August 28, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office


AUGUST 8 – 28, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • BTM Institute report shows financial benefits of integrating technology into operations

It’s a truism that many hoteliers do not appreciate the value that technology brings to their operations. It’s baffling how often little attention is paid to the systems that contain all their customer information and operating data, but we’ve all met hoteliers who keep obsolete systems in place for way too long, or who install “point” solutions to specific problems without considering their integration into the complete operation.
The benefits of implementing technology well, integrated as completely as possible throughout the operation, are highlighted by a new study from the BTM Institute. The report analyzes five years of financial data for Global 2000 companies and concludes that companies with “converged business technology management” – i.e. those that see technology as an innate part of how they do business – have significantly better financial performance, superior revenue growth and higher net margins than others in their industries.
Such companies – which include Harrah’s Entertainment – recorded 12 percent average annual revenue growth compared with 4 percent for their industry groups, and achieved 36 percent average annual earnings per share growth versus 7 percent for their industry. They also grew at a faster pace and had greater returns than their peers, with 6 percent higher EBITD (earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation) margins, 4 percent average higher return on equity, 8 percent average higher return on assets and 14 percent higher return on investments.
The report states that by taking this approach “an organization creates an environment for strategic exploration and business agility… [with] … a clear understanding of technology’s ability to accelerate both the development of strategic positioning and innovative business models.”
The three key lessons were stated as:
1. Top corporate executives should realize the financial impact that a unified business technology organization can have.
2. Being a converged business technology company does require a different level of management thinking. “You cannot separate IT from the business. [Business technology] has to be institutionalized.”
3. You have to be able to measure how these business technology management capabilities are guiding organizational maturity and how that connects back to the financial results.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Oumou Bah joins TTI Technologies International as Hotel Relations Manager

Oumou Bah has joined self-service kiosk/business center vendor TTI Technologies International as Hotel Relations Manager, to act as liaison between hotels and TTI, respond to hotelier and guest requests, provide ongoing training, and identify the need for additional guest-service solutions. Prior to joining TTI, Ms. Bah worked at the Essex House hotel in New York for five years as a guest-service agent, accountant and auditor.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Agilysys releases full two-way integration between Visual One PMS and IDeaS
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America installs SoftBrands’ Medallion PMS at three sites
  • Hotel Concepts releases two-way OTA-based interface to SynXis’ RedX

Agilysys and IDeaS have released full two-way integration between the Visual One PMS and IDeaS Revenue Optimization Solution. (www.ideas.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has installed SoftBrands’ Medallion PMS at its three locations in Philadelphia, suburban Chicago, and Tulsa to manage patients’ room status and specific requirements such as wheelchair access or oxygen. CTCA accommodates patients both in onsite guest quarters and at nearby hotels, currently handling 115 onsite and 185 offsite guest rooms. A fourth hospital is due to open in Goodyear, AZ by winter 2009. (www.cancercenter.com, www.softbrands.com)
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Hotel Concepts has released a two-way OTA-based interface to SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management system for its IDPMS and IDCRS systems, to deliver reservations and guest profile information directly to its PMS and CRS and allow users to manage rates, availability and restrictions directly from the Hotel Concepts software. (www.synxis.com, www.hotelconcepts.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Fairmont extends contract with Pegasus for Global Commission Services
  • Hotel du Pont picks TravelCLICK
  • Sabre and Amadeus request antitrust approval to develop secure, automated payment processing, clearing and reconciliation systems
  • Travelocity adds keywords and search filters to user-generated reviews on its Website

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has extended its existing contract with Pegasus Solutions for Global Commission Services. (www.fairmont.com, www.pegs.com)
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The 217-room Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, DE, has contracted with TravelCLICK for its iHotelier central reservations system, Hotelligence market intelligence tool, Internet marketing services and Travel Agent Targeted Advertising. (www.dupont.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Sabre Holdings and Amadeus have asked the European Commission for antitrust approval of a joint venture to provide secure, automated payment processing, clearing and reconciliation systems to the global travel industry. The joint venture plans to focus on the non-air segments of the industry such as hotels, cruise, tour, car and rail, integrating existing travel industry financial instruments into a multi-channel, multi-GDS platform. (www.sabre.com www.amadeus.com)
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Travelocity has added keywords and filters to the search tool the user-generated traveler reviews stored on its Web site. Reviews can now be tagged in up to 16 categories, including families, couples, with young kids, with teens, mature travelers, solo women, group of friends, with disabilities, with pets, other vacationers and business travelers. (www.travelocity.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Tarsadia picks The Knowland Group’s INSIGHT and READERS services
  • TIG Global receives two Summit Creative Awards

Tarsadia Hotel Group will offer The Knowland Group’s INSIGHT and READERS services to several of its properties in the southwest USA. The READERS hotel reader board service offers a searchable online application, access to historical data, next day reports, telesales leads and ROI tools. INSIGHT gives sales managers an overview of daily events, groups and meeting planners across all hotel brands. (www.tarsadia.com, www.knowlandgroup.com)
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TIG Global has received two Summit Creative Awards for its work on the Nickelodeon Family Suites website and the LXR Luxury Resorts-American Express promotional landing page. The annual competition acknowledges the artistic endeavors of small and medium sized companies worldwide, and this year attracted entrants from twenty-six countries. (www.nickhotel.com, www.luxuryresorts.com\amexpromo, www.summitawards.com www.tigglobal.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Outrigger Enterprises Group chooses PROS’ Hotel Revenue Optimization System
  • Preferred Hotel Group adds IDeaS to Preferred Vendor Program
  • IDeaS releases full two-way integration with Agilysys’ Visual One PMS
  • Starwood designates EZ Yield.com as global channel management partner
  • Four multi-unit management companies conducting pilot installations of Rainmaker’s revolution LRO

Outrigger Enterprises Group has selected PROS’ Hotel Revenue Optimization System for its multi-branded portfolio of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties. (www.outriggerenterprisesgroup.com, www.prospricing.com)
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The Preferred Hotel Group has added IDeaS Revenue Optimization to its Preferred Vendor Program, which offers approved products to Preferred’s approx. 400 independent hotels and resorts.
IDeaS and Agilysys have released full two-way integration between IDeaS’ Revenue Optimization Solution and Agilysys’ Visual One PMS.
(www.preferredhotels.com, www.agilysys.com, www.ideas.com)
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Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has designated EZ Yield.com as its global channel management partner. Since April over 40 Starwood hotels worldwide have adopted the EZYield V3 system, which allows them to update rate, allotment, stay restrictions and packages simultaneously across 200+ travel websites. (www.starwoodhotels.com, www.ezyield.com)
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Laramar Group, Julian LeCraw Company, Carmel Partners and an additional REIT, with over 82,000 combined units, are conducting pilot installations of The Rainmaker Group’s revolution LRO revenue optimization system. (www.letitrain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Newmarket International releases new version of Daylight

Newmarket International has released a new version of its Daylight group sales and catering application, featuring integration with Cendyn’s eProposal and Passkey Hotel Direct. The latter can now receive information directly from Daylight, eliminating the need to re-enter data manually, and allows for the sharing of data such as new bookings, changes to bookings and final production numbers. The integration with eProposal allows a user to select booking information and save it to Cendyn’s system, from which an eProposal can be created, modified and sent to a potential customer within minutes. (www.cendyn.com, www.passkey.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Monk McQueens piloting Squirrel Systems’ fingerprint biometric technology
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar to install HSI’s Profit Series POS in 175+ sites

Vancouver restaurant Monk McQueens is piloting Squirrel Systems’ fingerprint biometric technology, part of Squirrel’s new Release 5. The technology is deployed on Posiflex’s Fanless KS-6315 flat panel PC in conjunction with Digital Persona’s biometric engine. (www.monkmcqueens.com, www.squirrelsystems.com)
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Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, a long-term Hospitality Solutions International (HSI) client, has signed a five-year Buying Agreement for HSI’s Profit Series Point-of-Sale, to be installed in at least 175 company-owned locations over a five-year period. Franchise locations also have the option to leverage the negotiated pricing. The Minneapolis-based chain currently comprises 449 restaurants in 38 states. (www.hsi-solutions.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • NxTV ranked number 389 on the Inc. 500
  • MTech integrating SDC Solutions’ IntelliDESK PBX console with HotSOS
  • MTech appoints MagiNet to distribute HotSOS in Asia, Middle East and Africa

NxTV, Inc. has been ranked number 389 on the 2007 Inc. 500 list of the country’s fastest growing private companies, having posted a three-year sales growth of 736% from 2003 to 2006. (www.nxtv.com)
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MTech is integrating SDC Solutions’ IntelliDESK PC-based PBX console with its Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS). The integration will let operators access HotSOS directly, simplifying training and support and providing instant access to HotSOS data for a faster, more complete response to guest requests, concerns, and comments.
MTech has appointed Singapore-based MagiNet to distribute its HotSOS system throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. MagiNet currently provides technology integration services to more than 600 hotels in 40 countries. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) hosted system will be sold and deployed by MagiNet while being hosted and maintained by MTech.
(www.sdcsolutions.com, www.maginet.net, www.m-tech.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Market Metrix releases Version 2.0 of Employee Metrix employee feedback system
  • HTNG forming new workgroup to focus on payment systems and data security
  • Homewood Suites implements video iPod-based Mobile Training at all 204 sites in US and Canada

Market Metrix has announced Version 2.0 of its Employee Metrix employee feedback system for the hospitality industry. Employee Metrix 2.0 combines multi-channel data collection (online, paper, telephone surveys) with web-based reporting to isolate and act quickly on critical issues. (www.marketmetrix.com)
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Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) is forming a new workgroup to focus on payment systems and data security. It will focus on credit and bank cards, other payment cards and devices such as gift cards, loyalty cards, contactless smart cards (e.g. Hong Kong’s Octopus card) and non-card devices such as mobile phones, and will cover the significant variations across world regions and specific countries. The workgroup may choose to focus on specific geographic areas or regional issues at various points of time or in the context of regional teams or sub-groups. Several leading hotel companies, payment system providers, and other companies have already applied to participate. Other interested parties are invited to join in an open signup period which will run until at least September 15, 2007. (www.htng.org/workgroups/payments.htm)
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Homewood Suites by Hilton announced that all 204 properties in the United States and Canada have been outfitted with video iPods for use with its new Mobile Training program. The iPod Mobile Training offers employees the opportunity to train directly in their own work environment, with training content organized efficiently into playlists to allow for stronger information retention. (www.homewoodsuites.com)
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