June 10, 2015

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing


Communications / Infrastructure


MAY 28 – JUNE 10, 2015


  • Thanks for everything

This is one of the easiest columns I’ve written – because I haven’t had to think of a topic! – but also one of the hardest, because it’s my last. As of today, I’m retiring from the hospitality industry. I’ll still be around for a few more months as I complete my existing assignments, but I won’t be taking on any new clients, and won’t be writing any more newsletters or articles.
It’s been twenty years since Rich interviewed me for Hospitality Upgrade (or “Hotel and Restaurant Technology Update” as it was called back then) and this seems like an appropriate time to bow out of the industry that’s been my life for the last 39 years. Ten years with pioneer PMS vendors Micor (not Micros!) and NCR, ten years with pre-Starwood Westin at its corporate headquarters in Seattle and 19 years as a consultant have made for a great run, taking me to 42 states in the USA and to 38 countries worldwide.
I feel very blessed to have been part of this industry for so long, but it’s time to devote more time to my other passion, photography, and to traveling more with my recently-retired wife, Lindsay. Some of you already know of my love for taking photos of the patterns and textures of the Earth from the window seats of commercial flights, and of my annual calendar. I hope you’ll continue to follow my work on www.joningephoto.com, which I promise to keep updated more often than I’ve been able to in the past!
The hardest thing will be missing all the many friends I’ve made here among vendors, hoteliers and fellow consultants. I have learned so much from you all, and enjoyed so many spirited discussions by phone, e-mail and at conferences!
Thank you all, for everything. It’s been a wonderful ride!

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  • Kristin Miller appointed President, CEO and Board member at Evolve Guest Controls

Kristin Miller has been appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Evolve Guest Controls, succeeding Len Horowitz, Founder of Evolve. Mr. Horowitz will remain with the company in a new role focusing on strategic development and global customer relations, and will continue to serve on the board of directors as Vice Chairman. Ms. Miller brings more than 15 years of business experience, most recently with Siemens Industry as Managing Director for the Energy and Environmental Solutions business segment. She has also operated her own business/marketing consulting company, and has worked for MAN Roland, Metal Management and Otis Elevator.

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  • RoomKeyPMS offers Orion Systems’ eSigner electronic signature software
  • RoomKeyPMS integrates with PriceMatch
  • Maestro PMS launches suite of mobile modules
  • ARIA Resort Las Vegas implementS StayNTouch
  • Hotelogix integrates TripAdvisor’s Review Express into Cloud PMS
  • Kiva Dunes picks Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host
  • GTRIIP launchess documentless check-in in the USA using iPhone’s biometric features
  • SkyTouch announces enhancements for Hotel OS

RoomKeyPMS is now offering Orion Systems’ eSigner electronic signature software with its guest management system, allowing hotel users to capture initials, check marks and signatures. Other features include image display and cross-sell opportunities for enhancing revenue generation at the front desk.
RoomKeyPMS has introduced an integration with PriceMatch revenue management, allowing hotels to review automated recommendations in PriceMatch and push rate changes back into RoomKeyPMS.
(www.orisys.com, www.pricematch.travel, www.roomkeypms.com)
Maestro PMS has launched a suite of new modules and systems, including curbside tablet-based mobile guest management, SMS Text tools for instant handheld guest interaction and several mobile app-driven modules. (www.maestropms.com)
The 4,004-room ARIA Resort Las Vegas has implemented StayNTouch’s mobile check-in/check-out options for staff use and for guest’s smart phones. The apps also lessen the wait time if a guest decides to check-in at the desk. The resort implemented three StayNTouch modules:
– Zest Web for guest pre-engagement and mobile guest services via mobile web.
– Rover FrontOffice, an overlay on top of the property’s PMS bringing a touch/graphic user experience with remote key encoding & secure credit card swipe.
– Rover Housekeeping, with a touch-optimized user interface on any mobile device (iTouch, tablet, etc), for full access to rooms-to-clean lists, room status, guest information and room status updates.
(www.aria.com, www.stayntouch.com)
Hotelogix is integrating TripAdvisor’s Review Express directly into its Cloud PMS, allowing hotels to connect with guests after their stay to encourage fresh reviews. (www.tripadvisor.com, www.hotelogix.com)
Kiva Dunes has selected PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host system for its 90-room resort in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Modules to be implemented include SMS|Owner Fulfillment and Secure Payments Solution utilizes. (www.kivadunes.com, www.partech.com)
Singapore-based start-up GTRIIP is launching its documentless check-in service in the USA. GTRIIP uses the iPhone’s biometric features to let guests check in securely using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint recognition to access the booking details saved on their device. The approach does not store personal profile information, and does not require Internet access or any location service. (www.gtriip.com)
SkyTouch has announced enhancements for its Hotel OS that include:
– EMV card readiness to authenticate chip-card transactions.
– A guest experience feature to leverage customer preference and loyalty data.
– A customizable welcome screen to increase user productivity through customer-defined links and branded messaging.
– Improved cross-property guest profiles that link to social profiles.

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  • Wynn Las Vegas switches to WindsurferCRS
  • Regatta releases “Rate Alert”
  • Expedia.com updates mobile apps
  • InnLink simplifies onboarding for new Expedia hotel clients
  • TripCraft announces white-label mobile app to help hotels offer last-minute rooms
  • Travel Tripper releases certified interface with eRevMax’s RateTiger

Wynn Las Vegas switches to SHR’s WindsurferCRS. (www.wynnlasvegas.com, ww.shr.global)
Regatta has released a “Rate Alert” function for its booking engine to offer guests the lowest rates for direct bookings without rate parity violations.  Travelers can be alerted automatically if a room rate falls below a certain price; the hotel is then notified of the dates, room type and price the customer wants, and can then send a custom offer to the guest.  (www.regattatravelsolutions.com)
Expedia.com has updated its mobile apps to include:
– Rental Car booking.
– Local Activities research and booking.
This feature and rental car availability are currently available in the U.S., and will be rolling out added in the UK, Canada and other markets in the coming months.
– Book Now, Pay Later, allowing customers to reserve a room (for select hotels) and not pay until check-in.
– Vacation Package Savings of up to 55 percent on hotels by booking a qualifying flight first with the Expedia app and then booking their hotel stay within the next 10 days.
– New travel collections for tablets.
– a redesigned launch screen.
InnLink Central Reservation Services has released a service to simplify adding new Expedia hotel clients to InnLink. The initial roll out is for Expedia’s Hotel Collect program, where a guest pays the hotel at the time of stay. No base inventory is required for participants, which allows hotels to use last room availability for all their InnLink services. Once a new hotel is displaying on Expedia, hotels can work with an Expedia Market Manager to upgrade to Expedia Traveler Preference. Over 100 InnLink customers are already using the service.
(www.innlink.com, www.expedia.com)
TripCraft announced Near Term Availability with a Discounted Rate, a white-label mobile app to help hotels offer last-minute unsold rooms.  Originally developed for The Standard Hotels as its “One Night Standard” app (available for iOS and Android), the app can be integrated with a hotels reservation system and provides a management dashboard for control of rates, inventory, booking windows and more, including the ability to book a room for a prior day for after-midnight reservations. (www.TripCraft.com)
Travel Tripper has released a certified interface with eRevMax’s RateTiger, allowing hotels to distribute inventory to eRevMax channel partners through Travel Tripper’s CRS. (www.erevmax.com, traveltripper.com)

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  • TravelClick launches GuestView360 CRM and e-mail marketing
  • ZDirect announces Recency, Frequency and Monetary analysis of guests
  • ProfitSword releases new, graphically-oriented user interface
  • ProfitSword passes 2,000 hotels milestone
  • Divi Resorts implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope
  • Lodging Interactive announces HotelSiteXPRESS fast-launch website design service
  • CIOReview names Clairvoyix one of 20 Most Promising Travel and Hospitality Technology Solution Providers

TravelClick has launched its GuestView360 CRM and e-mail marketing application, as part of its Hotelligence360 business intelligence offering. GuestView360 is intended to provide insights into guests’ stay patterns, revenue and market segment, tracks email capture and channel performance, and allows users to execute highly targeted email campaigns. Users can drill down to individual guest profiles by integrating data from a hotel’s property management system. (www.TravelClick.com)
ZDirect has announced a Recency, Frequency and Monetary Modeling (RFM) function to help hotels analyze a guest’s most recent spending, how often they make a booking/purchase and the value of their bookings, upgrades and purchases. This will help hotels identify and target guests in their highest spending brackets and most valuable marketing segments, and devise marketing strategies for guests who have reduced their spending with the property. RFM complements ZDirect’s Lifetime Value analysis, which offers a real-time prediction of a guest’s lifetime value. (www.zdirect.com)
ProfitSword has released a new user interface for its hospitality business intelligence software, taking a much more graphical approach and offering more flexibility in reporting and the ability for individual users to create, view and save custom dashboards.  Separate versions for corporate offices (above property) and for users at the hotel level are being released; the rollout for the corporate UI is in progress and due to be completed to all clients this year, with the property UI scheduled for completion by the end of Q1 2016.
ProfitSword announced that it now has over 2,000 hotels using its software, a number that has doubled in the last three years. The company was founded in 2001.
Divi Resorts has implemented UniFocus’ GUESTScope to help collect better feedback from its guests.  (www.diviresorts.com, www.unifocus.com)
Lodging Interactive has announced its HotelSiteXPRESS website design service, intended to provide for implementations within 10 days and to be booking engine independent. Features include the WordPress Content Management System, search engine optimization for Google, Bing & Yahoo, Google Analytics, integration with any booking engine and (currently) nine website designs options. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
CIOReview has included Clairvoyix as one of its 20 Most Promising Travel and Hospitality Technology Solution Providers for 2015, based Clairvoyix’s digital and direct marketing programs for the travel and leisure industry. (www.cioreview.com, clairvoyix.com)

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  • IDeaS, SAS listed as “Champion” in Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape
  • IDeaS integrating Revinate’s Online Reputation Management data into Reputation Pricing system
  • The Mark Hotel installs eRevMax’s Connect
  • SiteMinder acquires Asia-based online reservation systems provider Globekey
  • Rainmaker to integrate TravelClick Demand360 competitive pacing data into its revenue management
  • Pestana Hotel Group to implement Duetto at nearly 90 hotels

IDeaS Revenue Performance Insights (RPI) and SAS Visual Analytics have been listed as a “Champion” in Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape for Business Intelligence for Gaming, Hospitality and Leisure. IDeaS and SAS were recognized for excellent product value, a strong market positioning and solid industry vision.
IDeaS Revenue Solutions is integrating Revinate’s Online Reputation Management data into its IDeaS Reputation Pricing system, to drive its Reputation Best Available Rate (BAR), which optimizes and aligns a hotel’s BAR price with guests’ knowledge, expectations and willingness to pay.
(www.infotech.com, www.revinate.com, www.ideas.com)
The Mark Hotel, New York, has installed eRevMax’s Connect for two-way connectivity between its Micros Opera property management system and online sales channels. The hotel already uses eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager. Connect will allow The Mark to update rates and inventories in real-time and receive reservations directly into its PMS. (www.themarkhotel.com, www.erevmax.com)
SiteMinder has acquired Asia-based online reservation systems provider Globekey. The majority of Globekey’s 1200 client hotels are located in Indonesia and Thailand. (www.globekey.com, www.siteminder.com)
The Rainmaker Group has announced a joint research and development partnership with TravelClick to integrate TravelClick Demand360 users’ aggregated competitive future pacing data into Rainmaker’s revenue management system. (TravelClick.com, www.LetItRain.com)
Lisbon-based Pestana Hotel Group is implementing Duetto’s revenue strategy system across its portfolio of nearly 90 hotels on 15 countries.  (www.pestana.com, www.duettoresearch.com)

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  • Newmarket announces Athens edition of Delphi.fdc with focus on package management
  • International Association of Conference Centres identifies Top 10 Meeting Tech Trends
  • B Hotels & Resorts implements UniFocus MEETINGScope for four hotels
  • Starwood to offer Cvent’s CrowdCompass mobile app to meeting planners worldwide

Newmarket International has announced an Athens edition of its Delphi.fdc product, adding features to manage packages from configuration to quote to event execution to final settlement. This includes multiple packages on the same booking as well as event and menu items, and also includes integration to Micros’ Opera PMS to capture event information. Other new features include the addition of Other Income Items, Advanced Booking Merge, and enhancements to the BEO Merge functionality. Future extensions will integrate the planned PlannerPortal and DirectBook offerings. (www.newmarketinc.com)
The International Association of Conference Centres has released its Top 10 Meeting Tech Trends for 2015:
1. The rise of Gen Y/Millennials, addicted to social media, environmentally conscious and with high expectations of connectivity, interactivity, and the ability to influence and engage in dialogue.
2. Socializing takes over from Networking for relationship-building. Meetings and conference venues must encourage relaxed socializing by providing multi-use spaces for conferees to gather together.
3. Flexible room mood capabilities in terms of design, color and creative seating options. Venues can change the look and feel of a meeting room with user controllable LED mood lighting, high-tech furniture groupings and more.
4. Geofencing a location to personalize a conferee’s welcome and offer other location-based alert notifications, such as wayfinding and automatic badge printing when the conferee first enters the room.
5. Conference Networking and Information Exchange using app-based two-way communication to let users (with permission) exchange contact information, social media profiles, specific meeting room access information, meal tracking, food preferences, and much more via their phones.
6. Use of drones for event photos and mapping the venue for GPS integrated conferences.
7. Wireless device charging is coming. The QI Consortium has wireless charging points in 3,000 hotels and furniture makers such as IKEA are installing standardized wireless charging into tables and desks.
8. Improved virtual meetings for remote “attendees” with multiple ceiling-mounted microphones, high-bandwidth connectivity and streaming video to another physical location.
9. Google Streetview technology to provide virtual venue tours, multiple room images showing different meeting layouts and property video footage.
10. On-line booking as more clients use the web as their primary tool for making purchasing decisions. Venues’ websites must serve both as marketing brochures and as the primary tool for their clients to plan, book, purchase, and engage with them for their next meeting.
B Hotels & Resorts has expanded its partnership with UniFocus to now include MEETINGScope for its four hotels, intended to give the properties insight into the expectations, needs and perceptions of the meeting/event planner. (www.bhotelsandresorts.com, www.unifocus.com)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced that it will be offering Cvent’s CrowdCompass mobile app to meeting planners worldwide. The app is currently in pilot at several Starwood hotels, including W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, The Westin Singapore, Sheraton Atlanta Airport, W Atlanta Midtown and The Westin Charlotte; roll out chain-wide is scheduled to be complete in 2016. (www.starwoodhotels.com, www.cvent.com)

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  • Corus Hotel Group implements Guestline’s EPoS
  • RMS Hospitality Solutions launches new ePOS in the USA

Corus Hotel Group has implemented Guestline’s EPoS system across its hotel and restaurant portfolio, following a pilot installation at its Berkshire hotel, Burnham Beeches. The EPoS is integrated with Corus’ Guestline Rezlynx property management system, and allows guests at its Corus Hyde Park property in London to charge meals at the group’s standalone restaurants in the capital back to their hotel folio. (www.corushotels.com, www.guestline.com)
RMS Hospitality Solutions is launching its new ePOS in the USA. The cloud-based system features digital menu boards, kitchen video screens, customer-facing displays for advertising and integrated security cameras. Mobile software for smartphones and tablets supports remote self-service ordering by guests; the system also comes with an integrated web store for online ordering and web reports for multi-venue properties or franchise businesses. (www.rmsnorthamerica.com)

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  • Marriott rolling out Netflix to all US hotel rooms by end 2016
  • Four Seasons implements guest service mobile app at all 94 properties
  • Bulk TV & Internet adds over 38,000 rooms in Q1 compared to 2014 quarterly average of 15,500
  • Cetis releases Teledex M Series Standard hotel phones with USB charging ports on all models
  • CheckMate launches Conversations platform for guest/hotel communication over multiple mobile channels
  • ASSA ABLOY Hospitality launches Certified Partnership Program
  • iRiS Software Systems integrates ASSA ABLOY Hospitality’s Mobile Access into its Mobile Valet guest services app
  • Flyte Systems announces three new digital signage options
  • Royal Rose Hotel, Abu Dhabi, picks MCOM HOTstream Interactive TV, IPTV and High Speed Internet
  • Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, places HCN Navigator computer tablets in all guest rooms

Marriott is rolling out Netflix to its hotel rooms in partnership with the Los Gatos streaming video service. Netflix is currently offered at six locations — New York Marriott East Side, San Jose Marriott, Princeton Marriott, Newport Marriott in Rhode Island, Bethesda Marriott Suites and Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Solana — with six more scheduled for this summer, 100 by the end of 2015 and to all U.S. locations by the end of 2016. (www.marriott.com)
The Four Seasons has implemented a guest service mobile app at all 94 properties worldwide. The app allows guests to check-in and out, order room service, make housekeeping requests, make and manage reservations, and book dining, spa and golf. The app also gives local recommendations for exploring individual destinations, including a geolocation service of maps with time/distance indicators to help plan local excursions and a save-and-share feature for itinerary planning. The app is available for iOS and Android. (www.fourseasons.com)
Bulk TV & Internet has reported significant growth in quarterly sales, signing more than 38,000 rooms in the first quarter compared to the 2014 quarterly average of 15,500 rooms. Bulk TV now provides DIRECTV services to more than 350,000 rooms nationally. (www.bulktv.com)
Cetis has released its Teledex M Series Standard hotel phones with USB charging ports on all single and two-line, analog and VoIP, corded and cordless phones, and RediDock remote cordless handset kit models. (www.cetis.com)
CheckMate has launched its Conversations platform to facilitate communication between guests and hotels through multiple mobile channels – SMS, email, or mobile apps – at every stage of the guest’s journey. A single dashboard for the hotel streamlines provides context on each guest so that the staff can manage multiple conversations. Guests can begin a conversation before they leave home as part of the mobile check-in process or at the front desk upon arrival. Hotels respond to guest communication through the CheckMate Conversations Dashboard, which can be accessed both on desktop and mobile devices. (www.checkmate.io)
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality (formerly VingCard Elsafe) has launched a Certified Partnership Program to help third-party mobile application providers integrate mobile access functionality into their existing mobile-based products.
iRiS Software Systems has already integrated ASSA ABLOY Hospitality’s Mobile Access software into its Mobile Valet interactive guest services application, to allow guests to use their smartphones as digital guestroom keys. After checking in with iRiS Mobile Valet, guests will be given the option of programming their phone as a door key. If they accept, they will then receive a unique PIN code and iRiS will generate the ‘Open Door’ option. Guests will then have to touch their phone to the VingCard lock to open the door.
(www.assaabloyhospitality.com, www.iris.net)
Flyte Systems has announced three new digital signage options:
– EventDisplay, a reader board that includes locations and way finding.
– AmenityBoard, combining real-time airline flight data with property information such as F&B specials or other promotions, property maps, weather and local traffic.
– EventChannel, which broadcasts hotel events and announcements to guest rooms, including meeting updates, VIP acknowledgements, and airline flight information.
The Royal Rose Hotel in Abu Dhabi, part of the City Seasons Hotel Group, has selected MCOM HOTstream Interactive TV, IPTV and High Speed Internet Access services on its Hotel Smart LED TVs. (www.royalrosehotel.com, www.cityseasonshotels.com, www.mcoms.com)
Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, has placed HCN Navigator computer tablets in all its guest rooms, the first US hotel to do so. The tablets provide information on hotel amenities, services & facilities, restaurants, room service, hotel history, safety & security and more, as well as social media connectivity, Internet access, concierge services and the ability for meeting organizers to send welcome messages, share event schedules and pertinent documents, or send timely messages through instant messaging. It also comes with a detachable keyboard. (www.palmerhousehiltonhotel.com, www.hcn-inc.com)

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  • UniFocus adds 51 new contracts/351 new properties in the past six months
  • Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino implements UniFocus’ Total Workforce Performance Time & Attendance
  • InvoTech Systems launches RFID Pool Towel Tracking System

UniFocus has added 51 new contracts in the past six months, totaling 351 new properties.
– Hilton Worldwide added UniFocus’ Labor Management System and Time & Attendance at 67 properties
– Loews Hotels and Resorts added the same two modules at 25 sites
– KSL Capital Partners  implemented Time & Attendance, Labor Management System, and Survey Solutions at six.
– Trump Hotel Collection now uses Workforce Management and Survey Solutions across all properties.
– Ocean Properties added Time & Attendance at 21 properties
– Delta Hotels & Resorts added Time & Attendance at eight.
The Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino has completed implementation of UniFocus’ Total Workforce Performance Time & Attendance system.
(www.downtowngrand.com, www.unifocus.com)
InvoTech Systems is launching an RFID Pool Towel Tracking System as a module of its Linen System. The Pool Towel module automatically records the transaction when towels are issued to hotel guests, and interfaces with the hotel’s property management system to charge the guest if a towel is not returned. (www.invotech.com)

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  • BirchStreet integrates CSI globalVCard electronic payment into its eProcurement platform

BirchStreet has integrated CSI globalVCard electronic payment into its eProcurement platform. (ww.csiglobalvcard.com, www.birchstreet.net)

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  • Zeno Controls InnPoint Guest Experience Interface adds support for Schneider Electric’s SmartStruxture ZigBee Room Controllers

Zeno Controls has added support for Schneider Electric’s 8300/8600 SmartStruxture ZigBee Room Controllers into its InnPoint Guest Experience Interface, which monitors a variety of room sensors to provide adaptive guestroom lighting, heating/cooling and improved energy savings. Zeno now uses Schneider’s SmartStruxture controls engine to complement its InnPoint Guest Experience Interface to optimize the data to improve guest satisfaction.   (www.schneider-electric.com, www.zenocontrols.com)

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  • Thing5 classified as a GPNS Enhanced Provider by Marriott
  • Single Digits acquires Swisscom Hospitality Services North America from Hoist Group
  • Mitel acquires TigerTMS

Thing5 announced that it has been classified as a GPNS Enhanced Provider by Marriott International, allowing it to offer converged networking services as well as HSIA/WiFi services to any hotel in the Marriott portfolio. (www.marriott.com, www.thing5.com)
Single Digits has acquired Swisscom Hospitality Services North America from Hoist Group, adding 250 properties and 30-plus technical engineering and network integration specialists to its North American operation. (www.singledigits.com/)
Mitel has acquired TigerTMS, a UK-based specialist provider of Hospitality Interface Aggregation, Call Accounting, voicemail and wake up systems, as well as IP technologies for smartphones and tablets. TigerTMS will continue to be led by its current CEO Simon Udell, who joins Mitel as General Manager of the company’s Hospitality business unit. (www.mitel.com)

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  • Woodlands Resort & Conference Center upgrades to Kaba’s Mobile Access Solutions
  • VingCard Elsafe changes name to ASSA ABLOY Hospitality

The 406-room Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, near Houston, Texas, has upgraded to Kaba’s Mobile Access Solutions to allow it to issue, revoke and update digital credentials on iOS mobile devices. Guests booking a room on the resort’s website can download an app which receives a Bluetooth-enabled key wirelessly when their room is ready for check-in. To open the door the guest holds the phone up to the door’s lock. The installation required only five minutes per door to install an upgraded BLE board. The property also implemented Kaba Mobile Access at guest access points including elevators, concierge areas and external hotel entry doors.  (www.woodlandsresort.com, www.kabalodging.com)
VingCard Elsafe has changed its name to ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. (www.assaabloyhospitality.com)

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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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