December 17, 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

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

DECEMBER 4 – 17, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Is the GMS a commodity? I don’t think so!

I’ve been asked a couple of times recently whether GMSs (or PMSs, if you must) have become commoditized and uninteresting. After all, the hot action these days is focused on CRM and Revenue Management, and one GMS is much like another, right?
I beg to differ.
I wrote earlier this year on the topic of “How much GMS do you really need?” and concluded that it may not be as much as you used to – in itself. But hotels absolutely do need one; there’s no other vehicle for consolidating all the touch points where a guest interacts with the operation. The real issue isn’t whether one type of system or another is the most important to a hotel’s operation, it’s that they’re all important and they must all work together. The current glamor may belong to CRM and RMS and their ability to increase business and profitability, but the data those systems rely on doesn’t come out of thin air.
Every system generates data of interest to every other system. Guests’ stay history and preference details are captured in GMS folios and are built into a wider database for marketing and recognition programs. At the same time data captured from the reservations process, data from guests’ interactions with loyalty programs via their mobile devices and data from all the other systems in the hospitality ecosphere need to be incorporated and consolidated into the whole. Anything that might improve the quality of the guest’s stay needs to be made available in the right way to the staff member interacting with the guest, whether on a reservations call, at the front desk or at a spa or restaurant check-in desk. That’s more often through a GMS workstation than anything else. And yes, that GMS workstation can sometimes be a smart phone.
Consequently the GMS remains a critical part of the operation, and the choice of which one to use remains as important as ever. The main functions may be common across all of them, but significant differences remain in how well they integrate with other systems and in how well they present key information to the hotel staff. IT Consultant Bob Lewis wrote that “Every piece of software is an opinion”; it’s developed according to a designer’s idea of how things should be done. To get the best out of the hotel staff’s knowledge and experience it’s essential to make sure that the tools they use integrate well, give them the data they actually need and are matched to the way they work in their own particular operating environment, i.e. that the software designers’ opinion matches their own in how to run the business. Given the variability of human experiences, that requires as rich a range of GMS design approaches as can be economically provided.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Patrick Scully joins hotel SystemsPro as Director of Product Strategy
  • Thierry Beau joins Locatel as Director of Strategy
  • Bruce Humphrey hired by Safemark Systems as Regional Sales Manager
  • Matt Neff is new Regional Director of Sales at nSight travel intelligence
  • IDeaS announces winners of second round of 2013 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarships
  • Deanna Smith appointed Sr. VP of Business Development at Genares

Patrick Scully has joined hotel SystemsPro as Director of Product Strategy. Most recently, Mr. Scully was Director, Americas Sales & Operations for iTesso; he was earlier General Manager of the Hotel Indigo in Athens, Georgia.
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Thierry Beau has joined Locatel as the group’s Director of Strategy. Mr. Beau began his career with Philips Group, and then joined Cewe Color – Konica. In 2007 he became co-founder and CEO of Directstreams, an editor of multimedia convergent services for the international luxury hospitality market.
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Bruce Humphrey has been hired by Safemark Systems as Regional Sales Manager. Bringing nearly two decades of industry experience with a specialty in guest service and security, Mr. Humphrey earlier held management, sales and operations positions with hospitality suppliers including Bartech, Miwa and Nexus.
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Matt Neff is the new Regional Director of Sales at nSight travel intelligence. With 15 years of experience, Mr. Neff most recently led the North American sales team at innRoad; he had earlier led the Western, Mid-Western, and Northeast regions at TravelClick.
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IDeaS Revenue Solutions announced the winners of its second round of 2013 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarships as:
Certificate in Hotel Revenue Management –
Benjamin Chan, Area Revenue Analyst – New York, Viceroy Hotel Group, New York, N.Y.
Pankaj Dhoundiyal, Duty Manager – Front Office, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Jaipur, India
Robert Horsfield, Revenue Coordinator, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, London, U.K.
Certificate in Advanced Hospitality Revenue Management –
Abhay Bishnoi, Revenue Analysis Executive, Jumeirah Group, Dubai, UAE
Saskia Maren Hoffman, Revenue Analyst, Park Hyatt Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Jerome Joaquin, Revenue Manager, Hotel Brandwood, Glendale, Calif.
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Deanna Smith has been appointed Sr. VP of Business Development at Genares Worldwide Reservations Services. Ms. Smith comes to Genares with 11 years of marketing and hospitality experience; she was previously Senior Sales Manager for InnLink Reservations.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Protel releases Mobile Hotelsoftware Protel for iPad 2.0
  • Springer-Miller announces multi-platform mobile apps, beginning with SMS|Host Anywhere
  • Springer-Miller to distribute Glad to Have You’s Guest Management System to hotel and resort clients
  • MSI integrating CloudPM with Best Western’s Central Reservation System
  • SkyTouch integrates SiteMinder RDX into Hotel OS

Protel Hotelsoftware has released Mobile Hotelsoftware Protel for iPad 2.0, which allows direct access to all central front office functions as well as to protel Reporting from any location.  Amongst other functions, Protel for iPad can scan the QR code sent with a guest’s reservation confirmation and create the registration form for the guest to sign directly on the iPad. (www.protel.net)
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PAR Springer-Miller Systems has announced the availability of a new suite of mobile hospitality apps, beginning with SMS|Host Anywhere, a check-in and check-out application powered by Glad to Have You.  This is the first release on a platform that Springer-Miller will use for modules compatible with all of its software applications. SMS|Host Anywhere can generate room keys, process payments, modify reservations, search for arrivals and departures and more.
PAR Springer-Miller has signed an agreement with Glad to Have You to distribute GTHY’s Guest Management System to its hotel and resort clients. The Guest Management System is a mobile platform that allows properties to relay customized details such as property information and destination guidebooks to guests through a custom mobile app, emails, and push notifications via their mobile devices.
(www.gladtohaveyou.com, www.atrio.com)
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Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has announced an extended partnership with Best Western International to integrate Best Western’s Central Reservation System with its CloudPM property management system. (www.bestwestern.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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SkyTouch Technology has integrated SiteMinder Room Distribution Exchange (RDX) into its Hotel OS application, which now offers property, rate and distribution management capabilities including automatic distribution of rates and availability, real-time reservations delivered into the property management component of the Hotel OS, and visibility on hundreds of online booking sites through a single connection. (www.rdxglobal.com, www.skytouchtechnology.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Leonardo Hotels renews technology agreement with Sabre, will engage Sabre in its brand expansion
  • Singgasana Hotels and Resorts  contracts with Trust International

Leonardo Hotels has renewed its technology agreement with Sabre Hospitality Solutions and its SynXis CRS, and plans to engage Sabre in its brand expansion. Leonardo Hotels recently acquired 20 new hotels across Europe and the Middle East. As the European division of the Fattal Hotels Group, Leonardo Hotels manages more than 80 hotels in Israel, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Hungary. (www.leonardo-hotels.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Singgasana Hotels and Resorts has contracted with Trust International for hotel distribution services, including CRS, GDS, IDS (direct connect), IBE, Mobilebooker and a PMS Interface. Singgasana Hotels and Resorts operates hotels, residences, a golf course and an international convention centre in Indonesia. (www.singgasanahotels.com, www.trustinternational.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Three DMOs sign with nSight travel intelligence
  • TSA Solutions adds myDashboard to Front Desk Upselling software
  • Sonesta picks TrustYou

Three destination marketing organizations – Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), VISIT FLORIDA and Visit Philadelphia – have signed with nSight travel intelligence for input on online travel consumer behavior from around the world. (www.lvcva.com, www.VISITFLORIDA.com, www.visitphilly.com, www.nsightfortravel.com)
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TSA Solutions has enhanced its Front Desk Upselling software with myDashboard, which displays key performance indicators of upsell performance across all hotels in a company’s portfolio, including impact on RevPAR. Hoteliers can view year-over-year performance changes by individual hotel or across the group. Dashboard reports are generated nightly from real-time revenue data and can be sorted by date or year-to-date and across a variety of performance categories, including upsell revenue, RevPAR impact and fee percentage. Hotels operating some properties without the Front Desk Upselling software can manually integrate those properties into myDashboard. (www.tsa-solutions.com)
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Sonesta International Hotels has chosen TrustYou for social media monitoring and reputation management for 55+ of its properties worldwide. (www.sonesta.com, www.trustyou.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Denihan Hospitality integrates Duetto’s revenue strategy software with Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis CRS
  • IDeaS integrates IDeaS RMS with Sceptre’s WindsurferCRS 
  • Best Western Hotels Finland, Baltic States and Poland extends agreement with PowerYourRoom
  • Getabed.co.uk integrates with eRevMax’s Rate Tiger
  • Info-Tech Research Group names Rainmaker’s GuestREV as 2013 Trend Setter Award recipient

Denihan Hospitality Group has implemented an integration of Duetto’s revenue strategy software with Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis CRS. Using standard HTNG messaging to develop their first interface, Duetto and Sabre Hospitality went live with the integration at Denihan properties in November. (www.denihan.com, www.sabrehospitality.com, www.duettoresearch.com)
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IDeaS Revenue Solutions has integrated Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ WindsurferCRS with IDeaS RMS. The IDeaS RMS recommends customized pricing strategies each day to hotel revenue managers and automatically sends the updated rates to WindsurferCRS, which then forwards the rates to online travel agencies. (sceptrehospitality.com, www.ideas.com)
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Best Western Hotels Finland, Baltic States and Poland has extended its agreement with PowerYourRoom for a second year. The affiliate office has also selected PowerYourRoom’s CompareYourRoom rate shopping tool to help its hotels manage and maintain daily rate parity on all important OTA sites and their corporate brand web site. (www.bestwestern.fi/en?, www.poweryourroom.com)
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UK-based Getabed.co.uk has integrated with eRevMax’s Rate Tiger to expand its connectivity options. Winner of the TTG Accommodation-Only Provider of the Year in both 2012 and 2013, Getabed’s current portfolio includes hotels in 7,500 destinations across 167 countries. (www.getabed.co.uk, www.erevmax.com)
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Info-Tech Research Group has listed Rainmaker’s GuestREV system as the Trend Setter Award recipient in its 2013 Vendor Landscape: Revenue Management Systems report. GuestREV was the only system among the seven reviewed to receive a top score for all nine evaluation features used as market differentiators: channel management, competitive rate modeling, controls, demand forecasting, events and promotions, groups, multi-property, non-room revenue and reporting. (www.LetItRain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Amadeus buys Newmarket
  • Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board contracts with ConferenceDirect and Passkey
  • Crestron announces new family of configurable FlipTop connection units 
  • Crown Hotels select Newmarket’s Delphi
  • Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport installs Flyte Systems’ EventBoard
  • Nexus World Services opens first Asia Pacific office, in Singapore
  • YWS launches Meetings Maker direct booking system for hotel meeting rooms
  • Knowland Group releases enhanced Estimated Room Night Revenue feature
  • Strand Development Company completes installation of hotel SalesPro software in 36 of its 50 hotels

Amadeus is acquiring Newmarket International, in a deal expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Newmarket currently serves around 22,000 unique properties in 154 countries; Amadeus’ IT product set is focused on delivering cloud-based enterprise systems for Central Reservations, Property Management, Revenue Management and e-Commerce. Newmarket will be operated as a stand-alone business within Amadeus’ Global Hotel Group. Approximately 430 employees globally, including Newmarket’s entire management team, will join Amadeus, maintaining Newmarket’s headquarters location in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (www.amadeus.com, www.newmartketinc.com)
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The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has contracted with event managers ConferenceDirect in partnership with Passkey for event housing services. (www.conferencedirect.com, www.passkey.com)
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Crestron has announced a new family of configurable FlipTop connection units for conference room cable management and control. Recessed into a conference room table or lectern, the FlipTops provide access to cables, connectors (including HDMI, RJ45, DisplayPort, USB and RCA), power outlets and room control. They are also available with an integrated TSW-class 5-inch touch screen and include on-board Rava SIP Intercom technology. (www.crestron.com)
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Crown Hotels has selected Newmarket International’s Delphi for its multiple locations in Australia and Asia. (www.crownmelbourne.com.au, www.newmarketinc.com)
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The Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport has installed Flyte Systems’ EventBoard. The property is operated by John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts. (www.marriott.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Nexus World Services has opened its first Asia Pacific office, in Singapore. (www.nexusworldservices.com)
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London-based YWS has launched its Meetings Maker direct booking system for hotel meeting rooms in the UK and USA. Added to an existing hotel website, Meetings Maker allows hotel groups to make their meeting rooms searchable, bookable and payable, in real-time, and has been implemented by the UK’s Premier Inn group. Potential clients can use Meetings Maker to enter their meeting requirements (location, number of attendees, room layout and duration) to see which of the hotel group’s locations have suitable meeting rooms. Users can click through to specific rooms, add catering and equipment and then book and pay by card online, or on account if authorized. Meetings Maker’s functions include inventory control, yield management and a business intelligence module providing a range of reports, including actual vs. budgeted revenue and variance, occupancy percentage, business on the books and meeting room vs. F&B income. An optional guestroom booking interface allows associated room nights to be booked at the same time. (www.meetingsmaker.com)
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The Knowland Group has released an enhanced Estimated Room Night Revenue feature, which looks at estimated total revenues from past events to provide its Readers and Insight users with more data on average room rates and estimated revenues for past events in the Knowland database. The estimates are based on proprietary algorithms that take into account seasonal and day-of-the-week pricing strategies specific to tracks and markets and are based on room rate information from a sampling of online travel agencies. Users can estimate how many days out a certain sized group typically secures a rate and at what percent discount the rate is typically given. (www.knowland.com)
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Strand Development Company has completed installation of hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro software in 36 of its 50 hotels, which operate under brands that include Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Choice and InterContinental Hotel Group. (www.stranddevelopment.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • ReviewPro expands into restaurant space
  • RCD Resorts selects Indra’s TMS POS module for All Inclusive Collection in Mexico and Dominican Republic
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ReviewPro is expanding its online reputation and social media analytics into the restaurant space, and has launched online customer satisfaction measurement and improvement software that allows individual restaurants and chains to aggregate, analyze and respond to online reviews on hundreds of review sites and social media platforms. (www.reviewpro.com)
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RCD Resorts has selected Indra’s Travel Management Suite for Hotels POS module for its All Inclusive Collection in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, comprising the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana and Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. The properties are owned and operated by RCD Resorts under licensing agreements from Hard Rock International. The POS module is fully integrated with RCD’s existing PMS, back-office and loyalty systems to allow guests who are members of the Hard Rock International loyalty program to use a hotel-issued card to charge for services at the Rock shops and have points be immediately updated in the corporate loyalty system. (www.indracompany.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Atlantic Street Capital acquires Uniguest
  • Hilton Garden InnLake Buena Vista/Orlando, Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista/Orlando install RoamingAround’s RoamBoost

Atlantic Street Capital has acquired Uniguest, a provider of hospitality information delivery software. Headquartered in Nashville, Uniguest provides business centers, electronic displays and other customer facing technology within hotels, as well as in?room guest directories and other ancillary printing needs, and has an installed base of over 12,000 devices across nearly 7,000 properties worldwide. (www.atlanticstreetcapital.com, uniguest.co)
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The Hilton Garden InnLake Buena Vista/Orlando and the Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista/Orlando have installed RoamingAround’s RoamBoost Distributed Antenna System (DAS). (hiltongardenbuenavista.orlando.com, homewoodsuitebuenavista.orlando.com, www.RoamingAround.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • FCS integrates Gateway software with three Toshiba Strata CIX Unified Communication Systems

FCS Computer Systems has integrated its Gateway software with three Toshiba Singapore’s Strata CIX Unified Communication Systems, the Strata CIX 100, CIX 670 and CIX 1200. (www.toshiba.com.sg, www.fcscs.com)
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SECURITY

  • OpenWays announced expansion into consumer market with OKIDOKEYS range

OpenWays announced its expansion into the consumer market with its OKIDOKEYS range, a line of smart devices dedicated to home automation. OKIDOKEYS smart locks are offered as enhancements to existing US ANSI grade 1 and grade 2 residential locks as well as for newly built homes. A European EN version of the product will also be available. (www.okidokeys.com)
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