June 16, 2011

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

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

JUNE 1 – 16, 2011

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Lausanne survey reports widespread dissatisfaction with guest management systems
  • See you at HITEC
  •  

Here’s something to think about as you cruise the aisles of HITEC looking for new systems; a survey of mostly European hotels by the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne reports widespread dissatisfaction with their guest management systems, and especially with the way they’re installed, trained and supported. The on-line survey covered 95 hotels, and the results were then reviewed and endorsed by a focus group of hotel managers and directors.
Principal complaints were that the systems are under-utilized due to lack of training, that their data is too isolated from that in other systems to be really useful for management, and that reporting, never really satisfactory, usually gets worse when new versions are implemented. Sales demonstrations are generally well presented, but post-installation reality is frequently unsatisfactory with poor after-sales service. Upgrades are often seen as disruptive and offering no obvious improvement in functionality.
Where does this come from? The two most common reasons given were the relative lack of choice of vendors in Europe and that corporate office decisions are seen as coercing the properties into changing or updating their systems. The former implies that the major vendors feel they don’t have to compete on the basis of support, and the latter that chains don’t do a good enough job in championing the benefits of a change and in supporting the hotels as they implement it.
None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who’s been involved in the industry for long, but it’s still depressing. It’s also a strong indictment of the vendors’ failure to provide adequate service and of corporate management’s inability to ensure buy-in from their properties. Times are still difficult, and every property needs to operate as effectively as it can. Any vendor with large numbers of frustrated customers is vulnerable to better-supported alternatives, and chains can’t afford to handicap their staff with insufficiently interfaced and supported tools and lack of commitment towards common goals.
If you’re looking for a new guest management system, whether for one property or a chain, plan the whole selection and implementation process for success, including all the interfaces necessary to maximize its usefulness. Make sure everyone knows why it’s necessary, what the benefits will be, and where their training fits into the picture. Good morale means good results.
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You don’t need me to remind you that HITEC is next week, so I’ll see you in Austin. Be prepared for 95 degree weather and thunderstorms…
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Oliver Schwartz, David Jacob, Ganesh Rajagopal named as IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship winners
  • Pegasus Solutions  announces new revenue generation team
  • Gavin Simonds  appointed non-executive Chairman at EasyRMS
  • Lisa Francisco promoted to Director of Learning Services at Hospitality Softnet
  • Bernard Ellis promoted to industry executive, hospitality at IDeaS
  • Jane Stampe hired by IDeaS as managing director, Americas
  • Mark Lomanno  named chief strategy officer (CSO) at Smith Travel Research

IDeaS Revenue Solutions announced the first round of IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship winners as:
– Oliver Schwartz, Revenue Manager, Hyatt Regency Birmingham
– David Jacob, Sales Manager, Surf & Sand Resort
– Ganesh Rajagopal, Senior Analyst – Revenue Management, Venetian Macau Limited.
The recipients were selected based on demonstrated excellence in revenue management and desire to enhance their profession. The scholarship program, funded by IDeaS, offers the opportunity to gain an online Revenue Management certification from Cornell University.
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Pegasus Solutions  announced a new revenue generation team.
– John Owens has been named senior vice president, global sales
– Denise Mori has been promoted to vice president, revenue generation management
– Quentin Moores has been promoted to regional director, Americas.
– Yoshinori Nishihara has been named regional director for Asia-Pacific (ASPAC)
– Brian Dowd was promoted to regional director, Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) and ASPAC.
This team will be responsible for new sales for independent hotels and small hotel groups. Connie Rheams, existing senior vice president, strategic sales, will drive new sales to all other chains. Hubert Tupay, the current vice president of distribution sales will help expand Pegasus’ distribution channels globally.
Elaine Kennedy has rejoined Pegasus as vice president, Utell demand sales.
Monica French, senior vice president, revenue generation management will assume responsibility for revenue generation for all customers.
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Gavin Simonds has been appointed non-executive Chairman at EasyRMS. Currently Chairman of digital media specialist Snell, Mr. Simonds’ career includes positions as a Director of the merchant bank, Kleinwort Benson, joint Managing Director of InterContinental Hotels Group, and non-executive Chairman of a variety of companies including fashion chain Peacocks plc, and The Club Company.
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Lisa Francisco has been promoted to Director of Learning Services at Hospitality Softnet. Ms. Francisco has been with Hospitality Softnet for over 12 years; she was earlier Director of Sales and Marketing with Bristol Hotels, now InterContential Hotel Group.
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Bernard Ellis has been promoted to the new role of industry executive, hospitality at IDeaS Revenue Solutions. Mr. Ellis was previously managing director, Americas, a position he had held since joining IDeaS in 2004. He had previously spent five years as VP Product Strategy for SynXis, and earlier had held senior sales positions with Micros-Fidelio.
Jane Stampe has been hired by IDeaS Revenue Solutions to replace Mr. Ellis as managing director, Americas. She brings more than 25 years of strategic technology development experience, most recently with IT consultants 741 Studios.
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Mark Lomanno has been named chief strategy officer (CSO) at Smith Travel Research; he had served as STR’s chief executive officer since January and prior to that was president of the company for 12 years.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • PAR Springer-Miller Systems announces ATRIO next-generation guest management system
  • GrandLife Hotels, New York City selects Agilysys’ Guest 360 for two Manhattan properties
  • RDP announces four modules for mobile devices
  • Infor announces Infor Partner Network to support channel partners
  • Alderwood Group purchases SPI Software’s Orange Software suite

PAR Springer-Miller Systems has announced its next generation guest management system, ATRIO Guest Experience Management, a cloud-based application (using Microsoft Azure) which can also be implemented on-property. The system features a very visual user interface and is built around an Enterprise Service Bus for flexible integration with legacy, current and future applications through its ATRIO Platform Partner Exchange (APPX) program. ATRIO also supports multiple languages, currencies, date formatting, tax structures and cultural differences. (www.atrio.com)
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GrandLife Hotels in New York City has selected Agilysys’ Guest 360 guest management system for its 361-room Soho Grand Hotel and 201-room Tribeca Grand Hotel properties in downtown Manhattan. The systems will be implemented in a single-database multi-property configuration in GrandLife’s data center. (www.grandlifenyc.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Resort Data Processing (RDP) has announced four new modules for mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets:
– Mobile Communication (for guest confirmations, messages and room ready notifications)
– Mobile Work Orders (for work order creation, status management and completion)
– Mobile Housekeeping (for displaying a status summary grid, daily schedules, new assignments, time spent on each room, room status updating, and entering a new work order)
– Mobile Management (for remote access to reports and status displays).
(www.resortdata.com)
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Infor has announced its Infor Partner Network (IPN), a global network designed to support channel partners with competitive commission rates, performance bonuses, a training and certification program, and a Market Development Funding (MDF) program. (www.infor.com)
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The Alderwood Group has purchased SPI Software’s Orange Software suite for Reservations, Property Management, Owner Accounting, CRM and Web Operations for its portfolio of resort properties and homeowner associations in Southern California, Colorado and Mexico. (www.alderwoodgroup.com, www.spisoftware.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Travelsurf announces ‘Your Choice @ Your Price’ (YC@YP) opaque distribution model
  • Centerstone contracts with Whiteboard Labs for Windsurfer CRS, TUBE engine, voice and connectivity services
  • Fiesta Americana Vacation Club signs with Regatta Travel Solutions to build new website
  • hotel SystemsPro optimizes hotel WebSpace to provide Web pages for mobile devices
  • Availpro develops mobile version of its booking engine for independent hotels
  • Hilton renews global distribution agreement with Sabre
  • Open Hospitality expands mobile-device hotel-booking application to include ancillary items

Travelsurf Pvt Ltd. has announced its ‘Your Choice @ Your Price’ (YC@YP) opaque distribution model for hotels. Four modules are available:
– travelsurf.com, a B2C portal for hotels to sell their unsold rooms.
– YC@YP Direct, a ‘white label’ direct engine for the hotel’s website complementing the hotel’s booking engine and redirecting traffic to it when YC@YP DIRECT is out of inventory.
– Hotel Business On Wheels, allowing hotels to sell directly to high traffic areas instead of driving traffic to their websites.
– YC@YP ‘White Label’ solutions, a customized version for hotel chains, hotel associations, DMOs and other niche marketing groups. Hotel groups can create their own ‘white label’ inventory clearance outlets and bring users over to their central booking channels when out of surplus inventory on their clearance outlets.
Travelsurf exposes hotel rack rates along with the hotel name, property and other data to the user. Users can “short list” their selection, place independent offers to multiple hotels and indicate their priority preference in case more than one hotel accepts their offer. The portal was released in India this year and currently has an inventory of 500+ hotels there. (www.travelsurf.com)
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Centerstone Inns, Hotels and Plaza Hotels has contracted with Whiteboard Labs for its Windsurfer Central Reservations System and “The Ultimate Booking Experience” (TUBE). Whiteboard will provide GDS connectivity, voice reservations, Web design, and e-marketing support with multi-image and video platforms. Centerstone hotel owners will have mobile access to CRS reports using an iPhone app. Planned enhancements for the mobile app include allowing owners to alter rates, change close-out dates and manage their inventory. (www.centerstonehotels.com, www.whiteboardlabs.com)
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Fiesta Americana Vacation Club has signed an agreement with Regatta Travel Solutions to build a new website including its uniqueVacation Club Booking Engine. (www.favc.com/en, www.hotelinternethelp.com)
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hotel SystemsPro has announced that its hotel WebSpace application has been optimized to provide Web pages for mobile devices, including research and booking functions as well as customized landing pages for local events.  (www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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Availpro has developed a mobile version of its booking engine for independent hotels. (www.availpro.com)
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Hilton Worldwide has renewed its global distribution agreement with Sabre Hospitality Solutions, moving from a transactional-based model to a value-based approach by using other Sabre marketing and distribution systems. (www.hilton.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Open Hospitality has expanded its mobile-device hotel-booking application to include items such as food and beverage, special amenities, event tickets, flowers and other add-ons. (www.openhospitality.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Milestone Internet Marketing releases version 2.0 of eBuzz Connect
  • Swiftrank changes name to TravelShark
  • Trust International and TrustYou launch Review Collector online guest satisfaction survey
  • Sabre offers ReviewPro reputation and social media monitoring tools to client hotels
  • Sabre launches SocialConversion suite to help hotels maximize social media presence
  • Cendyn has received five IMA Outstanding Achievement awards
  • Cendyn celebrates 15 year anniversary
  • Marriott releases My Marriott Hotel online game
  • ProfitSword launches ProfitWizard ad-hoc reporting tool
  • ProfitSword’s client base doubles over the last three years
  • VFM Leonardo launches Mobile Media Player for VBrochure
  • VFM Leonardo announces Facebook app for VBrochure
  • Aptech releases next-generation Execuvue BI application

Milestone Internet Marketing has released version 2.0 of its eBuzz Connect online reviews and social media tracking tool. Enhancements include a revamped dashboard with workflow and goals management integration and direct interfaces to Facebook and Twitter. The new interface is intended to help hotels establish a review response workflow, segment those reviews and posts that need the most attention, and establish goals and benchmarks. (www.ebuzzconnect.com)
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Destination-based website provider Swiftrank has changed its name to TravelShark. (www.travelshark.com)
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Trust International and TrustYou are launching Review Collector, an online guest satisfaction survey that combines post-stay reviews and social media analysis. A post-stay email will encourage guests to write reviews on a webpage hosted by TrustYou, which will use its Analytics module to build and deliver a detailed analysis of reviews and social media comments about the hotel.  (www.trustyou.com, www.trustinternational.com)
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Sabre Hospitality Solutions is now offering ReviewPro’s online reputation and social media monitoring tools to its client hotels around the world.  ReviewPro offers group and portfolio management support, analysis and business intelligence including semantic analysis of reviews, and indices such as the Global Review Index online guest satisfaction index based on reviews from 65 online travel sites, internationally.
Sabre has launched its SocialConversion product suite to help hotels maximize their social media presence and grow revenue through distribution on sites such as Facebook. The suite’s offerings include:
· A Facebook booking engine with the look and feel of the hotel Website, allowing guests to search availability, view rooms, shop rates and book rooms within the Facebook framework.
· Share-your-stay functionality, allowing guests to distribute the hotel’s brand and their stay across multiple social channels simultaneously.
· The ability to create social media-only offers and promotions to push and share within Facebook.
· Integration of social media into the hotel’s Website through profile portability and social plug-ins, enabling Website visitors to pre-populate forms, interact and share content including blog posts, photos and packages through their Facebook account.
· Custom tabs and widgets for cross-promotions between the hotel or chain’s Website and social media platforms.
· Network building and campaign management tools.
(www.reviewpro.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Cendyn has received five IMA Outstanding Achievement awards for online identities created for four clients:
– for Social Networking, the Breakers Palm Beach’s Wedding and Celebrations Facebook page.
– for Hotel/Resort Web Design, a new Web site for the Hotel Le St. James in Old Montreal City.
– two awards for Website design in the Entertainment and Events categories, for Universal Hollywood Events.
– for Bridal/Wedding Website design, Abbington Banquets website.
Cendyn is currently celebrating its 15 year anniversary.
(www.cendyn.com)
**
Marriott International has released My Marriott Hotel, a hotel-themed online game perhaps inspired by the success of Farmville on Facebook. Hoping to use it as a recruiting tool by interesting gamers in hotel operations, the game initially focuses on kitchen operations, but Marriott says it will roll out games covering other aspects of hotel business next year, as well as introducing mobile-phone play. The game was developed by Evviva Brands LLC, a recruitment-branding consulting firm. (www.marriott.com)
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ProfitSword has launched its ProfitWizard ad-hoc reporting tool, which allows hoteliers to create Microsoft Excel-based reports, models and graphs to address business issues and support everyday decisions. The new tool uses standard Microsoft technology including Excel and Analysis Services multi-dimensional data cubes, with data derived from multiple sources including the property GMS, POS, back-office accounting, timekeeping, spa, golf, and other operational systems. The cubes also contain Smith Travel and guest service data. ProfitWizard contains two standard data cubes, one for monthly or month-end data, the other for daily data.
ProfitSword also announced that its client base has more than doubled in size over the last three years, from 16 clients with 400 hotels in the United States and Canada to 32 clients representing 800+ hotels worldwide.
(www.profitsword.com)
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VFM Leonardo has launched a Mobile Media Player for its VBrochure module, formatting hotel photos, virtual tours, videos and marketing copy for mobile devices (including Apple, Android and BlackBerry units) and using advanced detection and display technology to optimize the content for the device.
VFM Leonardo has also announced a new Facebook app for VBrochure, allowing hotels to embed VPowered Multi-Media Players into their social media channels.
(www.vfmleonardo.com)
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Aptech Computer Systems has released its next-generation Execuvue Business Intelligence (BI) system, for the latest Cognos database platforms.  The enhanced system delivers fully interactive BI reports in more than 40 formats for iPhone, iPad, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Symbian platforms through a mobile-ready web portal. Operators may also create their own ad hoc queries and customize existing reports. Concord Hospitality Enterprises has upgraded to the new version for its 72 hotels. (www.concordhotels.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • EZYield rebrands products as Fuzion Hospitality Suite
  • EZYield completes channel connection to Travel Tripper’s RezTrip
  • EZYield signs distribution agreement with Pmweb
  • EZYield upgrades infrastructure to run on a 40-gigabit InfiniBand network and use Amazon’s Cloud

EZYield has rebranded its products as the Fuzion Hospitality Suite, a set of Web-based products including:
– Fuzionlink, EZYield’s channel management application.
– Fuzionsync for 1-way and 2-way reservation delivery and ARI integration between guest management systems and on-line channels.
– Fuzionbook web booking engine.
EZYield has completed an enhanced channel update connection to Travel Tripper’s RezTrip hotel booking engine, allowing hotels to manage both base and floating rates in RezTrip from EZYield’s channel management interface.
EZYield has signed a distribution agreement with Pmweb, a Brazilian company specializing in digital marketing and CRM for hotel chains and resorts.
EZYield has upgraded its server environment to run on a 40-gigabit InfiniBand network, and as augmented its internal virtualized computing environment through the use of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing its channel management, website booking engine and integrated reservation delivery to run faster and with greater security. Hotel connection speeds are now up to eight times faster than on the previous network. EZYield’s enhanced infrastructure is supported with network services provided by Level 3 Communications
(www.pmweb.com.br, www.ezyield.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • PSAV wins Best Overall Staging award
  • Passkey launches GroupMAX ME, targeted at major events
  • JANUS releases mobile interface to enable tablet access to Concierge Board data, services
  • Knowland Group offers EchoSign online electronic signature service
  • Knowland Group enhances Target Net with Jigsaw and EchoSign
  • Cendyn acquires RoundTableHQ

PSAV Presentation Services has been awarded “Best Overall Staging for a Corporate or Association Event – Technology budget over $200,000″ for its Transitions Optical project by the InfoComm/Lighting&Sound America Staged Events Awards judging panel. (www.psav.com)
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Passkey has launched GroupMAX ME, targeted at major events in the corporate, tradeshow, sports and association markets.   GroupMAX ME provides more control over room block management through new features such as sub-block dashboards, automated sub-block request management and an all-new multi-room booking engine.   It includes a mobile booking engine customized for each event, an availability widget for embedding hotel availability on event websites and social networks, and a social networking module for attendees. The new sub-block dashboards allow event affiliates such as exhibitors, sponsors and sports teams to manage their part of an event with live snapshots of critical event information, key milestone dates and a built-in booking engine and message center.   (www.passkey.com)
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JANUS Displays has released a mobile interface to enables guests and meeting planners to use a handheld tablet to access information and services available on a JANUS Concierge Board, including daily event schedules, flight check-in and boarding pass printing, flight arrival and departure information, weather forecasts, property maps, on-site amenity information, restaurant reservations and Bing mapping. (www.janusdisplays.com)
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The Knowland Group has partnered with EchoSign to offer its online electronic signature service, helping to get contracts signed, tracked and filed instantaneously from anywhere in the world. EchoSign allows meeting planners and sales teams to make changes to contracts, proposals, banquet event orders and other time-sensitive documents from their iPads and smartphones.
The Knowland Group has enhanced its Target Net meetings management and sales force automation tool with Jigsaw and EchoSign. The enhanced platform includes an easier-to-use BEO interface, a new customized report builder, easier access for other team members such as front desk or housekeeping staff and an integrated social media dashboard to help sales managers to reach out to current or prospective clients on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Target Netis also now available on iPads and iPhones. (www.KnowlandGroup.com)
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Cendyn has acquired RoundTableHQ, which designs and builds products such as getplanning for the meetings and events industry. RoundTableHQ will continue to operate as a separate company with offices in the U.S. and England.  getplanning, available on iPad, is a web-based portal allowing meeting planners and hotel staff to review and update documents such as banquet event orders, contracts and rooming lists, and provides real-time communication and updates when event changes are made. It will also integrate Cendyn’s eProposal, ePlanning and eMenus products. (http://RoundTableHQ.com, www.cendyn.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Lodging Interactive launches Chatter Guard for Restaurants

Lodging Interactive has launched a version of its Chatter Guard social media monitoring service targeted for the restaurant industry. Chatter Guard for Restaurants includes monitoring of major restaurant review sites as well as blogs, bulletin boards and social media sites, including Open Table, Urban Spoon, ZAGAT, Yelp!, TripAdvisor, Dine.com, Dishola.com, Fodor’s and Frommers. Attribute scoring consists of Food, Service, Atmosphere, Noise Level and Value. (www.LodgingInteractive.com )
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Intelligenz achieves PA-DSS validation of Intelligenz Payments Solution 

Intelligenz Solutions International has achieved PCI Security Standards Council PA-DSS validation of its Intelligenz Payments Solution, used in its IntelliSpa, IntelliRecreation, IntelliLeisure, IntelliFitness and IntelliFore applications. (www.intelligenzsolutions.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • GoConcierge releases native iPad and iPhone versions of its system
  • VSi announces mPrint flexible guest printing service
  • Marriott Grand Hotel Flora implements Swisscom’s integrated TV, Internet and data services
  • Bartech announces new Flat Fridge model
  • Westmont installs 250+ guestLINK PowerWave connectivity panels in Fairmont Palliser and Fairmont DC
  • Brandstand announces new Cubie power outlet extension unit
  • LodgeNet adds Flyte Systems flight information channel to Envision HD platform
  • LodgeNet VOD 2.0 offering provides earliest non-theater movie viewing for consumers
  • runtriz  offers hotels custom music from Prescriptive Music
  • JANUS releases mobile interface for guests’ tablets to access services on JANUS Concierge Board
  • InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong implements MTech’s HotSOS
  • Lane Hospitality implementing hotel ServicePro across 19 properties
  • Rezidor Hotel Group names TeleAdapt MediaHub HD as a preferred product for new Radisson Blu sites
  • Bittel announces MediaPhone with TV connectivity panel, phone, alarm clock/radio and iPod/iPhone dock
  • ‘Travelodge Future of Sleep’ study suggests technology aids to better sleep by year 2030
  • Eccleston Square Hotel to provide Intelity ICE Touch on iPad2s in each room
  • Intelity adds INNCOM Integrated Room Automation Systems to Intelity ICE Touch on iPads
  • Roomlinx releases iTV Platform 3.0
  • Delamar Hotel signs five year agreement for Roomlinx iTV Platform 3.0
  • iRiS unveils latest Personal Valet Application for iPads and smart phones
  • Sofitel So Bangkok to offer complete Apple-based digital systems in all 238 rooms
  • Next Hotel Rivoli Jardin, Helsinki, adopts Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications portal
  • Hotel Monteleone implements ZDirect’s Mobile Passport for guest services via smart phones
  • JW Marriott Hotel Ankara installs OTRUM Enterprise and Digital Signage

GoConcierge.net has released native iPad and iPhone application versions of its GoConcierge system, enabling concierges to provide guest service throughout the property. (www.goconcierge.net)
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Vertical Systems, Inc. announced the impending release of its mPrint hotel guest printing service, which allows guests to print any number of pages from a document while the application is still open and in use. Any specialized document can also be printed if the guest’s computer is capable of printing it normally. (www.ver-sys.com)
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The Marriott Grand Hotel Flora in Rome, Italy, has implemented Swisscom’s integrated ConnectedHotel TV, property-wide Internet service and central data network for all 157 rooms. Swisscom provides wired and wireless Internet access to all guest rooms, public areas and the hotel back-office, using a central fiber connection to the hotel from Fastweb and branching it into distinct data lines for the three areas. (www.marriott.com, www.swisscom.com/hospitality)
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Bartech has announced its new Flat Fridge model, a slim design with a double glass door that is available as a stand-alone unit or in wall-mounted form. (www.bartech.com)
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The Westmont Hospitality Group has installed over 250 guestLINK PowerWave auto-sensing connectivity panels in the guestrooms at the Fairmont Palliser and Fairmont DC hotels, and will install them in additional properties by year end. (www.fairmont.com/palliser, www.fairmont.com/washington, www.guestlink-cii.com)
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Brandstand Products has announced its new Cubie power outlet extension unit, available with 3 outlets/2 USB charging ports or 4 power outlets. (www.brandstand.com)
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LodgeNet Interactive has added Flyte Systems new FlyteXchange interactive airline flight information as a channel on its Envision high-definition platform. The first installation was at the 1,100-room Hyatt Regency O’Hare.
LodgeNet Interactive announced its latest VOD 2.0 offering, which includes the earliest non-theater movie viewing window for consumers anywhere. Best-selling Hollywood releases will be available up to 60 days before their release on DVD or home on-demand, and up to 90 days before they get to Netflix, Redbox or iTunes.
(www.flytesystems.com , www.lodgenet.com )
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runtriz is now offering custom music from Prescriptive Music as a hotel service or amenity on its runtriz mobile platform, allowing hotels to customize a music mix for each area of the hotel. (www.prescriptivemusic.com, www.runtriz.com)
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JANUS Displays has released a mobile interface to enables guests to use a handheld tablet to access information and services available on a JANUS Concierge Board, including flight check-in and boarding pass printing, flight arrival and departure information, weather forecasts, property maps, on-site amenity information, restaurant reservations, daily event schedules, and Bing mapping. This allows properties to provide meeting planners with a mobile tablet containing all of the concierge board information. (www.janusdisplays.com)
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The 579-room InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong has implemented MTech’s HotSOS application for guest request management, through MTech’s distributor McLaren Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. (www.hongkong.intercontinental.com, www.mclarenint.com, www.m-tech.com)
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Lane Hospitality is implementing hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro guest service and asset management system across its 19-property portfolio, following a pilot test at three sites.  Staff use smart phones or computers to enter requests in hotel ServicePro and send a message to the correct person to take action. (www.lanehospitality.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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The Rezidor Hotel Group has selected TeleAdapt’s MediaHub HD with Power/Data Extender as a preferred product for the connectivity panels in new Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts. Units have already been installed at the Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow and Radisson Blu Hotel, Kiev. (www.rezidor.com, www.teleadapt.com)
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Bittel Electronics has announced its new MediaPhone, which combines a desktop connectivity panel, full-featured guest room telephone and an alarm clock/radio, and incorporates an iPod/iPhone docking station. A single HDMI connection provides communication with a wide range of industry-standard hospitality televisions; Auto-Sense technology automatically switches compatible televisions to the correct mode or source. (www.bittelamericas.com)
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A six-month study entitled the ‘Travelodge Future of Sleep’, carried out by futurologist Ian Pearson, reports on the impact of new technology on sleep and suggests how the hotel room of the future could help guests sleep better in 2030. Mr. Pearson suggests that by then guestroom technology will monitor customers’ energy levels, physical well-being, emotions and mood to help ensure they achieve a good night’s sleep, through approaches such as:
– Allowing guests to manage the contents of their dreams as in the movie “Inception”, using video, audio, smells and tactile experiences from bed or bed linen to help make dreams feel real. Guests will be able to replay favorite dreams from a menu and will be able to link into dreams with partners, family and friends to enjoy a shared dream experience. The dream management system could also act as a coach, offering the opportunity to study or learn a new language whilst asleep.
– Using active contact lenses to allow guests to watch TV/movies or check emails as they fall asleep, delivering high quality 3D images directly onto the retina. Sleep-cycle alarms will monitor the electrical activity in the brain and identify the best time for the sleeper to wake up.
– Augmented reality will use the entire surface of the hotel walls and furniture as a display, e.g. of painting, computer screen, TV screen, a virtual game or a fantasy location such a tropical beach, forest or favourite city. Lonely guests will be able to upload virtual family images or images of their own room at home.
– Atmospheric air conditioning will allow guests to alter their room climate to stimulate the ambience of a seaside, forest or mountains, with appropriate outdoor sounds from flat panel audio built into the window. Guests will be able to instantly change the colour, pattern and texture of their room furnishings.
– Guests will be able to attend a local theatrical production, explore local tourist attractions or just wander through town, all remotely from their room, at any time regardless of the actual time or weather.
I don’t know about you, but this gives me nightmares just thinking about it.
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The 40-room Eccleston Square Hotel, due to open in July, will provide Intelity ICE Touch on iPad2s in each room.
Intelity has added INNCOM’s Integrated Room Automation Systems (IRAS) to its Intelity ICE Touch on iPads, allowing guests to control room temperature, lighting, drapes and alarm clock directly from their iPad tablet computers even when they are not in their rooms. Arriving guests, for example, can order room service, pre-set the room temperature, dim the lights, close the drapes, and set the alarm clock directly on their iPad while still en route to the hotel.
(www.ecclestonsquarehotel.com, www.inncom.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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The 82-room Delamar Hotel, Greenwich CT has signed a five year agreement to install Roomlinx iTV Platform 3.0.
Roomlinx has released iTV Platform 3.0, its newest Interactive TV feature set, with enhanced user interface customization, bundled content and SmartTV packages.
(www.thedelamar.com, www.roomlinx.com)
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iRiS has unveiled its latest Personal Valet Application for iPads and smart phones, allowing guests to order room service, book spa treatments, dining reservations or other activities, request wake-up calls and housekeeping services, control their room temperature and access the internet directly. The system also opens up external revenue streams from affiliated partners, local venues, shops and services. (www.irisvalet.com)
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The Sofitel So Bangkok, due to open in early 2012, will offer a fully connected guest lifestyle with complete Apple-based digital systems. All 238 rooms will be equipped with an Apple Mac mini computer, with an HD 40″ LCD TV, wireless keyboard, trackpad, free high-speed Internet access and a full range of Office software. Guests staying in any of the hotel’s suites will also have free use of an Apple iPad. The Mac mini will function as a multimedia centre, providing access to digital TV and radio channels, movies and music library, DVD and CD player, as well as the ability to play each personal iPod, iPhone, and iPad. For work purposes, guests may load and save files via a USB thumb drive; each time the Mac mini is shut down DirectStreams software resets it to its original state at check-in/check-out. The technology platform extends across the entire property to provide a full range of multimedia applications in public areas, business center, meeting rooms, and ballroom. (www.accor.com)
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Next Hotel Rivoli Jardin, Helsinki, Finland, has adopted Quadriga’s Sensiq as a guest communications portal accessed via the TV. The portal allows the hotel to communicate special offers to guests such as discounts at three partner restaurants. (www.rivoli.fi, www.quadriga.com)
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The 600-room Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans is now offering guests the ability to connect to its hotel services from their smart phones with ZDirect’s new Mobile Passport.  Booking confirmation emails include a link to the Mobile Passport, which then offers guests services in seven different areas: Hotel  information, Reservation  details, local travel information (including weather and an electronic version of the Hotel’s Runner’s Map), eConcierge (allowing guests to contact the concierge to book dinner reservations, etc.), in-house meetings and events, Social Media (connecting guests with the Hotel on social media and allowing them to tweet about their stay, “check-in” via Foursquare and visit the Hotel Monteleone Facebook page) and Feedback via a guest satisfaction survey.  (www.hotelmonteleone.com, www.zdirect.com)
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The JW Marriott Hotel Ankara, Turkey has installed OTRUM Enterprise and Digital Signage. (www.marriott.com, www.otrum.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Aptech announces new web-based Profitvue NG, enhances Targetvue, Execuvue, Proftvue 14.5
  • VSi announces mAPPs mobile applications, starting with vInspect for housekeeping
  • Sycuan Casino upgrading to InvoTech’s GIMS UHF RFID Uniform System

Aptech Computer Systems has announced one new product and updates to three others.
– Targetvue’s budgeting and forecasting application has been enhanced through a partnership with PROPHIX to be fully integrated with its Profitvue accounting and Execuvue business intelligence systems.
– Execuvue Business Intelligence has been updated for streamlined processing with automated distribution of BI reports, embraces the newly released Cognos 10 platform and incorporates recent advances in text analytic technology to convert written online ratings, comment card detail and other guest-satisfaction measures into quantifiable metrics.
– Profitvue 14.5 has been given improved multi-company general ledger and accounts payable functions.
– The new web-based Profitvue Next Generation accounting system will utilize the .NET platform and SQL Server database and be integrated with Execuvue and Targetvue.
(www.aptech-inc.com)
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VSi is developing mAPPs, a series of mobile applications. The first product released is vInspect; available for Apple devices, vInspect provides housekeeping with an electronic template for room inspections that can be uploaded to a web based reporting system. (www.ver-sys.com)
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Sycuan Casino is upgrading to InvoTech’s GIMS UHF RFID Uniform System from GIMS’ earlier barcode version, to automate tracking of its 20,000 apparel items via bulk electronic scanning without hand counting. The system includes Fujitsu WT-A511 UHF-RFID laundry tags sewn into the apparel items; the UHF technology allows tracking of the inventory in large batches rather than by single-piece barcode scans.  InvoTech will install automated UHF-RFID readers powered by Impinj in the hallway between the Casino’s loading dock and its uniform department; as clean and soiled uniforms are pushed through the hallway in bulk, the direction of the uniforms is detected to record if they are going to the laundry or returning clean. InvoTech will also provide portable UHF-RFID handheld readers for the Casino’s monthly physical inventory. (www.sycuan.com, www.invotech.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Sol Casinos picks Stratton Warren for inventory/procurement at Casino Del Sol and Casino of the Sun

Sol Casinos, Tucson, AZ has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System for inventory and procurement functions at Casino Del Sol and Casino of the Sun. The new Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa & Conference Center, scheduled to open in November, will also use the system.  The casinos are owned and operated by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. (www.solcasinos.com, www.agilysys.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • INNCOM announces new INNcontrol 3 communications and reporting system
  • Lane Hospitality implementing hotel ServicePro across 19-property portfolio
  • Crescent Hotels & Resorts beta testing hotel ServicePro at several properties

INNCOM announced its new INNcontrol 3 system, a communications and reporting application for properties using its Energy Management and Integrated Room Automation Systems (IRAS). The system provides staff with real-time monitoring of HVAC and temperature and creates alarms for units that are not operating properly. It can also monitor humidity levels in each room (using the existing HVAC equipment to correct them), and monitors guestroom network connections to report non-communicating rooms. A three-dimensional display of the hotel helps staff quickly diagnose issues by individual room, floor or side of the building, with indicators that change color to indicate the aging of the displayed condition. INNcontrol 3 also communicates with other hotel applications such as the guest management system, building automation systems, central electronic-locking systems and work order systems. (www.inncom.com)
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Lane Hospitality is implementing hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro guest service and asset management system across its 19-property portfolio, following a pilot test at three sites.  Staff use smart phones or computers to enter requests in hotel ServicePro and send a message to the correct person to take action.
Crescent Hotels & Resorts is beta testing hotel ServicePro at several properties.  Crescent owns or operates 65 properties in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and is an established user of hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro sales and catering software.
(www.lanehospitality.com, www.chrco.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Bittel announces VALU line of phones for economy and limited service properties
  • FCS’ WinExpress Version 2 integrated call billing/voicemail system certified compliant with Avaya IP Office Release 6.1
  • Reef Resort on Grand Cayman Island picks Enterprise version of Metropolis Technologies’ ProfitWatch
  • Percipia Networks launches Frequency, an IP PBX system for hospitality

Bittel Electronics has announced its VALU line of telephones targeted for the economy and limited service segments of the hospitality industry. The VALU 12 series phones offer a standard speakerphone, and single-line configuration with two programmable guest service keys. The VALU 32 series provides up to five programmable guest service keys as well as a standard speakerphone. (www.bittelcom.com)
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FCS Computer Systems’ WinExpress Version 2 integrated call billing and voicemail system has now been compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with Avaya IP Office Release 6.1, via Avaya’s DevConnect program. WinExpress Version 2 provides guest voicemail services, automatic billing and room status or mini-bar updates, using a single server interfacing with the hotel’s guest management system. (www.avaya.com, www.fcscs.com)
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The 152-unit Reef Resort on Grand Cayman Island has chosen the Enterprise version of Metropolis Technologies’ ProfitWatch for call management.  (www.thereef.com, www.metropolis.com)
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Percipia Networks has launched its Frequency PBX system, an Internet Protocol (IP) phone system designed for the hospitality industry. (www.percipianetworks.com)
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SECURITY

  • Peninsula replacing guestroom door locks in all properties with Saflok RFID units
  • Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch and Comfort Inn Shady Grove in Gaithersburg, MD upgrade to Saflok RFID locks
  • KABA releases Saflok RT RFID lock with built-in OpenWays Mobile Key acoustic coupler
  • Comfort Hotel Xpress, Oslo, goes live with OpenWays
  • OpenWays announces next generation Upgrade Module for existing locks
  • Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok completes installation of VingCard VISIONLINE wireless RF-online locking system

Peninsula Hotels is replacing all guestroom door locks in its properties with KABA’s Saflok RFID wireless online units. The Saflok system will work as an integral part of a company-wide RFID system.
The 910-room Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch and the Comfort Inn Shady Grove in Gaithersburg, Maryland are upgrading to KABA Saflok System 6000 RFID door locks from earlier Saflok mag stripe units.
KABA has released a new Saflok RT RFID lock with a built-in OpenWays Mobile Key acoustic coupler.
(www.peninsula.com, www.stlouisarch.hyatt.com, www.comfortinn.com, www.OpenWays.com, www.saflok.com)
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The Comfort Hotel Xpress in Oslo, Norway, has gone live with OpenWays acoustic-key application, the first hotel in Scandinavia to do so. The hotel was re-equipped with new Saflok 790 RT RFID locks with factory-installed OpenWays acoustic couplers built in. The system is also integrated with Ariane System’s Allegro kiosk check-in system. Nordic Choice plans to deploy OpenWays at several other properties in 2011 and 2012.
OpenWays announced its next generation Crypto Acoustic Credential Upgrade Module, designed in association with the Bresslergroup and intended to be a simply-installed add-on for existing mag-stripe, smartcard and RFID locks.
(www.choicehotels.no, www.ariane.com, www.saflok.com, www.bresslergroup.com, www.openways.com)
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The 401-room Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok has completed installation of ASSA ABLOY’s VingCard VISIONLINE wireless RF-online locking system. (www.kempinski.com/bangkok, www.vingcard.com)
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