February 12, 2008

In this issue…

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Communications


TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Alignment is good; positive gains are better

CIO magazine just published a list of Top Ten Management Priorities for 2008, the results of a survey of 250 top IT executives. The overwhelming top priority was “Improve alignment with business objectives”, voted #1 by 60% of the respondents.
I was struck by the phrase “improve alignment”, which recognizes that all too frequently this crucial factor is missing completely. Despite the number of times it’s stated that “there are no IT projects, they’re all business projects with an IT component”, reality is often different. Some business projects are launched without proper regard for the technical challenges they entail, and some IT projects are done out of a perceived need rather than an actual one. Some IT projects done for the right reasons (e.g. the replacement of an obsolete system) introduce new possibilities that the business side fails to take advantage of, preferring simply to speed up the previous operations rather than take a fresh look at alternative uses.
Just as important as alignment is that the combined business/IT project should not be undertaken at all unless it has a significant impact. It’s an essential task to constantly review the list of projects that could realistically be undertaken, and only tackle those that have the greatest benefit to the company. There are always a thousand things that could be done to fine-tune an operation or to make a software application a little more appealing. Better to take action only on those that produce real changes in effectiveness and put up with a few rough edges.
Incidentally, the remainder of the Top Ten were:
2. Improve IT planning processes (34%)
3. Improve project management capabilities (29%)
4. Reducing IT costs (28%)
5. Improving ROI on IT spending (27%)
6. Improving leadership and management capabilities (25%)
7. Improving systems development capabilities (23%)
8. Recruiting and retaining IT staff (18%)
9. Instituting ITIL (structured development library approach) (11%)
10. Improving technical training (10%) Should make for an interesting comparison with the Hospitality Upgrade IT investment survey. **

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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Cannery Casino Resorts picks Agilysys’ LMS for three properties
  • MSI contracts with d’Vinci Interactive for web based training tools for Enterprise suite
  • Millennium picks MICROS OPERA as standard PMS for 14 properties in US
  • NORTHWIND-Maestro marks its 30-year anniversary
  • Pinehurst adding Agilysys’ Visual One Club Management and Spa systems
  • New Coco Beach Resort, Accra, Ghana, orders IDS Softwares Fortune Express PMS
  • RezOvation releases version 4.5 of RezOvation GT small-property PMS
  • QHotels completes implementation of Protel’s PMS, dotPOS and Xn globalRES at latest property acquisitions

Cannery Casino Resorts in Las Vegas has selected Agilysys’ Lodging Management System (LMS) for three properties: Cannery Casino & Hotel and East Side Cannery, both in Las Vegas, and The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pittsburgh. The resorts also will use LMS ResNet for online room reservations and the DataMagine Report Archive module to streamline recordkeeping. (www.cannerycasinos.com, www.agilysys.com)
**
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has contracted with digital training vendor d’Vinci Interactive to create web based training (WBT) tools for MSI’s Enterprise product suite, incorporating simulations, practices and certifications to quantify the expertise of staff members. The first WBT tools, designed for EnterprisePM, MSI’s ASP delivered property management system, will include front desk, reservations and management functions and will be available Spring of 2008. (www.msisolutions.com)
**
Millennium Hotels and Resorts has selected MICROS OPERA as its standard property management solution and MICROS 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS) as its standard food and beverage point-of-sale solution for its 14 properties in the United States. MICROS OPERA will be deployed and centrally hosted in the MICROS Data Center located in Ashburn, Virginia. (www.millenniumhotels.com, www.micros.com)
**
NORTHWIND-Maestro is marking its 30-year anniversary this year, a remarkably long run in this industry. Northwind’s first system was a custom development for the Four Seasons’ Inn on The Park in Toronto, in 1978, handling guest history, travel agent commission payments and accounting. After two earlier PMS developments, the current PMS offering, Maestro, was launched in 1994 at the Bayview Wildwood Resort in Ontario. (www.maestropms.com)
**
Pinehurst Resort is adding Agilysys’ Visual One Club Management System and Spa System to its Visual One Premiere Property Management System, Condo Accounting, Golf, Sales & Catering, and Retail systems. The Club Management System will let the resort’s country club create various membership levels, track facilities usage and post and track membership fees. The system also prints barcode photo ID membership cards, creates membership wait lists and generates a variety of reports such as dues schedules, membership statistics and spending analyses. Sales from the property’s golf, spa and retail outlets can be settled directly to member accounts. (www.pinehurst.com, www.agilysys.com)
**
The 75-room New Coco Beach Resort in Accra, Ghana, has ordered IDS Softwares Pvt. Ltd.’s Fortune Express PMS, IDS’ first implementation in West Africa, through KOIOS International, IDS’ local partner. (www.idsfortune.com)
**
RezOvation has released version 4.5 of its RezOvation GT small-property PMS. Enhancements include targeted marketing e-mails, an interactive availability calendar for on-line booking, a date search box on any or all of their web pages, and integrated credit card processing through Intuit’s Quickbooks Merchant Services. (www.rezovation.com)
**
QHotels has completed implementation of Protel’s PMS, dotPOS and Xn globalRES at its latest properties, acquired last year with the purchase of Marston Hotels and the Telford Gold & Country Club. All properties now run on centralised systems installed and supported by Xn Hotels. QHotels operates 21 hotels in the UK. (www.qhotels.co.uk, www.protel-net.com, www.xnhotels.com)
**

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RESERVATIONS

  • Amadeus sells 50% stake in Rumbo to Orizonia Corp
  • NH Hoteles renews contract for Trust|Voyager reservation services for 340 hotels
  • Travel agents continuing to increase reliance on GDS promotions
  • Venere.com acquires Italian online hotel booking agency Worldby.com
  • Wotif.com Holdings acquires Asia Web Direct (HK) Limited
  • Priceline.com signs with Travelport GDS to process reservations through Travelport’s Worldspan
  • Lodging Interactive rolls out HotelDirectBook.com consumer-oriented hotel-booking portal

Amadeus has sold its 50 percent stake in Rumbo, an online travel agency focusing on Spain, Portugal and Latin America, to Spanish tourism vendor Orizonia Corporación. The other 50 percent of Rumbo will continue to be owned by Telefónica, the Spanish telecommunications company. (www.amadeus,com)
**
NH Hoteles has renewed its contract for Trust International’s Trust|Voyager for central reservation system (CRS), global distribution system (GDS) and Internet distribution channels (IDS) services for its 340 hotels. NH Hoteles ranks third among European business hotels. (www.nh-hotels.com, www.trustinternational.com)
**
Travel agents continue to increase their reliance on GDS promotions for hotel bookings, according to a Phoenix Marketing International survey conducted for TravelCLICK which covered 500 travel agents from 30 countries. The study reported that 41 percent of agents use their GDS platform more often than in the past, with 30 percent using the GDS shopping displays more often. (www.travelclick.net)
**
Venere.com has acquired Italian online hotel booking agency Worldby.com from FINB S.A. and from the company’s management team, whose members will continue in their current roles. The two companies are expected to continue to manage their accommodation supply partners independently. (www.venere.com)
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Wotif.com Holdings has acquired Asia Web Direct (HK) Limited, an on-line travel services company with over 4,000 hotels in South East Asia in its inventory. (www.wotif.com)
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Priceline.com has signed a long-term agreement with Travelport GDS to process reservations through Travelport’s Worldspan global distribution system. (www.priceline.com)
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Lodging Interactive has rolled out its HotelDirectBook.com consumer-oriented hotel-booking portal, which has been in Beta test since mid-2007. (www.hoteldirectbook.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Brisas Hotels and Resorts contracts with ICE Portal for digital media production services
  • TIG Global received nine Adrian Awards

Brisas Hotels and Resorts has contracted with ICE Portal for digital media production services, including 360° virtual tours for all of the company’s resorts in Mexico. Brisas operates four Resort properties (Las Brisas Acapulco, Las Brisas Huatulco, Las Brisas Ixtapa and Las Hadas Manzanillo) and three Corporate properties (the Galeria Plaza in Mexico City, Galeria Plaza, Veracruz and Hacienda Jurica in Queretaro). (www.brisas.com.mx, www.iceportal.com)
**
TIG Global received nine Adrian Awards for excellence in Web Marketing from HSMAI, and one of its clients, the Georgetown Inn, 2007 was named eMarketer of the year. TIG won Website Design Awards for:
* Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin – Platinum Award (http://www.EsplanadeBerlin.com)
* Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn – Gold Award (http://www.NickHotel.com)
* ENO Wine Rooms (http://www.EnoWineRooms.com)
* Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa (http://www.SawgrassMarriott.com)
* South Seas Island Resort (http://www.SouthSeas.com)
* The Georgetown Inn (http://www.GeorgetownInn.com)
Integrated Marketing Campaign Awards for:
• Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn (http://www.NickHotel.com)
• South Seas Island Resort (http://www.SouthSeas.com) and and Interactive Map Award for the Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin (www.EsplanadeBerlin.com)
(www.tigglobal.com)
**

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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Hotel Berna, Milan, implements IDeaS V5i
  • WORLDHOTELS launches Performance and Revenue Optimization (PRO) service
  • Guestline launches RoomLynx inventory aggregator, channel manager and distribution system

Hotel Berna, Milan, has implemented IDeaS V5i On-demand Revenue Management system. An independent three star hotel located in the heart of Milan, the Hotel Berna is a sister property of Lugano Dante, Switzerland, also an IDeaS client. (www.hotel-milano-berna.com, www.ideas.com)
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WORLDHOTELS has launched a Performance and Revenue Optimization (PRO) concept for its member properties, which are all independently owned. The PRO team will provide consultation for affiliated hotels on pricing strategies, yield management concepts and revenue maximization policies. (www.worldhotels.com)
**
Guestline has launched its RoomLynx inventory aggregator, channel manager and distribution system, which provides global distribution system (GDS) connectivity by connecting to a hotel’s preferred CRS such as Synxis, and manages exposure to the leading online travel agencies (OTA’s) including Booking.com and Expedia. RoomLynx also provides seamless integration into a hotels PMS for reservations import. (www.guestline.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Palms Casino Resort names PSAV Presentation Services its sole audiovisual and event technology partner
  • Fairmont deploying Passkey online group reservation application as a brand standard

The Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, has named PSAV Presentation Services its sole audiovisual and event technology partner for its 60,000+ square feet of meeting and convention space. The Palms is also transitioning its business center to a PSAV event-technology center, which includes private meeting rooms, high-tech workstations and a technology concierge in a more public setting, such as an Internet café. (www.palms.com, www.psav.com)
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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is deploying Passkey’s online group reservation application as a brand standard across its 50+ hotels, to be able to offer every group or meeting its own customized hotel reservation website. Reservations made via the Passkey-enabled websites will flow via a two-way live interface to the myFairmont branded Central Reservation System. The roll-out is scheduled for completion by the end of February. (www.fairmontmeetings.com, www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Copper Cellar Restaurants implements Bevchek’s flow-metering with SquirrelOne POS
  • Buca di Beppo rolls-out on-line ordering company-wide, implementing orderTalk with SquirrelOne integration
  • IHG names MICROS’ 9700 and 3700 as preferred POS for all owned/managed hotels
  • Millennium picks MICROS 9700 as standard POS for all 14 properties in US

Copper Cellar Restaurants in Tennessee is implementing Bevchek’s flow-metering beverage management system, in conjunction with its SquirrelOne POS system, following a successful pilot test.
Buca di Beppo is rolling-out on-line ordering company-wide, implementing orderTalk with SquirrelOne integration at 18 more stores. Restaurants offering curb-side pickup use orderTalk to record vehicle information (make, model and color) on the Squirrel guest check. Completion is expected to take until the end of the second quarter.
(www.coppercellar.com, www.squirrelsystems.com, www.ordertalk.com, www.bucadibeppo.com, www.bevchek.com)
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IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) has named MICROS’ 9700 and 3700 as its preferred POS system for all of its owned and managed hotels. IHG will also deploy mymicros.net, MICROS’s web-based software suite. Installation of 30 corporate locations is targeted for April 2008. (www.ihg.com, www.micros.com)
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Millennium Hotels and Resorts has selected MICROS 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS) as its standard food and beverage point-of-sale solution and MICROS OPERA as its standard property management solution for its 14 properties in the United States. MICROS OPERA will be deployed and centrally hosted in the MICROS Data Center located in Ashburn, Virginia. (www.millenniumhotels.com, www.micros.com)
**

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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Pinehurst Resort adding Agilysys’ Visual One Spa System

Pinehurst Resort is adding Agilysys’ Visual One Spa System and Club Management System to its Visual One Premiere Property Management System, Condo Accounting, Golf, Sales & Catering, and Retail systems. The Club Management System will let the resort’s country club create various membership levels, track facilities usage and post and track membership fees. The system also prints barcode photo ID membership cards, creates membership wait lists and generates a variety of reports such as dues schedules, membership statistics and spending analyses. Sales from the property’s golf, spa and retail outlets can be settled directly to member accounts. (www.pinehurst.com, www.agilysys.com)
**

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GUEST SERVICES

  • Doubletree and Hilton at Seattle Airport install FlyteBoard real-time airline information display screens
  • Plaza installing Guest-Tek Interactive’s OneView Media platform

The Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport and the Hilton Seattle Airport Hotel and Conference Center, which share common ownership and comprise over 1,200 rooms, have installed Flyte Systems FlyteBoard real-time airline information display screens. (www1.hilton.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Elad Properties, owners of New York’s landmark Plaza Hotel, and operator Fairmont Hotels are installing Guest-Tek Interactive’s OneView Media platform at the Plaza Hotel with free-to-guest Internet protocol television with high-definition (“HD”) programming, and HD video-on-demand entertainment services. The 282-room Plaza Hotel will soon re-open soon after a $400 million lobby to roof renovation, including the restoration of its defining landmark public spaces such as The Palm Court, Oak Bar and Oak Room. (www.guest-tek.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Hotel del Coronado upgrades to version 3.0 of Agilysys’ Materials Management System

The 679-room Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA has upgraded to version 3.0 of Agilysys’ Materials Management System (MMS) inventory procurement system.. Enhancements include automated e-mail bid capability, point-and-click functionality, the ability to route purchase requisitions for approval via e-mail or personal digital assistant (PDA), enhanced browser capabilitie and multiple par level functionality. (www.agilysys.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Sandpearl Resort being considered for LEED certification, partly based on Inncom thermostats

The 253-room Sandpearl Resort is being considered for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, based in part on its use of Inncom’s eco-mode thermostats. (www.sandpearl.com, www.inncom.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS

  • Hilton Hotels centralizes all telephone accounting and call logging in UK, Ireland on SDD’s JAZZ Fusion

Hilton Hotels has centralized all its telephone accounting and call logging for its nearly 80 UK and Ireland hotels on SDD’s JAZZ Fusion. SDD has certified Opulentia Solutions Ltd for European implementation and support of its JAZZ Fusion voice and internet billing software and service systems. (www.hilton.co.uk, www.opulentia.co.uk, www.jazz-fusion.net)
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