April 17, 2012

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

MARCH 28 – April 17, 2012

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Moving to a more efficient use of technology
  • Our readers chime Inn with more system suggestions

Spring conference season is in full flow. I attended both HTNG’s North American Conference two weeks ago and Rich’s Vendor Summit last week, and learned much from the principal speakers at each. One theme touched on at both was that we still have trouble getting the value of IT across to hotel owners and management, and that greater cooperation across all disciplines is needed if we’re ever to get out from under the restrictions of our current fractured state.
At HTNG, Marriott Global CIO Bruce Hoffmeister encouraged all managers to think of themselves as company leaders, temporarily assigned to specific areas but nonetheless responsible as a team for the company’s success. This helps all think of their projects first in terms of the overall business case instead of specific department gain (or technology coolness factor). Being honest and transparent with each other, and knowing that everyone has the same overall goal, really helps each understand and accept why certain priorities are chosen even when all options are beneficial.
Over at the Vendor Summit, John Burns’ thoughtful presentation on current influences on the hospitality market mentioned the growing presence of venture capital in hotel ownership; Blackwood’s acquisition of La Quinta, Hilton and Extended Stay America is just one example. This impact isn’t yet clear, but such firms aren’t typically long-term investors; they look to improve the efficiency of the businesses they acquire with a view to a profitable sale – and one area where we’re notoriously inefficient is in technology. We’re all aware of our continued use of obsolete systems such as 40-year-old GDSs, not to mention the well-known mix of multiple, un-integrated systems in most properties. Bryson Koehler, following a ten-year career at Intercontinental Hotels Group dealing with these very issues on a daily basis, spoke of his goal of using the funds of Exigen Capital (where he now oversees travel investments) to bring about change in this situation.
No-one knows where and how this will come about, but change is definitely in the air. We stand a better chance of reaching a smoother, more efficient future if we all recognize it as a common goal and cooperate openly to move towards it.
**
Inn-Systems (continued): more suggestions for our mythical range of hospitality-focused systems, including some from our readers.
– Inn-Ability and Inn-Competence, two options for staff training
– Inn-Sanity, the interface development module (Doug Rice, from HTNG: are you trying to tell us something, Doug?)
– Inn-Opportune, a business generation tool for marketing (Pete Allen, from hyphen)
– Inn-Famous and Inn-Memoriam, two loyalty program/guest recognition modules (Pete Allen)
– Inn-Security, web based streaming video feeds of all hotel exits not used by thieves (Ron Strecker, AJS Hotels)
– Inn-Cognito, providing such seamless integration you won’t even know it’s there (Ariel Herr, Pegasus)
– Inn-Deep, which has more functionality than you know what to do with.

Keep ‘em coming, folks.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Frank Watervoort joins Roomlinx as Chief Information Officer
  • Alex Alt  named Chief Operating Officer at Sabre Hospitality Solutions
  • Tina Stehle leaving Agilysys
  • Craig Cartwright hired by Pegasus as VP, CRS Product Management
  • Alicia Moran is new Chief of Client Services at The Knowland Group
  • Brian Cunningham joins TAC as Regional Vice President of North American Sales
  • Tom Conley wins Top 50 Entrepreneur award

Frank Watervoort has joined Roomlinx as Chief Information Officer.  Most recently Mr. Watervoort co-owned and served as President, Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director of venture capital provider eonBusiness Corp. working in e-commerce and web-based start-ups. He also held a variety of senior leadership positions in global corporations including EchoStar Europe and CSG International.
**
Alex Alt has been named Chief Operating Officer at Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Mr. Alt comes to Sabre from Rosewood Hotels & Resorts where he was Senior Vice President, Global Development and Strategy. He had previously worked at Sabre as a manager and senior analyst in the financial planning and analysis group from 1996 to 2000, and also served as a Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company.
**
Tina Stehle is leaving Agilysys effective April 30. Ms. Stehle joined Agilysys in 2004 when Agilysys acquired Inter-American Data, where she was vice president of software services. At Agilysys, she served as senior vice president and general manager of the hospitality division before becoming chief operating officer for the company. Her responsibilities will be assumed by Jim Dennedy, president and CEO of Agilysys.
**
Craig Cartwright has been hired by Pegasus Solutions  as Vice President, Central Reservation Systems (CRS) Product Management. Mr. Cartwright joins Pegasus from Hudson Crossing, where he served as a senior consultant; he had earlier held positions with Hewlett-Packard and Cendant Travel Distribution Services.
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Alicia Moran is the new Chief of Client Services at The Knowland Group. Ms. Moran brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry, including 10 years managing the Client Services team for Passkey International. She was previously Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Event Travel Management.
**
Brian Cunningham has joined Austria-based spa system developers TAC as Regional Vice President of North American Sales. Mr. Cunningham brings many years of spa industry experience, starting with 4 years in sales roles at Springer Miller. He then co-founded and managed business development at Rio Systems International, subsequently serving in business development with Pegasus Systems before founding Nirvana Technology and the consulting firm SpaClique.
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Tom Conley has won a Top 50 Entrepreneur award. Mr. Conley co-founded Bulk TV & Internet with Dave O’Connell in 2004; Mr. O’Connell was also a Top 50 Entrepreneur winner in 2010.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • NORTHWIND announces nine new Maestro installations in 1Q12
  • VingCard, BMW, Micros team up to let drivers book rooms from their cars, open guestroom doors with car keys
  • Bay Hotel Singapore implementing UbiQ Global Solutions’ mobile phone check-in system
  • DOCOMO interTouch reselling OpenWays Mobile Key technology as “FREEDOM Check In”
  • Oyster Bay Beach Resort picks SPI Software’s Orange Software
  • Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa selects Cenium

NORTHWIND has announced that two new multi-property hotel companies and five new luxury destinations installed its Maestro Suite in the first quarter of this year:
– Crescent Hotel Company which operates Basin Park Hotel and Crescent Hotel & Spa (Front Office, ResWave, Spa and Sales & Catering);
– The New York Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club (multi-property Front Office, marina slip reservations);
– St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino in British Columbia;
– Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in Texas;
– Hotel de Point, New York (opening 2Q 2012) (Front Office, ResWave, Yield Management and Sales & Catering)
– DeerFields Stables private club and equestrian estate;
– The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
(www.maestropms.com)
**
VingCard Elsafe has demonstrated technology with BMW and Micros that enables drivers to book rooms at Micros-equipped hotels from their cars, and then by-pass the hotel front desk by using their NFC-equipped car keys to access their guestrooms. The car’s BMW ConnectedDrive and GPS determine the car’s location and use Google Local Search to find nearby hotels, using Google’s “suggest” feature to simplify the search process and Google Panoramio and Street View to see destination images – hopefully not while driving… It connects to the hotel’s Micros reservation system and lets guests book and pay for the room from the car. The room assignment is then fed back to the car’s navigation system to set a course to drive to the hotel; the NFC-equipped car key receives an access code for the guest room, which is fitted with NFC-enabled VingCard Elsafe locks. (www.vingcardelsafe.com)
**
The Bay Hotel Singapore is implementing UbiQ Global Solutions’ mobile phone check-in system. On arrival they just need to sign, on an iPad to receive the room key. If the hotel is using NFC-equipped door locks, guests can instead use the NFC phones for room access. The hotel claims to be first in Asia to have this type of check-in for guests. (www.bayhotelsingapore.com, www.qikinn.com)
**
DOCOMO interTouch is reselling OpenWays Mobile Key guestroom access technology under the “FREEDOM Check In” name, providing hosting services and support to its hospitality customers with a focus in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America regions. (www.docomointertouch.com, www.OpenWays.com)
**
The 138-unit Oyster Bay Beach Resort has picked SPI Software’s Orange Software Property Management System. The time-share resort in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles is managed by Iron Shore NV and Ansley Associates, Inc. (www.oysterbaybeachresort.com, www.spiinc.com)
**
The 105-room Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, Bellingham, WA has selected Cenium’s Enterprise Resource suite; the property is owned by the Lummi Nation and is managed by Merit Management Group. The Cenium application will replace the existing systems used for Financials, CRS, CRM, PMS, POS Restaurant/Retail, Sales and Catering, Inventory, Procurement, Workforce Management including Time and Attendance, Staff Scheduling and Spa. This will be Cenium’s first interface to a casino player tracking system at a North American property. (www.silverreefcasino.com, www.cenium.com )
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RESERVATIONS

  • Hotel Okura Co., JAL Hotels implement global reservation system for all 79 hotels
  • Room77 now showing discount rates alongside retail and merchant rates
  • Millennium & Copthorne renews agreement with Sabre Hospitality for distribution services
  • Trust International implements direct connection with Room Key
  • Seattle’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau picks Regatta Travel Solutions’ booking engine
  • Travelport and China’s TravelSky Technology partner to provide access to each other’s inventory
  • Egencia acquiring VIA Travel

Hotel Okura Co. and JAL Hotels have implemented a global reservation system serving all 79 hotels in their chains: Okura Hotels & Resorts, Nikko Hotels International and Hotel JAL City. The network includes an online booking engine and reservation centers in 19 countries: U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., France, Germany, U.A.E., South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In addition to English, assistance in local languages is available at most reservation centers. The U.S./Canadian center will also provide Spanish assistance. (www.jalhotels.com, www.okura.com)
**
Room77 has expanded its rate offerings to include retail rates, merchant rates, AAA and senior rates side-by-side in the primary search results. (www.room77.com)
**
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has renewed its agreement with Sabre Hospitality Solutions for distribution services worldwide, including the Guest Connect booking engine, Voice Agent and the SynXis CRS. The group also named Sabre s its preferred provider for Global Distribution System media products. (www.millenniumhotels.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Trust International has implemented a direct connection with Room Key, enabling its hotel group clients to list their 6,300+ hotels with this new meta-search engine. (www.trustinternational.com, www.roomkey.com)
**
Seattle’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has picked Regatta Travel Solutions’ booking engine for its VisitSeattle.org Web site, and will leverage Regatta’s marketing partnerships and experience.  This is Regatta’s first USA installation. (www.visitseattle.org, www.regattatravelsolutions.com)
**
Travelport and China’s TravelSky Technology have extended their 15-year relationship to now provide TravelSky’s 7,000 ticketing agents with access to Travelport’s GDS and non-GDS hotel content, with real-time pricing and availability for 250,000+ hotel properties. Travelport-connected agents will in turn gain access to TravelSky’s hotel content in China, via Travelport’s Rooms and More meta-search booking engine. (www.travelsky.net, www.travelport.com)
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Expedia’s Egencia division is acquiring VIA Travel, the largest travel management company in the Nordic countries. (www.viatravelgroup.com, www.egencia.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • REBEL Travel releases Social Profile Manager
  • Milestone releases 3rd generation eBuzz Connect social media/reviews monitoring tool
  • Wyndham announces WynReview and MyRequest online tools
  • VIZERGY wins three WMA Internet Advertising Competition awards
  • HeBS Digital receives two Internet Advertising Competition awards
  • GSM Travel Management selects Lanyon’s Hospitality Spend Management system
  • Travelliance picks Lanyon’s Total Hospitality Spend Management

REBEL Travel Corp has released Social Profile Manager, an extension of its PropertyVIEW Content Verification Services that allows properties to track and manage their social media profiles on hundreds of sites. REBEL also creates over 20 new profiles per month on new and emerging networks to help properties manage the security of their brand or user name. (www.rebel-travel.com )
**
Milestone Internet Marketing has released its 3rd generation eBuzz Connect social media and reviews monitoring software for hotels, restaurants, and vacation rentals. Enhancements include:
– Sentiment Analysis, a fine-grained report in categories such as service, value, location, etc., looking for specific  keywords to determine sentiments hidden within an overall rating.
– Compset Index in a graphical format.
– Reviews Analysis in categories such as cleanliness, hotel condition, service, comfort, location, and value.
– Top Keywords Analysis.
– Top Channel Analysis.
– New Channels covering European, South and North American, and Latin American markets.
(www.milestoneinternet.com)
**
Wyndham Hotel Group has announced its WynReview and MyRequest online management tools, as well as new mobile websites for its hotel brands. WynReview will help franchisees manage consumer reviews on TripAdvisor and the major Online Travel Agency sites; MyRequest is a self-serve tool to help properties manage rates, inventory and content more effectively to the right distribution channels. Free mobile apps will be released in the next few months for the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Days Inn and Super 8 brands on both Android and Apple operating systems, with the remaining brands and tablet apps becoming available later in the year. (www.wyndhamworldwide.com)
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VIZERGY has won three awards in the Web Marketing Association’s (WMA) Internet Advertising Competition in the “Website” division of the “Hotel and Lodging” category:
– Marco Beach Ocean Resort: Best Hotel and Lodging Website
– Sugar Bay Resort and Spa: Outstanding Website
– Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown: Outstanding Website
(www.vizergy.com)
**
HeBS Digital has received two Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) awards for:
– Best Hotel and Lodging Email Campaign: New York Palace’s New Year’s Email Campaign
– Best Hotel Lodging Interactive Application: Shell Vacations Hospitality’s Black Friday Travel Sale
(www.HeBSdigital.com)
**
GSM Travel Management has selected Lanyon’s Hospitality Spend Management system, and has deployed Lanyon’s Transient Sourcing, Online Hotel Portal and Rate Integrity services. GSM UK (Reed and Mackay), GSM USA (FROSCH) and GSM Australia (Voyager Travel) will also roll out Lanyon services to their client base.
Travelliance has selected Lanyon to provide Total Hospitality Spend Management; it will deploy Lanyon’s Engagement & Project Sourcing to support its global clients and Lanyon’s Transient Sourcing and Meeting Sourcing Modules to support its customer base. The agreement will allow Lanyon’s supplier subscribing properties to manage Project, Meeting and Business Travel RFPs issued by Travelliance using their existing Lanyon lead management and response solutions.
(www.gsmtravel.com, www.travellianceinc.com, www.lanyon.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Pegasus launches RezView Intelligence add-on for RezView NG
  • Thompson Hotels implementing IDeaS at six US properties
  • Rocco Forte Hotels implements IDeaS across all 13 hotels
  • IDeaS doubles number of scholarships in Revenue Management Scholarship Program at Cornell University
  • Accor extends partnership with Amadeus to optimize use of revenue management at all properties
  • Hyatt significantly expanding use of Maxim RMS at US, Canada and Caribbean properties
  • EasyRMS passes the 1,000-property mark
  • Wyndham announces MyRequest and WynReview online tools
  • Revel selects Rainmaker’s revolution for new resort in Atlantic City

Pegasus Solutions has launched RezView Intelligence, a business intelligence add-on to its RezView NG CRS to help hoteliers identify booking trends and analyze business performance. Users can customize content, deployment and report management. (www.pegs.com)
**
Thompson Hotels is implementing IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ Revenue Management System at six US Thompson Hotel properties as part of a company-wide initiative to automate revenue management processes across all Thompson properties by the end of 2013. In February Thompson merged with Joie de Vivre Hospitality to become Commune Hotels & Resorts, managing 47 properties under the two brands.
Rocco Forte Hotels has implemented IDeaS’ Revenue Management System across its entire portfolio of 13 hotels in major European cities. The group recently opened its first property in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, and plans to open four more properties in the region in the next three years.
IDeaS Revenue Solutions is doubling the number of scholarships it offers within the Revenue Management Scholarship Program in conjunction with The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.  The program now includes 12 scholarships annually for basic and advanced revenue management courses.
(www.thompsonhotels.com, www.roccofortehotels.com, www.ideas.com)
**
Accor announced an extension of its ten-year revenue management partnership with Amadeus, with the companies working jointly to optimize the use of Amadeus Revenue Management system across the Accor’s properties. Initial steps will include the roll-out of a training campaign for revenue managers to increase their knowledge and adoption of the system. (www.accorhotels.com, www.amadeus.com/hotelit)
**
Hyatt Corporation announced that it is significantly expanding its use of Maxim’s Revenue Management at U.S., Canada and Caribbean properties in three major initiatives:
– Customization of its revenue management capabilities, emphasizing competitive price/demand market response and dynamic pricing for profit optimization.
– Immediate full deployment of the MaximRMS hospitality business intelligence system.
– Long-term global licensing of MaximRMS’ advanced predictive analytic mathematical forecasting and optimization.
Hyatt implemented the MaximRMS e.FLEX system at its full-service properties since 2007, deployed a version of it at select-service properties in 2009/2010, added Group Sales functions at full-service hotels last year and is currently deploying MaximRMS’ hospitality business intelligence throughout all properties.
Hyatt is also adopting and customizing new features and capabilities in the MaximRMS technology, including advanced mathematical forecasting and optimization methods, new predictive analytic tools, group revenue management functions, dynamically incorporating price elasticity from changing customer behaviors into its price sensitive optimization and optimizing hotel rates based on the market’s dynamic response to competitive demand and rate actions. (www.hyatt.com, www.maximrms.com)
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Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions Ltd (EasyRMS) announced that it now has over 1,000 properties using its EzRMS Product Suite. (www.EasyRMS.com)
**
Wyndham Hotel Group has announced its MyRequest and WynReview online management tools, as well as new mobile websites for its hotel brands. MyRequest is a self-serve tool to help properties manage rates, inventory and content more effectively to the right distribution channels; WynReview will help franchisees manage consumer reviews on TripAdvisor and the major Online Travel Agency sites. Free mobile apps will be released in the next few months for the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Days Inn and Super 8 brands on both Android and Apple operating systems, with the remaining brands and tablet apps becoming available later in the year. (www.wyndhamworldwide.com)
**
Revel Entertainment Group has selected The Rainmaker Group’s revolution system for its 1,800-room resort, Revel, which is due to open next month on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.  (www.revelresorts.com, www.letitrain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Lanyon awarded U.S. Patent for its approach to rate auditing

Lanyon has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,145,539 for the approach to rate auditing used in its Total Hospitality suite. (www.lanyon.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • XPIENT integrates Merchant Link Payment Gateway, TransactionVault  and TransactionShield into its POS system
  • SoftCafe releases MenuPro 10 menu design and management program
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XPIENT Solutions has integrated Merchant Link’s Payment Gateway, TransactionVault tokenization and TransactionShield point-to-point encryption into its restaurant POS system. Certification is complete and the first beta site is expected to be live within a few weeks.  (www.xpient.com, www.merchantlink.com)
**
SoftCafe has released MenuPro 10, an automated menu design and management program. MenuPro 10 features over 175 menu styles, a drag and drop interface for creating and organizing menu items, and  PDF and JPG creators to help restaurateurs post menus on their websites or Facebook. (www.softcafe.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Philips wins HTNG’s 2011 ‘Most Innovative Hospitality Award’ for Media Suite Hotel TV
  • DirecTV, Fingi win HTNG Runner-Up Awards
  • Bittel Americas enhances UNO Media series all-in-one unit
  • FCS expands, relocates India operations to DLF Towers in New Delhi’s Jasola district
  • Guest-tek releases myAway mobile application for guests to control in-room TVs, more
  • Runtriz integrating Postcard on the Run mobile app
  • Delta Hotels and Resorts upgrades bandwidth at 17 Canadian properties to InternetXL
  • Revel Atlantic City implementing SuiteLinq’s Q|Vision and Q|Touch in all rooms
  • Aruba Marriott Resort installs Flyte Systems FlytePass boarding pass printer
  • Quadriga announces QConnect multi-tier, multi-area guest connectivity WiFi management
  • Royal Philips Electronics completes creation of TP Vision joint venture with TPV Technology
  • Grand Hyatt DFW implements INNCOM guest service controllers
  • Saddlebrook Resort Tampa installing iBAHN ETVi television services, iMEDIA Internet access

Philips won HTNG’s 2011 ‘Most Innovative Hospitality Award’ for its Media Suite Hotel TV. Voting is restricted to HTNG’s hotelier members. First Runner-Up title went to DirecTV for its Residential Experience for Hotels; Second Runner-up was awarded to Fingi, Inc. for its Fingi device. (www.philipshoteltv.co.uk, www.directv.com, www.fingi.com, www.htng.org/innovation-award)
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Bittel Americas has enhanced its UNO Media series, which combines a guestroom phone, audio player, iPhone/iPod dock (plus integrated cables for iPads and other MP3 players) and alarm clock radio in one device. The unit is available in cordless and corded models with single- and two-line configurations plus speakerphone, up to 10 programmable guest-service keys and a message waiting indicator. (www.bittelcom.com)
**
FCS Computer Systems has expanded and relocated its operations in India to a new office in DLF Towers, in New Delhi’s Jasola commercial business district. (www.fcscs.com)
**
Guest-tek has released its myAway mobile application for guests staying at Guest-tek equipped hotels. The app lets guests control their in-room TVs, personal calendar integration and flight information, and includes world radio connectivity to allow guests to listen to their favourite radio stations on their room TVs or iPad. Other features include local and destination weather forecasts, a restaurant locator, the ability to browse and purchase hotel movie content and more.  Guests download the free app and enter a connect code shown on their TV screen. (www.guest-tek.com)
**
Runtriz is integrating the Postcard on the Run mobile app postcard service into its branded hotel apps, starting with the Viceroy Anguilla resort in the Caribbean. Guests can use the app to take a photo on their mobile devices, add a personalized message and tap a button to have it mailed as a real, printed postcard anywhere in the world. Guests at the Viceroy Anguilla will be able to include special “Scratch’n Smell” beach and resort scents on their postcards. (www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com, www.runtriz.com)
**
Delta Hotels and Resorts has upgraded the bandwidth at 17 of its properties across Canada to InternetXL, which it claims to be the fastest Internet service available in any full service hotel chain in Canada at 20 times faster than household high-speed Internet. InternetXL is being offered free for a limited time; Delta will also provide its base high-speed Internet access for free in all guestrooms that do not have InternetXL. (www.deltahotels.com)
**
The new Revel resort in Atlantic City has opened with SuiteLinq’s Q|Vision and Q|Touch entertainment and interactive services in 500 guestrooms, and will extend them to all 1,898 guestrooms by its grand opening in May. Q|Vision’s IPTV/VOD service delivers interactive guest services and property information via the TV, along with free-to-guest channels and on-demand programming.  Q|Touch provides on-property information, guest messaging, concierge services, food-and-beverage promotions, room service ordering, housekeeping requests, guest surveys, folio review, express check-out, loyalty program integration, language preferences, flight tracking, local weather, local traffic and more on in-room tablets with telephone docking stations.  (www.revelresorts.com, www.suitelinq.com)
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The Aruba Marriott Resort has installed Flyte Systems FlytePass system to let guests check-in to their flight and print boarding passes.  (www.arubamarriott.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Quadriga has announced its QConnect guest connectivity and supporting WiFi network capabilities to help hotels configure their own guest connectivity packages, setting pre-defined bandwidth and price options for guests (including a free tier), as well as different connectivity packages for different hotel areas and types of guest. Hotels can also customize the guest landing page by location; guests have multiple payment options and can access the WiFi service via multiple mobile devices. QConnect is based on industry standard network hardware and can include other network services, such as the provisioning of optimal bandwidth into the property and on-property bandwidth optimization services for more efficient usage. (www.quadriga.com)
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Royal Philips Electronics has completed the creation of TP Vision, a television joint venture with TPV Technology Limited which is 70% owned by TPV and 30% by Philips. TP Vision will develop, manufacture and market Philips-branded TV sets worldwide, with the exception of mainland China, India, United States, Canada, Mexico and certain countries in South America. (www.philips.com/hoteltv)
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The 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW implemented INNCOM guest services as part of its recent $13 million renovation, including a custom TBL-70 bedside controller for guests to control lighting, temperature, drapes, sheers, privacy, make-up room and other service requests. INNCOM also installed its MODEVA series backlit glass switches.  (www.GrandHyattDFW.com, www.inncom.com)
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The 540-room Saddlebrook Resort Tampa has contracted with iBAHN to install its ETVi IP television services and iMEDIA Internet access in all guest rooms, condominiums and the 95,000 square foot conference center. (www.saddlebrook.com, www.ibahn.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Merchant Link developing two e-commerce approaches for secure card-not-present payments
  • Stark Service Solutions appoints Technology 4 Hotels reseller of Housekeeping PM Touch System in Australia, Asia Pacific
  • Radisson Edwardian Hotels implementing Optii Keeper housekeeping management in 14 hotels
  • Optii Solutions appoints Omni Facilities Management (Singapore) as Singaporean partner and regional reseller
  • Revel resort, Atlantic City installs InvoTech’s GIMS UHF-RFID Linen and Uniform control systems

Merchant Link announced development of an e-commerce approach for merchants to process payments securely in card-not-present environments, with two options:
– Hosted, routing sensitive cardholder data directly from the checkout page to the Merchant Link gateway while preserving the look and feel of the merchant website for a seamless user experience.
– Encrypted, encrypting sensitive cardholder data at the moment of capture and so preventing it being available to the e-commerce application or merchant.
Both improve data security while reducing PCI scope and costs by blocking merchant access to cardholder data, the encryption and decryption environments, and to key management operations. The new solution is expected to be available by the end of the year. (www.merchantlink.com)
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Stark Service Solutions has appointed Technology 4 Hotels as a reseller of its mobile-based Housekeeping PM Touch System throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific markets. (www.Technology4Hotels.com.au, www.starkservicesolutions.com )
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Radisson Edwardian Hotels is implementing Optii Solutions’ Optii Keeper iPod-based housekeeping management system in all 14 company-owned hotels, starting with its flagship property, The May Fair. Optii Keeper will be integrated with the properties’ OPERA Property Management Systems for real-time updates of guest and room status and to ensure that rooms are serviced in the most efficient order.
Optii Solutions has appointed Omni Facilities Management (Singapore) Pte Ltd. as its new Singaporean partner and regional reselling agent for Optii Keeper. Omni Facilities Management is Singapore’s first specialist outsourced housekeeping management company.
(www.radissonedwardian.com, www.omnifmplc.co.uk, www.optiisolutions.com)
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The new Revel resort in Atlantic City has installed InvoTech Systems’ GIMS UHF-RFID Linen System to manage its linens and pool towels, establish a perpetual inventory and track each item’s movement to and from the laundry. Revel has also implemented InvoTech’s GIMS UHF-RFID Uniform System.  (www.revelresorts.com , www.invotech.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • The Quin Hotel, New York installing Evolve Guest Controls’ integrated lighting and automation control system
  • VingCard Elsafe’s Orion energy management system wins Star Award from Germany’s Top Hotel magazine

The Quin Hotel (formerly the Buckingham Hotel) in New York City is installing Evolve Guest Controls’ fully integrated lighting control and automation control system during its major renovation. The install will include the new Evolve AI Interactive Touch Screen Controller, glass LCD Director Series and an Evolve motorized shading system. Guests will be able to control their thermostat, lighting and shades wirelessly from the bedside unit, as well as indicate privacy please/service room on Evolve’s exterior doorbell unit.  The Evolve touch-screen AI also includes an internet-synced clock with multi day alarms, 5 day weather forecast, streaming news/sports headlines, USB charging ports, iPhone/iPad/iPod music playback/charging and an internal messaging system.  The guest room lighting, thermostat, and shades are put into an energy efficient state when the Evolve PIR sensor determines that the room is unoccupied. (www.eguestcontrols.com)
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VingCard Elsafe’s Orion energy management system has won a Star Award from Germany’s Top Hotel magazine. Orion was honored in the Technology category, voted on by more than 2,500 Top Hotel readers as part of the magazine’s annual competition. (www.vingcardelsafe.com.)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Ericsson completes acquisition of BelAir Networks

Ericsson has completed its acquisition of BelAir Networks. The former BelAir Networks’ staff will be integrated into the Ericsson group in business unit networks over the coming months. (www.belairnetworks.com, www.ericsson.com)
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SECURITY

  • VingCard, BMW, Micros team up to let drivers book rooms from their cars, open guestroom doors with car keys
  • Hilton names Safemark Systems a preferred supplier of electronic safes for all its international hotels
  • The Hotel in Brussels implementing OpenWays Mobile Key phone-based security system

VingCard Elsafe has demonstrated technology with BMW and Micros that enables drivers to book rooms at Micros-equipped hotels from their cars, and then by-pass the hotel front desk by using their NFC-equipped car keys to access their guestrooms. The car’s BMW ConnectedDrive and GPS determine the car’s location and use Google Local Search to find nearby hotels, using Google’s “suggest” feature to simplify the search process and Google Panoramio and Street View to see destination images – hopefully not while driving… It connects to the hotel’s Micros reservation system and lets guests book and pay for the room from the car. The room assignment is then fed back to the car’s navigation system to set a course to drive to the hotel; the NFC-equipped car key receives an access code for the guest room, which is fitted with NFC-enabled VingCard Elsafe locks. (www.vingcardelsafe.com)
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Hilton Worldwide has named Safemark Systems as one of three preferred suppliers of electronic safes for all of its international hotels. Safemark has been a preferred vendor for Hilton’s domestic hotels since 2006. Hilton Worldwide has 3,800 hotels and timeshare properties. (www.hiltonworldwide.com, www.safemark.com)
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The Hotel in Brussels is implementing OpenWays Mobile Key phone-based security system. The 424-room hotel was formerly the Hilton Brussels. (www.thehotel-brussels.be, www.OpenWays.com)
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