December 3, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Spa / Golf / Leisure Activities

Guest Services

Back Office

NOVEMBER 20 – DECEMBER 3, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Awards from HTNG, PhoCusWright recognize achievements in guest service.

The end-of-year Technology Award season continues, with both HTNG and PhoCusWright announcing the winners of their recognition programs. HTNG focused on hoteliers in the EMEA region, PhoCusWright on the vendors presenting at its Travel Innovation Summit. The common theme? Every one of these winners is focused on providing a better guest experience. There’s no clearer indication of where the focus lies today.
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Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has given its EMEA Technology Innovators Awards to Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) and the Hotel Lugano Dante Center.
– Mövenpick created a central Service Centre ticketing platform for hotels and offices to manage guest and staff requests and issues, following an IT call-center model, based on Microsoft Sharepoint with a separate SQL database for ticket reporting data. The ticket application itself is a joint venture between 5 Zurich based companies from different industries. It replaced a structure where each property had its own dedicated system, costs about 1/10 of the prior structure and requires less staff. Guest survey data with one hotel showed that guest satisfaction increased about three months after deployment of the tool, and interaction between departments improved. Next year Mövenpick plans to add a mobile app and look into integration with property management systems.
– Hotel Lugano Dante Center developed its Happy Guest Relationship Management (HGRM) tool from the ground up. All staff have been issued with iPhones and iPads since 2009 to allow for full engagement with the guest. Guests can receive personalized contact from reservation, confirmation, arrival, through the in-room experience and post-departure. Guests can directly communicate with reception staff for any need (room temperature, pillow and bedding types, minibar beverages, amenities for children and more). Almost no paper is used by the property; almost every document that used to be printed is now available to staff on-line. Guests who use the system rate the hotel very positively in online ratings services, thus improving their brand reputation and earning the hotel the greatest number of online guest comments in Switzerland.
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PhoCusWright announced the award winners of The Travel Innovation Summit in each of five categories: Startup, Emerging, Established, B2B and B2C. Conference attendees determined the People’s Choice Award winner. This year, Brand USA awarded the first Travel Marketing Innovation Award, and one company was selected to win the $250,000 General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation.
WINNERS
The General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation: SafelyStay (verified vacation rentals)
The Brand USA Award for Travel Marketing Innovation: Mygola Inc. (curated custom itineraries)
The 2013 Travel Innovation Summit People’s Choice Award: Peek (experience-based travel planning)
The Most Innovative Startup Company: VerbalizeIt (translation services)
The Most Innovative Emerging Company: Groupize (group booking)
The Most Innovative Established Company: Sociomantic Labs (personalized ad display)
The Most Innovative Business to Business Company: Sociomantic Labs
The Most Innovative Business to Consumer Company: MakeMyTrip.com Pvt. Ltd. (travel booking)
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Jeff Welles promoted to President at InvoTech
  • Samir Abi Frem joins HTNG’s Board of Governors
  • Andrew Sanders joins RoamingAround as COO
  • John Seaton promoted to VP Sales/EMEA and APAC at eRevMax

Jeff Welles has been promoted to President at InvoTech Systems. Serving as vice president for the past six years, he began his tenure with InvoTech as a systems specialist in the customer support department, and later served as installation manager before moving into directorships in operations, and sales and marketing.
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Samir Abi Frem, Corporate VP of Information Technology at Abu Dhabi-based  Rotana Hotel Management Company, has joined HTNG’s Board of Governors. He has more than 15 years of experience in hospitality IT including ten years at Rotana.
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Andrew Sanders has joined RoamingAround as chief operating officer. Mr. Sanders brings more than two decades of hospitality technology experience, most recently as VP business development at OpenWays and earlier in senior sales, business development and operational positions at MICROS, Adaco and Multi-Systems Inc. He began his career in the field of hotel central-reservation systems at McDonnell Douglas Information Systems in the UK, and relocated to the U.S. to lead business integration efforts following its acquisition of MCorp.
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John Seaton has been promoted to Vice President – Sales, EMEA and APAC at eRevMax. An industry veteran of 18 years, Mr. Seaton joined eRevMax in 2010, and previously held senior sales, account & distribution management positions with HBSi and Pegasus Solutions.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Marriott expands mobile check-in into international arena
  • House of Fisher selects protel’s MPE from Xn Hotel Systems
  • Dunes Hotel Apartments picks Prologic First’s WISH for chain of hotel apartments in Dubai
  • Prologic First upgrades Club Central application to multi-property enterprise level

Marriott has expanded mobile check-in using its Marriott Mobile App into the international arena, following its initial USA and Canada roll-out. The option is now available at 20 additional Marriott hotels in 19 countries, including Thailand, Singapore, India, Australia and Philippines. China will be added in early 2014. Marriott Rewards members who have downloaded the app can check-in through a smartphone as early as 4 pm the day before arrival, receiving an automatic notification when the room is ready. On arrival they can pick up their key card from an expedited mobile check-in desk. (www.marriott.com)
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House of Fisher has selected protel’s Multi-Property Edition (MPE) PMS from Xn Hotel Systems for its serviced-apartment operations in the UKs Thames Valley and South Central regions. Key criteria included billing for advance payment and VAT requirements, integrity of financial reporting, mobile functionality for housekeeping and other departments, and exposure to key distribution channels. (www.stayhof.com, www.xnhotels.com)
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Dunes Hotel Apartments has chosen Prologic First’s WISH system for its chain of hotel apartments in Dubai, UAE, starting with its flagship hotel, Ivory Grand Hotel.
Prologic First has upgraded its Club Central club management application to multi-property enterprise levels of functionality. Chains can now receive and process membership applications either at each unit or centrally at the head office; all members have a single record irrespective of which club or clubs, within the chain, they joined. Member profiles and history is shared across all concerned units. Multiple levels/types of memberships are allowed with different entitlements and benefits. Club Central is interfaced with Prologic First’s Touché POS for billing of additional services, Touché Events & Catering for booking and management of parties & meetings, WISH to manage onsite guest rooms and Web Prol’IFIC for back office purchase, inventory, F&B costing and accounting.
(www.ivorygrand.com, www.prologicfirst.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • B4Checkin certified by TripAdvisor for TripConnect access
  • Genares partners with TrustYou

B4Checkin has been certified by TripAdvisor for TripConnect access, allowing its hotel clients to route prospective guests directly to their own websites from listings on TripAdvisor. (www.b4checkin.com)
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Genares Worldwide Reservations Services has partnered with TrustYou to provide its hotel clients with reputation management tools to analyze online reviews and social media content. The toolset allows hoteliers to understand what is said, increase reviews, distribute content and strategically market a property’s reputation. (www.genares.com, www.trustyou.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Lodging Interactive announces HotelWebPages.com copywriting service for better match with new Google algorithm
  • TravelClick receives eleven HSMAI Adrian Awards
  • Fourwinds Resort and Marina selects UniFocus’ GUESTScope
  • Genares partners with TrustYou
  • Blynk announces new guest Feedback application
  • Blynk releases mobile apps for nine new properties
  • CMS Hospitality updates G-Phone and G-Pad mobile BI apps
  • MGM Resorts International selects Medallia for guest feedback management at 15 resorts
  • HeBS Digital receives eight HSMAI Adrian awards
  • Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson  launch social media campaign with Otrum

Lodging Interactive has announced HotelWebPages.com, a new copywriting service intended to help hotels update their Web site content to provide better matches with Google’s new search algorithm (“Hummingbird”). The new system interprets the “inferred meaning” of a search, rather than providing listings that contain the exact SEO keywords used in the query. (www.hotelwebpages.com, www.LodgingInteractive.com)
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TravelClick has received four gold, four silver, and three bronze titles at the HSMAI Adrian Awards, along with two integrated marketing campaign awards. This brings its 2013 award total to 70. (www.TravelClick.com)
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Fourwinds Resort and Marina on Lake Monroe, Bloomington, IN has selected UniFocus’ GUESTScope guest satisfaction survey tool to help ensure positive word of mouth, while encouraging more guests to share their experiences.  (www.fourwindsresort.com, www.unifocus.com)
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Genares Worldwide Reservations Services has partnered with TrustYou to provide its hotel clients with reputation management tools to analyze online reviews and social media content. The toolset allows hoteliers to understand what is said, increase reviews, distribute content and strategically market a property’s reputation. (www.genares.com, www.trustyou.com)
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Blynk has announced its new Feedback application, offering custom questionnaires for website, tablet or smartphone. Hotels can use it on a tablet at the front desk or reception with the feedback form open for guests to leave their comments; restaurants give the guests a tablet with the feedback form before they leave.
Blynk has released mobile apps for nine new properties: the Resort Rio (Goa), Deltin Suites (Goa), Hotel Hindusthan International (Pune), Silent Shores Resort and Spa (Mysore), Peninsula Grand Hotel (Mumbai), Apple Country Resorts (Manali), Camp Exotica (Manali), Manvar Desert Camp & Resort (Rajasthan) and the Pluz Resort (Silvassa). It has also released enhancements to its mobile app product, including more text format options, hyperlinks, image embedding and usage reports powered by Google Analytics.
(www.blynk.it)
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CMS Hospitality has updated its G-Phone and G-Pad mobile Business Intelligence apps for users of is GuestCentrix PMS. G-Phone has been totally re-designed using current web technologies to enable the review of occupancy, future availability and statistics for the property. G-Pad extends the capability of the G-Phone app, and allows review of the Res Chart and selected PMS reports. Both apps are available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. (www.cmshospitality.com)
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MGM Resorts International has selected Medallia to improve the guest and customer experience at its 15 resorts. The application captures guest feedback and delivers real-time insights and actions back to employees, enabling them to identify issues, improve processes and resolve problems. (www.mgmresorts.com, www.Medallia.com)
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HeBS Digital has received eight HSMAI Adrian awards for excellence in digital marketing.
– Gold Awards:
– Ventana Inn Website
– White Wednesday Travel Sale for a Major Resort/Timeshare Company
– Ultimate Summer Adventure with Facebook Photo Sharing Application for a Major Resort/Timeshare Company
– Silver Awards:
– Revere Hotel Meta Search Marketing
– YOTEL Facebook Custom Tab
– Vacation Rentals VA Beach Website
– Bronze Awards:
– Parrot Key Resort Picture Perfect Instagram Contest
– New York Palace Website
(www.HeBSDigital.com)
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Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson have recently launched a social media campaign on Instagram to promote their Free Internet and Surf4Free campaigns, and cooperated with Otrum to extend these campaigns to the digital in-house promotional stands installed in close to 140 Rezidor hotels. (www.rezidor.com, www.otrum.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Flora Hospitality Group implements IDeaS RMS in Flora Grand Hotel
  • Citymax Hotels switches to IDeaS’ RMS for UAE properties
  • ProfilHotels adopts PowerYourRoom’s PriceYourRoom pricing recommendation software

Flora Hospitality Group has implemented  IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ Revenue Management System (RMS) in its 200-room Flora Grand Hotel in Dubai. Flora operates eight hotels and hotel apartments in the United Arab Emirates and India.
Citymax Hotels has switched to IDeaS’ RMS for its UAE properties.
(www.florahospitality.com, www.citymaxhotels.com, www.ideas.com)
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ProfilHotels has become the first hotel group in Sweden and Denmark to adopt PowerYourRoom’s PriceYourRoom pricing recommendation software to receive daily BAR pricing and distribute it directly to all appropriate electronic channels using YieldPlanet’s channel management software. PriceYourRoom analyses PMS as well as market and competitors data to recommend the most optimal daily BAR rate. (www.profilhotels.com, www.poweryourroom.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Groupize unveils Planner Relationship Manager
  • PSAV acquires Visual Aids Electronics

Groupize has unveiled its Groupize Planner Relationship Manager (PRM), a cloud based Sales and Catering System to help hotels manage their online and offline demand for Groups and Meetings. The PRM centralizes all leads and all groups in a single dashboard, can manage automated group bookings and RFPs from multiple channels, groups’ business intelligence and sales automation. PRM is fully integrated with the Groupize Live white label application that powers group bookings on hotel and travel websites, and includes an automated quoting engine, a quote and proposal generator, business rules and the ability to communicate directly with the group planner including notes, attachments and action-triggered emails. (www.groupize.com)
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PSAV has acquired Visual Aids Electronics (VAE), and plans to merge the two companies into one entity as PSAV. VAE has been providing audiovisual services since 1968 through regional warehouses in Richmond, Cincinnati and Phoenix and smaller warehouses in Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA. (www.psav.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  • IBS and Brett Darrow announces Play18 Solutions

IBS and Quick18 founder Brett Darrow have announced Play18 Solutions, an integrated marketing company that allows semi-private, resort and daily fee courses to drive rounds and revenue while retaining control of their pricing structure and customer data. Play18 utilizes a combination of IBS’ newly-acquired T-Links cloud-based reservation system, IBS POS and online business intelligence coupled with Quick18’s digital marketing tools to capture customer and sales data and produce targeted marketing campaigns.   Play18 Solutions replaces the barter system with a performance-based pricing structure, allowing courses to keep their pricing structure intact. (www.play18solutions.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Holiday Inn Express New Orleans Airport installs RoamingAround’s RoamBoost
  • FCS signs Valued Business Partnership with India’s Enkay Technologies
  • Roadtrippers.com launches Android app, upgrades iPhone app
  • Westin Atlanta Airport contracts with Bags to offer free Airline Check-in/Bag Check from the hotel
  • Bulk TV & Internet recognized as one of 50 fastest growing private companies in Raleigh-Durham area

The Holiday Inn Express New Orleans Airport has installed RoamingAround’s RoamBoost cell phone signal coverage extenders to improve mobile connectivity throughout the property. (www.hiexpressnola.com, www.RoamingAround.com)
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FCS has signed a Valued Business Partnership with Enkay Technologies, a provider of communication services for India’s hospitality industry. Enkay will distribute FCS’ suite of hospitality technology services, including its Hotel Operations Management Applications and i-Guest mobile app.  (www.enkayindia.com, www.fcscs.com)
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Roadtrippers.com has launched an Android version of its app and announced a major upgrade to its iPhone app. Android users can now sync trips planned on Roadtrippers’ Web site to their phones for navigation, on-the-go mapping and finding points of interest along their way. Roadtrippers’ location database contains over 100k user-submitted and expert-curated places such as all-American diners, roadside attractions, b&b’s, movie filming locations, scenic spots and more. The new iPhone app now allows users to build itineraries on the fly and navigate them easily. (www.Roadtrippers.com)
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The Westin Atlanta Airport has contracted with Bags Parking and Guest Services to offer free Bags Airline Check-in from the hotel, allowing flyers to check-in luggage for their flights and receive their boarding passes directly from the hotel lobby. Airline baggage fees still apply. Guests can enroll on-line, at kiosks at the front desk and on tablets in the airport shuttle vans. Boarding passes will be delivered to guests’ hotel rooms the night before departure; they can then drop their checked luggage at the Service Express desk in the hotel lobby up to 2 hours prior to scheduled flight departure. (www.westinatlantaairport.com, www.maketraveleasier.com/parking)
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Bulk TV & Internet has been recognized by the Triangle Business Journal as one of the 50 fastest growing private companies in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. (www.bulktv.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • iTesso announces interface with Merchant Link
  • Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts picks Prologic First’s Web Prol’IFIC for all its UAE properties
  • CMS Hospitality releases new GuestCentrix Mbar app
  • CMS Hospitality releases redesigned GuestCentrix HKeep app
  • Concord Hospitality selects LaserVault’s DMS document management system

iTesso has announced an interface between its iTesso Enterprise Lodging System and Merchant Link’s payment gateway and data security services, removing iTesso from Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements by eliminating the storage of cardholder data in the iTesso database. Merchant Link’s secure Payment Gateway, TransactionVault and TransactionShield deliver point-to-point encryption and tokenization. (www.itesso.com, www.merchantlink.com)
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Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts has selected Prologic First’s Web Prol’IFIC multi-property back office application for all its properties in the United Arab Emirates. Installation has started at first property, the Bin Majid Towers hotel at Nehal. (www.binmajid.com, www.prologicfirst.com)
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CMS Hospitality has released its new GuestCentrix Mbar app for 5”-screen or larger Android devices to help hotels streamline their mini-bar operations. Integrated with the GuestCentrix POS, the app allows the Mini Bar attendant to “swipe” the items into the app on the mobile device, which then posts the replenished minibar items onto the guest account. Users can highlight “DND” rooms as a reminder to return at a later time, and can also report the room’s apparent occupancy status.
CMS Hospitality has released its redesigned GuestCentrix HKeep app, replacing the previous Housekeeper mobile app.  Based around the size of a 7″ Android tablet, the app allows Housekeeping teams to update room attendant status in GuestCentrix PMS and create maintenance requests when used with GuestCentrix R&M. Room status changes are time stamped for audit purposes.
(www.cmshospitality.com)
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Concord Hospitality Enterprises selected LaserVault’s DMS document management system with workflow for its 90+ hotels in the U.S. and Canada. (www.concordhotels.com, laservault.com)
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