April 3, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services


FEBRUARY 14 – APRIL 3, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Microsoft’s “Five Hottest Technology Trends in Hospitality”

Microsoft recently published its take on the five hottest technology trends in the hospitality industry. Some are familiar (though Microsoft’s headings may not be), but a couple reflect a different view on where things are going.
1. No more “20 questions” at check-in i.e. better tracking of guests’ preferences and special requests, both directly through guest-completed questionnaires and indirectly through tracking of their typical activities.
2. TVs that deliver music, movies—and much more i.e. comprehensive integration of guestroom entertainment services and technology centered on the flat-panel TV display.
3. Find yourself (and pay for lunch) i.e. using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for guest bracelets that act as ID tags for cashless payment at POS outlets and as location identifiers when guests pass through detecting gateways.
4. Back-office systems that are actually on speaking terms i.e. the ability of previously-isolated systems to exchange and share data through increasingly flexible interface standards, either system-to-system or via a central messaging hub.
5. Self-healing hotel technology i.e. the pro-active monitoring of system and network health to identify incipient problems and either repair them automatically or report them to a Help Desk for action before they cause disruption.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Dale Grant promoted to VP Americas for NCR’s retail and hospitality solutions business
  • Alan Young joins Online Revealed Canada as Vice President

Dale Grant has been promoted to Vice President, Americas, for NCR Corp’s retail and hospitality solutions business. Mr. Grant has been with NCR for 21 years; he was most recently General Manager for the Wal-Mart account, and had earlier led the company’s food and drug solutions unit.
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Alan Young has joined Online Revealed Canada, a Canadian Online Travel Conference, as Vice President. ORC provides online educational and workshop sessions to discuss issues surrounding the Internet as a marketing and distribution vertical, and their impact on Canadian tourism. Mr. Young brings 24 years of hospitality industry experience, most recently as Vice President, Supply Partners with Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated. He was previously Vice President of Technology for Hotel Information Systems, and had earlier served as Vice President of Hotel Systems and Integration at Newtrade Technologies.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Emirates Hotels and Resorts contracts for multi-property management system from protel
  • Enclave Inns implements innCenter centrally-hosted PMS at four properties in the Hamptons
  • Agilysys and The Rainmaker Group developing next-generation interface
  • Fluno Center for Executive Education installs Maestro PMS and S&C
  • Best Western International endorses SoftBrands’ Medallion PMS
  • InnQuest adds roomMaster 2000 interface to OwnerRelations condo owner system
  • Mogford installs roomMaster PMS and Aloha POS at two hotels in Oxford, UK
  • World Web Technologies adds Avaya Phone Interface to its WebRezPro PMS
  • Clandeboye Lodge Hotel in Bangor, Northern Ireland selects Visual One Front Office and Sales & Catering systems

Emirates Hotels and Resorts has contracted for a multi-property management system from protel hotelsoftware GmbH, Germany. The initial implementation, complete with online booking, is scheduled to go live by end-March, to support the Emirates Marina Hotel & Residence that opens in September this year. Emirates Hotels & Resorts will then roll out the system to all six of its hotel operations in 2008. (www.emirateshotelsresorts.com, www.protel-net.com)
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Enclave Inns has implemented innCenter, innRoad’s centrally-hosted PMS, for four of its five properties in the Hamptons, Long Island, NY. Properties can view current inventory, room reservations, and schedule housekeeping and other staff across properties, and can cross-sell as reqired. (www.enclaveinn.com, www.innroad.com)
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Agilysys and The Rainmaker Group are developing a next-generation interface between their systems to benefit casino hotels, starting with MGM Resorts, Boyd Gaming and other casino companies. The links will provide seamless data exchange and will include links with other casino applications to optimize revenue and boost operating efficiency. (www.letitrain.com, www.agilysys.com)
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The Aramark-managed Fluno Center for Executive Education, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has installed Northwind’s integrated Maestro Property Management System and Sales and Catering. The Center, which was ranked Number One in The World for food and accommodations in executive education custom programs by the Financial Times for the third straight year in 2006, includes an auditorium, meeting and conference space, 100 guest rooms, a fitness room and a study pub. (exed.wisc.edu/fluno, www.maestropms.com)
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Best Western International has designated SoftBrands’ Medallion property management system as an endorsed PMS for its 2,400 North American member properties, following successful certification of the Medallion/Best Western two-way Interface. (www.bestwestern.com, www.softbrands.com)
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InnQuest Software has added condo owner accounting and owner relations management functionality to its roomMaster 2000 PMS via an interface to OwnerRelations Technology’s Web-based system. The OwnerRelations software uses the roomMaster 2000 interface to generate Owner Accounting statements and provide pertinent information to each condo hotel or mixed-use unit owner through a secure, private Owner Web site.
Mogford Limited has installed InnQuest’s roomMaster PMS and Radiant’s Aloha POS at its two hotels in Oxford, UK, the 42-room Old Bank and 30-room Old Parsonage. Sales and implementation were managed by NFS Hospitality, the UK distributor for both products. The implementations include Aloha’s wireless handheld POS units, and roomMaster.net for online bookings.
(www.ownerrelations.com, www.oldbank-hotel.co.uk, www.oldparsonage-hotel.co.uk, www.nfs-hospitality.com, www.innquest.com)
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World Web Technologies has added an Avaya Phone Interface to its WebRezPro PMS. (www.webrezpro.com)
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The 43-room Clandeboye Lodge Hotel in Bangor, Northern Ireland has selected Agilysys’ Visual One Front Office and Sales & Catering systems. (www.clandeboyelodge.com, www.agilysys.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Exel Inns of America picks iHotelier CRS for website reservations and GDS connectivity
  • TravelCLICK wins another Web Marketing Association award for Best Hotel and Lodging Interactive Application
  • Pan Pacific implements MICROS’ OPERA Central Systems Enterprise Solution
  • Forrester Research survey highlights travelers’ reasons for not booking on the Web
  • Expedia using DocuSign electronic signature service to speed up adding new hotels
  • ShoLodge subsidiary InnLink LLC purchased by group of private investors
  • Jinling Hotels & Resorts contracts with Pegasus for Utell representation service and PegsTour
  • Kerry Hotels partners with SoftBrands’ Karyon travel distribution services

Exel Inns of America, Madison, WI, has selected TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for website reservations and GDS connectivity at its 22 properties throughout the Midwest and Texas.
TravelCLICK has won another WebAward for Best Hotel and Lodging Interactive Application from the Web Marketing Association (WMA), recognizing the application of its iStay web booking engine at the 151-room National Hotel in Miami Beach.
(www.exelinns.com, www.nationalhotel.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts has implemented MICROS’ OPERA Central Systems Enterprise Solution, hosted and managed by MICROS at its Singapore Data Centre. The suite comprises the OPERA Reservations System (ORS), Customer Information System (OCIS), Web Services (OWS) and myFidelio.net, and will provide the group with a single image distribution system deployed via voice centers located in Singapore, Tokyo and Seattle, at www.panpacific.com and on GDS and selected ADS channels. (www.panpacific.com, www.micros.com)
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A recent survey by Forrester Research highlights the top three reasons travelers give for not making reservations on the Web, even if they use it extensively for research, as:
– concern over credit card security (increased from 9% to 16% of respondents since last year)
– limits on the actions they can perform on line (e.g. asking for a particular type of room or model of car), and
– Web-site performance issues.
Two other reasons given for not booking online involved human interaction. One-third of respondents “just prefer to deal with people when booking travel,” while others think the personal touch will help them get a better deal with travel despite using the Internet to find the supposed cheapest offering.
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Expedia has begun using DocuSign’s Web-based electronic signature service to help it speed up the process of adding new hotels to its database. The process begins when signed contracts are obtained by market development managers based in travel destinations around the world. These were previously converted to PDF files, e-mailed to Expedia, printed, routed to the appropriate vice presidents for review and obtain ‘wet ink’ signatures, then faxed back to the hotels. Using DocuSign allows this process to take place electronically, with obvious improvements in speed and in Expedia’s ability to track and manage the signing process. (www.docusign.com, www.expedia.com)
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ShoLodge subsidiary InnLink LLC has been purchased by a group of private investors comprised of management executives from the hospitality and technology industry. InnLink provides voice and electronic services to over 1,100 hospitality properties world-wide. (www.innlink.com)
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Jinling Hotels & Resorts, one of the largest hotel groups in China, has contracted with Pegasus Solutions to use its Utell representation service and PegsTour service. Utell will provide Jinling with GDS and selected ADS connectivity, a central reservation system and marketing programs. The PegsTour service automates bookings from participating tour operators and wholesalers. (www.jinlinghotels.com, www.pegs.com)
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Representation company Kerry Hotels has partnered with SoftBrands’ Karyon travel distribution services to launch The Karyon Collection, by Kerry Hotels, allowing member properties to use Karyon’s service to reach markets and travel providers that may otherwise be out of range for a typical independent hotel. (www.kerryhotels.net, www.karyonres.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TravelCLICK wins another Web Marketing Association award for Best Hotel and Lodging Interactive Application

TravelCLICK has won another WebAward for Best Hotel and Lodging Interactive Application from the Web Marketing Association (WMA), recognizing the application of its iStay web booking engine at the 151-room National Hotel in Miami Beach. (www.nationalhotel.com, www.travelclick.net)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Rainmaker Group developing next-generation interface with Agilysys
  • Austria Classic Hotels picks ChannelRUSH for Web based channel management for 14 sites
  • Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management to provide students with practical revenue management experience using Amadeus RMS
  • TAJ Hotels Resorts and Palaces selects Amadeus’ RMS for 32 hotels and resorts

The Rainmaker Group and Agilysys are developing a next-generation interface between their systems to benefit casino hotels, starting with MGM Resorts, Boyd Gaming and other casino companies. The links will provide seamless data exchange and will include links with other casino applications to optimize revenue and boost operating efficiency. (www.letitrain.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Austria Classic Hotels has selected ChannelRUSH for Web based channel management, to provide its 14 properties with connectivity to third-party channels, GDS systems and GDS powered portals. (www.austria-classic-hotels.at, www.channelrush.com)
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The Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI) of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has partnered with Amadeus to provide its students with practical revenue management experience, using Amadeus’ Revenue Management System (RMS).
TAJ Hotels Resorts and Palaces has selected Amadeus’ Revenue Management System (RMS) for 32 hotels and resorts around the world.
(www.ntu.edu.sg, www.tajhotels.com, www.amadeus.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Hyatt Regency Chicago installs digital signage from NEC Display Solutions, Hospitality Partners and Omnivex

The Hyatt Regency Chicago has installed LCD digital signage from NEC Display Solutions of America in a deployment project with Hospitality Partners and Omnivex software. The installation includes 40-inch and 32-inch NEC MultiSync displays to show function agendas and meeting rooms. The system can also display real-time traffic, weather forecasts and up-to-the-minute flight status; the Omnivex software customizes all content based on time of day, location, client requests and can direct meeting attendees to the proper function room using RFID technology. (chicagoregency.hyatt.com, www.necdisplay.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Kewadin Casinos extends InfoGenesis POS to gas stations at its five casinos

Kewadin Casinos has extended its InfoGenesis POS system to property gas stations through the InfoGenesis Pump Management Interface, which adds pump management features to existing POS terminals to provide real-time fuel sales data and pump oversight. The system unifies fuel station sales at Kewadin’s five casinos. (www.kewadin.com, www.infogenesis.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Resort Technology Partners’ (RTP’s) employee owners buy out Vail Resorts’ interest in RTP

Resort Technology Partners’ (RTP’s) employee owners have signed a definitive agreement with Vail Resorts, Inc. to acquire 100% of VRI’s interest in RTP. This transaction is expected to close on April 30, 2007. The employee owners are the six original RTP founders, headed by President and CEO Charlie L’Esperance. (www.rtp.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Grange Holborn Hotel in London installs first OTRUM IPTV streaming solution in Europe
  • Rezidor Hotel Group signs long-term Partnership Agreement with OTRUM
  • Hotel Technology Solutions (HTS) acquires converged network vendor Lorica Solutions
  • Hyatt picks Guest-Tek’s OneView as Internet service standard for all owned Hyatt Place sites
  • Telkonet acquires EthoStream
  • Gold Key Solutions releases new modules for Concierge Assistant

The Grange Holborn Hotel in London has installed the first OTRUM IPTV streaming solution in Europe. Several hotels already have IP solutions but without the IPTV streaming feed which delivers all TV channels as MPEG II streams over the Ethernet network to the OTRUM Fusion hardware.
The Rezidor Hotel Group has signed a long-term Partnership Agreement with OTRUM to develop next generation in-room technology for all five Rezidor brands: Radisson SAS, Park Inn, Country Inn, Missoni and Regent.
(www.grangehotels.com, www.rezidor.com, www.otrum.com)
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Hotel Technology Solutions (HTS) has acquired hospitality converged network vendor Lorica Solutions, with equity partners Enhanced Capital Partners and Stonehenge Capital Company. Lorica currently has over 150 hotel customers, including properties with Marriott, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Choice, InterContinental and Radisson. HTS has taken the name Lorica Solutions. (www.loricasolutions.com)
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Hyatt has contracted with Guest-Tek to provide its OneView Internet service and support as the brand standard to all corporate owned Hyatt Place properties. Deployment has begun and is scheduled to be complete by year end. (www.hyatt.com, www.guest-tek.com)
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Telkonet has acquired EthoStream, a high-speed wireless Internet provider for the hospitality, multi-dwelling unit (MDU) and multi-tenant unit (MTU) markets. EthoStream’s Remote Management Console (RMC) allows owners to monitor and manage multiple locations. EthoStream currently supports over 1,500 hotel and timeshare properties, using Telkonet’s powerline communications iWire system as the backbone for many installations. (www.telkonet.com)
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Gold Key Solutions released new modules for its Concierge Assistant system, including Lost and Found, Key Control, and a Timed Services system for guest scheduling of spa and other services. The Lost and Found module can store a photo of the item for a positive identification. (www.goldkeysolutions.com)
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SECURITY

  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki orders Safeplace Magna 800 in-room safes for 1,200 guest rooms

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki has ordered Safeplace Magna 800 laptop size in-room safes for its 1,200 guest rooms. Installation began in January. The safes communicate with the automated Minibar Systems minibar to let the hotel charge for guest usage automatically, and to report on all safes left locked in vacant guest rooms. (waikiki.hyatt.com, www.safeplace.co.il)
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