April 23, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa / Golf / Leisure Activities

Guest Services

Back Office

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

APRIL 10 – 23, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Integration: revenue management could benefit from more social trend analysis
  • Cornell releases report on integrating key hotel operations for maximum impact
  • HT Magazine’s annual Hotel Visionary Awards emphasize rewards of integration
  • HTNG releases 2013A spec updates
  • HTNG forms partnership with HOTREC

Integration has been much on my mind lately. It’s pretty much a given that we need as much data integration as we can get across the several management systems typically found at every property to gain a full picture of guests’ profiles and preferences. However, the more travelers rely on their smart phones and tablets for information and entertainment on the go, as well as to make reservations as late as the day of arrival, the more it seems that we need to begin including their social network data, both on an individual basis and in wider social trend analyses in order to have a better understanding of where they’re likely to go and what they’re likely to want to do when they get there.
Only then can we begin to quantify this last-minute demand more accurately, and so have the confidence to create packages and price rooms more appropriately to the actual need than to our increasing anxiety as bookings made further in advance stay low.
Other general news items this week also emphasize connectivity and integration, as follows:
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Cornell has released an interesting report on what it calls Network Exploitation Capability, a way for hotels to measure how well they’re integrating marketing, channel distribution and profit optimization for the best strategic impact. The report finds that integration at most hotels is “uneven at best”; the report includes a 48-item self-test, the empirical results from a pilot sample of hotel firms, and detailed suggestions for how properties, management companies, owners, and chains can assess their own current level of IT sophistication. Titled “Network Exploitation Capability: Model Validation”, it is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the School of Hotel Administration.
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Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has named the following winners of its 2013 Hotel Visionary Awards, two of which are presented in each of two categories: Infrastructure/Back-Office Technology, and Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology.
Infrastructure/Back-Office Technology
– Hyatt Hotels, for its new Group Billing service, which achieves operational savings through the integration of five separate systems with the Group Bill application: Hyatt’s custom sales system Envision, NewMarket’s Daylight S&C, MICROS’ POS, Agilysys’ Infogenesis POS and Micros’ Opera PMS.
– Red Roof Inns; for overhauling its legacy-interfaced environment and integrating its PMS and CRS into one consolidated solution that includes its Sabre-based RediStay PMS, cloud-based centralized group sales, interfaces to its website, call center agents and GDS/OTAs, and centralized accounts receivable.
Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology
– Choice Hotels, for integrating Amber Alerts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children into its choiceADVANTAGE web-based property management system at over 5,100 hotels nationwide, allowing check-in, housekeeping and other staff at hotels within an alert region to be aware of the event.
– Conrad Hotels & Resorts, for its Conrad Concierge guest-services system, which integrates guest-facing components with the property management system to facilitate requests from guests to the end provider, leveraging mobile technology to improve customer service.
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HTNG has issued its 2013A release of Web Services specifications, which include the following:
– Customer Profile Specification Version 3.0
Provides core services and a schema for a more structured customer profile.  Updates include richer loyalty services and enabling of stay history & customer service recovery history.
– Folio Detail Exchange 1.1
Passes guest transaction data from the folio-producing system to systems that support analytics, loyalty, invoice dematerialization, VAT tax rebate and other applications.  Updates include supporting multi-currency, membership/loyalty information and the inclusion of profile IDs.
– Intelligent Guest Room Version 2.0
Lets hotel systems query the operational status or health of guest room devices and to receive notifications of status changes.  Updates include centralized registration and discovery of in-room devices.
– Point of Sale Version 2.0
Outlines common data definition and protocol implementation for the traditional PMS-POS interface.  Enhancements include the addition of offline functionality and end-of-day reconciliation.
– Product Distribution Availability Version 3.0
The first of seven Product Distribution specs to be broken out into its own document, this is now in the updated HTNG specification template and illustrates more comprehensive use cases. Within the remaining Product Distribution specs, the Reservations and Seamless Shop/Book specs now include age and customer profile privacy preferences.
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HTNG has announced a partnership with HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés in Europe), an umbrella association of national trade associations representing the hotels, restaurants, cafés and similar establishments which includes 44 member organizations from 27 European countries.  The partnership aims to make European hospitality establishments more competitive through expanded access to HTNG technical specifications.  (www.hotrec.eu, www.htng.org)
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Charly Tomkys joins Guest-tek as EMEA Sales Manager

Charly Tomkys has joined Guest-tek Interactive Entertainment as its new EMEA Sales Manager, based in London. Ms. Tomkys comes to Guest-tek from Alternative Networks, where she headed the hospitality team, designing solutions to increase revenues for their client hotels. She brings extensive knowledge of telecommunication and data infrastructure.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Prinz Hotel, Munich implements hetras
  • Agilysys releases version 7.2 of LMS
  • MSI releases WinPM interface with M3
  • MSI releases CloudPM v1.2
  • NORTHWIND celebrates 35 years of supplying hospitality technology systems

The 40-room Prinz Hotel in Munich has implemented hetras GMS, replacing an older system. (www.hotel-prinz.de, www.hetras.com)
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Agilysys has released version 7.2 of its Lodging Management System (LMS).  Enhancements include:
– a more streamlined approach to cashiering
– Interface alert monitor with real-time notification of interface errors
– iPad check-in/check-out
– ability to view InfoGenesis POS checks posted to LMS
– new folio transfer options
– ability to attach bill codes to LMS meal plans
– additional guest search options
– passport scanning capability
– enhanced accounts receivable functionality
– new reporting features
– compliance with the MasterCard®/Discover® partial authorization mandate
– upgrades to the LMS ResNet online booking module, including suggestive selling functionality, multiple room booking capabilities, web check-in improvements, a web check-out component and additional special request functionality.
(www.agilysys.com)
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Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has released an interface between MSI WinPM and M3 Accounting + Analytics, providing for the automatic transfer of guest satisfaction data, financial reports and comp set data into M3. The integration is already in use with Island Hospitality Management, a 75-property management company based in Palm Beach, FL.
MSI has released version 1.2 of its CloudPM; enhancements include tax exempt management, incidental folios, utilities link and additional interfaces.
(www.IslandHospitality.com, www.M3AS.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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NORTHWIND is celebrating 35 years of supplying hospitality technology systems. Starting out in 1978 as a custom software developer, it then provided RISC-based systems to a large North American luxury chain before launching Maestro. NORTHWIND’s first resort client was Bayview Wildwood Resort in Ontario, Canada, which is still a user. (www.maestropms.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Carlton Hotel Budapest signs three-year renewal of contract with Pegasus
  • Lodging Interactive to resell InnLink’s booking engine and GDS/OTA connectivity
  • Cheval Residences implements Xn Hotel Systems’ globalRES distribution platform

The 95-room Carlton Hotel Budapest has signed a three-year renewal of its contract with Pegasus Solutions for distribution, booking, business intelligence and sales support services, extending a 10-year relationship. (www.carltonhotel.hu, www.pegs.com)
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Lodging Interactive has added a booking engine and GDS/OTA connectivity from InnLink to its list of interactive and social media marketing services.  (www.travlynx.com, www.LodgingInteractive.com)
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Cheval Residences has implemented Xn Hotel Systems’ globalRES distribution platform for its six properties in London, fully integrated with the protel Multi-Property Edition (MPE) guest management system it implemented through Xn across its portfolio in early 2012. (www.chevalresidences.com, www.xnhotels.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • REBEL Travel Corp upgrades PropertyVIEW content verification suite
  • HeBS Digital receives four IAC awards
  • Boomerang Hotels launches HeBS Digitalmobile sites for Settle Inn & Suites and GuestHouse International brands
  • TripAdvisor acquires Jetsetter.com
  • Lodging Interactive to resell InnLink’s booking engine and GDS/OTA connectivity

REBEL Travel Corp has enhanced its PropertyVIEW content verification suite to include new competitive set analysis and user-generated content indexing tools for hotels.  (www.rebel-travel.com)
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HeBS Digital has received four Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) awards:
* Best Hotel and Lodging Interactive Application: Shell Vacations Black Friday Travel Sale
* Best Hotel and Lodging Online Ad: Lake Lanier Family Getaway Banners
* Best Hotel and Lodging Email Message: Yotel New York Holiday Emailer
* Outstanding Website: Loews Hotels Cyber Monday Sale
Boomerang Hotels has launched mobile sites for Settle Inn & Suites and GuestHouse International brands.  The sites were designed and built by HeBS Digital and use its Mobile CMS Enterprise content management system.
(friendlyfranchising.com, www.hebsdigital.com)
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TripAdvisor has acquired Jetsetter.com, a New York-based members-only private sale site for hotel bookings. The Jetsetter brand will continue to operate out of New York City and will be incorporated into Smarter Travel Media. (www.jetsetter.com, www.tripadvisor.com)
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Lodging Interactive has added a booking engine and GDS/OTA connectivity from InnLink to its list of interactive and social media marketing services.  (www.travlynx.com, www.LodgingInteractive.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Travel Tripper integrates data from Forward Keys into Revup revenue management platform
  • HBSi automates extranet process with Hotwire.com
  • Flora Group Hotels implements RateGain’s RezGain
  • Santika Indonesia selects RateGain’s PriceGain – Hotel
  • Thinkhotels deploys RateGain’s RezGain channel manager
  • GHOTEL hotel & living picks RateTiger’s RT Suite 3.0 Channel Manager

Travel Tripper is integrating data from Barcelona-based Forward Keys into its Revup revenue management platform. Marketers can use the data to identify opportunities based on air traffic from feeder cities, number in party or class of service, as well as many other factors. (www.forwardkeys.com, www.traveltripper.com)
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HBSi has completely automated its extranet process with Hotwire.com under the Hotwire QuickConnect (HQC) label. This allows hotel companies to manage their Hotwire connections in real time via HBSi’s iDemand Gateway. (www.hotwire.com, www.hotelbookingsolutions.com)
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Flora Group Hotels has implemented RateGain’s RezGain RMS at 4 of its properties.
Santika Indonesia has selected RateGain’s PriceGain – Hotel for its properties, following an earlier implementation of RateGain’s Channel Management System.  Santika’s parent company, PT. GrahawitaSantika, has over 50 hotels across Indonesia under the brands of The Royal Collection, Hotel Santika Premiere, Hotel Santika and Amaris Hotel.
UK-based Thinkhotels has deployed RateGain’s RezGain channel manager, allowing its properties to update ThinkHotels in real time with rates and availability.
(www.florahospitality.com, www.santika.com, www.thinkhotels.com, www.rategain.com )
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Germany-based GHOTEL hotel & living has selected RateTiger’s RT Suite 3.0 Channel Manager for distribution services at five of its properties, allowing hotels to manage rates and availability centrally in real-time across a variety of channels, monitor competitors’ rates and receive reservations generated from OTA channels into the hotel PMSs. (www.erevmax.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek deploys Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Hotel bookings made through Passkey products grew by 40% in 2012
  • Symon Communications merges with RMG Networks
  • Byron at Byron Resort & Spa in Byron Bay picks Newmarket’s Delphi.fdc
  • Newmarket received 2013 Confirmit Achievement in Customer Excellence Awards for seventh year
  • Pegasus picks Nexus as RFP provider of choice

The 196-room JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek has deployed Passkey’s GroupMAX online hotel booking toolset.
Passkey announced that hotel bookings made through its products grew by 40% in 2012 over the prior year, exceeding 25 million room nights and $4.5 billion in net hotel revenue processed.
(www.jwmarriottdenver.com, www.passkey.com)
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Symon Communications has merged with RMG Networks, combining Symon’s enterprise-level signage with RMG’s strength in digital out-of-home advertising via airlines and shopping malls, and will continue operations as RMG Enterprise Solutions. Former Symon CEO Charles Ansley remains as president of RMG Enterprise Solutions. (www.symon.com, www.rmgnetworks.com)
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The 92-room Byron at Byron Resort & Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, has selected Newmarket International’s Delphi.fdc sales and catering software for its conference facilities.
Newmarket International has been awarded 2013 Confirmit ACE (Achievement in Customer Excellence) Awards in the areas of Worldwide Customer Support, Americas Customer Support, PSS Support, Worldwide Project Management, Americas Project Management, APAC Project Management, Worldwide Business Consulting Services, Worldwide Product Training Services, Worldwide Systems Engineering Services and Worldwide Integration Services.  This is the seventh consecutive year Newmarket has received Confirmit ACE Awards.
(www.thebyronatbyron.com.au, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Pegasus Solutions has selected Nexus to replace Lanyon as its RFP provider of choice. Pegasus Connect+ hotels will receive the service as Pegasus Sales Connections, which will deliver RFP management and an enhanced set of sales tools. (www.nexusworldservices.com, www.pegs.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • H Hotel implements Clear Sky Software’s Food & Beverage inventory control system
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The 131-room H Hotel, part of Dolce Hotels and Resorts, has implemented Clear Sky Software’s Food & Beverage inventory control system, as well as its Kiosk feature for tracking F&B product movements and interfaces to Gordon Food Service and Sysco.  (www.thehhotel.com, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  • iRiS Software Systems launches multilingual spa application for tablets

iRiS Software Systems has launched a multilingual spa application for touch-screen tablets. The application allows customers to “Shortlist” features to discuss with the Spa staff or review when they finish browsing, and includes a spa’s video content. The app functions without a Wi-Fi connection; Internet access is only required to perform updates to the content, which is managed via a cloud-based content management system (CMS).  (www.irisvalet.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Accor releasing Monscierge –based virtual concierge product for Novotel brand
  • Pullman Hotels and Resorts picks Quadriga as preferred partner for guest technology ecosystem
  • Bourbon Orleans implements Quadriga’s LobbyFriend
  • Brookstreet Hotel installs EyeClick interactive digital signage technology in games rooms with MotionAware technology
  • Radisson Blu Mall of America opens with Samsung TVs and PureHD HD television channels
  • Samsung Electronics America partners with Intelity for LYNK SINC guest service interaction
  • SmarTV partners with InterKnowlogy to offer new guest interaction platform
  • Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel installs FlyteBoard, FlyteChannel and FlytePass
  • InterContinental San Francisco deploys Endomondo to create interactive exercise routes for guests

Accor is releasing a new virtual concierge product for its Novotel brand, based on the Monscierge system which it has used with other Accor brands. The Novotel Virtual Concierge will have a custom-designed guest-facing touch screen interface that features hotel amenities, local information and recommendations, maps and directions, events and activities, weather, flight information, social postcards and other guest service features.
Accor’s Pullman Hotels and Resorts has selected Quadriga as its preferred partner for its guest technology ecosystem. Quadriga will deliver a range of integrated hotel technologies, High Speed Internet Access and mobile applications, with guest entertainment and communication services delivered via the TV and tablet devices. The agreement is centered around the deployment of Quadriga’s Personal Media Network in Pullman properties worldwide, starting with the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel and the Pullman Brussels Midi.
(www.novotel.com, www.monscierge.com, www.pullmanhotels.com, www.quadriga.com)
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The Bourbon Orleans has implemented Quadriga’s LobbyFriend social network platform to enable guests to connect with each other during their stay. The New Orleans Hotel Collection is evaluating LobbyFriend for its six other hotels. LobbyFriend provides a private, temporary social network for hotels, enabling them to communicate with guests during their stay and connect hotel guests and hotel staff together. Guests benefit from connecting online with other guests, to access a relevant and mobile stream of information about what’s happening within their hotel or city location, to discover where to go and what to do, as well as benefit from exclusive deals and special offers. The LobbyFriend app is available as a free downloadable app for both iOS and Android devices, with support for Blackberry devices available soon. Additionally, a screen in the hotel lobby communicates a live, consolidated social stream to engage and attract guests, integrating existing hotel Facebook, Twitter and RSS social feeds. (www.bourbonorleans.com, www.quadriga.com)
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Ottawa’s 276-room Brookstreet Hotel has installed interactive digital signage technology from EyeClick in a new games room, where the EyePlay platform is activated via MotionAware technology whenever visitors move across a projected display zone, turning the floor into a play space for up to 15 participants, ages two and older. With games downloaded to a console, colorful graphics are projected onto the floor and walls, accompanied by sound. The hotel’s EyeClick gold package includes 30 games, ranging from sports (soccer, hockey, etc.) to musical games (piano, drums, disco) to educational fare (solar system, capitals, etc.). (www.brookstreet.ca)
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The 517-room Radisson Blu Mall of America opened on March 15 using Samsung hardware and PureHD digital high-definition television. The rooms are equipped with Samsung’s 40” Class 790 Series and 46” Class 590 Series Hospitality LED TVs and Samsung’s LYNK SINC content management solution. Each guest room receives nearly 70 channels of high-definition programming delivered by PureHD from Verimatrix.
Samsung Electronics America announced a partnership with Intelity under the LYNK SINC name. Samsung LYNK SINC will provide entertainment, television, welcome guests by name and allow guests to view their folios and checkout at the end of their stay. Guests can also view information about the hotel, its restaurants, spa, transportation and amenity information and local shopping and attraction information. Intelity will be responsible for design, content build, staff training, professional services and ongoing maintenance and support.
(www.radissonblumoa.com, www.purehd.com, www.intelitycorp.com, www.samsung.com)
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The SmarTV Company has partnered with InterKnowlogy to offer a new guest interaction platform for all device platforms, including room systems, digital signage, tablets and mobile devices. The new platform design offers hoteliers a broad range of upsell and advertising capabilities. (www.getsmartv.com, www.interknowlogy.com)
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The 407-room Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel has installed a Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard airline schedule display,
FlyteChannel guestroom television service and FlytePass boarding pass printing. (www.wyndham.com/Indianapolis, www.flytesystems.com)
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The 550-room InterContinental San Francisco has deployed fitness tracking app/social network Endomondo to create interactive exercise routes that begin and end at the hotel and guide sightseers through some of San Francisco’s well-known attractions. Guests can download the free Endomondo Sports Tracker mobile app for maps of where to exercise; Endomondo’s Sponsored Routes can also be pinned with photos, video, audio or background details providing additional information on points of interest along paths. (www.intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com, www.endomondo.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Extended Stay America deploys new learning system from Knowledge Anywhere

Extended Stay America has deployed a new learning system from Knowledge Anywhere to upgrade its employee training. The new system gives all employees access to Extended Stay America’s training catalog, with courses on topics, such as customer service, safety, computer skills, and effective sales, and tracks and monitors the training each employee receives. The system includes a Newsroom with video messages from company executives, and reporting features allow decision makers to monitor key training metrics. The job performance and training elements include video briefings, online course, quizzes, and quick-glance job aids.  (www.ExtendedStayAmerica.com, www.KnowledgeAnywhere.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Zeno Controls and ILLUMRA release InnPoint hotel network for energy control devices

Zeno Controls and ILLUMRA have jointly released a new hotel network called InnPoint, intended to remotely facilitate the control of room lighting, heating and cooling for improved energy savings.  Zeno Controls provides the wireless gateways and integrated lighting and HVAC control systems for small-to-medium size buildings; ILLUMRA manufactures wired and wireless HVAC and lighting control devices for commercial buildings, and has developed an upgraded firmware to use the ZENO Gateway, built on the Can2Go Platform from Schneider Electric, to distribute both EnOcean and ZigBee wireless signals throughout a building to communicate with EnOcean wireless devices. This partnership allows VERVE & ILLUMRA devices to be integrated seamlessly on large projects using industry data communication standards, such as the BACnet infrastructure for full integration with other building systems such as Schneider, Honeywell, Siemens, and others. InnPoint uses a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that collects data points from anywhere in the building and displays them in a programmable graphic user interface designed to optimize the ZENO/Can2Go Gateway. (www.zenocontrols.com, www.ILLUMRA.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Red Lion Hotels upgrading wireless networks at 19 sites using EthoStream, Ruckus
  • Hughes launches HughesON suite of managed network and digital media services

Red Lion Hotels is using Telkonet’s EthoStream for upgrades of the wireless networks at 19 corporate-owned sites. EthoStream installed the existing Telkonet iWire PLC networks and 802.11g wireless networks at all corporate-owned locations from June 2008. The new networks include 500 new access points featuring Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology, managed through a Ruckus ZoneDirector controlling settings, coordinating channels, optimizing wireless power output and ensuring seamless roaming throughout the hotel. (www.redlion.com, www.ethostream.com)
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Hughes Network Systems has launched its HughesON suite of managed network and digital media services for the enterprise and government markets, including companies with multiple branch locations in the restaurant and hospitality segments. HughesON avoids the expense of installing a WAN optimization appliance to each branch location by incorporating performance optimization and security technologies into the Hughes customer premises equipment (CPE). These monitor real-time network variability in the underlying broadband network and customer traffic to ensure higher application performance, and include:
– Hughes ActiveQoS: enables end-to-end QoS over broadband for proper application priority and better application performance.
– Hughes ActiveBonding: intelligently bonds multiple broadband links at the IP-level for higher link capacities and better application performance.
– Hughes ActiveCompression: delivers up to 50 times more throughput or ‘virtual bandwidth’ to customer applications without capacity upgrades.
(www.HughesON.com)
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SECURITY

  • Safeplace releases Extreme Advanced Electronic Safe

Safeplace has released its Extreme Advanced Electronic Safe, which features blue illuminated buttons for easy operation in dimly lit guestrooms, an LED display, audio/visual feedback for each operation, standard left and right opening, sleep mode, internal light, replaceable doors and an anti-tamper feature. It is ADA compliant and includes a low-battery indicator and external backup, automatic sleep mode after five incorrect codes are entered and a 500-event audit record. An optional power outlet charges laptops while inside the safe.  The unit is available Compact, Laptop and Deep sizes, and is compatible with Safeplace’s UltiMax Service unit. (www.safeplace.co.il)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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