February 4, 2015

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

JANUARY 22 – FEBRUARY 4, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • What will replace the guestroom phone?

The announcement of another mobile housekeeping app (this time from Northwind, see below) prompts me to wonder when we’re going to see an inexpensive replacement for the in-hotel telephone system. The need for a hotel PBX has been declining for years through the self-reinforcing combination of more travelers using their cell phones and hotels charging the highest possible rates for calls from the in-room phone.
The phone system is still in place, though, largely because of legal requirements for the guest to be able to contact the front desk from a precisely-identifiable location in case of an emergency during a power failure. Cell phone location identification still hasn’t reached that level of precision. Those few hotels without guestroom phones, mostly “technology-free” resorts such as the late lamented Kona Village Resort in Hawaii, have relied instead on devices such as fire alarm pull switches in each room, a far from elegant alternative. Intercom systems have been suggested but not adopted; in-room tablets provide great communications with the hotel staff, but cannot be guaranteed to be sufficiently charged for emergency use and suffer from the same location-identification problem as cell phones.
Housekeeping had become the other main reason guestroom phones were still needed, as these were a fast and effective means of updating a room’s readiness status through direct-dialing codes into the front office system. Recently, though, more housekeeping operations are turning to mobile devices for status updates (usually smart phones or iPod Touch units) because they can provide more efficient notifications of the next room to be cleaned to meet immediate priorities, such as an early-arrival guest waiting for her room or a just-departed guest whose room is now known to be free for cleaning. Mobile devices are also essential for mixed-use properties such as resorts where the housekeepers service not only guestrooms but also condominium units and private residences, none of which are on the hotel telephone network.
Constantly-growing demand for WiFi and cell-phone coverage throughout all properties is driving the installation of more and more wireless access points and cell-phone signal repeaters. This will in time lead to greater accuracy in locating cell-phone positions through triangulation, but it will still then take a while for laws to be changed to allow this as an acceptable guest-location approach. In the meantime, a number of my clients have old PBX systems that have been out of production for many years and can only be kept running through a scramble for parts on the used-equipment market. Failure of the system would put them in violation of the emergency call regulations, but they’re understandably reluctant to invest in a replacement for a system that is seeing less and less use.
What we need is a really inexpensive, basic device – PBX, usable intercom, whatever – to handle the minimum legal and guest-service needs over existing guestroom wiring. Any takers? I now confidently expect to be inundated with information from vendors whose products I’ve overlooked!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Felix Laboy joins WayBlazer as Chief Executive Officer

Felix Laboy has joined WayBlazer as Chief Executive Officer. Using the cognitive power of IBM Watson, WayBlazer is developing intelligent discovery software to deliver contextual, personalized advice and insights for travelers across all phases of a trip. Mr. Laboy was most recently President of Sabre Hospitality Solutions; he had previously co-founded E-site Marketing, which Sabre Holdings acquired in 2007. Earlier, Mr. Laboy held numerous executive positions at hotel companies such as Ritz-Carlton, Westin and Four Seasons.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Hotel Grand, Sharjah, goes live with ProLogic First’s WISH
  • Moonstone Hotel Properties picks ATRIO for five properties
  • PAR Springer-Miller appoints Freetime Hospitality its exclusive GMS distributor in Benelux
  • Maestro PMS announces Mobile Housekeeping App
  • HTL hotels opens first hotel in Oslo, with hetras
  • G6 Hospitality picks SkyTouch GMS for Hotel 6 and Estudio 6 properties in Mexico and Latin America

The Hotel Grand in Sharjah, UAE has gone live with ProLogic First’s WISH system. (www.sharjahgrand.com, www.prologicfirst.com)
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Moonstone Hotel Properties has chosen PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO PMS for its five properties in California and Oregon.
PAR Springer-Miller Systems has appointed Freetime Hospitality as its exclusive GMS distributor in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg as well as non-exclusive distributor in Germany. Freetime will represent all of PAR Springer-Miller products including ATRIO PMS, ATRIO Spa and ATRIO POS, SpaSoft  and SMS|Host. Freetime also represents ParTech’s PixelPoint POS product and its full line of EverServ POS workstation hardware.
(www.moonstonehotels.com, www.freetimehospitality.nl, www.partech.com)
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Maestro PMS has announced a Mobile Housekeeping App targeted for independent operators. Fully integrated with the Maestro PMS and available from March 1, the app allows housekeeping staff to access real-time room status and occupancy with cleaning assignments. It is compatible with iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows handheld and tablet devices. (www.maestropms.com)
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HTL hotels has opened its first (of two) hotels in Oslo, with hetras’ GMS. Guests can check in via smartphone and receive a mobile key on their way to the hotel or use a tablet kiosk in the hotel lounge on arrival. The mobile key app also contains hotel information and a city guide. (www.htlhotels.com, www.hetras.com)
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G6 Hospitality has selected SkyTouch Technology’s GMS to its Hotel 6 and Estudio 6 properties in Mexico and Latin America and will provide an integrated SkyTouch solution for G6’s distribution channels. (www.g6hospitality.com, www.skytouchtechnology.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Sabre sells Travelocity to Expedia
  • Travel Tripper certified as a Premium Partner with TripConnect

Sabre has sold Travelocity to Expedia, following a marketing agreement the two companies signed  in August 2013, moving Travelocity’s technical operations to Expedia. Orbitz later acquired Travelocity’s private label division, and Bravofly Rumbo later bought Lastminute.com, Travelocity’s sister brand. (www.travelocity.com, www.expedia.com, www.sabre.com)
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Travel Tripper has been certified as a Premium Partner with TripAdvisor’s TripConnect, allowing its hotel clients to take advantage of TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking feature letting travelers book direct reservations with hotels without leaving the TripAdvisor site. (www.traveltripper.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • HeBS Digital launches smartCMS 6.0
  • Cendyn/ONE receives six Adrian awards

HeBS Digital has launched smartCMS 6.0, its 6th generation CMS . Features include:
– Support for both Full Responsive and Adaptive Design for the three screens (desktop, mobile, tablet)
– Complete content control of the property website (visual, promotional, textual)
– Dynamic Content Personalization Module (Smart Personalization Engine)
– One-to-one marketing capabilities
– Merchandising Module to convert lookers into bookers
– Compliance with latest SEO best practices
– Reservation Recovery Module to win back abandoned bookings
– Custom Design Themes Module to update look-and-feel design of the hotel website with the click of a button
– Multi-Language Module, enabling foreign language content across the entire site
(www.HeBSDigital.com)
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Cendyn/ONE has received six Adrian awards from HSMAI.
Silver Awards for advertising campaigns for:
– Ames Boston
– OPAL Collection
– Noble House
Bronze Awards:
– Ames Boston Hotel website
– Gateway Canyons social influence campaign
– Rosewood London display advertising campaign
(www.AdrianAwards.com, www.cendynONE.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa implementing Duetto’s GameChanger
  • eRevMax integrates with PriceMatch
  • Rusticae signs with SiteMinder for 250+ properties
  • SiteMinder signs 16,000th hotel client

The 2,100-room South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, Las Vegas, NV, is implementing Duetto’s GameChanger software. (www.southpointcasino.com, www.duettoresearch.com)
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eRevMax has announced its integration with PriceMatch, allowing eRevMax hotels subscribed to PriceMatch to access dynamic price recommendations based on their property’s forecast demand within their  RateTiger LIVE management dashboard. (www.pricematch.travel, www.erevmax.com)
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Rusticae, a Spanish quality club for boutique hotels, has signed with SiteMinder for its 250+ properties in Europe and Latin America.
SiteMinder announced that the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Florida, has become its 16,000th hotel customer.
(www.rusticae.es, www.siteminder.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • SkyWire releases self-healing central POS database
  • ReServe Interactive announces ReServe Cloud web-based software platform
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SkyWire has released what it terms a self-healing database for its remotely-hosted POS system. Most remotely-hosted POS systems can regenerate a local POS workstation’s data after a crash; the SkyWire approach, developed in-house, allows the central database to be rebuilt (should it crash) from the data on the individual workstations. (www.skywire.com)
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ReServe Interactive has announced ReServe Cloud, its redesigned web-based software platform for the event management and dining industries. ReServe Cloud provides complete access from any browser on a PC, tablet or smartphone, and includes a drag-and-drop calendar and event book, global search functionality, secure e-payment and e-signature, multi-venue management in a centralized database, enhanced reporting features and customization options. (www.reserveinteractive.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • FCS appoints Enterprise Data Services its Business Partner in Indian Ocean region
  • The Cromwell, Las Vegas, installs combination BLE/RFID Kaba locks for all rooms
  • Dolce Hotels and Resorts rolling out Monscierge Connect to all 26 properties
  • Two Broughton Hotels properties adopt KEYPR’s guest service system
  • Guest-tek offers Moodz content from Artcast through OneView Media service

FCS Computer Systems has appointed Enterprise Data Services its Business Partner within the Indian Ocean region.
(www.eds.mu, www.fcscs.com)
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The 188-room Cromwell, Las Vegas, NV, has installed cloud-based Kaba locks for all hotel rooms. Guests can open their doors with their own Bluetooth Low Energy mobile phone or device or with a classic RFID card. The mobile access system is based on cloud services from Kaba subsidiary Legic Identsystems. (www.thecromwell.com, www.kabalodging.com)
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Dolce Hotels and Resorts is rolling out Monscierge Connect to all 26 of its properties in North America and Europe. Phase one includes three hotels in the US and one in Europe, starting with The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, using a mobile platform to connect with guests throughout their journey. Functionality includes digital guest check-in/out, contextual and welcome SMS messaging, a mobile request platform, a mobile booking app, lobby touch-screen devices and other guest-centric travel tools. (www.dolce.com, www.monscierge.com)
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Two of Broughton Hotels’ properties, the Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel and the Georgian Hotel, have adopted KEYPR’s cloud-based technology to offer guests mobile check-in and check-out, personalized entertainment and access to hotel services on-premise, through a KEYPR-provided in-room tablet or via their own smartphones. (www.broughtonHOTELS.com, www.keypr.com)
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Guest-tek is now offering high quality Moodz content from Artcast through its OneView Media service. Artcast offers a diverse gallery of works of art for display on guestroom and public area TVs, from a library of more than 300 art, nature and culture programs containing over 20,000 works of art.
(www.artcast.tv, www.guest-tek.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • StaySD Hotel Management adopts WAKEUP CALL risk management software for four properties
  • American Casino and Entertainment Properties upgrades all properties to InvoTech’s Multi-Property Uniform Management System
  • PAS to bring BlackLine Systems Financial Close/ Reconciliation Automation services to hospitality industry

StaySD Hotel Management has adopted WAKEUP CALL’s online risk management software for its four California properties, The Quality Inn Temecula, Super 8 Escondido, Vagabond Inn Chula Vista and Highway Inn Chula Vista. WAKEUP CALL offers real-time information and tools to manage potential employee/employer and other liability issues. (www.staysd.com, www.wakeupcall.net)
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American Casino and Entertainment Properties (ACEP) is upgrading its InvoTech Systems to InvoTech’s Multi-Property Uniform Management System at all locations, allowing them to share garment inventory, and is installing it at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur property. (www.acepllc.com, www.invotech.com)
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PAS has signed with BlackLine Systems to bring its Financial Close – Balance Sheet, Bank and Credit Card Reconciliation Automation services to the hospitality industry. (www.blackline.com, www.profact.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Resorts World Bimini selects Stratton Warren

The 480-room Resorts World Bimini resort has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System. A new 305-room luxury hotel scheduled to open this summer will also use the system. (www.rwbimini.com, www.agilysys.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Thing5 acquires Innflux

Thing5 has acquired Innflux, a guest Internet service provider to the hotel industry.  Innflux has over 800 HSIA deployments throughout the US and Caribbean.  (www.thing5.com)
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SECURITY

  • Wick Hill releases WatchGuard Next-Generation Firewall and Unified Threat Management appliances

Wick Hill has released its WatchGuard Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances for enhanced guest network access security, allowing hotels to provide temporary user passwords to better secure guest Internet and Wi-Fi networks. Hospitality companies can now provide custom hotspot splash pages branded with company logos, as well as flexible account options such as configurable time limits, batch-generated user names and passwords and password-only voucher options. (www.wickhill.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
    9301 236th Street SW
    Edmonds, WA 98020

    office: 206-546-0966
    fax: 206-337-1355
    cell: 206-355-3111

    jon@joninge.com