April 19, 2011

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning



Guest Services

Back Office

Communications / Infrastructure


MARCH 30 – APRIL 19, 2011


  • The merits of flipping your own coin

An interesting and amusing column from Seth Godin (http://bit.ly/gjwV0l) on the merits of making decisions by tossing a coin highlighted why I don’t recommend specific hospitality management systems to my clients. Why not? After all, I visit the property, talk to many key people, gain a good sense of where they’re trying to move the operation and then come up with a list of possible vendors and systems for them to consider. I facilitate the whole RFP process, system demonstrations and internal discussions, providing context when helpful. But while I usually have an opinion when competing systems seem to be pretty equal, I don’t give it.
Mr. Godin’s very valid point is that when you’ve done your research and have decide between options that are too close to call, you should just flip a coin and move on with the winner. At this stage it would be a waste of time and money to try to gather more data; you’re not going to get any more real information, just more noise, and you’ll just go steadily down the road to analysis-paralysis hell no matter how good your intentions. It’s better by far to pick an option and start realizing the benefits of the change than to drift on in a state of uncertain inefficiency. You’ll make it work either way if you just get off the dime (sorry) and take action.
But it’s important that the coin-flipping be done by the team which has done the research. Even really close choices aren’t truly equal, and what’s really interesting is that it doesn’t matter which one the coin toss selects; what’s important is how you feel about that option at the instant the coin lands. In my experience, at that moment you immediately become aware of which way you really want to go.
That’s why it’s important for the system selection team to be the ones who flip the coin if they can’t decide any other way. While I may think I’ve understood the operation and its challenges pretty well, there are a thousand minor factors I’ll never have time to pick up on but which the hotel team knows subliminally. They’re the ones who have to use the new system, and they’ll have a better sense (even if it’s an unconscious one) of how well it will fit into their operational culture. Feeling good about the system you select is half the battle to making it successful.
Heads or tails? Your call.

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  • Cynthia Carpenter appointed vice president marketing, Americas at iBAHN
  • Diane Scott moves to IBM’s AIS Travel and Transportation Practice as a Senior Managing Consultant
  • Tim Unwin hired by RateGain as EVP Hospitality Solutions
  • Craig MacDonald joins IDeaS Revenue Solutions as Sales & Account Manager, South Africa
  • Marc Fries moves to hetras as a business analyst
  • Meg Fasy joins PSAV as VP Industry Relations
  • Sue Heilbronner promoted to CEO at Swiftrank
  • Bryan Harwood joins Swiftrank as SVP Strategy and Innovation
  • Steve Timmer named 2011 Sales and Marketing Star of the Year by Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association

Cynthia Carpenter has been appointed vice president marketing, Americas at iBAHN. Ms. Carpenter joins iBAHN following a two-year stint as chief marketing officer at Single Pipe Communications, which was purchased by Integrated Broadband Services (IBBS) in Atlanta, Georgia. She had earlier served nearly four years at Level 3 Communications as vice president, business operations and marketing.
Diane Scott has moved back into the hospitality industry as a Senior Managing Consultant in IBM’s Application Innovation Services (AIS) Travel and Transportation Practice. After several years with Micros-Fidelio in the late 90s, Ms Scott joined IBM in 1998 as a member of their Travel and Transportation Practice and moved to the Public Sector Practice in 2001.
Tim Unwin has been hired by RateGain as Executive Vice President, Hospitality Solutions, reporting to David Chestler, president – hospitality services. Prior to joining RateGain Mr. Unwin served 14 years with Pegasus Solutions, rising to senior vice president, product management. He had earlier been responsible for establishing the European-based support and account management function for Anasazi, which was acquired by Pegasus in 2001.
Craig MacDonald has joined IDeaS Revenue Solutions as Sales & Account Manager, South Africa. Mr. MacDonald brings many years of hospitality industry experience from his time as Major Account Manager for Micros South Africa. Most recently he was the Hospitality Business Unit Manager at Kathea, a South African distributor of IT products and services; he began his career at the City Lodge Hotels Group and later managed the Phinda Resource Reserve and Ngala Private Game Reserve.
Marc Fries has moved to hetras as a business analyst. Mr. Fries was formerly Manager of Hotel Systems for tour operator TUI, and had also served with Sunstar in Switzerland.
Meg Fasy is the new Vice President, Industry Relations at PSAV Presentation Services. Ms. Fasy was most recently Vice President of Sales and Marketplace Performance at Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and previously served as Vice President of Venue Development for event data management vendor nTAG Interactive. She has also held executive positions with Event Strategy Group and iBAHN, and has worked with Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Hyatt Corp.
Sue Heilbronner has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at Swiftrank; she was most recently Chief Marketing Officer and the President of Swiftrank North America. Prior to joining Swiftrank last year, Ms. Heilbronner assisted with two online startups (in online education and crowd-sourced book publishing), and was previously Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TIG Global.

Bryan Harwood joined Swiftrank in January as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, following eight years with Travelport where he was Chief Technology Architect. Mr. Harwood had earlier served as Enterprise Architect for Sun Microsystems and as an IT Architect for IBM.
Steve Timmer, Director of Marketing at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, has been named the 2011 Sales and Marketing Star of the Year by Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. Mr. Timmer has worked at Grand Traverse for three years.

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  • PAR Springer-Miller moves to new offices in UK
  • Hyatt completes installation of 35th MSI WinPM system
  • MSI releases updated WBE

PAR Springer-Miller has moved to new UK offices in Twickenham, near London, with double the previous square footage. (www.springermiller.com)
Hyatt has completed the installation of its 35th MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) WinPM hospitality management system at the 97-suite Hyatt Summerfield Suites in Carlsbad, CA.

MSI has released an updated Web Booking Engine (WBE), available for both its WinPM and NovaPLUS hospitality management systems.
(www.hyatt.com, www.msisolutions.com)

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  • Mobissimo launches Facebook dashboard to let users monitor airfare changes for multiple destinations.
  • Dubai World Trade Centre Apartments picks Xn’s globalRES for distribution channel management
  • Availpro adds Orbitz Worldwide to network of distributors
  • RateTiger to use Cultuzz Digital Media’s CultBay to post hotel availability on eBay

Mobissimo has launched a Facebook travel dashboard that allows users to search and monitor airfares pulled from multiple travel suppliers to various destinations. Alerts appear directly in the user’s Facebook news feed when a fare increases or decreases in price. The dashboard also shows an index of fares found by other users with the same outbound airport. (www.mobissimo.com)
Dubai World Trade Centre Apartments has selected Xn Hotel Systems’ globalRES as its preferred distribution channel management service, with 2-way integration between protel’s PMS, the GDSs and the major third party web sites.
(www.dtcha.dwtc.com, www.xnhotels.com)
Paris-based Availpro has added Orbitz Worldwide to its network of distributors, claiming to be the first channel manager to sign a two-way connectivity agreement with Orbitz. (www.availpro.com)
RateTiger has signed an agreement to use Cultuzz Digital Media’s CultBay service to post hotel inventory and rate availability on eBay. (www.cultuzz.com, www.ratetiger.com)

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  • Sabre renews contract with Travelclick for targeted hotel advertising and promotions at point of sale
  • hotel SystemsPro’s apps now available in Spanish
  • HeBS receives five IAC awards for excellence
  • PhotoWeb releases Universal Multimedia Viewer system to identify mobile devices and automatically switch to preferred HD format
  • Grand Hôtel Stockholm implementing ZMail
  • Swiftrank adds first direct hotel client partnerships in China and India
  • Richfield implements ProfitSage Financial Business Intelligence throughout portfolio of 500 hotels
  • Expedia splitting off TripAdvisor into separate company
  • Trust International integrates VFM Leonardo’s VScape with yourVoyager CRS

Sabre has renewed its contract for Travelclick to deliver targeted hotel advertising and promotions at the point of sale. (www.travelclick.com, www.sabre-holdings.com)
hotel SystemsPro announced that its hotel SalesPro, hotel ServicePro and hotel WebSpace solutions are now available in Spanish, including educational materials and online training webinars. (www.hotelsystemspro.com)
Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS Digital) has received five Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) awards for excellence in hotel and restaurant website design, mobile website design, online banner ad design and interactive multichannel marketing.
– Best Restaurant Website for Vu Restaurant in Marina del Rey
– Best Hotel & Lodging Interactive Application for the Shell Vacations Hospitality Black Friday Campaign
– Best Restaurant Mobile Application for Vu Restaurant Mobile Site
– Best Hotel and Lodging Online Ad for Silver Legacy Resort Casino Banners
– Outstanding Website award for La Bellasera Hotel & Suites.
PhotoWeb has released its Universal Multimedia Viewer system, which can identify a mobile Apple device and automatically switch to HTML5 code to display content originally in Flash, Java or QuickTimeVR, including full 360 degree panoramas. The viewer recognizes the device in use and sources an appropriate image from a single high resolution file, using the technology preferred by the device. (www.PhotoWebUSA.com)
The 345-Room Grand Hôtel Stockholm is implementing ZMail, ZDirect’s eCRM platform. (www.grandhotel.se, www.zdirect.com)
Travel network Swiftrank has added its first direct hotel client partnerships in China and India, with the 3-star Hotel Richmond Inn, New Delhi, and, in China, the InterContinental Hong Kong, InterContinental Grand Stanford, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway and Express by Holiday Inn Causeway. The new agreements provide the properties with premium positioning on both the home pages and interior pages of Swiftrank’s customized destination websites. (www.Swiftrank.com)
Richfield Hospitality has implemented ProfitSword’s web-based ProfitSage Financial Business Intelligence application throughout its portfolio of hotels. ProfitSage is integrated with all systems in use by the hotels, including the back office accounting application, and consolidates their data in one location for analysis and reporting. Richfield and its affiliates cover approximately 500 hotels and resorts. (www.richfield.com, www.profitsword.com)
Expedia is splitting off its TripAdvisor subsidiary into a separate company, which will include TripAdvisor itself and 18 other travel media and advertising brands. (www.tripadvisor.com, www.expedia.com)
Trust International has integrated VFM Leonardo’s VScape with its yourVoyager CRS, allowing Trust clients to subscribe to VScape Basic, Premium or Enterprise for a single point of entry to manage their hotels’ images on Trust’s booking channels and network. (www.vfmleonardo.com, www.trustinternational.com)

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  • Royal Orchid Central Grazia Navi Mumbai and Royal Orchid Resort Galaxy Goa implement IDeaS
  • EZYield obtains PCI-DSS Level 1 Certification for complete end-to-end reservations processing
  • Beijing Hotel implements Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS)
  • China National Convention Center Grand Hotel deploys EasyRMS
  • Aston International implements SiteMinder’s WBE on hotel websites, adding SiteMinder’s channel management

The Royal Orchid Central Grazia Navi Mumbai and Royal Orchid Resort Galaxy Goa have implemented IDeaS revenue management software, bringing the number of Royal Orchid Hotels using IDeaS in India to 10 properties. (www.royalorchidhotels.com, www.ideas.com)
EZYield has obtained third-party Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Level 1 Certification for its complete end-to-end hotel reservations processing system. (www.ezyield.com)
The 773-room Beijing Hotel, owned by Beijing Tourism Group, has implemented Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions Ltd (EasyRMS), with a two-way interface to the property’s Opera V3.0 PMS.

The China National Convention Center (CNCC) Grand Hotel in Beijing has deployed Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS), becoming the first independent hotel in EasyRMS’ China portfolio.
(http://www.chinabeijinghotel.com.cn, www.cnccchina.com, www.easyrms.com)
Indonesia-based Aston International has implemented SiteMinder’s ‘TheBookingButton’ website booking engine on its hotel websites, and is integrating SiteMinder’s channel management technology into its VHP (Visual Hotel Program) hospitality management system. Aston manages 36 hotels under 10 major brands in South East Asia. (www.aston-international.com, www.siteminder.com)

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  • PSAV and QuickMobile announce partnership to market/support mobile applications worldwide
  • Preferred and Elite Meetings International launched PHG Meetings, using online RFP management system
  • Trump Hotel Collection implementing Newmarket’s Delphi MPE across all seven properties
  • onPeak unveils COMPASS Magnet booking tool, displays real-time hotel availability directly on event websites

PSAV Presentation Services and QuickMobile have announced a partnership to jointly market and support mobile applications for meetings and events worldwide. Users will be able to download an app to read speaker bios, update their own personal schedule, view the event schedule at a glance, confidentially message other attendees, and ask questions live to presenters and answer polls. The same mobile tools can be used by meeting planners and event organizers to promote their event with social networking and third party content providers, incorporating mobile travel tools and city guides, and supporting vendors in a trade show environment. (www.psav.com)
Preferred Hotel Group and Elite Meetings International (EMI) have launched PHG Meetings, an online RFP management system that links corporate sales managers, Global Sales Offices (GSOs), property level sales professionals and meeting planners.  (www.PHGMeetings.com, www.elitemeetings.com, www.speedrfp.com)
The Trump Hotel Collection is implementing Newmarket International’s Delphi Multi-Property Edition (MPE)across all seven properties, as well as Delphi’s MeetingBroker, Diagrams and eProposal applications.  Newmarket will maintain Trump’s Delphi application in the cloud. (www.trumphotelcollection.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
Event management software vendor onPeak has unveiled its COMPASS Magnet booking tool, which displays real-time inventory availability for the various hotels in the block directly on events’ websites, with on-the-fly sorting options and hot-links to the booking process. onPeak has also developed a version of the Magnet to capture bookings directly from an event’s Facebook page. (www.onpeak.com)

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  • Squirrel integrates Shift4’s enterprise payment services into POS range
  • ReServe Interactive launches Gateway web services platform to integration with third-party applications
  • Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport picks VIPSeat Restaurant iPad application

Squirrel Systems has integrated Shift4 Corp’s enterprise payment services into its POS range. Pilot hotel for the integration was the Fort Garry Hotel, Spa, and Conference Center in Winnipeg, Canada, which also implemented Shift4’s IT’S YOUR CARD® gift card application. (www.shift4.com, www.squirrelsystems.com)
ReServe Interactive has launched its Gateway web services platform to help enterprise customers integrate and share operational and financial data in their ReServe systems with third-party software applications. (www.reserveinteractive.com)
Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport has selected Tiare Technology’s VIPSeat Restaurant, an iPad or other wireless device application which allows diners view menus and wine lists and place orders directly from their table.  The property is Tiare’s first customer in Asia to use the system. (www.panpacific.com, www.tiaretech.com)

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  • TAC develops mobile phone-based loyalty card app

TAC has developed a mobile phone-based loyalty card app for spas, hotels and fitness centers. In addition to serving as a bar-coded digital membership card, guests can use it to make reservations and answer surveys via their phones. Reservation reminders are sent to the phone automatically via SMS, as are follow-up satisfaction surveys. (www.reservationassistant.com)

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  • MTech integrates REX with Axxess Industries’ houskeeping signal buttons
  • Hotel Beaux Arts, Miami, implements Intelity’s ICE Touch on iPad
  • Toygaroo.com offers toy rental system to the hospitality industry
  • Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel implements Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard for both O’Hare and Midway
  • Penn’s View Hotel completes installation of Roomlinx’ SmartRoom system

MTech has integrated its REX Room Expeditor application with Axxess Industries’ “please make up room/do not disturb” houskeeping signal buttons, allowing housekeeping to prioritize its cleaning order more efficiently. (www.axxind.com, www.m-tech.com)
The 44-room Hotel Beaux Arts, Miami, has implemented Intelity Corp’s ICE Touch on iPad, fully integrated with the hotel’s property management system to allow management to track and chart guest requests and response times. (www.hotelbeauxartsmiami.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
Toygaroo.com has made its toy rental system available to the hospitality industry. The service operates in a similar fashion to Netflix, allowing hotels to offer toys to families at check-in and return them to Toygaroo after check-out for sanitation. (www.Toygaroo.com)
The Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel has implemented Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information display for both O’Hare and Midway International Airports. (www.ichotelsgroup.com, www.flytesystems.com)
Penn’s View Hotel in Philadelphia has completed its installation of Roomlinx’ SmartRoom system, which combines an in-room printer/scanner/fax machine with Roomlinx’s Interactive TV (iTV) services.  (www.pennsviewhotel.com, www.roomlinx.com)

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  • Galaxy Macau complex adopts Optii Keeper to manage housekeeping for 2,200+ rooms in 3 hotels
  • Shift4 integrates DOLLARS ON THE NET  gateway with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System
  • Marriott adds St. Petersburg Courtyard to Infor FMS SunSystems enterprise and financial reporting network
  • Infor announces new Infor Workspace user interface as new standard for all applications

The Galaxy Macau complex has adopted Optii Solutions Optii Keeper to manage the housekeeping of over 2,200 rooms across 3 hotels: the Galaxy Hotel (1,459 rooms), Banyan Tree Macau Hotel (260 rooms) and Hotel Okura Macau (480 rooms). Optii Keeper has been installed in all three hotels and is currently in training mode before the complex’ official opening on 15th May 2011. (www.optiisolutions.com)
Shift4 Corp has integrated DOLLARS ON THE NET payment gateway with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS), using technology developed by a Microsoft Certified Partner and marketed by Shift4 under license. (www.shift4.com)
Marriott International has integrated its recently-opened Marriott Courtyard – Courtyard St. Petersburg Center West/Pushkin Hotel into its enterprise and financial reporting network based on Infor FMS SunSystems. Infor’s partner LLP Group managed the project implementation. Marriott International standardized its enterprise and financial reporting on Infor FMS SunSystems in 1998. LLP consultants also configured Infor’s PM Q&A (Vision) to comply with both corporate document management policies and Russian accounting regulations.

Infor has announced a new user interface approach, Infor Workspace, that will become its new standard across all applications. This more graphically oriented, browser-based approach is built on Microsoft SharePoint and can flexibly combine data from multiple applications (including third party mapping), in-context collaboration and business intelligence.  Infor Workspace is currently available for Infor’s ERP LN and SyteLine, EAM, FMS SunSystems and Expense Management applications.
(www.marriott.com, www.llpgroup.com, www.infor.com)

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  • Defero3 appoints Percipia Networks as a distributing partner

Defero3 has appointed Percipia Networks as its newest distributing partner. (www.percipianetworks.com, www.Defero3.com)

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  • Royal Palm Plaza in Campinas, Brazil completes installation of VingCard Signature RFID door locks
  • China World Summit Wing Hotel completes installation of VingCard VISION system and Signature locks
  • Holiday Inn Knoxville, Hotel Harrington in Washington, DC and Howard Johnson Admiral Inn on Tybee Island upgrade to KABA ILCO 790 RFID electronic locks
  • KABA receives Hospitality Architecture + Design Magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Award

The newly renovated 500-room Royal Palm Plaza in Campinas, Brazil has completed installation of its VingCard Signature RFID door locks.

The new China World Summit Wing Hotel at the China World Tower in Beijing has completed installation of its VingCard VISION locking system and Signature electronic door locks. Located close to the Beijing Capital International Airport, the 278-room property is situated in the center of the business district in the third phase of China’s World Trade Centre complex.
(www.royalpalm.com, www.vingcard.com)
KABA the provider of Saflok and ILCO electronic locks, announced that Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas has upgraded to the KABA Saflok MT RFID door lock system.  Hilton installed the locks for all 393 guest rooms and for access to its 40,000 square feet of conference space.

The 283-room Holiday Inn Knoxville, the 300-room Hotel Harrington in Washington, DC, and the Howard Johnson Admiral Inn on Tybee Island, GA, have all upgraded to KABA ILCO 790 RFID electronic door locks.

KABA has received Hospitality Architecture + Design Magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Award for Product Innovation in Door Handles and Locks for its Saflok Quantum Vintage RFID door handles and locks.
(www.hiltondfwlakesecc.com , www.holidayinn.com, www.hotel-harrington.com, www.tybeehowardjohnson.com, www.ilcolodging.com)

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