February 27, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing

Security

FEBRUARY 7 – 27, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • ISHC Top Ten Technology Issues for 2007
  • HTNG to focus on “practical SOA” at annual conference

You may remember that “keeping up with technological change” was voted #3 in the ISHC Top Ten Issues in the Hospitality Industry for 2007. However, discussions during the voting at ISHC’s annual conference covered more aspects of technology’s impact on hospitality operations than could be included under a single item. Consequently ISHC’s technology specialists have summarized the issues discussed into a separate Top Ten Technology Issues for 2007, as follows:
1. Need to Move Off Legacy Systems – Properties tend to cling to obsolete systems when far more effective modern systems could significantly improve revenue opportunities.
2. Data and System Security – With today’s greater sensitivity to guest data security and to the accuracy of financial reports properties need to implement higher levels of system security.
3. Need For Still Tighter Integration – Effective marketing and repeat-business management require tighter integration between all guest-facing systems.
4. Software on Demand Increasingly Attractive – Remotely-hosted and supported software gives properties access to the most current and most securely-maintained software.
5. Making Data Mining and BI Effective Amidst Data Overload – The increasing volume of guest and operational data mandates extra care to ensure consistency and accuracy, and more graphics-based tools to highlight the exceptions requiring attention.
6. Better User Interfaces, Ease Of Use – Both software applications and guestroom technology need to be simpler to operate.
7. Impact of Mobile Devices – Cell phones, PDAs, etc. are having a major impact on both guestroom and management technology, and especially on network bandwidth.
8. Impact of Growing Use of Rich Media – The growing use of rich media on hotel Web sites also increases the need for high-bandwidth connections for both management and guests.
9. Affordability/ROI – The financial payback for technology is seldom addressed formally, but it is often the price of staying in business and keeping guest and operational data secure.
10. Appropriate Use and Level of Technology – Hotels still often select technology that is either too simple or too complex for their real-world needs.
**
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has announced the agenda and speakers for its annual members’ meeting and conference, to be held from March 5-7, 2007 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The program will highlight Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), focusing on its practical realities and discussing which types of companies and products will and will not benefit, now and in the future. **

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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) announces several senior appointments
  • Roy Flora takes over at USFS as Mike Leven retires from the industry

Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) announced several senior appointments:
– Glen Long has been hired as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for North America. Mr. Long has more than 30 years of corporate technology and lodging industry experience, both for companies such as IBM, SMS and United Messaging and as a property owner.
– Rick Bennett has been promoted to Vice President of Product Integration. Mr. Bennett joined MSI in 1992 and has been a member of customer support, product distribution, quality assurance, second-level support and development. He had previously worked in customer support for Rutherford and Associates and as a Night Auditor while attending the University of New Mexico.
– David Kantrud has been promoted to Vice President of Software Engineering, having joined MSI in 2004 as a senior developer. Prior to joining MSI, he was a software engineer with Pegasus Solutions, and had earlier worked as a programmer for Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auctions and the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
– Marc Voirol has been promoted to Director of Account Management. He joined MSI’s Customer Assistance Center in 2000, and had previously spent eight years working in the lodging industry in positions ranging from guest service associate to general manager.
– Kim Anglin has been promoted to Director of Training, after six months with MSI. She was most recently PM Implementation Manager at Pegasus Solutions, and had earlier spent 10 years in management at the property level with Sheraton, Hilton, Registry Resorts and L’Ermitage.
**
Mike Leven has retired from US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), the Global Hyatt affiliate he founded in 1995. Mr. Leven spent his entire 45-year career in the hotel industry, most notably as President and Chief Operating Officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide, President of Days Inn of America, and President of Americana Hotels. He also co-founded the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) with 12 members in 1989. Mr. Leven’s duties at USFS have been assumed by Roy Flora, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for USFS. Mr. Flora has 38 years of experience in hotel franchising, having spent more than 20 years with Holiday Inn Worldwide and serving as a franchise consultant and litigation expert for many hospitality companies. He joined USFS in 2000.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Nantucket Island Resorts implements Northwind’s Maestro for five hotels and boat basin
  • The US Navy’s Gateway Inns & Suites upgrades to Epitome.Net, installs Core CRS
  • El Conquistador Resort, Puerto Rico installs Springer-Miller suite
  • Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg chooses SMS|Host for hotel and spa
  • Mirbeau Inn & Spa orders SMS|Host for hotel, spa, fine dining, banquet and retail
  • Hotel Santa Fe, Las Palomas Hotel and Inn on the Paseo in Santa Fe select SMS|Host

Nantucket Island Resorts (NIR) is implementing a single-inventory version of Northwind’s Maestro system for its five hotels and private boat basin. The properties are the 67-room Wauwinet, 53-room White Elephant, 104-room Harbor House Village (including the Harbor House, Villages House and Springfield House) and 43-room Jared Coffin House, The Cottages and 240-slip Nantucket Boat Basin. NIR’s implementation includes PMS, Yield Management, Sales & Catering and ResEze Internet booking for all five hotels; the Wauwinet will also install Maestro’s Spa Management system. (www.nantucketislandresorts.com, www.maestropms.com)
**
The U.S. Navy’s Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) has authorized a global upgrade from Epitome.pms to Epitome.NET along with the deployment of SoftBrands’ Core central reservation system (CRS), Reservation Portal and Management Console. The upgrade enables the Navy’s Gateway Inns & Suites to move from a decentralized client-server infrastructure to a web-native centralized architecture. The Core CRS and Reservation Portal will let the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites centralize rate and inventory management and consolidate guest profiles. (www.softbrands.com)
**
The El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico has installed PAR Springer-Miller’s SMS|Host PMS. The resort includes 750 rooms and 204 villas, a casino, 22 restaurants and lounges, golf, tennis and water activities. Modules installed include Front Office, Kiosk, Multi-Property Management, Activities, Membership Management (for long term slip rentals at the marina), Baggage Handling and Owner Fulfillment. The resort was already a user of Springer-Miller’s SpaSoft application.
The 246-room Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Canada has chosen PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host for its hotel and spa operations. The former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Hotel first opened in 1913.
The Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, New York has ordered SMS|Host for its hotel, spa, fine dining, banquet and retail programs. The property includes 34 guest rooms in the Main Inn, the 12,000 square-foot Mirbeau Spa, Giverny restaurant, conference and banquet facilities. Mirbeau also operates the Adirondack Great Camp style 14-room Finger Lakes Lodging facility in Skaneateles. SMS modules to be installed include Multi-Property Management, Spa/Resort Scheduling, Activities, Touch Fine Dining POS, Membership Management, Gift Certificate Tracking, Zip/ADI Analysis and POS Retail.
The Hotel Santa Fe, Las Palomas Hotel and the Inn on the Paseo in Santa Fe have selected SMS|Host for the three properties. The 128-room Hotel Santa Fe is the only Native American owned hotel in Santa Fe, and has an attached 35-suite Hacienda. Las Palomas and the 18-room Inn on the Paseo are a few blocks away.
(www.elconresort.com, www.fortgarryhotel.com, www.mirbeau.com, www.hotelsantafe.com, www.laspalomas.com, www.innonthepaseo.com, www.springermiller.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Advantage Travel Centres sign with commission service Net Trans
  • OpenTravel Alliance expands membership structure
  • Dusit Hotels & Resorts picks MICROS’ OPERA Central Systems Solution
  • Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts implements Micros’ Opera Enterprise Solutions and MyFidelio
  • US Navy’s Gateway Inns & Suites to implement SoftBrands’ Core CRS
  • Kayak.com announces consumer launch of Kayak.co.uk
  • Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor, FL signs for TravelCLICK’s iHotelier

Advantage Travel Centres has signed with Norwegian hotel commission recovery service Net Trans AS. Advantage is the launch customer of a wider agreement between Net Trans and the Worldwide Independent Travel Network, of which Advantage is the UK member. (www.ntrans.com, www.advantage4travel.com)
**
The OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) has expanded its membership structure to meet ongoing demand. New members include travel companies Open Hospitality and New Zealand Automobile Association, consulting companies Accenture and TravelDT, technology providers IBS and Thermeon, and distributors Allotz.com and Hotel.de. Mark Haley is the first member registered in a new category created for single consultants. (www.opentravel.org)
**
Thailand’s Dusit Hotels & Resorts has selected MICROS Systems’ OPERA Central Systems Solution, comprising OPERA Reservations System (ORS), Customer Information System (OCIS), Web System (OWS), and Sales Force Automation (SFA). The implementation will give Dusit a single-image inventory between its hotels and the enterprise system, with GDS and ADS connectivity via the Global Hotel Alliance.
Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts has implemented Micros’ Opera Enterprise Solutions coupled with MyFidelio distribution system for its 20 hotels in Asia, the Pacific and North America. Reservations, customer information and full rate and inventory integrity will be centralized across the brand’s distribution channels. The technology is also the platform for Pan Pacific’s voice reservation centres in Singapore, Tokyo and Seattle.
(www.dusit.com, www.gha.net, www.panpacific.com, www.micros.com)
**
The U.S. Navy’s Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) has authorized the deployment of SoftBrands’ Core central reservation system (CRS), Reservation Portal and Management Console along with a global upgrade from Epitome.pms to Epitome.NET. The upgrade enables the Navy’s Gateway Inns & Suites to move from a decentralized client-server infrastructure to a web-native centralized architecture. The Core CRS and Reservation Portal will let the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites centralize rate and inventory management and consolidate guest profiles. (www.softbrands.com)
**
Kayak.com announced the consumer launch of Kayak.co.uk after a beta stage. According to comScore Media Metrix, Kayak.co.uk is already the largest travel search site in the UK, generating more traffic than Travelocity and Orbitz. Kayak provides real-time prices and itineraries from more than 404 travel sites, and can search up to three days before and/or after a preferred travel date for the best combinations. (www.kayak.co.uk)
**
The 135-room Bowery Hotel in New York has signed for TravelCLICK’s iHotelier central reservation system (CRS) for website reservations and connectivity to the Global Distribution Systems (GDS).
The Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, FL has signed for iHotelier Central Reservation System (CRS) for website and GDS bookings. The resort includes 600 suites in 28 lodges, three clubhouses, golf courses, 11 tennis courts, three racquetball courts, six heated swimming pools, a wildlife preserve, and a fitness center.
(www.travelclick.net)
**

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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • BDL Hotel Group implementing Serenata in newly-opened Ramada Encore hotels
  • Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa and Sycuan Resort and Casino order Digital Alchemy
  • Extended Stay Hotels implements Aptech’s Execuvue at all 681 properties

The UK’s BDL Hotel Group is implementing Serenata’s NetHotel suite and Serenata @mail in all newly-opened Ramada Encore hotels in the United Kingdom and Ireland, for centralized customer relationship management (CRM) and reporting. The first installation was at the Ramada Encore Milton Keynes, which was also the first implementation of NetHotel and @mail with Brilliant’s PMPro PMS. (www.bdlhotels.co.uk, www.serenata.com)
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Native American gaming properties Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, near Palm Springs, and Sycuan Resort and Casino, in El Cajon, have both ordered Digital Alchemy’s e-marketing software. (www.morongocasinoresort.com, www.sycuanresort.com, www.data2gold.com)
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Extended Stay Hotels has implemented Aptech’s Execuvue Business Intelligence system and hospitality software for automated data gathering and operational performance management at all of its 681 properties. Execuvue is interfaced with the chain’s front office system and its Epicore corporate financial accounting system to eliminate manual data entry. (www.extendedstayhotels.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • London’s Royal Garden Hotel to install IDeaS V5i

The 396-room Royal Garden Hotel, a five star luxury hotel located in London, has signed an agreement with IDeaS to install IDeaS V5i revenue optimization solution. (www.royalgardenhotel.co.uk, www.ideas.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Grecotel picks Delphi Multi-Property Edition (MPE) for 18 resort properties
  • Lodging Interactive announces RFPLink.com, letting hotel websites process group lead requests
  • Atlas Hotels to implement Passkey at Kona Kai Resort & Spa and Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego

Grecotel has selected Newmarket’s Delphi Multi-Property Edition (MPE) for its 18 resort properties across Greece, along with Delphi Diagrams for floor plans and setups. (www.grecotel.gr, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Lodging Interactive announced RFPLink.com, a free web service giving hotel websites the ability to process group lead requests from consumers and meeting planners. Hotels can designate up to 10 sales people to receive group RFP leads in real time; automated monthly reports recap group lead activities. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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Atlas Hotels is implementing Passkey at its 129-room Kona Kai Resort & Spa and 1,000-room Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, both in San Diego. (www.towncountry.com, www.passkey.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • PAR Springer Miller Systems’ SpaSoft validated as CISP-compliant

PAR Springer Miller Systems announced that VISA USA has validated SpaSoft Version 3.0 as compliant with its CISP (Card Information Security Program) Payment Application Best Practices. (www.springermiller.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Imaginative ideas for technology’s impact on guests in 2025
  • Michelangelo Hotel installs KoolConnect’s Imagine digital entertainment
  • MTech’s HotSOS now available in 15 languages
  • MTech launches Quality Inspection Console (QIC) hand-held housekeeping unit
  • THE WEEK magazine names Hotel Technologies’ iHome “one of the best alarm clocks”
  • Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) announces Aspen high-style kiosks for hotel public spaces
  • TTI adds Sorbis Communications wireless networking to business center product range
  • Broadband Hospitality acquires wireless provider IP-Hotels
  • AH&LA study reports free Internet access slowly extending into upscale properties

Design firm Gettys and the Hospitality Design Group drew opinions from 100 industry experts to produce 1,000 ideas on the influence of technology by the year 2025, many of which were unveiled at the Global Exposition and Conference for Hospitality Design in Miami in September. Amongst the ideas are: LOBBY
* Pick-Your-Own-Room at check-in based on 3-D photos and room reviews from previous guests.
* Robotic butler to carry your bags and stay in your room to fetch room service and take away trash and dirty dishes.
* Kinetic Corridors that detect human presence, switch LCD panels in the ceiling to a blanket of stars, and illuminate signs to point guests to their rooms.
* Fingerprint-activated device to act as room key, hotel phone and concierge to retrieve e-mail, book theater tickets and order room service.
ROOM
* Nanotech-based antibacterial bathroom tiles, bathtubs that mold to the shape of your body, sink and shower water filtered into the toilet reservoir, and biodegradable toiletry bottles.
* Multipurpose beds that flip over into a work surface or rise up to become a ceiling panel. Light-emitting capacitors (LECs) in the base as a nightlight.
* Nanofabric sheets that keep themselves clean and can be adjusted for firmness and heat according to bio-sensors reading the guest’s body.
* Closet scanners to read the RFID tags in your clothes and suggest the best combination for your business meeting – or suggest you go shopping.
* Room-service menus, TV shows, radio stations, and news printouts from guests’ home state or country.
* Multitask chairs with reading lights, fold-up tablet tray tables, integrated speakers near the ears, built-in massage stimulation, video-camera, tablet video screen and nanofabric that’s flexible, breathable, antimicrobial and self-repairing.
* Portable electronic devices recharged cordlessly with electricity transmitted magnetically via a mesh power grid under floors and behind walls.
* Pads on the bathroom floor that read your vital signs while you’re barefoot at the sink, figure out what nutrients you’re lacking and mix them into a gel in a dispenser next to the faucet.
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The 178-room Michelangelo Hotel, New York, has installed KoolConnect’s Imagine digital entertainment system. (www.michelangelohotel.com, www.koolconnect.com)
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MTech’s Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS) is now available in 15 languages, with Spanish, French, Japanese, Traditional and Simplified Chinese and Russian dynamically available upon login. The telephone interface supports these languages plus Polish, Korean, Creole, Tagalog, Bosnian, Czech, Slovak and Swedish. The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is the first property to use HotSOS with Japanese as its primary language.
MTech has launched its Quality Inspection Console (QIC), a Windows Mobile-based hand-held device and PMS interface intended to help hoteliers expedite housekeeping’s quality-inspection process. QIC can be used to go through a checklist on a room; when used in conjunction with HotSOS, instructions to check a room can be sent to the device automatically. Inspection items can be used to rate the room attendant’s performance, or to generate a repair service order for an item that would not be counted against the attendant’s rating.
(www.m-tech.com)
**
THE WEEK newsweekly magazine has named Hotel Technologies’ iHome product as “one of the best alarm clocks” for consumers. (www.hoteltech.com)
**
Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) announced its Aspen high-style kiosk for hotel lobbies, corridors, conference rooms and other public spaces. The kiosks can house either VSi’s BoardEZ airline boarding-pass printing systems, its business-oriented Internet-access PCs or the hotel’s own proprietary computer equipment with a printer for guest use. The kiosk comes with a wired or wireless network connection. (www.ver-sys.com)
**
Telephone Technologies Inc. (TTI), a provider of self-service business centers, Internet kiosks, boarding pass kiosks, virtual concierge and other guest-service technologies has teamed with Sorbis Communications to provide back-end wireless networking in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. TTI also has a joint-marketing relationship with PrinterOn’s Guest Printing Service, which is supported by the Sorbis wireless network. (www.sorbis.com, www.ttitel.com)
**
Broadband Hospitality has acquired IP-Hotels of Canton, Ohio, a wireless services provider for limited service hotels, to expand its product range from its existing full service offerings. (www.broadbandhospitality.com)
**
Free Internet access is slowly extending into upscale properties, according to a recent AH&LA study that showed that 18 percent of hotels (mostly upscale and luxury properties) charge for Internet access, a drop of four percentage points from two years prior. So far only Omni, Radisson and Kimpton have adopted free access as a brand-wide standard, but several of their individual properties have done so with the brand’s permission. One is the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, which switched to free access for both wired and wireless connections based on guest requests. While traffic demand remains high hotels have little incentive to discard the revenue generated from Internet service fees, but free access could be a competitive advantage as demand begins to slow in the future.
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • MTech releases Hotel Inventory and Purchasing (HIP) application
  • Fantasy Springs Resort Casino selects Agilysys’ Materials Management System

MTech has released its Hotel Inventory and Purchasing (HIP) application, available either stand-alone or integrated with its HotSOS work-order/guest rapid-response system. HIP is available over the Internet as a SaaS (Software as a Service) service, and includes budget management, purchase order/inventory/vendor management, multi-warehouse support, barcode-label generation and inter-warehouse transfer. It can add parts costs to the labor figures tracked in a HotSOS-originated work order and automatically reduce inventory in the appropriate storeroom. (www.m-tech.com)
**
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has selected Agilysys’ Materials Management System (MMS) inventory and procurement system. The 250-room Palm Springs hotel casino is owned and operated by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, and includes gaming, dining, entertainment, conference facilities and access to several golf courses. Fantasy Springs is also using Agilysys’ MMS Menu/Recipe Analysis and Bar Coding modules. (www.fantasyspringsresort.com, www.agilysys.com)
**

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SECURITY

  • Marriott International names Onity a preferred supplier of electronic locking solutions
  • Safemark introduces a hotel room top-open safe that can be secured in a desk drawer

Marriott International has named Onity a preferred supplier of electronic locking solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, through the end of 2008. (www.marriott.com, www.onity.com)
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Safemark Systems has introduced a hotel room safe that can be secured in a desk drawer for ease of access. The metal, top-open drawer safe is designed to protect a 15-inch laptop computer and other valuables, features hydraulic arms and 4-3/4-inch locking bolts, and is secured to the desk by steel wire cables. (www.safemark.com)
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