August 20, 2013

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

AUGUST 8 – 20, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Tech gadgets to make travel easier; what do you use?

Most of us hotel tech types who travel – that would be all of us – seem to have a fascination with gadgets that promise to make our lives on the road a little easier. The lure of the new idea always tempts us towards more productive or more entertaining travel, and maybe even a lighter backpack. Many things do help, many others somehow don’t quite live up to their promise or to our eager expectations, but we’re always interested in what other travelers are using.
Here are half a dozen of the things I rely on when I travel. What am I missing that you find useful? Drop me a note at jon@joninge.com and let me know.
a) Sony noise-cancelling earbuds: a must for noisy long-distance flights. I like the sound of over-the-ear headphones a little better, but they usually fall off my head when I try to get some sleep. The Sony buds stay put, are all-day comfortable and their sound quality is excellent.
b) Samsung Note 2 smart phone: love it, love it, love it. I don’t carry a tablet, but this has a large enough screen for me to read magazine articles easily and to share photographs without other people having to squint to see them. I use its stylus and electronic “paper” to take notes when I interview clients or attend conferences, and store them as PDF attachments to Evernote notes. It holds my music, and it’s even a good phone. I don’t find its size a challenge; it fits easily in my pocket, and I have big hands so that’s not a problem when making calls. Great device.
c) Aviator laptop stand (www.keynamics.com): three flat pieces of plastic that fit together to form a sloping stand for my laptop, putting the keyboard at a comfortable angle and raising the screen to a better position. Even in a cramped coach seat, this lets me use my laptop on a tray table.
d) Terence Ronson’s ingenious iFlyPad (www.spicy-innovations.com): I used to carry a phone holder that clipped into a rental car’s vent grilles in the dashboard when using my phone as a GPS, but I haven’t been able to find one that fits the Note 2. This handy device suctions itself onto any flat surface and holds the phone steady and at the right angle. You can also clamp it onto a seat-back screen in flight to hold your phone or tablet at eye level.
e) audio patch cord for modern rental cars which have a 3mm input for their sound system, so I can play my own music in the car without having to spend 30 minutes exploring unfamiliar radio stations.
f) probably the best thing I ever packed – a small 3-way power adapter plug. Even if every outlet in the departure gate area is being used by someone else, they’re willing to let you share if you have an adapter, and someone else can also join the re-charging party. A great way to make friends and meet new people!
Things have changed a lot since we used to travel with small screwdrivers and patch cables with crocodile clips, crawling around under tables to find a phone jack we could hack into to get a dial-up modem signal. What gadgets do you find indispensable now?
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • David Dreschner appointed Senior Director, Strategic Alliances & Business Development at Swisscom
  • Mike Dickersbach elected Chair of AH&LA Technology e-Business Committee; Jim Lamb elected to Vice Chair
  • Russell Butler joins MICROS as SVP of Global R&D
  • Gustavo Varallo, Ana Sagrian join Dashbell to lead sales and marketing in Latin America
  • Casey Flynn hired by The SmarTV Company as VP Sales

David Dreschner has been appointed Senior Director, Strategic Alliances & Business Development at Swisscom Hospitality Services, and will be based in Munich, Germany. He joins Swisscom following fifteen years with the Rezidor Hotel Group, where he had served as Vice President, Purchasing Services since 2005.
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Mike Dickersbach, Vice President, Information Technology at Thayer Lodging Group, has been elected Chairperson of the AH&LA’s Technology e-Business Committee. Jim Lamb, Chief Information Officer of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, was elected to the position of Vice Chair.
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Russell Butler has joined MICROS Systems as Senior Vice President of Global Research & Development. With more than 20 years’ experience in engineering and global research and development, Mr. Butler most recently served with IBM as Vice President, Messaging and Collaboration. He also held several executive positions in IBM’s data integration and master data management product families. Mr. Butler had earlier served in executive positions with Ascential Software (which was acquired by IBM in 2005), Mercator, AT&T, and other technology companies.
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Gustavo Varallo and Ana Sagrian have joined Dashbell to lead its sales and marketing efforts in Latin America.
Mr. Varallo has worked in tourism for more than 11 years, most recently with HostelWorld.com where he established the office in Brazil and was the Regional Manager. He earlier worked with Booking.com, Copastur and American Express Travel.
Ms. Sagrian is the new Business Development Manager for Spanish speaking markets in Latin America. She too has extensive experience in travel and tourism, having worked with Orbitz Worldwide on its expansion to Latin America, in the luxury hotel segment of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and for five years as an Account Manager with Expedia.com in southern Europe.
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Casey Flynn has been hired by The SmarTV Company as its new Vice President of Sales.  Mr. Flynn brings over 24 years of experience in hospitality interactive media and entertainment, most recently with LodgeNet (now Sonifi) as Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast USA and Caribbean and earlier as Director of Sales for the Western US and Managing Director of Canada. Prior to LodgeNet he was National Sales Manager for Farmtronix, a joint venture with the Ralston Purina Company.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Canadian hospitality school, Olds, Alberta installs MSI’s WinPM
  • Silverton Casino Hotel picks Agilysys’ LMS and Workforce Management (WMx)
  • CSS Hotel Systems interfaces SumIT with SolidusIQ’s BI system
  • Glow hotel chain to standardize on hetras
  • Dashbell adds automatic FNRH reporting, becomes TripAdvisor Premium Partner
  • Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club installs protel PMS, Xn Hotel Systems’ dotPOS and globalRES

The Canadian hospitality school at Olds College in Olds, Alberta, Canada, has installed Multi-Systems, Inc.’s (MSI’s) WinPM guest management system in its Pomeroy Inn & Suites property. The Pomeroy also deployed MSI’s nTouch mobile application for updating room status from tablets or smart phones.   (www.pomeroylodging.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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The 300-room Silverton Casino Hotel in Las Vegas has selected Agilysys’ Lodging Management System (LMS) and Workforce Management Solution (WMx). The property includes 165,000-square foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, 90,000 square feet of gaming, 11,000 square feet of meeting space, a heated outdoor pool, several dining options and a 117,000-gallon reef aquarium. (www.silvertoncasino.com, www.agilysys.com)
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CSS Hotel Systems has developed an interface between its SumIT guest management system and SolidusIQ’s BI systems, allowing hotels to transfer their SumIT data to SolidusIQ for analysis and reporting.  (www.solidusiq.com, www.CSSHotelSystems.com)
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Glow, a new hotel chain based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, is standardizing on hetras’ guest management systems.
The first Glow property, a 40-room hotel in the heart of Eindhoven, recently opened; it’s hetras system includes an Adyen credit card interface and Hotek key card interface. (www.hotelglow.nl, www.hetras.com)
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Dashbell announced enhancements to its platform, including the ability for Brazilian hotels to report all of their bookings automatically to the Ficha Nacional de Registro de Hóspedes (National Hospitality Register) to the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism. Dashbell has also become a Premium Partner in “TripAdvisor Connect,” which allows its clients to advertise their availability and rates directly on their TripAdvisor listing alongside other Online Travel Agencies. (www.dashbell.com)
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The 46-room Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club in Didsbury, Manchester, UK has implemented protel’s PMS and Xn Hotel Systems’ dotPOS and globalRES distribution systems, as part of a recent refurbishment. (www.xnhotels.com, www.protel.net)
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RESERVATIONS

  • broughtonHOTELS migrates 12 properties to Sceptre’s WindsurferCRS

broughtonHOTELS has migrated its 12 properties to Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ WindsurferCRS platform, with custom enhancements to the hotel’s PMS interface and booking engine. (www.broughtonHOTELS.com, www.sceptrehospitality.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • RoamingAround announces Mobile Engagement services
  • Sabre receives eight awards for website design

RoamingAround has announced its Mobile Engagement services, a set of 27 custom technologies to help hotels in creating and sending targeted, relevant and timely mobile offers to their guests. RoamingAround will work with hotels to build an opt-in database for mobile communications via tools such as QR codes in marketing campaigns or “click here” widgets in banner ads, blogs and the hotel website to promote the property and make special offers. Each campaign is intended to gather a few more guest data points in return for specific benefits. (www.RoamingAround.com)
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Sabre Hospitality Solutions has received eight awards for website design in the Media and Interactive Award category of the 43rd Annual Creativity International Awards.
SILVER AWARDS
– Suncadia Resort http://www.suncadiaresort.com
– Toga Hotels http://www.togahotels.com
HONORABLE MENTIONS
– Abbey Resort http://www.theabbeyresort.com
– Destination Hotels & Resorts Weddings http://www.destinationhotels.com/weddings/
– Ojai Valley Inn & Spa http://www.ojairesort.com
– Preferred Hotel Group http://www.preferredhotelgroup.com
– Quail Lodge http://www.quaillodge.com
– Valley River Inn http://www.valleyriverinn.com
(www.sabrehospitality.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • GTA interfaces with eRevMax’s RateTiger
  • Yatra.com and Travelguru.com interface with eRevMax
  • eRevMax rebrands RTConnect as Connect by eRevMax
  • Sun International signs with SiteMinder for all 30 properties
  • Hyatt names RateGain’s RezGain as one of its preferred online channel management systems

Global wholesale travel provider GTA has established a certified two-way XML connection for rate, inventory and reservation distribution between properties on GTA’s booking systems and subscribers of eRevMax’s RateTiger. eRevMax is the first channel manager to establish two-way connectivity with GTA; part of the Kuoni group, GTA sources properties from tens of thousands of travel suppliers in nearly 190 countries through booking sites that include GTA retail, TravelCube, Travel Bound and Octopus Travel retail, as well as GTA wholesale.
Indian online travel agencies Yatra.com and Travelguru.com have implemented a certified two-way XML interface with eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect distribution services. Accommodation providers will now be able to make real-time ARI (Available Rate & Inventory) updates and receive bookings generated on these two channels through eRevMax directly into their property management system.
eRevMax has rebranded RTConnect as Connect by eRevMax, and has launched a new website for the connectivity service.  Connect provides connectivity for rate & inventory distribution, and reservation delivery to existing hotel management systems.
(www.erevconnect.com, www.gta-travel.com, www.Travelguru.com, Yatra.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Sun International has signed with SiteMinder for distribution services for all its 30 properties, integrated with its Micros Opera central reservations system and IDeaS Revenue Management System. (www.suninternational.com, www.siteminder.com)
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Hyatt Hotels and Resorts has named RateGain’s RezGain as one of its preferred online channel management systems. (www.hyatt.com, www.rategain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Passkey winds TSE Readers’ Choice Innovation Awards

In the 2013 Trade Show Executive (TSE) Readers’ Choice Innovation Awards, Passkey 1st place winner in the “Most Innovative Technology Serving Show Managers, Exhibitors & Attendees” category, and received 2nd place honors in the overall “Most Innovative Organization in the Trade Show Industry” category. (www.tradeshowexecutive.com/innovationhonors.asp, www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • MICROS receives Gold Award from Retail Solutions Providers Association
  • CloverTwo contracts Jitscale for IT infrastructure for its online hotel and restaurant management platform
  • TrustYou expands online reputation management service into restaurants
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MICROS Systems has been presented with the Gold Award for Outstanding Provider of Software from the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). (www.GoRSPA.org, www.micros.com)
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CloverTwo has contracted Jitscale to develop and manage the IT infrastructure for CloverTwo´s online hotel and restaurant management platform, which includes the GreenSpark online iPad POS system. Jitscale’s Linux platform runs on a hybrid infrastructure with cloud components on Amazon. (www.jitscale.com, www.clovertwo.com)
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TrustYou has expanded its online reputation management service into the restaurant space. Launch clients include the Hard Rock Cafes, the Bob’s Steak & Chop House chain and restaurants such as the French Room in The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Sources of online, user-generated content for TrustYou’s semantic analysis include OpenTable, GrubHub, Citysearch, Yelp!, Zagat, ViaMichelin, Fodors, TripAdvisor, Qype, lafourchette, Google+, foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. Key categories presented are restaurant (overall experience), food, beverages, location, service and price; clients can benchmark against up to 10 competitors. (www.trustyou.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • FCS interfaces e-Connect with Motorola’s MOTOTRBO radios
  • Canalta Hotels to install Samsung electronics in all 37 properties
  • Red Lion Hotels completes implementation of hotel ServicePro system at all 27 corporate-owned properties
  • Starwood Preferred Guest launches new SPG app for Android in Chinese

FCS Computer Systems (FCS) has joined Motorola Solutions’ Application Developer Program, and has developed an interface between its e-Connect and Motorola’s MOTOTRBO digital two-way radios. The integration allows hotel managers and runners to manage their jobs via MOTOTRBO devices, with job view summary and details, escalated job details, work order acknowledgment, completion updates, ad hoc messaging and instant Push2Talk inquired capabilities. FCS e-Connect also has certified interfaces with Motorola’s Total Enterprise Access and Mobility (TEAM) and Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) solutions. Other integrations will include FCS’ m-Connect, m-Housekeeping and m-Services mobile apps with Motorola’s MOTOTRBO, MC 40 mobile computers, SB1 Smart Badge and ET1 Enterprise Tablet. (www.motorolasolutions.com, www.fcscs.com)
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Canalta Hotels has contracted with Samsung Electronics Canada and interior designers Brick Hospitality Group to install Samsung guestroom entertainment electronics in all 37 Canalta properties, and will also cover future properties. (www.canaltahotels.com, www.samsung.com/ca)
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Red Lion Hotels has completed its implementation of hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro system at all 27 of its corporate-owned properties, using it to manage both guest requests and all maintenance activities. (www.redlion.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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Starwood Preferred Guest has launched its new SPG app for Android in Chinese, providing SPG members with access to their account information, upcoming and past stays, and the ability to send a confirmation or other details to others via text or email. Location-based features help connect users to the closest customer care center. Throughout a stay, the app provides relevant information such as directions, property dining options and other hotel amenities; integrated social media channels including Weibo allow users to virtually “check-in” to their stay, remain connected to family and friends and engage through SPG’s various social media channels. (www.starwoodhotels.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino and Hotel to install InvoTech’s UHF-RFID Uniform System

The Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino and Hotel will install InvoTech Systems’ UHF-RFID Uniform System to help manage the 8,000 uniforms used by its 900 employees. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ latest hotel and casino, Wind Creek Wetumpka is scheduled for completion in winter 2013/2014. (www.windcreekcasino.com, www.invotech.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Des Moines Marriott Downtown installs Clear Sky’s BEVERAGE inventory management
  • Agilysys releases SWSDirect shopping cart module for Stratton Warren System

The Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Des Moines, Iowa has installed Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE inventory management software. Functions include purchasing, receiving, outlet transfers/issues/returns and physical inventory, plus an interface with the property’s Micros POS system to allow reporting of beverage costs by location, product, and product category. (www.marriott.com/DesMoines?, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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Agilysys has released the SWSDirect add-on shopping cart module for its Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement solution. (www.agilysys.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Red Lion Hotels implements hotel ServicePro at all 27 corporate-owned properties

Red Lion Hotels has completed its implementation of hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro system at all 27 of its corporate-owned properties, using it to manage both guest requests and all maintenance activities. (www.redlion.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Crestron releases two new infiNET EX IOEX wireless control modules for retrofit applications

Crestron has released two new infiNET EX IOEX wireless control modules, targeted at the retrofit addition of wireless control of serial, IR and relay devices in homes and commercial buildings. The INET-IOEX-IRCOM module enables long distance wireless communication between 3-Series control systems and devices such as TVs, cable boxes, displays, projector screens, AV components, switchers, and other equipment that is controllable using basic serial or IR commands. The INET-IOEX-RYIO module provides a low-voltage relay and digital input control interface for remote devices such as sensors, motorized screens and other relay-controlled devices. The connected device can then be controlled from any Crestron user interface such as a touchscreen, keypad or remote, or from any Apple or Android smart device. (www.crestron.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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