June 10, 2009

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

Engineering

Communications

MAY 28 – JUNE 10, 2009

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • News items emphasize shrinking market, growing use of Internet and lack of user loyalty
  • Marriott included in CIO magazine’s Top 100 companies for the tenth time
  • See you at HITEC!

An interesting sequence of news items today points out the essential need to use the Internet to attract and book visitors, and the difficult challenge of generating guest loyalty in this very volatile environment. Consider:
– According to Euromonitor International, the global downturn will cause the travel and tourism industry to shrink in 2009 and begin to rise again in 2010, though well below prior forecasts. Hotel bookings are now expected to shrink by -3.6% in 2009 and grow by 1% in 2010.
– Within this shrinking market, more people are booking online; hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index reports that the online hotel sector is proving more resilient than traditional channels in volume terms, although not in prices.
– More and more Web booking sites are being launched, but few are creating strong loyalty among their users; new Hitwise data shows that 30% of user visits to online travel agencies (OTAs) are from people who were looking at another OTA’s Web site. In fact, online travel agencies receive more visits from other OTA sites than they do from search engines, presumably because everyone’s constantly looking for a better deal.
All of which emphasizes the value of an appealing Web site that attracts attention instantly, offers rates which are clearly good value and is so intuitive to use that people prefer to re-visit it rather than look for alternatives.
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Extending an impressive track record, Marriott International has been included in CIO magazine’s Top 100 companies for the tenth time. The worldwide award program recognizes organizations showing the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology. Marriott was the only hospitality company honored this year, and was recognized for its Group Pricing Optimizer (GPO), a web-based application for improving how group business is priced, sold and serviced.
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This is the last newsletter before HITEC so I’ll just say three words about it – See You There!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Minott Osborn joins ClickSquared as Business Development Manager, Travel & Hospitality
  • Cam Troutman promoted to vice president and officer at Aptech
  • Michael Boult appointed as Lanyon’s Chief Commercial Officer
  • John Davis recognized as one of the “Top of the Top 25s” most influential travel executives

Minott Osborn has joined CRM vendor ClickSquared as Business Development Manager, Travel & Hospitality for The Americas. Mr. Osborn brings over thirty years of hospitality experience, most recently as Regional Sales Manager for PAR Springer-Miller Systems. He started his career in rooms management positions at Hyatt, then moved to the vendor world with PMS vendors EECO, Flagler and Logistix before joining Springer-Miller 18 years ago.
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Cam Troutman has been promoted to vice president and officer at Aptech Computer Systems. He joined Aptech in 2000 with a background in technology sales and has held the title of director of sales since then.
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Michael Boult has been appointed as Lanyon’s Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Boult brings over twenty years of global travel automation experience, most recently as an independent advisor to several start-up and early stage companies. From 2005 until 2008, he served as President and CEO of StarCite, and had earlier founded and led eCLIPSE Advisors, a multi-category travel spend optimization provider which was acquired by American Express Business Travel in 2004. Mr. Boult also spent thirteen years with Rosenbluth International, where he led global supplier and network relations efforts.
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John F. Davis III has been recognized by Business Travel News as one of the “Top of the Top 25s” most influential executives in the business travel industry. Currently CEO of BirchStreet Systems, Mr. Davis has been selected for the annual Top 25 list six times since 1994. Co-founding the world’s first toll-free floral ordering company (which later became 1-800 Flowers) in 1982, Mr. Davis is best known for his 19-year leadership of Pegasus Solutions.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • SoftBrands acquired by Infor
  • InterContinental deploys first “Hotel-in-a-Box” package
  • Resorts World at Sentosa picks MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise Solution
  • Branson’s Nantucket vacation ownership resort selects SPI Orange Systems
  • Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland picks ResortSuite
  • Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments selects Xn Hotel Systems, protel PMS and Xn dotPOS

SoftBrands has been acquired by Infor and an affiliate of its majority investor, Golden Gate Capital. A $2 billion company with interests ranging across many manufacturing, distribution and service industries, Infor is best known in the hospitality world for its financial systems, business intelligence, CRM and HR offerings. (www.infor.com, www.softbrands.com)
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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) deployed its first “Hotel-in-a-Box” technology package at Holiday Inn Express properties in Spartanburg, South Carolina, achieving an estimated 50% reduction in implementation time. Implemented and managed by IBM Global Technology Services, Hotel-in-a-Box is an integrated technology package for new-build properties, and includes property management, cabling & wiring, network design, guest high speed Internet access, door locking, telephone switch (PBX) & phones, video surveillance, voicemail, business center, HDTV and in-room entertainment. (www.ichotelsgroup.com, www.ibm.com/industries/travel)
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Resorts World at Sentosa has selected MICROS Systems’ OPERA Enterprise Solution for its new project on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, due to open in early 2010. With 1,800 rooms spread over six hotels, the Resort will utilize the multi-property version of the OPERA Property Management and OPERA Sales and Catering systems for the Resort’s hotel and catering operations. (www.rwsentosa.com, www.micros.com)
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Branson’s Nantucket vacation ownership resort on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo. has selected SPI Orange Systems as its management software platform. (www.spiinc.com)
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The Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland has selected ResortSuite’s PMS and Spa modules to manage its 33-room hotel and 28-room spa. (www.monastery-spa.com, www.enablez.com)
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The 156-room Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments on Piccadilly in Central London has selected Xn Hotel Systems, protel PMS and Xn dotPOS Enterprise Point of Sale systems. The new PMS will be integrated with the hotel’s IDeaS revenue management system. (www.athenaeumhotel.com, www.xnhotels.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • SynXis passes 10,000-property mark for RedX
  • Tripware launches OutBook travel management software as a plug-in for Outlook 2007
  • TripAdvisor launches Business Travel Center
  • Marriott to list all properties on Asian booking specialist Agoda.com

SynXis announced that over 10,000 properties are using its RedX Distribution Management System. (www.synxis.com)
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Tripware has launched the Beta version of its OutBook travel management software, targeted at self-serve business travelers. The software is a plugin for Microsoft Outlook 2007 and allows business travelers to book, plan, and manage their own business travel directly in Outlook. On entering a meeting and location into the calendar, clicking the Tripware Book Trip icon fetches the user’s travel preferences and opens a booking window inside Outlook with over 50 customizable preferences, including airlines, hotels, car rental companies and scheduling. Tripware also offers loyalty program tie-ins, expense report management and complete itinerary access. (www.tripware.com)
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TripAdvisor has launched its Business Travel Center, a trip planning resource covering 20,000+ hotels in over 750 cities worldwide and which includes a Business Popularity Index ranking hotels specifically for business travelers, and interactive maps that identify meeting locations and nearby restaurants, attractions, transportation and business services. The Business Popularity Index sorts reviews written by business travelers about their business stays. When travelers go to a hotel page, they can filter reviews to those written by people who have taken the same type of trip they are planning. (www.tripadvisor.com)
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Marriott has agreed to list its 3,100 properties on Agoda.com, an online travel company specializing in discounted hotel bookings in Asia. Agoda will provide Marriott with access to its Yield Control System (YCS) allowing properties to manage yield dynamically rather than focusing on negotiating long-term pricing or allotments. (www.marriott.com, www.agoda.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • ZDirect and Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) form partnership
  • Aptech launches Innvue application for multi-property data extraction, consolidation
  • E-site Marketing introduces Mobile Website application
  • VFM Leonardo contracts with GeoBeats to produce high-impact videos

ZDirect and Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) have partnered to offer ZDirect’s eCRM technology with HeBS’ eCRM and strategic account management services. (www.hospitalityebusiness.com, www.zdirect.com)
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Aptech Computer Systems has launched its enhanced Innvue Web-based application for consolidating daily operating and performance data from property level systems for multi-property chains and management companies. Using the .NET platform, Innvue assists in capturing and integrating data for centralized analysis using Aptech’s Execuvue Business Intelligence system. (www.aptech-inc.com)
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Sabre’s E-site Marketing division has introduced its Mobile Website application to help hotel properties and chains optimize their Web sites for display on consumers’ mobile devices, working with Internet marketing solutions and tools already available through SynXis, its sister company. (www.esitemarketing.com)
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VFM Leonardo has contracted with GeoBeats to produce high-impact videos for distribution across VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork. (www.geobeats.com, www.vfmleonardo.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • eRevMax acquires Simple Distribution from Rate Reports

eRevMax has acquired Simple Distribution from Egypt-based online channel management company Rate Reports, to fit alongside its RateTiger system. eRevMax plans to expand Simple Distribution’s benchmarking, channel management and booking engine functionalities from its current Asian and African markets into Europe and America, targeting small, independent hotels with 40 rooms or less. (www.erevmax.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Resorts World at Sentosa selects MICROS Systems’ OPERA Enterprise Solution
  • Choice Hotels adds hotelSalesPro, hotelCateringPro and hotelServicePro to its Qualified Vendor Program

Resorts World at Sentosa has selected MICROS Systems’ OPERA Enterprise Solution for its new project on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, due to open in early 2010. With 1,800 rooms spread over six hotels, the Resort will utilize the multi-property version of the OPERA Sales and Catering and OPERA Property Management systems for the Resort’s hotel and catering operations. (www.rwsentosa.com, www.micros.com)
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Choice Hotels has selected hotelSystemsPro’s Web-based hotelSalesPro, hotelCateringPro and hotelServicePro systems for its Qualified Vendor Program, with its Cambria Suites brand being the first adopters. hotelSalesPro is a multi-property ASP sales and catering system; hotelServicePro is a hotel maintenance application that automates the management and reporting of maintenance and guest request tasks. (www.choicehotels.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland picks ResortSuite

The Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland has selected ResortSuite’s PMS and Spa modules to manage its 33-room hotel and 28-room spa. (www.monastery-spa.com, www.enablez.com) **

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GUEST SERVICES

  • LodgeNet signs 25+ properties this year to new Hotel Investment Model
  • Four Rosen Hotels and Resorts installing 1,000 Onity OS200 electronic in-room safes
  • LG announces new flat-panel LCD HDTVs and Auto-Sensing Remote Jack Packs (RJP)
  • White Lodging upgrades HSIA at 27 properties to Guest-Tek’s OneView
  • Uniguest installs HP TouchSmart PCs in kiosks at Nashville Marriott Airport
  • Marriott Courtyard/Gatwick Airport installs HSIA and digital video from RIEO, Acentic
  • Colonnade Hotel in Boston sees first US deployment of iBAHN’s ETVi all-digital IPTV
  • Lorien Hotel & Spa, Epic Hotel implement SuiteLinq entertainment and connectivity

LodgeNet reported that it signed over 25 properties totaling more than 5,000 guestrooms to its new Hotel Investment Model during the first five months of this year. In contrast to the prior model of no-charge implementation in return for the bulk of the VOD revenue, under the new model hoteliers purchase the interactive television system, pay an ongoing support fee and share a portion of guest entertainment revenues. LodgeNet expanded the scope of the new model last year to address significant demand for its high-definition (HD) systems. (www.lodgenet.com)
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Four Rosen Hotels and Resorts in the Orlando area are installing 1,000 Onity OS200 electronic in-room safes. The program covers the Quality Inn Plaza, Quality Inn International, Rodeway Inn International and Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista and is expected to be complete by mid-summer. (www.rosenhotels.com , www.onity.com)
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LG announced a new line of flat-panel LCD HDTVs and Auto-Sensing Remote Jack Packs (RJP) for the hospitality industry. The new HDTVs EcoSmart technology allows multiple manual and automatic energy conservation options, including an Intelligent Sensor that adjusts the picture automatically based on the amount of ambient light in the room. The new RJPs (RJP-210F and RJP-301B) feature slimmer cords for easier installation, and offer auto-sensing and separation of audio and video as well as multiple mount options. (www.lge.com/us/HDTV)
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White Lodging has upgraded the high speed internet access at 27 properties to Guest-Tek Interactive’s OneView Internet platform with new networks. Guest-Tek provides HSIA at over 100 of White Lodging’s 166 properties; both companies have committed to upgrade installations as the opportunity arises. (www.whitelodging.com, www.guest-tek.com)
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Uniguest has installed HP’s all-in-one dx9000 TouchSmart PCs in its Business Center Kiosks, Boarding Pass Kiosks and Concierge Station Kiosk at the Nashville Marriott Airport. (www.marriott.com, www.uniguest.com)
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The Courtyard by Marriott at London’s Gatwick Airport has installed HSIA and in-room digital TV and entertainment as a combined offering from HSIA provider RIEO Communications and digital TV services vendor Acentic, the first such implementation in the UK. (www.marriott.co.uk, www.acentic.com)
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The 278-room Colonnade Hotel in Boston has installed the first US deployment of iBAHN’s ETVi all-digital IPTV system. (www.colonnadehotel.com, www.ibahn.com),br> **
Kimpton’s new Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, VA, and Epic Hotel in downtown Miami have implemented entertainment and connectivity services from SuiteLinq. The guestrooms offer video entertainment via SuiteCast and SuiteVOD on 42″ flat screen televisions, and SuiteLinq desktop services on a customized thin-client computer. SuiteLinq provides access to local guides, on-demand entertainment, Microsoft Office software, and an array of embedded Microsoft services. The Epic Hotel also offers SuiteLinq’s entertainment offerings on a Microsoft Surface multimedia platform. (www.kimptonhotels.com, www.suitelinq.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Clear Sky Software releases interface with U.S. Foodservice

Clear Sky Software has released a new interface between its Clear Sky Food inventory system and U.S. Foodservice, enabling Clear Sky Food to transmit product orders to U.S. Foodservice and import U.S. Foodservice shipped order files. (www.usfoodservice.com, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Choice Hotels adds hotelServicePro to Qualified Vendor Program

Choice Hotels has selected hotelSystemsPro’s Web-based hotelServicePro, hotelSalesPro and hotelCateringPro systems for its Qualified Vendor Program, with its Cambria Suites brand being the first adopters. hotelServicePro is a hotel maintenance application that automates the management and reporting of maintenance and guest request tasks; hotelSalesPro is a multi-property ASP sales and catering system. (www.choicehotels.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS

  • Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan’s Herald Square implements BTP network design and technology infrastructure

The 298-unit Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan’s Herald Square opened in February 2009 with network design, technology infrastructure and audiovisual & security systems from Business Technology Partners (BTP). (www.btp.net)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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