February 15, 2011

In this issue…

People on the Move

Hospitality Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Mobile apps are great, but infrastructure comes first

Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona has focused a lot of attention on just how prevalent mobile communications, smart phones, tablets and portable apps have become, and the almost manic level of interest they hold for many people. Examples from this week’s newsletter alone include Protel’s release of an iPad version of its HMS, MGM porting its iPhone hotel apps to Android and Blackberry, The Plaza’s use of iPads in every guestroom, new clients for Tiare’s Wireless Winelist and Fuel Interactive’s Mobile Booking Software, and so on.
Frequently left far behind in discussion of these appealing apps, though, is the need for an effective infrastructure to support them. The best mobile app in the world is useless unless you have a signal, and it’s easy to become too reliant on a communications link that isn’t always there when you were planning on using it.
Two examples from opposite ends of the spectrum this last month. One was a client looking for replacement systems in a spread-out campus. They have plenty of great ideas on what improvements could be made, as well as a strong interest in their own all-encompassing concierge app. All of this can be done – but I couldn’t get a cell-phone signal in many areas of the site.
At the other end of the scale, I had two visits to the new Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas – it’s been a busy month – and was delighted to find a full four-bar signal throughout the property, including in every meeting room. When was the last time you saw that? It wasn’t inexpensive, but they saw it as a priority and made sure that all four carriers had great coverage throughout the building. That alone puts the “Cosmo” at the top of my list for future stays Las Vegas, even without considering the superb job they did with tasteful, original artworks throughout the building.
Infrastructure first, then apps to ride on it.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Jim Kenney, David Dawson hired as Senior Sales Executives at Infor-SoftBrands
  • David Chestler named President, Hospitality Solutions at RateGain
  • Khaled Abed joins PAR Springer-Miller as Regional Sales Manager for EMEA

Jim Kenney has been hired by Infor-SoftBrands as a Senior Sales Executive, Hospitality Solutions. Most recently SVP Sales and Marketing with sales and event planning vendor Tripleseat , Mr. Kenney brings over twenty years of hospitality experience gained through senior sales and marketing positions with Newmarket, Pegasus, Daylight, OpenCourse, SYMX Technologies and Knowcross. David Dawson has also joined Infor-SoftBrands as a Senior Sales Executive, Hospitality Solutions. Having served the last six years as EVP Sales and Marketing at ResortSuite, Mr. Dawson also brings over twenty years of experience in senior marketing positions, from software companies including iSpheres, Advent, Neuron Data, USoft and Relational Team Concepts.
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David Chestler has been named as President, Hospitality Solutions at revenue management vendor RateGain. In his 20+ year career Mr. Chestler has served in senior sales & business development positions with hotel technology providers such as BirchStreet Systems, Pegasus Solutions, Utell International and Visual Data Corp. Before joining RateGain, he was the Senior VP of Sales & Marketing at e-procurement vendor BirchStreet Systems; in his early career he provided consultative effort for Evergreen Enterprises and Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company.
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Khaled Abed has been hired by PAR Springer-Miller Systems as Regional Sales Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Mr. Abed brings many years of experience within the hospitality industry, most recently as a Major Accounts Manager with MICROS-Fidelio in Neuss, Germany. His background includes positions with various hotel companies in Europe including Crowne Plaza Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Kempinski, Dorint and independent hotel properties in Switzerland and Germany.
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HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Protel introduces “bookatonce” iPad version of Web-based hospitality system
  • Trump Hotel Collection standardizes on MICROS’ OPERA for seven properties
  • Midwest Outdoor Resorts picks SPI Software’s timeshare software for two resorts and corporate office
  • Anantara Vacation Club purchases SPI Software’s suite for Thailand resorts
  • HMS Infotech appoints Carbo Trust Trade Consultancy as Caribbean business partner
  • Fuel Interactive launches Guestdesk Mobile Booking Software for room/ tee time bookings from mobile devices
  • ONETECH Solution offering RateTiger’s RTConnect to its HMS and CRS clients

Protel hotelsoftware has introduced “bookatonce,” an iPad version of its Web-based hospitality system targeted at hoteliers who want to manage their property while mobile. The bookatonce iPad version offers all the central functions of the system, including an interactive reservation book, a 14-day availability overview to booking confirmations sent out via email, “Active Lists” of arrivals, departures, in-house guests and folios. (www.protel-hotel-software.com)
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The Trump Hotel Collection has selected MICROS System’s OPERA Enterprise Solution as its new standard hospitality management system (HMS). First implementation will be at the Chicago property, followed by New York Central Park West, New York Soho, Las Vegas and Waikiki as well as the forthcoming new properties in Panama and Toronto. Modules to be installed in all sites include Property Management and Vacation Ownership; several will also install the OPERA Hardware Solution. Trump will centrally host the OPERA Customer Information System in Chicago. (www.trumphotelcollection.com, www.micros.com)
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Midwest Outdoor Resorts has picked SPI Software’s timeshare management application for installation at its two vacation ownership resorts in South Dakota and Minnesota, and in the corporate office in Rapid City, SD.
Anantara Vacation Club Pte Ltd, a newly developed, points-based vacation club offering resort destinations in Thailand, has also purchased SPI Software’s suite.
(www.midwestoutdoorresorts.com, www.spiinc.com)
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Bangalore-based HMS Infotech has appointed Carbo Trust Trade Consultancy Ltd. as its business partner in the Caribbean region to resell its cloud-based Hotelogix hospitality management system.
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Fuel Interactive has launched its Guestdesk Mobile Booking Software, which lets consumers book hotel rooms and golf course tee times over the Internet via any handheld mobile device. The Breakers Resort in Florida pilot-tested the application in mid-January; nearly 20 properties in the Myrtle Beach area are scheduled to implement it by month end, including Caribbean Resort, Long Bay Resort, Ocean Reef Resort, Bay View Resort, Compass Cove, Island Vista, Dunes Village, North Beach Rentals, Litchfield Beach, Myrtlewood Villas, Pawleys Plantation, Atlantica Resort, Driftwood Lodge, Paradise Resort, Monterey Bay Suites and Palmetto Shores. The system also provides reports on the channel used to make a booking and other site visit statistics. (www.fuelinteractive.com)
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ONETECH Solution is now offering its HMS and CRS clients RateTiger’s RTConnect two-way XML gateway for distribution channel management. The Vagabond Inn, San Francisco Airport Hotel was the launch client. (www.ratetiger.com, www.onetechsolution.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Carmel Mission Inn signs with Genares

The 165-room Carmel Mission Inn, Carmel, CA has signed with Genares Worldwide Reservations Services. (www.carmelmissioninn.com, www.genares.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort implementing ZMail
  • Peabody picks Cendyn for online presence management for three properties
  • HADA Group to release Hospitality Operational Business Intelligence (HOBI) application using DSPanel’s Performance Canvas

MMI Hospitality’s historic King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia is implementing ZMail, ZDirect’s eCRM platform. (www.kingandprince.com, www.zdirect.com)
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Peabody Hotels has picked Cendyn for online presence management for its three properties in Orlando, Memphis, and Little Rock. Cendyn will also manage the company’s Peabody Meetings site for group event planners and will develop and launch mobile websites for all properties and the meetings site. (www.peabodyhotelgroup.com, www.cendyn.com)
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The HADA Group, which integrates business and technology applications for the hospitality industry, announced plans to release its Hospitality Operational Business Intelligence (HOBI) application using DSPanel’s Performance Canvas technology and mobile analytics server. Executives will be able to create, modify and share interactive, real-time visual queries and dashboards from any mobile device or smart phone. (www.dspanel.com/solutions/hospitality-solution/, www.thehadagroup.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • RateGain applications validated for PCI DSS 1.2
  • eRevMax acquires Web developer Lunar Logic Polska
  • Open Hospitality adds RateTiger channel management to reservation processing via Facebook

RateGain’s SaaS-based revenue management applications have been validated for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 1.2 compliance by ControlCase. (www.rategain.com)
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eRevMax International has acquired Lunar Logic Polska, a web and digital development services company based in Poland, and plans to use its expertise in web development and internet applications to offer customized RateTiger development services to hotels and business partners. Lunar Logic Polska will continue to operate as an independent entity.
Open Hospitality has added eRevMax’s RateTiger channel management functionality to its reservation processing via Facebook. The agreement will allow hotels to distribute inventory and rates to Open’s online reservation booking engine on the hotel’s Facebook page.
(www.openhospitality.com, www.erevmax.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • GetThere launches Hotel Traveler Reviews for corporate travelers

GetThere has launched its Hotel Traveler Reviews to let corporate travelers share online hotel reviews. Coupled with corporate hotel policy, the reviews help GetThere users choose hotels that best meet their personal needs while simultaneously complying with company cost savings initiatives. Reviews may include information on service areas such as staff, room quality, bed comfort, cleanliness, value for money, activities, location, security, fitness facilities, meeting rooms, business center and dining. (www.getthere.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Flagstaff House Restaurant implements Tiare’s Wireless WineList

Flagstaff House Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado has implemented Tiare Technology’s Wireless WineList, an Apple iPad application to allow restaurant guests review and order wines by region, varietal, price range or other categories. The system includes tasting notes, vintage information and background on the winery, region and grape varietals, including photos, wine labels, maps, videos and other information. The system carries information on the restaurants 2,500+ wines, as well as beer, cocktails and spirits; guests can email themselves their wine selections as a memento. (www.flagstaffhouse.com, www.tiaretech.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Fuel Interactive launches Guestdesk Mobile Booking Software for booking tee times and hotel rooms

Fuel Interactive has launched its Guestdesk Mobile Booking Software, which lets consumers book golf course tee times and hotel rooms over the Internet via any handheld mobile device. The Breakers Resort in Florida pilot-tested the application in mid-January; nearly 20 properties in the Myrtle Beach area are scheduled to implement it by month end, including Caribbean Resort, Long Bay Resort, Ocean Reef Resort, Bay View Resort, Compass Cove, Island Vista, Dunes Village, North Beach Rentals, Litchfield Beach, Myrtlewood Villas, Pawleys Plantation, Atlantica Resort, Driftwood Lodge, Paradise Resort, Monterey Bay Suites and Palmetto Shores. The system also provides reports on the channel used to make a booking and other site visit statistics. (www.fuelinteractive.com) **

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GUEST SERVICES

  • JANUS adds boarding pass feature to Concierge Board touch screen display
  • The Plaza deploys Intelity’s ICE Touch on iPads in all guest rooms
  • TripAdvisor acquires EveryTrail
  • MGM releases Android versions of 12 hotel applications

JANUS Displays has added a boarding pass feature to its interactive Concierge Board touch screen display, providing guests with access to flight check-in and boarding pass printing as well as flight status including delays and/or cancellations. (www.janusdisplays.com)
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The Plaza, New York, has deployed Intelity’s ICE Touch (Interactive Customer Experience) software on iPads in all guest rooms. The units provide guests with 30 services including ordering in-room dining, making dinner reservations, spa appointments, coordinating transportation, booking show tickets and housekeeping requests, and allows them to browse local information such as maps and directions, flight and airline information and local offers and discounts. (www.theplaza.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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TripAdvisor has acquired EveryTrail, a developer of GPS-enabled applications used to create outdoor tours and city guides for mobile devices. (www.everytrail.com, www.tripadvisor.com)
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MGM Resorts International has released Android versions of its 12 hotel applications; previously available for the iPhone, they will also be released for the BlackBerry in March. In partnership with MacroView Labs, MGM Resorts has also developed its “Entertainment of Las Vegas” app to deliver video previews, show times, event calendars, directions and ticket purchasing to all of its Las Vegas entertainment and attractions. (www.mgmresorts.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • PhoneSuite passes 3,000 installed hotel phone systems milestone
  • PAETEC acquires XETA Technologies

PhoneSuite announced that it has now sold over 3,000 hotel phone systems since 1998. (www.phonesuite.com)
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Business data, voice and IP services provider PAETEC Holding Corp. has acquired XETA Technologies. XETA will expand on its Avaya and Nortel accreditations through PAETEC’s existing platinum partnership with Avaya and will maintain its focus on vertical industries including the hospitality, education, healthcare and government sectors. (www.xeta.com)
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SECURITY

  • Aloft Harlem installs VingCard VISIONLINE RFID communication platform and Signature RFID door locks
  • Porta Fira Hotel installats VingCard Signature locks and Elsafe Sentinel II safes
  • Starwood signs three-year agreement with KABA Lodging
  • Peabody Orlando completes installation of KABA’s Saflok Quantum Adese RFID locks in 1,641 rooms

The Aloft Harlem, the second Aloft to implement Starwood’s Smart Check-In program to by-pass the front desk upon arrival, is using VingCard Elsafe’s VISIONLINE RF-online wireless RFID communication platform and Signature RFID door locks. Starwood Preferred Guest members who choose to participate receive an enhanced SPG/Aloft-branded RFID keycard. On the planned day of arrival, a text message is sent directly to the guest’s mobile device that indicates their room number at the property.
The 320-room Porta Fira Hotel in Barcelona, Spain has completed its installation of VingCard Signature electronic door locks and Elsafe Sentinel II in-room safes.
(www.alofthotels.com, www.h-santos.es, www.vingcard.com, www.elsafe.com)
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed a three-year agreement with KABA Lodging for its Saflok and ILCO electronic locks. The contract covers U.S markets— including Puerto Rico and Guam—as well as Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The 1,641-room Peabody Orlando has completed installation of KABA’s Saflok Quantum Adese RFID lock system, covering all 891 rooms of the hotel’s existing facility as well as its new 750-room tower.
(www.starwoodhotels.com, www.PeabodyOrlando.com, www.saflok.com)
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