July 9, 2014

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa / Golf / Leisure Activities

Guest Services

Back Office

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

JUNE 18 – JULY 9, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • HITEC 2014 as busy as ever; guest service apps and Bluetooth room keys proliferate
  • HTNG charters New Builds Workgroup to guide network and technology infrastructure design

Another year, another HITEC, another pair of aching feet, another long list of people and systems I really wanted to see and missed – yes, HITEC was once again unbelievably busy! Despite a noticeable lack of any breakthrough technologies there seemed to be a real buzz among the attendees. Most vendors I spoke with reported very high levels of interest from motivated buyers, reflecting the current buoyancy in the hotel industry in general.
Two application groups seemed to crop up all over the floor this year: guest service apps and Bluetooth-enabled door locks. At least a dozen vendors were offering the former, validating a software segment pioneered for several years by Intelity, Runtriz, Ascension and others. The demand for this appealing mix of guest-related functions (room service ordering, wake-up call requests, housekeeping, dining reservations, etc.) certainly seems to be there; a recent Smith Micro survey reported that 62% of travelers prefer to purchase or reserve hotel guest services through their mobile device, rather than face-to-face with a member of the hotel staff.
However, the apps only really come into their own when effectively integrated with other hotel management systems, and this seems a natural area for hotel chains to focus on. It makes no sense for travelers to have to use one app for booking, one for guest services and one to access their on-site conference agenda when a single app could handle all three – and maybe could control the TV and drapes and lighting as well, in multiple properties within the chain. Accor seems to be heading this way with its partnership with Monscierge, and I expect other chains to follow.
Bluetooth-based phone keys using the guest’s smart phone were also a hot topic and several examples were being demonstrated, apparently in response to a small but vocal segment of guests who want to bypass the front desk and go straight to their rooms. Technologically this seems to work just fine, though it can’t be a sole solution; phone batteries run down, not everyone has a smart phone, nor wants to leave it by the pool while they swim or wants to have to register every family member’s phone as a valid key. Overall, therefore, it seems that a Bluetooth/RFID keycard combination is the most likely direction for door locks.
However, even if guests do want to use their phones as room keys after check-in the whole bypass-the-front-desk concept seems at odds with hotels’ increasing interest in security. It seems that every property nowadays verifies your ID before checking you in and issuing a key, or even (especially in Europe and other countries) scans your passport or driver’s license. Will we need to provide copies of our documents online before we arrive? Even then, how’s a hotel to know that the person authorized to bypass the desk is actually the one in the room?
As so often happens these days, the technology is enticing and works well, but we have some catching up to do operationally, and maybe legally as well.
**
HTNG has chartered a New Builds Workgroup, tasked with providing comprehensive architectural and design guidelines for 21st century networks and technology infrastructure in hotels.
**

Back to Top…

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Kris Singleton is Omni’s new CIO
  • Frederick Wong joins TrustYou as Vice President, Business Development – Asia
  • Jonica Mark is new Sales Account Manager for Southeastern United States at Clear Sky Software
  • Richard Dunbar joins Flip.to as Director of Business Development
  • Eric Sullender promoted to Vice President of Products at Eleven

Kris Singleton is the new Chief Information Officer at Omni Hotels & Resorts. A 24-year veteran of the technology industry, Ms. Singleton was most recently CIO for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; she had previously served as CIO and Vice President of Technology for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and as IT Vice President of Business Solutions for MGM Mirage. Ms. Singleton had earlier served as CIO for electronic recyclers Chasm Industries, and spent 15 years at Hallmark Cards.
**
Frederick Wong has joined TrustYou as Vice President, Business Development – Asia. Based out of Singapore, Mr. Wong joins TrustYou from Expedia Affiliate Network; he had held various hotel distribution roles within the online travel industry.
**
Jonica Mark is the new Sales Account Manager for the Southeastern United States at Clear Sky Software. Ms. Mark joined Clear Sky over 2 years age as a Customer Experience Agent; she had earlier worked in front desk operations and Rooms Controller positions at the Charlotte Marriott City Center.
**
Richard Dunbar has joined Flip.to as Director of Business Development. Mr. Dunbar’s experience includes over six years in revenue and e-commerce with Starwood Vacation Ownership, several years with EZYield.com overseeing third-party integrations between channel management software, OTAs and online booking tools, and most recently a tenure with Stash Hotel Rewards integrating a custom loyalty program into hotels’ operational and sales and marketing efforts.
**
Eric Sullender has been promoted to Vice President of Products at Eleven, having joined Eleven as a software developer over 11 years ago. Prior to joining Eleven, Mr. Sullender designed and developed a SaaS real estate web application in New York City; he began his career as a consultant with Arthur Andersen’s Advanced Technology Group.
**

Back to Top…

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Agilysys previews rGuest hotel management system, announces add-on modules
  • John Keels Holdings orders Indra’s TMS for Hotels for 14 Cinnamon properties
  • Cenium launches Cenium Hospitality ERP version 7
  • Oracle acquires MICROS
  • MICROS integrates Payment Gateway with Elavon’s Fusebox
  • Xn Hotel Systems releases Serviced Apartment Management System
  • Southbridge Hotel, Singapore installs protel PMS and Xn POS from Xn Hotel Systems
  • PAR Springer-Miller releases Secure Payment Solution payment processing integrated Shift4, Global Payments
  • Springer-Miller interfaces ATRIO with Windsurfer
  • FCS develops interface with Ariane Systems online check-in
  • hospitalityPulse launches roomPulse room management system
  • Infor partners with Merchant Link for tokenization, Point-to-Point Encryption on HMS Mobile Check in
  • Spicers Retreat implements RoomKeyPMS at seven properties
  • YOTEL New York implements StayNTouch
  • NORTHWIND announces browser-based Maestro, expanded Tablet apps, improved eLearning, context-sensitive help

Agilysys showed a preview of its new rGuest hotel management system at HITEC, and has announced several additional modules for it:
– rGuest Reserve, an online dining reservations application.
– rGuest Sit, a table management application to help restaurants to the use of tables and resources.
– rGuest Promote, a customer loyalty engine.
– rGuest Pay, a PCI-compliant payment gateway for both guest management and point-of-sale products.
(www.agilysys.com)
**
John Keels Holdings has ordered Indra’s TMS for Hotels for the 14 properties in its Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts brand, comprising three city properties in Colombo, eight resorts around Sri Lanka and three resorts in the Maldives. Cinnamon will install PMS, CRS, POS, Housekeeping, Analytics and Sales Policy modules. (www.keells.com, www.indracompany.com)
**
Cenium has launched Cenium Hospitality ERP version 7, featuring a completely redesigned user interface, a modularized and flexible architecture and a new Enterprise level of centralized management capabilities. The release also includes a more Enterprise focused approach which enables integration to Microsoft Dynamics AX.  (www.cenium.com)
**
Oracle has acquired MICROS Systems, Inc.
MICROS Systems has integrated its Payment Gateway with Elavon’s Fusebox gateway to offer encryption and tokenization for MICROS’ OPERA hotel guest management system (GMS) and MICROS food and beverage point-of-sale platforms.
(www.oracle.com, www.elavon.com, www.micros.com)
**
Xn Hotel Systems has released its Xn Serviced Apartment Management System, a module for use with protel’s MPE / SPE guest management system to support the serviced apartment and long stay residence sector.
The Southbridge Hotel, Singapore has installed protel PMS and Xn Point of Sale systems from Xn Hotel Systems.
(www.thesouthbridgehotel.com, www.xnhotels.com, www.protel.net)
**
PAR Springer-Miller Systems has released its Secure Payment Solution (SPS), a payment processing approach integrated with Shift4’s TrueTokenization and point-to-point encryption (P2PE) to remove cardholder data at the point of entry. Further integration with Global Payments enables hoteliers to accept credit and debit card payments effortlessly.
PAR Springer-Miller Systems has interfaced its ATRIO Guest Experience Management platform with Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ Windsurfer central reservation system.
(www.globalpaymentsinc.com, www.shift4.com, sceptrehospitality.com, www.partech.com)
**
FCS Computer Systems has developed an interface with Ariane Systems’ online check-in system. Guests can register and check-in pre-arrival through an online check-in module or via FCS i-Guest, and can also order additional services, such as an infant crib or extra towels. On arrival they pick up their guestroom keycards from interactive kiosks at the property. They can also check-out online or via FCS i-Guest, while still being able to request additional end-of-stay services. If the guest’s assigned room is not ready, check-in escalates a rush room request through FCS e-Housekeeping. Work orders are also opened automatically for secondary guest requests made at the time of check-in. (www.fcscs.com, www.ariane.com)
**
hospitalityPulse has launched its roomPulse room management system, which uses custom algorithms to assign the most appropriate room to an arriving guest based on all aspects of reservations and room availability and applying rule-based upgrades. The system also de-fragments room inventory to maximize the use of net availability. Variables taken into account include room types and categories, length of stay, affiliation, loyalty level, room features and more. (www.hospitalitypulseinfo.com)
**
Infor has announced a partnership with Merchant Link to offer tokenization and Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) for credit card swipes on its HMS Mobile Check in application. (www.merchantlink.com, www.infor.com)
**
Spicers Retreat, Brisbane, Australia has implemented RoomKeyPMS at all seven properties, including the eRes booking engine, RoomKeyEngage and RoomKeyReputation modules. (www.spicersretreats.com, www.roomkeypms.com)
**
The 669-room YOTEL New York has implemented StayNTouch’s PMS Mobile Overlay Platform. Staff can now assist guests away from the front desk using tablets or smartphones; guests can check out via their smartphone through a simple mobile web site. (www.yotelnewyork.com, www.stayntouch.com)
**
NORTHWIND-Maestro PMS has announced:
– Maestro Web, offering all 21 of Maestro’s GMS modules in a browser environment on a tablet
– expanded Tablet Guest Engagement, including mobile housekeeping room status updates and the ability to send SMS text messages to guests when their room is ready.
– eLearning Online Tutorials/context-sensitive Direct Help, with a new NORTHWIND eLearning website including capability reviews of Maestro’s modules to refresh knowledge or quickly learn how to use Maestro capabilities, and context-sensitive direct access to Maestro Video Tutorials. In addition, users who receive an error message can send a screen shot to the support team for evaluation.
(www.maestropms.com)
**

Back to Top…

RESERVATIONS

  • Motel 6 integrates Google Wallet into mobile website
  • Astotel Group renews agreement with Pegasus Solutions for Pegasus Connect+ Premium at 15 hotels
  • Atlantis Hotel Vienna signs with Pegasus Connect+
  • Filarchipelago Hospitality picks Pegasus Connect+ for distribution services for three hotels
  • Sabre partners with Expedia Affiliate Network for hotel marketing and booking content
  • Morgans migrates all twelve properties to SynXis
  • Guestline releases two-way Rezlynx interface with Best Western CRS
  • FASTBOOKING launches ATTRACTION booking engine
  • Trust International  launches Trust|Corporate Internet Booking Engine (IBE) for corporate business
  • Travel Tripper announces RezTrip CRS connectivity with all major meta-search sites
  • Travel Tripper developing Automated Best Rate Guarantee functionality
  • Travel Tripper to integrate future demand data into RezTrip CRS Rate Grid
  • Louvre Hotels Group implements MICROS’ OPERA 9 Reservation System (ORS) for 220+ Tulip-brand sites
  • InnLink adds TrustYou review data to its central reservation services

Motel 6 has integrated Google Wallet with its mobile website, allowing guests to pay for their stay using the Buy with Google button. (www.motel6.com)
**
The Astotel Group has renewed its agreement with Pegasus Solutions for sales and marketing support through Pegasus Connect+ Premium for its 15 hotels in Paris.
The 117-room Atlantis Hotel Vienna has signed with Pegasus Solutions’ Pegasus Connect+.
Filarchipelago Hospitality in the Philippines has chosen Pegasus Connect+ to provide distribution services to the GDSs and online channels for three hotels, the Crimson Resort & Spa in Mactan, the Crimson Hotel Filinvest City in Manila and the Quest Hotel & Conference Center in Cebu City. Filarchipelago is currently working on another Crimson property, a 190-room resort in Boracay.
(www.astotel.com, www.atlantis-vienna.at, www.pegs.com)
**
Sabre has partnered with the Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) to provide hotel marketing and booking content, adding many thousands of new properties to Sabre’s availability. EAN will also pilot Sabre’s ‘ZoomandGo’ app, a map-based hotel shopping and booking module that integrates fragmented hotel content to make comparison shopping easier.  ZoomandGo allows travel agents and EAN users to search any destination in the world by street address, neighborhood, airport code and local attractions, sorted by chain code, price, amenity and other criteria.
Morgans Hotel Group has migrated all twelve properties to Sabre’s SynXis CRS. Morgans also plans to leverage Sabre’s Guest Connect Booking Engine, global Call Center Services and Voice Agent Application.
(www.expediaaffiliate.com, www.morganshotelgroup.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
**
Guestline has released a two-way interface with Best Western’s CRS for its Rezlynx guest management system. The interface was piloted at the Best Western Forest Hills Hotel, Cheshire, UK, and will be deployed at another 35 hotels once full certification has taken place. (www.bestwestern.co.uk, www.guestline.com)
**
FASTBOOKING has launched its ATTRACTION booking engine and online marketing tool that sends prices and availabilities wherever necessary (Meta-Search, Google Ads, Hotel Website) to reach users outside of the booking engine. ATTRACTION is “context aware,” adapting to the user’s currency (66 currencies available), to the user’s language (34 languages available, including Mandarin, Cantonese or Catalan) and to the user’s device (via responsive design). (www.fastbooking.com)
**
Trust International has launched its Trust|Corporate Internet Booking Engine (IBE) for corporate business, providing access to rates exclusively negotiated with the company. The IBE is white-labeled and customizable to the client’s corporate design in a secure environment. Trust|Corporate allows the expansion of individual hotel-corporate agreements to chain-wide opportunities, and is currently available in eight languages: German, Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese simplified and traditional, Japanese and Korean. (www.Trustinternational.com)
**
Travel Tripper has announced connectivity for its RezTrip CRS with all major meta-search sites, including Google Hotel Finder, Trip Advisor, Kayak and Trivago to access more direct business. RezTrip CRS also recognizes mobile traffic on the meta-search sites as distinct from desktop traffic and can return device specific pricing each time a user requests for availability.
Travel Tripper is developing a patent-pending Automated Best Rate Guarantee, allowing RezTrip booking engines to shop a hotel’s rates across various OTAs and ensure that travelers are always offered the best price on its own website. When RezTrip displays availability results prices on OTA sites will be displayed alongside the hotels own Website rates; if the hotels rates are higher, RezTrip will offer an instantly bookable price-matched rate. Hotels will also be able to offer an additional discount over the lowest OTA rate as a reward to customers for uncovering a rate parity incident. Beta launch for USA hotels is planned for July; a wider roll out will be scheduled after the initial beta period.
Travel Tripper has announced integration of future demand data into its RezTrip CRS Rate Grid, based on the millions of availability requests received by hotel CRSs on a daily basis. Future demand data will be presented in a color-coded heat map in a calendar format, from where hotels can also maintain pricing, availability and restrictions. The heat map represents number of searches for any day in the future and can optionally show rooms on the books and conversion rates – look to book ratios – so hotels can make more informed decisions when adjusting pricing. Future demand data can be viewed by channel of business – website, mobile, call center and GDS – or consolidated from all channels. In the near future, Travel Tripper will also be able to split out which geographic markets the demand is coming from.
(www.traveltripper.com)
**
Louvre Hotels Group has implemented MICROS Systems’ OPERA 9 Reservation System (ORS) to replace the previous reservation system used by more than 220 of its Tulip branded hotels (Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip). All 1,100 Louvre properties now use the OPERA Enterprise Solution for distribution. MICROS created a customized user interface for Tulip reservation and revenue management staff. (www.louvrehotels.com/en, www.micros.com)
**
InnLink has added TrustYou verified review data to its Central Reservation Services.  (www.innlink.com, www.trustyou.com)
**

Back to Top…

MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Trivago signs multi-year agreement with Leonardo
  • TrustYou expands to Boulder, CO, adds data team from Travelshark
  • TrustYou announces product enhancements
  • Milestone releases Galexi CMS 6.0 content management system
  • Carver Hotel Group incorporates RABS Marketing into XPRESS brand modules
  • eRevMax launches hosted Analytics BI application
  • ZDirect unveils Automated Responsive Designer
  • UIEvolution releases Experience Manager platform
  • Revinate adds iPad-based on-site surveys
  • The Modern Honolulu subscribes to HotelIQ Business Intelligence
  • Datavision announces Payroll Metrics Suite
  • R.A. Rauch & Associates implements Flip.to at three properties in San Diego
  • Lodging Interactive receives three Interactive Media Awards for Outstanding Achievement in website design

Trivago has signed a new, multi-year agreement with Leonardo to access visual content for hotels listed on trivago’s consumer websites from Leonardo’s VNetwork and MediaConnect product. (www.trivago.com, www.leonardo.com)
**
TrustYou has expanded its team to Boulder, Colorado, picking up all key members of the data team from PhoCuswright’s Travelshark.
TrustYou has announced product enhancements that include:
– The ability to send multiple surveys for each property in a hotel’s portfolio, allowing better guest segmentation and custom on-site surveys (food and beverage, spa and wellness, MICE, etc.).
– Easire response to TripAdvisor reviews, with the TripAdvisor response center now opening in an iframe.
– Improved widgets for data visualization, including traveler type distributions and a distribution of review scores that can be integrated into a hotel’s website.
(www.trustyou.com)
**
Milestone has released its Galexi CMS 6.0 SAAS (software-as-a-service) content management system for hospitality and travel markets. The platform provides several enhanced features and is optimized for conversion, usability and design, and includes schemas for the latest search algorithms. CMS6.0 also helps clients develop Adaptive Responsive Mobile websites and includes social media integration features. (www.MilestoneInternet.com)
**
Carver Hotel Group has incorporated RABS Marketing into its XPRESS brand modules. WebXPRESS combines design, optimization and marketing of a hotel’s online presence with visibility across booking channels, multiple platforms and mobile devices, offering Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising and monthly analytics, performance and ROI reporting. SocialXPRESS monitors guest feedback, monitors social presence and engages guests. (www.CarverHotelGroup.com)
**
eRevMax has launched its hosted Analytics Business Intelligence (BI) application, intended to give hoteliers visibility into their business performance at anytime from anywhere. RateTiger and Connect Analytics features include:
– Real-time property performance
– Reservation details by arrival & booked dates
– Competition Analysis on various parameters including production
– Market insights on rate & availability
– Projected v/s actual revenue performance
– Compliance Alerts – parity, reputation, budget
– Reputation score against competitors
(www.erevmax.com)
**
ZDirect has unveiled Automated Responsive Designer, a new tool for responsive email design that automatically adjusts email content to fit a range of screen sizes and resolutions. The system takes an HTML layout and converts it to a responsive design on the fly. A library of templates is included. A Device Report details the number of opens and click throughs a campaign achieves and breaks it down by mobile device type. (www.zdirect.com)
**
UIEvolution has released its Experience Manager platform, a unified approach to digital signage, in-room entertainment, personalized mobile applications and business management tools. The message creation and ad campaign management tool is designed to simplify message creation and deployment for the marketing department. Features include:
– Web-based dashboard to build template-driven content for digital screens
– Content publishing from a drag and drop interface
– Fully localized and up-to-date with current accessibility standards
– Scheduled campaigns so that screens never go dark
– Integrated content management system, third-party analytics and ad network
– Supports next-generation video and audio content, including Video On Demand (VOD), 4K Content, Streaming Internet Radio services, Bluetooth Low Energy/Beacon technology, Wi-Fi locationing, Augmented Reality and NFC.
– Can run in COAX or legacy environments
(www.UIEvolution.com)
**
Revinate has added iPad-based on-site surveys to encourage guest feedback. Customized surveys can be presented on iPads in the lobby and check-in areas, restaurant, spa, pool area, meeting spaces and more. Staff members receive alerts when responses are collected; management can review aggregated reporting. (www.revinate.com)
**
The Modern Honolulu in Waikiki, Hawaii, has subscribed to Intelligent Hospitality’s HotelIQ Business Intelligence. (www.TheModernHonolulu.com, www.intelligent-hospitality.com)
**
Datavision has announced its Payroll Metrics Suite to help manage payroll costs and drill into details for the individual department heads. Features include:
– Key metrics from PMS, POS, Spa and Golf can be included in the reports
– Data synchronized daily between Datavision and time clocks (catching up on punch edits as well)
– Reports e-mailed automatically to selected group of users
– Reports compare Actual to Budget, Forecast and Last Year
– Automatic calculation of month-end labor projections based on each department’s productivity metric
(www.DatavisionTech.com)
**
R.A. Rauch & Associates has implemented Flip.to at three properties in San Diego, the Lafayette Hotel, Pantai Inn and El Cordova Hotel. (www.flip.to)
**
Lodging Interactive has received three Interactive Media Awards for Outstanding Achievement in website design from the Interactive Media Council, for the:
– Courtyard Marriott New York LaGuardia
– Fitzpatrick Hotel Group
– Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Harbor on Tudor Wharf
(www.lodginginteractive.com)
**

Back to Top…

REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • ResorTime interfaces with Rate Tiger
  • Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land selects eRevMax’s CONNECT
  • La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa implements TSA Solutions’ front desk upselling program
  • IDeaS Revenue Solutions has announced its IDeaS Reputation Pricing module
  • Extended Stay America to deploy IDeaS G3 RMS across nearly 700 hotels
  • PriceMatch announces integration with SiteMinder
  • Infor announces over 340 orders for EzRMS in last twelve months
  • iRates announces demand-based hourly updates for revenue management software

Timeshare/condo rental reservation site ResorTime has interfaced with eRevMax’s Rate Tiger. ResorTime offers more than two million nights at over 900 resorts in the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada.
The 94-room Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land, Germany, a licensee of Lindner Hotels & Resorts, has selected eRevMax’s CONNECT for real-time connectivity with online travel agents, meta-search agencies, travel agents and corporate clients. All reservations generated through these channels are delivered into its PMS automatically.
(www.resortime.com, www.golfresort-weimarerland.de, www.erevmax.com)
**
La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa has implemented TSA Solutions’ front desk upselling program. (www.lareserve.ch/en/home/, www.tsa-solutions.com)
**
IDeaS Revenue Solutions has announced its IDeaS Reputation Pricing module, which provides hotels with fully automated pricing recommendations based on the relationship between online reputation and pricing, developed in partnership with Brand Karma and Review Pro. IDeaS Reputation Pricing module integrates data from IDeaS RMS and displays a graphical visualization of market position for rate and reputation based on online ratings and reviews.
Extended Stay America plans to deploy IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ G3 Revenue Management System across its entire portfolio of nearly 700 hotels by year-end.
(www.extendedstay.com, www.ideas.com)
**
PriceMatch has announced an integration with SiteMinder to offer channel management as part of its revenue management platform. PriceMatch will sell and support both products, which will have a single login and will be invoiced together. (www.siteminder.com, www.pricematch.travel/en/)
**
Infor announced that over 340 properties worldwide ordered EzRMS over the past twelve months, including Destination Hotels & Resorts (International), Dorint Hotels & Resorts (Germany), Hotel Westminster (France),Mandarin Orchard Singapore (Singapore) and Baiyun Hotel Guangzhou (China). (www.infor.com)
**
iRates has announced demand-based updates for its revenue management software: three client properties are already using the hourly pricing update option. (www.i-rates.com)
**

Back to Top…

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Runtriz releases Meeting & Events app
  • Eleven launches new version of Conference Manager
  • Guest-tek announces RendezView customized network and Internet access for groups of all sizes
  • 22MILES unveils version 4 of Swift Publisher
  • Eventgrid offers private label event and ticketing software
  • Highgate Hotels implements Groupize’s new Group Booking Engine
  • hotel SystemsPro  launches hotel ProposalPro
  • MICROS integrating Social Tables with OPERA
  • Sertifi integrates eSignature with Merchant Link’s payment gateway

Runtriz has released its Meeting & Events app, which allows hotel event coordinators to create branded event experiences from within their hotel’s or brand’s existing app and offer them directly or via third party meeting planners as an upsell opportunity. Planners can create their own branded app experiences whether for “corporate” or “social” events, upload Word, Excel and PDF files, as well as provide attendees real-time updates on agendas, speakers, sponsors, locations and more. Planners and attendees can also stay connected through the App’s messaging and communication system. (www.runtriz.com)
**
Eleven has launched a new version of its Conference Manager tool. Intended for hotels with significant conference space, new features include:
– new user interface
– create vanity wireless SSIDs for conferences
– better search & filter capabilities
– improved reporting
– better security
– better device management by MAC address
– export conference invitations in iCal format
The new Conference Manager is integrated with hardware providers such as Ruckus, HP, Cisco and Nomadix to simplify connectivity configuration options. (elevenwireless.com)
**
Guest-tek announced its RendezView module, which allows hotel staff to create customized network and Internet access plans for conference groups of any size. (www.guest-tek.com)
**
22MILES has unveiled version 4 of Swift Publisher, with a larger selection of new widgets and applications built-in natively. These include Meeting/Event services- booking plug-ins, built-in Google Map and Earth components, content design transitions with no need for Photoshop or Illustrator level knowledge, website/HTML design effects, support for more video encoder types, smooth text scrolling and ticker widgets, more image display animations and dozens of design container options. It also announced a beta version of a 3D Map rendering tool and interactive 3D visual wayfinding.  (www.22miles.com)
**
Eventgrid is offering its event and ticketing software to hotels and resorts in a private label format, allowing them to offer group and event managers an integrated tool to manage all the elements of the event on any device. Features include:
– Straightforward online registration and ticket sales
– Promotions via email, mobile, social
– Travel booking (flights, hotels, trains)
– Seating chart creation tool
– Quick setup event web pages without coding
– E-Commerce store
– Event mobile app – sell tickets at door, credit card swipe, mobile check-in
– Integration with Passbook and Apple’s iBeacon
(wwweventgrid.com)
**
Highgate Hotels has implemented Groupize’s new Group Booking Engine at two hotels, The ParkCentral and The Row. Groupize GBE allows hotels to replace the RFP forms on their web site with a micro-site tailored for groups, weddings, meetings, and more. The GBE quotes Dynamic Group Rates in real time to group planners; hotels can also display and control amenities, images and group content while the GBE captures all the planner’s relevant information including sleeping rooms, meeting space, and F&B needs. (www.parkcentralny.com, www.rownyc.com, www.groupize.com)
**
hotel SystemsPro has launched hotel ProposalPro, a lead management and proposal creation tool that lets multi-property companies and ownership groups share and manage leads across portfolios and can be integrated with hotel SalesPro. Features include:
– creation of custom proposals based on the type of proposal and property. The system stores client requirements for future marketing and analysis.
– sharing RFPs with other properties within the same enterprise. Corporate sales management may instruct each property to respond to the client or roll up the portfolio and reply with a consolidated proposal.
– reviewing an RFP sent by another property, a national sales team member or a third party that is interfaced to hotel ProposalPro.
– tracking the status of RFPs and the resulting proposals. This enables users to monitor how often proposals are opened, track which clients desire to go to contract, request more information, or decline the proposal.
(www.hotelsystemspro.com)
**
MICROS Systems is integrating Social Tables’ web-based event planning platform with its OPERA Enterprise Solution, allowing hotel sales and catering teams to create 2D and 3D diagrams of their event layouts to share with clients. Public release date is set for the end of this year. (www.socialtables.com, www.micros.com)
**
Sertifi has integrated its eSignature software with Merchant Link’s payment gateway to allow users to capture both signatures and payments securely. The collective solution has been implemented at The Hub Centers for Meeting and Collaboration. Sertifi can now use the Hosted Payment Form to present a payment form to their merchant’s customer for the collection of credit card data, at the time the customer signs a contract electronically. The advanced deposit or full amount is then processed through Merchant Link as a Card Not Present with the merchant’s processor. (www.thehub.com, www.merchantlink.com, www.sertifi.com)
**

Back to Top…

F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • HotelWorks Development picks InfoGenesis for Malana Hotel brand
  • San Diego Marriott Del Mar implements Clear Sky’s Food & Beverage
    font>

HotelWorks Development has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system for its new Malana Hotel brand, starting with the Malana Hotel & Suites in Cotulla, Texas, scheduled to open this summer. (www.malanahotels.com, www.agilysys.com)
**
The San Diego Marriott Del Mar has implemented Clear Sky Software’s food & beverage inventory control system, including Clear Sky’s KIOSK feature for better tracking of F&B product movements. (www.clearskysoftware.com)
**

Back to Top…

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  • Omni picks ResortSuite for six properties
  • ResortSuite announces tablet-based SPA Check-In

Omni Hotels & Resorts has selected ResortSuite to manage all spa, golf, activities, retail and membership operations at five properties they recently acquired as well as the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida. Three properties have gone live with ResortSuite – La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA, Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, TX and The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC – and the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA and Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida will do so this year2014. ResortSuite is also implementing an HTNG Single Guest Itinerary integration with MICROS OPERA to enable guest profile sharing and synchronization, itinerary synchronization and detailed room posting.
ResortSuite has announced ResortSuite SPA Check-In, the latest addition to its ResortSuite OPS (Operations) range of tablet-based applications. SPA Check-In streamlines the arrivals process by allowing guests to complete an intake form, health questionnaire and/or sign a waiver directly on an iOS or Android tablet. The SPA Staff Portal allows spa and activity staff to view their schedules online, via their personal computer, mobile device or any online method. Staff can log in and view their own schedules, eliminating the need to call the front desk and tie up resources to check their work schedule.
(www.omnihotels.com, www.resortsuite.com)
**

Back to Top…

GUEST SERVICES

  • Kempinski Hotel Bahía introduces iRiS-designed Beach Butler mobile app for poolside ordering
  • Evolve Controls introduces two guest-facing apps for its Room Operations Center platform
  • Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs equips all rooms with Nexus Tablets and Google Chromecast
  • SmarTV introduces STB-1000 Set-Top Box and MDC-1000 Mobile Device Charger
  • SmarTV appoints Core Media as distributor and advertising agency in Caribbean
  • Bittel introduces NEO small-footprint guestroom phone
  • Bittel adds Bluetooth to UNOMedia 4 rapid charging station
  • Quadriga announces Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and Pause Live TV capability
  • Quadriga adds Apple’s Airplay streaming to Sensiq IPTV service
  • Quadriga Americas announces multiple deployments of Sensiq interactive IPTV service, LG Smart TVs
  • Sillks International Hotel Group picks Intelity to build mobile app
  • Intelity’s ICE now available through MICROS’ hosted Commerce Platform
  • Intelity, Guest-tek partner to let guests stream media content from mobile devices to guestroom TVs
  • Newmarket releases HotSOS Mobile for North America in English
  • Flyte Systems unveils InfoBoard, enhanced EventBoard and Apple-compatible FlytePass
  • Hyatt Place Flushing/LaGuardia Airport Hotel installs FlyteBoard
  • Kalahari selects Percipia to develop mobile application
  • Marriott selects Kube charging units for Marriott Hotels brand
  • Runtriz launches API for hoteliers to add guest service platform to any website, app, digital sign or in-room television
  • DIRECTV updates DIRECTV Residential Experience, introduces COM2000 head-end HD video service
  • Eleven releases Mobile Print Zone remote printing service
  • FCS Computer Systems appoints ECnex as distributor throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
  • MCOM now offering LG’s new Pro:Centric Smart STB-2000 set-top box
  • MCOM expands partnership with Samsung
  • Accor announces Phase 2 of Novotel Virtual Concierge with Monscierge
  • Sceptre developing WAYV location services application

The 128-room Kempinski Hotel Bahía, Spain, has introduced Beach Butler, a multi-lingual mobile app that lets guests order from the poolside. Developed and designed by iRiS Software Systems, Beach Butler enables guests to order food & drink directly from their own device and have it delivered directly to their table by the pool. (www.kempinski.com, www.iris.net)
**
Evolve Controls has introduced two guest-facing applications running on its Room Operations Center (ROC) platform. Evolve’s GuestX Concierge, available on devices running Microsoft Windows 8, provides control of all guestroom devices (drapes, lights, etc.) plus a customizable range of information including messaging, news and sports headlines, local weather conditions, curated reviews of local attractions and restaurants and more. GuestX YOU allows guests to download the same functionality to their mobile phones or other devices. Evolve’s ROC devices connect to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud infrastructure. (www.evolvecontrols.com)
**
The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs is equipping all rooms with Nexus Tablets and Google Chromecast, enabling guest to stream movies and television shows without additional hotel fees. The roll-out should be complete by month-end. Capital for the project came through a recent crowdfunding round of equity financing by the hotel. (www.hrhpalmsprings.com)
**
The SmarTV Company has introduced its new STB-1000 Set-Top Box and MDC-1000 Mobile Device Charger. The STB 1000 Set-Top Box can handle content delivery via co-ax or Ethernet, and includes four on-board USB 2.0 ports, an MPI adapter for TV control and a 3-port managed Ethernet switch to support a Wireless Access Point, VoIP phone and a wired Ethernet connection. A DVR option allows viewing of one HD channel while recording up to 3 other separate HD channels simultaneously and includes 500GB of hard-drive storage for recordings. The MDC-1000 Mobile Device charging station provides two wired and one Qi-standard inductive wireless charging ports for up to 3 mobile devices at the same time.
The SmarTV Company has appointed Core Media as its distributor and advertising agency throughout the Caribbean islands.
(coremediasales.com, www.getsmartv.com)
**
Bittel has introduced its NEO guestroom phone, a small-footprint device available in several color combinations and including two USB ports for mobile device charging. It comes in analog, SIP and DECT cordless models and is available with Bittel’s patented multifunction charging cable that includes connectors for Apple older (iPhone 4s and earlier) and Lightning (iPhone 5 and new iPad) ports, Micro USB (Android, Blackberry and Windows) and audio 3.5 (music) ports.
Bittel Americas has added Bluetooth connectivity to its UNOMedia 4 rapid charging station, a multi-source audio player with alarm/clock/radio/telephone. Supported devices include Apple Lightning (iPhone 5 and new iPad), Micro USB (Android, Blackberry and Windows), Apple legacy (iPhone 4s and older) and audio 3.5mm (for music). Each UNOMedia 4 unit with a Bluetooth module has a unique ID to ensure that data and music can’t be streamed or accessed between guestrooms; only one device can connect via Bluetooth at a time, making it impossible for accidental reconnecting in the future by using the same ID.
(www.bittelamericas.com)
**
Quadriga has announced a new Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and Pause Live TV capability that allows guests to pause and record programs on the in-room hotel TV.
Quadriga has enhanced its Sensiq IPTV service with the ability for guests to use Apple’s Airplay to stream content wirelessly from their iOS devices onto the in-room HD TV, via a set-top box or as an integrated solution with LG, Samsung and Philips Smart TVs.
The 496-room Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel has selected Quadriga for guest entertainment and connectivity services, including a new TV guest entertainment system and FTG services in all guestrooms and suites. Quadriga will also provide high-speed WiFi connectivity throughout the property.
The 355-room Beverly Wilshire hotel, Los Angeles, has installed Quadriga’s Sensiq interactive IPTV service integrated with Samsung Smart TVs.
Quadriga Americas has announced deployments of its Sensiq interactive IPTV service, integrated with LG Smart TVs, at properties that include Sixty SoHo and Sixty Beverly Hills, Trump National Doral in Miami, Meadowood in Napa Valley, California, Graves 601, Hotel Minneapolis and the Signature at MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
(www.quadriga.com)
**
Sillks International Hotel Group has selected Intelity to build a brand-level enterprise mobile app using its ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) platform. Each property will be able to offer guest services such as ordering in-room dining, housekeeping requests, scheduling transportation and making reservations at onsite facilities such as restaurants and spas. The app will be made available for use at all of the brand’s properties over the next three years.
Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) guest service platform is now available through MICROS’ hosted Commerce Platform (MCP), a cloud-based system interface that integrates local, content and ecommerce systems through a single management module.
Intelity and Guest-tek have partnered to provide guests with the ability to stream media content from their mobile devices to guestroom TVs via Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) platform. If there are multiple in-room TVs, guests can specify which one they would like to stream to.   The integration is initially only available for use on iOS devices.
(www.sillks.com, www.guest-tek.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
**
Newmarket International has released HotSOS Mobile for North America in English.  The next generation of H2GO, HotSOS Mobile uses a team-based approach, with service orders automatically directed into group “buckets” or backlogs. Staff members can be assigned to single or multiple teams so they only receive requests that pertain to their skill sets. (www.newmarketinc.com)
**
Flyte Systems has unveiled three new services:
– InfoBoard, an interactive touchscreen that combines real-time airline flight information with weather, traffic and social media.
– An enhanced EventBoard that combines HD digital signage with cloud-portal interaction for flexible, automated activity-display management that allows staff to update events remotely 24/7.
– An Apple-compatible FlytePass boarding pass printing service for Mac users.
The Hyatt Place Flushing/LaGuardia Airport Hotel has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard airport flight information display, showing airline arrivals and departures at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark International airports.
(flushinglaguardia.place.hyatt.com, www.flytesystems.com)
**
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions has selected Percipia to develop a customized mobile application across all properties. The app includes a concierge section, including interactive maps, special direct requests, and wake up calls, navigation aids through the resorts’ wet and dry parks, rides and slides, a Memory Maker to let guests share photos with friends and access to amenities such as Spa Kalahari and Salon, Kamp Kalahari and dining. The app is based on Percipia’s new Latitude product for both iOS and Android platforms. (www.kalahariresorts.com, www.percipia.com)
**
Marriott International has selected Kube Systems charging units for its Marriott Hotels brand. The Kube units integrate wired and wireless charging based on the Qi standard, which is integrated into smartphones, tablets and automobiles today. (www.kubesystems.com, www.marriott.com)
**
Runtriz is launching a new API that allows hoteliers to add its guest service platform to any website, app, digital sign or in-room television. The API will be made available first to its existing clients, and to the broader industry this fall. (www.runtriz.com)
**
DIRECTV has updated its DIRECTV Residential Experience (DRE) and introduced COM2000, its next- generation head-end HD video service.
– DRE is now available over all wiring schemes (home-run or loop-thru/daisy chain), and includes a customizable hotel welcome page, interactive apps including guest messaging, amenity reservations and express checkout, and seamless OTT content integration.
– COM2000 features include better energy efficiency, a 50% cost reduction with twice the HD channels via a scalable, small modular design
(www.directv.com/hotels)
**
Eleven has released Mobile Print Zone, a remote printing service that leverages EFI PrintMe software. Guests can send documents from their laptops, tablets, and smartphones to printers attached to secure guest computers in hotel lobbies, business centers and other public areas via a browser, email or EFI’s free mobile app. Guests will also be able to retrieve their documents directly from cloud-based services such as Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive in future releases. (w3.efi.com, elevenwireless.com)
**
FCS Computer Systems has appointed ECnex as a distributor throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in 1996 ECnex has more than 100 clients for its high-speed connectivity services in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru. ECnex will serve to distribute the complete suite of FCS services. (www.ecnex.com, www.fcscs.com)
**
MCOM Media Communications is now offering LG Electronics’ new Pro:Centric Smart STB-2000 set-top box for its HOTstream Interactive TV, IPTV and Video On Demand (VOD) installations in North America. The STB-2000 supports the same HTML5 development environment and Application Program Interface as LG’s Pro:Centric IPTVs, so that the same third-party applications developed by LG’s System integrators partners can also operate on the set-top-box.
MCOM Media Communications has expanded its partnership with Samsung Electronics in the North American market beyond the HOTstream platform to now offer Free To Guest packages, On Demand movies and guest interactive services through any Samsung Hotel Smart TV without the need of external set-top boxes. MCOM makes full use of Samsung Smart TV technologies to provide additional features such as plug-and-play installation for RF or IP hotel networks, and the HOTstream mobile app that lets guests use their mobile devices as remote controls and content sharing devices. Initial deployments include the Soho House Chicago hotel and Soho House New York.
(www.samsung.com, www.hotstream.us, www.mcoms.com)
**
Accor has announced Phase 2 of its Novotel Virtual Concierge in partnership with Monscierge. Phase 1, started a year ago, has curated over 65k local recommendations for guest at Novotel properties worldwide. Phase two expands this functionality to cover pre- and post-arrival phases of the guest’s journey via guests’ mobile phones and SMS technology.  Coverage includes:
– Planning: connecting through mobile to offer local recommendations and special offers, reaching international guests via multilingual applications.
– Traveling & Pre Arrival Check-in: staying in touch via mobile app SMS messaging on arrival day for last minute requests, directions, assistance and travel information.
– Staying: onsite or off, offers full hotel information, services and travel information.
– Checking out/End of Journey: assistance provided for guests departing the hotel and area, keeping access to their local favorites for all Novotel locations, plus the ability to send digital postcards and messages to contacts. Novotel can also send special offers and build customer loyalty through a maintained connection.
The mobile app is offered in 16 different languages.
(www.accor.com, www.monscierge.com)
**
Sceptre Hospitality Resources is developing WAYV, a location services application for the hospitality industry. Scheduled for release later in 2014, the app uses geofencing and iBeacon technology to offer services and special offers based on the guest’s location. With the guest’s permission, WAYV will know when the guest arrives at key locations defined by the hotel, triggering notifications on the guest’s phone and offering remote automatic check-in or check-out, upgrades, and other offers. (wwwsceptrehospitality.com)
**

Back to Top…

BACK OFFICE

  • pasUNITY launches Push Button Consolidation
  • NH Hotels rolls out Indra’s TMS for all back-office functions to headquarters and over 50 percent of hotels
  • Security Validation and Venza Group offer data security program
  • UniFocus adds Japanese to multilingual Time Clock suite
  • BirchStreet Systems launches Capital Budget Management module
  • AMResorts signs with Worldpay for payment services
  • Data Plus releases Gen8

pasUNITY has launched its Push Button Consolidation, a set of tools and services that allow businesses to implement end-to-end process automation and scheduling via a straightforward user interface. (www.pasunity.com)
**
NH Hotel Group has now rolled out Indra’s Travel Management Suite for all back-office functions (including Finance, Sales, Management Control, Procurement, Fixed Assets and Invoicing modules) to its global headquarters and more than 50 percent of the brand portfolio. NH has also implemented Indra’s TMS for Global Customer Profile for the entire chain of 380+ hotels. (www.nh-hotels.com, www.indracompany.com)
**
Security Validation and the Venza Group are offering a data security program for the hospitality industry, combining Security Validation’s consulting and advisory services and the PCI Compliance and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) learning programs from the Venza Group’s PEAK Series for Compliance and Workforce Effectiveness. (www.securityval.com, www.venzagroup.com)
**
UniFocus has added Japanese to its multilingual Time Clock suite, and will expand into German and Chinese soon. (www.UniFocus.com)
**
BirchStreet Systems has launched its Capital Budget Management module, which allows hotels to build capital projects and budgets with approval workflows and then purchase against those projects through its eProcurement system. The new module allows for a multi-year capital expenditures plan in which a property can enter future projects into BirchStreet on an on-going basis, and is integrated with eProcurement, AP Automation and Inventory Control applications. The CBM system also allows for projection of multiple monthly and yearly budgets, and has rolling budgets functionality to roll forward any unused amounts to the subsequent month automatically until the project is closed. (www.birchstreet.net)
**
Resort management company AMResorts has signed with Worldpay for payment services, including its payment gateway, acquiring and risk management services. AMResorts provides sales, marketing and brand management services to six resort brands with 32 properties throughout Mexico, Jamaica, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic: Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Now Resorts & Spas and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. (www.worldpay.com)
**
Data Plus has released its new Gen8 back office software, including multi-language capabilities, user-modifiable screen layouts, multi-task/multi-session/multi-property functionality, a .NET user interface and three-tier architecture. (www.dphs.com)
**
Mobile Simple has launched its ABreez cloud-based mobile application for minibar operations management. (www.mobilesimple.com)
**

Back to Top…

COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Scandic Hotels selects Ruckus Wireless as brand standard
  • InTown Suites picks Guest-tek as internet service provider for all 134 locations
  • Liberty Hotel updates PBX system with Guest-tek’s OneView Voice iACT

Scandic Hotels has selected Ruckus Wireless as its brand standard. In partnership with Swisscom Hospitality Services, the project lead, Ruckus Wireless has already supplied 12,800 Ruckus ZoneFlex access points (APs) for more than 130 Scandic properties, with advanced wireless LAN (WLAN) management systems. The networks use single- and dual-band 802.11n high-capacity Ruckus ZoneFlex access points. Beyond guest HSIA, Scandic will use the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure to support applications ranging from guest express checkout to housekeeping, back-of-house services and voice over IP. (www.scandichotels.com, www.swisscom.com/hospitality, www.ruckuswireless.com)
**
InTown Suites has selected Guest-tek as its new internet service provider for all 134 locations. The installations will include provisioning of fiber connectivity for improved bandwidth performance, along with true VOIP connectivity.
The 289-room Liberty Hotel, Boston, has updated its PBX voice system with Guest-tek’s OneView Voice iACT system, implemented through Guest-tek’s TelNet subsidiary.
(www.intownsuites.com, www.libertyhotel.com, www.guest-tek.com)
**

Back to Top…

SECURITY

  • OpenWays creates Partner Certification Program
  • OKKO HOTELS standardize on Kaba Saflok RT RFID locks with OpenWays
  • Kaba demonstrates Mobile Access system using BLE to open guestroom doors
  • Trump National Doral Miami installs VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID locks, VISIONLINE

OpenWays has created a Partner Certification Program. Certified Partners offerings will be verified to ensure security and functionality of the integration and a seamless guest experience.
OKKO HOTELS in France have standardized on Kaba Saflok RT RFID guestroom door locks with OpenWays’ Mobile Key built-in. OKKO’s  Nantes Chateau property is the first of nine properties to go live with these systems.  Guests receive their room number electronically prior to arrival, either via SMS text message or on the OKKO HOTELS branded smartphone app.
Kaba has demonstrated a cloud-based mobile access system using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to open guestroom doors. Currently available for Apple 4S iPhones and above, Kaba Mobile Access Solutions is powered by LEGIC IDConnect.
(www.okkohotels.com, www.OpenWays.com, www.kaba.com)
**
The Trump National Doral Miami has installed VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID locks and VISIONLINE wireless access management system. (TrumpNationalDoral.com, www.vingcardelsafe.com)
**

Back to Top…

  • Search all current and archived News and Articles here:

  • 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