April 1, 2014

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Communications / Infrastructure

MARCH 12 – APRIL 1, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Vendor Summit better than ever
  • HTNG charters two new workgroups

Last week’s Vendor Summit in New Orleans was even better than usual. Apart from the all-important social events – congratulations on arranging for the Pelicans/Clippers basketball match to be a really close, exciting game, Rich – and the wide range of interesting and relevant educational sessions, the networking remains outstanding.
What’s most encouraging is that the mix of attendees is expanding and bringing on some new, younger executives. The range last week ran from old-timers like me to the 20-something CEOs of start-ups, such as Lisa Israelovitch of Umapped and Arthur Waller of PriceMatch. The conversations were predictably richer for the wider variety of viewpoints, and led to more than a few “hmmm, let me think about that” moments.
One of the best sessions for me was the free-form Q&A led by Larry Hall of PAR Springer-Miller, exploring what it will take to get more innovation into the hospitality technology arena. There was some lively discussion about whether true innovation can arise within a well-established vendor’s development team, and if so whether it can be nurtured into productive life. The consensus seemed to lie in favor of start-ups and the energy coming from small, young teams, with significant assistance from the relative ease with which new modules can be connected into existing architectures. Equally important, though, were strong partnerships with complementary vendors, to ensure that the links between systems were meaningful to both. Good stuff.
A final word on the social scene: at the opening dinner I was presented with an award for my efforts during the afternoon’s best-ball scramble Golf tournament. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was for the golfer making the lowest contribution to his team’s overall score. The award itself? A slim book entitled “Why You Suck at Golf.” Talk about truth in advertising.
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HTNG has chartered two new workgroups:
– the Above Property Systems Workgroup will create a framework to provide guidance and minimize risk when moving applications above property, looking at above-property interoperability at both the business and technical levels.  The framework will include a list of best practices and considerations when going above property, a glossary of standard terms and a common framework for discussing issues such as data ownership, security, termination rights and support.
– the Event Notification Workgroup will focus on helping different systems connected to an Enterprise Service Bus to communicate with each other, so that an event detected in one system can automatically be communicated to another.  This workgroup will modify the existing HTNG spec to align with the more widely-adopted W3C WS-Eventing standard.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Valyn Perini joins Kalibri Labs as Senior Vice President
  • David Bonnette appointed to CEO at Lanyon
  • Jim Rowe is new Director of Sales in North America at PAR Springer-Miller
  • Kristie Goshow joins Viceroy Hotel Group as Senior Vice President of Commercial
  • Ken Dufault named Senior Director, Hospitality Product Marketing at SONIFI
  • Jeff Imm named president and COO at ThisCLICKS

Valyn Perini has joined Kalibri Labs as Senior Vice President. Most recently Executive Director and CEO of OpenTravel for nine years, Ms. Perini had earlier served as Director of Product Strategy at Newmarket International and as a Principal Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She began her career with Swissotel, serving four years as a hotel manager in Atlanta and four years as Director, Database Resources.
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David Bonnette has been appointed to CEO at Lanyon. Mr. Bonnette was formerly the CEO of BigMachines, which was recently acquired by Oracle from Vista Equity Partners. Vista also owns Lanyon and ACTIVE Network Business Solutions. Before joining BigMachines, he held several executive roles at Oracle, where he led North American organizations in ERP, CRM and consulting.
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Jim Rowe is the new Director of Sales in North America at PAR Springer-Miller Systems. Mr. Rowe joins the ATRIO team from Newmarket International where he was a Regional Director of Sales; he was previously Director of Business Development for SoftBrands.
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Kristie Goshow has joined Viceroy Hotel Group as Senior Vice President of Commercial. Previously, Ms. Goshow served as Vice President of Marketing at Sabre Hospitality Solutions, and was earlier Chief Opportunity Officer at Smart Thynking FZE, a Dubai-based  food and beverage distribution service for hoteliers and restaurateurs. She spent an additional six years in Dubai leading the distribution, e- commerce and business innovation functions for Jumeirah Group, and began her career in marketing and corporate sales for Virgin Atlantic, Scandinavian Airlines, Le Meridien Hotels and Pegasus Solutions.
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Ken Dufault has been named Senior Director, Hospitality Product Marketing at SONIFI Solutions. Mr. Dufault was previously Director of Global Property Technology Solutions at Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
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Jeff Imm has been named president and COO at ThisCLICKS, a mobile technology company specializing in cloud-based labor management software. Mr. Imm was most recently Vice President of Operations, Sales and Marketing at Agilysys-owned TimeManagement Corp., and earlier served as COO for POS provider Premis Corp. and in several positions at Lawson Software.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Infor to offer CloudSuite Hospitality suite hosted on Amazon Web Services
  • StreamSong Resort implements Springer-Miller’s Host
  • Leicester Arms, Kent, England installs protel’s cloud-based Air GMS and Xn POS EPoS from Xn Hotel Systems
  • Comanche Nation of Oklahoma picks Agilysys’ Visual One for Comanche Red River Hotel
  • InnDependent Boutique Collection offers MSI’s CloudPM to 4,000+ non-branded hotel members
  • Protel receives Best Exhibitor Award/ Travel Support & Media at ITB 2014
  • Cenium’s ERP now interfaces with Casino Management Systems guest redemption of comp/player club awards

Infor has announced its CloudSuite program, comprising various groups of industry-specific application suites hosted on Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud that will be rolled out throughout 2014. The offerings begin this spring and include Infor CloudSuite Hospitality. The Infor CloudSuite platform also includes:
– Analytics: CloudSuite Analytic Packs provide industry components, data models, and industry dashboards to transform information into actionable insights
– Technology: Infor ION® middleware, Infor Ming.le social collaboration, Infor Analytics, and Infor Mongoose development platform
– Core Enterprise Management: Infor LN, Infor M3, Infor Lawson, Infor SyteLine, and Infor SunSystems
High Value Extension Applications – Infor EAM, Infor Expense Management, Infor HR Service Delivery (Enwisen), Infor PeopleAnswers Talent Science, Infor Learning Management, Infor Workforce Management, Infor Epiphany Interaction Advisor, Infor Orbis Marketing Resource Management, Infor Product Configuration Management, Infor Supplier Exchange, and more.
(www.infor.com)
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StreamSong Resort has implemented PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ Host Hospitality Management System for its resort in Streamsong, Florida. The 216-room lodge includes a 9-room spa, 25,000 square feet of meeting space, four restaurants. bars and retail outlets. (www.streamsongresort.com, www.springermiller.com)
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The 13-room Leicester Arms, Kent, England has installed protel’s cloud-based Air GMS and Xn POS EPoS system from Xn Hotel Systems. (www.theleicesterarmshotel.com, www.xnhotels.com)
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The Comanche Nation of Oklahoma has selected Agilysys’ Visual One guest management system for its Comanche Red River Hotel, an 87-room property due to open in April. (www.comanchenation.com, www.agilysys.com)
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The InnDependent Boutique Collection (IBC Hotels), a division of InnSuites Hospitality Trust, is now offering Multi-Systems, Inc.’s (MSI’s) CloudPM guest management system at reduced pricing to its 4,000+ non-branded hotel members. (www.innsuitestrust.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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Protel was awarded the Best Exhibitor Award in the Travel Support & Media category at ITB 2014. Employees demonstrated the individual stations of the Guest Journey live at work stations and on mobile devices, partially even on the visitors’ own smart phones, to show how guests experience direct bookings on the hotel’s website, a Quick Check-in by means of a QR code and iPad, and answer a survey after departure, as well as open the guestroom door and order room service. (www.protel.net)
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Cenium’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) suite is now fully interfaced with key Casino Management Systems, allowing casino guests to redeem comp and player club awards anywhere on the property. (www.cenium.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • IHG enters into strategic relationship with Amadeus for development of consumer-facing technology
  • Millennium & Copthorne Hotels migrates global portfolio to Sceptre’s WindsurferCRS
  • Sceptre announces Internet Booking Engine with Save For Later shopping cart booking and Call-to-Continue button
  • Sceptre enhances WindsurferCRS, expands direct connect network and adds new GMS and RMS interfaces
  • Sunlake moves four hotels to Pegasus Connect+
  • Vimana Franchise Systems signs with Sabre for Centerstone Hotel and Key West Inn brands
  • Z Resorts switches to TravelClick’s iHotelier for Hotel ZaZa properties

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has entered into a strategic relationship with Amadeus for the development of consumer-facing technology covering all stages of the Guest Journey (Dream, Plan, Book, Travel and Share) to enhance the guest experience. The first phase will focus on planning and development. (www.ihg.com , www.amadeus.com)
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Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has migrated its global portfolio of 100+ hotels to Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ WindsurferCRS, including its interfaces with Opera, IDeaS and Windsurfer’s Channel Manager.
Sceptre announced a new Internet Booking Engine, which includes responsive design, a shopping cart style booking process, persuasive messaging and a new Call-to-Continue feature. The Save for Later feature allows guests to save their booking research results in a shopping cart by entering an e-mail address, allowing them to choose from various saved alternatives and complete the booking at a later time. A Call to Continue button on the mobile site allows guests who have items in their cart but prefer not to enter their information online to send the reservation information to the hotel’s call center with a unique Cart ID. This allows the reservation agent to pick up where the guest left off and complete the booking.
Sceptre announced enhancements to its WindsurferCRS, an expansion of its direct connect network and several new Guest Management System (GMS) and Revenue Management System (RMS) integrations.
– Windsurfer’s inventory screen UI has been updated, oversell functionality has been improved and Market Segment and Sub Channel fields added.
– rate derivation now includes additional variables to control the deltas, e.g. by season, and a second hierarchy level to allow a derived rate to be the master of another rate.
– GMS and RMS interfaces now include a certified integration with IDeaS Revenue Solutions.
– direct connections to distribution sources now include TripConnect, Hotelscan, Jetsetter, LondonTown, WeGo, and Agoda.
(www.millenniumhotels.com, sceptrehospitality.com)
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The Sunlake Group of Hotels in Jakarta has moved its four hotels to Pegasus Connect+, the Hotel Merlynn Park, Sunlake Hotel Jakarta, Metro Hotel Semarang and Hotel Manhattan Jakarta. (www.sunlakehotel.com, www.pegs.com)
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Vimana Franchise Systems has signed with Sabre Hospitality Solutions for CRS and Media solutions for its Centerstone Hotel and Key West Inn brands. The brands will begin their conversion to Sabre’s SynXis CRS system in July. (www.VimanaFS.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Z Resorts has switched to TravelClick’s iHotelier CRS for its Hotel ZaZa properties in Dallas and Houston.  Expansion plans include a downtown Austin location slated to open in 2016 and a second location in Houston (Memorial City), also in 2016. (www.hotelzaza.com, www.TravelClick.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TexasHillCountry.com signs with OpenBook for a comprehensive online marketing strategy
  • Tambourine developing Google Glass app to capture hotel video for social media channels
  • Pegasus announces development of next generation PegasusView Market Performance Analytics
  • HRI Lodging to install Aptech’s Targetvue, Execuvue and Profitvue systems for 17 hotels
  • Thoma Bravo acquires TravelClick
  • Tui UK and Ireland releases Holiday Open Day interactive virtual technology to “try” holidays before buying
  • ProfitSword reports record growth in 2013, adds nine new clients
  • Summit International recognizes Pegasus’ Open Hospitality division with two leader awards

TexasHillCountry.com, a destination marketing organization in the Central Texas area has signed with Yellowstone Hotel Systems’ OpenBook to provide a comprehensive online marketing strategy, including a fresh website and brand identity, as well as online booking technology. (TexasHillCountry.com, www.openbook.net)
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Hotel marketing specialist Tambourine is developing an app for Google Glass to improve the way hotels connect with guests on social media channels, by allowing Glass-wearing employees to capture images, video and anecdotal experiences with no interruption of their regular duties. This content can then uploaded to a centralized repository for approval/review by social media team and distributed across Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. The app is due for release in the third quarter. (www.tambourine.com)
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Pegasus Solutions announces development of next generation PegasusView Market Performance Analytics to provide more in-depth views of market data and actionable measures, for release in the third quarter of 2014. (www.pegs.com)
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HRI Lodging will install Aptech Computer Systems’ Targetvue, Execuvue and Profitvue systems for its 17 hotels, hosted at Aptech’s data center in Pittsburgh, PA. Implementation is expected in 2Q14.  Aptech will also provide a mobile-ready dashboard for remote performance monitoring of all properties. (www.hrilodging.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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Thoma Bravo has acquired TravelClick from Genstar Capital for $930 million. (www.TravelClick.com, www.thomabravo.com)
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Tui UK and Ireland has released Holiday Open Day, an interactive tool to let UK consumers use virtual technology to “try” a Thomson or First Choice holiday before buying. The tool, available for desktop, smartphone and tablet devices, provides rich content filmed from a first person perspective with Go-Pro technology to create a virtual day in the life of the holiday. Users can choose options such as taking part in activities or relaxing by the pool through to picking their evening entertainment, and can then experience their choice through footage filmed at the resort. After a number of customer decisions the tool will match them to a suggested holiday, which can be shared via social channels with family and friends.
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ProfitSword reported another year of record growth in 2013, adding eight new Management Company clients/partners and one Ownership Group client/partner. The Management companies include Alliance Hospitality, Destination Hotels & Resorts, Hospitality Ventures Management Group, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, M&R Hotel Management, NewcrestImage Hotels, North Central Group, and Prism Hotels & Resorts. The Ownership Group is Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. Together, these companies represent 366 hotels. (www.profitsword.com)
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Summit International has recognized Pegasus’ Open Hospitality division with two leader awards for outstanding work in emerging media communications for two websites, for The Mountain Sky Hotel in Alaska and www.pegs.com for Pegasus Solutions. (www.openhospitality.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • IDeaS launches Revenue Performance Insights (RPI)
  • PowerYourRoom integrates PriceYourRoom with Cubilis by Stardekk’s  online channel management
  • San Diego’s Comfort Inn at the Harbor implements iRates Revenue Management
  • Hyatt endorses eRevMax’s RateTiger as preferred channel management in EAME and South West Asia.
  • Rakuten Travel completes integration with eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect 
  • Singgasana Hotels and Resorts signs with eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite
  • Mystic Lake Casino Hotel implements The Rainmaker Group’s TribalREV
  • Woodside Hotels implements Duetto’s Edge at three properties
  • SiteMinder donates channel distribution software to White Linen Boutique Hotel,  Phnom Penh

IDeaS Revenue Solutions has launched its Revenue Performance Insights (RPI) application, which leverages SAS Visual Analytics to deliver dynamic reporting and business intelligence through a web and tablet-friendly visual interface. IDeaS RPI integrates key hospitality system data such as room type, distribution channel and seasonality and outputs visual reporting for immediate action. RPI is initially offered in two versions:
– IDeaS RPI Enterprise, which allows hoteliers to generate reports within and across hotels. Properties can be defined and grouped at a corporate level using attributes such as region, brand, property type, ownership, location, management company and more.
– IDeaS RPI Independent is intended for single properties, extracting and visualizing key transactional data such as room type, food revenue, channel and more.
(www.ideas.com)
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PowerYourRoom has integrated its PriceYourRoom pricing recommendation software with Cubilis by Stardekk’s  online channel management. Subscribers to both PriceYourRoom and Cubilis can click on a button on PriceYourRoom and the daily recommended rates are sent to Cubilis for automatic distribution to on line channels. (www.poweryourroom.com, www.cubilis.com)
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San Diego’s Comfort Inn at the Harbor has implemented iRates Revenue Management system. (www.comfortinnattheharbor.com, www.i-rates.com)
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Hyatt International has endorsed eRevMax’s RateTiger as a preferred channel management vendor in Europe, Africa, Middle East and South West Asia.
Rakuten Travel has completed integration with RateTiger and Connect to offer two-way XML connectivity to its hotel customers, becoming the first Japanese OTA to join eRevMax’s list of certified distributors. Founded in 2002, Rakuten Travel is one of Japan’s largest online hotel reservation website with over 3.7 million room nights booked per month.
Indonesia’s Singgasana Hotels and Resorts has signed with eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite for channel management.
(www.hyatt.com, www.singgasanahotels.com, travel.rakuten.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, Minn., is implementing The Rainmaker Group’s TribalREV revenue management software in the first quarter of 2014. Mystic Lake offers 586 guest rooms, a casino, several restaurants and bars, a pool, whirlpool and sauna, and a 2,100 seat entertainment venue. (www.mysticlake.com, www.LetItRain.com)
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Woodside Hotels has implemented Duetto’s Edge revenue strategy and profit optimization software at three of its six properties: The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa, and Stanford Park Hotel. (www.woodsidehotels.com, www.duettoresearch.com)
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SiteMinder has donated its channel distribution software to the White Linen Boutique Hotel in Phnom Penh, a not-for-profit hotel that raises funds for victims of sex trafficking.
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Vivonet develops certified integration with PAR Springer?Miller’s guest management systems
  • Comanche Nation of Oklahoma selects Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system for four casino properties
  • Caesars Entertainment implementing Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system across multiple properties
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Vivonet Acquisitions has developed a certified integration with PAR Springer?Miller’s guest management systems, allowing it to provide house ?guest available credit enquiries, POS room charges, check?in inquiries and payment processing updates. (www.vivonet.com)
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The Comanche Nation of Oklahoma has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system for its four casino properties, Comanche Nation Casino, Comanche Red River Hotel Casino, Comanche Spur Casino and Comanche Star Casino.
Caesars Entertainment is implementing Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system across multiple properties to enable maximum cross-property guest service delivery, including opportunities for enterprise-wide mobile enhancements. (www.comanchenation.com, www.caesars.com, www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Pullman Saigon Centre Hotel deploys Quadriga-based “Connectivity by Pullman” guest service network
  • at-visions integrates Google’s Chromecast with its ONEvision Hotel TV service
  • Germany’s Top Hotel industry magazine recognizes Quadriga with two awards
  • Intelity adds pre-arrival services to ICE Sapphire
  • Guest-tek acquires iBAHN
  • Magnani Caruso Dutton study reports that improving digital experience is key to increasing traveler loyalty

The recently opened 306-room Pullman Saigon Centre Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City has deployed the Quadriga-based ”Connectivity by Pullman” guest service network, the second of Accor’s Pullman properties to do so. Based on Quadriga’s Personal Media Network technology, the seven-language guest communication and entertainment service delivers a selection of TV channels, Web radio channels from around the world, free WiFi Internet service throughout the hotel, hotel-defined entertainment and hotel service and information options, and the ability for guests to control the TV from their own mobile device and stream their personal content to the TV. The UI also lets guests view shopping options and local activities and order in-room dining. (www.pullmanhotels.com, www.quadriga.com )
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at-visions has integrated Google’s Chromecast with its ONEvision Hotel TV service. Based on the DIAL (Discovery and Launch) protocol it receives information on what to play from the guest’s device, launches the necessary app (such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC iplayer, etc.) and starts playing. This avoids having the guest’s device stream the content and drain its battery, and leaves it useable to browse or check e-mails. (www.at-visions.com)
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The readers of Germany’s Top Hotel industry magazine have recognized Quadriga with two awards. Quadriga’s Personal Media Network (PMN) won the Gold Star Award in the IT category, and its Hibox Housekeeper App won the Silver Star Award in the Software/Online category. (www.quadriga.com)
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Intelity has added pre-arrival services to its ICE Sapphire guest-request management software, including early check-in, pore-ordering additional room amenities and requesting transportation. Guests can also receive messages pushed by the property, such as suggestions to book a spa appointment.
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Guest-tek has acquired technology provider iBAHN.  (www.ibahn.com, www.guest-tek.com)
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A report by Magnani Caruso Dutton (MCD) indicates that improving the digital customer experience is key to increasing traveler loyalty in hotels. 70 percent of travelers indicated that a hotel’s website, app and other digital tools impact their decision to book a stay, with those who feel most strongly about this also being twice as likely to consider customer service/experience as their top priority when booking. Post-arrival, 74 percent of travelers want substantial digital involvement from the hotels to make their visits better; 80 percent rated it important that a hotel allows them to set personal preferences that can be updated and saved for future use, and would exchange personal information for a more customized and streamlined experience.  The study included responses from 1,000 U.S. consumers evenly segmented as business travelers, leisure travelers and family travelers. ()
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BACK OFFICE

  • Palace Resorts, Cancun, installs InvoTech’s automated linen and laundry systems
  • CrunchTime! announces TeamworX team management mobile software

Palace Resorts, Cancun, has installed InvoTech’s automated linen and laundry systems. The InvoTech Linen System was installed at all seven resort properties and InvoTech’s Laundry System at its laundry distribution center. UHF-RFID Linen Reading Stations at each Palace Resort track laundry carts of soiled linens going to the Palace Resorts laundry distribution center in real time. Palace Resorts has approximately 500,000 linens tagged with Fujitsu UHF-RFID laundry tags. (www.palaceresorts.com, www.invotech.com)
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CrunchTime! Information Systems has announced its CrunchTime! TeamworX team management mobile software to support authorized employee shift swapping, more efficient scheduling and better team communications. Managers can view the schedule on from their smartphone, tablet or desktop, approve staff requests and communicate messages to relevant team members about shift openings or important updates.
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Radisson Blu Jeddah and Radisson Blu Yanbu implement data networks from Swisscom Hospitality Services
  • Taj Resorts Hotels and Palaces implements Connect Call Global’s cloud-based managed services network at three sites

The 292-room Radisson Blu Jeddah and Radisson Blu Yanbu have implemented scalable data networks from Swisscom Hospitality Services, marking Swisscom’s entry into the Saudi Arabian market. (www.radissonblu.com/Jeddah, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-yanbu, www.swisscom.com/hospitality)
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Taj Resorts Hotels and Palaces has implemented Connect Call Global’s cloud-based managed services network to improve WiFi access across three domestic locations. Taj selected CCG’s Unicom Service Gateway along with Motorola’s WLAN access network and new fiber distribution network. The chain’s Taj Campton Place, San Francisco, and The Pierre, New York City, properties went live with the managed services solution in February and March, respectively. (www.tajhotels.com, www.connectcallglobal.com)
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