCO’s seamless and push ARI connections with its Player Hub Technology and will now be able to extend this connectivity to its network of travel sales partners.
https://peakwork.com/, http://www.dhisco.com/
**
eRevMax completes integration with TravelBird
Hotel connectivity expert eRevMax has completed a two-way integration with one of Europe’s fastest-growing holiday specialists, TravelBird. The interface is the latest addition to the eRevMax Channel Eco-system that connects hotels to more than 350 online distribution channels. Active in 11 markets, TravelBird focuses on attracting travelers in the early stages of their trip planning process. The eRevMax interface will allow TravelBird’s hotel partners who use RateTiger and RTConnect to update their room rates and availability with immediate effect, as well as receiving reservations from their customers in real time.
http://www.erevmax.com
**
Pegasus Solutions Announces New Corporate Request for Information Tool to Better Connect Hotels to the Right Travel Buyers
Pegasus Solutions announced a new software tool that connects hoteliers in search of additional reservations to the right sources of corporate travel demand. This request for information (RFI) tool is one component of the broader Pegasus RFP Intelligence product and will be demonstrated to hoteliers at ITB Berlin this week. Business travelers are generally high-value customers for any hotel or chain, often producing a higher yield and ADR. RFP Intelligence is a solution within the Pegasus corporate demand service offering and centralizes how hoteliers deliver their value proposition to global companies and their employees who travel, reducing the time and effort required by hoteliers to research and identify those opportunities.
http://www.pegasus.io  
**


March 09, 2018

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- IDeaS Integrates Voice Control with Revenue Management Technology for Ultimate Productivity
- IDeaS and protel Expand Partnership to Cloud Enable the Hotel Technology Stack
- Duetto and protel Announce Technology Partnership
--------------------------


IDeaS Integrates Voice Control with Revenue Management Technology for Ultimate Productivity
IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (IDeaS G3 RMS) is now compatible with devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, in multiple languages. Voice interaction and smart speakers are shifting the paradigm on how people interact with their technology at home, and many businesses are quickly adopting this same technology in the workplace to drive efficiency and productivity. A key challenge in the adoption of voice technology is the integration with existing legacy platforms and tools. IDeaS Revenue Solutions has broken this barrier for hotels with the unveiling of the first voice-based interface designed for a revenue management platform.
http://www.ideas.com/
**
IDeaS and protel Expand Partnership to Cloud Enable the Hotel Technology Stack
Cloud technology and next-level integrations are accelerating the hospitality industry’s ability to access, store and leverage data across multiple systems. IDeaS Revenue Solutions and protel hotelsoftware GmbH, provider of on-site and cloud-based advanced property management systems (PMS), have jointly enabled hotels to drive efficiency and productivity through the integration of powerful solutions. This latest advancement provides a single integration to seamlessly connect between any of the best-of-breed solutions offered by protel.I/O and IDeaS' advanced RMS. Available now, protel’s existing 14,000 hotel customers will be able to have direct, two-way access to IDeaS G3 RMS. This newly enhanced integration gives hotels ultimate flexibility to harness data insights and deliver next generation revenue strategy and optimize hotel profitability.
http://www.ideas.com, http://www.protel.net/
**
Duetto and protel Announce Technology Partnership
Duetto, a revenue strategy platform for the hospitality industry, and protel hotelsoftware GmbH, provider of on-site and cloud-based advanced property management systems (PMS), have announced a technology integration to enable the whole of the protel customer base to connect into Duetto’s platform of revenue solutions using a standardized and highly efficient enterprise bus solution, protel I/O. protel offers technology and service solutions for the hospitality industry. Its PMS offering includes a fully cloud-based solution, an installed on-site solution, and scalable hybrid solutions tailored to the specific needs of the client, from small independents to multinational hotel chains.
http://www.protel.net, http://duettocloud.com
**


March 09, 2018

GUEST SERVICES



- Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton, Texas, Convention Center Embraces Crave In-room Tablets
- Intelity Development Efforts Align with Industry Demands
- ADB Now Selling vuTyme IRE Direct to Hotels
--------------------------


Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton, Texas, Convention Center Embraces Crave In-room Tablets
Crave Interactive, a world leading developer of cloud-based digital guest service solutions for hotels, announced a partnership with Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center to provide a revolutionary digital guest experience in all 318 of its spacious suites with Crave’s latest in-room tablets. Crave’s sleek 8” T-Mini tablets will stand in lieu of all of the Embassy Suites property in-room printed directories and marketing materials to provide guests with real time information and personalized promotions that are updated instantly and easily by staff, as well as single-touch TV and room controls, news and weather, digital concierge, and more. The Crave tablet features an intuitive user-friendly interface and a charging dock with two USB ports for guests to charge their personal devices.
https://crave-emenu.com
**
Intelity Development Efforts Align with Industry Demands
As hoteliers continue to cautiously increase IT budgets and place a higher priority on digital guest engagement in 2018, Intelity continues to develop new tools to meet hoteliers’ and guests’ demands. Intelity is the developer of one of the world's first and most widely used integrated guest services platforms: ICE (Interactive Customer Experience™). Of keen interest to hoteliers will be Intelity’s new ICEvoice solution (formerly called Voice Request) that uses Amazon's Alexa to enable hotel guests to talk to their room with voice-activated commands. ICEvoice was developed in direct response to the industry’s demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and voice-enabled devices. It acts as a virtual concierge, enabling guests to make requests, adjust room controls and more all with just a few simple voice commands.
http://www.intelitycorp.com/
**
ADB Now Selling vuTyme IRE Direct to Hotels
To meet the hospitality industry’s growing demand for vuTyme, the company is now selling its popular in-room entertainment solution direct to hotels. Previously sold through the U.S. cable operators only as a white-labelled iTV solution, vuTyme is now available as a turnkey solution – from installation to support – via ADB.
https://www.adbglobal.com/ 
**


March 09, 2018

PERSONALIZATION/GUEST EXPERIENCE



- Honeywell Launches Amazon Alexa Voice-ready Thermostat for Hotels
- San Francisco’s Hotel Zelos, Part of the Viceroy Hotel Group, Selects ALICE to Increase Operational Efficiency and Enhance the Guest Experience
- Quinault Beach Resort & Casino Launches KEYPR as Guest Experience Technology Partner
--------------------------


Honeywell Launches Amazon Alexa Voice-ready Thermostat for Hotels
Honeywell, a global leader in connected buildings, announced the launch of its next-generation thermostat for the hospitality industry. Honeywell’s INNCOM e7 Thermostat (e7) is the first enterprise-grade environmental control and energy management solution that incorporates Amazon Alexa voice control for an effortless guest experience that includes room temperature, lighting, drapery and amenities services. With its modern design with easy-to-use controls, the e7 is based on a patent-pending Smart Wall Plate design that provides hotel staff with an easy and reliable backup of the device configuration. This makes routine maintenance or replacement of the e7 energy management system simple, even for other staff, which helps reduce ownership costs.
http://www.inncom.com/
**
San Francisco’s Hotel Zelos, Part of the Viceroy Hotel Group, Selects ALICE to Increase Operational Efficiency and Enhance the Guest Experience
San Francisco’s Hotel Zelos, a Viceroy Hotel, has selected ALICE’s suite of hotel technologies to streamline staff operations and enhance the guest experience. Hotel Zelos, which joins sister properties Hotel Zetta and Hotel Zeppelin on the ALICE platform, is using ALICE’s concierge software, ALICE Concierge, ALICE’s housekeeping and maintenance software, ALICE Staff, and the company’s guest text messaging solution, ALICE Guest. ALICE is one of the hospitality industry’s leading operations technologies, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. ALICE recently acquired concierge software provider GoConcierge to augment its technology and customer service offering.
https://info.aliceapp.com
**
Quinault Beach Resort & Casino Launches KEYPR as Guest Experience Technology Partner
KEYPR®, a leading cloud-based technology platform for the hospitality industry providing an integrated end-to-end experience for guests and staff through embedded and mobile devices, announced that Quinault Beach Resort and Casino, the Quinault Indian Nation-owned property facing beautiful Ocean Shores Washington, has deployed the first phase of its expansive hospitality platform, with keyless entry to be implemented by May. Quinault guests and staff now have access to a custom mobile app, in-room tablets and KEYPR’s Guest Experience Management System (GEMS®) along with other KEYPR technologies which combined, will dramatically improve operational efficiency, drive new revenue opportunities, and meet the expectations of today’s highly connected traveler.
http://www.keypr.com
**


March 09, 2018

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Sabre Teams Up with Cendyn to Enhance the SynXis Platform with Advanced CRM Capabilities
- dailypoint™ Privacy Dashboard - TS&C Answer to the GDPR
- Tambourine and Teneo Hospitality Group Announce Strategic Partnership
--------------------------


Sabre Teams Up with Cendyn to Enhance the SynXis Platform with Advanced CRM Capabilities
Sabre Corporation, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announced an enhanced technology agreement with Cendyn, the customer relationship management (CRM) solutions provider. This arrangement expedites Sabre’s rollout of new, intelligent guest profile and experience management capabilities through the SynXis Enterprise platform that will revolutionize insights and personalization opportunities for the hospitality industry.
http://www.sabrehospitality.com/, http://www.cendyn.com/
**
dailypoint™ Privacy Dashboard - TS&C Answer to the GDPR
With the new dailypoint™ Privacy Dashboard, dailypoint™ offers hoteliers an important tool, when the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect on May 25, 2018. The new Privacy Dashboard, available for all dailypoint™ software solutions, will be launched at ITB 2018. Since 2017, dailypoint™ has been working on a full GDPR compliance strategy. The new Privacy Dashboard, developed for the dailypoint™ software family, permits hoteliers to centrally manage all functions which need to be in place when the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) takes effect.
http://www.dailypoint.com/
**
Tambourine and Teneo Hospitality Group Announce Strategic Partnership
Teneo Hospitality Group, a premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs, and Tambourine, a global leader in hotel e-commerce, have announced a strategic partnership. The two well-known firms, who currently represent more than 700 of the top hotels in the world, will integrate services to increase meeting, group and transient results for their common clients. The combined services of Tambourine and Teneo will give client hotels a competitive advantage in integrated group/transient marketing campaigns, meeting/group sales lead generation and multichannel digital marketing.
http://www.Tambourine.com
**


March 09, 2018

BACK OFFICE



- Panache Management, LLC Selects Aptech Business Intelligence and Enterprise Back Office
- With Beekeeper, "No Employee is Left Behind" at 1 Hotel Central Park
- Chicago Tribune names Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North No. 1 Top Workplace, Driven by UniFocus’ Actionable Insights into Employee Engagement
--------------------------


Panache Management, LLC Selects Aptech Business Intelligence and Enterprise Back Office
Aptech Computer Systems, a leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting and enterprise accounting hotel software systems, announced that Panache Management, LLC, selected Aptech’s Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence and PVNG Enterprise Accounting Systems. Panache will implement the solutions to streamline property data gathering, performance analysis and centralize financial reporting for its eight hotels. Panache Management, LLC, manages hotel brands with equity interest; its portfolio includes Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Choice and boutique hotels.
http://www.aptech-inc.com/
**
With Beekeeper, "No Employee is Left Behind" at 1 Hotel Central Park
Eco-chic brand 1 Hotels has been experiencing great success with internal team communication since it launched the digital workforce platform Beekeeper. Today three properties are using this tool as the hub of its internal communications operation, and each is finding new uses for staff engagement. Managers at 1 Hotel Central Park, located at 1414 6th Avenue in midtown Manhattan, say Beekeeper is engaging – and even addicting – noting that staff enthusiasm is skyrocketing. Beekeeper digitizes the non-desk workforce by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform. Beekeeper connects colleagues across locations and departments in real time via mobile or desktop devices, and includes an intelligent analytics dashboard to help companies improve internal communication and streamline business processes.
www.beekeeper.io
**
Chicago Tribune names Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North No. 1 Top Workplace, Driven by UniFocus’ Actionable Insights into Employee Engagement
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North, a UniFocus partner with 521 freshly redesigned guestrooms and 210 employees (termed “artists” within the company), was honored by The Chicago Tribune for being the No. 1 Workplace in Chicago among small employers. By incorporating the insight and feedback from UniFocus’ survey and action planning solution, STAFFScope, the hotel developed effective employee engagement strategies and teambuilding initiatives to earn it the top spot with a remarkable 90.6 engagement index score.
http://www.unifocus.com/
**


March 09, 2018

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- MSI Solutions Partners with Reserve Interactive
--------------------------
MSI Solutions Partners with Reserve Interactive
MSI Solutions and ReServe Interactive announced that they have entered into a partnership where MSI Solutions will become a reseller of ReServe’s cloud-based sales and catering solution. The two companies have already completed development of a bi-directional interface between their two systems. This integration will benefit their mutual customers by eliminating double entry of group guest room blocks and providing immediate guestroom inventory updates. With the two-way integration complete, MSI Solutions can offer a very compelling and competitive solution, continuing to increase products and services offerings to better serve its growing base of customers.
http://www.msisolutions.com/
**



March 09, 2018

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Four Winds Casinos Marks New Opening and Upgrades RFID Inventory Management System at Existing Properties
--------------------------
Four Winds Casinos Marks New Opening and Upgrades RFID Inventory Management System at Existing Properties
InvoTech Systems, Inc., a leading provider of linen, laundry and uniform inventory management solutions for hotels, casinos, resorts and theme parks worldwide, announced that Four Winds Casinos® upgraded its existing uniform system at the Dowagiac, Hartford and New Buffalo locations, and implemented the uniform system at its newest property in South Bend. RFID technology will provide additional cost saving benefits by automating manual tasks that were previously required. The InvoTech uniform system is used at Four Winds Casinos to manage more than 4,500 staff uniforms at multiple properties.
http://www.invotech.com 
**



March 09, 2018

DATA SECURITY AND CYBER ATTACKS



- Ingenico Group Partners with Choice Hotels to Enhance Payment Security at Hotels Across the U.S.
--------------------------
Ingenico Group Partners with Choice Hotels to Enhance Payment Security at Hotels Across the U.S.
Ingenico Group, a global leader in seamless payment, announced that Choice Hotels, one of the world's largest hotel companies, has chosen to deploy Ingenico Group’s iSC Touch 480smart terminals across its 5,000-plus franchised hotels in the United States. Choice Hotels’ brands include Cambria Hotels, the Ascend Hotel Collection, Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites, Quality Inn and Sleep Inn, among others. Security was the driving force behind Choice Hotels’ decision to partner with Ingenico Group, as the company’s iSC Touch 480 smart terminals meet the highest hardware and software security requirements, and are PCI PTS 4.x certified. Additionally, to help ensure guests’ information remains protected, the iSC Touch 480 terminals allow Choice Hotels to support point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solutions, tokenization and EMV as part of its multilayered security approach to reduce PCI compliance, as well as an optional PIN shield for enhanced security.
https://ingenico.us/
**



March 09, 2018

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…
 
A mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper, Guido, has cheated him out of $10 million. His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that Guido would hear nothing so he would never have to testify in court. When the Godfather goes to confront Guido about his missing $10 million, he takes along his lawyer who knows sign language.
 
The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the money is!"
 
The lawyer, using sign language, asks Guido, "Where's the money?"
 
Guido signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."
 
The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."
 
The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Guido's head and says, "Ask him again or I'll kill him!"
 
The lawyer signs to Guido, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him."
 
Guido trembles and signs, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed at my cousin Bruno's house."
 
The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?"
 
The lawyer replies, "He says you don't have the guts to pull the trigger."
 
**



March 09, 2018

SECURITY



- MIWA Lock Company Integrates With OpenKey to Bring Mobile Keyless Entry to Hotel Chains Around the World
--------------------------
MIWA Lock Company Integrates With OpenKey to Bring Mobile Keyless Entry to Hotel Chains Around the World
MIWA Lock Company, one of Japan’s leading providers of high-performance locks and security systems, announced a partnership and integration with OpenKey, a mobile key provider in hotels. The partnership will bring the enterprise-grade security and stability of the OpenKey platform as the mobile keyless entry system for all MIWA digital locks with Bluetooth Low Energy functionality.
http://www.miwalock.com, http://www.openkey.co
**



March 09, 2018

HOSPITALITY EVENTS



- HFTP Renews Sponsorship Agreement with Keystep Solutions for 2018 London Interest Meeting
- HFTP Sells Out Exhibition for Upcoming HITEC Amsterdam 2018, a 20 Percent Space Increase from Previous Year
- OpenTravel Advisory Forum Amsterdam to be Co-located with HFTP’s HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018
- Powered by Intelity, the Forbes Travel Guide "Verified Summit" App is Now Live on the App Store and Google Play
- NAVIS Leaders Conference 2018 Sets Attendance Record, Exceeds Expectations
--------------------------


HFTP Renews Sponsorship Agreement with Keystep Solutions for 2018 London Interest Meeting
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is pleased to announce Keystep Solutions as the exclusive sponsor of the upcoming HFTP London Interest Meeting. Keystep Solutions is a family-owned British company specializing in access control systems; they include: electronic keycard locks, access readers, energy-saving room switches and lift controllers. The event will take place Monday, March 12, 2018 at the Rosewood Hotel in London. Guests are invited to join HFTP and top European hospitality executives for an evening of interesting speakers and discussion. Those interested in attending the complimentary event can RSVP online.
https://hftp.org/
**
HFTP Sells Out Exhibition for Upcoming HITEC Amsterdam 2018, a 20 Percent Space Increase from Previous Year
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), an international nonprofit association and producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), has sold all exhibit spaces for the upcoming HITEC Amsterdam 2018. HITEC Amsterdam will feature 84 exhibiting companies – a 20 percent increase from the inaugural 2017 event. A floorplan with a list of participating companies is available on the HITEC Amsterdam website. HITEC Amsterdam will take place from April 11-13 at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre in The Netherlands.
http://www.hitec.org, http://www.hftp.org
**
OpenTravel Advisory Forum Amsterdam to be Co-located with HFTP’s HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018
OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel), a nonprofit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, is pleased to extend its partnership with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) and co-locate European conferences in April 2018. OpenTravel will co-locate its Advisory Forum, taking place from April 11-13, 2018, with HFTP’s HITEC Amsterdam. Both events will take place at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam.
http://opentravel.org/opentravel-amsterdam/, http://www.hitec.org, https://hftp.org/
**
Powered by Intelity, the Forbes Travel Guide "Verified Summit" App is Now Live on the App Store and Google Play
Forbes Travel Guide 2018 Star Award Winners will convene in Beverly Hills for “Verified: The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit” to celebrate their recognition as the world’s finest five-star and four-star hotels. To help navigate the event, attendees are encouraged to download “Verified Summit,” a mobile app powered by Intelity. Available in the App Store and Google Play, “Verified Summit” serves as a digital brochure providing schedules, speaker specifics, local area information, brand officials’ details and more. Intelity is the “Official Mobile and Technology Provider” of Forbes Travel Guide. Also in attendance will be Forbes Travel Guide’s 2018 brand officials, the top service and amenity providers for each segment of the hospitality industry.
http://www.intelitycorp.com/
**
NAVIS Leaders Conference 2018 Sets Attendance Record, Exceeds Expectations
Attendees from previous years understand why NAVIS Leaders Conferences (NLC) attracts such a large and inspired audience. With more than 200 attendees, the 2018 event celebrated a record number of participants with featured expert guest speakers from companies including MMGY Global, Marketo, TripTease, Flip.to, Miles Partnership and STR. Attendees were also treated to the unveiling of NAVIS Reveal, a business intelligence platform specifically designed for the changing needs of the hospitality industry.
http://www.thenavisway.com/
**


March 09, 2018

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- The real reason why most plane seats are blue – and other curious facts about plane cabins
- National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year
- Optimizing the smart office: A marriage of technology and people
- How Harley-Davidson Used Artificial Intelligence to Increase New York Sales Leads by 2,930%
- Do OTAs Suck?
- Voice assistants are making the smartphone redundant
- Las Vegas hotel projects breathing life into the northern Strip
--------------------------


The real reason why most plane seats are blue – and other curious facts about plane cabins
 
National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year
 
Optimizing the smart office: A marriage of technology and people
 
How Harley-Davidson Used Artificial Intelligence to Increase New York Sales Leads by 2,930%
 
Do OTAs Suck?
 
Voice assistants are making the smartphone redundant
 
Las Vegas hotel projects breathing life into the northern Strip
 
**


March 23, 2018

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

It is that time of year when those in the technology space have to pick and choose which events they should attend, or if you are a vendor, which you should support. Last week I was invited to the annual HTNG North American Conference which is now part of HT-NEXT. Nothing is worse than attending an event feeling that you are coming down with something, and then after arriving, getting worse and worse. That happened to me in San Diego. Honestly, how long can a cold last? It has been 10 days now. I did tough it out the best I could and enjoyed the event. I always love reconnecting with people I know but only get to see a few times throughout the year. Face to face is always the best as long as you aren’t spreading germs. The attendance was similar to last year, the exhibit area was bigger and the sessions were all well received. I did get to a point where the cold became more like the flu, so I left earlier than planned. Ron Hardin does a nice job sharing his thoughts on the conference before we get into the tech news that follows.
 
Yes, it is definitely that time of year and we at Hospitality Upgrade partner with many events. Geneva is at the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference here in Atlanta, Anne will be at the AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show next week at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in Maryland outside Washington, D.C., and I will be at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. I remember when I started my business and attended the first AAHOA conference held in a ballroom at a hotel in Atlanta. It is amazing how that event has grown and now seems to take over any city where they hold the event. It’s pretty amazing.
 
Another event that I am really looking forward to is the second HITEC Amsterdam in early April. HFTP sold out the exhibit hall in record time this year and expects more than the 1,100 attendees they had last year. That is amazing for a first-time event. I have been invited to be a mentor for those participating in 20X, the competition for the startups who hopefully have the next big thing in hotel technology. I mentored at HITEC in Toronto and every attendee came back and thanked me afterwards. I guess maybe I related to many since it wasn’t that long ago that I was a startup, though the only investors I had were those who would lend me money to pay bills. Thankfully I paid them all back. Anyway, HITEC Amsterdam should be interesting. If it goes as well as it sounds like it will, then what is next? Another city in Europe or does it stay in Amsterdam? We shall see.
 
Here is the real reason we are here, the latest technology happenings which starts with Ron Hardin’s thoughts. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what and then will search for the miracle cure for a 10-day cold. Wish me luck!



Rich@HospitalityUpgrade.com
March 23, 2018

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Ron Hardin

Hospitality is a people business. It generally has a high head count, and the labor cost is typically the single largest expense in a hospitality operation. Hospitality is – traditionally – high-touch more than high-tech and has been resistant to automation in many areas. Hospitality has not exactly led the charge in employee engagement as evidenced by historically high turnover rates and the large number of low-wage jobs in the average establishment. Perhaps we should then be encouraged by Beekeeper, the winner of the 2018 HTNG TechOvation Award. Beekeeper does not sell an innovative product or service to enable labor savings. What they do sell is an employee communication and engagement solution that delivers real-time digital messaging to line employees who have, by and large, been left relegated to paper notices posted on bulletin boards. In an interesting parallel, one of the conference keynote sessions was about employee engagement through digital transformation. The presentation was certainly effective, which may have influenced attendee voters for the awards. Anything remotely related to HR has not traditionally ranked very high on the tech enthusiasm meter. The keynote speaker, David Osborne, executive organizational development consultant, trainer, Dale Carnegie Digital, cited some sobering statistics from a major study on employee engagement (from Gartner, perhaps; don’t quote me). The results of the study:  In the average U.S. business, out of 10 employees there are three who are “actively engaged,” and therefore productive and contributing positively to the business. Five out of 10 are “passively disengaged” – they do enough to get by under the radar, but they are not doing more than the minimum required. And two out of 10 are “actively disengaged.” Those two are not only nonproductive, they are actively disrupting the productivity of others and hurting the business. The graphic that Mr. Osborne used was also effective: A 10-man racing shell (“rowboat” for those of you in Rio Linda). That boat is your business. The first three guys are rowing with everything they have – heart, mind and body. The next five guys are going through the motions of rowing but are not breaking a sweat. And the last two guys? They are actively trying to sink the boat. One other statistic that Osborne threw in for all the executives in attendance: 75 percent of workers surveyed said that they would forego a raise in pay to see their immediate supervisor terminated. So yes, employee engagement is important. Automation in lieu of labor has it place – Cornell Professor Emeritus Richard Moore was fond of quoting the IBM Pollyanna Principle: “People should think, machines should work” (and, he added, “save the trees”).  But hospitality will continue to be a people-oriented business with high head counts. So think about how you are digitally engaging your employees – particularly, millennials and Gen Z – and watch out for those two guys at the back of the boat.
 
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech
**


Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade



March 23, 2018

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- DiamondRock Names Jay Johnson New Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Appoints Briony Quinn Senior Vice President and Treasurer
- Great Wolf Resorts Names Murray Hennessy as Chief Executive Officer
- Omni Hotels & Resorts Promotes Brand Veteran Peter Strebel to President
- Red Roof® to Open New Headquarters Location in Support of Company's Continued Profitable Growth
- Sandals Resorts International Appoints Gebhard Rainer as New CEO
- Siddharth Narang Appointed Chief Development Officer at sbe
--------------------------


DiamondRock Names Jay Johnson New Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Appoints Briony Quinn Senior Vice President and Treasurer
DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE: DRH) announced that it has named Jay Johnson as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Briony Quinn has been promoted to senior vice president and treasurer. Prior to joining DiamondRock, Mr. Johnson served as senior vice president and treasurer of Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HST), a lodging real estate investment trust. Ms. Quinn joined DiamondRock in 2007 as assistant corporate controller and was promoted to vice president and corporate controller in 2008 and chief accounting officer in 2014.
**
Great Wolf Resorts Names Murray Hennessy as Chief Executive Officer
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., announced that Murray Hennessy will serve as the company’s next chief executive officer. Mr. Hennessy has a great deal of familiarity with the family-friendly collection of indoor water park resorts, having served as advisor to Great Wolf Resorts’ senior management team during his tenure on the company’s board of directors. Mr. Hennessy was serving as interim CEO following the departure of Rubén Rodriguez in December and now officially assumes the permanent role.
**
Omni Hotels & Resorts Promotes Brand Veteran Peter Strebel to President
Omni Hotels & Resorts announced the promotion of Peter Strebel, a 30-year-plus veteran of the hospitality industry, to president effective immediately. The former chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales has been appointed to the role after providing 20 years of senior leadership to the brand. As president, Strebel will continue to elevate the vision of Omni while ensuring all operational areas within the company align with the long-term goals and objectives for the brand.
**
Red Roof® to Open New Headquarters Location in Support of Company's Continued Profitable Growth
Supporting growing demand for the brand, Red Roof, a leader in the upscale economy segment, has announced a new, 43,000 sq. ft. headquarters located at 7815 Walton Parkway, New Albany, Ohio, to house its team of 150 corporate office employees with the capacity to expand the workforce. The new location provides Red Roof the space, technology and resources as the brand continues to grow profitably, enter new geographies and expand its portfolio of sub-brands including Red Roof Inn®, Red Roof PLUS+® and The Red Collection®.
**
Sandals Resorts International Appoints Gebhard Rainer as New CEO
Sandals Resorts International (SRI) chairman and founder, Hon. Gordon "Butch" Stewart, OJ, CD, Hon. LLD, announced the appointment of industry veteran Gebhard F. Rainer as CEO, effective immediately.  The appointment, which follows an extensive search in concert with Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart, CD, was designed to accelerate the strategic growth of the award-winning luxury all-inclusive brands under the Sandals Resorts International banner. Reporting directly to the chairman and deputy chairman, Rainer is an accomplished and highly regarded hospitality executive with global operations and international finance experience, notably with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he served as executive vice president and CFO. 
**
Siddharth Narang Appointed Chief Development Officer at sbe
sbe, a leading lifestyle hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning international hospitality brands, announced the appointment of Siddharth Narang as chief development officer. Narang's arrival marks the company's latest senior hire as it continues on unprecedented global growth over the next few years. Narang will play a key strategic role at sbe, driving sbe's development pipeline, real estate investments and growth globally. He and his team will partner with owners and developers to grow sbe's footprint in key markets throughout the United States, Middle East, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
**


March 23, 2018

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Stoney Creek Hospitality Relies on Maestro Analytics to Create Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Effective Performance Reporting
- StayNTouch Partners With Salt Hotels
--------------------------
Stoney Creek Hospitality Relies on Maestro Analytics to Create Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Effective Performance Reporting
Stoney Creek Hospitality wanted a new multiproperty software system that would centralize operations for its 15 hotels. Stoney Creek’s 15 properties extend across five states and offer a blend of modern lodge comfort, urban convenience and resort-style relaxation. Each has its own market and marketing challenges. Multiproperty management is perfect for Stoney Creek Hospitality’s widespread property locations. Stoney Creek Hospitality is completing its rollout of Maestro Multi-Property across its 15 hotels in 2018.
http://www.maestropms.com/
**
StayNTouch Partners With Salt Hotels
StayNTouch, an innovator in mobile technology and property management systems (PMS) for hotels, announced it has partnered with Salt Hotels, with the deployment of its Rover PMS™ and Zest™ products at Salt House Inn (Provincetown, Mass.), Eben House (Provincetown, Mass.), The Chequit (Shelter Island, N.Y.), and The Asbury (Asbury Park, N.J.).
http://www.stayntouch.com/
**



March 23, 2018

RESERVATIONS



- Cloud5 Adds Vertical Booking USA to Its Growing Roster of Contact Center Clients
- Sabre Corporation Announces Closing of Secondary Offering of Common Stock
- Market-leading Contribution to Hotel Revenue Earns SiteMinder a Gold Top Hotel Star Award
- Boulevard Hotéis Launches New Hotel Websites, Grows Online Bookings Almost 40 Percent with SiteMinder
--------------------------


Cloud5 Adds Vertical Booking USA to Its Growing Roster of Contact Center Clients
Cloud5 Communications Contact Center, a leading provider of voice reservations and enhanced agent services exclusively for the hospitality industry, announced that Vertical Booking USA has implemented Cloud5 Voice Reservation Services across 45 of its properties. The addition of these properties expands Cloud5’s established relationship with Vertical Booking USA, making it one of the company’s largest distribution and revenue management partners. Cloud5 provides high-conversion voice reservations, web and email support to this wide range of Vertical Booking sites across the United States.
http://cloud5.com/, http://www.verticalbookingusa.com/
**
Sabre Corporation Announces Closing of Secondary Offering of Common Stock
Sabre Corporation announced the closing of a secondary public offering by existing stockholders affiliated with TPG Global, LLC, and Silver Lake Management Company II, L.L.C. (the "Selling Stockholders") of 15,000,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $22.45 per share. The Selling Stockholders received all of the net proceeds from the offering. No shares were sold by the Company. Morgan Stanley acted as the sole underwriter for the offering.
http://www.sabrehospitality.com/
**
Market-leading Contribution to Hotel Revenue Earns SiteMinder a Gold Top hotel Star Award
SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for the global hotel industry, was recognized at the 2018 Top hotel Star Awards held in Hamburg, Germany. The program presented one of its highest honors – the Gold Award for the category of Hotel Sales Promotion – for the material impact felt by hotel users of its holistic suite of guest acquisition solutions. Responsible for generating 72.6 million hotel bookings and more than $21.7 billion in hotel revenue in 2017, SiteMinder’s solutions include its channel manager, a hotel website creator and direct booking engine, real-time pricing intelligence, and a connection to the worldwide network of travel agents. The Gold Award marks the company’s fourth consecutive Top hotel Star Award win, as voted by the editors and readers of Germany’s widely circulated trade publication, Top hotel.
siteminder.com
**
Boulevard Hotéis Launches New Hotel Websites, Grows Online Bookings Almost 40 Percent with SiteMinder
Boulevard Hotéis, which caters to both leisure and corporate travelers in the metropolis of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, reported that online bookings have grown 38 percent only months after launching new hotel websites powered by SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for the global hotel industry. Boulevard Hotéis has three properties – Boulevard Park, Boulevard Plaza and Boulevard Express – which employ SiteMinder’s integrated direct booking solutions to attract and convert guests on each of their hotel websites. The group is one of several deals won by SiteMinder in Latin America, where its solutions are supporting hotel businesses across the region to compete for guests internationally.
siteminder.com
**


March 23, 2018

GUEST SERVICES



- Bulk TV Partners with Aerohive Networks Delivering Powerful Connectivity to Customers
- Provenance Hotels Partners with Eleven Software and Blueport to Deploy Personal Area Networks for Seamless Casting in the Guestroom
- Del Lago Resort & Casino is Engaging Guests with Intelity
- Angie Hospitality Introduces New and Enhanced Features in Next-generation Voice-enabled Guest Room Assistant
- 71Above and Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurants Implement TableSafe’s EMV-secured Pay-at-the-table Technology
--------------------------


Bulk TV Partners with Aerohive Networks Delivering Powerful Connectivity to Customers
Bulk TV & Internet, an integrator of video, data and voice solutions to commercial properties nationwide, announced the deployment of its enterprise-grade network solution and cloud management platform in partnership with Aerohive Networks™, a cloud networking leader. The new offering complements the company's extensive suite of products and services for the hospitality, healthcare and student housing industries, further establishing Bulk TV & Internet as a single source for turnkey technologies.
http://www.bulktv.com/
**
Provenance Hotels Partners with Eleven Software and Blueport to Deploy Personal Area Networks for Seamless Casting in the Guestroom
Provenance Hotels announced its partnership with Eleven Software and Blueport Inc., both leading hospitality technology providers, to enable seamless casting from guests’ mobile devices to in-room TVs at its award-winning Hotel deLuxe in Portland, Ore. The solution brings together secure personal area networks (PANs) from Eleven Software and Blueport’s deployment of X2 cutting-edge casting capabilities to create an at-home experience in the guestroom.
https://www.elevensoftware.com/, http://www.loveyournetwork.com/
**
Del Lago Resort & Casino is Engaging Guests with Intelity
The Del Lago Resort & Casino has partnered with Intelity, using Intelity ICEapp and ICEbedside tablets which are averaging approximately 10,000 engagements a month with the property. Since opening the hotel in July, which includes a European-style spa and a 3,700-square-foot banquet facility, analytics show that people are looking at resort and casino information daily via the app. As a result, more than $25,000 in additional room service revenue has already been generated.
http://www.intelitycorp.com/
**
Angie Hospitality Introduces New and Enhanced Features in Next-generation Voice-enabled Guest Room Assistant
Angie Hospitality, developer of one of the world’s first voice and AI solutions purpose-built for the hotel environment, announced the release of its next-generation enterprise-class, cloud-managed interactive guestroom assistant, Angie. After winning the HTNG TechOvation Award in 2017 for its initial release, Angie has since been outfitted with a variety of enhancements and additional features that are designed to make the solution even more robust and augment its functionality for both guest-facing and operational applications.
http://www.angie.ai
**
71Above and Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurants Implement TableSafe’s EMV-secured Pay-at-the-table Technology
TableSafe Inc., maker of one of the first purpose-built pay-at-the-table platforms for table-service restaurants, announced that 71 Above and Takami Sushi have become the first restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area to provide EMV-secured pay-at-the-table convenience for their guests, using TableSafe’s  RAIL™ payment platform. The RAIL gives dining guests full control over the payment process at the table, allowing them to choose when and how they pay for their meal. In addition to providing guests with peace of mind knowing their credit card never leaves their hands, it also frees up restaurant staff to focus on other dining customers. Both restaurants will benefit from greater staff efficiency, quicker table turns, and the safeguards afforded by EMV (chip card) payment compliance.
http://www.tablesafe.com  
**


March 23, 2018

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- NAVIS Raises the Bar to Achieve Highest Level of PCI DSS Level 1 Certification
--------------------------
NAVIS Raises the Bar to Achieve Highest Level of PCI DSS Level 1 Certification
NAVIS, a leader in reservation sales and marketing technology for the hospitality industry, announced that it achieved Level 1 Compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). The company has now reached the highest industry rating any business can attain for payment data security. The PCI standard is the most rigorous payment-card security standard available globally and is designed to minimize the exposure of credit card data to risk of fraud or compromise.
http://www.TheNavisWay.com
**



January 26, 2018

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Mariana Safer of HEBS Digital to Be Honored at HSMAI’s 2018 Adrian Awards as a Top 25 Extraordinary Mind in Hospitality
- Milestone Enhances Local Events Publishing Platform with New Channels & Third-Party Site Compatibility
- Vizergy® Introduces TargetingHub™ - An Innovative New Platform That Identifies Your Target Customer and Deploys Smarter Marketing Campaigns
--------------------------

Mariana Safer of HEBS Digital to Be Honored at HSMAI’s 2018 Adrian Awards as a Top 25 Extraordinary Mind in Hospitality
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has awarded Mariana Mechoso Safer, senior vice oresident of client success at HEBS Digital, a spot on the 2017 list of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization.” This is the third such honor to be given to a HEBS Digital team member, following the selection of Jason Price, executive vice president, in 2011, and Max Starkov, president and CEO, in 2008. 
http://www.hebsdigital.com, http://www.hsmai.org
**
Milestone Enhances Local Events Publishing Platform with New Channels & Third-Party Site Compatibility
Digital marketing software vendor Milestone Inc. has launched new features for its local events publishing platform. The events platform, part of Milestone’s Digital Presence Cloud, allows businesses to add local events to their website manually, or by accepting events from nearby locations - automatically.
http://www.milestoneinternet.com
**
Vizergy® Introduces TargetingHub™ - An Innovative New Platform That Identifies Your Target Customer and Deploys Smarter Marketing Campaigns
Vizergy, the developer of award-winning booking and marketing solutions for the hospitality industry, has launched a one-of-a-kind data-driven intelligence tool, TargetingHub™, as part of the company’s continuing efforts to bring sophisticated, seamless and innovative solutions to its customers. With TargetingHub, users connect their customer data to the Vizergy Marketing System, either through an interface or a data upload app and in 24 hours the data is analyzed and appended, providing a complete analysis of the user's most profitable customers’ attributes, buying habits, location and persona.
http://www.vizergy.com
**

January 26, 2018

BACK OFFICE



- hospitalityPulse Launches E-book to Help Hoteliers
- TravelClick Unveils Revamped Rate360® Platform with Both Meta and Unlimited Real-time Shopping
- M3 Celebrates 5,000th Hotel to Select Accounting Core
--------------------------

hospitalityPulse Launches E-book to Help Hoteliers
hospitalityPulse™, a leading provider of next-generation technology solutions for the hotel industry, developed an e-book that goes beyond the same old strategies to explore the paradigm of what it means to sell a hotel room. The guide, titled, “Make A Lot More Money from Your Hotel Rooms,” shares best practices that span two essential and overlooked areas of hotel operations: how hotels sell rooms to guests and how the front desk does its job in delivering those rooms.
http://www.hospitalitypulse.com/
**
TravelClick Unveils Revamped Rate360® Platform with Both Meta and Unlimited Real-time Shopping
TravelClick, a leading global provider of data and revenue-generating solutions for hoteliers, announced the newest version of its hotel rate shopping product, Rate360®. The revamped Rate360 offers customers a brand new look and feel, real-time rate shopping, meta shopping and integrated forward-looking demand data via TravelClick’s Demand360®.
http://www.travelclick.com/
**
M3 Celebrates 5,000th Hotel to Select Accounting Core
M3, a powerful cloud-based financial platform and services company nearing 20 years serving the hospitality industry, announced that it welcomed its 5,000th property to adopt Accounting Core. M3’s entry point solution, Accounting Core is a monthly subscription that provides robust accounting and financial analysis to more than half of the top hotel management companies in the U.S. 
http://www.m3as.com
**

January 26, 2018

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Oracle Celebrates Continued Hardware Innovation with New MICROS Compact Workstation 310 Point-of-sale
--------------------------
Oracle Celebrates Continued Hardware Innovation with New MICROS Compact Workstation 310 Point-of-sale
Oracle introduced the new Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 point-of-sale (POS) terminal. A high-performance, cost-effective workstation built with superior durability in a sleek, compact form factor, the Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 is ideal for hospitality and retail applications that feature a limited menu or assortment and require a smaller footprint, terminal portability or additional capacity during peak trading or a sporting event.
http://www.oracle.com/hospitality
**


January 26, 2018

PAYMENT PROCESSING



- Oracle and FreedomPay Deliver Future of Consumer Payments at New York's Jacob K. Javits Center
--------------------------
Oracle and FreedomPay Deliver Future of Consumer Payments at New York's Jacob K. Javits Center
At NRF 2018, Oracle Hospitality, a trusted provider of hardware, software and services to hospitality operators, and FreedomPay, a leader in secure commerce technology for lodging, gaming, retail, restaurants, stadiums and other hospitality merchants, announced their collaboration to provide secure payment processing for conference attendees at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.
http://www.oracle.com/hospitality
**


January 26, 2018

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- FireKeepers Casino Hotel Rely on RFID Technology to Control Uniform Inventory and Employee Assignments
--------------------------
FireKeepers Casino Hotel Rely on RFID Technology to Control Uniform Inventory and Employee Assignments
InvoTech Systems is a leading provider of advanced linen management, laundry and uniform systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at FireKeepers Casino Hotel manages the Uniform inventory for 1,750 employees.
http://www.InvoTech.com
**


January 26, 2018

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- SpaSoft Unveils Latest Version of Spa & Activity Management Solution
--------------------------
SpaSoft Unveils Latest Version of Spa & Activity Management Solution
Springer-Miller Systems (SMS), a leading provider of guest-centric hospitality and spa management systems, announced the general availability of the latest release of the SpaSoft spa and activity management solution. SpaSoft version 6.5 leverages a new technology and development platform to enhance the overall system performance as well as allow for a faster and improved user experience. These technology updates allow SpaSoft to continue to scale and grow to serve the ever-changing needs of the spa industry.
https://www.springermiller.com/spasoft-spa-management-system/
**


January 26, 2018

DATA SECURITY AND CYBER ATTACKS



- Security Issue at Sabre Affects Rosewood Hotel Group Guests’ Payment Card Information
--------------------------
Security Issue at Sabre Affects Rosewood Hotel Group Guests’ Payment Card Information
Rosewood Hotel Group (Rosewood) announced an issue affecting certain Rosewood guest reservation information that was maintained on the systems of Sabre Hospitality Solutions (Sabre), a service provider used by Rosewood and other major hotel brands to process guests’ hotel reservations. Sabre informed Rosewood that other hotel brands were similarly impacted by this issue. The issue occurred on Sabre’s systems and did not affect Rosewood’s own systems.
https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/announcement, http://www.sabrehospitality.com/
**


January 26, 2018

SECURITY



- Mobile Key Solution Provider Lock Up Rebrands as STAYmyway
--------------------------
Mobile Key Solution Provider Lock Up Rebrands as STAYmyway
The innovative mobile key hospitality technology provider Lock Up, is announcing a strategic re-branding to STAYmyway to better reflect its platform’s multifaceted ability to help hoteliers engage with guests and deliver an enhanced stay through their own mobile devices. HSTAYmyway offers hoteliers a cost-effective and scalable solution partner to add mobile key functionality without replacing existing locks. Hotels can choose to upgrade their own existing mobile app or use the turn-key STAYmyway app for the guests.
http://www.staymyway.com
**


January 26, 2018

HOSPITALITY EDUCATION



- HFTP Launches Certification Advisory Program (CAP) to Benefit CHAE and CHTP Applicants
- HFTP Launches New GDPR Bytes Site, an Addition to its Online News Portfolio
- HFTP Chapters Offer Regional Education for Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals
- Beekeeper’s "Bee School" is Back in Session
- IDeaS Announces 2017 Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship Recipients
--------------------------

HFTP Launches Certification Advisory Program (CAP) to Benefit CHAE and CHTP Applicants
International association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) recently introduced its new Certification Advisory Program (CAP), which is designed to provide guidance to Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE®) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) applicants. The inaugural program will pair HFTP certification candidates with HFTP members who hold an active HFTP designation.
https://hftp.org/
**
HFTP Launches New GDPR Bytes Site, an Addition to its Online News Portfolio
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), an international nonprofit hospitality association, announced the launch of its new GDPR Bytes website. GDPR Bytes is an aggregated content destination that will serve as a daily news outlet to bring together specific publications, reports, feature articles, white papers and more.
http://www.hftp.org, https://gdpr.hftp.org
**
HFTP Chapters Offer Regional Education for Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals
Several chapters of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) have banded together to curate and host regional, educational conferences in 2018. HFTP’s regional conferences showcase the many advantages of HFTP membership, and provide continuing education and networking opportunities to hospitality professionals in the area. To date, two HFTP regional conferences have been scheduled in areas across the United States.
https://hftp.org/
**
Beekeeper’s "Bee School" is Back in Session
Digital workplace app Beekeeper will kick off its 2018 “Bee School” educational series with a class titled, “If not you, who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement." Led by best-selling author and employee engagement expert Jill Christensen, the 45-minute online course will provide a four-step strategy to turn a disengaged workforce into a unified high-performing team, resulting in increased profits, customer satisfaction, productivity and retention. The program will be streamed on Wednesday, January 31st, at 2:00 p.m. EST.
https://www.beekeeper.io/en
**
IDeaS Announces 2017 Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship Recipients
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, a leading provider of revenue management software solutions and advisory services, announced the 2017 IDeaS Cornell Management Scholarship winners. Offered in partnership with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration within the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, the scholarship presents hospitality professionals with the opportunity to earn online certificates developed by senior Cornell faculty leaders.
http://sha.cornell.edu, http://www.ideas.com
**

January 26, 2018

HOSPITALITY EVENTS



- Digital Signage Expo 2018 to Offer Educational Opportunities in Digital Signage for Hotel Operators, System Administrators, Marketers and Technologists
- HSMAI Recognizes Lifetime Achievements of Ed Fuller and Terry Gallagher
--------------------------
Digital Signage Expo 2018 to Offer Educational Opportunities in Digital Signage for Hotel Operators, System Administrators, Marketers and Technologists
Digital Signage Expo (DSE), one of the world’s largest international trade shows and educational conferences dedicated to digital displays, interactive technology and digital communications networks, will present new educational opportunities designed specifically for hotel operators, system administrators and technologists March 27-29, 2018, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The seminar programs are part of DSE’s Educational Conference designed to help attendees learn about the newest technologies available, how successful digital signage strategies are being implemented, and how to best take advantage of them to strengthen guest relationships through proactive engagement in a variety of applications.
http://www.dse2018.com
**
HSMAI Recognizes Lifetime Achievements of Ed Fuller and Terry Gallagher
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) announced the recipients of the 2017 HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Awards. Edwin “Ed” Fuller, president, Laguna Strategic Advisors, will be honored with the 2017 Albert E. Koehl Award, and Terence “Terry” Gallagher, president, Lou Hammond Group, will be recognized with the 2017 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations. HSMAI will celebrate the achievements of Fuller and Gallagher at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on Feb. 20, 2018, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
http://hsmai.org/
**


January 26, 2018

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- Costa Rica has just run on 100 Percent Renewable Energy for 300 Days
- Chicago Becomes First U.S. City to Mandate Panic Buttons for Hotel Staff
- Attention Hotel Corporations, This Is How You Will Lose A 25+ Year Contributor (or any Valuable Employee)
- Google starts certificate program to fill empty IT jobs
-  Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence
--------------------------

Costa Rica has just run on 100 Percent Renewable Energy for 300 Days
 
Chicago Becomes First U.S. City to Mandate Panic Buttons for Hotel Staff
 
Attention Hotel Corporations, This Is How You Will Lose A 25+ Year Contributor (or any Valuable Employee)
 
Google starts certificate program to fill empty IT jobs
 
Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence
 
**

January 26, 2018

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…
 
An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied that it only took a little while. The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish. The fisherman said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.
 
The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
 
The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor."
 
The American scoffed. "I am a Wharton MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then L.A., and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise."
 
The fisherman asked, "But how long will this all take?"
 
To which the American replied, "Fifteen or 20 years."
 
"But what then?"
 
The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."
 
"Millions? Then what?"
 
The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends."
 
**


February 09, 2018

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

It has been an interesting two weeks that started at the Infor Hospitality Customer Forum in Orlando where I co-led a session with Michael Schubach on the History of Technology that was extremely well received. Then it was off to Las Vegas to the very well attended Agilysys Users Group, Inspire. While at Inspire I heard Hall of Fame baseball player Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles speak about leadership. Ripken Jr. set a record that will probably never be broken – a 16-year streak and 2,632 consecutive games, surpassing Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games that stood for 56 years. He focused on commitments to success and of course when he opened it up to the floor all the questions were about baseball. It was a great session and a very good event this year. I love users’ groups since many of the conversations are about the technology in use and how users see the future, which can be very different than the vendors’ perspective. I thank both companies for inviting me to their great users’ conferences.
 
After Agilysys I went to the HFTP Las Vegas chapter meeting. The LV chapter is led by Dennis Montellano, the CEO of up and coming POS provider SkyWire, that seems to be growing pretty quickly as it branches out beyond the hotel/casino industry. Dennis gave me a few minutes to address the crowd (which he might have regretted afterwards) and it was fun. The chapter meetings always have great speakers and this time it was FBI Computer Scientist Michael Hill, the lead investigator for the Oct. 1 Las Vegas Shooting and an accomplished cyber security, cyber investigations and information technology professional with an extensive career spanning nearly 30 years. Security in all forms is a big issue in the Las Vegas market and Hill shared what many of the hotels and casinos are going to implement. What a great meeting, with a great crowd, and it was very informative. I’m grateful to have been a part of the program and I thank those who attended for putting up with me.                
               
Less than three weeks now to the Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit (www.hospitalityupgrade.com/vendorsummit). This is the 14th EVS and a great crowd is joining us in West Hollywood. We are very proud of the unique program we have this year. The event is unique with so many execs from the vendor community getting together, which gives us great leverage on the non-traditional program. Of course, we need to have fun also so why not go whale watching and to dinner at Warner Brothers Studio with our own special tour? You know it will be fun! If you are a vendor for the industry and you have not been invited, please contact Anne Boon immediately at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. I mean immediately since rooms will be gone in hours. We thank HFTP and Ponterra Business Advisors for their support. John Rovani from Ponterra has done many mergers and acquisitions among the vendor community over the years and is always popular with this EVS crowd. For good reason! Plus he is based in Puerto Rico and was there when the hurricane hit. He has some amazing stories to share.
 
There is a great deal going on in the industry and it is only going to get busier as event season kicks into high gear next month. Hospitality Upgrade covers just about all of them through our many channels – online, in print, digitally, social and through our e-newsletters. Make sure your subscription is up to date to receive all this coverage as it happens. Go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe.
 
Here now is the real reason we are here with our look back at the industry technology happenings over the last two weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. 


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
February 09, 2018

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Ron Hardin

In the immortal words of Sherriff Bart in Blazing Saddles, “I likes to keep my audience riveted.” I do, too. So, let’s talk about... the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry, 11th Edition.  (Insert sounds of crickets chirping, people snoring or stampeding for the exits.)
 
No, really, I know it’s old news, but it’s important. As I’m frequently reminded by hotel owners, hotels exist to make money for said owners. The financial results of a hotel operation generate income (hopefully), which in turn factors into the value of the asset. Financial reports allow owners, investors, lenders, operators and analysts to evaluate financial performance. And the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) provides guidelines for standardization that help make financial reports more accurate, more illustrative of the actual financial performance, more useful as management tools, and more comparable between multiple properties. The 11th edition, released in 2014 and in effect since January 1, 2015, sought to improve on those goals with a battery of changes. According to an overview of the 11th edition written by Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, executive director and HFTP fellow at the HFTP Americas Research Center, there is no legal requirement for operators to follow USALI guidelines, but many management agreements dictate adherence to “current” USALI. Some of the biggest changes in the 11th edition were directly related to technology and how the costs for systems and telecommunications were booked and reported. It eliminated the “telephone department,” relegating the dwindling guest revenue (and any variable usage expenses linked to that revenue) to minor operating departments. More significantly, it created a new “undistributed” information and telecommunications systems department for the consolidation of all system-related technology expenses.
 
If you completely spaced on the 11th edition, then you need to bite the bullet and make the change. It is not easy and will make year-over-year comparisons a nightmare the first year, but that is a small price to pay to be in financial reporting alignment with the rest of the industry. It definitely makes the financial reporting of technology expenses cleaner, and harder to fudge, hide or obfuscate. In the pre-11th edition world (to which some operators are still clinging), technology expenses could be allocated to operating departments using questionable methodology, and major systems expenses could be buried in “maintenance contracts” in the property operations and maintenance department.
 
If you HAVE made the change, as I’m sure most of you have, has it been done completely and correctly? The devil, after all, does reside among the details. One of the problems I constantly find when I review client operating statements is that they still are not booking the fixed monthly recurring expenses for voice and internet services to the information and telecom systems (I&TS) department. The 11th edition stipulates that the only voice and data expenses charged to the telephone lines in minor operating departments are those variable usage charges that can be directly linked to a guest charge. Even variable expenses for free guest services, like free local phone calls, are supposed to go to the I&TS department, not telephone cost of sales. And if your hotel happens to be run by one of the big brands? Well, let’s just say that some brands are competing to see who can come up with the most inventive interpretation of the 11th edition – particularly as it relates to how brand and corporate technology fees and cost allocations are booked and reported. The 11th edition calls for a line item in the I&TS department called “corporate office reimbursables”; that’s the first one to go as it’s way too self explanatory. And if the brand provides the property management system (PMS), that cost should be charged in I&TS to “rooms systems expense,” not “guest engagement.” It’s disingenuous to categorize the PMS expense as a guest engagement expense, but – to their credit – the charge on the monthly brand fee billing says, “guest engagement.” At least it’s easy to match the charge to the GL line item – just not quite as easy to tell what it’s actually for. So, go to the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute website, buy a copy of USALI, 11th edition, and have some fun with accounting for a change.
 
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech
**


Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade

February 09, 2018

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS



- Shift4 Payments Announces Acquisition and Integration of Three Leading Point-of-sale Brands
- Choice Hotels Completes Acquisition of WoodSpring Suites Brand and Franchise Business
- Knowland Acquires Competitive Marketing Exchange (CMX)
--------------------------

Shift4 Payments Announces Acquisition and Integration of Three Leading Point-of-sale Brands
Shift4 Payments announced the acquisition of industry-leading point-of-sale (POS) brands Restaurant Manager, POSitouch and Future POS. The acquisition of these major companies, as well as their subsequent integration into the Shift4 Payments platform, is sure to transform the landscape within the entire financial technology industry. These acquisitions represent a significant share of the hospitality POS market and join Harbortouch in the Shift4 family of POS brands. These best-in-class POS companies add nearly 100,000 merchants to the Shift4 Payments platform, including some of the biggest national chain restaurants such as Wendy’s, Arby’s, Denny’s, KFC, Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and Dairy Queen.
http://www.shift4.com/
**
Choice Hotels Completes Acquisition of WoodSpring Suites Brand and Franchise Business
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, completed its acquisition of the brand and franchise business of WoodSpring Suites, an extended-stay lodging brand, from WoodSpring Hotels LLC. The acquisition was announced on December 18, 2017, and adds nearly 240 extended-stay hotels in 35 states to the Choice Hotels portfolio, creating an extended-stay portfolio of more than 350 properties with existing brands, MainStay Suites and Suburban Extended Stay.
http://www.choicehotels.com  
**
Knowland Acquires Competitive Marketing Exchange (CMX)
Knowland announced that it has acquired Competitive Marketing Exchange (CMX) as of February 1, 2018. Knowland is a globally recognized provider of meeting and group data that offers extensive insight into market analytics, group industry trends, and powerful benchmarking tools. CMX was founded in 1991 by Guy DiCara, and has grown to be a leader in supplying competitive group and meeting data to hotels across several markets.
http://www.knowland.com
**

June 30, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE


- Clive Taylor joins EasyRMS as director of sales and operations
- Kimberly Enright hired as marketing director at Certain Software
- Bill Oates named to Passkey’s board of directors
--------------------------

Clive Taylor has joined EasyRMS as director of sales and operations.  Mr. Taylor has over 10 years in the hospitality industry, serving most recently as CIO for Extended Stay Hotels and in various IT oversight roles for the Blackstone Group’s other properties including the Boca Resorts.  He was earlier IT director with The Savoy Group in London.
**
Kimberly Enright has been hired as marketing director at Certain Software.  Ms. Enright brings more than 20 years of experience in enterprise sales, marketing and business development, most recently in developing marketing programs for top Silicon Valley technology companies.  Earlier, she had managed global alliances and product marketing at Siemens, served as vice president, marketing and alliance development at Zacson
Corp., and held several positions within IBM’s sales and marketing departments.
**
Bill Oates has been named to Passkey’s board of directors and head of its technology committee.  The former senior vice president and chief information officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Mr. Oates held a number of posts at ITT Sheraton and Starwood as he progressed through the information technology organizations during his 25 years of experience as an IT professional.
**

June 30, 2006

RESERVATIONS



- TravelCLICK introduces iStay, upgraded version of OneScreen Web booking engine
- TravelCLICK introduces RateADVISOR rate recommendation tool
- West Paces Hotel Group to implement TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS
- Kahala Hotel and Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii, selects TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS
- Dorchester Group orders Serenata link between Voyager CRS and Fidelio PMSs
- Trust.Wizcom implements Web services interface between Voyager CRS and IDeaS RMS
- InnLink CRS announces multiple enhancements
- LeisureLink selects Eydeas’ Connect system to link to vacation rental property companies
- Booking Booster to release online portal for managing multiple extranet partners
- SynXis partners with Nirvana Technology for single itinerary booking of rooms and activities
- SynXis releases version 5.0 of RedX Distribution Management System
- SynXis announces Property Connect and Channel Connect integration products
-------------------------------------------

TravelCLICK has introduced iStay, an upgraded version of its OneScreen Web booking engine that includes hotel packages and enhanced stay options on the same screen as room reservations. 

TravelCLICK has introduced its RateADVISOR rate recommendation tool, developed in collaboration with IDeaS.  Incorporated into TravelCLICK's RateVIEW shopping solution, RateADVISOR suggests a range of optimal rates of the day for various hotel occupancy levels. 

The West Paces Hotel Group, founded by Horst Schulze and other former Ritz-Carlton executives, is implementing TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for Web site and GDS reservations, as well as market intelligence and marketing systems for decision support and demand growth for seven managed properties in the U.S. and Germany and three Solms brand hotels. 

The 345-room Kahala Hotel and Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii, has selected the iHotelier central reservation system.  The property also uses TravelCLICK's market intelligence solutions.  www.westpaceshotels.com, www.kahalaresort.com, www.ideas.com, www.travelclick.net
**
The Dorchester Group has ordered Serenata’s Voyager CRS Integration to automate the reservation flow from Trust.Wizcom’s Voyager CRS and all connected channels to the Micros-Fidelio PMSs at the respective hotels.  A second implementation phase is planned to implement NetHotel Central Profile to ensure automatic profile synchronization between the PMSs and the Voyager CRS. 

Trust.Wizcom has implemented a Web services interface between its Voyager Central Reservation System (CRS) and IDeaS’ revenue management solution.  www.dorchestergrouphotels.com, www.serenata.com, www.wizcom.com
**
InnLink CRS announced enhancements to its channel distribution management tool for increased flexibility in both horizontal and vertical distribution channels.  New features include an improved RESmatrix graphical customer data management tool, revASSIST Competitive Rate Shopping for up to seven competitive hotels, enhanced length of stay “sell-through” and "no-arrival" controls, online invoicing and dispute resolution, online training, high occupancy vs. room-type displays, a base rate modifier, vLINK voice services, callASSIST periodic call forwarding, enhanced group/tour desk, improved iLINK booking engine, an alternate property display, eLINK electronic reservation services and new package handling solutions.  www.innlink.com
**
LeisureLink has selected Eydeas Technology’s Connect system to link vacation rental property and timeshare companies to LeisureLink’s electronic marketplace for booking vacation rental properties.  In addition to established connections to First Resort Software and PAR Springer-Miller Systems, Eydeas will add new connections to other property management systems that serve this market.  LeisureLink currently links vacation rental suppliers with over 180,000 travel agencies and with 26 million consumers worldwide.  www.leisurelink.com, www.eydeas.net
**
Booking Booster announced the impending release of its online portal for managing multiple extranet partners.  Add-on applications include a hotel Web site with real-time room availability, search-engine optimized and with an integrated pay-per-click (PPC) Web marketing campaign, with Google as partner.  www.bookingbooster.com
**
SynXis has partnered with Nirvana Technology to allow travelers to book activity-based reservations (spa services, dining, transportation, golf, fitness, tennis, etc.) in conjunction with guest rooms in a single itinerary. 

SynXis released version 5.0 of its RedX Distribution Management System with enhancements for quicker and easier navigation, more efficient revenue management capabilities and faster system response times.

SynXis announced its Property Connect and Channel Connect integration products.  Property Connect integrates reservations from RedX to a property’s PMS, yield management, CRM and spa/golf reservation functions.  Channel Connect links RedX directly to third party travel sites such as Travelocity and Groople, as well as custom built booking engines. www.nirvana-technology.com, www.synxis.com
**


June 30, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Agilysys announces Cognos-based Hospitality Business Intelligence system
- BDL Hotel Group implementing Serenata’s NetHotel and @mail
- TravelCLICK announces paid search with continuously optimize key word selection
- Grand Heritage Hotel Group implementing Clairvoyix’s database marketing application
- Clairvoyix upgrades its Knowledge Factory (CKF) and Hospitality Solution (CHS)
- Ginn Clubs and Resorts installs Datavision at all clubs and resorts and the corporate office
- Great Wolf Resorts installs Datavision at all locations
- Meyer Jabara Hotels orders Cendyn eConnectivity middleware for 24 hotels plus call center
- Peabody Hotels implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope at three properties
- Cultuzz GmbH contracts with Leonardo for rich media content for hotels on eBay Travel

Agilysys announced its Hospitality Business Intelligence system, based on Cognos 8, to integrate and analyze data from its Lodging Management System (LMS) and Materials Management System (MMS).  The system also provides customized executive dashboards.  www.agilysys.com
**
The UK-based BDL Hotel Group is implementing Serenata’s NetHotel product suite and Serenata @mail in all newly opened Ramada hotels in the United Kingdom and Ireland, interfaced with Brilliant Hotelsoftware’s PMPro PMS.  http://www.bdlmanagement.co.uk, www.myhotelsoftware.com, www.serenata.com
**
TravelCLICK announced new paid search technology to continuously optimize key word selection in Internet marketing campaigns for the hotel industry.  Customers receive trackable measurement of all online and offline (call center reservation) activity generated directly from paid search campaigns.  Enhanced tracking metrics gauge actual room revenue generated by paid Internet search marketing campaigns implemented by
TravelCLICK. www.travelclick.net
**
The Grand Heritage Hotel Group is implementing Clairvoyix’s database marketing application to focus its marketing effort by identifying its best guests and their spending habits.  Grand Heritage was introduced to Clairvoyix by Digital Alchemy, which already provides them with e-marketing and customer relationship management tools under a June 2005 alliance to cross-market their products.  All Grand Heritage properties currently use Digital Alchemy’s e-marketing and CRM tools, and will all shortly be live with the Clairvoyix Hospitality Solution.

Clairvoyix has released upgrades for its Clairvoyix Knowledge Factory (CKF) and Clairvoyix Hospitality Solution (CHS).  CKF Version 4.0 includes a new option for importing validated data by specific request, such as e-mail only or phone number only, if a physical address is not present, and enables multiple data fields to be updated via the normal import processing.  CHS Version 3.8.1 now allows hoteliers to access past guest data rapidly using intuitive search engine triggers, exclude offers going to guests who already have a reservation, and preview e-blast creative prior to campaign execution and send a test e-mail.  CHS also runs on the most current version of Microsoft’s .Net development platform.  www.grandheritageinternational.com, www.data2gold.com, www.clairvoyix.com
**
Ginn Clubs and Resorts has installed Datavision Technologies’ DVEnterprise suite of products for use at all Ginn clubs and resorts and at the corporate office.  DVEnterprise collects and warehouses data from on-property systems such as the PMS, golf, spa, point-of-sale, sales and catering and payroll, and allows consolidated viewing in one integrated platform via Excel spreadsheets, browser-based reports and highly graphical dashboards. 

Great Wolf Resorts in Madison, WI has installed Datavision’ DVEnterprise suite to collect and warehouse data from systems such as PMS, POS, spa, central reservations and back office.  Data is collected from all systems at the local level and used in a data warehouse at the head office. http://www.ginncompany.com, www.greatwolfresortsinc.com, www.datavisiontech.com
**
Meyer Jabara Hotels has ordered Cendyn’s eConnectivity middleware platform for its 24 hotel properties and call center in the U.S.  eConnectivity integrates Cendyn products with a hotel’s PMS, S&C, CRS, Web booking engines, back office, reporting and other systems, to push system data and important events proactively to an intelligent messaging system.  www.meyerjabarahotels.com, www.cendyn.com
**
Peabody Hotels has implemented UniFocus’ GUESTScope guest satisfaction measurement and reporting service at its three properties in Orlando, Memphis and Little Rock.  www.peabodyhotelgroup.com, www.unifocus.com
**
Cultuzz GmbH, a seller of accommodation content on eBay, has contracted with Leonardo Media for customized delivery of rich media content for hotels featured within the eBay travel category.  www.cultuzz.com, www.leonardo.com
**


June 30, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- TravelCLICK introduces RateADVISOR rate recommendation tool in collaboration with IDeaS
- IDeaS releases version 3.0 of Revenue Optimization system
- IDeaS implements Web services interface with Trust.Wizcom Voyager CRS
- Manugistics rolls out Unconstrained Demand Forecasting pricing optimization tool
- Manugistics acquired by JDA Software Group
- Dorchester Group Hotels implement EzRMS at three properties
- Ritz London implements EzRMS’ Internet Product Suite
- Coral Beach Hotel & Resort becomes EzRMS’ first client in Cyprus
- Intrawest deploying HBSI’s Demand Management at 11 resort properties
- SynXis offering revenue management services to RedX customers
- Xotels launches Online Revenue Management Community and Forum

TravelCLICK has introduced its RateADVISOR rate recommendation tool, developed in collaboration with IDeaS.  Incorporated into TravelCLICK's RateVIEW shopping solution, RateADVISOR suggests a range of optimal rates of the day for various hotel occupancy levels.


IDeaS has released version 3.0 of its Revenue Optimization system.  Enhancements include three new modules: IDeaS Budgeting Module to evaluate a hotel’s performance throughout the year, Managing Group Business for an improved evaluation of various dates and ancillary revenue streams from potential group business, and IDeaS Learning System for V5, a convenient, highly customizable e-learning system for scalable product training and ongoing support.


IDeaS has implemented a Web services interface between its revenue management system and TRUST.WIZCOM’s Voyager Central Reservation System, to transmit IDeaS’ pricing and revenue information automatically to Voyager.  www.travelclick.net, www.wizcom.com, www.ideas.com
**
Manugistics Group announced the roll out of its Unconstrained Demand Forecasting pricing optimization tool for the hospitality and travel industries. The new application predicts forecasted demand more accurately to allow hotel and travel companies to set limits on lower value customer segments to increase RevPAR. 


JDA Software Group has acquired the Manugistics Group.  JDA currently offers a range of advertising, pricing and promotion management solutions to retail and consumer goods companies, and will roll Manugistics’ price optimization capabilities into those arenas.  JDA will continue to work with Manugistics on revenue management systems for the travel, transportation, hospitality and entertainment industries; Manugistics’ current hospitality clients include Harrah's Entertainment.  www.manugistics.com, www.jda.com
**
The Dorchester Group Hotels, London has implemented EzRMS’ Internet Product Suite at its properties in London, Paris and Milan.  Its Beverly Hills property will cut over in July, and a second Paris property later this year. 


The Ritz London has implemented EzRMS’ Internet Product Suite at its property in London’s Mayfair district, interfaced with its MICROS-Fidelio Opera PMS system.


The 421-room Coral Beach Hotel & Resort has implemented EzRMS’ Core Module and Ez-QUOTE and Ez-COMPETE modules at the property in Coral Bay in Cyprus.  This is EasyRMS’ first client in Cyprus. 
www.dorchestergrouphotels.com, www.theritzlondon.comwww.coral.com.cy, www.easyrms.com
**
Intrawest Corp is deploying Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated’s (HBSI’s) demand management technologies and services at its 11 resort properties, with a single interface through the demand gateway for the real-time exchange of availability, rates and restrictions.  Intrawest will incorporate 16 channels in the first phase of the initiative, representing a substantial portion of its demand generators.  www.intrawest.com, www.hotelbookingsolutions.com
**
SynXis is offering revenue management services to customers who would like more assistance in leveraging SynXis’ distribution network.  Services range from brief focused projects to broader long term engagements, and cover advice on using ecommerce programs effectively, analyzing distribution strategies and channel management processes, and performing all revenue management functions.  www.synxis.com
**
Xotels has launched an Online Revenue Management Community and Forum operated by wiwih.com (Who Is Who In Hospitality), a community platform for the hotel and travel industry operated by HSyndicate.org.  The forum is an interactive platform to discuss revenue management market trends, ideas and best practices, and will feature job vacancies, audioblogs, related industry news and resources such as books and publications.  www.xotels.com, www.wiwih.com
**


June 30, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Louvre Hotels to deploy MICROS 3700, mymicros.net and OPERA in 210 hotels
- Squirrel and HIS to provide more seamless integration between POS and PMS systems
- Treasure Island chooses Capton’s Beverage Tracker system for all casino bars
- Capton partners with Lone Tree Technology, releases POS Integration Module
- Peabody Hotel Group upgrades HSI Profit Series POS at properties in Memphis and Orlando

Louvre Hotels will deploy MICROS Systems’ 3700 Point of Sale/Enterprise Management, mymicros.net and OPERA PMS and Reservation System (ORS) in all its 210 company owned hotels by the end of September 2006.  Louvre also designated MICROS as preferred vendor solution for the entire chain, which represents approximately 750 budget hotels in France (806 including the rest of Europe) under the Kyriad, Campanile and Premiere Classe brands.  All systems will be centrally hosted at MICROS-Fidelio’s Data Center in Frankfurt, Germany.  www.louvrehotels.com, www.micros.com
**
Squirrel Systems and Hotel Information Systems have partnered to provide more seamless integration between their PMS and POS systems, under the name of epitome Food and Beverage Management  System Powered by Squirrel Systems.  The eFBMSPSS includes the SquirrelOne POS with IP connectivity to HIS’ epitome PMS under a common user interface that allows users to access both PMS and POS features seamlessly at any time.  HIS’ service team will provide support for both systems.  www.squirrelsystems.com, www.hotelinfosys.com
**
Treasure Island (TI) Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, has chosen Capton's RFID-based Beverage Tracker system to monitor beverage operations in its casino bars, following a 30-day pilot installation in one bar.  Beverage Tracker is a spout-based RFID device that accurately measures what brand was poured and how many ounces go into every drink. 

Capton announced a partnership with Lone Tree Technology, a consulting, integration and software development firm, and the release of a POS integration module developed as a joint venture between the companies.  The POS integration module combines Capton’s liquor pouring information with item sales information from standard POS solutions to allow clients to define drink recipes and monitor common liquor shrinkage problems such as substitutions and free drinks. www.treasureisland.com, www.captoninc.com
**
The Peabody Hotel Group (PHG) has upgraded the Hospitality Solutions International (HSI) Profit Series POS software at its properties in Memphis, Tenn., and Orlando, Fla., and has begun upgrades at franchised locations.  www.peabodyhotelgroup.com, www.hsi-solutions.com
**


June 30, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- Four Seasons Hotel in Miami installs Tiare’s intelliChaise Personal Ordering System
- Peninsula Hotels select Tangerine Global for HDTV entertainment services
- Mandarin Oriental expands Tangerine Global service to include three more hotels
- LodgeNet launches 'Easy HD' program to help hotels transition to HD TV systems
- LodgeNet launches Entertainment 2Go service for fast, legal movie downloads to guest PCs
- LodgeNet developing guest connectivity center to link portable media devices to HD displays
- GBCblue partners with IKON and Canon to offer COPIERblue self-service digital copy/fax units
- Asoka USA releases 85Mbps Powerline Network system

The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, Fla., has installed Tiare Technology’s intelliChaise Personal Ordering System, a wireless touch screen device designed to be fixed to guests’ poolside or beach chaises so that they can place orders directly into the hotel’s POS system or into Tiare’s software.  The server unit stores guests’ orders and purchasing information, guest-service information such as what time a guest ordered his or her last beverage and how he or she likes to have it prepared, notifies staff when an order is ready for pickup and provides information on the chaise’s location.  Customers can also simply press the “Call Server” button on the unit.  www.fourseasons.com, www.tiaretech.com
**

The Peninsula Hotels has selected Tangerine Global to provide HDTV entertainment services to its hotels, starting this summer. 

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is expanding its HDTV service with Tangerine Global to include the properties in Tokyo, San Francisco and Miami.  Mandarin Oriental’s newly refurbished flagship property in Hong Kong, due to re-open later this summer, will also include Tangerine’s HDTV service delivered entirely via Internet protocol (IP).  www.peninsula.com, www.mohg.com, www.tangerineglobal.com
**
LodgeNet has launched its 'Easy HD' program to help hotels transition to HDTV systems.  The program includes network optimization to assess (and if necessary, upgrade) the hotel's infrastructure, consulting assistance regarding selection of a cost-effective, cross-compatible HDTV display options, and in-room integration services including installation of the HD displays, in room wiring/cabling and other peripherals. 

LodgeNet launched its Entertainment 2Go service, which enables guests to download movies from an on-site digital server to their laptops quickly, easily and legally in as little as five minutes per movie.

LodgeNet is developing a guest connectivity center (GCC) to provide an easy interface between high-definition displays and many portable media devices, plus an HSIA connection for laptop users.  It is also testing a prototype Digital Lifestyle Outfitters 'RoomDock' iPod docking station, designed for hotel rooms and letting guests re-charge their iPods and play music and videos through the guest room TV without cords or cables, and using the LodgeNet remote control to navigate the iPod menus. www.lodgenet.com
**
GBCblue has partnered with IKON and Canon U.S.A. to offer the GBCblue COPIERblue series of self-service digital copy/fax units.  COPIERblue uses a Canon imageRUNNER fax/copier and allows GBCblue to monitor the status of the unit constantly.  Enhancements scheduled for the third quarter of this year include network printing to support PrinterON applications and a scan-to-e-mail feature allowing users to scan and send hard copy documents.  www.gbcblue.com
**
Asoka USA Corp has released its 85Mbps Powerline Network system, allowing hotels to add two Ethernet ports at any power outlet.  The PlugLAN 8750 SmarTAP also provides two AC power outlets to substitute for those used in the connection.  www.asokausa.com
**


June 30, 2006

BACK OFFICE



- Aptech updates Web-based Data Manager multiproperty data consolidator
------------------------
Aptech Computer Systems has released an update of its Web-based Data Manager application, which streamlines data gathering from properties with various front office and back office systems that do not interface with their chain or corporation financial application.  Data Manager uses Web templates to capture each property’s daily operating information regardless of the front office system, then transfers the data to the back office system for posting.  Interfaces have been written for third-party systems such as J.D. Edwards, Epicor and other non-Aptech applications. www.aptech-inc.com
**

June 30, 2006

ENGINEERING



- Loews to install Mintek’s WinTrack PM preventive maintenance system in 18 properties
------------------------------
Loews Hotels has contracted with Mintek to install the WinTrack PM preventive maintenance (PM) system in 18 of its properties in the United States and Canada.  www.loewshotels.com, www.mintek.com
**

June 30, 2006

SECURITY



- Safemark named a preferred vendor of guest room safes for Loews Hotels
- Onity announces new ADVANCE by Onity locking system, a two-piece design
- VingCard Previews its Coming Attraction: Signature RFID
--------------------
Safemark Systems has been named a preferred vendor of guest room safes for Loews Hotels throughout the U.S. and Canada.  www.loewshotels.com, www.safemark.com
**
Onity announced its new ADVANCE by Onity locking system, a two-piece design that minimizes hardware on the guestroom door.  The ADVANCE units include dual upgradeable technology to allow future advances in security technology to be retrofitted affordably.  www.onity.com
**
VingCard gave a sneak peak to the future of RFID technology with the ongoing development of “Signature RFID by VingCard,” a contactless electronic-locking system previewed at HITEC last week. Also announced was the ongoing collaboration with Philips Electronics using Near Field Communication (NFC) which is the new short-range wireless technology that combines the functionality of a reader and a card into one device to be implemented in new generation cell phones. www.vingcard.com
July 20, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Rich Siegel
Siegel Sez


July 20, 2006

So often we forget to say thank you. I try to be one of those that remember, but I must admit when my recent audit was completed, I did forget to thank the IRS. I hope they forgive me. Geneva diligently worked on getting our new http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/ Web site finished in time for HITEC. So many came by at the show to share their comments and then when I mentioned it in our last Siegel Sez, we got lots more. It is still a work in progress, but today there has been a lot more progress then work still to be done. We do take some liberties with the things we do, but we never compromise our purpose of being a great source for those involved or interested in technology. Thank you all who have shared your comments, they really helped. If you haven’t done so yet, check it out even if it is just to read my favorite thing, the Industry Hotshot. How we get people to answer some of our questions just cracks me up. Nick Price, the guy in charge of technology at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, is our current hotshot. There is some pretty interesting stuff about him. If you want to share comments good or bad, e-mail Geneva at Geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com. Thank you.

Keeping with our thank-you theme, we must thank the Waverly Hotel here in Atlanta for offering to host our Hotel-Online/Hospitality Upgrade social event. If you haven’t been before and will be in Atlanta on August 17, please come by. It is all for fun and we gather folks from hotels, restaurants, travel related companies, vendors, consultants and a few crashers. It is fun bringing people in this industry together even if it is just for fun. If you want more info on the event, please e-mail Sharon at Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com. We are going to have some very cool prizes to raffle off, it will be a great time.

My last thank you this week will be for Amelia Island Plantation (http://www.aipfl.com/) for simply being a great hotel and very easy to work with. Our fifth CIO Summit coming up in September (http://www.theciosummit.com/), which was created as a thank you for all the CIOs who have supported our efforts over the years, is on pace for record attendance this year. It has grown each year. Interesting that this year along with the growth from the hotel, gaming and timeshare industries has been the support from the cruise lines. Already Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Silversea Cruise Lines have confirmed attendance with a few more trying to adjust schedules. It is so much fun watching the interaction that goes on at this meeting with all these technology hotshots. Thank you also must go to InfoGenesis, NCR, CAPTON and HFTP for sponsoring this unique event along with BearingPoint for being a great partner. I cannot wait.

Sorry that we missed a week, but Jon Inge was doing something that we should all be doing this time of year, vacationing. Read his opening comments regarding technology and service from his recent travel experience. It should be taken to heart.  Six years of Siegel Sez via Hotel Online, thank you Jon for all your work and thank you to you, our readers, for putting up with my shenanigans. I will once again see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what”.



rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
July 20, 2006

RESERVATIONS



- Frankfurt Tourism Office selects MICROS to manage Web site bookings for 250 hotels
- Boar's Head Inn selects iHotelier CRS
- Sheraton updates Web site to encourage guests to post their feedback
- Cendant to sell Travelport unit to the Blackstone Group
- Expedia.com adds Fare Alert and Gas Station Locator tools to Web site
-------------------------------------------
Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main (TCF), the official tourism office and destination management company for the city of Frankfurt, Germany, has selected MICROS' myfidelio.net to manage Web site bookings for 250 hotels in Frankfurt and its surrounding areas.  The system is hosted in the MICROS Data Center located in Frankfurt, Germany.  http://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de, http://www.micros.com
**
The 170-room Boar's Head Inn (Charlottesville, Va.) has selected TravelCLICK's iHotelier central reservation system (CRS).  The resort, owned and operated by the University of Virginia Foundation, includes a sports club, tennis, golf, spa and meeting/function rooms. http://www.boarsheadinn.com, http://www.travelclick.net
**
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has updated its Web site to encourage guests to post their feedback.  The site invites visitors to share stories, tips and photos about their travel finds, destination favorites and experiences.  http://www.sheraton.com
**
Cendant Corp. has agreed to sell its Travelport unit to the Blackstone Group.  Travelport, formerly known as Cendant Travel Distribution Services (TDS), owns Orbitz, Cheaptickets and other travel services. http://www.cendant.com
**
Expedia.com has added fare alert and gas station locator tools to its Web site.  Fare Alert automatically sends alerts to users when an airfare or flight+hotel vacation package falls within a user specified price range.  Gas Station Locator displays, for any of 50 airports, up to five local gas stations (with the current price of regular unleaded gas at each) to help travelers returning rental cars.  http://www.expedia.com
**
July 20, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Lanyon expands RFP Control Center corporate travel management application
- TIG Global signs three new Destination Marketing Organization clients
- SECURE-RES adds Webloyalty programs to its Internet marketing services
- Pegasus offers discounted ICE Portal rich media services through its Online Distribution Database
- TravelCLICK expands agreement with Travelport
- Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts installs Datavision at two properties
----------------------------
Lanyon has expanded its RFP Control Center corporate travel management application.   Enhancements to support RFP bid processing include rating bids against key criteria to check conformity with corporate guidelines, corporate travel manager control of hotel and chain contact lists, customized file export capabilities, improved reporting and renegotiation process control including bulk rate updates and pseudo city code validations.  http://www.lanyon.com
**
TIG Global has signed three new destination marketing organization clients for its Internet marketing services: New England Inns and Resorts Association, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Services to be provided include Web site design and development, site hosting and maintenance, search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, strategic linking and online advertising, e-mail marketing, Web site analytics, statistical reporting and analysis and consultative account management.  http://www.tigglobal.com
**
SECURE-RES has added Web-based loyalty programs from Webloyalty to its Internet marketing services.  http://www.secure-res.com
**
Pegasus Solutions has contracted with ICE Portal to offer hotels rich media content hosting, management and distribution at significant savings through the Pegasus Online Distribution Database (ODD).  This follows its recent agreements with Leonardo Media to improve the quality and quantity of the still images in the ODD and with GIATA mbH for translation services.  http://www.pegs.com
**
TravelCLICK has expanded its agreement with Travelport to include exclusive sales rights for Galileo Headlines inventory in the hospitality industry.  http://www.travelclick.net
**
Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts has installed Datavision Technologies’ DVEnterprise application at the Royal Kona Resort, Hawaii and the Royal Lahaina Resort, Maui, to consolidate data from a on-property systems such as PMS, golf, spa, point-of-sale, sales and catering and payroll.  http://www.hawaiianhotelsandresorts.comhttp://www.datavisiontech.com
**
June 30, 2006

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- iBAHN launches wireless Conference PC
- Wolfgang Puck selects ReServe Interactive as preferred catering and events software vendor
- Carlson goes live with Newmarket’s MeetingBroker Web-based lead management system
- Newmarket and HIS enhance integration between Delphi and epitome
- Warren House orders Visual One’s integrated front office, sales and catering systems
- Competitive Marketing Exchange launches online version of Readerboard
- Certain Software releases Version 4.6 of its Register123 meeting management system

iBAHN has launched its Conference PC, a wireless version of its Lobby PC product designed for Internet use in conference spaces or outside of meetings.  The Conference PC provides a “clean PC” environment cleared of all session information (cookies, passwords, site history, etc.) between users, and includes standard office applications as well as an Internet browser.  www.ibahn.com
**
Wolfgang Puck Catering has selected ReServe Interactive as a preferred catering and events software vendor for catering operations nationwide.  ReServe added custom features such as an interface to Microsoft Outlook, to attach incoming e-mails to ReServe events, and synchronize appointments with Outlook Calendar and traces with Outlook Tasks.  www.wolfgangpuck.com, www.reserveinteractive.com
**
Carlson Hotels Worldwide has gone live with Newmarket International’s MeetingBroker Web-based lead management system.  Inquiries received through a hotel’s Web site or other online channel are automatically integrated into the Delphi sales and catering system.

Newmarket International and HIS are enhancing the integration between the Delphi Sales & Catering system and epitome Property Management System for real-time synchronization of inventory and availability data.  This will ensure accurate non-group future consumption in Delphi, synchronized group blocks between Delphi and epitome and better access to key information for sales managers.  www.carlson.com, www.newmarketinc.com, www.hotelinfosys.com
**
The UK’s Warren House, a 45-guestroom conference and training centre sited in a country house in Kingston near London, has ordered Visual One’s integrated front office, sales and catering systems.  www.warrenhouse.com, www.v1s.com
**
Competitive Marketing Exchange has launched its online Readerboard Report Management Application.  CMX has for many years provided competitive hospitality marketing intelligence by gathering and reporting Readerboard data identifying details of groups who have met at a competitor’s property.  The new Web-based interface now provides access to competitive data online, as well as filter and query tools to identify potential business opportunities.  www.readerboard.com
**
Certain Software has released Version 4.6 of its Register123 meeting management system.  New features include PCI compliance and increased credit card transaction security, as well as enhanced financial report types and other reporting features.  www.certain.com
**


June 30, 2006

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Nirvana partners with SynXis to let travelers book activities in conjunction with guest rooms
- SoftBrands adds Cerenity Spa system to product range
- HIS integrates Envision Spa Management and Active Golf Solutions software into epitome PMS for single-itinerary booking with guestrooms
------------------------
Nirvana Technology has partnered with SynXis to allow travelers to book activity-based reservations (spa services, dining, transportation, golf, fitness, tennis, etc.) in conjunction with guest rooms in a single itinerary.  www.nirvana-technology.com, www.synxis.com
**
SoftBrands has added the Cerenity Spa system to its product range, a version of the UK-based Premier Spa system used by more than 1,300 clients. www.softbrands.com
**
Hotel Information Systems has integrated Ennoview, Inc.’s Envision Spa Management System and Active Golf Solutions golf and activity software into the epitome PMS, so that reservation agents can book spa, golf and other activities while making a room or package reservation.  All bookings are added to the guest’s itinerary and can be e-mailed; cancellations in one system notify users if linked bookings exist in the others. 
www.ennoview.com, www.activegolfsolutions.com, www.hotelinfosys.com
**



June 30, 2006



And now for you-know-what…

A furniture dealer from a small town in the mountains decided to expand the line of furniture in his store, so he decided to go to Paris (France, not Paris, Tennessee) to see what he could find. After arriving in Paris he met with some manufacturers and selected a line that he thought would sell well back home.
 
To celebrate the new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine. As he sat enjoying his wine, he noticed that the small place was quite crowded, and that the other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house.

Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian woman came to his table, asked him something in French (which he did not understand), and motioned toward the chair. He invited her to sit down. He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak his language. After a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her, he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her. She nodded, and he ordered a glass of wine for her.  After sitting together at the table for a while, he took another napkin, and drew a picture of a plate with food on it, and she nodded. They left the bistro and found a quiet cafe that featured a small group playing romantic music. They ordered dinner, after which he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing. She nodded, and they got up to dance. They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing up.

Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed. To this day, he has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business.

 




 





 



July 20, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge

Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge


Top 'O the News
 
 
- Summer travel and customer service
---------------------------
Ah, summer time and the joys of vacation travel.  After a great two-week trip to Europe visiting my family, the flight back to Seattle was a powerful reminder of how much we’ve all come to rely on computers, and of how easily an experience can go sour when management and staff just blame “a computer problem” and forget that they’re the ones who are actually responsible for providing customer service.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but basically a problem with the airline’s online checkin led me to call customer service.  After 20 minutes of “Instead of waiting on hold, why not check in on our Web site?” messages, the agent curtly said that she couldn’t help and I’d have to check in at the airport.  No explanation, no empathy, no help.  No customer service.

At the terminal, which was packed, the security line took over an hour due to under-staffing; only two people were checking documents, and only three security gates (out of eight) were manned.  PA announcements apologized and blamed the delays on “a computer failure”, but all terminals, displays and gates were working fine.  There just weren’t enough staff on duty.

When we did get through, the flight’s departure time was shown as delayed one hour on the screens, but no further screen or PA updates were issued even after that had passed, although there were plenty of both for other flights. The only indication that the flight was boarding at all (two hours late) was a sign lit over the gate itself; no gate announcement, no apparent interest in the passengers. 

Once we finally boarded, the captain apologized for the delay, which was “due to a computer failure”.  Even if that were true, the real problem was more of an attitude failure, and computers make a convenient – and mute - scapegoat.  Once we took off, the cabin crew did their usual excellent job, the frustrations of getting there fell away, and we had a good flight home.

Keeping customers happy doesn’t rely on computers.  It relies on management training staff to think and take whatever customer-focused action is helpful.  Simple steps and a friendly, honest and understanding approach can work wonders in soothing tense emotions.  Shrugging shoulders, blaming it on the computer and just walking away from responsibilities are unforgivable.
**


 


jon@joninge.com
July 20, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Venetian contracts with AnyRate Software for competitive rate intelligence data
- EZ Yield partners with IDeaS to update channels with revenue-managed pricing
- EZ Yield.com reports more new clients in the first six months of 2006 than in all of 2005
- NH Hoteles implements EzRMS at nine properties in Amsterdam
----------------------------

The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino has contracted with AnyRate Software for its competitive rate intelligence data and reporting.  http://www.venetian.comhttp://www.any-rate.com
**
EZ Yield has partnered with IDeaS to enhance its S.P.I.D.E.R. platform for automatic updating of a hotel’s distribution channels with IDeaS’ revenue-managed pricing. The first company to take advantage of the joint solution is Singapore’s Pan Pacific Hotel. 


EZ Yield.com has reported adding more new clients in the first six months of this year than in all of 2005, and currently supports over 1,200 hotels worldwide.   http://www.ezyield.com, http://www.ideas.com
**
NH Hoteles has implemented the EzRMS Internet Product Suite at nine properties in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, interfaced with NH’s in-house PMS and CRS systems.  The implementation also includes multiproperty optimization across all nine properties.  NH Hoteles has 256 hotels in 19 countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa.  http://www.nh-hotels.com, http://www.ezrms.com
**


July 20, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- ReServe Interactive releases nine interfaces for its event/dining reservations system
---------------------------
ReServe Interactive has released nine new interfaces for its event/dining reservations system including:
- POS system interface with Aloha or MICROS for table status monitoring.
- Paging system interface with JTECH and NTN pagers given to waiting guests.
- Caller ID interface with CallerID.com's “Whozz Calling?” to match incoming calls to ReServe customer database records.
- Web booking interface via ReServeIT for guests to make real-time dining reservations or inquire about events over the Internet.
- Microsoft Outlook interface to synchronize appointments, to-do lists and contact information.
- F&B management system interface with vendors such as FoodTrak and Computrition.
- Room diagramming interface with MeetingMatrix for event layout diagrams.
- Accounting interface with QuickBooks for automatic invoice creation and payment recording based on ReServe activities.
- E-mail scheduler to create and send graphically enhanced e-mails for improved customer correspondence, marketing messages or reminders.
http://www.reserveinteractive.com
**

July 20, 2006

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Intellistrand launches GuestDesk Web site for accommodation and golf course bookings
------------------------
Intellistrand has launched its GuestDesk booking Web site to offer accommodation and golf course bookings in the Myrtle Beach market online in a single screen format.  GuestDesk operates on either an allocation or real-time basis depending on the interfaces available from the property management or central booking system used by each particular company.  Additional tee-times are available through an interface to the T-links system, a central inventory network of Myrtle Beach golf courses.  http://www.intellistrand.com
**


July 20, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- Kahala Hotel & Resort implements GoConcierge
- Carey International integrates with GT3 for GDS and Internet booking of its chauffeured transportation
- Thinix releases Version 2.73 of TS-890i WebConsole and HDTV-LINK guestroom workstations
- Marriott appoints TeleAdapt an approved vendor in EMEA
- Choice selects EthoStream for high-speed Internet access at Econo Lodge locations
- Kimpton implementing Eleven Wireless’ dual OS business center computers
- MGM Grand, InterContinental Chicago and Denihan Hospitality Group all implementing MTech’s HotSOS
------------------------

The 345-room Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu has implemented GoConcierge.  http://www.kahalaresort.comhttp://www.goconcierge.net
**
Carey International has integrated its global reservation system with Ground Travel Technology Team (GT3) to allow its chauffeured transportation options to be booked through the GDSs and online travel portals with instant confirmations.  http://www.carey.comhttp://www.groundtravel.com
**
Thinix has released Version 2.73 of its TS-890i WebConsole and HDTV-LINK guestroom workstation systems.  The WebConsole provides secure access to the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and games, and can connect to office computers using Citrix GoToMyPC, Citrix ICA or Microsoft Terminal Services. It includes a VoIP soft phone and an in-room advertising system for hotels called Thinix Promo.  The HDTV-LINK provides the same features as the Web Console but uses the guestroom HDTV (with a SVGA input) for its display with a button on the remote control to change from local programming to the Internet.  http://www.thinix.com
**
Marriott International has appointed TeleAdapt an approved vendor in the EMEA region for its consumer electronics and desktop Internet connectivity units.  http://www.teleadapt.com
**
Choice Hotels has selected EthoStream to implement high-speed Internet access to Econo Lodge franchise locations.  http://www.choicehotels.comhttp://www.ethostream.com
**
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is implementing Eleven Wireless’ dual operating system business center computers in all 40 properties.  The units run both Apple’s Mac OS X and Windows XP simultaneously on a single Apple iMac computer.  http://www.kimptonhotels.comhttp://www.elevenwireless.com
**
The MGM Grand Hotel/Casino has installed MTech’s HotSOS Hotel Service Optimization System to manage guest requests from its 5,034 guestrooms and 30 private villas. 


The InterContinental Chicago has migrated its guest-services and engineering maintenance data from MTech’s on-property Espresso! system to the Web-based HotSOS application.  The property includes 792 guestrooms and more than 40,000 square feet of conference and banquet facilities.


New York’s DHG (Denihan Hospitality Group) is implementing MTech’s HotSOS in all of its properties including five Affinia Hotels and The Benjamin.  Installation will be completed early in 2007. 
http://www.mgmgrand.com, http://www.ichotelsgroup.com, http://www.denihan.com, http://www.m-tech.com
**


July 20, 2006

BACK OFFICE



- Benchmark rolls out UltiPro Web-based HR, benefits and payroll application
- Agilysys adds e-mail Archive module to its DataMagine document management application
------------------------
Benchmark Hospitality International is rolling out Ultimate Software’s UltiPro Workforce Management Web-based HR, benefits and payroll application.  http://www.benchmarkhospitality.com, http://www.ultimatesoftware.com
**
Agilysys is adding an e-mail archive module to its DataMagine document management application.  The new module captures incoming, outgoing and internal company e-mails for storage in a separate location and for a specified timeframe, and allows end users to search and retrieve e-mail records for internal or regulatory audits.  http://www.agilysys.com
**

July 20, 2006

ENGINEERING



- Loews Hotels installing WinTrack PM system in 18 properties
------------------------------
Loews Hotels is installing Mintek Mobile Data Solutions’ WinTrack PM system in 18 of its properties in the United States and Canada, starting with the Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla.  The rollout will include Mintek’s Web-based Maintenance Portal to allow remote monitoring of each hotel’s PM progress, including outstanding work orders, completed and uncompleted rounds, and how long certain tasks took to accomplish.  http://www.loewshotels.com, http://www.mintek.com
**

July 20, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



- Knowcross announces version 2.26 of TRITON IP Telephony Mobility module
------------------------------
Knowcross Solutions announced version 2.26 of its TRITON IP Telephony Mobility module, which now integrates with Alcatel’s Communication Platform Omni PCX Release 6.2 on Windows XP.  Knowcross' clients can now choose among DECT phones, IP phones, pagers, mobiles and PDAs for job allocation, job dispatch, job update and other messaging functionalities provided by Triton.  http://www.knowcross.com
**

July 20, 2006

SECURITY



- Onity opens new office in Shanghai
--------------------
Onity (formerly TESA Entry Systems) has opened a new office in Shanghai, including a product demonstration gallery and a technical services facility.  The new office will also house Onity’s expanded sales and service teams covering the Northern (Beijing), Eastern (Shanghai) and Western (Chongquing & Chengdu) regions of China.  http://www.onity.com
**

July 20, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- The Lodge at Woodloch selects ResortSuite
- WebRezPro PMS names Shift4 preferred electronic payment processing vendor
- Rica Hotels implementing protel’s centrally hosted MPE at 52 hotels
--------------------------
The Lodge at Woodloch has selected ResortSuite to manage its 40,000 square foot spa, 58 guestrooms, memberships, dining, fitness classes and activities.  http://www.thelodgeatwoodloch.comhttp://www.resortsuite.com
**
World Web Technologies has designated Shift4 as the preferred electronic payment processing vendor for its WebRezPro Web-based property management system.  http://www.webrezpro.com, http://www.shift4.com
**
Rica Hotels ASA is implementing protel’s MPE property management system at 52 of its 90 plus hotels in Norway and Sweden through System Partner International AS, protel’s regional dealer.  The MPE system, which includes banquet and sales and marketing modules and a two-way interface to GDS provider Supranational, will be centrally hosted in Rica’s new computer center in Oslo in a Citrix metaframe environment.  http://www.rica.no, http://www.protel-net.com
**
July 20, 2006

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- CARINO Collection upgrades its SalesConnect Space Management software
- Shangri-La implementing full range of Newmarket products in 30 properties
- Newmarket integrates, enhances products into Delphi Sales Advantage suite
- Newmarket releases enhancements for MeetingBroker
- Adam's Mark Hotels selects Passkey as online group reservation system
- Portola Plaza Hotel at Monterey Bay implements Passkey
---------------------------

Hotel representation company The CARINO Collection announced a Web-based upgrade of its proprietary SalesConnect Space Management software.  The centrally hosted application allows on-property and national sales managers to share critical information such as real-time client/event data and call reports with integrated e-mail traces, and includes links to a number of PMS systems.  http://www.carinocollection.com
**
Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts is implementing a full complement of Newmarket International’s products including Delphi Multi-Property Edition, Single Property Edition, Global Sales Edition, eProposal, Delphi Diagrams and MeetingBroker in 30 properties.  The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006.


Newmarket has combined Delphi 9.4, Delphi Diagrams 5.2, MeetingBroker and eProposal into its new Delphi Sales Advantage suite, with enhancements that include:
- Delphi 9.4 integration with Microsoft Outlook for account, contact and activities management
- two-way integration with Delphi Diagrams for automatic updates of changes made to banquet event orders in Delphi or in Delphi Diagrams, plus new usability features in Delphi Diagrams
- improved reporting through integration with MeetingBroker, letting customers report on the lifecycle of a booking from RFP to pickup
- improved security through Windows authentication that enables single sign-on with the user’s network credentials.


Newmarket also announced new features for its MeetingBroker lead-management application.  Enhancements include full integration with Delphi, account matching to let users associate an RFP with a master account for better tracking, reporting and account management, an improved reminder function for faster RFP response, Web-based proposal writing, and new reports including RFP Tracking, Business Data Tracking, and Escalation Details.
http://www.shangri-la.comhttp://www.newmarketinc.com
**
Adam's Mark Hotels has selected Passkey as its online group reservation system for deployment at its locations in Denver, Indianapolis, Dallas, St. Louis and Buffalo. 


The 370-room Portola Plaza Hotel at Monterey Bay has implemented Passkey for online group reservations. The hotel includes a spa, fitness center and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.
http://www.adamsmark.com, http://www.portolaplazahotel.comhttp://www.passkey.com
**


August 03, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Last-minute travelers forming significant part of the market
- Merritt Hospitality installs Aptech’s Execuvue and Targetvue
- West Paces Hotel Group picks TIG Global for Internet marketing
- Lanyon to implement multilingual capabilities for PropertyVault RFP and content database
----------------------------

Making it harder to predict traffic but offering opportunities for revenue managers, last-minute travelers are a significant part of the market, according to a new travel study from Compete Inc.  The study of over two million consumers found that although one third of Internet travel researchers plan more travel this summer, they have not yet made their specific plans.  Key findings included:
- Two thirds of consumers prefer researching travel options online, surpassing the importance of recommendations from friends and family.
- Among consumers with summer travel planning still to be purchased, nearly 75 percent said they will reserve most or all of their travel online.
- More than two thirds of bookings are coming from 'procrastinating and undecided travelers', who wait to book largely because of indecisions about where and when to travel.

A Travel Industry Association study also reported that 26 percent of leisure travelers plan all their vacations at the last minute.  Emphasizing the importance of rapid post-stay follow-up, however, it found that 74 percent plan at least one more vacation within two weeks of taking the trip.
**
HEI Hospitality’s Merritt Hospitality subsidiary has installed Aptech’s Execuvue business intelligence and Targetvue Internet-based enterprise planning applications.  Merritt has expanded from 18 to 31 properties in the last 24 months and plans significant growth.  http://www.merritthospitality.comhttp://www.aptech-inc.com
**
Horst Schulze’s West Paces Hotel Group has selected TIG Global for Internet marketing of its Solís brand and its independently managed hotels.  TIG Global will provide Web presence management and marketing services that include Web site design, search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, strategic linking and online advertising, e-mail marketing, revenue tracking and reporting and client support.  http://www.westpaceshotels.com
**
Lanyon announced plans to implement multiple language capabilities for its PropertyVault RFP and hotel information content database, covering 35,000 properties.  Hotels will be able to manage and publish their content in Spanish, German, French, Chinese and Italian. http://www.lanyon.com
**


August 03, 2006

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Certain Software announces significant milestones for the first half of 2006
- Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau signs with Passkey
---------------------------
Meeting management software vendor Certain Software announced significant milestones for the first half of 2006, including:
- Its Register123 system has now processed over three million registrations
- Revenues have doubled year-to-year
- New executive team members have been added, including Kimberly Enright as marketing director and Diane Stoner as director of government services
- New customers were signed in five market segments: corporate, independent meeting planners, event producers, associations/non-profits/universities and government.
http://www.certain.com
**
The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau has contracted with Passkey for online group reservations.  http://www.anaheimoc.org, http://www.passkey.com
**


August 03, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…
 
Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well when I woke up that morning. I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my wife would be pleasant and say, "Happy birthday!", and possibly have a present for me. As it turned out, she barely said good morning, let alone "Happy birthday."  I thought... well, that's marriage for you, but the kids will remember. My kids came into breakfast and didn't say a word. So, when I left for the office, I was feeling pretty low and somewhat despondent.
 
As I walked into my office, my secretary Jane said, "Good morning, boss. Happy birthday!" It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered. I worked until one o'clock and then Jane knocked on my door and said, "You know, it's such a beautiful day outside, and it's your birthday, let's go out to lunch, just you and me."  I said, "Thanks, Jane, that's the best thing I've heard all day.  Let's go!"
 
We went to lunch. But we didn't go where we normally would go.  We dined instead at a little place with a private table. We had two martinis each and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.
 
On the way back to the office, Jane said, "You know, it's such a beautiful day... we don't need to go back to the office, do we?"
I responded, "I guess not. What do you have in mind?"   She said, "Let's go to my apartment."
 
After arriving at her apartment Jane turned to me and said, "Boss, if you don't mind, I'm going to step into the bedroom for a moment. I'll be right back."  "Ok," I nervously replied.
 
She went into the bedroom and, after a couple of minutes, she came out carrying a huge birthday cake... followed by my wife, kids, and dozens of my friends and co-workers, all singing, "Happy Birthday".
 
And I just sat there...
 
On the couch...
 
 
In my birthday suit.


August 17, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Aug. 17, 2006

School started this week here in Atlanta. Having grown up in New York this is a concept I have never comprehended. Isn’t Labor Day the official end of summer and school starts immediately after? That was the way I grew up. I believe that the travel industry is behind this, it was their way of having the family vacation season start in mid-May and then last until Labor Day. Smart move. Speaking of travel I was one of the lucky ones with a flight booked last Thursday morning which was the first day of the TSA changes for carryon items. I am bummed. One of the things I enjoyed most about air travel was watching those last minute arrivals on to the plane with way too many carryons trying to find room in the overhead bins. There is plenty of space now. I commend the hotel industry for jumping in and offering those things that no longer can be carried on (toothpaste, etc.) but my advice to travelers is just add another half hour to the travel experience and check your bag, which is something I have not done in years. It is a different world today, get used to it.

My travel last week was to Amelia Island Plantation (http://www.aipfl.com) to check out the location of our CIO Summit (http://www.theciosummit.com). The resort had been described to me as the hotel industry’s best kept secret which is a perfect description. I just wish the golf course was easier. I did unfortunately meet one couple who might think twice as to what part of the beach they sunbathe on. Hitting a golf ball straight has never been one of my strong points. Looks like this year’s summit will be our biggest and hopefully our best ever. I cannot wait.

Our CIO Summit starts the fall conference/tradeshow season and I can never remember it being so spread out. HFTP (http://www.hftp.org) is holding their annual conference in Vancouver, one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The week before, HTNG (http://www.htng.org) is holding their first annual European Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, another great city halfway around the world from Vancouver. For a listing of all the fall conferences/shows/meetings, go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com and check out the upcoming events calendar. The tradeshow/conference season unofficially ends at the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York (http://www.ihmrs.com). I have been attending this show since I was in college and it is my favorite event of the year. Hospitality Upgrade will once again be doing the Technology Pavilion at the show. It is a great way to exhibit for a fraction of the cost of a booth.  It has grown in popularity every year and has always sold out. For more information on the Tech Pavilion please e-mail mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com.

For those of you in Atlanta attending tonight’s industry social event at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel (http://www.renaissancewaverly.com), please bring an extra $10. AirTran Airways, the second largest carrier in Atlanta, has graciously given us two business class tickets to anywhere they fly and we decided to make it a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish. Ten bucks for a chance at two business class tickets and you are supporting a great cause? Thank you, AirTran.

I had a great conversation with Steve Van Tassel, the new head honcho at SoftBrands who shared with me the future plans after their recent acquisition of Hotel Information Systems. Jon Inge covered this very well in his intro to this week’s review so I will defer comments on this transaction to him for now. I encourage you to read this week’s review which is the real reason we are here. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what”.

 



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 17, 2006

RESERVATIONS



- Pelican Systems announces Flexi-Package application
- The Venetian introduces on-property airline baggage check and boarding pass generation
- TripHub adds trip blogs and event schedules to trip planning service
- Sabre launches TripTailor wholesaler application for customized trip packaging
- Number of U.K. travelers self-packaging their holidays rises 500 percent over 2005
- Sofitel to list inventory on all Expedia and hotels.com sites
- Lodging Interactive adds point-to-point directions to HotelMASHUPS mapping service
- Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor selects iHotelier CRS, TravelCLICK reports and advertising
- InterContinental launches Business Choice travel management portal for small- and medium-sized enterprises
-------------------------------------------
Pelican Systems announced its Flexi-Package application, targeted at hotels already using yield management/revenue management techniques and wanting to offer packages that adjust flexibly to changes such as room rates per market segment and per room type, number of adults and children, etc.  Hotels will also be able to set booking lead time, minimum/maximum length of stay and close to arrival/departure parameters.  http://www.pelicansystem.com
**
The Venetian in Las Vegas has introduced an Airport SpeedCheck Advance kiosk, allowing guests to check luggage and receive boarding passes directly on the property.  The service, administered by Bags To Go Inc., is available at a kiosk in the convention center.  http://www.venetian.com
**
TripHub has added trip blogs and event schedules to its trip planning service, which is targeted at helping small groups organize and share information on any gathering that involves travel.  Trip blogs provide a centralized forum for and record of discussions, including announcements, lists, idea sharing, decision making and post-travel follow-up.  Event schedules provide a consolidated, shared view of all trip-related activities such as dining plans, entertainment, events and tours, including dates, times and locations.  http://www.triphub.com
**
Sabre Holdings has launched TripTailor, a travel wholesaler application focused on creating customized trips to over 1,500 destinations worldwide and combining air, hotel, car and travel extras.  http://www.sabretravelnetwork.com
**
Emphasizing the demand for such tools, a Travelocity survey reports that the number of U.K. travelers self-packaging their holidays has risen 500 percent over 2005, with by far the majority (70 percent) using the money they save by doing this to book a higher grade of accommodation.  Another 12 percent would choose to upgrade their board basis and 8 percent would opt to add transfers.  A massive 90 percent would rather treat themselves to a more luxurious break than spend the extra cash on pre-holiday shopping (4 percent) or in-resort entertainment (6 percent).  http://www.travelocity.co.uk
**
Sofitel is making inventory from its nearly 200 properties in Europe, the Middle East and Africa available on all Expedia and hotels.com sites.  http://www.sofitel.com
**
Lodging Interactive has added point-to-point directions to its HotelMASHUPS interactive mapping service.  A hosted service accessed via a link added to a hotel’s Web site, HotelMASHUPS uses annotated Google maps to pinpoint a hotel and show interactive links to local attractions and other points of interest.  http://www.LodgingInteractive.com
**
The historic Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, Australia, has selected TravelCLICK’s iHotelier central reservation system for Web site reservations and GDS connectivity.  The hotel will also use TravelCLICK's market intelligence and travel agent advertising.  http://www.thewindsor.com.auhttp://www.travelclick.net
**
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched its Business Choice hotel reservation and travel management portal targeted at travel planners for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its Priority Club Rewards program.  Travel planners can create and customize their company's own travel portal to centralize corporate travel policies.  BusinessChoice includes an online reservation channel and allows travelers to guarantee reservations directly to the hotel without requiring a credit card, by using pre-established direct-bill relationships with individual hotels for locally negotiated rates.  Travel managers can also post messages and travel information to employees on the portal to help communications during a crisis or natural disaster.  http://www.ichotels.com/businesschoice
**

August 17, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Starwood’s aloft to place an interactive virtual property inside the online game Second Life
- Rosewood selects Digital Alchemy
- Preferred expands relationship with Leonardo for rich content management and distribution
- Kayak.com contracts with Leonardo for online image content management and distribution
- SideStep adds virtual tours, video and other rich media from VFM Interactive
- New Castle Hotels and Resorts chooses VFM PhotoMontages
----------------------------
In a new first for product placement, Starwood’s aloft brand is placing a 3-D computer generated version of a typical property inside the virtual world of the online game Second Life.  Second Life is a virtual environment in which players create digital alter egos and exchange virtual currency for digitally rendered goods and services, and is currently accessed by more than 350,000 players worldwide.  From September, players will be able to enter an aloft hotel and interact with others as they move through it.  The first aloft in the real world is not scheduled to open until early 2007.  http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels
**
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has selected Digital Alchemy’s e-mail marketing and customized guest relationship management tools for its 20 luxury properties worldwide.  http://www.rosewoodhotels.com, http://www.data2gold.com
**
The Preferred Hotel Group is expanding its relationship with Leonardo Media to cover the synchronized management and distribution of rich content to the GDSs, switches and travel channels for its four brands.  Preferred Hotel Group represents more than 340 hotels in 52 countries. 
 
Kayak.com has contracted with Leonardo for online content management and distribution of images from Leonardo’s hospitality partners.
http://www.preferredhotels.com, http://www.kayak.comhttp://www.leonardo.com
**
SideStep has added virtual tours, video and other rich media from VFM Interactive to its hotels category.
 
New Castle Hotels and Resorts has chosen VFM to provide many of its properties with PhotoMontages – rich media that uses motion graphics, voice-over and music tracks with existing still photographs.  New Castle properties will include the PhotoMontages on their own Web sites, and will distribute them electronically to the GDSs and search engines through VFM’s Vscape service.
http://www.sidestep.com, http://www.newcastlehotels.comhttp://www.vfmii.com
**
Hotelrooms.com and Xotels have a European partnership to increase their clients’ Web site traffic and revenue.  Hotelrooms.com guarantees a minimum amount of visits directly to a hotel Web site; Xotels works with the same hotels to optimize conversion and total revenue through its revenue management and distribution seminars.  http://www.hotelrooms.comhttp://www.xotels.com
**

August 17, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Pan Pacific installs IDeaS V5i at Singapore property
----------------------------
Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts has installed IDeaS’ ASP-based V5i for revenue optimization at its flagship Singapore property.  http://www.panpacific.comhttp://www.ideas.com
**

August 31, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 
TOP O' THE NEWS

- Hospitality’s tech challenges aren’t unique
---------------------------
Because hospitality technology is a pretty specialized field, it is easy to think that our challenges are unique.  However, a recent feature article in InfoWorld magazine showed that many other industries face the same issues we do.

Since InfoWorld tends to focus on IT developments and solutions in general, it decided to look at five different vertical markets to see what specific problems they had, and if there were lessons that could apply to IT in general.  The reporters looked at several different companies each in the arenas of financial services, retail, telecommunications, health care and government.
The result was a major reality check on the types of real-world problems that get in the way of implementing new technology.  Sure, the advantages of new developments are attractive, but they will remain a goal rather than a fact while, for example, some large retail chains still struggle to switch stores from dial-up to broadband.  And in hospitals, where doctors would benefit from having access to consolidated patient records wherever they are but don’t have desks, resolving basic hurdles such as putting laptops on wheeled carts and ensuring strong wireless coverage throughout the building are first-step necessities.

There was one overriding common theme, however - consolidation.  All five verticals emphasized the cost and efficiency benefits of standardized operations running on centrally hosted systems with Web services links to older applications that cannot realistically be replaced just yet.  To quote the summary, “Telecom may lead this trend, but few industries can afford to maintain a bloated hodgepodge of applications and their associated operating costs. Consolidation is the only way to leave anything in the IT budget for innovation.” 

The real world will always throw up unexpected challenges which need pragmatic solutions, but we can be reassured that other industries have the same goals we do, are using the same technologies to get there, and provide experience we can learn from.
** 


August 03, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- James E. Jones joins iBAHN as VP of client services for North American hotels group
--------------------------
James E. Jones has joined iBAHN as vice president of client services for its North American hotels group.  Mr. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in hospitality; he is co-founder of Global Destination Services, and was earlier president for the Americas Division of Seatem Group, a travel/ticketing company.  He also served with Marriott International as vice president and general manager for Marquis Events International, its special event management and marketing division, and as vice president sales and marketing for Hyatt’s Regency Productions special event management group.
**


August 03, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- SoftBrands buys HIS
- Langdale Hotel, Country Club and Timeshare Resort orders Visual One’s Front Office suite
--------------------------
SoftBrands has acquired HIS, in a major demonstration of how seriously it intends to re-establish itself in the U.S. hospitality technology market and strengthen its international presence.  Details were few at press time, but it is understood that HIS operations will continue to be based in Lake Forest, Calif., headed by Steve Van Tassel, SoftBrand’s senior vice president and general manager, hospitality.  Brian Kretzmer, HIS’ current CEO/president, and James Dolan, CFO/COO, are expected to leave the company.
**
The Langdale Hotel and Country Club and Timeshare Resort, in Englands Lake District, has ordered Visual One’s Front Office suite.  Modules to be installed include PMS, sales & catering, spa management, activity scheduler, point of sale and Web booking systems. The 35-acre estate includes a hotel, lodge, apartments, two restaurants, a pub and leisure facilities.  http://www.langdale.co.uk, http://www.v1s.com
**


August 03, 2006

RESERVATIONS



- Group Travel Planet joins HBSI Demand Partner Network to access Harrah’s inventory
- Sage Hospitality Resources adds remaining independent properties to SynXis
- Lodging Interactive introduces Internet Booking Engine for a fixed monthly fee
- Only 10 percent of travel searches result in immediate booking
- Aqua Hotels and Resorts picks iHotelier CRS for six of its eight condotel properties in Hawaii
-------------------------------------------

Group Travel Planet has joined Hotel Booking Solution Incorporated’s (HBSI) Demand Partner Network to access real-time group rates and room inventory from Harrah’s Entertainment and its 34 domestic casino resorts.  http://www.grouptravelplanet.com, http://www.harrahs.comhttp://www.hotelbookingsolutions.com
**
Sage Hospitality Resources has added its remaining independent properties to SynXis.  Sage, an existing SynXis customer, operates a mixture of 39 branded and independent properties across the USA.  http://www.sagehospitality.comhttp://www.synxis.com
**
Lodging Interactive has introduced a new Internet booking engine for hotels and resorts, offered at a fixed monthly fee without commission or transaction fees.  http://www.lodginginteractive.com
**
Far more looking than booking going on: a survey by comScore Media Metrix, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Media Contacts revealed that 7.5 million UK consumers used Web searches to help plan trips between December 2005 and February 2006, yet only 10 percent of the searches ended in an immediate booking.  However, 85 percent said they completed a travel purchase either online or offline within 90 days of their initial search.

Emphasizing the importance of visibility on search sites, 80 percent of consumers considered search more valuable for travel research than traditional offline resources, 39 percent visited a travel-related site they had not planned to visit, and 25 percent considered a new brand because of its placement at the top of search results.
**
Aqua Hotels and Resorts has selected TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for six of its eight condotel properties in Waikiki, Hawaii.  http://www.aquaresorts.comhttp://www.travelclick.net
**


August 03, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Nuvo Technologies releases RFID-based BarVision free-pour liquor management system
---------------------------
Nuvo Technologies has released its RFID-based BarVision 1.0 for Palm OSR software, a wireless, free-pour liquor management system.  Using patent-pending RFID pour spouts, BarVision automatically records the brand, portion size, time, cost, price category and location of every pour.  A Palm PDA can be located in each bar area to provide immediate feedback to both bartenders and managers about each drink pour, helping bartenders learn and maintain pouring accuracy and a proper pouring style.  A management PDA provides real-time reports to identify and resolve problems immediately, including a graphic that shows the current liquor level of any bottle.  http://www.barvision.com
**

August 03, 2006

SECURITY



- InterContinental names Safemark Systems as preferred supplier of guest room safes
- Kimpton Hotels standardizes on Hospitality Safe Corp’s Challenger safes
--------------------
InterContinental Hotels Group has named Safemark Systems its preferred supplier of guest room safes.  http://www.safemark.com
**
Kimpton Hotels has standardized on Hospitality Safe Corp’s Challenger safes for guestroom use in its 46 hotels.  http://www.kimptonhotels.com, http://www.hospitalitysafe.com
**


August 31, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Scott Alvis appointed president and general manager of SynXis
- Chet Smith hired as KoolConnect Technologies’ chief technical officer
- George Schweitzer named executive vice president of business development at UniFocus
- Jessie Burgess promoted to director of IT - telecommunications at Accor North America
- Brian Cunningham leaves Nirvana, launches ActivityTec consultancy
--------------------------
Scott Alvis has been appointed as president and general manager of SynXis.  With more than 18 years of experience in the travel industry, 16 of them with Sabre, Mr. Alvis was previously Sabre Holdings’ vice president of enterprise marketing.  He had earlier held the position of senior vice president of sales and marketing for Sabre Travel Network, as well as vice president of airline sales and marketing, manager and managing director of professional Sabre and manager of financial analysis.
**
Chet Smith has been hired as KoolConnect Technologies’ chief technical officer (CTO), coming from Bose Corporation where he had served as director of software engineering.  With over twenty-five years of experience in software development, Mr. Smith has also held executive level positions at Nortel and various technology start-up companies.
**
George Schweitzer has been named a partner at UniFocus and will assume the role of executive vice president of business development.  Mr. Schweitzer was formerly president and C.E.O. of LaborSage, which has been acquired by UniFocus.
**
Jessie Burgess has been promoted to director of the information technology - telecommunications department at Accor North America.  Mr. Burgess was most recently Accor’s manager of enterprise communications services, and earlier had served for over five years as a communications and computer systems officer in the U.S. Air Force.
**
Brian Cunningham has launched ActivityTec, a consultancy for guest activity service operations such as golf, spa, dining, fitness center, child program, adventure tours, etc.  Mr. Cunningham was most recently founder and CEO of Nirvana Technology, a vendor of Web-based activity reservation and e-commerce software.  He had earlier founded activities software vendor Rio Systems International, following several years experience at Springer-Miller Systems.
**

August 31, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Visual One integrates IDeaS’ Revenue Optimization with its PMS
--------------------------
Visual One announced the integration of IDeaS’ Revenue Optimization with its property management system, to help set best available rates and maximize both transient and group revenue.  The integrated products have been installed at various joint clients including the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala.  http://www.ideas.com, http://www.v1s.com
**

August 31, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Lodging Interactive launches eProposal Rapid RFP Response system
- IPIX liquidating its 360-degree still/video photo and surveillance technology
- Wynn Las Vegas picks WebSideStory’s HBX Analytics to optimize its Web site
----------------------------
Lodging Interactive has launched its eProposal Rapid RFP Response system, a browser-based application that helps hotels and resorts quickly prepare custom responses to inbound RFPs for group and event space.  The eProposal system is based on a Web site designed for each hotel to showcase its meeting space, floor plans, accommodations, menus and food and beverage operations.  RFP responses created by hotel sales managers include a unique user name and password for access to a secure, personalized hotel Web site with information tailored to the upcoming event.  http://www.LodgingInteractive.com
**
IPIX Corporation is liquidating its patented high-resolution digital 360-degree still/video photo and surveillance technology after filing for bankruptcy.  The technology was used by many hotels to generate pan-and-tilt 360-degree views of meeting rooms, guestrooms and public spaces; the 360-degree video system was targeted at the surveillance market, including the U.S. military and border management.  http://www.ipix.com
**
Wynn Las Vegas has selected WebSideStory’s HBX Analytics to optimize its Web site, tracking visitor interaction with both rich and streaming media for a better understanding of visitor behavior.  http://www.wynnlasvegas.comhttp://www.websidestory.com
**
August 31, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- Hampton Hotels releases new “My Hampton” home page portal for guests’ HSIA access
- Sybase recognizes Metromedia’s HotelEXPERT as finalist in its sixth annual Innovator Awards
- icableholder appoints StayOnline as North American distributor
------------------------
Hampton Hotels has released a new “My Hampton” home page for guests logging on to the high-speed Internet service at its 1,350+ properties. The portal provides local restaurants, maps, directions, weather and news.  http://www.hampton.com
**
Sybase iAnywhere recognized Metromedia Software as a finalist in its sixth annual Innovator Awards.  The four winners were McDonald’s Corporation, Tennant Company, Spring Wireless and FarmWizard Limited.  Metromedia was recognized for its HotelEXPERT application.  The Innovator Awards recognizes the innovative use of iAnywhere technology in advanced applications providing anywhere, anytime access to enterprise information.  http://www.sybase.comhttp://www.hotelexpert.us
**
Australia-based icableholder has appointed StayOnline as the exclusive North American distributor of its guestroom broadband connection point and cable holder.  http://www.icableholder.com, http://www.stayonline.net
**
August 31, 2006

BACK OFFICE



- Carnus Systems launches Auto-RLM automated revenue and labor management system
- Valutec and Shift4 partner to process gift and loyalty cards through POS systems
- UniFocus acquiring LaborSage
------------------------
Carnus Systems has launched Auto-RLM, its Web-based automated revenue and labor management system.  Auto-RLM offers rooms demand forecasting (occupancy, arrivals, departures and guest count), revenue forecasting, ADR forecasting and optimization (including real-time competitive rate reporting) and automated departmental labor scheduling.  No PMS interface is required; hotels upload their existing daily reports to Auto-RLM for analysis using its artificial intelligence software.   http://www.carnussystems.com
**
Valutec Card Solutions has certified a high-speed connection to allow Shift4’s $$$ ON THE NET to accept and process Valutec gift and loyalty cards directly through point-of-sale (POS) systems.  http://www.valutecinfo.comhttp://www.shift4.com
**
UniFocus is acquiring LaborSage, provider of banquet and event labor scheduling software EventSage.  EventSage integrates with banquet event order systems to schedule catering and meeting labor according to event needs, using work content analysis to determine the staff and equipment resources required to setup, service and tear down events.  EventSage is intended to complement UniFocus’ existing Watson, R.M. Labor Management Systems (LMS).   http://www.unifocus.com
**

August 31, 2006

SECURITY



- IPIX liquidating its digital 360-degree still/video photo and surveillance technology
- Safemark Systems announced recent installations of its guestroom safes at fourteen hotels
- Hotel 1000 installs Miwa’s FeLica proximity locks
--------------------
IPIX Corporation is liquidating its patented high-resolution digital 360-degree still/video photo and surveillance technology after filing for bankruptcy.  The technology was used by many hotels to generate pan-and-tilt 360-degree views of meeting rooms, guestrooms and public spaces; the 360-degree video system was targeted at the surveillance market, including the U.S. military and border management.  http://www.ipix.com
**
Safemark Systems announced recent installations of its guestroom safes at fourteen hotels in the United States, Mexico and the Maldive Islands.  http://www.safemark.com
**
Seattle’s recently opened Hotel 1000 has installed Miwa’s FeLica proximity locks in all guestrooms.  The locks can read a key from within one inch of the lock.  Hotel 1000 is one of the first users in the United States to install the system, which was introduced three to four years ago in Japan and is currently in use in over 10,000 rooms worldwide.  http://www.hotel1000seattle.com, http://www.miwalock.com
**
August 31, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…
 
Two women friends had gone for a girls’ night out. Both were very faithful and loving wives, however, they had gotten a little over-enthusiastic with the cosmos that night. Incredibly drunk and walking home, they needed to tinkle, so they stopped in a cemetery.
 
One of them had nothing to wipe with so she thought she would take off her panties and use them. Her friend, however, was wearing a rather expensive pair of panties and did not want to ruin them. Looking around, she saw that she was lucky enough to have squatted down next to a grave that had a wreath with a ribbon on it, so she proceeded to use that.
 
After the girls did their business, they proceeded to go home.
 
The next day one of the women's husbands was concerned that his normally sweet and innocent wife was still in bed hung over, so he phoned the other husband and said, "These girls' nights have got to stop! I'm starting to suspect the worst ... my wife came home with no panties!!"
 
"That's nothing," said the other husband. "Mine came back with a card stuck to her butt that said, ‘From all of us at the fire station. We'll never forget you.’"


August 17, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Ken Voss appointed to executive vice president, sales and marketing at Certain Software
- Dave Tahan promoted to chief operating officer at KoolConnect
--------------------------
Ken Voss has been appointed to executive vice president, sales and marketing at Certain Software.  Mr. Voss brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing management experience, most recently as one of the founders of Spear Technologies.  He had earlier served as vice president, sales and marketing for TENERA, Inc., and had also held executive positions at Enlighten Software and SHL Systemhouse.
**
Dave Tahan has been promoted to chief operating officer at KoolConnect Technologies.  Previously executive vice president, Mr. Tahan joined KoolConnect following its April, 2005 acquisition of General Dynamics Interactive, which he had led.  He had earlier served as chief procurement officer and chairman of GTE’s Strategic Supplier Council; GTE was acquired by Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) and the Government Systems group was divested to General Dynamics. 
**


August 17, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Marriott testing mobile wireless checkin at the Marriott Town Center in Redmond, Wash.
--------------------------
Marriott International is testing mobile wireless checkin at the Marriott Town Center in Redmond, Wash.  Using software downloaded from Arrive.Marriott.com, travelers with Microsoft Windows mobile-powered Smartphones can connect to the hotel's property management system and check in while in transit to the hotel. They will also be able to change room types, receive welcome information and reconfirm their room rates, and will retrieve their room keys from an automated key dispenser in the lobby.  The software was developed in conjunction with Intel and Microsoft.  http://www.marriott.com
**


August 17, 2006

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- StarCite and OnVantage merge
- Marriott expands At Your Service pre-arrival planning to meetings and events worldwide
---------------------------
StarCite and OnVantage have merged their on-demand corporate meetings and events management companies under the StarCite name.  Michael Boult, president and CEO of StarCite, will remain in that position with the new company.  Existing clients will be able to use either system through 2007, after which StarCite's Global Meeting Solution will be phased out in favor of OnVantage's products.  Both systems are Web-based.  http://www.starcite.comhttp://www.onvantage.com
**
Marriott International is expanding its At Your Service pre-arrival planning to meetings and events worldwide.  The service, which was launched last year, allows meeting planners to send attendees details of their stay five days prior to arrival (14 days for resorts), including a reservation confirmation, information on property-specific amenities, weather forecast, maps, directions, transportation from the airport and local area information. http://www.marriott.com
**

August 17, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Canada installs MICROS’ 9700 Hospitality Management System
---------------------------
Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Canada, owned by Ripley Entertainment, has installed MICROS’ 9700 Hospitality Management System, with 27 MICROS workstations with integrated RFID readers.  The property implemented property-wide integrated RFID, which allows guests wearing waterproof RFID wrist bands to make payment at any MICROS POS workstation without having to carry cash or other forms of payment.  http://www.greatwolflodge.com, http://www.micros.com
**

August 17, 2006

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Chase Business Systems appoints TierOne as Premier Spa+ distributor in North America
------------------------
Chase Business Systems has appointed TierOne Hospitality Solutions as the distributor for its Premier Spa+ system in the North American hospitality market.  http://www.premiersoftware.co.uk, http://www.tieronehospitality.com
**


August 17, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- Chenega Federal Systems selects StayOnline for HSIA at 16 U.S. military bases
- TeleAdapt releases two new TA-6900 DeskPoint versions and upgrades firmware for VLANs
------------------------
Chenega Federal Systems has selected StayOnline to provide high-speed Internet access (HSIA) at 16 U.S. military bases across the country, where it manages technology under a new U.S. military contract.  The installations are scheduled to be complete within six months and involve more than 250 buildings and over 3,000 guest and meeting rooms.  http://www.chenegafederal.com, http://www.stayonline.net
**
TeleAdapt has released two new versions of its TA-6900 DeskPoint (an RJ45 socketed version and an under-desk version) and an upgrade of firmware to include 802.1Q-compatible VLAN tagging.  http://www.teleadapt.com
**


August 17, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

A man appeared before St. Peter at the pearly gates.

"Have you ever done anything of particular merit," St. Peter asked.

"Well, I can think of one thing," the man said. "On a trip to the Black Hills out in South Dakota, I came upon a rough gang of high-testosterone bikers, who were threatening a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen. So, I approached the largest and most intimidating of the bikers and smacked him on the head, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring and threw it on the ground. Then I yelled, ‘Now back off biker boy or you'll answer to me!’"

St. Peter was impressed. "When did this happen," he asked.

To which the man responded, "Just a few minutes ago."



August 31, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez

August 31, 2006

It was Saturday night and I was at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. Ruby Tuesday has a nice salad bar. If you order the salad bar as a meal, the price here in Atlanta is $7.49. If you order it with your entrée it is $2.79. When the waiter came to take my order I asked if I ordered the salad bar with an appetizer and not an entrée, what would he charge me. He looked at me, thought for a moment and then said he would “only” charge me $2.79. Then before he left our table he said, “I’ll tell you what, if you leave me an extra two dollar tip I won’t charge you for the salad bar,” and then left. I looked at my friend I was dining with and was shocked; wouldn’t this make me an accomplice in a crime against his employer? What would you do? I know I think differently than most. Would you have laughed and said a deal is a deal? Would you turn him in? This exchange with our waiter really bugged me probably because I am a business owner. Did I overreact? Think about this and I will tell you what I did at the end, but again, what would you have done?

Thanks to all who came to our Atlanta social event two weeks ago, it was a great time. Where were you living when you were 10 years old? Congratulations to Douglas Clark who won the two business class tickets anywhere AirTran flies. He was formerly with Mandarin Oriental but now has his own consulting practice here in Atlanta. Also I must thank all who participated and AirTran for providing the tickets. Make-A-Wish did very well that night with this mini-fundraiser. Check out some pictures of this event at http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com and click on Cool New Stuff (or use the following link http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/_cool_new_stuff/cool_new_stuff.asp). Also on the Cool New Stuff link is the video from NBC covering the HFTP Guestroom 2010 initiative which is now becoming a road show. If you missed it at HITEC in June in Minneapolis, then you can see it at the upcoming International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show(http://www.ihmrs.com) in November in New York. Also, if you are a vendor who is contemplating exhibiting this year at the show and want to save some money, e-mail mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com regarding a spot in our Technology Pavilion. There are still spots available, but don’t put it off too long, we are going to keep it smaller this year to allow more room for those in the pavilion.

Now back to Ruby Tuesday. When my check came there was no charge for the salad bar just as he said he would do. I decided to leave him $2.79, the cost of the salad bar and no tip (the service was actually not all that great). I also wrote a note explaining what employee theft costs businesses and how we all end up paying for it. I also suggested he stop this practice immediately because stealing is stealing and even though in this case it was small, it was leading him down a path that was going to have serious repercussions. I also told him in my note that being a business owner I had to tell the restaurant manager about his deal which I would do on my way out. I must admit I am a softie and didn’t really want this guy to get fired, but I needed to send him a message. Even though I wrote in the note that I was telling the manager, I didn’t. But I figured his thinking I did might inspire him to think about our “deal” and if it was worth it. Do you think he avoided the manager for the rest of his shift? So, that is what I did. Do you think I handled it correctly? Let me know.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. I couldn’t help but reflect on the news about IPIX. Do you remember when that technology was so popular and the hotel industry realized what a great marketing tool the World Wide Web was going to be? How things have changed. I will see you after Jon’s news with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what”.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 31, 2006

RESERVATIONS



- China Airlines signs with OctopusTravel.com to provide hotel, etc. bookings on its Web site
- Noble House renews contract with Pegasus for reservation services for its 13 properties
- Groupology launches small-group reservations service using PegsTour and UltraDirect
- Pegasus finalizes reservation services contracts for 37 former Distinguished Hotels properties
- InterContinental contracts with Pegasus for commission processing
- www.search.travel search engine gives priority to “.travel”-authenticated sites
- Travelocity planning to let travelers use existing miles and points to book travel services
-------------------------------------------

China Airlines, Taiwan’s national carrier, has contracted with OctopusTravel.com to provide hotel, apartments, car hire and private transfer bookings on its Web site.  OctopusTravel will also provide China Airline’s customers with local call center support in local dialects.  http://www.china-airlines.comhttp://www.octopustravel.com
**
Noble House Hotels & Resorts has renewed its contract with Pegasus Solutions for distribution and reservation services for its 13 properties nationwide.  The agreement covers the use of Pegasus HotelFactory central reservation system, voice reservation services through Pegasus’ call centers, online reservations from Noble’s Web site through the Open Hospitality booking engine and a one-way interface from HotelFactory to the Springer-Miller property management system Noble uses at all of its properties.  Noble House has been a Pegasus customer since 2001.

Groupology has launched a small-group reservations service, targeted at bookings for five or more rooms and with a special focus on the SMERF (social, military, education, religious and fraternal) segment.  Groupology will use Pegasus Solutions’ PegsTour and UltraDirect electronic distribution products combined into a single interface, linking tour operators and hotel reservation systems. 

Pegasus Solutions has finalized contracts to provide reservation and distribution services for 37 of the 60+ independent properties that were previously members of Distinguished Hotels, which ceased its marketing and representation operations in April.  Pegasus also acquired the “DH” chain code.  Pegasus had continued to provide service to all the hotels for an interim period.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has contracted with Pegasus for commission processing on behalf of its hotels to travel agents and distributors worldwide.
http://www.noblehousehotels.com, http://www.groupology.com, http://www.ichotelsgroup.comhttp://www.pegs.com 
**
Following the introduction of the .travel Internet domain six months ago, a new search engine has been launched to focus on the destinations and tourism-related companies registered under it.  In order to own a .travel Internet domain name, applicants must be authenticated to verify that they are legitimate travel companies and legally entitled to use the domain names.  The search.travel engine returns results from the entire World Wide Web, but gives priority to .travel-authenticated destinations and businesses.  http://www.search.travel
**
Travelocity is planning to allow travelers to use the miles and points from their various loyalty reward programs to book travel services.  Being developed with reward management portal Points.com, the program is scheduled for release by year-end.
**


August 31, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Cheesecake Factory implementing QSR Automations’ ConnectSmart Kitchen
- Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas installs InfoGenesis POS
- Black Angus Steakhouse to install Compeat Restaurant Accounting Systems in 85 sites
- OpenTable passes 25-millionth diner milestone
- Denny’s selects Radiant’s MenuLink back office software for 543 restaurants
---------------------------
The Cheesecake Factory is implementing QSR Automations’ ConnectSmart Kitchen (CSK) kitchen management system in its Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe restaurants.  CSK will be installed in each of the 21 new restaurants the company will open in its fiscal 2006, and will be retrofitted to each of the seven existing Grand Lux Cafes.  http://www.qsrautomations.com
**
Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas has installed InfoGenesis POS, the eighth Station Casinos property to do so.  Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, Nevada, includes a 25,000 square-foot spa, nine restaurants and a nightclub.  http://www.redrocklasvegas.comhttp://www.infogenesis.com
**
American Restaurant Group has contracted with Compeat Restaurant Accounting Systems to provide back office software for 85 locations of its Black Angus Steakhouse restaurants.  http://www.stuartandersons.comhttp://www.compeat.com
**
OpenTable has passed the 25-millionth diner milestone for its online restaurant reservations service, nine months after achieving its 15-millionth diner milestone.  http://www.opentable.com
**
Denny’s has selected Radiant Systems’ MenuLink back office software for its 543 restaurants.  http://www.dennys.comhttp://www.radiantsystems.com
**

September 14, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
September 14, 2006

I have decided that life is simply about moments. Those things that we experience and remember forever, those are the moments I am talking about. I know that people with children experience moments as their kids grow, but since I don’t have children, my moments are probably different than most. Last week at our CIO Summit I experienced two moments. One was during a toast where Nick Price from Mandarin Oriental Hotels acknowledged what we had created over the years. But “the moment” was at the Thursday night dinner when every attendee stood and gave a standing ovation to Charlotte and our entire Hospitality Upgrade team who have worked so hard to make this event happen. I have been to many, many conferences over my career and never once remember those that produced an event getting a standing ovation. That was truly a moment. Thank you to all who attended, sponsored and spoke. We live for moments like that. For a detailed review of the CIO Summit, make sure you are a subscriber to our magazine Hospitality Upgrade (it is a free publication for the industry and you can subscribe at http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com). We will have a review of the event, a related article on the state of the industry from the CIO perspective and of course embarrassing pictures. The magazine will hit the streets in mid-October.

Thanks to all who responded to our last Siegel Sez where I described my Ruby Tuesday experience. Half thought I did the right thing and the other half stated that I clearly blew it. It was the second most feedback I had ever received (behind my woodpecker problem) and I loved it. We actually put it to vote on our Web site so if you haven’t voted or missed the Siegel Sez go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com. No matter what your thoughts are, it was great to see such passion concerning right from wrong. Currently 82 percent of those who voted think I should have refused the waiter’s offer.

George Little Management, the company that produces the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (http://www.ihmrs.com) in New York every November has gotten us new kiosks for our technology pavilion. They are really cool and very big. They are way beyond kiosks this year and almost like small booths. We are limiting participation to 12 vendors because of the size. With the health of the industry and the investment in technology seeming to be at an all-time high along with HFTP having their Guestroom 2010 at the show, we expect this will be a very popular event this year. There are some great technology tracts at the show this year which also will increase attendance once again from this sector. If you are a vendor and are interested in participating in our pavilion, please e-mail Sharon at mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com. It is first come, first served for the kiosks.

Here now is the reason we are really here—Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. You should really read his opening comments carefully; I think every hotelier has wrestled with when and why. What Jon didn’t mention was that he was touching on what his feature article in next month’s Hospitality Upgrade magazine is about.

I would like to thank all of the readers of Siegel Sez who forward it to your industry counterparts. Six years of my babbling and Jon’s great review have enabled Hotel Online’s daily e-mail to grow and remain the industry’s most popular source of hotel-specific information. Your support is very appreciated. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


 



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
September 14, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Carl Leander joins Turning Stone Software as chief technology officer
- PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Scott Berman joins Cornell’s research advisory board
--------------------------
Carl Leander has joined contract software developer Turning Stone Software as chief technology officer.  Mr. Leander was most recently director of development - Daylight products at Newmarket International; he had earlier served as vice president of development at Daylight Software, which was acquired by Newmarket in March of this year.  Prior to his ten years with Daylight, he worked for Shaw Data Systems as an architect and developer of financial service software applications.
**
Scott Berman, U.S. advisory leader of the hospitality and leisure practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers and a principal in the Miami office, has joined the Cornell Hotel School’s Center for Hospitality Research advisory board.
**


September 14, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Multi-Systems, Inc. switches customer assistance center to brand-focused model
- Instant Software designates Shift4 as preferred payment vendor for V12.NET
--------------------------
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has switched its customer assistance center to a brand-focused model from a product-focused one.  Beginning Sept. 18, each hotel chain or independent hotel will now be supported by one of five dedicated brand support teams, initially covering Wyndham Hotel Group, Best Western International, Select Hotel Group-USFSI, Nova and independents.  The new initiative will provide MSI’s technicians with intensive, brand-specific training on the system modules used by their respective groups.  http://www.msisolutions.com
**
Instant Software has designated Shift4 as the preferred payment processing vendor for its V12.NET vacation rental management software, which is scheduled for release at the end of September.  http://www.instantsoftware.comhttp://www.shift4.com
**

September 14, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

Bob, a 70 year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the country club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25 year-old blonde who proceeds to knock everyone's socks off with her youthful sex appeal and charm.

She hangs onto Bob's arm and listens intently to his every word. His buddies at the club can’t believe it.

At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, "Bob, how did you get such a beautiful girlfriend?"

Bob replies, "Girlfriend? She's my wife!"

They're amazed, but continue to ask. "So, how did you persuade her to marry you?"

"I lied about my age,” Bob replies.

"What, did you tell her you were only 50?" they ask.

Bob smiles and says, "No, I told her I was 90."



September 14, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge
 
 
TOP O' THE NEWS

- Thoughts on ROI for hotel technology
---------------------------
Return on investment in hotel technology is a perennially thorny issue.  Some systems you simply have to have to run a hotel these days, such as a property management system; they’re just an essential part of the operation.  Other factors are often added through market pressure, such as providing high-speed Internet access in the guestrooms.  They may not make much (if any) additional revenue, but not having them is very likely to cost you bookings.  Investments like these are the price of staying in the game.

There’s a third category of systems that are less visible since they run behind the scenes, but which generate real ROI through increased staff efficiency, higher levels of guest service or tighter cost controls.  These are the ones that help you improve your game.  Justifying ongoing investment in them is often more difficult, however, since once they’re in place and all is running well, it’s easy to forget how badly things were before.  Their value is often intuitively obvious, especially to those who use them in their daily tasks, but determining their financial return can be difficult unless you set up the right measuring practices.  Better guest satisfaction survey scores or lower food costs when comparing before and after scenarios are obvious examples.  It’s important to retain this data supporting their value, especially when it’s time to invest in upgrading them or in providing refresher training for their users.

All of this is easier for a multiunit chain, of course, when pitching a system to a new owner.  “We installed system X in property Y, very equivalent to your hotel, and saw GSS scores improve by Z,” is a persuasive argument.  It’s much harder for a vendor to convince the owner of a new construction project.  With no “before” problems for comparison, and especially when initial budgets are drawn up a year or more before opening, making the case that such a system is an important contributor to operational efficiency and should therefore be included in the IT budget from day one is much harder.  But as staff labor costs continue to rise in parallel with the demand for higher standards of guest service, all hoteliers should be looking into every way to make the operation as effective as possible from the minute the doors open.
**



October 05, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Rich Siegel

Siegel Sez

October 5, 2006


I am not one to work on an airplane. To me it is a great place to read which is what I always do unless I fall asleep. I have never flown Jet Blue, but I know many who love this airline. Delta created a knockoff called Song that didn’t make it, but the Song planes are now in the Delta fleet. I am hooked. Free satellite TV, pay movies if you want and many other cool things are available with their in-flight entertainment system, but nothing beats the trivia game you can play against other passengers. It scares me how much worthless trivia I know, but I couldn’t beat David in seat 11D. I kept coming in second in every game played. Let’s face it; the No. 1 thing we all deal with on flights is boredom. In-flight entertainment is a great escape and a great way to meet other passengers. I went to the front of the plane to meet David in 11D and walked away pretty bummed. The guy was half my age and he knew more worthless trivia then I did. Who would have thought that a fun time could be had on an airplane? I need to try Jet Blue someday since it is the airline that started this craze.

I am flying to Connecticut to attend the Hotel Information Systems Users’ Group. I love when I get invited and my schedule works out that I can attend. I especially enjoy these conferences when a company was recently purchased. I remember Springer-Miller when it was bought by Par and Newmarket after it acquired Daylight Software. Nothing spectacular comes out of this except fun conversations about the future, after all, business is business and acquisitions happen for a number of reasons. In these previous cases it seemed to only make the companies stronger. It should be a fun conference, and it is also a good excuse to visit Mohegan Sun, which is a little Las Vegas if I have ever seen one.

In two weeks I get to go to the HFTP Annual Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. It isn’t often that I am truly excited about the location of a conference but Vancouver is the exception. I was last there in the late ‘80s and remember being told to rent a car and drive up to Whistler. I was so glad I did as it was easily one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken. If you are attending the conference and have time, take the trip. You will thank me.

It is just a little over a month until the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York (http://www.ihmrs.com). As of Monday we had two spots available in our Technology Pavilion, so e-mail Sharon at mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com if you are considering exhibiting.  It is a great (and less expensive) way to take advantage of the second largest gathering of technology people outside of HITEC. The fact that HFTP has brought Guestroom 2010 to the show has helped too. We are really looking forward to this show that I have been attending since I was in college. Not only do you get to meet the Hospitality Upgrade team, but Dick Johnson, who created Hotel Online way back before anybody was even considering delivering a daily e-mail to your computer, will also be in the Technology Pavilion. We hope to see you there.

Wow, I actually enjoyed writing this on a plane. Life is full of firsts and this was my first Siegel Sez written on a plane versus writing about something weird happening on a plane. (Remember when I got on the wrong flight?) And since they just told me for the second time to close up my laptop, I’d better finish. Here now is the real reason we are here—Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
October 05, 2006

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 
TOP O' THE NEWS


- Fourteen hospitality companies named in InformationWeek’s Top 500 IT Innovators
---------------------------
InformationWeek magazine has published its annual Top 500 IT Innovators list, drawn from U.S. companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue.  Perhaps making a lie out of the old story that hospitality is slow to adopt new technology, a remarkable fourteen hospitality companies were cited.  Those ranked in the top 250 were:
Aramark (#117)
Harrah’s Entertainment (#10)
Hilton Hotels (#100)
Marriott International (#7)
Sabre Holdings (#181)
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (#164)
Worldspan Technologies (#128)
Two specific projects cited were Marriott’s in-house development of its asset auditing report and Knowledgebase version 1 (MAAK1) system to assess the payment card security compliance profile of nearly 100,000 remote devices daily, and Harrah’s enhancement of its well-known CRM approach to provide recognition of guest status changes in real time instead of via after-the-fact reporting.

Other hospitality companies listed were ClubCorp, Darden Restaurants, InterContinental Hotels, MGM MIRAGE, Mohegan Sun Resort, NPC International (the largest Pizza Hut franchisee) and Royal Caribbean Cruises. 
**



October 05, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Gordon Wilson, Steve Barnhart named to lead Travelport’s new divisions
- Paul Brown promoted to president of Expedia North America
- David Warren hired as Northwind’s director of services and sales for U.K./Ireland
- Mark Tapling promoted to president and chief executive officer at InfoGenesis
- Diane Estner promoted to vice president of global sales at SDD
- Dave Lutz appointed to Passkey’s board of directors
- Michelle Yablin Silverman joins HBSI as director of account management
--------------------------
Travelport announced that it will organize under three global businesses - Galileo, Orbitz Worldwide and Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA) - on January 1, 2007. 
- Gordon Wilson, 40, previously president and CEO of the business group for EMEA, Asia and Pacific, has been named president and CEO of Galileo.
- Ken Esterow, 42, who served as president and CEO of the Travelport business group, Americas, has been appointed as the president and CEO of GTA.
- Steve Barnhart, 44, was recently appointed as president and CFO of Orbitz Worldwide and will continue to serve in that capacity.
All three executives will report directly to Travelport’s CEO and president, Jeff Clarke.
**
Paul Brown has been promoted to president of Expedia North America, from head of its partner services group (PSG).  He had earlier served as senior vice president of strategy and development for Hotels.com and Expedia North America.  Mr. Brown has more than 10 years of travel industry experience. Prior to joining Expedia he was a partner with McKinsey & Company’s London office, where he was a leader of the global travel and hospitality practice group, and had previously been senior vice president of strategic services for InterContinental Hotel Group.
**
David Warren has been hired as Northwind’s director of services and sales for the United Kingdom and Ireland, based in its new U.K. office.  Mr. Warren has 25 years of hospitality experience, having held senior positions with De Vere Hotels and Hilton and having represented Hotel Information Systems and Ramesys.
**
Mark Tapling has been promoted to president and chief executive officer at InfoGenesis, replacing Terry Cunningham, who moves to the position of vice chairman of the board. Mr. Tapling joined InfoGenesis earlier this year as chief operating officer.  He was previously CEO of Everypath, a mobile applications company, and earlier had managed international operations for analytics company Comshare, held executive management positions at Soft-Switch, Inc., and Lotus Development (IBM), and was CEO of ServiceWare Technologies.
Mr. Cunningham joined InfoGenesis in January 2005, after serving as a board member and angel investor for several companies, including Guest Technologies, ProClarity, NGRAIN Technology and Coral8.  He founded Crystal Decision in 1984, became president of Seagate Software after it acquired Crystal, and was then president and COO of VERITAS following its acquisition of Seagate’s network and storage management group.
**
Diane Estner has been promoted to vice president of global sales at SDD; she was previously director of national account sales.  Ms. Estner has been with SDD for ten years.
**
Dave Lutz has been appointed to Passkey’s board of directors.  Mr. Lutz is managing director of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting; he previously served more than 20 years with Conferon Global Services, most recently as president of its two largest operating divisions - Conferon and ExpoExchange.
**
Michelle Yablin Silverman has joined Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSI) as director of account management.  With more than 25 years of hospitality experience, Ms. Silverman previously managed hospitality client relationships for Verso in Atlanta.  She had earlier held leadership positions with Eltrax Systems and Encore Systems in Atlanta, and Bally’s Park Place Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
**

October 05, 2006

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Warwick International orders OPERA for its 10 corporate-owned properties
- Visual One adds Internet checkin to V1Net browser-based PMS
- Visual One updates yield management, Web interface for its main V1 PMS
- City Lodge completes implementation of Amadeus Hotel Multiproperty (Hogatex) PMS at all 40 properties
--------------------------

Warwick International Hotels has ordered MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise Solution for the 10 corporate-owned properties in its 35-property portfolio in the United States and Europe.  Full deployment will be complete by year-end; Phase 1 covers OPERA Property Management System and Sales and Catering System, after which all properties will connect to the OPERA Customer Information System (OCIS).  http://www.warwickhotels.comhttp://www.micros.com
**
Visual One has added Internet checkin to its V1Net browser-based PMS.  Guests can confirm their room reservation and payment method, select a room and print a checkin voucher.  Visual One is working with lock vendors to allow guests to use the credit card used in the checkin process as their guestroom key, to bypass the front desk entirely.

Visual One has released updates to the yield management functionality in its main V1 PMS, including length-of-stay rules, days-in-advance rules, and also yield by room type.

V1 also introduced a new interface that permits Web masters to add .Net controls to a hotel’s Web site to create a custom user interface while keeping the reservation process “inside” the hotel’s Web page. 
http://www.visualonesystems.com
**
South Africa’s City Lodge chain has completed its implementation of the Amadeus Hotel Multiproperty (Hogatex) PMS at all 40 properties on a single central platform.  http://www.citylodge.co.zahttp://www.amadeus-hospitality.de
**


October 05, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Preferred Hotels expanding relationship with Leonardo
- Kayak.com contracts with Leonardo for rich media content
----------------------------
The Preferred Hotel Group is expanding its relationship with Leonardo Media to add a centralized rich media content repository and distribution system to the GDSs, switches and travel channels used by its 340+ hotels.

Meta-search engine Kayak.com has contracted with Leonardo for rich media content for the 135,000+ properties worldwide for which it carries inventory.
http://www.kayak.comhttp://www.leonardo.com
**



October 05, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Harrah's subsidiary awarded a U.S. Patent for revenue management that considers guests indirect spending.
- Softwear Group releases CHAMP CHAnnel Management Producer module
----------------------------
Harrah's Entertainment subsidiary Harrah's Operating Company has been awarded a United States Patent titled "Resource Price Management Incorporating Indirect Value", which describes the setting of customized prices for hotel rooms and other resources, taking into account the value of the customer's purchases in any of a property's other operations, including gaming, retail purchases and dining.  http://www.harrahs.com
**
The Softwear Group has added the CHAMP (CHAnnel Management Producer) component to its INNovation Suite of add-on hospitality software modules.  CHAMP allows room and rate inventories to react to anticipated demand patterns across various channels.  http://www.softweargroup.com
**

October 05, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- InfoGenesis announces four new products
- Hyatt Regency McCormick Place completes pilot test of Capton’s Beverage Tracker
---------------------------
InfoGenesis has announced four new products:
- Version 4.0 of its InfoGenesis POS system, with new reporting options, system monitoring and distribution functions and increased guest data security.
- ResPAK Restaurant Management, a table management and reservations system licensed from Analytical Systems Pty. Ltd. and integrated with the POS.
- InfoGenesis Analytics, to be released Q1 of 2007 and providing top-level, customizable dashboards with drill-down and trending capabilities.
- InfoGenesis Self-Service, with eMenu Web and kiosk ordering capabilities and eCash for simpler customer account management and lower credit card transaction fees. http://www.infogenesis.com
**
The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago has completed its pilot test of Capton’s Beverage Tracker RFID liquor control system, and reports significant improvement in pour control.  Beverage Tracker wirelessly monitors every drink served in the bar’s normal operations, tracking the exact amount of liquor poured, the brand, time and date, reporting which drinks were under poured, over poured or not recorded in the POS.  http://www.captoninc.com
**

October 05, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- iBAHN announces platinum service team model for regional customer support
- Hyatt implementing BoardEZ airline boarding pass kiosks in United States, Canada and Caribbean
- Embassy Suites completes roll-out of registration kiosks in all 182 hotels, adds boarding pass printing
- The Queen Mary implements power-line high-speed Internet access from Telkonet
------------------------
Broadband service provider iBAHN announced its platinum service team model for customer support, using regional teams to respond to requests quickly.  Intended to especially benefit high-end hotel properties with large conference spaces, the new model has been piloted in two regions over the summer and will be in effect across North America in October 2006.  http://www.ibahn.com
**
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is implementing Vertical Systems’ BoardEZ airline boarding pass printing kiosks in the lobbies of its properties in the United States, Canada and Caribbean.  The kiosks include FreshStart software that permanently erase all user information and usage history.  http://www.hyatt.comhttp://www.ver-sys.com
**
Embassy Suites Hotels has completed the roll-out of EmbassyDirect Registration Kiosks in all of its 182 hotels, and has added airline boarding pass printing to all kiosks, claiming to be the first brand to achieve this at 100 percent of its hotels.  http://embassysuites.hilton.com
**
The Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, Calif., has implemented power-line high-speed Internet access from Telkonet in all 365 guestrooms and all public areas.  The implementation uses a combination of wired access through the electrical outlets, and wireless coverage from access points plugged into outlets in the public areas.  http://www.queenmary.com, http://www.telkonet.com
**
October 05, 2006

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Avendra celebrates fifth anniversary, grows annual customer spend by $1 billion
------------------------------------
Procurement services company Avendra is celebrating its fifth anniversary and announced that its annual customer spend has increased from $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion in that period.  http://www.avendra.com
**

October 05, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

A married couple was in a terrible accident where the man's face was severely burned. The doctor told the husband that they couldn't graft any skin from his body because he was too thin. So the wife offered to donate some of her own skin. However, the only skin on her body that the doctor felt was suitable would have to come from her buttocks. The husband and wife agreed that they would tell no one about where the skin came from, and they requested that the doctor also honor their secret.

After the surgery was completed, everyone was astounded at the man's new face.  He looked more handsome than he ever had before. All his friends and relatives just went on and on about his youthful beauty.

One day, he was alone with his wife, and he was overcome with emotion at her sacrifice. He said, "Dear, I just want to thank you for everything you did for me.  How can I possibly repay you?"

"My darling," she replied, "I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheek."



October 19, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel

 

Siegel Sez

Decisions, decisions. We make them and then live with them and regret is not allowed. I am flying to Vancouver for the HFTP Annual Conference, or at least I am trying to. I arrived at the airport late and had a bag to check. But it is inside the 45 minute window to check bags so the Delta agent won’t check my bag. This is bad. But wait, my flight is a half hour late, so now she can check it, this is good. Oh wait, I am probably not going to make the connection in Salt Lake City to Vancouver, now this is bad again. To make it worse, there are no other flights and no other routes they can offer me to get me to Vancouver. Wait, isn’t Vancouver a big city? It is around 11:15 a.m. and they say they cannot get me there? Of course, they will not put me on another airline, that would cost money and I can’t say I blame them. Oh well, I now have to make a decision. Go back home and do this all again tomorrow or go to Salt Lake City and hope the connecting flight is late. If I miss the connection then I am on my own for a hotel (we shall see about this when I get there). Having driven to the Atlanta airport in the pouring rain, there was no way I was going back home. Salt Lake City here I come.

The flight out of Atlanta was very, very late so I was pretty sure I was not going to make the connection to get me to Vancouver. But wait. Delta, for some reason while I was in the air, booked me from Salt Lake to Seattle and then to Vancouver on Alaska Airlines. They have just told me I will get there tonight. We shall see. Who wants to bet if my bag also makes it? They say it will, I say it won’t. The positive thing about all this is everybody on this full flight from Atlanta missed connections. Some ate together, others drank together and everybody bonded waiting for their new flights that all seem to be leaving three hours later than scheduled. Can you tell from this Siegel Sez if I ate or drank?

Anyway, lots of new friends were made, business cards were exchanged and if the past holds true, nobody will ever talk to each other again. But it was a fun day anyway. I say that hoping to make it to Vancouver eight hours after I had planned to get there. I guess this is one more test of my ability to stay positive. I love the HFTP Annual Conference. Out of all that I attend, HFTP has the most loyal members. There’s a lot of great educational sessions offered during this event, but there are also fun, fun times. Hope I get to experience it.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show (http://www.ihmrs.com/). If you are interested in the Technology Pavilion Sharon still has a spot available. E-mail her at mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com or call her at (678) 802-5304. If you have been to our dinner during the show in the past, we are planning it again on Monday night. Also e-mail Sharon for the details. Thank you for helping me kill nearly four hours while waiting for my flights.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.  



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
September 14, 2006

RESERVATIONS



- KDS contracts with Pegasus for UltraDirect electronic distribution service
- Boscolo contracts with Pegasus for global commission services for 19 hotels
- TRUST.WIZCOM adds secure credit card payment from Wirecard AG to Voyager CRS
- AC Hotels renews agreement for TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for 79 properties
- Aquarius Hotels Group installs SensibleRez booking engine on Web site
- Rosewood expands relationship with SynXis to include private label call center services
- Sabre introduces Hotel upSell technology to the U.K.
- Thomas Cook orders £20 million multichannel reservation system from BlueSky Travel Systems
-------------------------------------------

Business travel management vendor KDS has contracted with Pegasus Solutions to use its UltraDirect electronic distribution service for direct access to 60,000+ hotels worldwide. 

Boscolo Hotels has contracted with Pegasus for global commission services for its 19 four- and five-star hotels across Europe, and renewed its agreement for the RezView CRS and NetBooker Internet booking engine. 
http://www.kds.com, http://www.boscolohotels.comhttp://www.pegs.com
**
TRUST.WIZCOM has added secure online credit card payment from Germany’s Wirecard AG to its Voyager CRS.  http://www.wirecard.comhttp://www.trustwizcom.com
**
AC Hotels, with 79 properties in Spain, Italy and Portugal, has renewed its agreement to use TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS as its booking engine for Web connectivity.  AC Hotels has used iHotelier since 2004.  http://www.travelclick.net
**
The United Kingdom’s Aquarius Hotels Group has installed Sensible IT’s SensibleRez Web booking engine on its Web site which serves its properties in London, Hertford and Letchworth.  Aquarius has also implemented SensibleRez’ Preferred Partner Module to allow corporate travelers to book at their contracted rate.  http://www.aquariushotels.co.ukhttp://www.makeitsensible.com
**
Rosewood Hotels and Resorts has expanded its relationship with Sabre’s SynXis to include private label call center services for its twenty properties worldwide.  Rosewood will now manage all channels through SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management System, including GDS, IDS, CRO and Web site bookings. 

Sabre has introduced its Hotel upSell technology to the United Kingdom, making it easier for hoteliers to offer upgrades automatically when travel agents book hotel rooms via Sabre.  As the agent completes a hotel booking, an upgrade message appears on the booking screen, prompting the agent to either accept or decline the upgrade.  http://www.rosewoodhotels.com, http://www.synxis.comhttp://www.sabretravelnetwork.com
**
Thomas Cook has placed a contract with Manchester-based BlueSky Travel Systems to provide a £20 million new multichannel reservation system across Europe to allow all of the group's tour operating brands to sell and distribute via multiple channels including Web sites, television, call-centers and travel agents.  The new system, code name GLOBE, will be phased in brand by brand over two years, and will enable Thomas Cook to distribute traditional package holidays, dynamically packaged and priced holidays and trips made up of individual components.
**


September 14, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Kor signs with Clairvoyix for Guest Intelligence and Knowledge Factory
- Travelport signs with VRX Studios for hotel and cruise rich-media content
----------------------------
Kor Hotel Group has signed with Clairvoyix for its Guest Intelligence and Knowledge Factory applications.  Kor currently manages eleven hotels, with five more planned.  Clairvoyix will import guest data from the hotels’ property management systems, augment it from third-party data providers and provide automation tools for e-mail marketing and direct mail campaigns.  http://www.korhotelgroup.comhttp://www.clairvoyix.com
**
Travelport Operations has signed a one year licensing agreement for VRX Studios to provide hotel and cruise rich-media content to Orbitz.com, Cheaptickets.com and eBookers.com.  http://www.travelport.comhttp://www.vrxstudios.com
**


September 14, 2006

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Classical Hotels installing IDeaS v5i at several city hotels
- InterContinental deploys Hotel Booking Solutions (HBSI) Demand Management suite
----------------------------
Classical Hotels, the 14-property city hotel group within Grecotel, Greece’s largest hotel chain, is installing IDeaS v5i ASP-based revenue optimization application at several of its city hotels including locations in Athens, Thessaloniki and Sofia.  The IDeaS system will work with Classical’s existing Protel environment.  http://www.grecotel.com, http://www.ideas.com
**
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is deploying Hotel Booking Solutions (HBSI) Demand Management suite to expand the number of online distribution channels and third-party interfaces available to IHG properties worldwide.  http://www.ichotelsgroup.comhttp://www.hotelbookingsolutions.com
**

September 14, 2006

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Ireland’s Rebel Bar Group implements MICROS’ RES 3000 at 15 locations
---------------------------
Ireland’s Rebel Bar Group is implementing MICROS’ Restaurant Enterprise Series (RES 3000), which includes MICROS 3700 Point-of-Sale (POS), Enterprise Management, mymicros.net and myinventory, across its 15 locations.  The RES 3000 suite will replace the group's dependent till systems.  http://www.rebelbargroup.comhttp://www.micros.com
**

September 14, 2006

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Demand for spa services at high-end properties still increasing
------------------------
Emphasizing guests’ continued demand for spa experiences at luxury and upper-upscale lodging hotels and resorts, a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Smith Travel Research and the International Spa Association reports that approximately 40 percent of U.S. development projects in this tier have spa facilities and services, compared to 27 percent of existing sites.  But it’s still a high-end market; among U.S. hotels in all categories, 1.9 percent of planned projects have spa facilities and services compared to 0.6 percent of existing hotels.

According to the International Spa Association, resort/hotel spas is the second largest category of spas after day spas, but is disproportionately larger and more profitable.  They account for 14 percent of spa locations but 37 percent of the total industry square footage and 41 percent of revenues.
**



September 14, 2006

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Beverly Hills Hotel orders Agilysys’ Materials Management System
------------------------------------
The 204-room Beverly Hills Hotel has ordered Agilysys’ Materials Management System (MMS) inventory and procurement application, including the MMS Menu/Recipe Analysis and MMS Bar Coding modules.  http://www.thebeverlyhillshotel.com, http://www.agilysys.com
**


October 19, 2006

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Joe Tesfai elected to HTNG board of directors
- Suzanne Rainey hired as KoolConnect’s vice president of content
- Caroline Cartellieri joins Expedia.co.uk as vice president and managing director
- Steve Lambert hired as Newmarket’s managing director/EMEA
- Dan Hiza promoted to vice president business development at Newmarket
--------------------------

Joe Tesfai, chief technology officer of the Dubai-based Jumeirah Group, has been elected to HTNG’s board of directors.
**
Suzanne Rainey has been hired as KoolConnect’s vice president of content.  With over 20 years of television and movie experience, Ms. Rainey has previously consulted for many corporations on licensing, marketing and content development.  She had earlier been director of worldwide pay television at MGM, and vice president of pay television and cable television for PolyGram.  Ms. Rainey began her career at NBC.
**
Caroline Cartellieri has joined Expedia.co.uk as vice president and managing director.  She was most recently director of group commercial finance at home improvement retailer Kingfisher Plc, and had previously been head of strategy.  Ms. Cartellieri had earlier served with consumer advice site Ciao.com and was co-founder and CEO of eDelights.com. She started her career in management consultancy with roles at Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company in London and New York.
**
Steve Lambert has been hired by Newmarket International as managing director of its EMEA (UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa) division.  Mr. Lambert was most recently managing director of property management firm Chesterfield Global; he had earlier served as acting managing director for Whitbread Hotel Company, as finance and systems director for Premier Travel Inn, and in various positions for the DeVere Group and Dixons Stores.

He replaces Dan Hiza, who becomes vice president business development, focusing on strategic customer and partner relationships and market development.
**


October 19, 2006

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Visual One integrates Clairvoyix’s guest marketing technology into V1 PMS
----------------------------
Visual One has integrated Clairvoyix’s guest marketing technology into its V1 PMS.  The launch customer for the combined products was ClubResorts’ Pinehurst resort.  http://www.visualonesystems.comhttp://www.clairvoyix.com
**

October 19, 2006

GUEST SERVICES



- HIS and Diversified Computer complete two-way interface between epitome and GuestWare
- OTRUM integrates 3C Communications’ payment processing into its in-room hotel services
------------------------
Hotel Information Systems (HIS) and Diversified Computer Corp. have completed a two-way interface between their epitome PMS and GuestWare applications. New reservations and impending arrivals are transferred to Guestware for checking against its profile database; profile data in GuestWare (e.g. preference data, guest classification or loyalty level) are automatically updated in the epitome PMS.  New profile matches identified in GuestWare are also sent back to epitome to simplify guest history maintenance. Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group has been testing the interface since earlier this year, and plans to roll it out to all properties over the next few months.  http://www.hotelinfosys.comhttp://www.guestware.com
**
OTRUM has integrated 3C Communications International’s payment processing services into its in-room hotel services offerings, allowing guests to pay directly with their credit cards for services they want to access.  http://www.otrum.comhttp://www.3cint.com
**

October 19, 2006

SECURITY



- Canada’s Hotel Arts (Calgary) and Playa del Sol Resort (Kelowna) install VingCard’s Signature locks
--------------------
Two Canadian luxury properties, the 185-room boutique Hotel Arts in downtown Calgary, Alberta and the new 283-suite Playa del Sol Resort condominium resort in Kelowna, British Columbia, have installed VingCard’s Signature guestroom locks.  http://www.vingcard.com
**


October 19, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

Paddy staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Mick. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Brigid.
 
He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the steps leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.
 
Managing not to yell, Paddy got up, lowered his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his back side was cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting them as best as he could on each place he saw blood. He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box in a drawer and shuffled and stumbled his way up the stairs to bed.
 
In the morning, Paddy woke up with searing pain in both his head and bottom, and Brigid staring at him from across the room.
 
She said, "You were drunk again last night weren't you, Paddy?"
 
"Why would you say such a mean thing?" Paddy replied.
 
"Well," Brigid said, "it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly, it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror."



November 01, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel

Siegel Sez


Nov. 1, 2006


Did you read the lead story Monday on Hotel Online regarding Philadelphia hoteliers wanting to pull the free in-room copies of Philadelphia magazine because of its cover story about the number of murders in the city? Were they worried that those staying in their hotels would be scared? You want a real scary story?

This past weekend we had a company retreat at the Westin Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort. I checked into my room around 5 p.m. and was changing into shorts and decided to sit on my balcony which had a beautiful view of the ocean. The balconies are private so I didn’t feel the urgent need to finish changing while sitting there. All of a sudden out of nowhere comes a very intoxicated woman who was my next door neighbor leaning out around the balcony dividers to say hello. This totally caught me off guard especially since I wasn’t dressed appropriately to be meeting surprise neighbors. I said hello and quickly retreated inside my room. My phone rings and as I am sharing this story with one of my group there is a knock on the door. I continued my call for a moment and then the knocking quickly became near violent in nature. I went to the door and looked through the peephole and it was my neighbor. I put my shorts on, stayed on the phone and answered the door. Then came the formal and very drunken introduction from my neighbor. I shook her outstretched hand and then she wouldn’t let go until I aggressively pulled it away. I told her nice to meet her but I was on the phone and had to go. Ok, she now knew I was traveling alone which was not the norm for a Bahamian resort this time of year. She was obviously a very “friendly” woman who enjoys drinking beyond her limit even if it was only 5 p.m. What would you have done?

I called the front desk and asked to change my room. I had visions of her knocking at my door at 3 a.m. or even worse trying to climb over the balcony divider and who knows what might happen since we were on the ninth floor? I thought the front desk person was going to cry she was laughing so hard as I told her why I needed to change my room. She made the change and thankfully I didn’t see my ex-neighbor for the duration of the weekend. I wonder if any surprises were in store for whoever checked into the room I vacated. Hey, maybe it worked out for them. People do really lose their inhibitions while on vacation, don’t they?

It was a fun weekend but we are now back to the real world which means Jon Inge’s technology review from the last two weeks. Jon’s opening comments regarding what travelers do while on the road were pretty interesting and funny. Thankfully there was nothing about balcony hopping. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.  



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
November 01, 2006

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 

TOP O' THE NEWS

- TripAdvisor’s annual travel trends survey reports some surprising figures
---------------------------
Social networking site TripAdvisor released the results of its annual travel trends survey of nearly 4,000 travelers, globally.  Some of the reported trends are both fascinating and surprising, and it would be interesting to see the breakdown of the respondents’ demographics to clarify some of the more unexpected ones.  For example:
- 43 percent of travelers said they are likely to go hiking, up from 24 percent one year ago, and 39 percent plan on adventure activities (such as parasailing and whitewater rafting), up from 29 percent last year.  Really?  Maybe the planes full of business folk I see count their treks through the concrete canyons of New York and Chicago as hikes.  These can certainly turn into adventures if you take a wrong turn.
- 24 percent won't leave home without disinfectant/cleaning supplies, shower shoes, their own pillow, their own sheets/pillowcase or their own towels, with travelers from the United States more than twice as germophobic as those from the United Kingdom.
- Maybe giving rise to the above figures, 28 percent of travelers said their worst experience in a hotel room was a dirty bathroom, and 75 percent of travelers think that a clean restroom is what makes an airport great.
- 20 percent reported that they’d taken items from a hotel, such as towels, bathrobes, decorative pieces, glassware or flatware, but only 4 percent of travelers said they’re likely to do something illegal that they wouldn't normally do at home.  So apparently 16 percent think it’s not illegal to steal from the hotel.
- 64 percent of travelers have bought or brought an additional piece of luggage to pack items they acquired on vacation for the return trip home.  You never know when you might want to pack a few extra towels, I guess.
- More seriously, 61 percent considered the threat of terrorism an important factor when choosing a vacation destination, up from 52 percent last year, and 25 percent (and 29 percent of Americans) consider the cost of fuel important when choosing where to go.  But despite that concern, 81 percent of travelers plan to drive this year for leisure trips, versus 71 percent a year ago.
**



November 12, 2009

RESERVATIONS



- RezStream releases version 2009.9.1 of RezStream Professional reservation software
- Cornell report shows billboard effect increase for hotels listed on Expedia, Travelocity
- TripAdvisor acquires Kuxun.cn, second largest travel-related Web site in China
- EZYield.com launches RoomRez hotel Web booking engine
- Priceline.com releases Hotel Negotiator App for the iPhone
-------------------------------------------
RezStream has released version 2009.9.1 of its RezStream Professional reservation software.  Enhancements include improved group reservations functionality and a new hourly reservation report showing dates and times of hourly reservations in greater detail.  Improvements to the RezStream Booking Engine include Payment Processing Inc. (PPI) credit card processing, improved overall performance and the addition of credit card security codes.  RezStream has also added a blog, travel blog and video page to its Web site.  http://www.rezstream.com 
**
A hotel Internet marketing study by Cornell Assistant Professor Chris K. Anderson reports a billboard effect increase for hotels listed on Expedia.com or Travelocity.com, whereby they receive reservations not only through that channel but it also gain reservations through other channels, such as their own Web site or telephone reservations.  The value of this billboard effect is calculated in the report, available at no charge from http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/2009.html.
**
TripAdvisor has acquired Kuxun.cn, the second largest online travel-related Web site in China.  http://www.kuxun.cn, http://www.tripadvisor.com
**
EZYield.com has launched its RoomRez hotel Web booking engine, which supports best available rate (BAR) strategies and prevents competitive shopping tools from reading a property’s discounted rates.  RoomRez supports 21 languages and 160 currencies, handles multiple room types, arrival dates and departure dates in a single booking, includes automated rewards and redemption guest loyalty programs, and can book different rate plans on different days during the same stay.  http://www.ezyield.com
**
Priceline.com has released its Hotel Negotiator App for the iPhone to help travelers find and book last-minute hotel rooms using priceline.com's Name Your Own Price hotel service.  The Hotel Negotiator App includes:
- Multiple recent winning bids for hotels in a specified city made by other customers in different locations at different star levels.
- Shake-Down geo-locator-triggered hotel search.
- An option for browsing priceline.com's published-price hotels for a particular city.
http://www.priceline.com
**
November 12, 2009

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- UniFocus partners with Circos Brand Karma and gCommerce Solutions for reputation management
- Aqua Hotels and Resorts selects Milestone Internet Marketing’s eBuzz Connect
- Libra OnDemand selected as finalist in Force.com Forty Innovation Showcase
- HeBS receives three W3 Silver Awards for outstanding achievement in Web 2.0 and Web site development
----------------------------
UniFocus has partnered with Circos Brand Karma and gCommerce Solutions to offer reputation management commentary and analytics through one portal.  Circos Brand Karma applies semantic analysis to social media to extract brand sentiments from the actual text in consumer-written reviews and comments; gCommerce uses its Internet marketing and distribution management services to put these into a broader marketing context to drive online revenue channels.  http://www.gcommercesolutions.com, http://www.circos.com, http://www.unifocus.com
**
Aqua Hotels and Resorts has selected Milestone Internet Marketing’s eBuzz Connect to provide social media and online reputation management for its 16 hotels on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Molokai.   http://www.aquaresorts.com, http://www.milestoneinternet.com
**
Libra OnDemand has been selected as a finalist in the Force.com Forty Innovation Showcase, sponsored by Salesforce.com to showcase applications from the Salesforce.com partner community.  Applications are evaluated on their innovative use of Force.com technologies, the ability to solve a real business challenge and address a need in the marketplace, strong visual design and execution and level of customer adoption.  http://www.libraondemand.com
**
Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) has received three W3 Silver Awards for outstanding achievement in Web 2.0 and Web site development from the International Academy of the Visual Arts.   http://www.hospitalityebusiness.com
**
November 12, 2009

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Amsterdam Hospitality adopting EZYield.com for entire portfolio
- Thistle Hotels and Guoman Hotels pick EZYield.com for 39 properties
- AboutAnywhere.com partners with EZYield.com
- eRevMax launches direct GDS connectivity for RateTiger with ReservHOTEL
- RateTiger announces addition of 500th fully integrated distribution channel
- eRevMax integrates RateTiger into MSI’s WinPM and ePM PMSs
- Nickelodeon Family Suites implements EzRMS’s full product suite
----------------------------

New York-based boutique management company Amsterdam Hospitality is adopting EZYield.com’s channel management technology for its entire portfolio of hotels, which includes the Ameritania, Amsterdam Court, the Bentley, The Marcel at Gramercy, The Moderne and the Empire Hotel in New York City; the Berkeley Hotel In Asbury Park, N.J.; and The Blake in Charlotte, N.C.

Thistle Hotels and Guoman Hotels have selected EZYield.com for channel management and reservation delivery for their 37 properties throughout the United Kingdom, and for two more properties being added in Malaysia by year end. 

AboutAnywhere.com has partnered with EZYield.com to allow hoteliers to use EZYield.com to yield rates, inventory and restrictions to AboutAnywhere.com through EZYield.com's online channel management tool. 
http://www.amsterdamhospitality.com, http://www.thistle.com, http://www.guoman.com, http://www.aboutanywhere.com, http://www.ezyield.com
**
eRevMax has launched direct GDS connectivity for RateTiger.  Together with ReservHOTEL, RateTiger will allow hotels to automatically update hotel descriptions, rates and availability to increase exposure and revenue opportunities across multiple GDSs.

RateTiger also announced the addition of its 500th fully integrated distribution channel.

eRevMax has contracted with MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) to integrate its RateTiger competitive rate shopping data into MSI’s WinPM and ePM property management systems.  By year end MSI and eRevMax will introduce a standard package of information for up to five competitive hotels, across five ADS Web sites; other custom packages are planned based on the frequency and number of sites accessed. 
http://www.ratetiger.comhttp://www.msisolutions.com
**
The 777-room Nickelodeon Family Suites, Orlando, Fla., has implemented EzRMS’s full product suite, including the EzRMS core, Ez-QUOTE, Ez-BUDGET and Ez-COMPETE modules and the extraction and upload interfaces to OPERA V5 PMS.  http://www.nickhotel.comhttp://www.easyrms.com
**


November 12, 2009

ENGINEERING



- Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites in Lake Buena Vista install hotel ServicePro, hotel SalesPro
------------------------------
The Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista and the Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista in Orlando have installed hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro and hotel ServicePro systems.  The new-build properties have a combined total of 260+ rooms and will use the Web-based hotel SalesPro system to automate group convention sales and hotel ServicePro to manage hotel maintenance.  http://www.hotelsystemspro.com
**

November 12, 2009

COMMUNICATIONS



 
And now for you-know-what…

A local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town’s most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called the lawyer. “Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $400,000, you give not a penny to charity,” the representative said. “Wouldn’t you like to give back to the community in some way?”

The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, “First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?”

Embarrassed, the rep mumbled, “Uh… no.”

“Or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair,” the lawyer continued.

The stricken rep began to stutter an apology but was interrupted by the lawyer who added with his voice rising in indignation, “Or that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident, leaving her broke with three children?!”

The humiliated rep, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea.”

The lawyer cut him off once again, and said, “So, if I don’t give any money to them, why should I give any to you?”



December 03, 2009

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Dec. 3, 2009

December, it is finally here.  Was anybody really prepared a year ago for what has transpired this past year?  I receive grief when I accent the positive, but after a year of negative news is this wrong? Am I the only person who got to the point where I hated people describing the economy as the “new norm.” Who comes up with these descriptions anyway? Yes, there are still too many people out of work, but I am optimistic that the worst is over. The economy slowly continues to recover. The stock market which many consider the true barometer of the economy has been growing dramatically over the past six months. Instead of layoffs companies are hiring albeit not as quickly as they have in the past.  The buzz at the many events I attended last month was a level of optimism that I thought we would never hear again. What a year this has been. 2010 can’t get here soon enough in my book.

Speaking of events, Geneva and I tag teamed at the PhoCusWright Conference in Orlando at the very luxurious Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. I had always heard this conference was the most professionally produced conference for the travel industry and now I am in total agreement.  This gathering has a very unique format, lots of audience participation and much to bring home. We look forward to participating in PhoCusWright’s first ever TRAVDEX (http://www.travdex.com) here in Atlanta in May. After PhoCusWright I went directly to the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.  We all hear about the problems in Las Vegas with less visitors, depressed room rates and with the opening this month of CityCenter and even more hotel rooms, more concerns there will not be enough people to fill them.  You would never have known these problems existed at G2E. The exhibit floor was as big as it has ever been and though attendance was a bit off, it was not dramatic.  I really enjoyed both events and loved meeting so many people in the travel and gaming industry who are readers of both Hotel Online and Hospitality Upgrade. It was a great feeling.

Another reason I am glad that December is here is that Thanksgiving is behind us. I am guessing I am in a pretty small minority. Those who have hit 50, never gotten married and never had kids. I really should get a dog, but who would watch him when I am gone?  With both my parents having passed, Thanksgiving, which to me is the ultimate family day, has become one of those holidays that instead of enjoying I reflect on the decisions I have made in my life. But this year I decided well before Thanksgiving arrived I was going to be proactive and do something that I had always avoided and that was travel over the weekend.  I went to Dublin, Ireland, and I have to tell you, I am ready to move there. What a beautiful country and I can’t remember the last time I met so many nice and friendly people.  It was a trip that was not centered on work, so for a few days I was just a tourist. What fun! I was told it rains in Ireland all the time and it did for two days but the other days were beautiful. Of course, the first place I visited was the Guinness Brewery. What a great experience though I probably could have skipped watching 10-year-olds in the tasting room sipping beer. Then again, it was a tasting room, but it was a pretty strange sight. The brewery tour was wonderful and the coolest thing was everyone there was from different parts of the world. So this is what it is like to be a tourist? I stayed at the Radisson Blu St Helen’s Hotel which a cab driver told me was a school 20 years ago. It was a very cool hotel with the nicest staff I have ever met. I also became a big fan of buses. They have their own lanes in Dublin so the 15-minute trip downtown was a snap. They must give drivers there personality tests since I was always asking which bus to take to get around town and all the drivers were beyond helpful. What a great city and a great experience. I am definitely going back to see the rest of the country, hopefully sooner than later.

I am very thankful that I was able to do a trip like this which made Thanksgiving very enjoyable this year. But as we approach the holiday season, I encourage you to think of those who are alone and invite them into your life. I have a lot of friends and for that I am thankful. But there are so many who struggle with the holiday season and loneliness, I bet if you think about it you know someone who might be dealing with this. Reach out to them and let them know you are thinking of them.  They will be very thankful and I bet you will feel even better. This is the season of giving and not all giving has to be materialistic. I learned this from a friend years ago who started a charity during the holidays to help single moms who are experiencing tough times.  I told him yesterday that he was my hero and I absolutely meant it. He rubbed off on me and if I am able to influence others than the idea of “Pay It Forward” really does work.  If I went a bit overboard I apologize, but this is what happens to me in December. I have much to be thankful for, but I also am aware there is a lot more I can do to help others.

Thank you again for putting up with my rambling. Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
December 03, 2009

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Self-bookings tools used by 70 percent of travel managers, save an average 7 percent
- Cvent recognized for exceptional service by CSIA
- Newmarket receives Software Association of New Hampshire’s MVP award
---------------------------
Almost three quarters of travel managers use self-booking tools for business travel, according to a new study by the Institute of Travel & Meetings, but only a minority make use of social networking media.  The survey found that:
- 70 percent of buyers managing business travel presently use self-booking tools
- 58 percent use expense management software
- 52 percent use technology for traveler tracking
- 33 percent are planning to implement mobile traveler updates
- 25 percent are planning to implement meeting booking tool solutions in the future
- Estimated, measured and proven savings achieved through self-booking tools averaged 7 percent
- Only 8 percent use social networking tools as part of their travel and meetings program.
The responses also suggested that the cost and workload associated with implementing and maintaining technology solutions is regularly underestimated by both buyers and suppliers. 
**
Cvent has been recognized for exceptional service in the Contact Center category at the 2009 International Service Excellence Awards from the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA).   http://www.cvent.com
**
Newmarket International has received the Software Association of New Hampshire’s MVP award, given annually to a New Hampshire-based company that demonstrates success in the areas of business growth, innovation and citizenship.  http://www.newmarketinc.com
**
December 03, 2009

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Hotel Del Coronado chooses Capton’s Beverage Tracker
- Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort releases iPhone app for its restaurants
---------------------------
Hotel Del Coronado has chosen Capton’s Beverage Tracker for monitoring and improving operations at its Babcock & Story Bar, integrated with the property’s MICROS POS system.  http://www.hoteldel.com, http://www.captoninc.com
**
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has released an iPhone application to help guests reserve meals at the property’s 17 outlets before or during their stay using their phone.  The application allows users to select a restaurant category – signature, casual, quick service, character dining or lounges – to access descriptions, photos and menus for their preferred restaurant, and provides links directly to the resort’s dining reservations phone number and Web site.  http://www.swandolphinrestaurants.com 
**

December 03, 2009

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Leading Spas lists worldwide inventory with SpaFinder
- ISPA’s 10 spa trends for 2010
------------------------
Leading Spas is listing its worldwide inventory of spas with SpaFinder, Inc.  http://www.lhwspas.comhttp://www.spafinder.com
**
The International SPA Association (ISPA) has identified the following 10 spa trends for 2010:
1. More use of social media: significant growth in offering and booking last-minute deals, re-booking cancelled appointments, and in influence.  Ad-ology research shows that 57 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 48.5 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds say social media influenced their choice of a hair salon or day spa. 
2. Higher customer service: consumers have higher service expectations, and spas are responding by making each visit a customized experience for the guest.  87 percent of ISPA member spas use customer feedback tools to ensure they’re exceeding consumers’ needs, and 48 percent have implemented customer loyalty programs.
3. Spa sampling menus: mini-service options to try out spa treatments.  Forty-six percent of ISPA member spas report an increase in shorter (30 minutes or less) treatment bookings.
4.  More preventive care: spa treatments like massage, acupuncture and meditation have been proven to aid in stress reduction and recovery time for pre and post-op patients.
5. Spa partnerships: Forty-six percent of ISPA day spa members partner with local businesses to incorporate spa into their workplace, most often through wellness programs at local hospitals, accommodating guests at local hotels without spa facilities and service discount trades between spas and local business employees.
6. Cell phone applications: more applications allow spa availability browsing and booking, including those from The Four Seasons, Hot Springs and Spa Finder – California, Tripology and Find a Spa, the latter based on its detection of your location.
7. Giving back: more spas are offering promotions and free services to people who serve the community, such as teachers, hospice workers and military personnel. 
8. The Millennials take over: this group now outnumbers the baby boomers, grew up in a culture where a healthy lifestyle was the norm, and is increasing its use of spa services.
9. Simplified spa menus: spas are focusing on their business core of results-oriented treatments. 
10. Beauty rest: more spas make rest a priority by letting guests book time to sleep at the spa or stay after a treatment to nap when they’re relaxed.
http://www.experienceispa.com
**

December 17, 2009

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Dec 17, 2009

Texas. Now think of a city in Texas. I bet you thought Dallas, right? Or Austin? Maybe San Antonio? What about the largest city in Texas? Why is it we always think of Dallas before Houston? Is it because they have a better football team? I started thinking when I last attended an industry event in Houston. HITEC has been in Dallas more than once, even held in Austin a couple of years ago, but I never attended a HITEC in Houston and I have been to every one since 1983. So why am I on this Houston kick?  On April 12, 2010, Hospitality Upgrade will be holding our sixth annual Executive Vendor Summit for the industry’s top technology companies in Houston. This event has grown every year, and though it might seem strange to those who have never attended since the attendees are presidents and CEOs of companies that provide technology to the industry and does not include any prospects to sell to, those who have attended always return. This industry is based on cooperation as much as competition so who you end up partnering with can be as important as those you sell to. The Executive Vendor Summit is by invitation only and there is no charge to attend. If you are a vendor of technology to the hospitality industry and are interested in attending, please e-mail Kate at kate@hospitalityupgrade.com or call her at (678) 802-5304. A special thank you to Jeff Parker, the CIO of Magnolia Hotels, for being our host this year. It is much appreciated.

I was in Florida this past week and was able to sneak a quick day trip over to Paradise Island where Bernard Gay, the CIO of Atlantis (http://www.atlantis.com/), gave me a behind-the-scenes tour of some of their initiatives. The technology aspect of what they are doing is pretty amazing, but the hotelier in me was more amazed at how much that property has changed since I was last there many years ago. Four stars, five stars and now maybe part of the complex is five and a half stars? I mean how many hotels with casinos have a casino at the swimming pool? Yes, it is a very exclusive swimming pool that very few guests can swim in, but still pretty amazing. Bernard also showed me their new camp for kids that is scheduled to open this month. I mean there is high tech and there is really high tech. When you walk into one of the buildings at the camp there are lizards that come chasing you and you are afraid of stepping on them. What is especially amazing is that there really weren’t any lizards but you are convinced that there were. The biggest problem this place is going to have for families that are visiting Atlantis with children will be getting their kids to leave. Some of the other technology they have in there will also amaze you, but I guess that is what excites kids today.  It was a great thrill for me seeing all of Atlantis though I wish I had time to swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove. It was simply a great day, I love visiting unique hotels.

On a more personal note I would like to thank the many of you who sent me a note after my last Siegel Sez. I really enjoyed the notes from those in Ireland thanking me for sharing what a great experience I had in Dublin. But more importantly I really wanted to thank those who were moved about my thoughts on the upcoming holidays and to think about those who are struggling or alone during these holidays. Sometimes I write things that I probably shouldn’t, but sometimes I seem to get it right. I would like to believe that this time I did get it right. Thank you again for all who wrote. I am glad that it encouraged you to think about others. You should also know that it made me feel very good. Thanks again for the wonderful comments.

As consultant extraordinaire Jon Inge writes in his opening to the tech news, this is our last Siegel Sez of the year. It is hard to believe that our next one comes out in 2010 which will be our 10th year of my ranting and Jon’s great job of bringing the latest technology happenings in our industry to your inbox. Thank you from all of us here at Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel-Online. Hopefully you have found great value or at least occasional entertainment over all these years. I wonder how many of you have been reading this over the whole 10 years. Are you one? I would love to know. We all wish you a great holiday season and I am betting that 2010 will be the start of great things that will hopefully make some of the happenings from economic battles of 2009 a distant memory. I really do believe this.

Here now is Jon Inge’s technology review, I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Don’t forget in January Jon will do his review of the year passed, and we all look forward to that.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
December 17, 2009

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Santa Claran Hotel Casino, Española, N.M. orders Agilysys’ Guest 360 PMS
- One&Only Resorts picks MICROS OPERA PMS as worldwide standard
- Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel installs NORTHWIND’s Maestro PMS, online booking
- NORTHWIND-Maestro PMS announces 21 new clients
- SPM Resorts orders SPI’s Orange suite for 30 resorts
- Blue Mountain Resort implements Cenium’s HMS integrated application
--------------------------

Santa Claran Hotel Casino (formerly Big Rock Casino) in Española, N.M., has ordered Agilysys’ Guest 360 property management system for its new 124-room hotel, scheduled to open in January, the first gaming property to do so.  Already using Agilysys point-of-sale and inventory/procurement systems, the Hotel Casino includes a 27,000-square-foot casino, three restaurants, tapas bar and live entertainment.  http://www.santaclaran.comhttp://www.agilysys.com
**
One&Only Resorts has selected MICROS OPERA Property Management System (PMS) for all of its properties worldwide, and has implemented it at the recently opened One&Only Cape Town along with MICROS’ 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS) POS system.  http://oneandonlyresorts.comhttp://www.micros.com
**
The 152-room Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel, in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada has installed NORTHWIND’s Maestro PMS and online booking engine for rooms and activities.  The Resort is due to open in April 2010, features crystals extensively in its guestroom and public space décor, and includes a -110 degree Celsius Cryotherapy Cold Sauna. 

NORTHWIND-Maestro PMS announced 21 new clients, including:
- Island Lake Resorts in British Columbia (three properties)
- Sherwood Inn Properties (four hotels)
- The Capes Resort Hotel
- The Golf Villas at Oro Valley
- The Peekskill Inn in New York State
- Water’s Edge Resort and Spa
- Pinnacle International (two properties)
- The Forty 1° North Marina Resort
- Metropolitan Hotels (three properties)
http://www.sparklinghill.comhttp://www.maestropms.com
**
SPM Resorts has ordered SPI Software’s Orange property management, reservations, rentals, owners servicing and Web applications, to be deployed in an enterprisewide network serving its 30 resorts.  http://www.spmresorts.com, http://www.spiinc.com
**
Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada, has implemented Cenium’s HMS integrated application to help manage its 900 guestrooms, dining and shopping facilities, recreational attractions and 37,500 square feet of conference space.  PMS, food and beverage POS, inventory and recipe management and finance modules are now live; Retail POS, HR and sales and catering will be cut over in January, with mountain activity operations, spa, golf, workforce management and other minor modules scheduled for after the ski season.  http://www.bluemountain.ca, http://www.cenium.com
**


December 03, 2009

BACK OFFICE



- Apple REIT Companies of Richmond implements M3 Link reporting at 198 U.S. properties
- Hilton Grand Vacations signs multiyear agreement for ePercipio e-learning courses
------------------------
Apple REIT Companies of Richmond, Va., has implemented M3 Hotel Accounting’s M3 Link operations reporting tool at 198 of its U.S. properties.  M3 Link integrates PMS data, Smith Travel Research (STR) reports, guest satisfaction surveys and financial data in one place, across multiple brands, displayed on a single Web site with multiple viewing options.  http://www.applereitcompanies.comhttp://www.hotelaccounting.com
**
Hilton Grand Vacations Company has signed a multiyear agreement with ePercipio for its online, multidimensional e-learning courses.  http://www.epercipio.com, http://www.hiltongrandvacations.com
**

December 03, 2009

ENGINEERING



- Kahana Falls Hotel retrofits 106 rooms with EnOcean‘s self-powered energy management devices
------------------------------
Hawaii‘s Kahana Falls Hotel has retrofitted 106 rooms with EnOcean‘s self-powered wireless key card switches, presence detectors and door sensors for energy management.  The Echoflex Solutions wireless key card switch acts as a master switch for the rooms, with a presence detector automatically cutting off the air-conditioning as soon as a guest takes his or her key card out of the dock and leaves a room.  A solar cell powered door sensor also switches off the air conditioning after a set length of time if the balcony door is open.  Signals for the cable-less and battery-less light switches and sensors are converted into switching functions by relay receivers from ILLUMRA.  http://www.kahana-falls.com, http://www.enocean-alliance.org
**

December 03, 2009

COMMUNICATIONS



- Innovation Technologies to resell ADTRAN's NetVanta and Total Access VoIP systems
------------------------------
Innovation Technologies will resell ADTRAN's NetVanta and Total Access VoIP systems as a complement to its own ComXchange Hospitality IP-PBX software.  Using ADTRAN's VoIP gateways, customers will be able interface ComXchange to existing analog phones, allowing them to add extensions or migrate to next-generation IP phones at any time.  http://www.innovationtw.comhttp://www.adtran.com
**

December 03, 2009

SECURITY



- Millennium Resort Patong Phuket, Thailand completes installation of Classic by VingCard system
--------------------
The 418-room Millennium Resort Patong Phuket, Thailand has completed installation of its Classic by VingCard magnetic stripe electronic locking system.  http://www.millenniumpatong.comhttp://www.vingcard.com
**

July 01, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Starwood selects Adaco.NET
--------------------------
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has selected Adaco.NET to optimize its procurement, recipe management and inventory operations.  Starwood’s requirements included a hosted enterprise architecture, seamless conversion of metric measurements to U.S. measurements and vice versa, and the ability to deal with corporately controlled vendors, products and pricing while retaining the flexibility to add local vendors and pricing where appropriate.  http://www.starwoodhotels.com, http://www.adaco.com 
**

July 01, 2010

ENGINEERING



- VingCard Elsafe announces Orion energy management system linked to hotels’ wireless online locking systems
--------------------------
VingCard Elsafe has announced Orion, a remotely managed, occupancy-sensing energy management system that can integrate into a hotel’s Zigbee wireless online locking system.  In standalone mode the system detects a guest’s presence through as occupancy motion sensor and uses RF capabilities to communicate with the room’s thermostat.  When operating wireless online, the system accesses the same technology to provide remote status to hoteliers for A/C run time room occupancy and thermostat devices, and provides other event notifications such as maintenance alarms, low battery warnings to staff and the option to remotely change and set the room temperature prior to guest arrival. The system also provides preventative maintenance schedules and occupancy trends and reports.  http://www.orionbyvingcardelsafe.com  
**

July 01, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



- AEI Communications introduces line of analog and IP hospitality phones
- Motorola announces AP 6511 WallPlate access point for rapid Wi-Fi implementation
- Ruckus Wireless introduces ZoneFlex 7025 Wi-Fi Wall Switch
- Ruckus announces new ZoneSwitch line of power over Ethernet (POE) switches
--------------------------

AEI Communications has introduced a line of analog and IP hospitality phones, with initial orders for 8,000 IP phones at the Marina Sands Hotel in Singapore and 800 IP phones throughout the Banyan Tree Resort in Dubai.  AEI Communications was established in May 2010 in Silicon Valley, Calif., by Taiwan-based G-Tek Electronics, a manufacturer of hospitality phones since 1992, with UltraTek Communications, a developer of communications products.  http://www.aeicommunications.com  
**
Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Solutions division has announced its AP 6511 802.11n WallPlate access point (AP), which can be quickly installed onto in-wall Cat 5/6 cabling to provide Wi-Fi service in multiroom facilities such as hotels or hospitals.  A field-installable Ethernet module adds three switched fast Ethernet ports for converged guestroom IP services, such as IPTV or secure wired access; each AP can service up to 10 rooms, using Motorola’s Smart RF technology to tune power and channels automatically to provide maximum performance and high quality of service (QoS).  http://www.motorola.com
**
Ruckus Wireless has introduced its ZoneFlex 7025 Wi-Fi Wall Switch, which integrates high speed 802.11n Wi-Fi technology with wired Ethernet ports into a low-profile wall jack that fits into any standard U.S. or European electrical junction box.  Connected to in-wall Cat 5/6 wiring, the Ruckus Wi-Fi Wall Switch is driven by a single POE (Power Over Ethernet) connection and provides four 10/100 Mbps Ethernet jacks and two uplink Ethernet wiring options.  It also uses POE to power a device such as an IP phone and provides native connectivity to digital phones through a single digital PBX pass through port.

Ruckus also announced its new ZoneSwitch line of affordable 802.3at/af power over Ethernet (POE) switches, which offer full security, QoS and management features and provide four dual-personality ports to support pluggable fiber transceivers for easy and flexible network uplink. 
http://www.ruckuswireless.com  
**


July 01, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

Bob, a handsome dude, walked into a sports bar around 9:58 p.m. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV.

The 10 p.m. news was about to come on. The news crew was covering the story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.
 
The blonde looked at Bob and said, "Do you think he'll jump?"

Bob said, "You know, I bet he'll jump."

The blonde replied, "Well, I bet he won't."

Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, "You're on."

Just as the blonde was placing her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.

The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob, saying, "Fair is fair. Here's your money."

Bob replied, "I can't take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 o'clock news, and I knew he was going to jump."

The blonde replied, "I did too, but didn't think he would do it again."

Bob took the money... 



July 15, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 



TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Customer service: individuals make the difference, but leadership sets the tone
--------------------------
Customer service is top of mind for most companies these days, as each tries to stand out from its competition by making sure people want to continue doing business with it.  I say “most” because some just don’t seem to get it. 

It’s true that the individual interacting with the customer makes all the difference.  Someone who truly cares can give even an indifferent organization a rosy aura it may not otherwise deserve, and all employees have bad days when they don’t represent a good company at its best.  When multiple interactions with the same company all leave the same impression, though, it’s clear just how much the leadership’s attitude permeates the whole organization and defines the overall experience for the great majority of customers.

Examples from my recent travels:
- On a brief overnight stay at a limited-service Hyatt Place, several front desk staff cooperated to sort out why my online reservation hadn’t made it into their front office system and found a way to make it happen, giving humorous reassurance the whole time.  The property also offered free on-demand rides to and from local restaurants in its airport shuttle van, a great service for a remote operation with limited food and beverage options.  No problem, no fee, happy to help, have a good time.  WIN
- At a Marriott Renaissance, my room had no information on the hotel restaurants or other facilities.  When I asked about food and beverage outlets at the front desk later, the clerk pointed them out and immediately comp’d the next day’s breakfast “because you had to ask.”  Later, other front desk agents were happy to recommend outside restaurants, offered maps and provided discount coupons for several.  WIN
- To get to HITEC I booked what United described as a non-stop flight from Seattle to Orlando.  Turned out it stopped in Washington Dulles for an hour en route, and to continue I had to change planes even though the flight number was the same.  United failed to transfer my baggage, eventually delivering it to my hotel six hours after it arrived in Orlando the next morning.  Looking for my bag in the airport at midnight I met one of my clients, who’d flown there directly from San Francisco on a true non-stop United flight.  Her bag had never made it onto the plane at all, and United took two days to find it and get it to her. On the approach into Orlando the cabin crew announced they’d be making one last pass through the cabin before landing and asked us to pass any remaining unwanted items to them.  When I tried I was met with an angry glare, and was told “I don’t have a bag, I’ve walked this aisle four times on this flight already.  Why couldn’t you have given it to me earlier? Just leave it in the seat pocket.”  The friendly skies?  Not so much.  FAIL
- Flying to and from Indianapolis on Frontier took two flights each way, through Denver.  The gate staff on all four flights were clear, friendly and firm about boarding procedures, turning back passengers trying to board ahead of their row number, trying carry-on bags in the size checker and gate-checking any that would have taken up too much room, and, in the cabin, ensuring that passengers used only the overhead bins by their assigned seats.  All flights left and arrived on time, they transferred my checked bags between flights despite the challenge of a 30-minute layover – United, please note – and despite the thunderstorm-laden skies and turbulent approaches managed four of the smoothest touchdowns I’ve experienced in a long time.  Thanks, people; Frontier may be my new favorite airline.  WIN

Who sets the tone for customer service in your organization?  How do you make your standards real and instinctive for all staff at all levels?
**



jon@joninge.com
July 15, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Victor Owens appointed vice president of marketing, North America at Hotels.com
- Richard Robinson named chief executive officer at Acentic
- Steve D’Erasmo joins InterContinental Hotels Group as director, hotel information systems
- Victor Alikin named senior vice president hospitality at Green Vision Media
--------------------------
Victor Owens has been appointed vice president of marketing, North America at Hotels.com.  Mr. Owens has extensive marketing experience including a role as principal, product strategy and marketing for hosted marketing systems provider WebIvy Solutions.  He had earlier served seven years at EarthLink in a number of roles, including vice president, Narrowband and PeoplePC DSL Products.
**
Richard Robinson has been named chief executive officer at Acentic.  Mr. Robinson brings 20 years of media experience, including 15 years in hotel television technology, and has been an executive director at Acentic since its founding in 2003. He was previously marketing and development director at European TV media provider Granada.  Mr. Robinson succeeds Alistair Forbes, who served as Acentic’s CEO for seven years.
**
Steve D’Erasmo has joined InterContinental Hotels Group as director, hotel information systems.  With 20 years of hospitality technology experience, Mr. D’Erasmo most recently served as a business advisor at BearingPoint and had earlier held positions as director of applications at Ginn Clubs & Resorts and manager IT at Walt Disney World.  Starting his career as a technical trainer with Hyatt, he then moved to MICROS for seven years as director of major accounts.
**
Victor Alikin has been named senior vice president hospitality at Green Vision Media after serving nearly seven years as CEO at GBCblue where he continues as a company director and major shareholder.  Before GBCblue Mr. Alikin was vice president, treasurer and CFO at semiconductor firm SARIF, CFO at Cohesive Media and corporate director of accounting and information systems at Columbia Forest Products, and previously served as a senior accountant at Arthur Andersen.
**
July 15, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- Worldmate announces TripCatch automatic itinerary compiler
--------------------------
Worldmate has announced its TripCatch itinerary-consolidating application, which monitors users’ e-mail messages for travel booking confirmations and automatically prompts the user to add them to a Worldmate itinerary.  The service is initially available only for BlackBerry devices.  http://www.worldmate.com  
**

July 15, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Jurys Inn rolling-out IDeaS’ V5i to all 30 properties
- Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux, Switzerland, picks FastBooking
- Open Hospitality completes direct XML connection with RateTiger
- Mammoth Mountain Ski Area selects EasyRMS suite for all four properties
--------------------------
Irish hotel group Jurys Inn has begun its rollout of IDeaS’ V5i Revenue Optimization System to all 30 of its properties, following a pilot test at three properties.  http://www.jurysinn.com  
**
The Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic in Montreux, Switzerland, has selected FastBooking for channel management and e-booking services.  The newly renovated property will use FastBooking Updater to manage rates and availability on Internet distribution sites, and will replace its existing online booking system with the FastBooking Engine.  http://www.suisse-majestic.com, http://www.fastbooking.net  
**
Open Hospitality has completed a direct XML connection with RateTiger, allowing its users to update rates and availability through RateTiger applications.  http://www.openhospitality.com, http://www.ratetiger.com  
**
The operators of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California’s Eastern Sierra Mountains have selected EasyRMS’ product suite for all four of its properties: The 188-room Village Lodge, 171-room Juniper Springs Resort, 217-room Mammoth Mountain Inn and 46-room Tamarack Lodge.  EasyRMS will implement portfoliowide forecasting and optimization based on total revenue across all market segments and room categories, a specific group module, a dynamic budgeting product and Web-based competitive rate shopping, along with a full two-way interface with the Visual One HMS used across all properties and an upload interface to EZYield.com’s Channel Management system.  http://www.mammothmountain.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
July 15, 2010

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Dave & Buster’s completes rollout of TMx Enterprise 5 labor management system
--------------------------
Dave & Buster’s has completed its rollout of TimeManagement Corp’s TMx Enterprise 5 labor management system.  A TMx customer for over 15 years, Dave & Buster’s self-hosts the application on two central servers; its 57 properties access the software via the Internet.  http://www.daveandbusters.com, http://www.timemgmt.com  
**

July 15, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- TeleAdapt named to the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 100 listing of fastest-growing companies
- St. Ermin’s Hotel London first to implement Swisscom ConnectedHotel IP TV and Web-based guest services
- Ho Chi Minh City’s Caravelle Hotel installs Wi-Fi service in guest-service cars
--------------------------
TeleAdapt has been named to the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 100, which ranks Britain's private companies with the fastest-growing international sales over their latest two years.  http://www.fasttrack.co.uk, http://www.teleadapt.com  
**
The 328-room St. Ermin’s Hotel London is implementing Swisscom’s ConnectedHotel application for IP television and Web-based guest services, the first hotel to do so.  ConnectedHotel TV delivers interactive HD TV, video on demand and wired and wireless Internet access to a purpose-designed LG flat screen via a converged network.  http://www.StErminsHotelLondon.co.uk, http://www.swisscom.com/hospitality  
**
Ho Chi Minh City’s Caravelle Hotel has installed Wi-Fi service in its guest-service cars, allowing guests to log in on their way to the hotel from the airport and while on business trips around the city.  The cars’ Wi-Fi routers use 3G and HSPDA technology to provide download speeds of up to 7.2MB per unit. 
Two years ago the Caravelle became the first five-star hotel in the city to offer free wired and wireless access to the Internet, with fiber optic distribution to the guestrooms, restaurants, bars and pool deck.  The general manager believes the benefits of the goodwill engendered by complimentary access outweigh the revenues, and complaints, that result from squeezing $10 - $20 per day fees from guests.  [Other five-star properties, please note.]  http://www.caravellehotel.com  
**
July 15, 2010

BACK OFFICE



- UniFocus integrates Sage Abra human resource management system into Watson, R.M. labor management
--------------------------
UniFocus has extended its Watson, R.M. labor management system (LMS) through the integration of Sage’s Abra human resource management system (HRMS).  New functions provided by the Sage Abra module include payroll (attendance tracking, online benefits enrollment, compliance with EEO regulations, FMLA, OSHA, COBRA and HIPAA and rich reporting and analysis), employee self-service (view and print pay stubs and W-2s, change W-4s, review payroll history, withholding, bonuses and commissions), dynamic reporting tailored to each user and automated workflows for managers.  http://www.sageabra.com, http://www.unifocus.com  
**

July 15, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Melco Crown Entertainment picks Stratton Warren for gaming properties in Macau
--------------------------
Melco Crown Entertainment has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System inventory and procurement application for its gaming properties in Macau, the Altira Macau in Taipa, the City of Dreams integrated urban resort in Cotai, and the eight Mocha Clubs.  http://www.melco-crown.com, http://www.agilysys.com  
**

July 29, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- eRevMax expanding in Asia Pacific
- Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa goes with EasyRMS
--------------------------
eRevMax has announced its expansion in Asia Pacific (APAC) with two new offices in Singapore and China and the introduction of up to six new sales managers over the next 3 to 6 months. The initial focus will be on Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and China.  http://www.ratetiger.com  
**
The 216-room Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa in London has contracted with Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS) for its EzRMS SaaS Revenue Management system.  The property has deployed the EzRMS Core Module for portfoliowide forecasting and optimization, its Ez-QUOTE Decision Support tool and a two-way interface with its MICROS OPERA V5 hospitality management system.  http://www.pestana.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**

July 29, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Dolce implements SpeedRFP for 27 properties
- Cvent upgrades Cvent Supplier Network (CSN)
--------------------------
Dolce Hotels and Resorts has implemented SpeedRFP’s online request-for-proposal tool for its 27 properties, to help meeting planners solicit bids from multiple hotels at once.  http://www.dolce.com, http://www.SpeedRFP.com  
**
The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (PBC CVB) has partnered with Cendyn on a multi-tiered online marketing initiative that delivered over 150,000 new visitors to the CVB’s Website and significant conversion of hotel bookings.  Cendyn’s three-tiered campaign covered:
* Rich-media display ads focused on leisure, eco-adventure travel and group business.
* Retail/hotel promotions for rebates and discounts.
* Cooperative marketing programs for 50 co-branded CVB member hotels.
 http://www.palmbeachfl.com, http://www.cendyn.com  
**
Cvent has upgraded its Cvent Supplier Network (CSN).  Enhancements include:
- A new Quick RFP that simplifies RFP creation for planners and facilitates more timely responses from hotels and CVBs
- An RFI option for planners to reach out to restaurants and special event venues, particularly for smaller-scale meetings
- Enhanced venue profile details and filters to help planners find the information they need
- More and more varied venues in the network, with more in-depth detail about each meeting supplier
- Additional opportunities for suppliers to showcase their venue or services
http://www.cvent.com  
**

July 29, 2010

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Park Hyatt Jeddah installs TAC’s Reservation Assistant, TAC’s first Saudi Arabia implementation
- Hammock Beach Resort partners with GolfTripGenius.com
--------------------------
The Park Hyatt Jeddah has installed TAC’s Reservation Assistant spa and activity tracking system, marking TAC’s first implementation in Saudi Arabia and the 51st country in which it has customers.  http://www.jeddah.park.hyatt.com, http://www.reservationassistant.com  
**
Florida’s Hammock Beach Resort has partnered with GolfTripGenius.com to provide golf groups with a Web-based service for setting up customized golf pairings, the selection and scoring of trip tournaments and concierge golf trip support.  http://www.hammockbeach.com, http://www.GolfTripGenius.com  
**

August 13, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Aug. 13, 2010

It was only three days, but easily a world away. I took my trip up North last week, and what a nice escape from the brutal summer we are having in Atlanta. Honestly, can it get any hotter and muggier? Three days in Saratoga, Lake George in New York, then Rutland, Ludlow and finally Weston in Vermont. Before you ask, the one-star Happy Trails Motel that I feared staying in was fine. Isn’t it funny how a friendly staff and a clean room make the experience positive no matter how basic the property is? It was only three days away, but I am telling you if you get a chance to escape from the real world for a bit like I did then do it. All the “stuff” that you left behind will still be there when you get back. I felt like my weekend in Vermont was like living in one of those “Wish You Were Here” postcards you used to send to friends and family while on vacation. Yes, there was no complaining about the high of 78 degrees and the morning temperatures in the 50s. I am telling you if someday I end up living in Weston, Vt., I will not be surprised. The beauty, the small town living and most importantly, the unbelievably friendly people. Vermont, here I come!

But since I am back to the “stuff” I left behind I started thinking of all the fall events that are ahead. Has everybody noticed how many events are being held in October? I am glad we decided nine years ago to always have our CIO Summit the Wednesday through Friday after Labor Day. What a great way to start the back to work season. We are so thankful for the support we have gotten from those leading their company’s technology initiatives; we are far beyond our biggest crowd ever which is both very exciting and quite nerve wracking. If you have any questions regarding our CIO Summit, please send a note to me at mailtrich@hospitalityupgrade.com. San Francisco in September will definitely have great weather, but I am still moving to Vermont. We at Hospitality Upgrade will be going nonstop right up until the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (www.ihmrs.com) in New York where we will once again be doing the Technology Innovation Center. If you are a vendor of technology and want an inexpensive way to be visible and show your stuff at the New York Show then drop a note to kate@hospitalityupgrade.com or call her at (678) 802-5304. The Pavilion always fills up and is a popular place for technology types to hang out while attending the show.

Today is Friday the 13th. I am not sure if this is a lucky or unlucky day, but thankfully it is Friday and the week is behind us. What a week it was. They say the only constant in life is change and the changes are coming. But then again it is just more “stuff” to deal with. Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. There is quite a lot happening considering it is the summer season. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what.”



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 13, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 


TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Business travel stages a comeback, though not in all regions
- Emphasizes continued need to focus on efficiency, revenue management and, for companies, expense tracking
--------------------------
Call it good timing, but as the travel industry focused on the annual National Business Travel Association conference, it received encouraging news from American Express’ North America Business Travel Monitor, which reported a significant return for business travel in the first half of the year. 

Good news for the airlines (if not for travelers): international and domestic airfare rates are at their highest since pre-recession levels.  Despite that, international business class ticket purchases in particular are up substantially compared to the same period last year, and international trip volumes have seen double-digit spikes.  Overall airfares have increased substantially versus the first half of 2009, climbing steadily towards pre-recession levels as of June 2010.

Hotel rates, however, decreased slightly overall compared to the first half of 2009, although individual rate changes varied dramatically from region to region.  Gradual upticks over the first half of the year with further increases in demand indicate that hotel price declines will likely cease and even begin to rise in the 2011 negotiating season.

As ever, this points out once again that the hotels best placed to take advantage of the demand patterns specific to their locations will be those that make the best, most informed use of revenue management systems to guide their rate and availability decisions.  Equally, those companies that have a good handle on their travel expenses will be best positioned to send their key people to the right places to close new business. 

As evidence of this demand, a veritable stream of travel expense-tracking announcements came out of the conference (see below), but just as meaningful as their quantity is the common thread they share: integrating data from multiple sources to present a consolidated picture of overall costs.  As always, the key to successful decision-making is complete, accurate and timely data collection, coupled with intelligent analysis; it’s good to see real progress in the technology that permits and supports that. 
**



August 13, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Nancy Carle hired by TTI Technologies as regional sales manager
- Darrin Deck joins Amadeus as vice president, sales and account management, North America
--------------------------
Nancy Carle has been hired by TTI Technologies as regional sales manager.  With over 19 years of sales and management experience, Ms. Carle was most recently a partner with Apical Resource Group; she had earlier held senior-level sales management positions with SoftBrands and MICROS Systems. 
**
Darrin Deck has joined Amadeus as vice president, sales and account management, for its North America operations.  Mr. Deck brings more than 25 years of travel and technology experience, including eight years with TRX where he served in several positions culminating in vice president of product operations.
**

August 13, 2010

HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas picks Agilysys’ Visual One, DataMagine
- Mexico Grand Hotels selects PAR Springer-Miller for two properties in Cabo San Lucas
- PAR Springer-Miller completes two-way interface between SMS|Host and EZYield.com
- NORTHWIND qualifies as a certified partner in the Microsoft Partner Network
- Callista integrates hospitality management system with SiteMinder distribution engine
- Micasa Aparthotel implements InnQuest’s roomMaster 2000 via NFS Hospitality
--------------------------

Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas has selected Agilysys’ Visual One hospitality management system and DataMagine document management application.  The 183-room resort includes a spa, golf course, marina, five restaurants and several land and water sports facilities.  http://www.sandals.com, http://www.agilysys.com  
**
Mexico Grand Hotels has selected PAR Springer-Miller’s SMS|Host Hospitality Management System for its two properties, Hacienda Encantada and Marina Fiesta in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  The two properties include 305 rooms; Hacienda Encantada overlooks the Sea of Cortez and offers a full resort experience, while Marina Fiesta, on the waterfront in Cabo, offers access to shopping, dining and other activities adjacent to the property.  The two resorts will use SMS|Host to integrate their resort operations, using the core HMS as well as modules for spa/resort scheduling, activities and retail POS; Multi-Property Management enables booking across both resorts as well as cross-property charging, marketing and single database management, and the owner fulfillment module will manage the monthly owners billing statement process. 

PAR Springer-Miller Systems has completed a two-way interface between its SMS|Host product suite and EZYield.com’s RezDelivery technology, helping the distribution of rates and room availability to multiple channels and automating the transfer of reservations booked via online travel agents directly to the SMS|Host system. 
http://www.mexicograndhotels.com, http://www.ezyield.com, http://www.springermiller.com  
**
NORTHWIND has qualified as a certified partner in the Microsoft Partner Network, a status which gives it access to exclusive resources and technical assistance from Microsoft.  http://www.maestropms.com  
**
New Zealand-based Callista has integrated its hospitality management system with SiteMinder distribution engine to help its hotel clients place their room availability and pricing automatically to multiple online booking sites such as Expedia, Wotif, Booking.com and Agoda.  Reservations from the booking sites are automatically captured by SiteMinder and passed directly into the hotels’ Callista PMS.  http://www.callista.co.nz, http://www.siteminder.com.au  
**
Micasa Aparthotel in Aberdeen, Scotland has implemented InnQuest Software’s roomMaster 2000 HMS, through InnQuest’s U.K. distributor NFS Hospitality.  Formerly a department store, the building was completely refurbished to form 34 apartments.  http://www.micasaaparthotel.co.uk, http://www.nfs-hospitality.com, http://www.innquest.com  
**


August 13, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- TripIt offers automatic pickup of travel itinerary confirmations from users’ e-mail accounts
- Carlson Wagonlit to resell Rearden Commerce Platform travel management service
- Rearden integrating booked transaction data from Commerce Platform with IBM’s Global Expense Reporting
- Trust releases channel management interface between yourVoyager and GestioneAlbergo’s LeoPortalsManager
- Genares links its CRS with REVPAR GURU's in-hotel revenue management
- TRAVELCLICK’s StayHIP voted a Top Travel App for 2010 by Travel + Leisure
--------------------------

TripIt has released a beta version of its opt-in integration with individual users’ Gmail and Google Apps e-mail accounts to authorize the automatic import of their travel itinerary confirmations into TripIt instead of having to e-mail them manually to TripIt.  Users can choose to have their confirmations automatically flow into their TripIt itineraries or aggregate them into an unfiled items folder in their TripIt account for later sorting.  TripIt plans to introduce similar auto-import features for other e-mail services in the near future.  http://www.tripit.com  
**
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has signed a reseller agreement with Rearden Commerce, incorporating the platform into its CWT Traveler Assistant booking and travel management service.  CWT Traveler Assistant incorporates personal and company preferences, is completely integrated with users' calendars, Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes accounts, and can be integrated with proprietary CWT products such as portal sites, profile management systems, messaging tools and unused ticket tracking for travelers, and reporting capabilities for travel buyers.  The combination also enables the booking of previously unmanaged travel categories such as airport parking, dining and entertainment. 

Rearden Commerce has announced an alliance with IBM’s Managed Business Process division to integrate booked transaction data from Rearden’s Commerce Platform with actual business expense data from IBM’s Global Expense Reporting System.  The combination allows administrators to manage policies, spend and preferred providers, and to gain insight into employee business expenses and spending patterns.
http://www.carlsonwagonlit.com, http://www.reardencommerce.com  
**
Trust International has released a channel management interface between GestioneAlbergo’s LeoPortalsManager and Trust’s yourVoyager white-labeled centralized reservation system.  The Web services-based interface was developed for Trust’s and GestioneAlbergo’s joint client HotelREZ, and sends rate and room availability into yourVoyager on behalf of HotelREZ’s 1,000+ independent hotels and small hotel groups.  http://www.hotelrez.net, http://www.gestionealbergo.it, http://www.trustinternational.com  
**
Genares Worldwide Reservations has released a direct link between its CRS and REVPAR GURU's in-hotel revenue management system.  In addition to the integration benefits, both REVPAR GURU and Genares are extending preferred pricing to one another and their respective clients.  http://www.revparguru.com, http://www.genares.com  
**
TRAVELCLICK’s StayHIP has been voted a Top Travel App for 2010 by Travel + Leisure (T+L), only three months after its launch.  StayHIP’s smartphone application allows travelers to research and book boutique properties in over 205 cities in 49 countries from Apple and Android-powered devices.  Guests can search by city name, price or keyword, or for hotels near to their current GPS location; confirmations are e-mailed, and can be shared with friends on Facebook and Twitter.  http://www.travelclick.net  
**


August 13, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- TRX TRAVELTRAX reporting application now includes ancillary fees
- Concur’s Travel & Expense clients able to import folio data automatically from Marriott hotels
- Concur integrates services from Amtrak, FlightTrack by Mobiata, GateGuru, MetrO by Kinevia, OAG, Open Table and Taxi Magic
- Ariett Xpense for iPhone lets users enter expenses and attach snapshots of receipts
- DATABASICS integrates Expense Reporting with Cornerstone’s iBank data management
- ExpenseWatch.com helps companies integrate online travel bookings and expense management
- ExpenseWatch.com releases collection of template reports and dashboards for custom reporting module
- ExpenseWatch.com to integrate with TripIt
- CyberShift offers outsourced services for expense management
- Google to allow owners’ responses to reviews left on Google Places
- Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces deploys Enterprise Edition of TRAVELCLICK’s Hotelligence360
- Libra OnDemand to use Informatica Cloud Services for hospitality-specific data integration
- Knotice enhances Concentri direct digital marketing platform
- Sol Meliá contracts with VFM Leonardo
--------------------------

TRX, Inc. announced that its TRAVELTRAX reporting application now includes ancillary fees for airline, hotel and car rental services incurred post booking, along with dashboard reporting capabilities.  http://www.trx.com  
**
Concur reported that its Travel & Expense clients can now receive detailed folio data from participating Marriott hotels, downloaded directly into the customer's expense report.  Participating brands include Marriott Hotels and Resorts, JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites, TownePlace Suites and Marriott Vacation Club International; the service is available throughout the United States and Canada, and from select properties in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America.

Concur also announced that its mobile platform now integrates with services from Amtrak, FlightTrack by Mobiata, GateGuru, MetrO by Kinevia, OAG, Open Table and Taxi Magic through its partner program, Concur Connect, and later this year will be able to incorporate a Twitter feed and share travel plans on social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Concur’s mobile apps are available on the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android platforms.
http://www.marriott.com, http://www.concur.com  
**
Ariett Business Solutions unveiled Ariett Xpense for the iPhone, an extension of its Ariett XpenseNet application that helps users enter miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses through their iPhone or iPad and attach snapshots of receipts.  Ariett Xpense is available in both stand-alone and fully integrated versions, the latter for corporate users of XpenseNet who can submit expenses seamlessly for approval routing and financial processing.  Ariett Xpense also offers real-time integration to Microsoft Dynamics ERP for posting and employee reimbursement.  http://www.ariett.com  
**
DATABASICS has integrated its Expense Reporting with Cornerstone Information Systems’ iBank data management platform, allowing customers with multiple travel providers to capture booked data from multiple sources in their expense reporting system.  Upon the customer’s direction and schedule, Cornerstone will transfer booked travel data via iBank directly to DATABASICS through a secure XML transfer; DATABASICS will then match the iBank data with expense report data for an analysis of the customer’s travel spend.  Currently over 80,000 corporations house some or all of their travel-spend data in the iBank platform.  http://www.data-basics.com, http://www.ciswired.com  
**
ExpenseWatch.com has released an application to allow companies to integrate online travel bookings and ExpenseWatch.com expense management.  Travel booking integration is currently available with Egencia and Travelocity Business; support for additional travel management systems (such as TripIt, see below) will become available over the coming months. 

ExpenseWatch.com also announced a collection of template reports and dashboards for its custom reporting module, to provide insights into such areas as booked versus actual expensed travel, compliance with company spending policies and the analysis of spending trends and vendor performance. 

ExpenseWatch.com plans to release its integration with TripIt in the fourth quarter, enabling TripIt’s itinerary information to flow into ExpenseWatch.com Expense Reports.  A running tab of booked versus expensed travel helps reconcile booked travel against actual expensed items or credit card transactions. http://www.tripit.com, http://www.ExpenseWatch.com  
**
CyberShift has added outsourced services to its suite of expense management automation software, allowing clients to offload some or all of their daily expense reporting tasks such as:
* Expense report audits – Outsourced and independent audit of expense reports
* Expense report payments – Reimbursement to the charge card vendor and submitter
* Receipt handling service – Imaging and verification of paper receipts from submitters
* End user support – Support services directly for end user submitters and approvers
* System administration support – Tasks such as policy and approval chain updates
http://www.cybershift.com  
**
Google has announced enhancements to its Google Places platform to allow two way conversations for business place reviews, allowing owners to reply to both negative and positive reviews left on their Google Places profile.  http://www.google.com  
**
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has deployed the Enterprise Edition of TRAVELCLICK’s Hotelligence360 to analyze GDS business performance throughout the group, having implemented the Property Edition earlier this year.  The first major chain in Asia Pacific to deploy the Enterprise Edition, India-based Taj will use the application to analyze global distribution system (GDS) data and forecast future trends. 
http://www.tajhotels.com, http://www.travelclick.net  
**
Libra OnDemand has signed an agreement with OEM Informatica Cloud Services to use its suite of hospitality-specific data integration applications to link customer relationship management (CRM), loyalty management, group sales and event management, analytics, e-mail marketing and an online consumer-facing customer portal.  http://www.informatica.com, http://www.libraondemand.com  
**
Knotice has enhanced its Concentri direct digital marketing platform t
- include content not hosted in Concentri's content management system and insert it into any e-mail, Web and mobile direct digital marketing campaign. 
- help users build mobile Website and mobile e-mail templates, delivering an optimized view of Web content for site visitors, and e-mail content for subscribers, through its built-in device recognition tools (currently available for BlackBerry, iPhone, Droid or any other mobile device).
- boost mobile analytics by tracking SMS conversations between consumer and brand to help marketers better understand consumer behavior and recognize trends.
http://www.knotice.com  
**
Sol Meliá has adopted VFM Leonardo’s VScape Digital Asset Management System to distribute photos to online channels for its 300 properties, and has endorsed VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure Online Merchandising System for individual properties to syndicate their rich media (virtual tours, video and Flash presentations) in VFM Leonardo’s Multimedia Viewer across its online media network.  http://www.solmelia.com, http://www.vfmleonardo.com  
**


August 13, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



- IHG approves Defero3 as a communications supplier of hosted voice solutions
--------------------------
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has designated Defero3 as an approved communications supplier of hosted voice solutions, offering preferred pricing and services to IHG franchised properties in the United States and Canada.   http://www.ichotelsgroup.com, http://www.Defero3.com  
**

August 13, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…

I dialed a phone number recently and got the following recording:

"I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes."



August 26, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- protel introduces Web-based guest survey tool
- TRAVELCLICK wins 10 Interactive Media Awards (IMA) and an IAC Outstanding Web Interactive Application award
--------------------------
protel hotelsoftware introduced a Web-based guest survey tool, allowing hotels to create, conduct and analyze individual customer surveys quickly and easily.  E-mailed invitations include a link that takes guests to the survey Website; guests’ individual survey answers will be displayed in their guest profile, and can evaluated statistically by management.  http://www.protel-hotel-software.com  
**
TRAVELCLICK has won 10 Interactive Media Awards (IMA) and an Outstanding Web Interactive Application award from the Web Marketing Association’s Internet Advertising Competition (IAC).  The IMA honors outstanding Website design and development based on design, content, features, functionality, usability, standards compliance and cross-browser compatibility.  The Andara Phuket Resort Website won a Best in Class Award; nine other sites received Outstanding Achievement Awards.  The Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) gave TRAVELCLICK its Outstanding Web Interactive Application Award for its work with The Sloane Square Hotel in London. http://www.travelclick.net  
**

August 26, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Excel Hotel Group picks AnyRate Competitive Rate Intelligence for all properties
--------------------------
Excel Hotel Group has selected AnyRate Competitive Rate Intelligence for all of its properties, integrating its scheduled competitive rate reports and real-time Flash reports into its revenue management and pricing processes across the organization.  http://www.excelhotelgroup.com, http://www.any-rate.com  
**

August 26, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Cvent adds Environmentally Friendly filter to venue profiles to identify Green Key-certified locations
- Sabre, Cisco jointly developing telepresence virtual-meeting reservations program
--------------------------
Cvent has added an Environmentally Friendly filter to the venue profiles on its Cvent Supplier Network in partnership with Green Key Global, to help meeting planners plan green meetings and events by identifying Green Key-certified hotels and hotel meeting facilities in the United States and Canada.  Green Key ratings are based on an environmental audit of hotel operations and include random, on-site verification of audit results.  http://www.greenkeyglobal.com, http://www.cvent.com  
**
Sabre Travel Network and Cisco are jointly developing a telepresence virtual-meeting reservations program.  Corporations looking to reserve telepresence facilities will be able to view availability, rates and restrictions and book meetings; both vendors which offer public telepresence facilities and corporations with private telepresence rooms will be able to use the Sabre-Cisco platform to display open or restricted access to their facilities.  The electronic distribution platform will be open to all points of sale including Sabre’s GetThere, which already has a relationship with telepresence vendor Tata Communications.  The distribution platform is expected to be rolled out sometime in 2011, featuring a business rules engine, corporate profiles, rates and availability.  http://www.sabretravelnetwork.com, http://www.cisco.com  
**

August 13, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Regal Hotels International picks EasyRMS for six Hong Kong properties
- Callista integrates its hospitality management system with SiteMinder’s distribution engine
- Springer-Miller completes a two-way interface between SMS|Host and EZYield.com’s RezDelivery
- Trust releases yourVoyager channel management interface with GestioneAlbergo’s LeoPortalsManager
- Genares links its CRS and REVPAR GURU's in-hotel revenue management
--------------------------
Regal Hotels International has contracted with Easy (Ez) Revenue Management (EasyRMS) for its six Hong Kong properties, the Regal Airport Hotel, Regal Hongkong Hotel, Regal Kowloon Hotel, Regal Oriental Hotel, Regal Riverside Hotel and the newly opened Regal iClub Hotel.  The group operates four other properties in China, and two more are scheduled to open later this year.  The six Hong Kong properties will implement the EzRMS Core Module, Ez-QUOTE and Ez-REGION, as well as an extraction interface with Regal Hotels' own PMS.  http://www.regalhotel.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
New Zealand-based Callista has integrated its hospitality management system with SiteMinder’s distribution engine to help its hotel clients place their room availability and pricing automatically to multiple online booking sites such as Expedia, Wotif, Booking.com and Agoda.  Reservations from the booking sites are automatically captured by SiteMinder and passed directly into the hotels’ Callista PMS.  http://www.callista.co.nz, http://www.siteminder.com.au  
**
PAR Springer-Miller Systems has completed a two-way interface between its SMS|Host product suite and EZYield.com’s RezDelivery technology, helping the distribution of rates and room availability to multiple channels and automating the transfer of reservations booked via online travel agents directly to the SMS|Host system.  http://www.ezyield.com, http://www.springermiller.com  
**
Trust International has released a channel management interface between GestioneAlbergo’s LeoPortalsManager and Trust’s yourVoyager white-labeled centralized reservation system.  The Web services-based interface was developed for Trust’s and GestioneAlbergo’s joint client HotelREZ, and sends rate and room availability into yourVoyager on behalf of HotelREZ’s 1,000+ independent hotels and small hotel groups.  http://www.hotelrez.net, http://www.gestionealbergo.it, http://www.trustinternational.com  
**
Genares Worldwide Reservations has released a direct link between its CRS and REVPAR GURU's in-hotel revenue management system.  In addition to the integration benefits, both REVPAR GURU and Genares are extending preferred pricing to one another and their respective clients.  http://www.revparguru.com, http://www.genares.com  
**
August 26, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Aug. 26, 2010

Magic? Probably not, it is more likely all about dollars. I am sitting here on my balcony at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina at 5 a.m. I am attending the Starwood Six Sigma & IT Conference. I stayed at this Sheraton years ago and would have described it then as a “tired” hotel.  Whoever was in charge of the reinvention of this hotel should be congratulated; it is a property that seems like it is four years old, not 40 years old, and since it sits on the marina with million dollar yachts docked at the back door it seems more like a resort then a hotel three minutes from the airport. Perception is reality, right? 

The conference itself has been unique and absolutely motivating for the attendees. Heck, I am motivated and I don’t work for Starwood, but I now feel like I am ready to take on the world so don’t get in my way. There are over 40 exhibitors here and every last one said this was a fabulous event. During his opening remarks on the first day, VP of IT North America Mark McBeth went above and beyond encouraging the attendees to interact with the exhibitors and they took his advice to heart. The attendees learned a lot and vendors met a lot of prospects. It was simply great to experience and be a part of, I was so glad I was invited. Personally I had a great time talking to so many people who read Hospitality Upgrade and Siegel Sez. I’ve received great feedback. I also got a promise from Jennifer Hayward, a senior sales executive at MICROS, who if she comes through could be life changing and it has nothing to do with business. We shall see. Again, thanks to Mark McBeth and Starwood CIO Todd Thompson for inviting me to this year’s conference. This is a very unique conference for IT folks in the industry. I would encourage other hotel companies to do something similar. There is something magical when so many in the same position get time together to share experiences.

Speaking of sharing experiences, it is now less than two weeks until our ninth annual CIO Summit which will be in San Francisco. It is also two weeks until we launch the biggest initiative our little company has ever attempted. It is exciting and beyond stressful trying to have everything come together as deadlines approach. They say there is no cure for the common cold, but is there a cure for overwhelming pressure and stress?  As expected, and I say this with much thanks, this will be our biggest CIO Summit ever with attendees coming in from all over the world. Who would have thought this little one-day event nine years ago would grow to be a must attend for those responsible for their companies’ technologies in the hotel, hotel management, gaming, cruise and vacation ownership industries. We are very proud of how far it has come, but if I could just figure out a way not to stress so much beforehand I would be much happier. Those of you who plan meetings and events for a living, let me say this. You’re nuts! That is one job I could never do and am thankful Charlotte Somers has been doing our events for nine years now. I guess she must be a little nuts, especially having put up with my antics all these years. Now that is something that is definitely magical.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, when we were at HITEC in Orlando Jon and I sat down and did a wrap up Siegel Sez of this year’s show. After many rounds of edits, makeup and wardrobe changes, we have the finished video live on the video section of our Website. To check out the Siegel Sez video online go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/HUtube-Videos/.  

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks.  I should add here that Jon has written a fabulous article on the explosion of mobile applications for our upcoming fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade. If you are a vendor of technology and would like to share your message with over 32,000 readers in 106 countries you should quickly contact Kate O’Neil at (678)802-5304 or e-mail her at kate@hospitalityupgrade.com. We are proud of what we have done with our magazine and since we received so much positive feedback from our summer issue, we are putting extra pressure on ourselves to exceed expectations for this upcoming issue. Who knows, maybe we all work better under pressure. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
September 16, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- NH Hotels first Spanish chain to release iPhone app
- NORTHWIND releases smartphone microsite for Maestro PMS’s ResWave online booking engine
- Starwood releases its first application for BlackBerry
- Accor to list hotel inventory on HotelsCombined.com
- Aqua adopts Sabre’s Guest Connect Website booking engine
- Skyware releases two-way interface with InnLink CRS
- Ireland's Blue Book developing mobile application with O'Rourke’s SmartStay App
- Trust’s yourVoyager CRS now available in Japanese; Solare is first client
- Priceline’s Agoda.com offers online registration for hotels
--------------------------

NH Hotels has released an information and booking application for the iPhone, claiming to be the first Spanish hotel chain to do so.  The application allows users to research and book any of NH’s 394 hotels in 25 countries, including via a map function or based on the iPhone's GPS location, and can also register for the NH World loyalty program.  http://www.nh-hotels.com  
**
NORTHWIND has released a microsite presence for users of its Maestro PMS’s ResWave online booking engine, aimed at increasing revenue from smartphone users and facilitating greater interaction and booking from Web 2.0 social media channels.  Smartphone users can now reserve rooms via the ResWave booking engine, view a property’s Website, provide directions to the hotel location (via a geolocating/GPS capability) and can link them to property review sites such as TripAdvisor as well as to their Web 2.0/social media sites.   http://www.maestropms.com  
**
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has released its first application for BlackBerry smartphones, allowing members of its SPG rewards program to book and manage reservations, check recent account activity, connect with customer service, get directions and maps to their hotel and access TheLobby.com, the SPG blog.  http://www.starwoodhotels.com  
**
Accor has agreed to list its hotel inventory on meta-search engine HotelsCombined.com.  The distribution agreement covers all of its international brands: Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, All Seasons, Formule 1, HotelF1 and Etap.  http://www.hotelscombined.com  
**
Aqua Hotels & Resorts has adopted Sabre Hospitality Solution’s Guest Connect Website booking engine to let visitors check availability across multiple properties throughout five Hawaiian Islands.  http://www.aquaresorts.com, http://www.sabrehospitality.com  
**
Skyware Hospitality Solutions has released a two-way interface with InnLink’s CRS, to automate reservation, rate and real-time availability exchange between the two systems.  http://www.innlink.com, http://www.skywaresystems.com  
**
Ireland's Blue Book of historic hotel properties and castles is developing a customized mobile application with O'Rourke Hospitality Marketing’s SmartStay App.  The application is scheduled to launch early this fall and will feature geo-location services, maps, Twitter feeds, image libraries and lodging and destination information.  http://www.irelands-blue-book.ie, http://www.smartstayapp.com, http://www.orourkehospitality.com  
**
Trust International’s yourVoyager hotel central reservation system is now available in Japanese, the first of several Asian language versions being developed by Trust.  YourVoyager fully supports multibyte character sets that enable data entry and content display in Japanese for all aspects of the reservation process, including room and rate details, and translates all free-flow text, text boxes, confirmations, statistics and reports in Japanese and Chinese characters, including Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. 

Solare Hotels & Resorts is the launch client for this version, using it as a centralized reservation system with centralized rates and inventory management for its five brands (Chisun Inns, Chisun Hotels, Chisun Resorts, Loisir Hotels and Solare Collection).
http://www.solarehotels.com, http://www.trustinternational.com  
**
Priceline’s Agoda.com Asian division now offers online registration for hotels wishing to join its 130,000+ hotel inventory and reach its million-plus members.  The new registration page is part of Agoda's Yield Control System, which enables hotels to set room rates, manage inventory, upload content, create promotions and view performance reports.    http://www.agoda.com  
**


September 16, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Premier International expands Libra OnDemand-powered loyalty program
- Benchmark Hospitality rolling out d2o’s PMI to all properties
- Stonebridge hires VIZERGY to manage Internet marketing and redesign two Websites
- Frommer’s embeds VFM Leonardo multimedia viewers into online hotel section
--------------------------
Ukraine’s Premier International has expanded its Libra OnDemand-powered loyalty program to include its midscale brand, Accord Hotels, and to let Premier Club members access their account information through Libra OnDemand's Customer Portal.  http://www.premier-hotels.com.ua/en.html, http://www.libraondemand.com  
**
Benchmark Hospitality is rolling out d2o’s PMI (Performance Management Intelligence) product to all 25+ properties by Thanksgiving 2010.  The Web-based PMI suite ties together each property’s occupancy and departmental revenue forecasting with daily resource management functions, including a rolling forecast of group demand and pickup.  Executive level views consolidate all properties data into one report, updated daily; property level department heads receive a graphic view of actual departmental sales, occupancy and budget forecasting data for the next 500 days.  http://www.benchmarkhospitality.com, http://www.d2o.biz  
**
Stonebridge Companies has hired VIZERGY to manage its hotel Internet marketing efforts and redesign two Websites, for the 300-room Doubletree Denver Tech hotel and the 221-room Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown.  The new Websites will be managed on VIZERGY’s Web World Publishing content management system.  http://www.sbcos.com, http://www.vizergy.com  
**
Frommer’s has embedded VFM Leonardo’s VPowered multimedia viewers into Frommers.com’s hotel section, to provide consumers with images, videos and virtual tours of hotels they are researching.  Under this agreement, Frommer’s is now a direct channel partner in VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork. http://www.frommers.com, http://www.vfmleonardo.com  
**
September 16, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- H10 Hotels implementing EZYield.com across all 36 hotels
- Hotel Internet Help (HIH) integrates hotel booking engine with EZYield.com
- Enjoy Casino & Resort chain implements Easy (Ez) RMS at all resorts
- Rainmaker announces TribalRev revenue management service
- Nobis Hotel contracts with TRAVELCLICK for complete suite
- Château Cartier implements FastBooking’s online booking, distribution/channel management
--------------------------

Barcelona-based H10 Hotels is implementing EZYield.com’s channel management applications across all 36 hotels, after a two-year pilot at select properties including H10 Villa de la Reina, Madrid. 

Hotel Internet Help (HIH) has integrated its hotel booking engine with EZYield.com, allowing hotel clients using both to transfer rates and availability to their own branded Websites, as well as to third-party online distribution channels. 
http://www.h10hotels.com, http://www.hotelinternethelp.com, http://www.ezyield.com  
**
Chile’s Enjoy Casino & Resort chain has implemented Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions at all its resorts: Enjoy Antofagasta, Enjoy Coquimbo, Enjoy Viña del Mar, Enjoy Pucón, Enjoy Puerto Varas, Casino Enjoy Santiago, Casino de Colchagua and Enjoy Mendoza, in Argentina.  The chain uses the complete EzRMS SaaS suite, including extraction and upload interfaces for OPERA V5 PMS and an upload interface to NETRez.  http://www.enjoy.cl, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
The Rainmaker Group announced that it will launch its TribalRev revenue management service by year end, targeting its revenue optimization services at small and mid-sized casino hotel operators on Indian tribal lands.  TribalRev will include Rainmaker’s hosted revolution profit optimization software and the services of a professional Rainmaker revenue management executive, covering:
* A weekly dashboard/executive summary with historical, short-term and long-term outlooks
* Competitive updates
* Bi-weekly strategy calls with hotel GM/sales/casino staff
* Distribution strategy with third-party providers and other deliverables.
http://www.letitrain.com  
**
Nobis Hotel, Stockholm, has contracted with TRAVELCLICK for its complete suite of products including distribution, business intelligence and digital agency services.  Originally a private residence for industrial magnate Walter Hirsch before housing many well-known restaurants, the building has been completely refurbished and is scheduled to open as a hotel on December 1, 2010. Nobis Hotel will use TRAVELCLICK’s:
- iHotelier Central Reservation System
- iStay Web booking engine
- MobiBook mobile booking engine and branded mobile Website
- StayHIP mobile application for boutique hotels
- Hotelligence360 integrated business intelligence application 
http://www.nobishotel.se, http://www.travelclick.net  
**
Château Cartier, in Gatineau, Ottawa, is implementing FastBooking’s online booking, distribution and channel management system.  http://www.chateaucartier.com, http://www.fastbooking.net  
**


September 16, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Newmarket acquires Hospitality Information Services
- South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority contracts with Meetingmax Systems for online booking
--------------------------
Newmarket International has acquired Hospitality Information Services, a provider of market research information for the hospitality industry.  HIS will continue to operate and service existing customers out of its headquarters in Walnut Creek, Calif.  http://www.hisnet.com, http://www.newmarketinc.com  
**
The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority (CVA), which serves Indiana's stretch of the south shore of Lake Michigan, has contracted with Meetingmax Systems for online booking of multiproperty housing reservations for conference and event attendees, including teams traveling to the region's numerous sports tournaments.  http://www.southshorecva.com, http://www.meetingmaxsystems.com  
**

September 16, 2010

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba selects SpaSoft for its second Zara Spa
--------------------------
The 306-room Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, Jordan, has selected PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SpaSoft spa and activity management system for its second Zara Spa.  Tala Bay Aqaba is a new residential community on the southern shores of the Red Sea.  http://www.moevenpick-hotels.com, http://www.springermiller.com  
**

September 16, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- Redbury @ Hollywood and Vine opens with runtriz
- iBAHN formally launches iMEDIA IP-based information and entertainment platform
--------------------------
The 57-suite Redbury @ Hollywood and Vine has opened with runtriz’ guest-request management system, running on a guest's own smartphone, iPod touch® or iPad™.  The hotel staff use iPads to greet guests and explaining the My Redbury by runtriz application; select suites will be equipped with an iPad for guests to use during their stay.  http://www.theredbury.com, http://www.runtriz.com  
**
iBAHN announced the formal launch of its iMEDIA IP-based information and entertainment platform for hotels, which has been in global trials since late last year.  iMEDIA provides guests the ability to access any Internet content on the flat-screen television, including such services as Hulu and YouTube, and can be customized to ensure consistent branding throughout the hotel and to promote guest services, menus and room-specific offers.  http://www.ibahn.com  
**

September 16, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, picks Eatec
--------------------------
The Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, has selected Agilysys’ Eatec inventory and procurement system.  http://www.edmonton.com/shaw-conference-centre/, http://www.agilysys.com/hospitality  
**

September 16, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



- citizenM Glasgow opens with single IP-convergent network infrastructure from Swisscom
--------------------------
The new citizenM Glasgow has opened with a single IP-convergent network infrastructure from Swisscom, which underpins:
- guestroom RFID cards
- mood pads that control the guestroom TV/entertainment system, window shades, room ambiance and temperature
- CCTV
- any virtualized management system hosted remotely from the property, including its hospitality management system and wireless phone system (PBX) 

Swisscom built the hotel's IP infrastructure including all network interfaces between its own IPTV and HSIA services and the additional, third-party guest applications.  http://www.citizenmglasgow.com, http://www.swisscom.com/Hospitality/  
**



September 16, 2010

SECURITY



- CityCenter Las Vegas implements Saflok’s RFID lock system in 5,900 rooms
--------------------------
CityCenter in Las Vegas has implemented Saflok’s RFID lock system in 5,900 rooms, including the ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel and Spa and Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas.  The locks are integrated with each room’s Control4 in-room controller via a Zigbee mesh wireless network to set the room on welcome theme ambience upon a guest’s first entry, activating the lights, opening the drapes and displaying personalization controls on the TV for guests to configure.
http://www.citycenter.com, http://www.kaba.com/lodging-products  
**

September 16, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



 

Instead of our traditional you-know-what to conclude Siegel Sez, how about a feel good moment? How many can you remember? Turn up the volume and what the heck, dance right along if you want to. Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYL3j27sSH8.  



October 08, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Oct. 7, 2010

China. It seems like everywhere we turn we hear about what is going on in China. I just returned from the LodgeNet Customer Technology Symposium which had great speakers and was very well attended by its partners and customers. I listened carefully to Dr. Robert Atkinson from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, who along with opening our eyes to what hoteliers do right and wrong with technology also shared his experiences in China.  I recently had lunch with Gustaaf Schrils from IHG who talked about IHG’s expansion in China. Interesting stories were shared. I have talked to other hoteliers about China as well. Then I have talked to technology vendors who are trying to get their arms around doing business in China, which can bring many challenges. I think it is time for me to travel to China since my only experience to date has been 24 hours in Macau two years ago.  Yes, China is now on my radar, but I think I am going to first find somebody who can show me around not just the big cities but the outlying areas.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Before I plan my trip to China I will be doing the North America tour. There are so many events going on in October and early November it is making my head spin–but in a good way. I will be at the HFTP Annual Conference (www.hftp.org) in San Diego next week which is very much for the financial part of HFTP. Then I will be at the 2010 IHG Americas Investors and Leadership Conference, which I am honored to have been invited.  After October ends I look forward to the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show (www.ihmrs.com) in New York City, which I have been going to since college and where Hospitality Upgrade sponsors the Technology Innovation Pavilion. Then right away we are off to the PhoCusWright Conference (www.phocuswright.com) which is truly one of the industry’s most unique events. This year’s conference theme is Chaos is Calling – Navigating the New, and focuses on applications and practices that leverage new standards and visualization. Then we are off to the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas (www.globalgamingexpo.com). And finally I round out this conference travel by doing a panel at the British Association of Hospitality Accountants (www.bahaconference.co.uk) Hospitality Finance, Revenue Management and IT Professionals Conference and Exhibition outside London. Interestingly enough, the session I am doing there is on Thanksgiving Day. What is wrong with this picture? I am honored to be invited and glad I could attend. Just not sure if England is where I should be on Thanksgiving Day, but then again I guess I could be in China.

Our fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade will be out next week and if you have been reading it for the last 10 years you will know our fall cover always has the same theme. However, this year’s issue will have the best cover ever along with very strong content inside. If you don’t receive Hospitality Upgrade then I will suggest you go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com and subscribe. We can mail the printed edition to you or e-mail the digital version. As always we welcome your feedback, positive or suggestive. 

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. It is great to see so much happening in the industry. We are at a different place today then we were one year ago and I am very grateful for that. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
August 13, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) integrates StarCite eRFPs, synchronizes content updates
- Xanterra implements UniFocus’ MEETINGScope at eight Ohio State Park Lodges
- Egencia Meetings & Incentives to incorporate Cvent’s meetings management and venue site selection
- Serenata integrating PMS production and RFP data from Lanyon into Serenata NetHotel Sales
--------------------------
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced a new relationship with StarCite for its Holiday Inn, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza brands, under which StarCite eRFPs will populate directly into each hotel’s lead distribution system.  IHG will provide StarCite with a direct data feed for hotel content to ensure that IHG’s content updates in its chainwide system are reflected automatically in StarCite’s database.   http://www.ichotelsgroup.com, http://www.starcite.com  
**
Xanterra Parks & Resorts has implemented UniFocus’ MEETINGScope throughout its eight Ohio State Park Lodges.  http://www.xanterra.com, http://www.unifocus.com  
**
Egencia Meetings & Incentives is incorporating Cvent’s online meetings management and venue site selection software into its integrated strategic meetings management (SMM) application, which integrates site selection, attendee management, travel booking and reporting with full-service meetings management.  http://www.egencia.com, http://www.cvent.com  
**
Serenata IntraWare is integrating PMS production and RFP hotel and account status from Lanyon into its Serenata NetHotel Sales application to provide a full picture of corporate account business.  Data imported from Lanyon and visible directly from the NetHotel Sales application includes:
* Bid rates and status for a specific account
* Bid status and rates for all accounts at a specific hotel
* Summary of activities for any particular partner or account
* Details and documents on the RFP process for particular accounts and partners
http://www.serenata.com, http://www.lanyon.com  
**
August 13, 2010

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- MSI adds Merchant Link to Place Point POS, WinPM hospitality management system
--------------------------
MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) has added Merchant Link’s high-speed payments gateway and reporting to MSI's Place Point point-of-sale system and WinPM hospitality management system.  http://www.merchantlink.com, http://www.msisolutions.com  
**

August 13, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- XCom Global launches Corporate aXcess Program to save overseas travelers roaming charges
- Sheraton introduces new Bing-based portal for guests using Link@Sheraton lobby lounges
- SuperShuttle announces iPhone app to help travelers book, manage airport shuttle rides
- United Kingdom’s Filmbank introduces online per-room movie payment system for hoteliers and B&B owners
- Kimberly Hotel implements Intelity ICE Touch system in all guestrooms
- Acentic introduces Acentic Horizon high-speed Internet access (HSIA) service for hotels
- Wyndham Worldwide names Samsung as its sole endorsed television brand
--------------------------
XCom Global has launched its Corporate aXcess Program, claiming savings for overseas travelers of up to 90 percent off standard international roaming charges with its broadband rental services.  http://www.xcomglobal.com/corporate_axcess/. **
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has released a new portal for guests using its cumbersomely-named “Link@Sheraton experience with Microsoft” lobby lounges.  The portal, driven by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, was designed as a social, interactive site tailored to the hotel’s location, including local maps and the top search results for area restaurants, attractions, special events and services.  http://www.starwoodhotels.com  
**
SuperShuttle announced its iPhone app to help travelers obtain airport shuttle fare quotes, book and/or cancel airport rides.  The app also provides a Where’s My Van? Google map locator function to show the location of the guest’s assigned vehicle.  The site was developed by MobiLaurus.  http://www.supershuttle.com  
**
Filmbank, a United Kingdom-based supplier of Hollywood movies to guestrooms, has introduced an online system to facilitate easier annual per-room payment for hoteliers and B&B owners who wish to offer guests a selection of DVDs whilst they are staying.  Filmbank represents Hollywood studios and distributors who hold copyrights for the movies; hotel and B&B owners send a list of the films they have on offer to their guests to Filmbank on a quarterly basis. http://www.filmbank.co.uk/dvdconcierge  
**
The 187-room Kimberly Hotel, New York has implemented Intelity's ICE Touch (Interactive Customer Experience) system in all guestrooms and suites, to provide guests with touch-screen access to services including:
- in-room dining
- spa services
- flight status
- express checkout
- weather forecasts
- NYC destination guides
- transportation services with a directions module that allows guests to map to-and-from destinations using Google Maps
- boarding pass printing
- wake-up calls
http://www.kimberlyhotel.com, http://www.intelitycorp.com  
**
Acentic Media has introduced its Acentic Horizon high-speed Internet access (HSIA) service for the hotel industry, complementing Acentic’s Panorama and Vision iTV systems to provide hoteliers with a converged content strategy.  Initial Horizon clients include properties from Marriott, Starwood, Adina Hotels Intercontinental Hotel Group, Maritim Group and Best Western.  Acentic Horizon provides integration with the IP backend hardware and existing network infrastructure using industry standard hardware from Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and 3Com, and includes visitor ticket printers, support for mobile printing, automated VIP pricing and individual encrypted wireless network support for security-conscious users.  http://www.acentic.com  
**
Wyndham Worldwide has named Samsung as the only endorsed television brand for Wyndham Hotel Group, Wyndham Vacation Ownership and RCI affiliates worldwide, leveraging its global purchasing to achieve savings and support brand standards.  The Samsung products will be distributed through Hotel Solutions.  http://www.wyndhamworldwide.com, http://www.samsung.com  
**
August 13, 2010

BACK OFFICE



- MSI adds Merchant Link payments gateway and reporting to WinPM and Place Point POS
- Hyatt adopts Microsoft’s Online Services for e-mail, instant messaging and other collaboration tools
--------------------------
MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) has added Merchant Link’s high-speed payments gateway and reporting to MSI's WinPM hospitality management system and Place Point point-of-sale system.  http://www.merchantlink.com, http://www.msisolutions.com  
**
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has adopted Microsoft’s cloud-based Online Services for e-mail, instant messaging and other collaboration tools, purchasing its Business Productivity Online Suite for approximately 17,000 individuals in traditional roles at Hyatt's corporate office and Hyatt properties and a further 40,000 licenses for deskless staff in its U.S., Canada and Caribbean locations who don’t have full-time access to a PC.  http://www.hyatt.com, http://www.microsoft.com  
**

October 08, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 

TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Hospitality companies rank high as innovative users of technology
- American Express survey reports business travelers of all ages make full use of current technology
- Michael Kasavana releases sixth edition of “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry” textbook
--------------------------


Firmly putting the lie to the oft-repeated statement that “hospitality is always a late adopter of technology”, three hospitality companies are in the Top 50 of InformationWeek’s annual listing of the best companies at using technology in innovative ways.  Special kudos to InterContinental Hotels Group for coming in at No. 2, for its work on mobile booking sites and willingness to experiment with technologies such as OpenWays’ cell phone-based guestroom acoustic key (see below).

Hospitality companies recognized in the top 250 of the listing include:
No. 2 – InterContinental Hotels Group
No. 41 – Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
No. 45 – Pegasus Solutions
No. 53 – Marriott International
No. 97 – Travelport
No. 127- Sabre Holdings
No. 128 – Hyatt Hotels
No. 158 – Best Western International
**
A survey of travel managers and business travelers gives the lie to the persistent myth that only the young and hip take advantage of modern technology while traveling.  The research, by American Express Business Travel in collaboration with the Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM), indicates that seasoned travelers are as interested and eager to use virtual connection methods as their younger colleagues.

The study looked at the roles technology plays as an alternative to travel, such as video conferencing and telepresence, and as an enabler of travel, such as mobile devices enhancing productivity while on the road and in virtual office situations.  Most respondents agreed that new technology-based communication methods are now the norm for the majority of internal meetings, particularly regularly ones.  For outside meetings, however, only 22 percent reported that video conferencing allows them to influence, negotiate and maintain the relationships required for revenue-generating and client-facing activity.  Most believe that face-to-face meetings continue to be essential in many situations.
 
The survey also debunked the notion that generation Y is leading the charge in new technology usage, finding that technology adoption is not age specific.  Travelers are willing and ready to use whatever tools and methods meet their personal and corporate objectives, regardless of their time spent or level achieved in corporate life.
**
Michael Kasavana (of Michigan State University) has released the sixth edition of his well-respected textbook, “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry”, published by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and a staple of many colleges’ hospitality management programs.  The sixth edition features 10 new sections covering benchmarking hospitality technology, social networking, Internet marketing, self-service technologies, voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP), open and closed payment systems, PCI compliance, menu item pricing, inventory replenishment and data mining.  The book also comes with a key code for access to additional online instructional components.
**


October 08, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Kimberly Lambeth promoted to senior director – business development at PSAV
- HFTP announces formation of HITEC Executive Vendor Advisory Council
--------------------------
Kimberly Lambeth has been promoted to senior director – business development at PSAV Presentation Services, from director of association sales.  Ms. Lambeth joined PSAV in 2006 as director of sales; before then she spent 10 years working for AVMG, an event technology company based in Richardson, Texas.
**
HFTP announced the formation of its HITEC Executive Vendor Advisory Council, selected by a lottery of vendors from HITEC 2010 and charged with providing advice on education, trends and topics for industrywide white papers.  The council will also assist HFTP in marketing HITEC and in helping the HITEC Advisory Council develop educational topics for HITEC 2011.
The new council consists of:
Bruce Bensetler, president of Data Plus Hospitality Solutions
Tom Duke, CTO of iBAHN
Dan Fasik, vice president of hospitality for Symon Message Link
Jon Johnston, vice president of Electric Mirror
Graham Martin, CEO of EnOcean Alliance
Terry McGowan, president of Datanamics Non Stop Networks
Bob Palloni, COO of Skyware Hospitality Solutions
Doug Schwartz, president of Innovation Technologies Worldwide
Jeff Venza, president and CEO of Venza Group
plus
Cindy Estis Green, CEO of The Estis Group and 2011 HITEC Advisory Council co-chair
Allison Morris, senior IT manager for Harrah's Entertainment and 2011 HITEC Advisory Council co-chair
Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP
Jennifer Lee, director of marketing for HFTP
**

October 08, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Tacoma Regional CVB signs with Meetingmax Systems for online housing reservations
- Village Hotels chooses Nexus to manage bid responses for its 22 properties
- Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., deploys Passkey's GroupMAX
- Grand Sierra Resort announces full deployment of Passkey's GroupMAX
- Passkey’s GroupMAX receives 2010 WMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development
--------------------------

Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) has signed with Meetingmax Systems to handle its online housing reservation needs, which cover 87 hotels and 6,000 hotel rooms, allowing meeting planners to secure blocks of housing through the CVB and manage their bookings through one central portal. Conference attendees are sent a link to explore participating hotels and book their own rooms.  http://www.traveltacoma.com, http://www.meetingmaxsystems.com  
**
The United Kingdom’s Village Hotels has chosen Nexus to manage bid responses for corporate and consortia hotel programs at its 22 properties.  http://www.village-hotels.co.uk, http://www.nexusworldservices.com  
**
The Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., has deployed Passkey's GroupMAX application.

Grand Sierra Resort announced its full deployment of Passkey's GroupMAX application.  Grand Sierra, in Reno/Tahoe, is one of the largest destinations in Northern Nevada with nearly 2,000 guestrooms and over 200,000 square feet of usable meeting, function and exhibit space.

Passkey International’s GroupMAX has received the 2010 Web Marketing Association's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development in the Hotel and Lodging sector.  Entries are judged on design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use; GroupMAX outscored the hotel and lodging sector averages as well as the broader Web award averages in all seven categories.
http://www.thecaribeorlando.com, http://www.grandsierraresort.com, http://www.passkey.com  
**


October 08, 2010

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Munchbar picjs InfoGenesis POS, TMx time management software for new outlet in Caesars Palace
- SugarHouse Casino opens with MICROS Simphony and Workstation 5A terminals
- Agilysys releases version 4.2.0 of InfoGenesis
--------------------------
Munchbar in Las Vegas has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system and TMx time management software for its new outlet in Caesars Palace.  http://www.munchgroup.com, http://www.agilysys.com  
**
SugarHouse Casino, Philadelphia’s first casino, has opened with MICROS Simphony and Workstation 5A terminals.  SugarHouse includes nearly 1,600 slots, 40 table games and several dining outlets.  http://www.sugarhousecasino.com, http://www.micros.com  
**
Agilysys has released version 4.2.0 of its InfoGenesis POS software, featuring both modernization of its infrastructure and functional enhancements in reporting, screen layout configuration, property management system interface improvements and Blackboard campus card payment options.  http://www.agilysys.com  
**
October 08, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Avendra, BirchStreet Systems to offer each other’s services to clients
--------------------------
Avendra has named BirchStreet Systems as its preferred provider of e-procurement technology, making it available to all of its 5,000 current hospitality customers.  BirchStreet in turn named Avendra as its preferred procurement service provider for the hotel industry.  http://www.avendra.com, http://www.BirchStreetSystems.com
**

October 08, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE



- InfiniSys Electronic Architects launches its Hotel Technology Group for network and infrastructure design
--------------------------
Florida-based InfiniSys Electronic Architects has launched its Hotel Technology Group, offering complete network and infrastructure design for hospitality clients.  Services offered include:
- Voice/video/data networks (wired and Wi-Fi)
- Phone networks
- Cellular network amplifiers and distributed antenna systems (DAS)
- Public safety radio systems
- Security and access control systems
- Video surveillance
- Commercial audio and public address systems
- Point of sale systems
- Energy management (occupancy controls, programmable thermostats and more)
- Digital signage networks
- Elevator entertainment systems (such as Captivate)
- Informational, sales and self-service kiosks
http://www.electronicarchitect.com  
**

October 08, 2010

SECURITY



- Valentines Resort and Marina completes installation of VingCard Signature RFID locks
--------------------------
The 40-room Valentines Resort and Marina on Harbour Island in the Bahamas recently completed the installation of VingCard Signature RFID electronic door locks. http://www.Valentinesresort.com, http://www.vingcard.com  
**

October 21, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Oct. 21, 2010

Holidays. There are certain holidays I embrace and then there are those that the sooner they are over the happier I am.  But what about Halloween?  I always enjoy having kids come by the house on Halloween night and disbursing the candy, but I can’t say I have done anything else. Don’t we reach a point in our lives when we stop dressing up? It has probably been 20 years since I went to a Halloween party, that is until last weekend in Las Vegas. I would post a picture of my costume on our www.hospitalityupgrade.com Website, but even I am too embarrassed to do that. Or am I? Thankfully I didn’t know many people at this party that has been an annual event for 10 years now and it was great that it was held so early. I think some of the people I bumped into before the event were wondering if I was dressed up for a party or that was the real me. Nothing like being in the lobby of a hotel looking strange, but then again it was Las Vegas and you know what they say about what happens there.  I can’t wait for the next party and another chance to wear my costume again. I am hooked. If you are contemplating going to a Halloween party, I suggest go and have fun with your costume.  Next year I am going to outdo everyone.  I can’t wait.

Before the Las Vegas party I was in San Diego at the HFTP Annual Convention.  Frank Wolfe accused me of wearing a costume there because I wore a jacket and tie at the President’s Evening dinner.  There was a very moving experience for all at the conference when Steve Doherty was awarded posthumously the 2010 Paragon Award. It was truly a very special moment.  On a much lighter note there were many smiles and much laughter when Thomas Smith, the CFO for the Westmoor Country Club, was introduced as this year’s president of HFTP.  The HFTP Annual Conference is really one of my favorite events of the year. I don’t know any association that has a more loyal membership and it shows at this event.  Next year it will be here in Atlanta. I guess we will have to come up with something creative since it will be in our hometown.

The launch of our Hospitality Upgrade TechShare initiative has been embraced beyond our wildest expectations. In fact we have brought on Lisa D’Angelo to help accelerate the project. If you are an operator of hotels and want to know where you stand with technology implementations then please contact Lisa or me. Lisa’s e-mail is mailtlisa@hospitalityupgrade.com. Lisa has an extensive background in the hotel industry with companies such as Sceptre, Vantis and most recently TRAVELCLICK. We are so excited to have her onboard with us. 

The rebound of technology in our industry continues; proof follows this intro with Jon Inge’s technology review. It was a long time coming and we are thankful it is happening. Very interesting new technology keeps getting introduced and I am looking forward to seeing much of it next month when we are at the IH/M&RS (www.ihmrs.com) in New York.  We will also be attending PhocusWright (http://bit.ly/9Pj0AO) and the Global Gaming Show in Las Vegas. Look for me at G2E, I will be the one wearing my costume two weeks after Halloween.

Here now is the real reason we are here, the aforementioned Jon Inge’s technology happenings. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
October 21, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- David Sjolander joins Pegasus as vice president product management distribution services
- Larry Kutscher named chief executive officer at TRAVELCLICK
- Tia Hobgood joins InnPoints Worldwide as director of client services
- Steven Pofahl promoted to senior vice president/general manager at LodgeNet
- Derek White named president of LodgeNet’s Interactive & Media Networks
- Bob Bansfield becomes senior executive officer at MSI
- Mark Loyd named as senior vice president, strategic product development at MSI
--------------------------

David Sjolander has joined Pegasus Solutions as vice president product management distribution services.  With over 30 years of operational and technology experience in the hotel industry, he was most recently vice president strategy and business development at TRAVELCLICK, which he joined in 2008.  For the previous 15 years Mr. Sjolander led the hotel technology team at Carlson Hospitality as vice president hotel systems and functioned as its interim chief information officer; he had earlier served in various systems, marketing and finance positions at HMS vendors Micor, HIS and Fidelio.
**
Larry Kutscher has been named chief executive officer at TRAVELCLICK, replacing Robert Post.   Prior to joining TRAVELCLICK, Mr. Kutscher served as CEO of Register.com until its sale in July 2010 to Web.com; he has also served as senior vice president and general manager of the small business group at Dun & Bradstreet, as managing director with Goldman Sachs Wealth Management and 12 years at American Express.
**
Tia Hobgood has been named director of client services at InnPoints Worldwide.  Ms. Hobgood most recently held the position of director of revenue management for Heritage Hotels and Resorts in New Mexico; she brings over 15 years of experience in hotel electronic distribution and online marketing.
**
Steven R. Pofahl has been promoted to senior vice president/general manager at LodgeNet Interactive.  A 21-year LodgeNet veteran, Mr. Pofahl has held senior management responsibilities in most areas of the company’s hospitality operations including call center support, field service, installations and upgrades, project management, system production, quality assurance, technical training and content management.

Derek S. White has been named president of LodgeNet Interactive’s Interactive & Media Networks; he was previously president of The Hotel Networks (THN), which LodgeNet acquired in 2008.  Before joining THN, Mr. White served as executive vice president of targeted media and marketing services provider Alloy, Inc., was president of 360 Youth Corp. (later acquired by Alloy), and served as executive vice president of MarketSource Corp., President of Graphic Connexions and director for Computerware.
**
MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) announced its new leadership team, having completed its integration of REMco Software. 
- Rick Munson, who founded MSI in 1989, continues as CEO.
- Robert Bansfield becomes senior executive officer; he joined MSI last year as chief strategy officer, after a career including 24 years with Hyatt culminating as vice president IT.
- Maureen Kieffer continues as chief operating officer, her role since joining MSI earlier this year; she has over 20 years of hospitality experience, gained in executive roles with companies including Pegasus, Best Western and Choice.
- Mark Loyd is promoted to senior vice president, strategic product development; he was formerly president of REMco, which he joined in 1999. 
 - Ted Warring continues as chief scientist; he joined MSI in 1998.
**


August 26, 2010

BACK OFFICE



- Red Lion implements UniFocus’ Watson, R.M. Time & Attendance at all owned properties
--------------------------
Red Lion Hotels has implemented UniFocus’ Web-based Watson, R.M. Time & Attendance system throughout their owned  properties.  http://www.redlion.com, http://www.unifocus.com  
**

August 26, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge implements Adaco
--------------------------
The 665-room New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge has implemented Adaco for all its food and beverage procurement and inventory.  http://www.marriott.com, http://www.adaco.com  
**

August 26, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



 
And now for you-know-what…
 

A teenager brought her new boyfriend home to meet her parents. They were shocked by his haircut, his numerous tattoos and his excessive piercings.
 
After he left, the girl's mom decided to ask her daughter about him and said, "Dear, he doesn't seem to be a very nice boy."
 
"Oh, please, Mom," the daughter replied. "If he wasn't nice, would he be doing 500 hours of community service?"



October 21, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Alexis Park All Suite Resort signs with Open Hospitality for online marketing services
- Open Hospitality adds suite of social media services for hotels
- Lodging Interactive wins two site development awards in WMA’s 14th annual WebAwards
- Libra OnDemand integrates Chatter business networking into hospitality CRM application
- Pegasus signs with Amadeus for travel agency advertising on Amadeus Media Platform
- d2o celebrates 10th anniversary, announces AI-based advice for Performance Management Intelligence suite
- Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) receives one Gold, two Silver Travel Weekly Magellan Awards
--------------------------

The 496-room Alexis Park All Suite Resort, Las Vegas, has signed with Open Hospitality for online marketing services, following a complete renovation. 

Open Hospitality has added a suite of social media services for hotels, to help them create an effective Facebook presence and to manage Facebook and Twitter updates and comment follow up.
http://www.alexispark.com, http://www.openhospitality.com  
**
Lodging Interactive has won two Website development awards in the Web Marketing Association’s 14th annual WebAwards Competition, for its redesign of www.flatotel.com and www.thewilshiregrandhotel.com.  http://www.LodgingInteractive.com  
**
Libra OnDemand announced the integration of salesforce.com’s Chatter business networking platform into its cloud-based hospitality CRM application.  Featuring an interface similar to that of Twitter and Facebook, Chatter includes user profiles, status notifications, commenting capability and groups; it allows users to follow the people, documents and applications most relevant to them, with the option of receiving updates whenever edits are made or statuses are changed.  Chatter also lets marketers and salespeople run measurable Twitter campaigns and interact with prospective clients on the external sites.  http://www.libraondemand.com  
**
Pegasus Solutions has contracted with Amadeus for travel agency advertising on the Amadeus Media Platform for its reservations and representation services customers.  http://www.pegs.com  
**
Norway-based d2o (deadline 2 online) is celebrating its 10th anniversary.  D2o is the developer of the Web-based Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) suite that helps hotel and resort department heads manage their daily costs and labor forecasts.  It also announced development of enhanced management tools designed to offer integrated suggestions for adjustments based on each manager’s goals and operating style.  http://www.d2o.biz  
**
Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) has received one Gold and two Silver Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, which recognize the industry's creative marketing companies and staff.  HeBS received a Gold Magellan Award in Hotels and Resorts|Web Marketing/Advertising for its work with Indian Wells Scavenger Hunt, and Silver awards for projects with the JW Marriott Indianapolis 30-Day Giveaway for Meeting Planners, and Shell Vacations Hospitality Ultimate Summer Vacation Sweepstakes.  http://travelweeklyawards.com, http://www.hospitalityebusiness.com  
**


November 04, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Rich Siegel
Siegel Sez
November 4, 2010

It has been one extreme to another these past two weeks. I attended the IHG 2010 Americas Investor & Leadership Conference at the beautiful Palazzo and Venetian Hotels in Las Vegas.  One day as I am sitting at a table for lunch, the guy next to me asks me what hotels I owned. Before I answered I thought to myself wow, I am trying to pay the mortgage on my house and he is asking what hotels I own? Then again it was a conference for those that owned IHG properties and that was a pretty normal question as I reflected. It was a great conference with great speakers and very motivational and forward looking, I really liked that. While at the conference I had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Conophy, the IHG CIO, and we talked about many things. The technology-related sessions at the conference included sessions on PCI compliance and how technology can be used to make a difference in how you do business. The sessions were well done and more importantly were standing room only. Yes, technology is touching more and more people in the industry today.  Tom also shared some of his visions for the future including everything from in-room entertainment to how to protect hotels from data breaches, to the next generation of arrival and departure options as well as IHG’s cloud computing plans.  It was a conference that I was honored to be invited to and more proof that the optimistic feelings toward the future continue to grow stronger.

I returned from Las Vegas for a few days and then headed back to Nevada, though this time to Reno and then to the Resort at Squaw Creek near Lake Tahoe for the PAR Springer-Miller Systems Host Users Group, which is referred to as HUG. This group is unique in our industry since it is the only users’ group that is run by the users not the vendor.  Once again this event was a great success. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as I sat down to lunch and the guy next to me was Ben Smith, the front office manager at The Lodge & Conference Center at Geneva On-The-Lake in Ohio. Last week I am being asked what hotels I own and now I am talking to the front office manager who was attending his first HUG. His enthusiasm about what he was learning at the conference was just great to hear.  Having worked in the PMS industry for many years I always pushed our customers to send people to the user group conferences. The sessions are very valuable, but what you learn from your peers is just as important. The crowd this year was much larger than last year and there was an enormous number of first-time attendees. I have always thought if you are going to make an investment in technology, then follow it up with an investment in the people that use the technology. It is one of the better investments you will ever make.  Yes, at times I think I live a strange life hobnobbing with people that own hotels and the next week talking technology with those who use the systems in the hotel. I do have a lot to be thankful for.

I am now going to head back to Atlanta to help with our office move. Honestly, is there anything more painful then moving offices? We are only moving three miles from our current offices so that is good, but now I have to find a new favorite place to have lunch. Wonder what the guy who asked what hotels I owned would think as I pack and carry boxes out of the building all day? Yes, at times it is one extreme to another.

This weekend I am sneaking away from life for two days to see the best girl in the world. On Saturday at 6:15 p.m. Eastern Time at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Zenyatta the super filly will take on the best boys in the world one more time in the last race of her career before she pursues mom duties next year. She has run 19 times and has won 19 times. Unbelievable. If you have never seen a horse race in your life, watch this one on ESPN. You will get to see her do her signature dance as she prepares for the race. Win or lose, what a great experience this will be. I can’t wait.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the past two weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. If you are going to be at the upcoming IH/M&RS in New York next week, look for us in the Technology Innovation Pavilion which Hospitality Upgrade sponsors. We have great participation this year and it does become the hangout for all the technology types. Just don’t ask how the move went.  Overlapping IH/M&RS this year is The Phocuswright conference at the beautiful Westin Kierland in Phoenix. They chose the theme Chaos Calling for this year’s event. We can relate. We’re looking forward to seeing how we can “Navigate the New” going into 2011.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
November 04, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Darrin Pinkham named vice president information technology at Benchmark Hospitality
- Andrew Sanders joins OpenWays as vice president, business development
- Michael Miller named chief technology officer at EZYield.com
--------------------------
Darrin Pinkham has been named vice president information technology at Benchmark Hospitality International.  A 22-year veteran of the hospitality industry, before starting his own consultancy in 2008 Mr. Pinkham was vice president, hospitality technology for Ginn Resorts and had earlier served in senior-level information technology positions with Loews Resorts, Boca Resorts, Hershey Resorts and Scanticon.
**
Andrew Sanders has joined OpenWays as vice president, business development.  Mr. Sanders has 20+ years of hospitality IT experience, most recently as vice president sales at Multi-Systems Inc. (MSI) and director of sales at MICROS.  He had earlier served in the United Kingdom as strategic account manager with Innsite Hotel Services, and as manager/hotels and leisure with McDonnell Information Systems (UK).
**
Michael Miller has been named chief technology officer at EZYield.com.  A former senior engineer for the Walt Disney World Company in the 1990s, Mr. Miller is one of the inventors of Disney FastPass queuing technology and was on the founding team of Leap Frog International.  Prior to joining EZYield.com, he served as director of corporate IT for Compass Knowledge Group and had earlier held the same position at SunGard Higher Education.
**
November 04, 2010

HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas picks Agilysys’ software suite
- Pearl Hotel New York implements Skyware HMS, TTI Technologies Scan2PMS
--------------------------
The 2,995-room Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, scheduled to open Dec. 15, has selected Agilysys’ software suite.  Components to be implemented are:
- Lodging Management System (LMS) hospitality management system (with ResNet for online room reservations and ShowGate for attraction ticketing services),
- Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement application for food and beverage as well as general property materials,
- InfoGenesis POS,
- Visual One Condo Accounting System, and
- DataMagine Document Management, for digital signature capture as well as indexing and archiving business-critical documents and reports.
http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com, http://www.agilysys.com  
**
The Pearl Hotel New York has implemented Skyware Hospitality Solutions’ Web-based HMS, the sixth Empire Hotel Group property to do so.  The implementation also included TTI Technologies Scan2PMS integration to capture information such as guest photo, name and address at checkin.  http://www.pearlhotelnyc.com, http://www.ttitel.com, http://www.skywaresystems.com  
**

November 04, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Lodging Interactive introduces HotelWebPages.com customized landing page services
- Knowland Group ranked 26th on Deloitte's 2010 Technology Fast 500
--------------------------
Lodging Interactive has introduced its HotelWebPages.com service to help hotels establish customized landing pages aimed at local demand drivers such as events and conventions, local attractions, sporting tournaments and amateur travel teams and other SMERF markets.  HotelWebPages.com offers search engine optimized landing pages, checks availability reservations links and a Google map on every page, and search engine XML site map, submission, monthly hosting and monthly search engine ranking reports (SERP) for all pages.  http://www.HotelWebPages.com  
**
The Knowland Group has been ranked 26th on Deloitte's 2010 Technology Fast 500, a list identifying the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America based on fiscal revenue growth from 2005-2009.  Knowland ranked fifth out of 190 companies in the software industry, and first on the regional Greater Philadelphia Fast 50 list.  http://www.KnowlandGroup.com  
**

November 04, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Two Boyd Gaming properties and IP Biloxi casino resort upgrade to Rainmaker revolution v.16.3
- EZYield.com adds Passkey as a distribution channel
- Wyboston Lakes Conference and Training Centre picks EasyRMS
- Paradores de Turismo implements RateTiger’s RTSuite - ChannelManager PRO across 90+ hotels
- eRevMax launches RateTiger RTSuite Review online guest review consolidator
--------------------------

Two Boyd Gaming properties (in Michigan City, Ind. and Shreveport, La.) and the 1,088-room IP Biloxi casino resort have upgraded their Rainmaker Group revolution systems to version 16.3.  Enhancements include greater visibility into data in the system (especially guest transaction data from the property management system), streamlined room upgrade recommendations, enhanced report security, performance and flexible distribution, and reporting by job role.  http://www.boydgaming.com, http://www.ipbiloxi.com, http://www.letitrain.com  
**
EZYield.com has signed a connectivity agreement with Passkey, allowing its hotel partners to adjust their rate and inventory allotment to Passkey's meetings and events Websites via the same interface used for EZYield’s 500+ other distribution channels across the Internet.  http://www.ezyield.com, http://www.passkey.com  
**
Wyboston Lakes Conference and Training Centre has selected Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS), and has implemented the EzRMS Core, Ez-QUOTE and Ez-BUDGET modules, a two-way interface to its Visual One HMS and an upload interface for EZYield.com for integrated channel management.  Wyboston Lakes, which claims to be the largest independently owned, single-site residential conference and training centre in Northern Europe, includes three conference centers and 405 guestrooms.  http://www.wybostonlakes.co.uk, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
Paradores de Turismo has implemented RateTiger’s RTSuite - ChannelManager PRO across its portfolio of 90+ hotels, many of which are located in nature reserves and in historic buildings, such as castles, palaces, convents and monasteries.  

eRevMax has added RTSuite Review to its RateTiger range, an online guest review consolidator to help hotels manage their brand reputations and interact directly with guests across multiple hotel review sites.  RTSuite Review sorts customer reviews by various parameters (e.g. hotel facilities, food and beverage, customer service and cleanliness); hoteliers can choose review periods from the last seven days up to 24 months, assess people’s comments, respond where possible, and gather statistical marketing information.  They will also be able to review competitors’ guest reviews on the same channels.
http://www.parador.es, http://www.ratetiger.com  
**


November 04, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- EventSphere bases housing and meetings fulfillment services on Passkey's GroupMAX
- Dolce implementing Passkey's GroupMAX for all group operations
- EZYield.com adds Passkey as a distribution channel
--------------------------

Atlanta-based EventSphere, a housing and meetings fulfillment company, is using Passkey's GroupMAX application as its technology platform. 

Dolce Hotels and Resorts is implementing Passkey's GroupMAX online reservation technology for all its group operations.  Dolce hosts over 30,000 events and 4 million clients globally each year, more than 65 percent of which is in the group sector. 

EZYield.com has signed a connectivity agreement with Passkey, allowing its hotel partners to adjust their rate and inventory allotment to Passkey's meetings and events Websites via the same interface used for EZYield’s 500+ other distribution channels across the Internet.
http://www.eventsphere.com, http://www.dolce.com, http://www.ezyield.com, http://www.passkey.com  
**


November 19, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Nov 19, 2010

Sleep can be so overrated, honestly who needs it? I started my week in New York on Saturday night. Enough said there, right? Then the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show kicks in and the next three days are nonstop. The show has gotten smaller, but still has a strong industry presence.  I did talk to those that run IH/M&RS and strongly suggested that this might be a time to reinvent itself, at least for the technology sector. There should be some interesting conversations after the first of the year.  Hospitality Upgrade had our customer appreciation dinner on Monday night in New York and the 35 people in attendance raved about the restaurant. Neil Holm from Hyphen told me that Vice Versa was one of the best meals in New York. Everybody who attended that night agreed. What a fun night.

On Tuesday afternoon I was flying from New York to Las Vegas for the Global Gaming Expo referred to as G2E.  Tracy Flynn from Infor was on the flight with me and Gregg Hopkins from Libra OnDemand was on the flight leaving nearly two hours behind ours.  Honestly, this was one of the most amazing experiences ever on a flight and I couldn’t do the story justice or you would be reading forever. I will say this, Gregg changed his flight to the earlier flight to fly with us and gave up his first class seat to get waitlisted for an upgrade that Tracy and I were also waitlisted for. Tracy and I got upgraded; Gregg just missed by one and was back in coach. As we were taxiing out to the runway to depart, certain conversations happened in first class between the flight attendant, me and a couple of other passengers. All of a sudden we turned around, we went back to the gate, two girls sitting in first class were thrown off the plane and Gregg got moved up to first class. Pearl Brewer from UNLV who was sitting across the aisle from me looked at me in a somewhat bizarre way and I pleaded the fifth.  It was a very interesting experience to say the least, but what we all learned was if there is a meal offered and the choices are chicken or pasta, choose the pasta.

G2E was great and was highlighted by the WhiteSands/Rainmaker party at the Playboy Club at the Palms Hotel. I especially enjoyed talking to Marshall Andrew the CIO at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Strip’s next and maybe the last luxury hotel that will be opening for awhile. They are opening on December 15, 2010 and those who have toured the property have shared many accolades regarding how spectacular it is. Hopefully I will make it out for the opening, it should be quite the experience.

I am heading back to Atlanta in a few hours, to catch up for four days and then am heading to London for the British Association of Hospitality Accountants annual conference where I am moderating a panel on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, this will be one of my stranger Thanksgivings. Frank Wolfe from HFTP will also be there so who knows, maybe we can sneak out and find a turkey leg together.  Thanksgiving or not, I am honored they have invited me and am looking forward to the event.  After the conference I am taking a short side trip to Portugal. I figured if I needed to be working on Thanksgiving, why not make the most of it and go somewhere I have never been.  It will be a fun adventure, but in truth I would be OK just getting some sleep. Maybe sleep isn’t overrated, I hope to find out.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks.  I hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving; I for one do take a moment and instead of stressing about life actually realize that most of us have a lot to be thankful for. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
November 19, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Scott Anderson re-activates High Country Hospitality consultancy
- ProfitSword hires Mitch Youngerman, Maureen Allen, Paul Bennie, Todd Chapuis and Francis Ngugi
- Uli Pillau joins hetras as managing director
- Keith Watson appointed vice president corporate product at eRevMax
- James Filsinger hired by EZ Yield as CEO
- Jennifer Ranno joins EZYield.com as vice president global sales and marketing
- Mark Houser joins Roomlinx as chief technology officer
--------------------------

30-year industry veteran Scott Anderson has re-activated his High Country Hospitality consultancy, focusing on hotel operations, marketing and technology.  He was most recently group president of Kohler Hospitality & Real Estate, and has held top leadership positions with Cendant, Richfield Hospitality, the Hotel Del Coronado, Callaway Gardens and Dream Catcher, a destination club.
**
ProfitSword has announced the addition of five key executives to the team. 
- Mitch Youngerman joins as vice president of system implementations, bringing 26 years of experience with companies such as IBM, KPMG Peat Marwick, ePartners, and his own firm, SBS Group.  For most of this period he was also a Microsoft reseller of accounting software including Microsoft Dyamics, Solomon, Great Plains and MAS 90/200/500.  Most recently, he was the director of business systems for Hersha Hospitality.
- Maureen Allen has been hired as an account manager, with 25-plus years experience with companies such as Fine Hotels, Kessler Collection, Davidson Hotel Company and Brookshire Hotels. 
- Paul Bennie is the new vice president of account management, and has 21 years of hotel operations experience with hotel brands including Marriott, IHG, Choice Hotels, Hilton and Best Western, through management companies including Milestone Hospitality Management, Hersha Hospitality Management and, most recently, Noble Investment Group in Atlanta where he served as senior director of operations analysis.
- Todd Chapuis joins as senior developer.  He has been a software developer for over 14 years and has developed enterprise level software for UPS, Citigroup, Arthur Andersen and many others. 
- Francis Ngugi has also been named an account manager.  He was most recently a corporate operations analyst for Hersha Hospitality Management where he also provided administrative support for ProfitSage.  With an extensive background in financial accounting and business systems implementation, Mr. Ngugi has worked as an accountant in the insurance business, and served eight years working abroad for Paris-based building materials vendor Lafarge, including as an SAP project team member for Lafarge in East Africa. 
**
Uli Pillau has been named managing director at hetras GmbH in Munich, Germany.  A 20-year veteran in hospitality technology, Mr. Pillau served 12 years with IDeaS Revenue Optimization as managing director/EAME region.  He had earlier held senior-level positions at Fidelio Software (and later MICROS-Fidelio) including training director, managing director of Fidelio France and vice president of Fidelio Major Accounts worldwide.  He started his hotel career at groups such as InterContinental, Hilton and Mövenpick.
**
Keith Watson has been appointed vice president corporate product at eRevMax, based at eRevMax's European headquarters in London.  Formerly the owner and director of SEO and Web sales vendor Internet Retail Technologies, Mr. Watson was previously a sales manager for IDeaS Revenue Management.  Earlier in his career he gained experience in online distribution and PMS with WorldRes, Ramesys and Hotel Information Systems (HIS).
**
James Filsinger has been hired by EZ Yield as its chief executive officer.  Most recently CEO and general manager of Moneydirect, a travel payment joint venture between Sabre (USA) and Amadeus IT (Spain), Mr. Filsinger has held various positions with Sabre Holdings since 1996 including director of strategic marketing and vice president of new business ventures.

Jennifer Ranno has joined EZYield.com as vice president of global sales and marketing.  Ms. Ranno comes to EZYield from iBahn, where she served as vice president of sales for the Americas, and had earlier served as vice president of accounts/Americas for SynXis/Sabre Hospitality Solutions.  Before joining SynXis in 2000, she held several national sales and marketing positions, including for Westin properties in Dallas and Los Angeles, and the Dallas Convention Center.
**
Mark Houser has joined Roomlinx as chief technology officer.  Mr. Houser brings over 23 years of experience developing hospitality technology systems, including 17 years at Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) where he held various positions culminating in chief operating officer and chief information officer.  He had earlier served six years with International Property Control Systems (IPCS) developing its customer support center and implementing sales support systems; he began his career at Honeywell Systems supporting the design finalization and user acceptance of Honeywell’s Hotel Management System. 
**


November 19, 2010

HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- citizenM Hotels contracts for hetras HMS in all current and future properties
- Amadeus formally launches Amadeus Hotel Platform, integrates CRS, HMS and GDS
- Casino Enterprise Management names MICROS winner of HOT Award in Employee Productivity and Efficiency
- Agilysys launches Mobile ResNet application for LMS
- 3 Stars Hotels’ MaxHotel in Brussels installs Ariane Systems kiosks
- Ariane Systems debuts Allegro Online/Mobile/Kiosk check-in/out technology application
- Ariane Systems integrates Hypercom’s SmartPayments Wynid software into checkin/checkout applications
--------------------------

citizenM Hotels has contracted with hetras GmbH to use its hetras Hospitality Management System (HMS) in all current and future citizenM properties; both Amsterdam properties and the citizenM in Glasgow are now live with hetras. Virtually all guests make their bookings online and check themselves in and out via kiosks in the hotel lobbies.  http://www.citizenm.com, http://www.hetras.com  
**
Amadeus has formally launched its Amadeus Hotel Platform, which combines central reservation, property management and global distribution systems into one fully integrated platform.  Based on open technology architecture, AHP is built around one comprehensive database and is available as a software as a service.  http://www.amadeus.com/hotels  
**
Casino Enterprise Management (CEM) has named MICROS Systems the winner of its inaugural Hospitality Operability Technology (HOT) Awards in the category of Employee Productivity and Efficiency, cited for its casino operations suite that combines business intelligence, casino point-of-sale systems and hotel property management systems.  http://www.aceme.org, http://www.micros.com 
**
Agilysys has launched its Mobile ResNet application for its Lodging Management System (LMS) hospitality management system, to let guests book rooms directly via any Web-enabled smartphone as well as an iPad or iPod touch.  An early adopter is Boyd Gaming Corp., which has incorporated Mobile ResNet into its B Connected Mobile smartphone application.  B Connected Mobile is currently available for the iPhone; Boyd is currently developing versions for Android and BlackBerry devices.  http://www.boydgaming.com, http://www.agilysys.com/home/Hospitality/  
**
Belgium-based 3 Stars Hotels’ first MaxHotel concept property in Brussels has installed Ariane Systems kiosks for self-service checkin and checkout.  All reservations for the 63-room property are pre-paid online; the kiosks provide room keys and deliver incoming messages to hotel guests. 

Ariane Systems formally debuted its Web-based Allegro Online/Mobile/Kiosk check-in/out technology application, which will be piloted by Choice Hotels Scandinavia in the first quarter of 2011.  Allegro allows hotel guests to check in and out from their personal computer, laptop/netbook, PDA, Web-enabled cell phone, iPad or a hotel kiosk; payment can be made via credit card or PayPal account.  Automatically detecting the device being used during the checkin process, Allegro sends notifications to the guest through that same channel in the appropriate format, such as checkin confirmation, room number, maps/directions, special offers, etc. 

Ariane Systems has integrated Hypercom Corp’s SmartPayments Wynid payment software into its checkin/checkout applications.  Ariane is the official SmartPayments Wynid reseller to the hospitality industry in France.  SmartPayments Wynid allows payment to be processed from a checkin/out kiosk, from a payment terminal at the front desk or by e-payment, depending on guest preferences, and meets the latest requirements for data security (PCI-PED and PCI-DSS).
http://www.hypercom.com, http://www.ariane-systems.com  
**


October 08, 2010

HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- SoftBrands acquires Amadeus’ PMS division
- Ariane Systems establishes technical advisory board
--------------------------
Infor’s SoftBrands division has acquired Amadeus IT Group’s property management systems division.  The addition of Amadeus’ 4,200 clients, mostly in Europe, makes SoftBrands now the second largest provider of hospitality software, with an installed base of more than 9,700 properties worldwide.  SoftBrands will support and maintain all existing Amadeus PMS applications; Bruno des Fontaines, general manager for Amadeus Hotel PMS division, will join SoftBrands’ senior leadership.
Although it might seem at first sight that SoftBrands can’t break the habit of adding multiple HMS brands to its portfolio, this acquisition makes a great deal of sense for both parties.  Amadeus PMS’ strong presence in EMEA and APAC complements SoftBrands’ coverage of the Americas and Asia Pacific well, and the deal for its independent property/small chain systems frees Amadeus to concentrate on its new, fully integrated hotel platform.
http://www.amadeus.com/hotelit, http://www.infor.com  
**
Ariane Systems has established a technical advisory board for input on how to enhance the guest checkin/out experience, composed of executives from InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Worldwide, Louvre Hotels, Choice Hotels Scandinavia and The Rezidor Hotel Group.  TAB members will also collaborate on technical issues, helping to ensure that all Ariane Integrated Hotel Systems (including the Web/mobile checkin/out application currently scheduled for release later this year) will maintain security and data integrity.  http://www.ariane-systems.com  
**

October 08, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- Columbus Internet, Hotels.com launch Hotels WithMe Facebook app in the United Kingdom
- One&Only Resorts picks Pegasus Global Commission Processing Services for five properties
- Bing releases Travel Planner add-in for Outlook
- Hotel Lotti implementing FastBooking’s Web Traffic Builder, Hotel Traffic Builder
- Magnuson Hotels expands listing with Expedia to include all 1,500 properties
- Amadeus selling Opodo
- Best Western Blunsdon House Hotel implements Protel’s Social Netbooking booking engine on Facebook
- KDS adds Hotelzon’s 100,000+ hotel inventory to KDS Corporate travel /expense management application
--------------------------
Berlin-based Columbus Internet and Hotels.com have launched a new Facebook app, Hotels WithMe, in the United Kingdom.
The app allows Facebook friends to share hotel information through Facebook in order to make a collective decision on a destination property by responding to invitations to join a trip, from which they can search for hotels together, vote for their preferred property and write notes about them.  Once agreed, clicking the "book" button links through to the Hotels.com booking page.  http://www.columbus-internet.com/en  
**
One&Only Resorts has chosen Pegasus Solutions’ Global Commission Processing Services for commission tracking and payment services for five of its six resorts, in Los Cabos, Mauritius, the Maldives, Cape Town and the Royal Mirage in Dubai.  http://www.oneandonlyresorts.com, http://www.pegs.com  
**
Bing has released its Travel Planner for Outlook, an add-on for Outlook 2007 and 2010 that provides access to Bing Travel’s decision-making tools as well as the user’s preferred online travel agencies and airline companies.
**
NH Hotels’ Hotel Lotti in Paris is implementing FastBooking’s Web Traffic Builder and Hotel Traffic Builder on its new Web site.   http://www.hotel-lotti-paris.com, http://www.fastbooking.com  
**
Spokane, Wash.-based Magnuson Hotels has signed a long-term agreement with Expedia, expanding its existing inventory exposure there to include all of its 1,500 independently owned and operated properties, predominantly in North America but with a growing presence in the United Kingdom.  http://www.magnusonhotels.com, http://www.expedia.com  
**
Amadeus is selling its Opodo online travel agency, in which it acquired a stake of 99.4 percent in 2004.  London-based Opodo, whose name is an abbreviation of “opportunity to do,” operates in nine countries.  http://www.opodo.com  
**
The 116-room Best Western Blunsdon House Hotel, UK has implemented Protel’s Social Netbooking booking engine, which is integrated into Facebook.  Users can complete an entire booking straight from the hotel's Facebook fan page without having to leave Facebook or visit another Website, claimed to be an industry first. http://www.blunsdonhouse.co.uk, http://www.protel-hotel-software.com  
**
Travel and expense (T&E) management vendor KDS is adding Hotelzon’s 100,000+ worldwide hotel inventory to its KDS Corporate application.  Loyalty cards for chains such as Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group can still be used when booking through Hotelzon.  http://www.kds.com, http://www.hotelzon.com  
**
October 08, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- eRevMax adds GDS Shopping from ReservHOTEL to RateTiger's Shopper module
- LeisureLink launches Active Revenue Management (ARM)
- Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden implements EzRMS
- Four Winds Casino Resort deploys IDeaS’ V5i
--------------------------
eRevMax has added GDS Shopping to RateTiger's Shopper module through an integration with ReservHOTEL, allowing clients using RTSuite and RTCorp to obtain competitive intelligence reports from the global distribution systems (GDS).
GDS Shopping is also available as an integration module in RTConnect, RateTiger's XML channel management gateway, which added its 600th integrated two-way distribution channel.  http://www.erevmax.com  
**
LeisureLink has launched its Active Revenue Management (ARM) system, combining real-time market data (including pricing and consumer demand) with proprietary pricing algorithms to adjust rates in real time to maximize revenues and occupancy. http://www.LeisureLink.com  
**
Copenhagen’s Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden has implemented the Easy Revenue Management Solutions (EzRMS™) Core module, including an upload interface to ChannelDirect and an extraction interface with the property’s AK Techotel PMS.  http://www.hotelguldsmeden.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
Michigan-based Four Winds Casino Resort has deployed IDeaS’ V5i On-Demand Revenue Management system, with floor override, best available rate (BAR) module, group pricing and evaluation and last room value (LRV) functions. http://www.fourwindscasino.com, http://www.ideas.com  
**
October 08, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- iTRAVELLER survey from iBAHN, Ypartnership confirms travelers’ strong desire for good quality HSIA
- Beau Rivage Hotel installing Quadriga's Sensiq guest communications portal
- InterContinental’s test of OpenWays now live at Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O'Hare Rosemont, Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown
- InterContinental announces new property compliance standards for HSIA, include 100 percent coverage
- Best Western Hotell Bondeheimen first Scandinavian hotel fully equipped with LED televisions and IP technology
- Morgans Hotel Group pilots custom Apple iPads for guests at Royalton Hotel
- Singapore's Naumi Hotel introduces iPads as service touch points at front desk and food and beverage areas
--------------------------

The second annual iTRAVELLER survey from iBAHN and Ypartnership confirms frequent travelers’ strong desire for good quality, high-speed hotel Internet access (HSIA) service, to the extent that nearly half of the respondents were willing to pay for it to meet their business, personal information and entertainment requirements while travelling.  The in-room flat screen is seen as a practical digital portal, with 54 percent of respondents wanting a monitor capable of viewing the Internet, 62 percent to review guest charges, 61 percent to check out, 55 percent for travel services shopping, 53 percent to order room service and 53 percent to set a wake-up call.  Over 80 percent of the respondents said that their companies reimburse them for HSIA use at hotels.  The demand is clearly there if such a high percentage of travelers and companies will pay for good HSIA, but there’s no word on whether they’re happy about it. http://www.ypartnership.com, http://www.ibahn.com  
**
The 66-room Beau Rivage Hotel in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is installing Quadriga's Sensiq guest communications portal as part of its renovation program, the first hotel in Switzerland to do so.  http://www.beau-rivage-hotel.ch, http://www.quadriga.com  
**
InterContinental Hotels’ pilot test of OpenWays’ acoustic key guestroom locking system is now live at the Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O'Hare Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown.  OpenWays delivers an encrypted tone to the guest’s mobile phone for replay at the lock.  The Houston property uses electronic locks from KAA’s SAFLOK Group, while the Chicago site uses Onity locks; at each property, 100 percent of the locks were retrofitted.

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced new property compliance standards for high-speed Internet access, taking effect January 31, 2011 and mandating a minimum of 7.5MB bandwidth and 100 percent coverage in all guestrooms, public spaces and meeting rooms.
http://www.openways.com, http://www.ichotelsgroup.com  
**
Norway’s 130-room Best Western Hotell Bondeheimen, Oslo will become the first hotel in Scandinavia to be entirely equipped with LED televisions and IP technology, using Samsung Electronics televisions and OTRUM content management. http://www.bondeheimen.com, http://www.otrum.com  
**
Morgans Hotel Group plans to provide guests at its Royalton Hotel with custom Apple iPads to supplement its concierge program.  The initiative launches during New York Fashion Week and continuing thereafter with various unique features and content.  The iPads provide one-touch access to hotel services including in-room dining, housekeeping, wake-up calls, valet parking/bellman, Internet, hotel information, transportation options, maps and directions.  Functions unique to Morgans include:
- A collaboration with RCRD LBL for free downloads for new music. 
- Dining and nightlife suggestions from The List destination guide, curated by Morgans' concierge teams in collaboration with UrbanDaddy.
- Links to the hotel's Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter pages.
- Continually updated information on what's happening in the city during Fashion Week.
- Links to major media outlets, including The New York Times, Financial Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The International Herald Tribune, Interview Magazine, New York Magazine, Wallpaper and City Magazine.
- A custom playlist of gentle sounds to help guests fall asleep. http://www.morganshotelgroup.com  
**
Singapore's 40-room Naumi Hotel has introduced iPads as service touch points at its front desk and food and beverage areas.  Functions offered include interactive food and beverage menus, Internet surfing, local newspaper access and interactive games.  The events and sales departments use iPads for visual presentations of Naumi's rooms and events facilities.  http://www.naumihotel.com  
**


October 21, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 


TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Data security: firewalls, antivirus software are essential, but operational awareness is at least as important
--------------------------
There’s been a lot of publicity lately about how vulnerable hotels are to credit card fraud and data theft, especially as our industry seems to be by far the most popular (i.e. easiest) for criminals to attack.  There’s a heightened awareness of the never-ending need to keep on top of security patches for hotel systems, servers and networks, as well as of maintaining up-to-date firewalls, antivirus, anti-spam, anti-phishing and other protective software.  PCI compliance requirements have added another level of awareness of the problem.

But just as PCI compliance is no guarantee that your guests’ credit card data is bullet-proof secure, a recent article in InformationWeek (http://bit.ly/bNPapd) highlights that a blind reliance on firewalls and antivirus software will also give a false sense of security.  Today’s criminals are highly sophisticated and constantly come up with new ways of disguising their attack software to fool firewalls and other defenses.  The security software vendors do a great job, but are always playing catch-up and can never provide 100 percent protection.  This doesn’t mean that resistance is futile; it just means that every operation needs not only to have security software and devices in place and current, but also, by staying aware of their limitations, to keep a constant watch for suspicious behavior by systems and by people. 

Is an old PC in the corner that no one has used for years still on the network, is it secure and has it shown signs of activity lately?  Have staff with no real need to do so been downloading unusually large files from the system recently or accessing unusual parts of the system?  Have all external links to vendor support lines been put on an activate-only-when-needed basis?  Just as management systems are essential tools for any hospitality operation but won’t check in your guests for you, security software is an essential level of protection but won’t guarantee the safety of your data.

In the next couple of weeks HTNG will distribute a summary of the current challenges and an outline of three basic, simple steps that every single hotel can and needs to take.  These are only a start, but given the current unprotected state of many, many properties, implementing just these three actions will have a significant impact on reducing their vulnerability.
**



October 21, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- UniTravel announces stand-alone mobile Website
- Rotana moves to Trust International CRS for 70 properties
- Mandarin Oriental releases mobile application using TripCraft’s mobile infrastructure
- Golden Tulip launches Goldres 3 CRS based, on Pegasus’ Rezview NG
- Drury Hotels signs CRS renewal with Pegasus, migrating 130 hotels to RezView NG
- Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) makes GuestCentric e-Commerce available to members
- Signature Flight Support rolling out Global Crew Logistics’ HotelTrak Web-based hotel reservations application
- Availpro expanding into United Kingdom and Ireland
--------------------------

Venice, Italy-based hotel distribution vendor UniTravel has announced a stand-alone mobile version of its Website enabling travelers to search and book hotels from their mobile phones.  The site is compatible with all Web-enabled phones and optimized for the iPhone and Android devices.  http://www.unitravel.com  
**
Rotana has moved to a new central reservation system from Trust International for the 70 properties it manages across the Middle East and North Africa.  New properties are also currently under development in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and UAE.  http://www.rotana.com, http://www.trustinternational.com  
**
Mandarin Oriental has launched its new mobile application using TripCraft’s mobile infrastructure approach.  The app is available for the iPhone and iPod touch, with iPad and Android versions due in the coming months; it allows for complete booking capabilities from within the app and includes a Cities by MO travel guide with content from Wcities.   http://www.mandarinoriental.com, http://www.TripCraft.com  
**
Golden Tulip has launched Goldres 3, its Web-based next-generation central reservations and distribution platform based on Pegasus Solutions’s Rezview NG.

Drury Hotels has signed a five-year central reservation system (CRS) renewal with Pegasus Solutions, which will also include migration of the chain’s 130 hotels to Pegasus’ RezView NG platform.  Drury has been a Pegasus CRS customer since 1999.  http://www.goldentulip.com, http://www.druryhotels.com, http://www.pegs.com  
**
The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) is making GuestCentric Systems’ integrated e-Commerce platform available to member properties to help optimize online bookings.  http://www.boutiquelodgingassociation.org, http://www.guestcentric.com  
**
Aviation industry corporate travel management company Global Crew Logistics (GCL) has launched a new Web-based hotel reservations application (HotelTrak).  Launch customer Signature Flight Support, one of the world's largest fixed-base operations (FBO) for business and general aviation, has now implemented HotelTrak at its 58 United States-based FBOs, and is rolling it out to its international sites.  Signature, which used to arrange hotel accommodations manually for flight crews and passengers traveling through its FBOs, will now use HotelTrak to book them through the Sabre reservation system, allowing better control and chainwide discount negotiations.  http://www.globalcrewlogistics.com, http://www.signatureflight.com  
**
France-based online booking vendor Availpro is expanding into the United Kingdom and Ireland, targeting independent hotel owners, hotel chains and residences wanting to manage and sell their accommodations online through a white label booking engine or Availpro’s Smart Channel Manager.  Availpro’s booking engine includes secure online payment, two-way connectivity with more than 150 Internet distributors (including Booking.com and Expedia) and partnerships with representation companies such as Navarino and RHN.  http://www.availpro.com  
**


October 21, 2010

BACK OFFICE



- HFTP announces PCI Compliance Task Force and Roundtable to clarify impact on industry
--------------------------
HFTP has announced an initiative to assist the hospitality industry with payment card industry (PCI) compliance. The initiative – PCI Compliance Task Force and Roundtable – is intended to produce a best practices document to help industry professionals and credit card companies understand the impact of PCI compliance on the industry and to bring about dialogue between all parties.  The task force panel will comprise CFOs, CIOs and security data experts from hotel enterprises and experts from credit card companies; it will produce a draft document for discussion at an HFTP-sponsored roundtable later this year.  Following the roundtable, a final document will be published and presented to the industry.  http://www.hftp.org
**

October 21, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- The Inn at Palmetto Bluff implements Yellow Dog Software’s inventory application for all retail outlets
- DataWorks releases SmartSpoke POS interface for NeXT inventory control software
--------------------------
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C., has selected Yellow Dog Software’s back office inventory application to manage all of its retail operations, which include a golf pro shop, spa, boutique, tennis pro shop and convenience store.  The property went live with the complete inventory solution in September 2010.  http://www.palmettobluffresort.com, http://www.yellowdogsoftware.com  
**
DataWorks has released its SmartSpoke fourth generation point-of-sale (POS) interface application for its NeXT inventory control software.  SmartSpoke adds a communication layer, picking up prepared batches of encrypted inventory and price changes to be downloaded to multiple stores and pushing new sales or customer information up from the field.  SmartSpoke will initially be shipped integrated to Microsoft’s Dynamics Retail Management System, which will be followed by full integration to MICROS’ 9700 point-of-sale system.  The SmartSpoke interface features full customer database integration allowing NeXT enterprise system users to perform localized and global marketing as well as global customer management.  http://www.dataworksinc.com  
**

December 03, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Dec. 3, 2010

What a very different Thanksgiving I had this year.  The days leading up to Thanksgiving as I was listening to everybody’s plans for their holidays with family dinners to family holiday trips, I just smiled to myself. As I boarded my plane Tuesday night before Thanksgiving for my eight hour flight to London I asked myself, “What am I doing?” I was on my way to the British Association of Hospitality Accountants annual conference to speak on a panel regarding technology investments on Thanksgiving Day, no less. As it turned out it might have been one of my most enjoyable Thanksgivings in recent years. My session followed Frank Wolfe from HFTP doing a presentation on social media. Frank did a great job and it was funny that two guys from the States were speaking on Thanksgiving Day, but it was great that he was there. Then my panel closed the conference. The panel included Ian Millar from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne; Ted Horner, the well-known IT consultant who had traveled all the way from Australia; Carson Booth, the vice president, information technology, Europe, Africa, Middle East for Starwood Hotels and Resorts; and Jeremy Ward, senior VP IT from Kempenski Hotels. Sometimes my creative ways work, sometimes they don’t. This time they worked, but it was because of this extraordinarily smart panel. It was a well received session followed by a night of nights. Cocktails and then a great dinner for the 350 attendees with a Thanksgiving flavor to it (yes, they served turkey). Those Brits sure know how to party. I crashed at 1:30 a.m., but I heard many were out until 4 a.m. What a great day, night and Thanksgiving. I was thankful to be invited.

I left London for Lisbon, Portugal, because I wanted to stay in Europe for the weekend and I had never been to Portugal. When I travel alone, wait who am I kidding, I always travel alone, I always try to venture off the beaten path. It was fun doing that in Lisbon except I ended up in places where no English was spoken, which created some interesting but thankfully fun moments. I just love Europe; there is so much history there. Special thanks to Liliana Conde, the hotel manager at the NH Hotel Liberdade, for making sure my stay was enjoyable. The NH Hotel Liberdade is a very nice hotel right in the heart of Lisbon. What a great city and more important, what great people. I was told before I went that the people in Lisbon were extremely nice and they definitely were.  But the question remains, how much Port can one drink in three days? I might have set a record. It is what Portugal is known for and now I see why.

It is December, finally. What an interesting year it has been, but as I think back to where we were a year ago there is a lot to be thankful for. Personally, I always struggle with this month. From a business side many want to end the year on an upbeat note or get plans in motion for a successful 2011. This is really the month to take a step back as the holidays approach and even though we all have worries, concerns and even fears as to what the future holds, we should take a moment and reflect. I always ask myself if I do enough for others during the upcoming holidays. I hope everybody will help those in need, be it financially or with their time. It is always amazing how good you feel after you give. Do we do this often enough? The answer is usually no, but we should try. I hope you will during this season if you are able. 

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
December 03, 2010

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 

TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Internet bandwidth becomes a key hotel selection factor
--------------------------
More indications are arising that the bandwidth available to hotel guests is going to be as big a differentiator now as just having Internet access used to be. 

A Deloitte survey of 1,001 business travelers found that roughly two-thirds of them often work in their room, 79 percent rate high-speed Internet access as an important amenity, and 80 percent predict that they’ll be traveling more in 2011.  At the same time their companies’ travel policies are being more strictly enforced (59 percent), with 32 percent reporting dollar limits on accommodation spending.  The report concludes that “the tipping point for hotels to differentiate their brand offering and strengthen loyalty among the post-recessionary business traveler will be providing additional complementary services and amenities tailored to their guests’ specific needs.”  In other words, effective high-speed Internet access at low or no charge will be a key factor.

Outside of business usage, a Sheraton Hotels & Resorts study of 4,204 people in the United States, United Kingdom and China reported that 60 percent of respondents use social media to stay in touch with family and friends while traveling, with more than a third (36 percent) saying they'd rather log on than make a phone call.  One fifth of respondents said that they check social networking sites multiple times throughout the day while traveling.

And the bandwidth requirements of all this activity are still increasing at unprecedented rates.  Users are downloading more YouTube videos, Hulu TV episodes and Netflix movies than ever before, to the point that Comcast is trying to impose surcharges on Netflix to carry its soaring movie traffic.

The bottom line: travelers will be making more trips, expect true high-speed Internet access, will use it for more bandwidth-intensive traffic and will continue to watch expenses.  It’s a tough situation for hotels, but just as with the introduction of HSIA to guestrooms in the first place, those that provide usable, affordable, reliable service will get the bookings.
**



December 03, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Lodging Interactive releases Chatter Guard Lite Social Media Monitoring
- Manhattan at Times Square Hotel selects UniFocus’ GUESTScope
--------------------------
Lodging Interactive has released Chatter Guard Lite Social Media Monitoring, a low-cost version of its Chatter Guard Reputation Management Service tool for the hospitality industry.  The Web-based Chatter Guard Lite provides an online dashboard, real-time e-mail alerts, guest comment sentiment scoring and the ability to share guest comments with others via e-mail.  http://www.LodgingInteractive.com  
**
The 665-room Manhattan at Times Square Hotel, New York City, has selected UniFocus’ GUESTScope system.  http://www.themanhattanattimessquarehotel.com, http://www.unifocus.com
**

December 03, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Rainmaker releases interface with EZYield.com
- César Ritz Colleges Switzerland partners with EasyRMS
--------------------------
The Rainmaker Group has developed an interface with EZYield.com to allow hotels to update optimized room rates across over 500 channels.  The new interface is currently in use at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  http://www.ezyield.com, http://www.letitrain.com
**
César Ritz Colleges Switzerland has partnered with EasyRMS to provide educational sessions and online demonstrations of EzRMS to César Ritz students on a quarterly basis.  http://www.ritz.edu, http://www.EasyRMS.com
**

December 03, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- Florida Hotel & Convention Center implements TTI Technologies business center
- Marriott Australia picks DOCOMO InterTouch, HP Networking to upgrade guestroom services
- Topguest adds VOILA Hotel Rewards to range of loyalty programs
- Royal Garden Hotel implements Swisscom’s Hospitality Services, ConnectedHotel TV
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo, upgrades guestroom technology with OTRUM Evolution, LG displays
- iBAHN appoints Speeron sales, support partner for Nordic region
--------------------------
Florida Hotel & Convention Center has implemented a new business center designed and implemented by TTI Technologies, incorporating six all-in-one workstations, fax/copy/scan functionality and Microsoft Office.  http://www.thefloridahotelorlando.com, http://www.ttitel.com
**
Marriott International in Australia has selected DOCOMO InterTouch and HP Networking’s E Series suite of routers, switches and controllers to upgrade guestroom services such as high-speed wireless Internet access and IPTV in its properties in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The first hotel installation was completed this month; full deployment is scheduled for completion in August 2011.  http://www.marriott.com, http://www.hp.com, http://www.docomointertouch.com  
**
Topguest has added VOILA Hotel Rewards to its range of loyalty programs offering points and perks to users checking in via location-based-services such as Facebook Places, Twitter and Foursquare.  VOILÀ’s program covers more than 250 four and five-star independent hotels and luxury brands.  http://www.vhr.com, http://www.topguest.com
**
The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, is implementing Swisscom’s Hospitality Services throughout the 400-room property.  ConnectedHotel TV from Swisscom will offer guests Web-based services such as weather forecasts, real-time flight information and news, as well as live TV and video on demand.  Swisscom will also provide high-speed wired and wireless Internet access in all guestrooms with customized interfaces for both laptop and smartphone users.  The project is scheduled to go live in March 2011.  http://www.KensingtonParkHotel.com, http://www.swisscom.com/Hospitality/
**
The 673-room Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo, has upgraded its guestroom technology with OTRUM’s interactive Evolution system, also installing 717 new LCD TVs from LG ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches.  The Evolution’s user interface was developed with Rezidor, offers a greeting in the guest’s own language, and provides targeted marketing campaigns to promote special offers and potential points of interest to the guest.  The TV channels are also sorted according to the guests’ profiles.  http://www.radissonblu.com, http://www.otrum.com
**
iBAHN has appointed Speeron its sales, support and service partner across the Nordic region.  The two companies recently worked in partnership on an installation at the 382-room Hilton Copenhagen Airport.  http://www.speeron.com, http://www.ibahn.com
**
October 08, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Castle Hill Inn, Newport, R.I. implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope
- Pearl Hotel New York contracts with Open Hospitality for Website design and Internet marketing services
- VIZERGY picks Peak 10 for infrastructure management and network services
- Aptech integrating Clarabridge sentiment and text analytics engine into Execuvue BI application
- GuestCentric Systems opens Developers Cloud to independent Web designers and software developers
- Pegasus extends agreement with VFM Leonardo to include Utell
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas partners with SkyWire Media for SMS text marketing initiative
--------------------------
Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property, has implemented UniFocus’ GUESTScope service survey and analysis tools.  Operated by Newport Harbor Corp. in Newport, R.I., Castle Hill Inn includes the Agassiz Mansion, Harbor House rooms, Beach House rooms, Beach Cottages, Chalet and four dining rooms.  http://www.newportharbor.com, http://www.unifocus.com  
**
The Pearl Hotel New York has contracted with Open Hospitality for Website design and Internet marketing services.  http://www.pearlhotelnyc.com, http://www.openhospitality.com  
**
VIZERGY has signed with Peak 10 for infrastructure and virtualization management, server monitoring and network services for its Web-based marketing tools for the hospitality and apartment marketing industries.  http://www.peak10.com, http://www.vizergy.com  
**
Aptech Computer Systems has selected Clarabridge sentiment and text analytics engine for integration into its Execuvue Business Intelligence application, allowing operators to correlate guest sentiments with property performance.  Clarabridge provides the ability to automatically collect, classify, apply sentiment analysis and report on text-based comments found in customer feedback channels.  http://www.clarabridge.com, http://www.aptech-inc.com  
**
GuestCentric Systems has opened its Developers Cloud to independent Web designers and software developers worldwide, helping them provide their customers with an end-to-end solution based on an existing hotel e-commerce cloud.  The Developers Cloud is GuestCentric’s second step in opening its community, following its earlier launch of a WordPress booking engine plug-in and the Joomla! booking engine module.  http://developers.guestcentric.com  
**
Pegasus Solutions has extended its agreement with VFM Leonardo to include its Utell hotel representation service, allowing Utell to offer VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure online merchandising system to its 11,000 member hotels.  http://www.utellportal.com, http://www.utell.com  
**
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas announced a partnership with SkyWire Media on a multilevel SMS text marketing initiative for its mobile member database.  Hard Rock will use SkyWire’s Rooms and Coupon Connect mobile platform to send its opt-in guests targeted SMS text messages for exclusive offers and incentives.  http://www.hardrockhotel.com, http://www.skywiremedia.com  
**
October 08, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



 
And now for you-know-what…


A priest dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates.  Ahead of him is a man who is dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans. Saint Peter addresses the man, "Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?"

The man replied, "I'm Rick, a retired airline pilot from Houston."

Saint Peter consults his list.  He smiles and says to the pilot, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom." 

The pilot goes into Heaven with his robe and staff.

Next, it's the priest's turn.  He stands straight up and booms out, "I am Father Robert, pastor of Saint Mary's in Pasadena for the last 43 years."

Saint Peter consults his list. He says to the priest, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom."

"Just a minute," says the good father. "That man was a pilot and he gets a silken robe and golden staff and I get only cotton and wood. How can this be?"

"Up here, we go by results," says Saint Peter. "When you preached, people slept.  When he flew, people prayed."



November 19, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 


TOP O’ THE NEWS

- Major changes in the HMS landscape
--------------------------
Three major announcements this week confirm that we’re in the middle of a significant sea change in hospitality management system technology.  Amadeus formally announced its long-expected Amadeus Hotel Platform, which combines central reservation, property management and global distribution systems into one fully integrated and centrally hosted platform. 

On an even larger scale, HP licensed Pegasus’ Rezview NG reservations and networking technology, positioning it as one of the core elements of its new travel management application.  HP hasn’t even blessed it with a name yet, but intends it to cover every aspect of travel reservations and operations across airlines, hotel companies, rail operators and cruise lines, all in a centrally hosted SOA environment that will plug in various other vendors’ modules as needed for particular purposes. 

Both of these offerings should hold special interest for major international hotel chains looking for a comprehensive, centrally hosted application supported worldwide.  No disrespect to MICROS which might legitimately claim to offer this already, but competitive products from credible vendors using current technology and architecture can only be good for both MICROS and the industry.

At the other end of the scale, start-up vendor hetras announced that citizenM, the ultra-hip Netherlands-based chain (why are lowercase brand names deemed to be cool when they just disappear into their surrounding text?), has made it the standard HMS for all its current and future properties.  Why is this significant?  Both because citizenM is often seen as a pioneer in using technology to provide the level of service today’s mobile travelers are looking for, in every guest service and operational aspect, and because hetras’ management team includes Michael Heinze, Keith Gruen and now Uli Pillau, respectively the founder of HoBooBox connectivity technology, co-founder of Fidelio, and a long-standing member of both MICROS-Fidelio’s and IDeaS’ senior management teams.  Nothing these folks do should be taken lightly.

Add in the other vendor migration plans I mentioned in the last newsletter, plus the new centrally hosted product lines either just available or to be released shortly from Agilysys, Infor SoftBrands and PAR Springer-Miller, and the systems scenario is clearly going to change significantly over the next couple of years.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the smaller niche players adapt.
**
This year’s International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) Editors’ Choice Award for Technology went to MICROS for its iPhone application, MyStayManager.  Demonstrated at the 2009 HITEC but formally introduced in February, MyStayManager provides real-time mobile access to hotels’ OPERA systems to help guests manage the details of current and future stays. 
**



December 17, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Dec 17, 2010

In the ‘80s my career in the technology software industry involved traveling to hotels that had purchased a property management system so I could train the staff to use the system. Sometimes it was a hotel getting its very first computer system, but often it was a new hotel. I would arrive at the hotel three weeks before the opening and think, there was no way it was going to open on time. Yet, somehow they always did. Opening night there was usually some ceremony celebrating the opening and it included a party where local businesses were invited.  This past Wednesday I was invited to the opening of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. The festivities started at 5 p.m. and were unbelievable. There were tours of the property, the drinks were nonstop and there were tastings at the many unique restaurants inside this 3,000 room hotel. The hotel is unbelievable. I would say it takes the luxury standard in Las Vegas up a notch. Personally, I thought the highlight was being inside the casino when they opened the doors to the public at 8 p.m. The gigantic sign in front of the hotel was counting down all day and when it hit 10 seconds everyone joined in the count down. When the doors opened it seemed like thousands of people converged. Wow, what a sight that was. I guess there is some sort of tradition in Las Vegas to be the first in a new hotel casino. What an amazing event. After the opening festivities I attended Gloria Irwin’s GHIP event that was in a beautiful suite with a wrap around balcony that went on forever, with a simply magnificent view of Las Vegas from the 54th floor. What a great event and a uniquely fascinating day.

A more important reason why I am in Las Vegas this week is that Allison Morris of Caesars’ Entertainment asked if I would be the Master of Ceremonies for the Woman in Technology International (WITI) 5th annual Technology for Tots event, which also happens to be at the Cosmopolitan tonight.  The organization is Women in Technology and they are asking me? Allison’s request was easy for me to answer. Last year they had 300 attendees and provided Christmas toys to over 14,500 children. This year they are expecting over 450 attendees including Colleen Birch, the director of revenue management and distribution from the Cosmopolitan that I talked into coming as my date.  There is so much good that comes out of this it is an honor to participate.

This is our last Siegel Sez of the year and what an interesting year it has been. Jon Inge has some very poignant comments regarding 2010 so I will encourage you to read his opening. This completes the 10th year of Jon and I doing this technology review and for all the good Jon does, I thank you for allowing me to share some of my experiences with you.  At times I am sure I have stretched the boundaries with what I share, but someone once told me we are who we are. I get many comments from people throughout the year, some thanking me and some wondering what I have been drinking. This time of year, it is only eggnog. Because it is the holiday season instead of our typical you-know-what at the end we attached a link for something downright silly, but very creative. I hope you enjoy it. No matter what you celebrate, enjoy the season and we will see you next year with Jon’s always anticipated year in review. Thanks again and happy holidays to all.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
December 17, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 


TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Thanks for the upbeat attitude
- HTNG releases three new specs, adds two new workgroups
- OpenTravel releases version 2010B of its interface specs
--------------------------
It’s a traditional time both for looking back and for making predictions about the coming year, but I’ll leave that for our next newsletter, the first of the New Year.  For now, I want to acknowledge the hard work and good humor that have made this year as rewarding as it has been.

We started with the optimism that “at least 2009’s behind us; things can only get better from here,” only to find that despite some signs of improvement we were still mired in a recession and had a lot of hard digging out to do.  It could easily have been a tough, miserable slog, but I’ve found in so many places that people have tackled the task at hand with a generally upbeat attitude, a sense of humor and a determinedly half-full view.

We’re not out of the woods by a long way, but things are definitely moving up.  I just want to say thank you to everyone I’ve encountered this year whose positive approach and optimism have helped make the work both productive and enjoyable.  Merry Christmas!
**
Making steady progress with system interoperability, Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has released three new specifications, adding features to kiosk interfaces (including upselling, share-with and multiple-name room checkin, duplicate and replacement key cutting and guest messages), extending the functionality of payment system interfaces (European Chip and PIN, partial authorization of prepaid cards) and enabling complex data queries between disparate systems [adding generic, query-based data transfers to the Open Data eXchange (ODX) spec].

HTNG has also chartered two new workgroups covering entertainment systems [aiming for a standards-based framework for content delivery from a variety of content providers (e.g. cable, satellite) with regards to hardware and encryption] and cellular phone coverage (better signal coverage for all cellular carriers within hotels, bridging cellular and Wi-Fi services to let phones roam seamlessly between them).
**
OpenTravel published version 2010B of its specification, which includes a new hotel message covering inventory challenges from out-of-sync caches and rising infrastructure/support costs associated with ever-increasing look-to-book rations.  OpenTravel also announced availability of its OpenTravel Schema Dictionaries, providing structured references of the entire suite of OpenTravel schema.
**



December 17, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Keith Harrison receives HEDNA’s 2010 Award of Excellence
- Christian Urbat joins Carlson as senior vice president, technical services/Carlson Hotels, Americas
- Bob Kippola hired by Milestone Internet Marketing as director of business development
--------------------------
Keith Harrison of Travelport GDS has received HEDNA’s 2010 Award of Excellence, which honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions toward the advancement of hotel electronic distribution and involvement with HEDNA.  Elected to the board of directors in 2004, Mr. Harrison served five years on HEDNA’s board as a director and as treasurer, and was an instrumental player in the HEDNA U educational initiative.
**
Christian Urbat is joining Carlson as senior vice president, technical services/Carlson Hotels, Americas.  Formerly at Hyatt International, Mr. Urbat was most recently vice president of technical services for EMEA, and had earlier worked for Hyatt in various positions in operations and food and beverage across the United States, China and Germany.
**
Bob Kippola has been hired by Milestone Internet Marketing as director of business development.  He was formerly vice president of sales and marketing at Resort Data Processing, where he had served 17 years in various business development and sales positions.
**
December 17, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- Trust’s yourVoyager CRS now available in German
- Whiteboard Labs launches iPhone® app for WindsurferCRS
- Guestdesk updates Internet booking engine
- Malmaison signs three-year contract renewal with Pegasus, adds Hotel du Vin’s 14 properties
- American Express launches universal aXcess option for corporate travel services
--------------------------
Trust International’s yourVoyager CRS is now also available in German, the second (after English) of several European language versions it is developing.  The first hotel customer is Living Hotels.  http://www.living-hotels.com, http://www.trustinternational.com  
**
Whiteboard Labs has launched an iPhone app for its WindsurferCRS, providing hoteliers mobile access to reports generated via Windsurfer.  http://www.whiteboardlabs.com  
**
Guestdesk has updated its Internet booking engine, which handles accommodations, entertainment and golf tee times.  Enhancements include client site integration, built-in promotions pages, design and layout updates, itinerary save/retrieve, an additional services module for selling a la carte items, Google Analytics and Omniture integration, real-time payment processing through Authorize.net, multiple language support  for English, Spanish and French, and more.  http://www.fuelinteractive.com  
**
Malmaison has signed an extended three-year contract renewal with Pegasus Solutions that adds sister brand Hotel du Vin’s 14 properties.  Malmaison’s and Hotel du Vin’s 27 boutique hotels in the United Kingdom will migrate to Pegasus’ RezView NG.  http://www.malmaison.com, http://www.pegs.com  
**
American Express Business Travel has launched its universal aXcess option for corporate traveler service and support, allowing companies to consolidate their travel servicing through a global center.  Travelers can use a single home-country telephone number to contact a central team with access to their company’s corporate policies and preferred supplier agreements, and to their own personal travel preferences and itineraries.  The aXcess suite also provides virtual meetings capabilities and mobile applications.  http://corp.americanexpress.com/gcs/travel  
**
December 17, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- d2o receives triple nomination in Norwegian Computer Society’s Rosing Information Technology Awards
- Medallia announces Medallia Text Analytics application
- Maksoud Plaza Hotel expands agreement with Utell to include eBuzz Connect social media management
- Fisher Island Club implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope
- Tropicana contracts with UniFocus for new Guest Satisfaction Survey system in 10 properties
--------------------------

d2o, deadline 2 online, has received a triple nomination for the Norwegian Computer Society’s international Rosing Information Technology Awards, for its Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) suite.  PMI and d2o are nominated in the categories of Usability, Creativity and IT-Leader of the Year.  http://www.dataforeningen.no, http://www.d2o.biz  
**
Medallia has announced its Medallia Text Analytics application, which analyzes millions of customer comments from online surveys and other sources and allows users to distribute analysis results companywide.  MTA is based on the proprietary Medallia Impact Index (MII) technology.  http://www.medallia.com/solutions/textanalytics  
**
São Paulo’s 416-room Maksoud Plaza Hotel has expanded its agreement with Utell Hotels & Resorts to include eBuzz Connect social media management.  http://www.maksoud.com, http://www.utell.com 
**
Florida’s Fisher Island Club has implemented UniFocus’ GUESTScope for its 45-unit hotel and resort that operates as part of the residential community and club.

Tropicana Entertainment has contracted with UniFocus to design and deploy a new Guest Satisfaction Survey system in its 10 casinos and resorts, which include approximately 6,000 rooms across five states and Aruba. 
http://www.fisherislandclub.com, http://www.tropicanacasinos.com, http://www.unifocus.com  
**


December 17, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Rainmaker nominated for TechAmerica Georgia’s Spirit of Endeavor award
- IDeaS names OptiRev Solutions as distribution partner in Scandinavia
- Availpro.com adds Agoda.com to Availpro Smart Channel Manager distribution channels
- Guestline’s Roomlynx channel management system passes 400-hotel client mark
--------------------------
The Rainmaker Group has been nominated for TechAmerica Georgia’s Spirit of Endeavo’ award in the Emerging Business category.  The award recognizes outstanding individuals and companies in the technology industry in Georgia.  http://www.letitrain.com  
**
IDeaS Revenue Optimization has named OptiRev Solutions as its distribution partner in Scandinavia.  Established in 2008, OptiRev Solutions advises hotels on managing their various distribution channels, structuring a rate strategy, creating online marketing campaigns and pricing for these services.  http://www.optirevsolutions.com, http://www.ideas.com  
**
Availpro.com has added Agoda.com (Priceline.com’s Asian booking site subsidiary) to the distribution channels available through Availpro Smart Channel Manager.  Agoda offers Websites in 32 different languages, extending Availpro hoteliers’ reach into the Asia-Pacific market.  http://www.agoda.com, http://www.availpro.com  
**
Guestline announced that its Roomlynx channel management system has passed the 400-hotel client mark, and is now delivering over £35million of reservation revenue to clients per year.  http://www.guestline.com  
**
December 17, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- MPI renews alliance with Cvent as preferred technology partner
- Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa picks PSAV for AV equipment, rigging, power distribution and HSIA
--------------------------
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has renewed its alliance with Cvent as its preferred technology partner, providing online event management and attendee registration, event marketing, e-mail newsletters and Web surveys for most MPI Chapters around the world.  http://www.mpiweb.org, http://www.cvent.com
**
The 650-room Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale has selected PSAV Presentation Services for audiovisual equipment, rigging, power distribution and HSIA services for its 40,000 square feet of indoor function space. 
http://www.marriottharborbeach.com, http://www.psav.com  
**

December 17, 2010

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Revel Systems adds Network Intercept’s Secure-Me payment software to its iPad®-based POS system
- HotSchedules releases Version 4 of online employee scheduling and labor management software
--------------------------
Revel Systems has added Network Intercept’s Secure-Me software for secure restaurant POS payments and identity theft protection to its iPad-based POS system.  The Secure-Me solution uses verification and encrypts all data and payment information from end to end.   http://www.revelsystems.com, http://www.networkintercept.com 
**
HotSchedules has released Version 4 of its online employee scheduling and labor management software for the restaurant industry.  Version 4 adds a new user interface with new functionality, with user-specified permissions to various levels of notes in the Digital Logbook, HotSchedules’ tool for collecting and managing critical documentation, and allows managers to assign tasks to individuals from the Digital Logbook and track them to completion.  My Plate, HotSchedules’ new employee homepage, aggregates all content relevant to an employee in one place, including schedules, messages, polls, an avatar feature and other customizable widgets.  My Plate will also pull weather forecasts from AccuWeather to help users understand how the weather may impact the customer count for that day through insights into how weather has affected business in the past.  http://www.hotschedules.com  
**

December 17, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel picks Guest-Tek for high-speed Internet access
- Intelity integrates Room Controls into ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) hotel application
- Wingate by Wyndham Hotel – Frisco picks XETA for high-speed Internet access, PBX and cabling
- Accor extends global TV supply partnership with Philips for three years
--------------------------
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel, due to open in 2012, has picked Guest-Tek to provide high-speed Internet access services.  http://www.harrahscherokee.com, http://www.guest-tek.com  
**
Intelity has added Room Control integration to its ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) hotel software application.  When integrated with a hotel’s room control systems, ICE allows guests to adjust their guestroom’s lighting, drapes and climate (heat and air conditioning) from a touch screen or laptop.  Hotels can also use ICE to set the guest room controls at checkin and after checkout, with consequent energy savings, as well as pre-set the controls to a guest’s known preferences.  http://www.intelitycorp.com  
**
The Wingate by Wyndham Hotel – Frisco has selected XETA Technologies' suite of hospitality communications services, including wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, a PBX system and low-voltage cabling for voice and data services for hotel guests and staff.  The hotel is scheduled to open in January 2011.  http://www.wingatehotels.com, http://www.xeta.com  
**
Accor has extended its global TV supply partnership with Philips for three years.  http://www.philips.com/hospitalitysolutions  
**
December 17, 2010

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort implements Yellow Dog’s inventory system
--------------------------
The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has implemented Yellow Dog Software’s inventory system to manage all of its retail operations, including three golf pro shops, a spa, health club, tennis pro shop, toy store and others.  Yellow Dog manages retail inventory in 11 retail locations across the property, and is integrated with three point-of-sale systems to provide a single propertywide inventory management program.  http://www.sandestin.com, http://www.yellowdogsoftware.com  
**

October 21, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- eRevMax develops RTSuite Review reputation management tool
- IDeaS, RaspberrySky launch Revenue Optimization Insight consulting service
- IDeaS releases version 5.1 of v5i revenue management system
- EZYield.com signs connectivity agreement with HotelTravel.com
- RateGain upgrades ChannelGain channel and inventory distribution application
- Accor rolls-out EasyRMS’ SaaS Product Suite to 80 hotels in United Kingdom
- Holland Residential picks Rainmaker’s LRO system, implements at 54 apartment communities in 60 days
- Rainmaker signs agreements with seven multifamily housing companies for LRO, totaling 100,000+ units
- HBSi and Genares add GDS and Internet/mobile booking engine services to connectivity offering
--------------------------

eRevMax has developed RTSuite Review, a reputation management tool to provide hotel owners with an overview of their properties’ appearances on review sites and the ability to respond to feedback.  Users can sort and filter the data by parameters including facilities, food, customer service and cleanliness, and can benchmark their performance against a peer group.  http://www.erevmax.com  
**
IDeaS and United Kingdom-based distribution consultants RaspberrySky have launched Revenue Optimization Insight, a revenue management, pricing and distribution consulting service for the hospitality industry.  The services are offered in three stages (detailed on-site process audit, remote distribution audit and an optional performance data analysis) which lead to a Revenue Roadmap of findings and recommendations. 

IDeaS has released version 5.1 of its v5i revenue management system.  Enhancements include:
- Campaign management, including promotion and campaign-based data to help identify the right offers for the right customers to help to generate demand during off-peak periods.
- Enhanced reporting, outlining specific differences between group and transient business, providing more insight into data volatility and displaying transient benefits by day. 
- A multiday best available rate (BAR) pace report that can be viewed for multiple days, lengths of stay or filtered by rate plan. 
- An enhanced forecast comparison report with an option to recognize forecast trends for a user-defined date range and analysis period.
- Chinese language support.
http://www.RaspberrySky.com, http://www.ideas.com  
**
EZYield.com has signed a connectivity agreement to let its clients post availability, rates and inventory with HotelTravel.com.  Hoteliers using HotelTravel.com can also use EZYield.com's channel management system to maximize their online exposure.  http://www.HotelTravel.com, http://www.ezyield.com  
**
India-based RateGain has upgraded its channel and inventory distribution application, ChannelGain, with its CPI (common pool of inventory) and Booking Fetch features.  CPI creates a common pool of inventory allocated to the channels supported and automatically reduces or cuts off allocations based on rooms sold by those channels.  Booking Fetch uses the reservation confirmation number to fetch details such as location of the hotel, checkin and checkout dates, room types, rates, which channel it's been booked from, number of guests and other guest details. This data is then routed to CPI to balance and distribute the remaining inventory accordingly on all the supported channels.  http://www.rategain.com  
**
Accor has completed the rollout of Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions’ (EasyRMS’) SaaS Product Suite to 80 hotels across three brands in the United Kingdom, comprising 28 Novotel, 26 Mercure and 26 Ibis hotels.  http://www.accor.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
Holland Residential has selected The Rainmaker Group’s LRO revenue management system for its apartment communities, and has implemented it at 54 of its 67 properties in 60 days. 

The Rainmaker Group has signed agreements with seven multifamily housing companies for its LRO lease rate optimization system. The agreements represent more than 100,000 units and include First Choice Property Management, Switzenbaum & Associates and Holland Residential.   
http://www.hollandresidential.com, http://www.letitrain.com  
**
HBSi and Genares have expanded their relationship to add GDS and Internet/mobile booking engine services to their connectivity offering.  HBSi’s iDemand Gateway platform now provides hotel companies with connectivity through Genares to their electronic segments: the GDSs, their own booking engines and key online travel Websites.  http://www.genares.com, http://www.hbsconnect.com  
**


October 21, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- The Living Hotels chooses Nexus as preferred partner for handling negotiated rates
- Marathon Tours & Travel signs with Passkey for marathon event accommodation online booking
--------------------------
German extended-stay operator The Living Hotels has chosen Nexus as its preferred partner for handling negotiated rates, starting with the 2011 rate season.  http://www.nexusworldservices.com   
**
Marathon Tours & Travel, a travel agency specializing in arrangements for marathon runners and their companions, has signed with Passkey for online booking of marathon event accommodation, and will launch its new Passkey GroupMAX-powered online booking system for the 2011 Boston Marathon to be held on April 18, 2011.  Runners and their guests will be able to choose from multiple room types, extended stays and upgrade options, with different attendee types such as qualified runners, spectators and sponsors assigned to different hotel sub-blocks.  http://www.passkey.com  
**

October 21, 2010

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- DataWorks releases SmartSpoke fourth generation point-of-sale (POS) interface
- Menusoft picks Socket Mobile’s SoMo 650 as recommended handheld device for Digital Dining POS
--------------------------
DataWorks has released its SmartSpoke fourth generation point-of-sale (POS) interface application for its NeXT inventory control software.  SmartSpoke adds a communication layer, picking up prepared batches of encrypted inventory and price changes to be downloaded to multiple stores and pushing new sales or customer information up from the field.  SmartSpoke will initially be shipped integrated to Microsoft’s Dynamics Retail Management System, which will be followed by full integration to MICROS’ 9700 point-of-sale system.  The SmartSpoke interface features full customer database integration allowing NeXT enterprise system users to perform localized and global marketing as well as global customer management.  http://www.dataworksinc.com  
**
Menusoft Systems Corp has selected Socket Mobile’s SoMo 650 handheld computer as a recommended device for use as a handheld POS unit for its Digital Dining POS system.  http://www.socketmobile.com, http://www.digitaldining.com  
**

October 21, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- Jumby Bay, Antigua equips all 40 units with Control4 system
- Free Wi-Fi definitely attracts visitors, per In-Stat study
- Swisscom's ConnectedHotel TV voted best product of the year by Top Hotel magazine
- Taj Hotel Cape Town completes installation of iBAHN ETVi, wired/wireless broadband
- Heathman Hotel, Portland, Ore. implements GBCblue’s ORION hotel-services portal
- Marriott’s Renaissance New York Hotel 57 installs business center from TTI Technologies
- Fairmont approves Safemark as designated supplier of guestroom safes worldwide
- Prime Group picks Roomlinx for HD TV, free-to-guest programming for new 610-room Chicago hotel
--------------------------
Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort in Antigua, West Indies, has equipped all 40 guestrooms, suites and villas with a Control4 system for guests to control the television, NXTV system, Bose sound system, DVD player and iPod docking station.  http://www.jumbybayresort.com, http://www.control4.com  
**
Offering free Wi-Fi does attract visitors, according to Wi-Fi hotspot research by In-Stat.  Nearly two-thirds of respondents stated that free Wi-Fi influences their choice of venue to visit – airports, cafés/restaurants/bars, convention centers, hotels, retail, marinas, outdoor hospitality and public areas – with an additional 31 percent indicating that free access may influence their choice.  Only 5 percent said that it has no influence over venue choice.  While revenue may not always result directly from a hotspot offering, free Wi-Fi seems to have significant value in bringing customers to a venue.
http://www.in-stat.com  
**
Swisscom's ConnectedHotel TV has been voted best product of the year by the readers of German hotel magazine Top Hotel, whose STAR AWARD identifies new products which best support hoteliers in providing superior guest service.  Swisscom's ConnectedHotel TV secured the top score in the non-food category, one of seven categories; launched this summer, it has been installed at Steigenberger and nH hotels in Germany and Spain.  ConnectedHotel TV provides wired and wireless Internet access, HD television, video on-demand and Web-based services through a custom-designed LG TV screen, does not require a set-top box, additional hardware or HDMI cabling, and runs on a hotel’s existing cable infrastructure, whether Coax, Cat-3 or Cat-5.  http://www.swisscom.com/hospitality  
**
The Taj Hotel Cape Town has completed its installation of iBAHN’s converged ETVi and wired and wireless broadband service, the first iBAHN installation in the country.  The recently opened hotel now offers IPTV and broadband over fiber in guestrooms with lobby PCs for the business center.  http://www.tajhotels.com, http://www.ibahn.com  
**
The 150-room Heathman Hotel in Downtown Portland, Ore. has implemented GBCblue’s ORION hotel services portal, allowing guests to use their laptop, smartphone or a branded Heathman Hotel application downloaded to their iPad/iPhone/iPod touch to order room service, purchase an amenity, schedule a spa appointment, request valet service and more.  http://www.Heathman4Starservice.com, http://www.GBCblue.com  
**
Marriott’s  Renaissance New York Hotel 57 has installed a new business center from TTI Technologies.  In a hybrid model, guests each receive 15 minutes of free Internet access within a 24-hour time period while printing is charged from page one.   http://www.marriott.com, http://www.ttitel.com  
**
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has approved Safemark Systems as its designated supplier of guestroom safes worldwide.  The agreement also covers Fairmont's Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts brands.  http://www.fairmont.com, http://www.safemark.com  
**
An affiliate of The Prime Group has contracted with Roomlinx for its Interactive HD TV (iTV) and free-to-guest TV programming for a new 610-room hotel scheduled to open in downtown Chicago in November.  The lower 12 floors of a historic Chicago landmark property are being converted into a five-star hotel with high-end retail space.  http://www.primegroupinc.com, http://www.roomlinx.com  
**
October 21, 2010

ENGINEERING



- Premier Hospitality Management implements MTech’s PMWorks across all 17 hotels
--------------------------
Premier Hospitality Management has implemented MTech’s PMWorks preventive maintenance application across all of its 17 hotels in the central United States.  Premier’s properties operate under flags from Marriott, InterContinental (Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express), Hilton (Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn), Choice (Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites), and Best Western.  http://www.premierhotels.us, http://www.m-tech.com  
**

October 21, 2010

SECURITY



- Ramada Limited, Santa Barbara, Calif., completes installation of Onity’s ADVANCE RFID electronic locks
--------------------------
The 126-room Ramada Limited hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif., has completed installation of Onity’s ADVANCE RFID electronic locks.  The property was recently recognized at the Wyndham Worldwide Global Conference as one of the top 25 Ramada properties in the United States.  http://www.sbramada.com, http://www.onity.com  
**

October 21, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



 
And now for you-know-what...
 

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, living in Miami, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in.
 
Jacob addresses the man behind the counter, "Are you the owner?"

The pharmacist answers, "Yes."

"We're about to get married,” Jacob says. “Do you sell heart medication?"

"Of course, we do," says the pharmacist.

"How about medicine for circulation," Jacob asks.

"All kinds," replies the pharmacist.

"Medicine for rheumatism," Jacob asks.

"Definitely," says the pharmacist.

"Medicine for memory problems and arthritis," Jacob continues.

"Yes, a large variety. The works," the pharmacist says.

Jacob then asks, "What about vitamins and sleeping pills?"

And the pharmacist replies, "Absolutely."

"Everything for heartburn and indigestion," Jacob asks.

And the pharmacist replies, "We sure do."

Jacob continues the questioning and asks, "Do you sell wheelchairs and walkers and canes?"

And the pharmacist answers, "All speeds and sizes."

"Adult diapers," Jacob asks.

"Sure," says the pharmacist.

"Well then, we'd like to use this store as our bridal registry," Jacob announces.



December 17, 2010

ENGINEERING



- ASSA ABLOY receives IHMRS Editor's Choice Award/Green Technology for Orion energy management system
- Vingcard Elsafe previews Integrated Room Control Dashboard for Orion
- IQware releases IQqms Quality Management System
--------------------------

ASSA ABLOY received an Editor's Choice Award in the Green Technology category at the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) in New York, for its Orion by VingCard Elsafe occupancy-sensing energy management system.  When used in conjunction with VingCard's VISIONLINE wireless RF-online electronic locking system, Orion communicates with other in-room systems such as locks, safes, lights and the room's thermostat, but can be used in any hotel regardless of door lock system. 

Vingcard Elsafe also previewed its Integrated Room Control Dashboard, which allows hotels to compare current performance with past results, estimate trends and adjust operations accordingly.  The dashboard integrates in-room electronic systems and status including occupancy, locks, safes, lighting and energy management, and lets hotels manage subsystems remotely over the hotel LAN or Web-based connection.
http://www.orionbyvingcardelsafe.com  
**
IQware released its IQqms Quality Management System for scheduling, managing, analyzing and reporting on all aspects of maintenance, including preventive maintenance, work orders, maintenance requests, inventory, predictive maintenance and owner invoicing.  The system also helps hotels track the changing value of each of its assets and manage their life cycles.  http://www.iqwareinc.com  
**


December 17, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



 
And now for you-know-what...

Happy holidays from the Hotel-Online, HUTechShare and Hospitality Upgrade teams!

Click here for some holiday fun!

 



January 06, 2011

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
Jan. 6, 2011

Resolutions? We don’t need no stinking New Year’s resolutions. Actually I have one and that is not to get sick on the Sunday night after New Year’s. I thought I had a 24-hour bug, but the bug seemed to be enjoying the time in my body and decided to stay a few extra days. What a drag it is being sick. But maybe that was the impetus for creating real resolutions and to attempt to live a healthier life; I will do that this year as long as it is both physically and emotionally. Wow, this will be a challenge, but I have always been one for change.

Speaking of change, what should we expect this year? The first one was announced this morning in Washington, D.C., with Carl Wilson, executive vice president and CIO at Marriott, announcing his retirement March 31st. He will be replaced by Bruce Hoffmeister as global chief information officer. Over 13 years as a CIO, in this industry that might be some sort of record. Personally my interaction with Carl over the last 10 years has been enjoyable. He has always been a big supporter of our CIO Summit every September and for that we are very appreciative.  Marriott has been to all 10 summits which has allowed us to grow. We thank him and wish him well.

Our first Siegel Sez of the year does not focus on what is ahead, but instead we take a moment to reflect on what transpired the year behind us. Nobody does a better job reflecting and sharing the experiences of the industry than Jon Inge in his annual Year-End Review with comments as to what is ahead. I will defer quickly today to Jon and encourage you to read through it now. We thank him for sharing. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what”.  Happy New Year to all.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
January 06, 2011

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 


TOP O’ THE NEWS

- 2010 Year-End Review
--------------------------
Although early optimism at 2009 finally being over was soon replaced by the hard reality of a long climb out of the recession, steady progress was made throughout the year by both hoteliers and vendors.  Many of the former took advantage of the lull to re-focus their technology on those areas most likely to help when business took off again, and many vendors worked hard on new product development.  It was definitely the year of the iPad®, hardware-wise, but last year’s hot topic of social networking has now become more generally integrated into operations.

Hospitality Technology Gains Kudos
It’s long been said that this industry is very late to adopt new technology, but that’s also true of many other business verticals and we should stop beating ourselves up about it.  Importantly, last year several hospitality companies were recognized by the general business and IT trade press for their innovative projects.  InfoWorld named Pegasus’ Rezview® NG one of its top 100 IT projects of 2009, and CIO magazine included Pegasus, IHG, Harrah’s and Marriott in its Top 100 awards.  Further, InformationWeek listed eight hospitality companies in the top half of its annual list of the 500 best companies at using technology in innovative ways, including InterContinental Hotels Group at No. 2.

Major Changes Announced for HMSs
Several major new hospitality management systems were announced.  Agilysys and Infor/SoftBrands previewed their next-generation Guest 360™ and HMS systems respectively, and PAR Springer-Miller released tantalizing details of its new product development.  Amadeus formally announced its long-expected Amadeus Hotel Platform, which combines central reservation, property management and global distribution systems in an integrated, centrally hosted platform. HP announced a new hosted travel management application covering airlines, hotels, trains and cruise lines, and licensed Pegasus’ Rezview NG reservations/networking technology as one of its core elements.  On a smaller scale (so far) MICROS co-founder Keith Gruen’s new hetras system was adopted by citizenM as its standard HMS.

Significant Focus on Revenue Management
Revenue management systems were a strong focus for many properties looking to be as efficient as possible, especially as useful integration with other systems became more common.  New products came to market; Xotels launched its own system, RevPAR Guru’s technology and services gained prominence, and TRAVELCLICK® released its Hotelligence360™ multichannel reservation, rate and marketing intelligence tool (immediately adopted by Leonardo Hotels and Taj Hotels). 

System integration improved, with InnQuest adding SiteMinder channel management to its roomMaster 2000 PMS and RateTiger integrating with MICROS’ OPERA, MSI’s WinPM and Gubse’s Sihot PMS.  IDeaS added JackRabbit's distribution engine to its V5i system, PAR Springer-Miller interfaced SMS|Host with EZYield.com, as did Rainmaker, and Genares linked its CRS with RevPAR Guru.  eRevMax and RevPAR Guru even launched iPhone® versions of their apps, though I wonder how much use they’ll get from typical users. 

Implementation was strong across the industry.  RateTiger won major orders from Spain’s Tradyso (1,000 hotels) and Paradores de Turismo (90+), Mövenpick chose EZYield for 69 properties, as did H10 Hotels for 36.  EzRMS was adopted by Choice Hotels Scandinavia (50+), NH Hoteles (75), Chile’s Enjoy Casino & Resort chain, Hong Kong’s Regal Hotels International (6) and Accor UK (80); Jurys Inn picked IDeaS’ V5i for all 30 properties.

Cloud Computing Adds to Appeal of Remotely Hosted Systems
A hot topic at HITEC last year, cloud computing was definitely seen as the way forward for future systems even if some interface and security issues remain to be resolved before a fully integrated management software suite becomes available.  In the meantime remotely hosted systems of all kinds continue to appeal to many hoteliers, as witness Choice Hotels’ deployment of its choiceADVANTAGE® Web-based HMS to its 3,000th franchised hotel.  Pousadas de Portugal implemented MICROS’ full OPERA suite for 39 properties, Delta Hotels and Resorts selected MICROS’ centrally hosted OPERA Enterprise for 45 properties and Virgin implemented protel PMS across its Limited Edition portfolio.  Premier Hotels activated Libra OnDemand for seven properties; Starwood selected Adaco.NET for its procurement and inventory operations.

Vendors confirmed their interest in this direction.  Agilysys, Infor/SoftBrands and PAR Springer-Miller all stated that their next-generation products will be available remotely hosted, and MICROS is committed to the same approach.  Seven Seas Computers announced the migration of its momentohs® sprint PMS to Microsoft’s Windows Azure™ cloud; DataWorks announced a SaaS version of its NeXT™ inventory software.

Hoteliers are also seeing the value of outsourcing much of their technology infrastructure and administration systems.  Hilton outsourced its technology infrastructure to IBM and contracted with Accenture for application development and support.  Carlson WagonLit explored mid-office/back office outsourcing with Amadeus, and Hyatt adopted Microsoft’s cloud-based Business Productivity Online Suite for 17,000 desk-based employees and 40,000 deskless associates (bell hops, housekeepers, front desk staff, etc.).

Central Reservations Systems
The major topic at year end was American Airlines’ opting out of the GDS world it created many years ago in favor of direct booking links, potentially requiring travelers to book only from its own Website (as they’ve done for years with Southwest Airlines) but more likely just stirring the waters to produce a different paradigm for travel booking.  Relative newcomer Genares was on a roll, landing contracts with Jin Jiang International Hotels for 51 properties in China and for Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and releasing a direct booking link for Facebook.  Accor and Carlson Hotels upgraded to Sabre’s DCX direct connect booking platform; Marriott signed a distribution agreement with GTA™ by Travelport.

Meetings
Starwood launched its first two Cisco TelePresence sites (W Chicago, Sheraton Sydney) and GetThere offered its corporate clients access to Tata Communications’ public and private telepresence rooms for virtual meetings.  These systems are definitely useful and cost saving, and bring a new level of realism to video conferences, but so far no one’s found a way to socialize with a remote image after a meeting.

Business Intelligence
BI was as essential as ever to efficient operations.  Aptech released its EV Lite hosted graphical reporting tool and integrated Clarabridge’s sentiment and text analytics into its Execuvue® software; ProfitSword announced its ProfitWizard ad-hoc BI reporting software.  Alloso Technologies and Datavision released BI apps for the iPhone and iPad®, and PAR Springer-Miller added Datavision’s BI reporting to its SMS|Host hospitality management system. 

Social Media
After the explosion of interest in 2009 social media tools became a more mainstream part of life last year, most hotel chains and many independents now have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.  Many also released phone-based applications for booking and trip updating, branching out into Android™ devices after an initial iPhone focus.  InterContinental tested the waters of location-based services by offering Priority Club points to members checking in from Foursquare™, Facebook and other sites.  protel released a Room Tweet enhancement for its hospitality management system, letting hotels broadcasting special offers to Twitter with a link to their Web booking engine.  Revinate and eRevMax released reputation management tools to help hotels monitor online comments and reviews.

Tablet, Phone Applications
Apple’s iPad was the hot device of the year and very many vendors and hotel companies were quick to release apps for it.  InterContinental tested iPads with concierge teams in four properties, and Hong Kong’s Langham Place offered free roaming iPad service for its guests.  The Plaza in New York offered iPads in all guestrooms, loaded with Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience™) guest services portal; Guest-Tek incorporated Intelity ICE into its OneView IPTV and HDTV services, and Wyndham deployed its Intelity ICE-based Wyndham Connect interactive guest services.  Quadriga had success with its Sensiq™ guest portal, installed in hotels from the 66-room Beau Rivage Hotel in Neuchâtel, Switzerland to the 764-room Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel.  GBCblue’s ORION and mobile GORION portals were adopted by hotels including the Hyatt Regency Greenville, Omni Chicago, Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Heathman Portland, and SAI integrated ORION into its SynergyMMS® Maintenance Management System to enhance service delivery.

On the management systems side, iPad applications were released by vendors such as hotel SystemsPro (hotel SalesPro®, hotel ServicePro™), Flyte Systems (FlytePad airport flight information), TrackIT (package tracking) and MSI (Place Point self-service POS).   The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) made its Hospitality iCoach training tips and hints available via Apple’s iTunes® for download to staff iPhone, iPod touch® and iPad devices.

iPhone apps continued to grow (released by Harrah’s, Best Western, Mandarin Oriental, Utell, NH Hoteles, Trust International and TRAVELCLICK’s StayHIP for boutique hotels), and Android came on strongly as the next most desirable platform.  Starwood released a BlackBerry® app, still the most widely used business smart phone.  O’Rourke launched the SmartStaySM tool to help hotels build their own phone apps (iPhone and Android).  MTech released H2GO, a mobile version of HotSOS for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as a version of REX for Google’s Android.  NORTHWIND launched a mobile version of the ResWave Booking Engine for its Maestro Enterprise HMS to let guests book room and dining, spa or other activity reservations from most mobile devices.

RFID Locks Gained Favor
Interest in RFID locks grew last year, from all vendors and in hotels of all sizes.  These included VingCard® (hotels from Le Meridien Qingdao, Venezuela Marriott Playa Grande, Hotel Okura Amsterdam and Intercontinental Beirut to the 40-room Valentines Resort and Marina in the Bahamas), SAFLOK™ (5,900 rooms at CityCenter Las Vegas), Onity (126-room Ramada Limited in Santa Barbara, CA) and Kaba Ilco (Le Centre Sheraton Montreal).  The Clarion Hotel Stockholm piloted the use of NFC-enabled Samsung mobile phones as keys to VingCard locks.  Starwood tested its Smart Check-In concept at Aloft® brand properties, issuing special RFID cards to SPG loyalty program members; InterContinental pilot-tested OpenWays’ smartphone acoustic keys at Holiday Inn properties in Chicago and Houston. 

Mergers and Acquisitions
In a fairly active year MSI acquired REMco Software, Infor/SoftBrands picked up Amadeus’ Property Management Systems division as Amadeus focused on its new Hotel Platform, and SS&C Technologies bought TimeShareWare.  MICROS acquired marketing specialist TIG Global, and XETA Technologies, best known for call accounting systems, took over Lorica Solutions.  Swisscom acquired Wayport’s EMEA operations, Travelport picked up the Singapore-based Sprice metasearch engine, and KAYAK added Munich-based flight and hotel search site swoodoo.  Newmarket bought market research vendor Hospitality Information Services (not HIS, the former PMS vendor now part of Infor/SoftBrands) and Expedia acquired travel app developer Mobiata.

And This Year?
It’s going to be an eventful year as more fully featured versions of Agilysys’ Guest 360 and Infor/SoftBrands’ HMS appear and PAR Springer-Miller unveils its new management system; I can guarantee that the latter will open a few eyes.  The CRS marketplace may not be the same when the dust settles from American Airlines’ move away from the GDSs, but online booking will undoubtedly become even more dominant.  In the Year of the Rabbit I also expect to see tablet and phone apps proliferate in ever-increasing numbers; as with mainstream software applications, those that succeed will focus on useful integration with each other and with other management systems to become truly valuable real-world tools for both guests and management. 
**



January 06, 2011

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Claire Gilbertson named BAHA Hospitality Revenue Director of the Year
- Stewart Fidom named BAHA Hospitality IT Professional of the Year
- Adrian Orton named BAHA Overall Student of the Year
- Luis Maroto replaces David Jones as president and CEO of Amadeus
--------------------------
BAHA announced awards under its first-ever hospitality recognition program.
Claire Gilbertson, director of revenue, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, was named BAHA Hospitality Revenue Director of the Year.
Stewart Fidom, corporate IT project manager, Dorchester Collection, was BAHA Hospitality IT Professional of the Year.
Margaret Martin-Cruz, director of finance, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, was BAHA Hospitality Accountant of the Year.
Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts was awarded BAHA Corporate Employer of the Year for its work in promoting and developing financial education in the hospitality industry.
Portland Hotels was similarly recognized as BAHA Independent Employer of the Year.
Adrian Orton, accounts assistant at Hellidon Lakes Golf & Spa Hotel, Daventry was named BAHA Overall Student of the Year based on BAHA Education and Training Programme (ETP) examination results.
**
Luis Maroto, former deputy CEO of Amadeus, has replaced David V. Jones as president and CEO of Amadeus, a succession that was planned in January 2010.  Mr. Maroto has worked for Amadeus for 11 years in a number of positions, for the last two years as deputy CEO.  He joined Amadeus in 1999 as director, marketing finance, and was promoted in 2003 to chief financial officer.  Prior to joining Amadeus, he had held several managerial positions at the Bertelsmann Group.
**
January 06, 2011

RESERVATIONS



- Genares launches gMobile application for travelers to book, view and cancel reservations from mobile phones
--------------------------
Genares Worldwide Reservations Services has launched its gMobile application, which allows travelers to book, view and cancel reservations from their mobile phones.  http://www.genares.com  
**

April 22, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
April 22, 2010

When I started my career in the hotel industry a million years ago my favorite thing was getting to know business travelers who always stayed at our hotel. Some were once a week, some once a month and some less frequent then that. But over the years they looked for me, we got to share some life experiences and the relationships went beyond employee and customer. I eventually went from the hotel industry into the software business for hotels. Of all the things I experienced while working in the hotel technology field my favorite was our annual users’ group. Again, I was the employee and the users were the customers and not only did I get to know many on a more personal level, they also got to know other users on a personal level, sometimes a little too personal. But it was great to watch the interaction and sharing. 

I realized last week that our Hospitality Upgrade magazine has its own users’ group with our Sixth Annual Executive Vendor Summit. Honestly, who would think a two-and-a-half day event that has presidents and CEOs of most all the major technology suppliers that compete for business throughout the year would become so popular. I think the realization is that business is business but people are people and when you bring them all together it becomes a great mix. There is no one for them to sell to at the event, but the partnerships and sharing that come out of this unique time never cease to amaze me. Of course, any event that has golf, barbecues, dinners and cocktail parties is going to generate some, “did he really say that” quotes, but since all the people there are our customers we will not repeat any of the quotes. But when it comes to pictures all I can say is we are a magazine and of course, we are going to print them. That is what we do.

We thank the more than 70 executives who joined us in Houston. Thanks also to HP for partnering with us on the program and The Venza Group, Microsoft, TRAVELCLICK, The McLean Group and HFTP for sponsoring this year’s event. If you want to see the damaging and often funny pictures from this year’s event, please go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/Subscribe and subscribe to either our print or digital edition. While you are there, you might want to roam around, answer our survey questions, view our most popular articles, download some great white papers and case studies, or just explore our new and improved Website.  You might see some pictures on there that will surprise you.

Here we are, April 22 and everybody you talk to in the technology world is discussing this year’s HITEC (http://www.hitec.org). For the life of me, I cannot understand why holding it in Orlando brings the biggest crowds, but it always does. We are already getting requests to make sure we put certain companies on our must-visit list, and have been asked if we will be attending parties and other events. It is a fun two months leading up to the show. HSMAI’s Revenue Management and Internet Marketing Conference will begin the same week on Monday morning, June 21. To register please visit HSMAI.

It looks like the return of Guestroom 20X is going to be very popular again, the room looks very futuristic. I remember the lines two years ago to visit it and the exposure it got on the national news networks.  I remind you that HITEC actually starts on Mon., June 21. Many still think of the old Tuesday to Thursday format but Monday is probably the most important day this year with the keynote speaker in the afternoon being the infamous Frank Abagnale, Jr., about whom the movie, “Catch Me If You Can” was based. His exploits included cashing millions of dollars in fraudulent checks and successfully impersonating a doctor, lawyer and airline pilot. An airline pilot? Hopefully that impersonation wasn’t up in the air. Should be a great session, we are all amazed about those who choose a life of crime, aren’t we?  HITEC in June always completes the first half of the year and thankfully from the feedback we have been getting it has been a positive six months. That has been great to hear. 

Hospitality Upgrade will also be at PhocusWright’s first ever TRAVDEX event (http://www.travdex.com) here in Atlanta the first week of May. This event is shaping up pretty well especially being the first event in the industry of this kind. Look for us there. Next weekend I will do my annual pilgrimage to Louisville and hang out with a 160,000 of my closest friends. I have encouraged many friends to experience the Kentucky Derby and I will tell you, it is better than any World Series, Super Bowl or Final Four at only $40 a ticket to get in. It is just fun, I can’t wait. If anybody reading this will be there, drop me a note and we will try to connect. I will be the guy with the very strange hat again, what a blast.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Thanks.



http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com
Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
April 22, 2010

TOP O' THE NEWS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 

TOP O’ THE NEWS

- Interface standards bring major integration improvements, but we’re not at plug-and-play yet
- OpenTravel Alliance publishes 2010A version interface messaging specifications
--------------------------
Annual conferences such as HTNG’s recent meeting in Orlando and OpenTravel’s meeting next week in Seattle are good reminders of the advances made in multivendor systems integration, helped along by these groups’ specification standards.  Even as integrated systems continue to expand their coverage, this continues to drive the debate over whether hotels can simply pick and choose their preferred individual systems (I dislike “best of breed” as a description – best for whom, and under what circumstances?) and, as long as they’re all OTA or HTNG-certified, have them work seamlessly together. 

Reality is different, of course.  Systems interfaces have definitely become more powerful and flexible, but no specification can be a cure-all.  In our complex industry each will necessarily have multiple aspects covering the different roles that the separate systems can take (sender, receiver, narrow or wide focus, etc.), and so not all the possible functionality will be implemented by all the vendors working to them.  Given an unfortunate but natural variation in precision in adhering to specs and you have a definite need for each vendor to test and verify its interfaces with potential partners.  Given the time and effort of doing so, this usually happens only at the request of a specific customer and inevitably comes at a price, which in some cases (and not always justifiably) can be quite high. 

While it may sometimes appear that we’re still in the dark ages of needing a custom interface between each pair of systems, the situation is vastly improved.  Having a common starting point for each vendor greatly reduces the development and testing work overall, and the resulting interfaces themselves are significantly more capable and useful.  Even with this definite progress towards a plug-and-play world, though, hotels looking to integrate multivendor solutions do need to recognize and allow for the time and cost of interface verification.
**
The OpenTravel Alliance has published the 2010A version of its interface messaging specifications.  Developments include new or enhanced message specifications for loyalty programs, dynamic packaging, hotel availability searches with mapping and meal plan type searching.
**



April 22, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Mike Gadbury joins EzRMS as director of strategic sales development
- Scott Wilkins named chief operating officer at Travelscream
- Alan Gregory hired by Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi) as vice president of operations
- Rain Fletcher joins Choice Hotels International as vice president of application development and architecture
- Oswald Lares to head EZYield.com’s sales in Europe and Northern Africa
- Brian Kotula joins Travel Tripper’s sales team
- Scott Alvis hired by Amadeus IT as senior vice president of client management, Americas
- Frederic Danschutter appointed to international channel partner manager at Guestline
- Prakash Shukla, SVP technology and CIO for Taj Hotels, joins HTNG’s board of directors
--------------------------
Mike Gadbury has joined Easy (Ez) Revenue Management (EzRMS) as director of strategic sales development.  Starting his career in 1980 as data processing manager for Trusthouse Forte, Mr. Gadbury subsequently founded International Guest Systems (IGS), which became a major PMS supplier in the United Kingdom and was subsequently sold to what is now SoftBrands. He then headed VisualOne’s expansion into the United Kingdom and Ireland prior to its sale to Agilysys.
**
Scott Wilkins has been named chief operating officer at Travelscream.  Mr. Wilkins was most recently with merchant bank Cielo Partners and has investment banking experience spanning 14 years and three continents.
**
Alan Gregory has been hired by Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi) as vice president of operations.  He brings nearly 20 years of experience in lodging technology services, including field operations and corporate positions with PSAV Presentation Services.
**
Rain Fletcher has joined Choice Hotels International as vice president of application development and architecture.  Mr. Fletcher has over 20 years of leadership experience, most recently as principal architect with CedarCrestone and earlier as principal systems engineer at Oracle.
**
Oswald Lares has joined EZYield.com’s sales team with responsibility for Europe and Northern Africa.  Based in France, Mr. Lares has held various senior executive positions at TRAVELCLICK, Luxury Lifestyle Hotels & Resorts, SynXis, Relais & Châteaux and Disneyland Resort Paris.
**
Brian Kotula has joined Travel Tripper’s sales team.  Mr. Kotula was most recently director of sales and corporate marketing manager at Open Hospitality, and had earlier served as regional vice president of sales for HotelREVMax and as vice president of business development and sales, Northeastern United States, for Luxe Worldwide Hotels.
**
Scott Alvis has been hired by Amadeus IT as senior vice president of client management for the Americas region, following a 19-year career at Sabre focused on strategy, marketing and technology planning.
**
Frederic Danschutter has been appointed to international channel partner manager at Guestline, based in Belgium and heading Guestline’s expansion into the European hotel market.
**
Prakash Shukla, senior vice president, technology and chief information officer for Taj Hotels, has joined HTNG’s board of directors.  Based in Mumbai, India and with a background in major IT corporations such as Unisys/Sperry and IBM, he is currently responsible for all IT deployments at the 60-property Taj Group worldwide.
**
April 22, 2010

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Miraval Arizona picks Agilysys’ Visual One PMS, InfoGenesis POS and Guest eMarketing
- Seven Seas Computers migrating Momentohs Sprint PMS to Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud
- Ariane Systems announces early 2011 launch date for remote checkin/checkout VIKI project
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts installs RDPWin at three more Fairmont Heritage Place sites
- Brend Hotels contracts with Guestline for centralized Rezlynx PMS and Roomlynx channel manager at six properties
- MICROS launches two-way interface between OPERA, myfidelio.net and RateTiger’s RTConnect
--------------------------
Miraval Arizona has selected Agilysys’ Visual One property management system, InfoGenesis POS and Guest eMarketing (GeM) system for its 118-room Tucson-based spa resort.  http://www.miravalresorts.com, http://www.agilysys.com  
**
Dubai-based Seven Seas Computers has announced plans to migrate its mid-level Momentohs Sprint PMS onto Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud architecture by year end 2010.  http://www.sscomp.ae  
**
Ariane Systems has announced an early 2011 launch date for its VIKI project, which will allow guests to check in/check out from their desktop, laptop, smartphone or cell phone. VIKI will incorporate online mobile payment and will enable users to modify their client profiles.  Ariane Systems’ partners in developing VIKI include LIP6 (a research center specializing in telecommunications and information technology), Lemon Way (mobile applications and mobile banking technologies) and Hotel Performance.  http://www.ariane-systems.com  
**
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has installed Resort Data Processing’s RDPWin at three more Fairmont Heritage Place sites (Whistler, BC; Miramar Beach, Fla.; and Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco, Calif.), and will add a fourth (Acapulco, Mexico) later this year.  http://www.fairmontheritageplace.com, http://www.resortdata.com  
**
United Kingdom-based Brend Hotels has contracted with Guestline to implement its Rezlynx Web-based property management system and Roomlynx channel manager at six properties, on a centralized architecture basis hosted at Guestline’s data center. 
http://www.brend-hotels.co.uk, http://www.guestline.com  
**
MICROS Systems has launched a two-way XML-based interface between its OPERA PMS/CRS and myfidelio.net systems and RateTiger’s RTConnect channel management system.  The interface also includes RTConnect’s rate shopping functionality.  http://www.ratetiger.com, http://www.micros.com  
**
April 22, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- FastBooking’s iPhone app named best mobile application by Web Marketing Association
- Gleneagles Hotel signs with Pegasus for global commission processing services
- Onetech Solution implements InnLink CRS for Vagabond Inns and independent properties
- La Quinta extends relationship with Pegasus
- Marriott adds Marriott ExecuStay and Autograph Collection brands to Pegasus commission processing contract
- TRAVELCLICK to offer Advantage Reserve voice reservation services to iHotelier users
- Mandarin Oriental launches interactive mobile Website
- Travelocity offers both opaque and regular hotel rates in single search window
--------------------------

FastBooking’s iPhone application has been named the best mobile application in the Web Marketing Association’s Internet Advertising Competition.  http://www.fastbooking.net  
**
The Gleneagles Hotel has signed a contract with Pegasus Solutions for global commission processing services.  http://www.gleneagles.com, http://www.pegs.com  
**
Onetech Solution has implemented InnLink central reservation services for its Vagabond Inn Chain and all its independent properties, including a two-way interface between its Onetech PMS and InnLink’s Windsurfer CRS.  http://www.onetechsolution.com, http://www.innlink.com  
**
La Quinta Inns & Suites has extended and expanded its relationship with Pegasus Solutions for its RezView central reservations system (moving later to Pegasus RezView NG) and global commission processing services. 

Marriott International has expanded its relationship with Pegasus Solutions by adding its Marriott ExecuStay and Autograph Collection brands to its global commission processing services contract.  The two brands currently represent over 220 properties worldwide. 
http://www.lq.com, http://www.marriott.com, http://www.pegs.com  
**
TRAVELCLICK has signed a preferred provider agreement allowing it to offer Advantage Reserve’s voice reservation services to hotels using TRAVELCLICK’s iHotelier central reservations system.  http://www.travelclick.net, http://www.advantagereserve.com  
**
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has launched an interactive mobile Website in conjunction with Siteworx, Inc., integrated with a booking engine provided by Sabre Hospitality Solutions which allows users to book and manage their room or suite, spa and/or dining reservations.  http://www.mandarinoriental.com, http://www.sabrehospitality.com, http://www.siteworx.com  
**
Travelocity now offers both unpublished (opaque) hotel deals and regular hotel rates in a single search window, claiming to be the first major online travel site to do so.  Its Top Secret Hotels listings offer deeply discounted rates without naming the exact hotel until the booking is complete, and also displays user ratings on 10 aspects such as cleanliness, location, staff/service and room quality.  http://www.travelocity.com  
**


April 22, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- DB Technology issues release 3.31 of RAS data extraction/reporting system
- Campbell Lodging picks eMax Hotel Internet Marketing to create Websites for 16 properties
--------------------------
DB Technology has issued release 3.31 of its RAS data extraction/reporting system.  Enhancements include the ability to set and save queries in RAS, a forgot password feature to allow users to reset their passwords and access RAS without making a call to the support desk, and the ability to edit user defined fields without opening a report.  http://www.dbtech.com  
**
Campbell Lodging has chosen eMax Hotel Internet Marketing to create independent Websites for all 16 of its hotel properties.  eMax offers a guaranteed 10x return on its Websites.  http://www.cmpm.net, http://www.eMaxhotelmarketing.com  
**

April 22, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut installs EzRMS Internet Product Suite
- Hôtel Napoléon, Paris, France deploys EzRMS Core Module, Ez-QUOTE
- Open Hospitality extends Website booking engine to hotel Facebook pages, portal Websites
- MICROS launches two-way interface between OPERA, myfidelio.net and RateTiger’s RTConnect
--------------------------

The Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon has become the twelfth Radisson Blu property to install Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Systems’ Internet Product Suite, including the EzRMS Core Module, Ez-QUOTE and a data-extraction interface to its MICROS OPERA PMS. 

The 101-room Hôtel Napoléon in Paris, France is deploying EzRMS Core Module, Ez-QUOTE and a data extraction interface to its MICROS OPERA V2.5 PMS. 
http://www.radissonblu.com, http://www.hotelnapoleonparis.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com
**
Open Hospitality has extended its Website booking engine’s distribution choices to include hotel Facebook pages and portal Websites such as http://www.booknewyorkcitynow and http://www.bookmiaminow.com, in addition to its existing partnerships with TripAdvisor, Kayak, the TRUE direct booking travel agent program and traditional GDS and OTA distribution services.  http://www.OpenHospitality.com  
**
MICROS Systems has launched a two-way XML-based interface between its OPERA PMS/CRS and myfidelio.net systems and RateTiger’s RTConnect channel management system.  The interface also includes RTConnect’s Rate shopping functionality.  http://www.ratetiger.com, http://www.micros.com  
**


April 22, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



And now for you-know-what…


A mature lady gets pulled over for speeding...

Older woman:  Is there a problem, Officer?

Officer:  Ma'am, you were speeding.

Older woman:  Oh, I see.

Officer:  Can I see your license please?

Older woman:  I'd give it to you but I don't have one.

Officer:  Don't have one?

Older woman:  I lost it, 4 years ago for drunk driving.

Officer:  I see... Can I see your vehicle registration papers please?

Older woman:  I can't do that.

Officer:  Why not?

Older woman:  I stole this car.

Officer:  Stole it?

Older woman:  Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.

Officer:  You what?

Older woman:  His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see.

The officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for backup. Within minutes five police cars circle the car. A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half-drawn gun.

Officer No. 2:  Ma'am, could you step out of your vehicle please?

The woman steps out of her vehicle.

Older woman:  Is there a problem, sir?

Officer No. 2:  One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.

Older woman:  Murdered the owner?

Officer No. 2:  Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car, please?

The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.

Officer No. 2:  Is this your car, ma'am?

Older woman:  Yes, here are the registration papers.

The officer is confused.

Officer No. 2:  One of my officers claims that you do not have a license.

The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out a clutch purse and hands it to the officer.
The officer examines the license. He looks quite puzzled.

Officer No. 2:  Thank you ma'am, one of my officers told me you didn't have a license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.

Older woman:  I bet the liar told you I was speeding, too.



May 06, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Ursula Rhode promoted to chief operating officer at Genares
- Natasha Le Roux named director of sales, Americas/ASPAC for ZDirect
- Arne Riemers, Erik Dorr join iBAHN as regional directors of sales
- PJ Calihan hired by TTI Technologies as vice president of national sales
- Jacob Buckstead joins Intelity as vice president of hospitality sales
--------------------------

Ursula Rhode has been promoted to chief operating officer at Genares.  Previously executive vice president of global services, Ms. Rhode has over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry and previously worked at Lexington Services.
**
Natasha Le Roux has been named director of sales, Americas/ASPAC for ZDirect.  Formerly with TRAVELCLICK, Ms. Le Roux brings 20 years of hospitality industry experience to her new position.
**
Arne Riemers and Erik Dorr have joined iBAHN as regional directors of sales.

Mr. Riemers will cover the Mid-Atlantic region.  He comes to iBAHN with nearly 10 years of experience in international hospitality technology sales with DOCOMO interTouch, INTER-TOUCH and VTECHdotCOM across the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Mr. Dorr will serve as regional director of sales in the West.  He brings more than a decade of experience in selling technology solutions to meetings and convention hotels with vendors such as SoftBrands, Newmarket International, Kronos and Daylight Software, as well as experience in interactive site development and expertise in the casino and gaming industry.  Mr. Dorr was most recently owner and founder of Open Dorr Strategies, a sales opportunity development organization for the hospitality technology industry.
**
PJ Calihan has been hired by TTI Technologies as vice president of national sales.  In her extensive career in the hospitality industry, Ms. Calihan has been associated with several franchise chains and opened three hotels in a sales and marketing capacity.
**
Jacob Buckstead has joined Intelity as vice president of hospitality sales.  Mr. Buckstead most recently served as director of sales for Hotel Solutions USA, and was earlier director of business development and partner marketing for LodgeNet Interactive.
**


May 06, 2010

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Rodd Hotels & Resorts orders NORTHWIND’s Maestro for nine resorts
- YMCA of The Rockies picks NORTHWIND Maestro for two locations
- Skyware Hospitality releases interface with TTI Technologies’ Scan2PMS data capture system
- Delta Hotels and Resorts selects MICROS’ centrally hosted OPERA Enterprise Solution for 45 properties
--------------------------

Rodd Hotels & Resorts has ordered NORTHWIND’s Maestro Multi-Property Enterprise system for its nine resorts in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Implementation will include front office, sales and catering, GEM (guest experience measurement), analytics and the ResWave online booking engine, and is scheduled to be completed in June 2010.

The YMCA of The Rockies has contracted with NORTHWIND for implementation of its Maestro Multi-Property Enterprise system at its two locations, Snow Mountain Ranch and Estes Park Center.  The two centers have capacity for over 4,500 guests in more than 10 lodges and 257 cabins, and provide professional conference facilities, family vacations, reunions and many recreational activities.  Modules to be implemented by October 2010 include Maestro Multi-Property Management, Point of Sale, Sales & Catering, Membership Management, CRO and an interface to the properties’ activity scheduling system.
http://www.roddhotelsandresorts.com, http://www.ymcarockies.org, http://www.maestropms.com  
**
Skyware Hospitality Solutions has released an interface with TTI Technologies’ Scan2PMS system, which allows hotels to capture information such as guest photo, name and address at checkin from drivers’ licenses, passports, etc., and incorporate it directly into Skyware's PMS.  http://www.ttitel.com, http://www.skywaresystems.com  
**
Delta Hotels and Resorts has selected MICROS Systems’ centrally hosted OPERA Enterprise Solution for its 45 properties across Canada.  MICROS will host the entire central systems suite at its data center in McLean, Va., and will provide maintenance, processing and data storage services.  The project will be completed in two phases, starting with the move of Delta’s current OPERA Central Solution (which includes OPERA Reservation System, Customer Information System, Web Suite and Sales Force Automation) to the data center and followed by the implementation of OPERA Business Intelligence and Revenue Management System.  http://www.deltahotels.com, http://www.micros.com  
**


May 06, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- Marriott signs distribution agreement with GTA by Travelport
- Open Hospitality releases interface with SoftBrands Epitome PMS
- Global Crew Logistics (GCL) launches new HotelTrak Web-based hotel reservations tool
- Tripware releases MoBook mobile travel booking app for business travelers
- InterContinental launches Priority Club Rewards iPhone app
--------------------------
Marriott has signed a distribution agreement with GTA by Travelport to list property and room category content with GTA’s thousands of tour operator and travel agency customers.  http://www.marriott.com, http://www.gta-travel.com  
**
Open Hospitality has released an interface with SoftBrands Epitome Property Management System to allow Website direct bookings to flow directly into Epitome.  http://www.infor.com/hospitality/, http://www.openhospitality.com  
**
Aviation industry corporate travel management company Global Crew Logistics (GCL) has launched its new Web-based hotel reservations tool HotelTrak.  Rollout to its 58 U.S.-based fixed-base operations (FBOs) for business and general aviation was completed in March; implementation throughout its network of international FBOs is under way.  HotelTrak, a Web-based application with a graphical user interface to the Sabre reservation system, incorporates a customized hotel rate negotiation service and a dynamic reporting platform to let users analyze travel spend and recognize trends.  http://www.globalcrewlogistics.com  
**
Tripware has released MoBook, a mobile travel app for business travelers to book flights, hotels and cars on an iPhone or iPad.  MoBook complements Tripware’s OutBook, a plugin for Microsoft Outlook users, and DeskBook, a desktop app for travel arrangers.  http://www.tripware.com  
**
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has launched its Priority Club Rewards iPhone app, which allows members to find and book hotel rooms, check rates and view or cancel reservations for all seven of its brands.  The app is now available in English at the iPhone app store; BlackBerry and Android versions will be released later this year. http://www.ichotelsgroup.com  
**
May 06, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- WatchMouse announces GeoBrand automated tool to detect brand name misuse in PPC advertising
- Denihan Hospitality Group’s The Surrey contracts with Libra OnDemand
- Carton House in Ireland selects ZDirect
- Trust International integrates TrustYou-Analytics into yourVoyager CRS
--------------------------
WatchMouse has announced GeoBrand, an automated tool to detect brand name misuse in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Yahoo!, Bing and Google in over 30 countries.  GeoBrand checks search engine advertising programs offered by Yahoo!’s Sponsored Search, Google’s AdWords and Microsoft Bing’s Search Advertising services to identify brand keywords purchased by competitive companies with the goal of encouraging consumers to visit their Website rather than the brand owner’s Website.  Reports by country and search engine provide brand managers with documentation to manage usage and search engine complaint procedures.  http://www.geo-brand.com  
**
Denihan Hospitality Group’s The Surrey hotel has contracted with Libra OnDemand for its online CRM system to provide a consolidated view of guest profile information, keep track of guest preferences, amenities, flags and specials, manage pre-arrival and during-stay guest services, and track guest comment card responses  http://www.denihan.com, http://www.libraondemand.com  
**
The 165-room Carton House in Ireland has selected ZDirect's electronic customer relationship platform to centralize its guest data and build loyalty with its customers.  http://www.cartonhouse.com, http://www.zdirect.com  
**
Trust International has integrated TrustYou-Analytics into its yourVoyager CRS, to provide hotel chains and single hotels with a complete, summarized overview of their online reputations (from statements made about them on message boards, blogs or other online sites such as tripadvisor.com) and actively manage social media and guest reviews.  http://analytics.trustyou.com, http://www.trustinternational.com  
**
April 22, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Experient implements StarCite as official electronic RFP (eRFP) sourcing platform
- Hyatt integrates Envision sales application with Cvent Supplier Network eRFP platform
- Lanyon releases Rate Parity application to compare consumer Website rates with corporate negotiated rates
- Benchmark Hospitality announces annual Top Ten Meeting Trends
--------------------------
Experient, a meeting planning, registration, housing and lead retrieval company, has implemented StarCite as its official electronic RFP (eRFP) sourcing platform.  http://www.starcite.com, http://www.experient-inc.com  
**
Hyatt has integrated its proprietary Envision sales application with the Cvent Supplier Network electronic request for proposal (RFP) platform for meetings and events. All RFPs sent to full-service Hyatt properties through the Cvent Supplier Network will automatically appear in the Envision system, speeding up response time and accuracy in quoting.  http://www.cvent.com  
**
Lanyon has released its Rate Parity application to address the impact of hotel consumer Website rates on corporate negotiated-rate programs.  Beta tests found rates available online for less than the negotiated corporate rate at preferred properties in 30 percent of corporate bookings, with online rates that were lower by up to 55 percent. Lanyon Rate Parity automatically checks multiple consumer Websites for pricing at preferred properties and generates a detailed report for corporate travel buyers to bring these rates to the attention of their preferred partners for discussion and/or negotiation.  http://www.lanyon.com  
**
Benchmark Hospitality has announced its annual Top Ten Meeting Trends as observed by its properties in 2010.
- #1: Cautiously optimistic for 2010, strong pacing for 2011. 
Booking pace is already ahead of 2009 and up noticeably for 2011, emphasizing the importance of solid planner-provider relationships.
- #2: Booking in the month, for the month in 2010. 
The booking window for corporate meetings remains very short term (30 - 45 days) and is basically in the month for the month. Fortunately, cancellations are much rarer.
- #3: Extreme price sensitivity.
Hotels must once again compete for meetings business with aggressive package pricing with high perceived value. 
- #4: Meeting groups are smaller, stay a day less. 
Group size is down (in some cases by 50 percent); meetings tend to be regional vs. national, are much more serious (fewer social functions), and are shorter by at least a day.
- #5: Being green is generally assumed but is required for certain segments. 
Federal and state governments and education business require properties to meet basic green hospitality requirements to even be considered.
- #6: No frills meetings are ROI driven. 
With tight and highly scrutinized budgets, meeting spending is seriously conservative, highly image conscious, and focused on the basics with little room for spa, golf or teambuilding activities.
- #7: Maximum Internet bandwidth is expected, ahead of all other technology demands. 
Planners come to negotiations expecting that all current meeting technology will be installed but demanding maximum connectivity.
- #8: Fierce price negotiations, concessions expected. 
Planners’ negotiation skills have been carefully honed over the last 12 months to18 months; they expect significant concessions but appreciate the value of the complete meeting package.
- #9: Health-conscious food and beverage options, buffets for all. 
A healthy diet can significantly help keep meeting participants attentive, and healthy buffets are seen as perfectly acceptable for all, for the first time.
- #10: Social media gaining ground for specific uses. 
Corporate meetings still rely on face-to-face contact, not Facebook.  LinkedIn and TripAdvisor are growing in importance to planners for information and customer feedback on properties they are considering, and some planners use Facebook to "friend" sales executives from provider properties with whom they've already developed a relationship.

April 22, 2010

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Agilysys releases InfoGenesis version 4.1.6
- ReServe Interactive releases version 2010 Spring
- Mandarin Oriental selects InfoGenesis for Barcelona and Las Vegas
- MICROS to use Odyssey 's Athena remote management software for its hardware line
--------------------------
Agilysys has released version 4.1.6 of its InfoGenesis POS system.  Enhancements include printing and spooling of scheduled reports, check labeling at tender time, VAT categorization on receipts, rounding of cash tenders, enhanced model buttons and themes and a daily sales report with cashier, terminal and meal period groupings.  http://www.agilysys.com  
**
ReServe Interactive has released version 2010 Spring, the first of two annual releases.  Enhancements have been made to the catering and event management and dining reservation and table management modules; new features include PCI-compliant credit card management, the ReServe University training and support tool, and ReServeIT/ReQuestIT Web 2.0 for processing dining reservations and event inquiries via the Internet.  http://www.reserveinteractive.com  
**
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system for its new hotels in Barcelona and Las Vegas.  The Barcelona property is also using the ResPAK restaurant management application to optimize table usage and personalize dining services.  http://www.mandarinoriental.com, http://www.agilysys.com  
**
MICROS Systems will use Odyssey Software's Athena remote management software for its MICROS hardware line, including MICROS Workstation 4LX, MICROS Workstation 5 and the MICROS Keyboard Workstation 270.  The Odyssey software will help MICROS to detect and resolve device problems such as incorrect configuration settings.  http://www.odysseysoftware.com, http://www.micros.com  
**
May 06, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
May 6, 2010

I never wear a hat. Actually that is not true. One day a year I do wear a hat and who would guess that hat would make such a statement. No, it is not a fashion statement. This past Saturday was the Kentucky Derby and if anything the hat made me very noticeable among 156,000 people. I was walking through the crowd and heard my name being screamed and it was Jonathan Seigle from MICROS Systems who was at his first Derby with his wife. Then a little after 4 p.m. when NBC started its national coverage of the Kentucky Derby they were interviewing the winner of a CNBC contest where a viewer won a $100,000 to bet on the Derby. He didn’t win a $100,000, he just won the opportunity to bet the money on one horse out of 20 running in the Kentucky Derby. I actually talked to him for awhile and strongly suggested who he should bet. Thankfully for him he didn’t listen to me and ended up betting on Super Saver, the winner of this year’s Derby and is now $900,000 richer. Yes, he is now my new best friend. I was watching NBC when they interviewed him before the race and all of a sudden my phone started buzzing nonstop. I was getting call after call and text after text with everybody telling me, “Rich, you are on TV.” How much fun that was! But what they didn’t know was that my TV career had already started at 8:30 that morning. I must say, no one should ever put a microphone in front of me at 8:30 a.m. After a very active and late night, you never know what will come out of my mouth. Here is my very short-lived TV career. You have to watch it all the way through, what the two hosts said at the end still makes me laugh.  The Kentucky Derby is one thing everybody should try to experience in their lives, it is so much fun and really is the most exciting two minutes in sports. Let me know what you think of the clip, but go easy on me… it was way too early to be doing that. Yes, it is all about the hat and horses, click here http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/HUtube-Videos/.

Yesterday was the first day of PhocusWright’s first ever TRAVDEX. I would say there is cautious optimism for this inaugural event. Kate, Cindy and I had dinner last night with Bob Gilbert, the head of HSMAI and Doug Rice, the executive vice president and CEO of HTNG. During the dinner Doug casually mentioned that it was his birthday, which is not a smart idea when you are with me having dinner at a very crowded outdoor patio of a restaurant. Yes, I did what I could to embarrass Doug. Another person who celebrated a birthday yesterday was Todd Thompson, the CIO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts who also happens to be the president and director of HTNG. Coincidence? Anyway, a fun night was had by all. I am looking forward to TRAVDEX today.  It should be an interesting second day.

Honestly, who thought a guy on the cover of a technology magazine without a shirt on would create such a stir? Our spring issue of Hospitality Upgrade did just that. Thankfully from the tons of feedback nobody was offended, but many did question our thinking. Heck, I spend half my life questioning what I am thinking. It was probably two to one in favor of the cover and as a publisher you have to love that everybody noticed it. Thanks to all for the great feedback and especially the comments on the quality of the editorial.  It caused a big spike in new subscribers and made me wonder if we are the only printed magazine in the world that keeps growing our print edition? Maybe the smartest thing we ever did was keeping the magazine at only three times a year. People read it, use it and hold onto it. Of course, you can also get Hospitality Upgrade digitally to your PC, but people still love sitting down reading books and magazines. We are glad they enjoy and find value in reading ours. We are currently working on our biggest issue of the year, our HITEC issue that will be the only magazine inserted in every HITEC attendee’s registration bag. If you are a technology vendor and want the world to know who you are and what you offer, please contact Kate immediately at mailto:kate@hospitalityupgrade.com or call (678) 802-5304. We are very close to finishing the upcoming issue. Vendors are often surprised how many inexpensive options there are with Hospitality Upgrade. I will promise you the cover of this issue will be a lot more conservative, at least I think it will be.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last couple of weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. There will be no more TV for me for awhile.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
May 06, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 

 
 

TOP O’ THE NEWS

- Hospitality Technology’s Hotel Visionary Awards reflect current trends
--------------------------
Reflecting the current industry focus in customer service, social connections, audit challenges and environmental practices, Visionary Awards were presented to Courtyard by Marriott, JHM Hotels and CityCenter. 

Courtyard was chosen for the GoBoard interactive digital signage it has installed in its lobbies (with partners Microsoft and Four Winds Interactive), featuring live news feeds from USA TODAY, airport and area information, way-finding, maps via Microsoft Virtual Earth, the opportunity for guests to leave their own local restaurant and other reviews, and more.  The combination of well-chosen information feeds and the involvement of guests in helping each other with personal recommendations has made the lobby far more of a social center.

JHM Hotels, owner-operator of 40 hotels under brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood, was selected for its implementation of an intelligent document management system that has enabled complete paperless invoicing and document storage.  This has allowed it to eliminate storage costs and manage labor more efficiently, while providing full visibility into its financials for compliance and audits.  With storage requirements rising exponentially, along with the need to keep massive amounts of data readily available to support financial and security audits and possible legal searches, the need for this approach is becoming as apparent to smaller operators such as JHM just as much as to major chains.

CityCenter was honored not only for its LEED certification and the extensive technological innovation throughout the complex, but for emphasizing the key role that partnerships played in the success of the project.  These partnerships covered multiple hotel brands (most notably owners MGM MIRAGE and luxury hotel brand Mandarin Oriental) as well as technology vendors such as Control 4.  Personally, given the number of architects, designers, construction companies, vendors and operators involved, as well as the unprecedented scale of the project and the impact of the unexpected financial crisis, I think the whole project management team deserves a standing ovation for bringing it to market at all.
**



May 06, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Marcus Hotels and Resorts orders EasyRMS for two properties
- Best Western France picks Interface Technologies’ ReservIT to optimize online distribution
- ChannelRUSH has added ReserveDirect to available distribution channels
- RateTiger launches partner program
- Marco Polo’s three hotel properties in Canton Road Hong Kong adopt IDeaS’ V5i
--------------------------
Marcus Hotels and Resorts has ordered Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Systems (EasyRMS) for two of its properties, the 307-room Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and the 355-room Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (formerly the original Playboy club just west of Chicago).  Both properties are implementing the EzRMS Core Module, Ez-REGION and Ez-QUOTE, as well as extraction and upload interfaces to SMS Host V17 and upload interfaces for Newmarket Delphi. The Pfister Hotel also has the Pegasus NetRez upload.  http://www.marcuscorp.com, http://www.EasyRMS.com  
**
Best Western France has chosen Interface Technologies’ (IT’s) ReservIT system to optimize its members’ online distribution.  The ReservIT Power Strip will let hotels manage their own Websites, distributors and the Best Western International Central Reservation System through a single platform.  http://www.bestwestern.com, http://www.interface-tech.com  
**
ChannelRUSH has added ReserveDirect to its available channels for distribution management.   http://www.reservedirect.com, http://www.channelrush.com  
**
eRevMax’s RateTiger has launched a partner program that allows online travel Websites to become a more integral part of a hotel’s channel management decision process.  Participating travel Websites and OTAs will be able to utilize RateTiger’s Support Services for contract management, marketing activities and educational programs.  http://www.ratetiger.com 
**
Marco Polo’s three hotel properties in Canton Road Hong Kong have adopted IDeaS’ V5i revenue management system for their combined 1,500-room operation.  http://www.marcopolohotels.com, http://www.ideas.com  
**
May 06, 2010

ENGINEERING



- Telkonet unveils upgraded version of SS5200 SmartEnergy thermostat
--------------------------
Telkonet has unveiled an upgraded version of its SS5200 Telkonet SmartEnergy (TSE) energy management thermostat.  Enhancements include:
• Increased options involving deep setback modes
• Freeze and overheat protection trip point that overrides set point/mode
• Increased building management system (BMS) integration
• Field-selectable wireless transmitting power levels
• Modular radio board for easy upgrades
In addition to an expanded wireless communication range, the SS5200 also includes the option for a wired Ethernet port.   http://www.telkonet.com  
**

May 20, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS


by: Richard Siegel
Siegel Sez
May 20, 2010

Recently I met someone who before they actually met me was told that I was a guy with a creative mind and was not afraid to take chances. I liked that. How many who lead their technology initiatives for their hotel companies can be described this way?  One who I know quite well was recognized this week. Congratulations to Nick Price the CIO/CTO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for being elected into the HFTP International Technology Hall of Fame. In Jon’s review he shares the official announcement with you, but let me tell you that doesn’t really do Nick justice. His support of the industry across the board is amazing. He is one of the very few who has attended all eight of Hospitality Upgrade’s CIO Summits and quite often has traveled the furthest to attend. My personal favorite Nick Price story was when I bumped into him the day before HITEC 2006 in Minneapolis and all he did was complain about the location of the event. On the last day of the show when the HITEC advisory board was meeting to review the event, who do you think was the most vocal saying Minneapolis should be the permanent home of HITEC? Yes, I gave him grief, but don’t the great leaders admit when they are wrong?  Nick has never been afraid to reinvent the safe path that so many take when it comes to technology in hotels. As an industry we continuously move forward because of people like Nick Price. Again, congratulations to a very worthy inductee into the Technology Hall of Fame.

Thirty days to HITEC. There are great events that touch technology throughout the year, but then there is one that everybody attends and that is HITEC. HFTP has put together a great program this year from the opening session speaker Frank Abagnale of “Catch Me If You Can” fame, to Thursday’s closing session featuring Dennis Snow who spent over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company redefining customer service. We are sure to learn a lot. I encourage you to visit http://www.hitec.org and look at the program as there are great sessions this year. I will be doing two, the first with Sally Kelly of KPMG that looks at the outsourcing trend and will include Mike Blake, the CIO at Hyatt Hotels, and Rob Webb, the CIO at Hilton Hotels. I am also co-moderating with technology consultant Derek Wood one of this year’s Super Sessions titled, The Green Hotel - Good For Business. Both should be lively sessions, I can’t wait. It is great how HITEC has morphed from technology-only folks to many mainstream operators now attending. Let’s face it, technology touches everybody today and HITEC is the one place that every technology provider will be. Do your homework before the event, map out your days there and visit those who have solutions that might be of interest. Even if you aren’t buying today, it is amazing what we all learn from visiting those that have different solutions to make our lives easier. With the economy continuing to improve and the hotel industry getting healthier, it works out great that HITEC is in Orlando this year. The top two HITEC attendance records were both set in Orlando, maybe there is real magic there. Even though Nick Price and I would like HITEC to go back to Minneapolis, I can live with the great crowd expected this year in Florida. Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online will be in booth No. 823. Mark that down on your map as you plan who you are going to visit. We hope to see you there.

Before I turn this over to the very opinionated Jon Inge who in his opening remarks is attempting to change the mainstay of hotel technology (which I actually agree with except for his naming ability), I wanted to thank everybody. We had thousands of readers visit our http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com Website and click on HUTube to see my very offbeat interview on NBC television featuring my latest fashion statement at this year’s Kentucky Derby.  It is still up there if you missed it, but for the many who asked…the hat is no more. But it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for all the comments, they were much appreciated. Here now is the aforementioned Jon Inge with the technology happenings of the last two weeks.  I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
May 20, 2010

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Nick Price inducted into HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
- Simon J. Hulme honored as HFTP’s 2010 CHTP of the Year
- Christine Petersen promoted to president of TripAdvisor for Business
- Laurie Knapp joins PSAV Presentation Services as vice president of global sales
--------------------------
Nick Price is the 2010 inductee into the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals' (HFTP) International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame.  Currently global CIO/CTO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Mr. Price is being recognized for his innovative approach to hotel technology and his influence in bringing hospitality technology vendors together. 
Joining the hospitality industry in 2000, with an outsider’s perspective on how technology was being leveraged in other industries and the direct experience of spending 250+ days annually in hotels, Mr. Price has used technology to establish Mandarin Oriental as a leading five-star brand for tech-savvy hotel guests.  Always willing to explore new technology, both hotel-oriented and in the wider consumer and commercial worlds, he was one of the first to include Web services and converged IP networks in a new hotel, to deploy high-definition content in guestrooms and to link guest devices such as laptops, video cameras and iPods with the in-room AV system through an auxiliary panel. 
More widely, Mr. Price has greatly influenced hospitality technology in general as a key founding member (and later president) of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), using diplomacy, determination and encouragement to bring vendors, hoteliers, consultants and other hospitality members together to foster the selection and adoption of open standards and improve how hotel systems could best be integrated for the benefit of all guests.
 **
Simon J. Hulme has been honored as the 2010 CHTP (Certified Hospitality Technology Professional ) of the Year, as the individual who scored the highest on Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ (HFTP’) CHTP certification exam.  Based in Las Vegas, Nev., Mr. Hulme is the director of IT business services for Diamond Resorts International, a major vacation ownership company.  In March 2008 he moved to the United States from his native England, where he held director level IT and operational roles for tour operator Thomas Cook and had previously worked throughout Europe for American Express and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
**
Christine Petersen has been promoted to president of TripAdvisor for Business.  She joined TripAdvisor in 2004 as chief marketing officer.
**
Laurie Knapp has joined PSAV Presentation Services as vice president of global sales.  Ms. Knapp brings more than 20 years experience in national and worldwide hotel sales, most recently as senior vice president for Associated Luxury Hotels in Chicago.  She has also held national sales posts with Wyndham Worldwide, Hilton Hotels Corp. and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.
**
May 20, 2010

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- NORTHWIND releases self-service kiosk for Maestro
- Hotel H2O implements Amadeus’ PMS
--------------------------
NORTHWIND has released a self-service kiosk for its Maestro PMS, featuring a touch screen where guests can enter their name or swipe a credit card to identify reservations, capture a signature, and check themselves in.  The system also codes room keys and provides guests with a folio receipt.  The kiosk was developed in partnership with Penn Center Systems, itself a partner of NCR and IJWS (It Just Works Software Corp.) providing sales, support and implementation services.  The first property to implement the kiosk software is the Harvard Faculty Club.   http://www.penncentersystems.com, http://www.ijws.com, http://www.maestropms.com 
**
Hotel H2O, adjacent to the Manila Ocean Park in Luneta, Manila, in the Philippines, has implemented Amadeus’ PMS through Courtesy Point Technologies, Inc.  http://www.hotelh2o.com, http://www.amadeus.com 
**

May 20, 2010

RESERVATIONS



- Concur adds 210,000 hotels to inventory from hotel.info
- Concur Cliqbook Travel adds 260,000 properties from Hotel Reservation Service
- Travelport acquires Singapore-based Sprice metasearch engine
- Travelport partners with Worldmate to offer customers BlackBerry-based itinerary management
- Open Hospitality announces availability of online hotel booking engines for mobile devices
- Tourisme Montreal picks Interface Technologies’ ReservIT CRS
- Accor Hospitality, Carlson Hotels upgrade to Sabre’s DCX direct connect booking platform
- Kimpton selects Sabre’s SynXis CRS
- TRAVELCLICK launches StayHIP mobile booking application for boutique hotels
- Carlson Wagonlit Travel integrates tools to remind travelers when bookings don’t comply with company policies
- Kayak acquires Munich-based flight and hotel search site swoodoo
- Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas signs with Genares
- Whiteboard Labs launches Windsurfer CRS, The Ultimate Booking Experience (TUBE) booking engine
--------------------------

Corporate-booking vendor Concur is adding 210,000 hotels to its inventory from hotel.info, the international brand of hotel.de AG., giving corporate travelers access both to their companies’ travel programs rates and to rates from hotel.info’s independent hotels and small chains.

Concur Cliqbook Travel also added 260,000 properties from Cologne-based Hotel Reservation Service (HRS) which claims to be the largest online provider of non-GDS hotel inventory.
http://www.hotel.info, http://www.hrs.com, http://www.concur.com 
**
Travelport has acquired the Singapore-based Sprice metasearch engine, the first GDS to buy a consumer travel search site, adding 240,000 hotels to its inventory and implementing Sprice’s hotel reviewing system. 

Travelport has partnered with mobile travel services provider Worldmate to offer U.S. and Canadian travel management companies using the Galileo and Worldspan systems a platform for their customers to manage their itineraries via a handset, receive flight alerts and browse maps, share itineraries with colleagues and business contacts, and access LinkedIn and their own travel consultant.  The service will initially be available only on BlackBerry devices but is planned to be extended to the Apple iPhone and Nokia handsets.
http://www.sprice.com, http://www.travelport.com
**
Internet marketer Open Hospitality has announced the availability of online hotel booking engines for mobile devices.  http://www.openhospitality.com  
**
Tourisme Montreal has chosen Interface Technologies’ ReservIT to implement a central reservation system integrated with the city’s Website, implemented through IT’s Canadian distributor Softbooker Technologies.  Hotels will be able to manage their planning within ReservIT or directly from their compatible PMS; some availabilities and rates will also be updated via Pegasus, which is an IT partner.  http://www.softbooker.com, http://www.interface-tech.com
**
Accor Hospitality has upgraded to Sabre Global Distribution System’s Direct Connect XML (DCX) direct connect booking platform for its over 4,000 properties, and upgraded the RT chain code to enable Sabre agents to obtain the most current rates and availability directly from the Accor Central Reservation System (CRS).  Accor is the first European hotel chain to switch to DCX. 

Carlson Hotels recently became Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ beta customer for its Direct Connect XML (DCX) direct connect booking platform for its more than 1,050 hotels.  The DCX platform is based on the OpenTravel Alliance’s XML standards, and will allow Carlson to increase the content, product and promotions it offers its direct consumers and the 55,000+ travel agents using Sabre’s Global Distribution System (GDS).  

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has selected Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ SynXis CRS for distribution and marketing services for its 49 hotels across the United States.  Kimpton will also use Sabre’s Guest Connect booking engine to give each hotel control of the customization process.  SynXis will be integrated with Kimpton’s existing property management systems, revenue management systems and customer relationship management systems. 
http://www.accor.com, http://www.carlson.com, http://www.kimptonhotels.com, http://www.sabrehospitality.com 
**
TRAVELCLICK has launched StayHIP, a free mobile booking application for boutique hotels.  Developed in partnership with Mobiata and VFM Leonardo, and available for Google's Android and Apple's iPhone® and iPod touch®, StayHIP features hundreds of niche hotels in over 170 cities worldwide and includes a Hotels Near Me function.  Booking is completed within the application, with e-mail confirmations and the option for travelers to share the booking information on Facebook and Twitter.  http://www.mobiata.com/stayhip, http://www.travelclick.net
**
Carlson Wagonlit Travel has integrated its corporate travel tools CWT Policy Messenger and CWT Agency+Card, to send travelers reminders when their air, hotel and group transportation bookings don’t comply with their company’s preferred relationships and corporate travel policies.  http://www.carsonwagonlit.com  
**
Kayak has acquired Munich-based flight and hotel search site swoodoo.  The combined company will maintain both brands in Germany while integrating technology practices over the next few months.  http://www.kayak.com  
**
The 2,885-room Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has contracted with Genares Worldwide Reservations Services for GDS connectivity services, using the HBSi Demand Gateway.  http://www.treasureisland.com, http://www.genares.com
**
Houston-based Whiteboard Labs has launched its Windsurfer CRS, The Ultimate Booking Experience (TUBE) booking engine and a mobile booking engine for the iPhone, Android or Palm Pre.  The Windsurfer CRS includes the ability to customize content in reservation e-mails based on preset conditions.  http://www.whiteboardlabs.com  
**


May 20, 2010

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- TripAdvisor combines Business Listings and Vacation Rentals services into TripAdvisor for Business
--------------------------
TripAdvisor has launched TripAdvisor for Business, a new division incorporating its flat-fee subscription Business Listings and Vacation Rentals services.  Business Listings covers hoteliers, innkeepers and bed and breakfast owners; Vacation Rentals helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.  http://www.tripadvisor.com  
**

May 20, 2010

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Treasure Island in Las Vegas selects Rainmaker’s revolution
- IDeaS integrates its V5i system with JackRabbit's BookDirect Lodging and Availability Search Engine
- Prairie Band Casino deploys IDeaS V5i
--------------------------

The 2,885-room Treasure Island casino and hotel in Las Vegas has selected Rainmaker’s revolution Product Suite, including two-way integration with its Agilysys management systems.  http://www.treasureisland.com, http://www.letitrain.com
**
IDeaS Revenue Optimization has integrated JackRabbit's BookDirect Lodging and Availability Search Engine with its V5i revenue management system, to allow its hotel clients to upload their best available rates to the approximately 200 destination marketing organization (DMO) Websites using BookDirect.  BookDirect quotes Website visitors an average nightly rate for a given arrival date and length of stay through the IDeaS V5i system; before completion of the booking, guests will be directed to the hotel's Website to enter their personal information. 

The Prairie Band Casino in Mayetta, Kan., has deployed IDeaS’ V5i Revenue Management system, integrated with its Agilysys PMS. 
http://www.jackrabbitsystems.com, http://www.pbpgaming.com, http://www.ideas.com  
**


May 20, 2010

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Nexus issues release 7.2 of HotelworX sales force automation system
- BridgeStreet first corporate housing provider to join Lanyon’s corporate extended stay program
- Newmarket integrates Elite Meetings International’s new SpeedRFP into product lines
--------------------------
Nexus has issued release 7.2 of its HotelworX sales force automation system for hotel groups, incorporating the Sales Optimiser sales planning tool which it developed in partnership with United Kingdom-based hospitality consultancy group Delta Squared Performance Improvement Ltd.  Sales Optimiser allows annual revenue budgeting and forecasting to take place in an online environment instead of on spreadsheets.  Other enhancements include the introduction of export and import of contacts and the ability to send e-mails from the system.  http://www.nexusworldservices.com  
**
BridgeStreet Worldwide has become the first corporate housing provider to join Lanyon’s Engagement and Project Sourcing marketplace for corporate extended stay sourcing and procurement.  LEPS helps travel buyers source individual properties, and delivers opportunities for hotels and corporate housing providers to capture new business through a structured competitive bidding and negotiation process.  Features for the extended stay market include access to a portfolio of corporate buyers across multiple industries, a lead management dashboard to streamline content and RFP management, a marketing platform to communicate unique property attributes and special offers, and comprehensive performance reporting.  http://www.bridgestreet.com, http://www.lanyon.com
**
Newmarket International has integrated Elite Meetings International’s new SpeedRFP approach for creating, submitting and tracking requests for proposals (RFPs) online into its MeetingBroker, Delphi and Daylight product lines.  http://www.EliteMeetings.com, http://www.newmarketinc.com
**
April 22, 2010

GUEST SERVICES



- Shutters on the Beach implements runtriz
- Crown Plaza Copenhagen Towers equips gym with electricity-generating exercise bikes
- TeleAdapt to resell WorldConnect’s Swiss Travel Products and SKROSS travel adapters
- Quadriga picks Teleste’s Luminato digital TV headend technology
- Swisscom’s Hospitality Services Plus subsidiary acquiring Wayport’s EMEA operations
- Ipswitch releases version 14.2 of WhatsUp Gold IT management suite
- B. F. Saul Company installs hotel ServicePro mobile asset management/guest service system in 18 hotels
- InterContinental pilot-testing Apple iPads with concierge teams in four properties
- Omni Chicago implements GBCBlue’s ORION system for online guest service requests
--------------------------
The 198-room Shutters on the Beach hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., has implemented runtriz to provide property services via guests’ personal 3G mobile devices or smartphones.  Guests can set a wake-up call, order room service, request luggage pickup, purchase show tickets, make dinner reservations and more.  Guests without an appropriate phone will be offered a pre-loaded iPod touch at checkin.  http://www.shuttersonthebeach.com, http://www.runtriz.com  
**
The 366-room Crown Plaza Copenhagen Towers in Denmark has equipped its guest gym with electricity-generating exercise bikes, which have iPhones mounted on the handlebars to monitor how much power is being produced.  Electricity generated by the guests’ exercise is fed into the main supply of the hotel; any guest producing 10 watt hours or more will be rewarded with a free meal.  If successful after a year’s pilot test, the scheme may be rolled out to all 21 Crowne Plaza hotels in the United Kingdom.  http://www.cpcopenhagen.dk  
**
TeleAdapt has signed a distribution agreement with WorldConnect AG to resell its Swiss Travel Products and SKROSS travel adapters, USB chargers and power plugs.  http://www.swisstravelproducts.com, http://www.teleadapt.com  
**
Quadriga Worldwide has extended its partnership agreement with Teleste by selecting Teleste’s Luminato digital TV headend technology. Luminato provides a single technology for both coaxial and IP networks to deliver digital TV channels to multiple guestrooms, and is significantly reduced in size compared to its predecessor. It will also enable Quadriga to support encrypted HD TV channels via its Sensiq solution.  http://www.teleste.com, http://www.quadriga.com  
**
Swisscom’s Hospitality Services Plus SA subsidiary is acquiring Wayport Holdings A/S, an AT&T company currently providing high-speed Internet access and network systems to approximately 300 hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  Swisscom intends to merge Wayport’s EMEA operations with its own and assume all existing contractual obligations; AT&T will continue to own and operate the former Wayport assets in the United States.  http://www.swisscom.com/Hospitality/  
**
Ipswitch’s Network Management Division has released version 14.2 of its WhatsUp Gold IT management suite, which now includes built-in redundancy and Unix/Linux monitoring functionality as well as improved reporting, performance and usability updates to WhatsConfigured, WhatsConnected and FlowMonitor.  http://www.whatsupgold.com, http://www.lodgenet.com  
**
The B. F. Saul Company Hotel Division has installed hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro Web-based, mobile asset management and guest service system in its 18 hotels, enabling service improvements such as:
- Front desk staff keying in guest service requests so all service items are tracked in one place and backed up with flexible reporting.
- Property engineers sending and receiving work tickets as text messages.
- Managers sending questions or requests via their mobile devices to engineering, housekeeping or the front desk while walking the properties.
- Faster and simpler automated service follow-up to staff members or guests.
- Reduced customer complaints through automatically scheduled routine preventive maintenance.
http://www.bfsaulhotels.com, http://www.hotelsystemspro.com  
**
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is providing Apple iPads to its concierge teams in pilot tests at its New York Barclay, Buckhead Atlanta, London Park Lane and Hong Kong properties.  InterContinental is evaluating the potential improvement of concierge interaction with guests via enhanced maps and directions (through interactive maps with high-resolution satellite imagery, close-up street views and detailed walking routes, video recommendations (using concierge teams' destination-specific videos) and instant booking confirmations (restaurant, performance and attraction bookings illustrated with images and text, with bookings made and confirmed by e-mail).  http://www.intercontinental.com  
**
The Omni Chicago Hotel has implemented GBCBlue’s ORION system to allow guests to order a variety of services online, including room service, valet and housekeeping requests.  http://www.omnihotels.com, http://www.gbcblue.com  
**
April 22, 2010

BACK OFFICE



- American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute makes Hospitality iCoach training tips available via iTunes
- NORTHWIND adds Shift4 credit card payment services to Maestro PMS
- MICROS offers Trustwave services to help clients with PCI-DSS compliance
- Hilton Worldwide outsources technology infrastructure to IBM
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The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) has made its Hospitality iCoach online training tips and hints available via Apple’s iTunes service for hotel staff and managers to download onto their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad devices.  The training advice covers five different areas: front desk, housekeeping, food and beverage, maintenance and leadership.  Users can use the Hospitality iCoach menu to select a functional area for which to receive a training message, or can simply get a random tip from any of the areas by shaking the device.  http://www.ei-ahla.org  
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NORTHWIND has added Shift4 credit card payment services to its Maestro PMS application, including a fully tokenized interface for payment card processing.  Tokenization exceeds the Payment Card Industry’s Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) compliance requirements and enables operators to choose any payment processor they like to obtain the lowest fees.  http://www.shift4.com, http://www.maestropms.com  
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MICROS Systems has partnered with Trustwave to offer Trustwave’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) service and TrustKeeper 3.0 to its clients, helping them achieve and maintain compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).  The managed Unified Threat Management (UTM) service enhances the security offered by MICROS’ existing tokenization functionality; the TrustKeeper 3.0 Web portal helps streamline compliance validation.  http://www.trustwave.com, http://www.micros.com  
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Hilton Worldwide has outsourced its technology infrastructure to IBM, which will host and manage the technology platforms that support Hilton’s 10 brands.  The contract includes data center management and monitoring, global e-mail services, Web hosting and the central guest reservation system.  IBM will host the technology infrastructure at its Smarter Data Center in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C.; the overall technology transition process is expected to occur in phases over the next several months.  http://www.hiltonworldwide.com, http://www.ibm.com  
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April 22, 2010

ENGINEERING



- Hilton’s LightStay system calculates and analyzes properties’ environmental impact
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Hilton Worldwide has unveiled its LightStay system, developed to calculate and analyze environmental impact.  The first full year of findings shows that the 1,300 properties using the system reduced energy use by 5 percent, carbon output by 6 percent, waste output by 10 percent and water use by 2.4 percent, results that were independently audited and adjusted for differences in occupancy levels and major weather events year over year. The system measures indicators across 200 operational practices including housekeeping, paper product use, food waste, chemical storage, air quality and transportation, and includes a meeting impact calculator that measures the environmental impact of any meeting or conference held at a Hilton Worldwide property. This latter feature enables meeting planners and corporate travel managers to consider the environmental impact of hotel stays and meetings when making purchasing decisions, and provides corporate customers with meeting impact data to include in their own sustainability reporting.  All 3,500 Hilton Worldwide properties will use LightStay by the end of 2011.  http://www.hiltonworldwide.com  
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April 22, 2010

COMMUNICATIONS



- Swisscom Hospitality Services and ENTIRETEC partner to provide complete multisite networking services
- Kratsa Properties implements ITG Networks wired/wireless networks at Residence Inn by Marriott on Pittsburgh's North Shore
- Candlewood Suites in LaCrosse, Wis., implements Defero3’s hosted voice solution
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Swisscom Hospitality Services and ENTIRETEC have partnered to provide complete multisite networking services to the international hotel industry, offering a single source for all networking and data security needs.  ENTIRETEC designs and manages highly available and fully secured local and wide area networks for all types of data, including speech and video in real time, and already serves major hotel chains with a wide range of services and products in IP communication as well as a remotely managed IT backbone.  Swisscom specializes in building and provisioning hotel local area networks (LANs); it is experienced in integrating multiple applications and in monitoring them remotely through its advanced network management tools.  http://www.swisscom.com/Hospitality/  
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Kratsa Properties contracted with ITG Networks to install and support a wired and wireless network infrastructure for the new 180-room Residence Inn by Marriott hotel on Pittsburgh's North Shore, which opened on April 5th.  The property offers wireless, high-speed Internet access throughout, with wired access in all guestrooms.  The hotel lobby offers a large social laptop table with 12 built-in Ethernet and power outlets.  A VOIP capable, Mitel SX200 ICP phone switch provides communication to both guestroom and administrative operations; each guestroom has a Telematrix 9600 Series cordless telephone and matching 3300 Series five-button speakerphones.  http://www.marriott.com, http://www.itgnetworks.com  
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The Candlewood Suites in LaCrosse, Wis., managed by Kinseth Hospitality Companies, is implementing Defero3’s hosted voice solution.  http://www.kinseth.com, http://www.defero3.com  
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April 22, 2010

SECURITY



- Microsoft invites OpenWays to join its BizSpark start-up assistance program
- Bogota Marriott Hotel installs VingCard Signature electronic door locks and Elsafe SENTINEL II in-room safes
- Hotel Okura Amster