January 16, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing


JANUARY 3 – 16, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Training and education: we need more of both

A couple of conversations with fellow consultants this week touched on training, and how we don’t do enough of it in this industry. It’s not a unique problem; a technology trade magazine I read today made the same comment about software in general, that training is frequently under-funded and often mis-directed.
But the examples my colleagues gave made me think that we also have a problem with education. Yes, training staff members to perform specific tasks is an essential element of bringing performance up to speed and helping them do their jobs effectively and efficiently. However, we also need to educate managers that not budgeting for regular refresher training at least annually will inevitably degrade the operation. Existing staff members lapse into inefficient processes and forget how seldom-used functions really can help, and new hires receive only hand-me-down training in what their peers remember.
It goes wider, too. Chains rolling out new standard technology could educate their managers to think more about how it could be used to improve their business beyond the principal functions they’re trained on. Managers ought to be encouraged to educate themselves about what other solutions are available in the market and how they could make operations more effective, and in how to make a case to their owners for acquiring it. Asset managers sometimes need to be educated about the operational shackles they place on a hotel by squeezing the last piece of life from a fifteen-year-old investment in what’s now an obsolete system, preventing a significant increase in asset revenue generation through a focus on cost control. And owners would benefit from a wider awareness of the value technology can bring to their properties so that they can ask the right questions of their asset and operational managers.
Training and education are two sides of the same coin. Improving both could make major differences to operational efficiency, revenue generation and bottom-line profit.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Jeff Edwards elected to the Board of HTNG
  • – Patrik Wennerland appointed Sales Director EMEA at Newmarket
  • Ganesh Srinivasan heads new Adaco Services office in Bangalore, India

Jeff Edwards, CIO and Senior Vice President of Wyndham Worldwide (formerly Cendant Hotel Group), has been elected to the Board of HTNG. Mr. Edwards also brings a vendor perspective to the Board, having previously served as President and CEO of MICROS-Fidelio Software.
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Patrik Wennerland has been appointed to Sales Director EMEA at Newmarket International. Mr. Wennerland has over 15 years of international experience in global, regional and local sales and marketing, most recently as Managing Director at myhotels Ltd, a boutique hotel group in London. He was earlier Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Park Plaza Hotels Europe, and has held VP roles at Golden Tulip, swissôtel Management Ltd and Choice Hotels International.
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Ganesh Srinivasan has joined Adaco Services as head of its new office in Bangalore, India, which will cover its clients in India, China and Japan. Adaco’s London office covers its hotels throughout Europe. Mr. Srinivasan has more than 14 years experience representing manufacturing firms from Europe and the UK in the Middle East, and spent seven years managing a Private Limited company in Singapore.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • The City Rooms, Leicester, England, opens – after 210 years – with Oasis’ integrated PMS/POS
  • Agilysys sells KeyLink Systems Group, now focused solely on software applications

The City Rooms, a boutique hotel in Leicester, England, recently opened with Oasis’ integrated Linux-based PMS and POS system, sold and installed by Oasis’ UK distributors Sensible IT Ltd. Construction work on the property originally started in 1796, but stalled for lack of development funds. One hopes the renovation and completion of the project improved the original plumbing. (www.thecityrooms.co.uk, www.makeitsensible.com)
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Agilysys has sold its KeyLink Systems Group to Arrow Electronics, completing the divestiture of its distribution division to focus solely on its Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG) software business. ESG specializes in vertical markets including retail and hospitality, and includes the PMS product lines acquired through the purchase of Inter-American Data in 2004 and Visual One Systems in December 2006. (www.agilysys.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Internet booking growth in UK highlighted by new report
  • SECURE-RES releases version 3.0 of Internet booking engine
  • Langham Hotels signs with TravelCLICK for iHotelier CRS
  • Orient-Express switches to SynXis’ RedX for channel management at its 35 properties

At least 17 million people in the UK are forecast to book part of their main 2007 vacation via the internet, and 13 million will also purchase part of a short break online, according to a new report from Continental Research. Its 2007 Holiday Online Planning Report finds that over three quarters of the UK’s population (78%/21 million) will search the Internet for information on their main holiday, with 59%/16 million using it for information on short breaks.
For the main vacation online travel sites (such as Expedia, lastminute.com and Opodo.com) and tour operator/travel agent sites are more likely to be sourced than for short breaks. Full package holidays are one of the most popular items booked for both a main holiday and short break; 34% of respondents would book their total package online, with a similar number booking just their main holiday flights. 18% would book hotels, 10% car hire, 9% villas and apartments, 5% rail tickets, 4% ferry tickets, 3% tours, 3% attractions and 1% each restaurants, city/country passes and coach tickets.
Sun and beach holidays remain the most popular main packages amongst Internet users, followed by trips to friends and relatives. The report also found that around 1.4 million users are considering using a holiday home for their main holiday this year, demonstrating the importance of the second home market.
(www.continentalresearch.com)
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SECURE-RES has released version 3.0 of its Internet booking engine, IBE 3.0, adding the capability to handle Spanish, German, French, and Japanese as well as English. Other enhancements include the ability to specify hotel currency, unique text descriptions for each type of unit available, online cancellation cutoff times configurable from 1 to 30 days, and customizable Pre-Arrival and Departure templates in multiple languages. (www.secure-res.com)
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Langham Hotels International (LHI) has contracted with TravelCLICK for its iHotelier Central Reservation System to centralize Web reservations. (www.travelclick.net)
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Orient-Express Hotels has switched to SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management System for its 35 properties worldwide to manage all channels including GDS, IDS, direct calls to their multiple call centers and bookings coming from their own website. (www.orient-express.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • SECURE-RES to be honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards
  • E-site Marketing wins thirteen WebAwards from Web Marketing Association
  • Lodging Interactive launches full service Internet presence and marketing service for economy sector

SECURE-RES will be honored at the annual Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Adrian Awards competition for hospitality and travel advertising, public relations and web marketing, in the Integrated Web Marketing Campaign category. (www.secure-res.com)
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E-site Marketing has won thirteen WebAwards from the Web Marketing Association, including Best Restaurant Website for Studio, the restaurant of Montage Resort & Spa in Laguna Beach, California. The remaining twelve awards were six Outstanding Website awards and six Standard of Excellence awards, all in the Hotel and Lodging category. E-site Marketing captured the largest number of awards in the Hotel and Lodging category and ranked third overall. (www.webaward.org, www.esitemarketing.com)
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Lodging Interactive has launched a full service Internet presence and marketing service for economy lodging properties and small bed & breakfasts. The service includes a custom 10-page Website, initial Website optimization, 12 months Website Hosting and support, domain name registration, 5 e-mail addresses, XML site map to Google, Yahoo and MSN standards, links to portal websites and real time website visitor traffic reports. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Rainmaker Group pilot testing its revolution LRO system with four apartment operators
  • Delaware North implementing Amadeus’ Hotel RMS, will integrate with SMS|Host PMS

The Rainmaker Group announced pilot tests of its “revolution LRO” system at Colonial Properties, Windsor Property Management Company, Mid-America Apartment Communities and Western National Property Management, a total of over 124,000 combined units. (www.letitrain.com)
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Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is implementing Amadeus’ Hotel Revenue Management System (formerly Optims), fully integrating it with its PAR Springer-Miller SMS|Host Hospitality Management System. (www.delawarenorth.com, www.amadeus.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Hilton releases new global meetings and events Website

Hilton has released a global meetings and events Website as part of its strategy to increase online bookings to 25% by 2009. Guests can search for and view facilities around the world, see room plans, capacities and dimensions and request custom, 24-hour proposals and e-brochures. The website also offers an e-newsletter subscription for meeting and event planners. (www.hilton.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Marriott Atlanta Perimeter completes pilot test of Capton’s RFID-based pour-control system
  • Carnus Systems updates its intelligent F&B forecasting and employee scheduling system

The Marriott Atlanta Perimeter has completed a pilot test of Capton’s RFID-based pour-control system in its Perimeter Grille, and is now testing Capton’s new mobile catering unit. (www.marriott.com/property/propertypage/ATLPC, www.captoninc.com)
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Carnus Systems has updated its artificial intelligence F&B forecasting and employee scheduling system, AI Robotic Scheduler. The system now automatically generates complete weekly employee schedules on-the-fly, based on data extracted from PMS, POS and other systems and taking into account individuals’ vacation, sick days, seniority, union rules, labor laws, and other variables. (www.carnussystems.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • GolfSwitch joins HBSi’s Demand Partner Network

GolfSwitch has joined Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated’s (HBSi) Demand Partner Network of distribution channels, linking golf courses’ tee time inventory with resellers such as hotels, travel agents, GDSs, tour operators and Internet sites. (www.golfswitch.com, www.hotelbookingsolutions.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Marriott signs with iBAHN for Internet PCs and printers at 250 properties
  • LodgeNet states SIGNETURE HDTV system now contracted for 80,000+ hotel rooms
  • Holiday Inn, Washington-Central/White House installs NetEqualizer bandwidth management
  • InterContinental Boston implements GoConcierge

Marriott has contracted with iBAHN to supply Internet PCs with printers to 250 Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, and TownePlace Suites properties. The PCs will include standard office applications and an Internet browser, and will wipe out hard drive and session information after each user. User-created files can be saved to a CD, floppy disk or USB drive. (www.marriott.com, www.ibahn.com)
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As an indication of how rapidly high-definition video has taken off in this industry, LodgeNet announced that its SIGNETURE HDTV guest entertainment system is now contracted for over 80,000 hotel rooms and was deployed to more than 17,000 hotel rooms at the end of 2006. Approximately 20% of its video on demand movies are now available in high definition. (www.lodgenet.com)
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The Holiday Inn, Washington-Central/White House in Washington, DC has installed APConnections’ NetEqualizer bandwidth management technology to insure responsive Internet connections. The Linux-based NetEqualizer uses “behavior shaping” to automatically control network flow for best WAN Optimization. (www.inndc.com, www.netequalizer.com)
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The 424-room InterContinental Boston has implemented GoConcierge’s Web-based guest service operations system. (www.intercontinentalboston.com, www.goconcierge.net/home)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Adaco Services donates Eclipse procurement management system to Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Adaco Services has donated its Eclipse procurement management system and training services to the Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. (www.adacoservices.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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