December 11, 2012

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

Engineering

Security

NOVEMBER 28 – DECEMBER 11, 2012

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Happy Holidays!
  • PhoCusWright publishes report on travel/technology trends

‘Tis the season for prognostications and forecasts, but as usual I’ll be covering that in my Year-End Review in January. In the meantime, I can’t do better than refer you to PhoCusWright’s most thoughtful review of travel technology trends (below), which is well worth a read.
Thank you all for your support and feedback during the past year! Have a warm, safe and above all happy holiday season, and I’ll see you in January.
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PhoCusWright has published a report on its ten “Travel Innovation and Technology Trends for 2012 and Beyond”, which it initially presented at the World Travel Mart in London in early November. This is an excellent, concise and thoughtful presentation containing an overview, technology summary and examples of each trend, and I strongly recommend everyone to download and read it.
The trends discussed are:
1. Technology is compensating for content fragmentation and a multi-dimensional supply chain.
2. Social media is the cornerstone of marketing strategy.
3. The digital divide between technology haves and have-nots is narrowing, providing greater purchasing reach.
4. Business intelligence at every level is the new face of successful travel companies.
5. In meeting the expectations of the modern consumer, today’s travel companies are living laboratories.
6. GDSs are extending their content sources, evolving their walled gardens.
7. Capabilities of mobile platforms are converging, helping users achieve true mobile empowerment.
8. Semantic technology is finally becoming relevant in the travel value chain.
9. Big data, cloud computing and logical data warehouses are a big deal for travel distribution.
10. Travelers enjoy more technology-enabled service delivery.
(http://www.phocuswright.com/free_reports/)
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Peter Altabef to become President and CEO at MICROS Systems, succeeding Tom Giannopoulos
  • Bill Oliver promoted to President-North America at VingCard Elsafe
  • Ariel Herr  named VP Communications and Marketing Services at Pegasus
  • Kevin O’Connor hired by Carlson Wagonlit as EVP and CIO
  • Angela Westphal joins ReServe Interactive as sales account executive
  • Tim Stanley joins Runtriz’ Advisory Board

Peter Altabef has been named President and Chief Executive Officer at MICROS Systems effective January 2, 2013, at which time he will also become a director. He will succeed A.L. “Tom” Giannopoulos, who will continue as executive chairman of the company until his scheduled retirement on June 30, 2014. Mr. Altabef joined Perot Systems in 1993, serving in various leadership roles and becoming President and Chief Executive Officer in 2004. After Perot was acquired by Dell in 2009 he served as President of Dell Services until his departure in 2011.
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William J. (Bill) Oliver has been promoted to President-North America at VingCard Elsafe, effective January 1, 2013; he will continue as Vice President and General Manager/North America until the end of the year. Prior to joining ASSA ABLOY Hospitality in July 2011, Mr. Oliver founded and headed Evolve Hospitality Group, a hotel industry consultancy, and held Board of Director level positions with various Hotel/Motel Associations and regional Convention and Visitors Bureaus. During his 27-year career, he has managed hotel properties from full-service hotels and casino resorts to independent boutique hotels, spent more than six years as an executive for hospitality security technology vendors and held senior management positions with hospitality organizations such as Noble Investment Group, Winegardner & Hammons, Vista Host and Peabody Hotel Group.
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Ariel Herr has been named Vice President, Communications and Marketing Services at Pegasus Solutions. Ms. Herr began working with Pegasus Solutions in 2005 on the agency side; she had earlier served as executive vice president, client services at Forte Public Relations in Dallas, and before that as a vice president at Michael Burns & Associates.
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Kevin O’Connor has been hired by Carlson Wagonlit Travel as executive vice president and chief information officer. Mr. O’Connor brings over 20 years’ experience, most recently as CIO of NYSE Technologies. His prior experience includes serving as global head of equities IT for UBS, global head of applied technology for Deutsche Bank, and managing director of Morgan Stanley.
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Angela Westphal has joined ReServe Interactive as a sales account executive. Ms. Westphal brings over 10 years of hospitality Industry experience in front of house management and corporate event sales and management. She began her career at independent restaurants and boutique hotels before moving to Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
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Tim Stanley has become the latest investor in Runtriz and the newest member of its Advisory Board. Mr. Stanley is currently SVP of Enterprise Strategy and Cloud Innovation at Salesforce.com, and was earlier the Chief Innovation Officer, CIO/CTO and SVP of Gaming for Caesars / Harrah’s Entertainment.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • MSI releases CloudSync for CloudPM business continuity
  • Hetras now supports Safari browser
  • Prologic First announces 14 new clients
  • Prologic First releases version 7.1.3 of WISH GMS

Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has released its CloudConnect offering with CloudSync technology, providing a way for hotels using its CloudPM guest management system to maintain business continuity when Internet services are lost.  CloudSync can be configured by each hotel to keep a full or partial copy of the hotel’s CloudPM database in the on-property CloudConnect device, which is also used for communications between CloudPM and the many local sub-systems (PBX, POS, keycard systems, etc.) at the property. If communications are lost the hotel can continue to run using the local copy of the database; when the link is restored all data and business transactions automatically synchronize back to the cloud. (www.msisolutions.com)
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Hetras announced that it now supports Apple’s Safari browser for access to its cloud-based hotel management system. (www.hetras.com)
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Prologic First announced several new clients, including:
– De Palma Hotels (4 properties in Malaysia, using WISH Front Office and POS)
– Bunga Raya Island Resort & Gayana Eco Resort, in Malaysia (multi-property WISH and POS)
– The Address Hotels (5 properties in Dubai, using a custom version of @Your WISH guest services)
– Asiana Hotel, Dubai (integrated WISH for all departments)
– Nidra Hotel, New Delhi (integrated WISH for all departments; chain has standardized on WISH)
– Bay Hotel, Singapore (WISH Front Office and POS, plus integrated QikInn tablet check-in)
Prologic First has released version 7.1.3 of its WISH GMS. Enhancements include the ability to set up automatic alerts when rooms are made Permanent Out of Order and when group bookings are cancelled, and a new Mail Merge feature for Touché Profiler that allows hotels to use Microsoft Office to mail customized sales & marketing messages.
(www.prologicfirst.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Benchmark opens Global Revenue Support Center for voice reservations services

Benchmark Hospitality International has opened a Global Revenue Support Center for voice reservations services, located at its corporate offices in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston.  The Center allows each Benchmark property to manage its inventory centrally so that customer service agents can sell in ”real time” and offer accommodations at current price demand; its also serves as the overflow alternative for each individual property’s reservations department. (www.benchmarkhospitality.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Lodging Interactive announces a record year
  • Sabre to offer Dragon Trail Interactive website, digital marketing and social media services
  • Starwood Preferred Guest releases new mobile application for Android
  • Infor announces social sentiment measurement widgets for HMS dashboard in partnership with TrustYou
  • HeBS Digital receives five HSMAI Adrian Awards
  • Vizergy wins two HSMAI Adrian Awards, three W³ Awards and WMA’s Web Award for Outstanding Website
  • Sceptre launches MotionNotes email delivery of video messages/campaigns
  • Cornell study quantifies how social media reviews drive hotel reservations

Lodging Interactive announced that in 2012 it achieved an 85% increase in growth, a 40% increase in staffing, more than doubled the number of services it offers to hotels and won seven awards for Website design. It provided more new services in 2012 than in the last 10 years combined. (www.LodgingInteractive.com)
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Sabre Hospitality Solutions has partnered with Dragon Trail Interactive, a digital marketing agency and travel technology company in Beijing, China, to offer Dragon Trail website, digital marketing and social media services to all hotels looking to build a native presence in the Chinese travel market. (www.dragontrail.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Starwood Preferred Guest has released a new mobile application for Android, allowing members to book stays worldwide, access personalized benefits, manage their SPG accounts and connect through integrated social media. During a guest’s stay the app provides local information such as weather, directions, in-room dining selections and other hotel amenities. Starwood data shows a 300 percent increase in mobile booking revenue generated versus the same time period one year ago. (www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest)
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Infor has announced three social sentiment measurement widgets for its Hospitality Management System dashboard through a collaboration with TrustYou. The widgets – Seal (TrustScore), Source and Review – are powered by semantic data from TrustYou, gathered from more than 200 different sources in 23 different languages on review and booking sites, blogs, forums, and communities.
– Seal displays a hotel’s overall TrustScore, representing the aggregated online opinions of travelers worldwide.
– Sources provides an overview of review websites where the hotel is represented, allowing properties to filter reviews by source, data, sentiment, category, etc., to understand where customers are writing reviews and to manage the hotel’s reputation across each source.
– Review displays current reviews of a hotel, and helps hoteliers remedy poor reviews or issues through a task management feature that prioritizes more timely responses to the most critical matters.
(www.trustyou.com, www.infor.com)
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HeBS Digital has received five HSMAI Adrian Awards in the digital marketing division:
Gold: Shell Vacations Hospitality Black Friday Travel Sale minisite
Silver: Shell Vacations Hospitality “Summertime and the Savings Are Easy” minisite, Hotel ZaZa website, Oceanaire Resort Hotel website
Bronze: Revere Hotel Boston Common website
(www.hebsdigital.com)
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Vizergy has won two HSMAI Adrian Awards, three W³ Awards and the Web Marketing Association’s Web Award for Outstanding Website.
Adrians: Marco Beach Ocean Resort and Double Tree Hotel Grand Junction.
WMA Web Award for Outstanding Website: First Hospitality Group (FHG) corporate website.
W³: Gold award for the Oxford Hotel Bend website and Silver awards for the mobile websites of Bed & Breakfasts of Savannah and Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown.
(www.vizergy.com)
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Sceptre Hospitality Resources has launched its MotionNotes for Hospitality, which allows for email delivery of custom video messages or campaigns.  An interactive communications platform, it is designed to simplify the process of creating, distributing and tracking personalized multimedia messages without costly production, programming or IT resources. Built-in analytics, contact management and visual branding support campaign effectiveness and ROI analysis, and QR codes can be included to connect to specific content or promotional campaigns. (www.sceptrehospitality.com)
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A new study by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research’s Chris Anderson confirms and quantifies how social media reviews drive hotel reservations.  The main findings include:
– the increasing influence of TripAdvisor, as the number of reviews consulted by consumers prior to booking a hotel room has steadily increased over time.
– an analysis of transactional data from Travelocity showed that a 1-point increase on Travelocity’s 5-point scale allows the hotel to increase its price by 11.2 percent and still maintain the same occupancy or market share.
– matching ReviewPRO’s Global Review Index to STR’s hotel sales and revenue data shows that 1-percent increase in a hotel’s online reputation score leads up to a 0.89-percent increase in a hotel’s average daily rate (ADR), plus an occupancy increase of up to 0.54 percent and up to a 1.42-percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR).
(www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/abstract-16421.html)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Skyline Hotels & Resorts implements EzRMS at five properties
  • Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India implements RateTiger
  • Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno, NV implementing IDeaS RMS
  • Venice’s Bauer Hotels implements IDeaS’ RMS across four hotels
  • ONYX Hospitality Group signs with SiteMinder for 22 properties in Thailand
  • Spanish hotel distribution services vendor Idiso opens office in Shanghai

Skyline Hotels & Resorts has implemented Infor’s EzRMS Revenue and Yield Management software all five properties in Canada.  (www.skylineinvestments.com, www.infor.com)
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Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India has installed RateTiger to automate and streamline revenue management and online distribution for its Club Mahindra flagship brand and Zest Breaks, Club Mahindra Fundays, Mahindra HomeStays and Mahindra.Travel brands. The company has over 147,000 long-term holiday members and operates 40 resorts across India and Thailand. (www.clubmahindra.com, www.ratetiger.com)
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The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV is implementing IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ Revenue Management System (RMS) as part of its $25 million renovation. The property features nearly 2,000 guest rooms and suites, 200,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, 10 restaurants and several entertainment amenities.
Venice’s Bauer Hotels has implemented IDeaS’ Revenue Management System across its four hotels, L’Hotel, Il Palazzo, the Palladio Hotel and Spa and the Villa F private residences. Revenue management mentoring was provided by IDeaS Hospitality Consulting, which also acted as an interim solution whilst the Revenue Manager position was being filled.
(www.grandsierraresort.com, www.bauerhotels.com, www.ideas.com)
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ONYX Hospitality Group has signed with SiteMinder for channel distribution management services for its 22 properties in Thailand, including 13 from its centerpiece brand Amari. Three hotels – Amari Orchid Pattaya, Amari Residences Bangkok and Amari Watergate Bangkok – have linked SiteMinder to their IDeaS Revenue Management Systems. (www.onyx-hospitality.com, www.siteminder.com)
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Spanish hotel distribution services vendor Idiso has opened an office in Shanghai to bring its distribution channel management, Web booking engine and mobile booking products to the Chinese market. (www.idiso.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Inn at Honey Run selects hotel SalesPro
  • Lansdowne Resort deploys Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Passkey adds over 40 new clients in UK after merger with Velvet Software
  • Colwen Hotels orders Newmarket’s Delphi.fdc for 23 properties across New England

The Inn at Honey Run has selected hotel SalesPro from hotel SystemsPro to help it manage its group business for corporate groups, day retreats, weddings, and family events from across Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania. (www.innathoneyrun.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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The 296-room Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, VA, has deployed Passkey’s GroupMAX online booking software. The Resort is located 500 acres and includes conference services in over 50,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, 45 holes of golf and multiple dining options.
A year after its merger with the UK’s Velvet Software, Passkey has implemented GroupMAX at over 40 cities and hotels in the UK.
(www.LansdowneResort.com, www.passkey.com)
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Colwen Hotels has ordered Newmarket International’s Delphi.fdc for its portfolio of 23 Marriott, Hilton and independent properties across the New England states. (www.colwenhotels.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Prologic First releases version 7.1.3 of Touché POS
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Prologic First has released version 7.1.3 of its Touché POS system. Enhancements include the ability to create bundled menu items in Touché, to summarize and add multiple checks into a single POS check, and for POS order tickets to be printed across multiple kitchens (allowing sommeliers to see what food items have been ordered). A new Mail Merge feature for Touché Profiler allows hotels to use Microsoft Office to mail customized sales & marketing messages.
(www.prologicfirst.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Monscierge launches Monscierge|Connect mobile application for guest services
  • Element Hotels installs stationary bike with pedal-powered generator in each fitness center
  • TravelMax USA installs FlyteBoard in Lima, Peru office, first Latin America install for Flyte
  • Roomlinx partners with Hewlett Packard for networking and thin client technology
  • The Modern Honolulu implements Digital Alchemy’s iNeed guest services software
  • Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center installs Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications

Monscierge has launched its Monscierge|Connect mobile application for iOS platforms; an Android will follow in early January 2013. Monscierge | Connect provides guests with access to a hotel or brand’s services such as room service, concierge, spa reservations and dining availability. Participating hotels and chains manage the content they want to share through a built-in content management system. Guests can communicate their needs via chat or voice; service delivery is managed through automated dispatch and monitoring. While the complete functionality is only available at participating hotels, guests will have access to recommendations and other travel information anywhere. Monscierge | Connect also allows hotel to deliver real-time information to its guests, such as parking availability alerts, discounts in the bar or spa, or when a room is ready for early check-in. Digital postcards carrying the hotel branding are also available, and allow guests can add their own messages and send them to friends and family through email, Facebook, and Twitter. Curated local recommendations are provided by RCloud, and encompass 47 cities and thousands of recommended merchants. (www.monscierge.com)
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Element Hotels has installed a stationary bike with a pedal-powered generator in each of its fitness centers, allowing guests to pedal their way to a fully charged tablet or smart phone. The Pedal for Power program was unveiled at Element Miami International Airport. (www.starwoodhotels.com/element)
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TravelMax USA has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information display in its Lima, Peru office, the first travel company in Latin America to implement Flyte Systems’ products. (www.travelmaxusa.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Roomlinx has announced a partnership with Hewlett Packard to use HP networking and thin client technology for its Internet and TV services.  Under the agreement, HP will also advertise a range of technology services and products through the Roomlinx iTV system. (www.roomlinx.com)
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The Modern Honolulu has implemented Digital Alchemy’s iNeed guest services software, allowing guests to submit service requests for common issues such as housekeeping, room service, valet and maintenance concerns. The 353-room property also uses iNeed in lieu of printed materials in the guestroom. Approximately 50% of guests use the software in some way during their stays; each service request is instantly pushed to the hotel’s guest response system, displaying the issues on a central dashboard for hotel management and front desk agents to view. (www.themodernhonolulu.com, www.Data2Gold.com)
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The Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center has installed Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications in all 640 guest rooms as part of a major refurbishment. In addition to providing a choice of in-room guest entertainment, Sensiq includes wired and WiFi guest Internet connectivity throughout the property as well as tiered bandwidth services, and allows the property to deliver branded promotional content directly via the in-room TV. (www.sheratonrome.com, www.quadriga.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Merchant Link completes integration with ID TECH’s encrypting point-of-interaction (POI) devices
  • Mandarin Oriental, Boston installs InvoTech Systems’ UHF RFID Uniform System
  • Prologic First releases new version of Web Prol’IFIC accounting system

Merchant Link announced completion of its integration with ID TECH’s encrypting point-of-interaction (POI) devices, adding support for ID TECH’s encrypting card readers to Merchant Link’s TransactionShield point-to-point encryption service. Data is encrypted the moment a credit card is swiped or entered on a keypad, passes through the merchant environment and is sent to Merchant Link’s cloud-based gateway for decryption and authorization. Cardholder data is replaced with tokens that are sent back to the POS to reference the transaction. Integration is available for ID TECH’s SecureMag, SecurePIN 130 SL, SecureKey, SecureKey M100 and M130, Sign&Pay and Secure Line Mobile devices. (www.idtechproducts.com, www.merchantlink.com)
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The Mandarin Oriental, Boston has installed InvoTech Systems’ ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID Uniform System to manage employee uniform processes and reduce costs. (www.mandarinoriental.com/boston/, www.invotech.com)
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Prologic First has released a new version of its Web Prol’IFIC accounting system that includes multi-property transactions such as for a chain receiving consolidated payments for multiple properties, making consolidated payments to suppliers on behalf of multiple units, and automating the posting of inter-unit journals in General Ledger. The workflow includes features that allow any unit (with the appropriate Web Prol’IFIC license) to post financial transactions that effect one or more units and for the effected units to confirm the transaction to ensure reconciliation. (www.prologicfirst.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Vantage Hospitality Group implements proprietary mobile app for QA inspections
  • InterContinental Mark Hopkins, InterContinental San Francisco in SoMa launch Stem’s Energy Optimization service

Vantage Hospitality Group has implemented a proprietary mobile application developed by Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi) for quality assurance inspections. (www.ver-sys.com, www.vantagehospitality.com)
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The InterContinental Mark Hopkins in Nob Hill and InterContinental San Francisco in SoMa have both launched Stem’s Energy Optimization service, which uses a proprietary combination of big data, predictive analytics and energy storage to switch between battery power and grid power to reduce energy costs. The service includes an automatic, real-time decision making engine that dynamically stores energy from the electricity grid in a CODA Energy lithium-ion battery core and discharges it into business operations as needed.  Data included in the analysis includes historical weather information and industry vertical usage patterns. (www.intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com, www.intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com, www.stem.com)
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SECURITY

  • One Room Hotel, Prague, uses VingCard Elsafe Signature RFID locking system

The One Room Hotel, a single luxury suite 66 meters above ground level in Tower Park Prague, Prague’s tallest building, has opened with VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID locking system. (www.oneroomhotel.cz, www.vingcardelsafe.com)
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