June 19, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

JUNE 6 – 19, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • How user-customizable is your hotel management software?

How’s your HITEC planning coming along? The ever-useful mobile app should be out by the time you read this, but I always print out a copy of the floor plan ahead of time and mark it with the booths I want to visit. Low-tech, I know, but I find it quicker than searching an online diagram and it lets me multi-task more easily. I just wish they hadn’t reduced its readability this year with that dark purple shading.
One thing I’m interested in at HITEC is how far the trend to self-service has extended within hotel management software. We’ve become used to apps that let guests book a room, order room service and update their profiles, but I’m looking at ways individual hotel users of the systems can customize them for their own needs.
As a simple example, it’s a long-standing truism that a PMS might offer several hundred standard reports but somehow every hotel wants something just a little bit different. Extensive filters and sort options help, but a flexible, intuitive ad hoc report writer is a real advantage. Even among the standard reports, it’s a great help if a user can identify the half dozen or so she uses all the time and pull them out into a “favorites” sub-menu to avoid having to run down several menus, sub-menus and fly-out options, every time, to get to the ones she wants.
And while we’re at it, could vendors provide a quick summary of each report so the hotels can see which one is best suited for any specific need? Especially in a library of hundreds, several reports can have very similar titles and it’s often not clear what each is intended to be used for. Or where it gets its data, for that matter; confusion often arises when comparing apparently similar reports that are actually tracking slightly different data sets.
User screens are often customizable, which is often a great help; re-arranging data column display orders and widths into a format that reflects what you want to work with is a real boon. Customizing screen display colors may seem like a trivial exercise in self-indulgence, but it’s not if you’re in that 8% of the male population who are color-blind. You don’t want a front desk agent to miss a red warning flag or VIP alert just because he didn’t recognize it as a high-priority color.
More intriguing are the growing number of systems incorporating some form of rules-based actions. To some extent the truism that “you don’t understand, we do things differently here” is actually true. The more complex the operation, of course, the more likely it is that something important might be overlooked. It’s really helpful to be able to set up custom rules to trigger alerts; if X happens and Y doesn’t apply, send a text message to Z. Vendors have used this approach for years to activate enhancements for specific properties (“if property name = A, display menu option H”) but in this highly dynamic world it’s a major benefit for hotels to be able to develop their own triggers and alerts.
It’s all about helping the users get the maximum benefit out of the system, effortlessly, flexibly and in their own way.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • David Chestler joins SiteMinder as EVP for the Americas
  • Gianna Rivera is new Global Director of Distribution Sales at Pegasus Solutions
  • Jim Livingston joins Guest-tek as Director of Strategic Accounts
  • Jorge Orozco re-joins Guest-tek as Manager of Sales Engineers
  • Tom Heine hired by SPI as Manager of Customer Service
  • Les Ottolenghi is new SVP and CIO at Las Vegas Sands
  • Yu Jin  named VP Technology and CIO at Delta Hotels and Resorts

David Chestler has joined SiteMinder as Executive Vice President for the Americas. Mr Chestler brings nearly 25 years experience in the hotel technology industry, most recently at Sceptre Hospitality Resources. He previously worked in senior roles at BirchStreet Systems, Pegasus Solutions, Utell International and Visual Data Corp.
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Gianna Rivera is the new Global Director of Distribution Sales at Pegasus Solutions.  Most recently, Ms. Rivera served as Senior Consultant for Travel Technology Consulting. She also spent four years at Accor North America, first as Senior Director of Sales and Distribution, and eventually as Deputy Vice President of International Global Sales. Prior to Accor, Ms. Rivera was Vice President of Electronic Distribution Development for Vantage Hospitality.
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Jim Livingston has joined Guest-tek Interactive Entertainment as Director of Strategic Accounts. Mr. Livingston comes to Guest-tek from LodgeNet Interactive where he served as Regional Sales Manager for nearly seven years. He had earlier served as Vice President of Sales for The Hotel Networks, District Manager for Starz Encore Media Group and Affiliate Sales and Marketing Manager at FX Networks.
Jorge Orozco has re-joined Guest-tek as their new Manager of Sales Engineers, based in Guadalajara, Mexico and serving hotels in the CALA region. Mr. Orozco returns to Guest-tek from DOCOMO interTouch where he worked as their Business Development Manager for the past three years; he had been a Sales Engineer for Guest-tek in the CALA region from 2005 to 2010. Previous roles include Network Analyst, IT Manager for Hotel Sierra Manzanillo and Corporate IT Manager for HOLA Hoteles.
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Tom Heine has been hired by SPI as Manager of Customer Service. Mr. Heine has served in executive management positions for several resort development and management companies, most recently as the District VP-Resort Operations for Wyndham Resort Development’s northwest region for six years.
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Les Ottolenghi is the new Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Las Vegas Sands.  Since 2004, Mr. Ottolenghi has successfully co-founded three technology companies after serving in CIO roles at Agentware from 1999 to 2003 and Carlson Wagonlit Travel from 1996 to 1998.
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Yu Jin has been named Vice President, Technology and Chief Information Officer at Delta Hotels and Resorts.  Jin has over 16 years of global leadership experience, most recently with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts where she was Vice President of Information Technology.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • NORTHWIND announces ten new independent hotel clients in Q2
  • Morgans Hotel Group selects MICROS OPERA for 13-hotel portfolio
  • Outrigger to standardize enterprise on MICROS’ OPERA
  • Prologic First releases MyCloud, combining GMS with guest services and e-distribution
  • Scandic Hotels implementing Ariane Systems’ digital check-out at all hotels

NORTHWIND announced ten new independent hotel clients in Q2 2013, including:
– MCM Resorts (9 hotels, over 2,000 rooms)
– Jay Peak Resort in Vermont (6 hotels)
– Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resorts in Texas (2 hotels)
– Inn at The Forks in Winnipeg
– Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, Alaska.
(www.maestropms.com)
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Morgans Hotel Group has selected MICROS Systems cloud-based OPERA across its 13-hotel portfolio, hosted in MICROS’ US Datacenter. Implementation will start with the 866-room Hudson in New York, Morgan’s largest property, and is planned to be deployed at all properties by the end of 2013.
Outrigger Enterprises Group is standardizing its enterprise on MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise Solution. Implementation at Outriggers’ 35 properties in Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region will begin in July 2013 (four Asia-based properties already use Opera) and will include a two-way interface with Outrigger’s proprietary central reservation system.
(www.morganshotelgroup.com, www.outrigger.com, www.micros.com)
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Prologic First announced the release of MyCloud, a 100% above-property system that combines a Guest Management System, guest services & e-distribution. Other features include online booking engine, POS, Integrated accounting, enhanced reporting, dashboards & E-distribution. (www.prologicFirst.com)
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Scandic Hotels is implementing Ariane Systems’ digital check-out via smart phone or computer at all its hotels, claiming to be the first hotel chain in the Nordic region to do so. Guests can confirm the bill, pay for their room, check out, receive an electronic receipt and drop the key off in reception. Launch hotel is the Scandic Park in Stockholm; all other Scandic hotels will be implemented in the autumn. (www.scandichotels.com, www.ariane.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Megasys Hospitality Systems partners with InnLink CRS for electronic distribution
  • Delta Hotels and Resorts launches new website from MICROS Systems’ eCommerce
  • MSI announces CloudCRS central reservation system, powered by Sceptre’s Windsurfer
  • NAVIS reports 7 new resort operators signed in Q4 of 2013 fiscal year
  • Amman Airport Hotel selects Pegasus Solutions’ Connect+ Premium
  • Atahotels transfers 19 properties to Pegasus’ Connect+ Premium
  • Montcalm London, Montcalm at the Brewery London City choose Pegasus’ Connect+ Premium
  • Fantasyland Hotel, Edmonton implements custom Web booking engine from B4Checkin
  • IQware releases new API to link its PMS to online booking channel options

Megasys Hospitality Systems has partnered with InnLink CRS for electronic distribution of real-time rates, availability, inventory and packages. (www.megasyshms.com, www.innlink.com)
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Delta Hotels and Resorts has launched a new website from MICROS Systems’ eCommerce team, integrated with Delta’s MICROS OPERA Property Management, Central Reservations and Customer Information systems. The new design offers increased guest personalization and improved categorization of content, allowing users to sort by both applicable interest area and by property location. (www.deltahotels.com, www.micros.com)
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Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has announced its MSI CloudCRS cloud-based central reservation system, powered by Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ Windsurfer.  MSI CloudCRS extends a one-call customer service option together with a bundling of services to customers. (www.msisolutions.com, www.sceptrehospitality.com)
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NAVIS reported that 7 resort operators signed on in Q4 of its 2013 fiscal year for leisure voice channel reservation sales services, contributing to a 37% revenue increase over fiscal 2012. Resort companies signing agreements with NAVIS include The Broadmoor, the official hotels of Colonial Williamsburg, Auberge Resorts, JC Resorts, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Cape Cod; and Aspen Skiing Company. (www.TheNAVISWay.com)
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The 304-room Amman Airport Hotel, Jordan, has selected Pegasus Solutions’ Connect+ Premium to attract more international traffic.
Italy’s Atahotels has transferred its 19-property portfolio to Pegasus Solutions’ Connect+ Premium. Atahotels will also receive distribution consulting services, PegasusView Market Performance business intelligence, access to the Pegasus Sales Connections automated sales tool, and in-person visits on their behalf to corporate and TMC offices worldwide.
The 153-room Montcalm London and the 235-room Montcalm at the Brewery London City have chosen Pegasus’ Connect+ Premium.
(www.ammanairporthotel.com, www.atahotels.it, www.themontcalm.com, www.themontcalmlondoncity.co.uk, www.pegs.com)
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The 355-room Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton has implemented a custom Web booking engine from B4Checkin, integrated with its existing Infor Epitome GMS. Triple Five Group’s other hotel property, West Edmonton Mall Inn, has also implemented the B4Checkin booking engine and B4Feedback, a complementary guest satisfaction tracking and management tool. The significant number of different room types at *Fantasyland and the need to have all room types be searchable and bookable from mobile devices required significant customization by B4Checkin. (www.fantasylandhotel.com, www.b4checkin.com)
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IQware has developed a new application programming interface (API) to help its property management system (PMS) users expand their online booking channel options. The interface allows third-party online booking channels to connect to the IQware PMS, retrieve rates and availability and push back reservations in real time; it already connects to Blizzard, ChannelRush, DogWood, Ski.Com, Stay Aspen Snowmass.Com, Visual Data Systems and Yield Planet. (www.iqwareinc.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Capella Hotel Group selectes ZDirect’s electronic CRM and eMail marketing services
  • Shell Vacations uses 8-question survey from ASU and ZDirect to help price offers
  • Concord Hospitality implements Aptech’s Execuvue BI across all 90 properties
  • Westin St. John Resort & Villas implements VOC Systems’ ExpressWay guest feedback system
  • Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts implements Flip.to at three properties
  • Vizergy receives two Outstanding Achievement IMA awards

Capella Hotel Group has selected ZDirect’s electronic CRM and eMail marketing services for its Capella Hotels and Resorts, Solis Hotels & Resorts and independent properties in North America, Europe, Mexico and Asia.
Wyndham’s Shell Vacations subsidiary has used an 8-question pilot survey to determine consumers’ willingness to pay for vacation rental attributes such as additional bedrooms and kitchens at its 20 properties. The survey was developed by Arizona State University in cooperation with ZDirect and produced 10,000 responses.
(www.capellahotelgroup.com, www.ShellHospitality.com, www.zdirect.com)
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Concord Hospitality has implemented Aptech Computer Systems’ Execuvue Business Intelligence System (BI) throughout its portfolio of more than 90 hotels in 22 states and two Canadian provinces. (www.concordhotels.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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The 221-unit Westin St. John Resort & Villas has implemented VOC Systems’ ExpressWay automated guest feedback system. (www.westinresortstjohn.com, www.vocsys.com)
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The Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts in the Pocono Mountains has implemented Flip.to at its three properties, Cove Haven Resort, Paradise Stream Resort and Pocono Palace Resort. (www.covepoconoresorts.com, www.flip.to)
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Vizergy Digital Travel Marketing has received two Outstanding Achievement IMA Awards for custom website designs in the Hotel/Resort category for the Cabo Villas Beach Resort & Spa and the Inn of Chicago. (www.vizergy.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Althoff Hotel Collection selects eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite for six properties
  • Supranational Hotels names RateTiger its preferred hotel online channel management partner
  • The Rainmaker Group  named one of Atlanta’s Top 40 Fastest-Growing Companies
  • Dusit International picks RateGain’s PriceGain and RezGain for all properties

Germany’s Althoff Hotel Collection has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite to manage rates and availability across multiple sales channels for all six properties.
Supranational Hotels has chosen RateTiger as its preferred hotel online channel management partner.
(www.althoffhotels.com, www.supranationalhotels.org, www.erevmax.com)
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The Rainmaker Group  has been named one of Atlanta’s Top 40 Fastest-Growing Companies by the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Atlanta. (www.LetItRain.com)
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Dusit International has selected RateGain’s PriceGain Rate Intelligence tool and RezGain distribution manager for all properties. (www.dusit.com, www.rategain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • hotel SystemsPro integrates Social Tables’ event diagramming and planning tools into  hotel SalesPro

hotel SystemsPro has integrated Social Tables’ web-based event diagramming and planning tools into its hotel SalesPro Sales and Catering system. When a user enters event information in hotel SalesPro and selects the room, seating arrangement and number of attendees, one click displays the correct function space in Social Tables. Social Tables populates the diagram with the specified arrangement of tables, chairs and other requirements; planners can change any element within the space to meet a client’s needs. The web-based system allows live online collaboration between meeting planners and event hosts. (www.socialtables.com,  www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Compass Group – USA picks MICROS’ Simphony Enterprise
  • Shift4 announces plug-and-play Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) for MICROS POS systems
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Compass Group – USA has selected MICROS Systems’ Simphony Enterprise POS, Loyalty and Web Ordering for its multiple business divisions providing managed food and support services throughout the United States.
Shift4 Corp has announced plug-and-play Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) capabilities for MICROS POS systems, leveraging its existing 4Go for MICROS software. Merchants using MICROS 3700, 9700 or Simphony along with Shift4’s DOLLARS ON THE NET payment gateway can plug in and configure a compliant ID TECH encrypted swipe device to access the P2PE functions, keeping the MICROS POS out of PCI scope.
(www.compass-usa.com, www.shift4.com, www.micros.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • At Your Service announces guest information app
  • Sheraton Kauai Resort implements Ascension Software’s ORION Amenities
  • Eleven  releases ElevenGC family of guest computers

At Your Service announced its guest information app for download upon or pre-arrival, featuring an A-Z directory, a daily “Things to Do” section, daily custom welcome letter and customizable special offers. Hotels can send push notifications to guests at will or according to a preset schedule. An easy to use CMS allows hotels to make instantaneous content changes. Guests can plan and reserve their own on- and off-site activities through the app, browse restaurant and room service menus, utilize the GPS tool to be directed to any area they select and bring them back to the hotel if they are lost. Every element of the app can be shared on social media or emailed to a friend. (www.handheldhospitality.com)
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The Sheraton Kauai Resort has implemented Ascension Software’s ORION Amenities as its StarAmenities program. Starwood reported that amenity orders increased significantly, and that almost 90% of amenity orders are being placed by guests’ friends and family rather than the guest directly. (www.starwoodhotels.com, www.ascensionsoftware.com)
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Eleven has released its ElevenGC family of guest computers for lobbies, lounges, suites and business centers. The renaming from ElevenBC reflects the evolution of guest computers from business centers to many other locations where guests desire access. Models available include:
– ElevenGC Premium, iMacs, Lenovo and HP all-in-one computers with professional onsite installation and ongoing toner management and technical support.
– ElevenGC Pro, offering multiple levels of service as specified by the hotel, from unlimited free access to tiers of some or unlimited complimentary access to guests while charging non-guests.
– ElevenGC Lite & Kiosk, fully remote-managed units with no onsite assistance from Eleven’s technicians.
(www.elevenwireless.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Agilysys acquires TimeManagement Corp
  • Trump National Doral Miami installs InvoTech Systems’ Uniform System

Agilysys has acquired TimeManagement Corporation. TimeManagement’s TMx labor management system offers modules including performance-based scheduling, dynamic labor forecasting, embedded workflows for human resources, employee self-service and multiple time capture solutions, and integrates with numerous POS, PMS, inventory and payroll solutions including the Agilysys InfoGenesis POS and Eatec procurement system. (www.timemgmt.com, www.agilysys.com)
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The 693-room Trump National Doral Miami has installed InvoTech Systems’ Uniform System. The resort plans to have a uniformed staff of 1,400 when it completes its full transformation in Fall 2014. (www.trumphotelcollection.com/miami, www.invotech.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • BWI Airport Marriott picks Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE inventory management
  • Adaco announces multiple new orders for Adaco.Net

The BWI Airport Marriott has selected Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE inventory management software. Modules provided include purchasing, receiving, transfers/issues, returns and physical inventory, as well as an expanded event management module. (www.marriott.com, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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Adaco announced new orders for Adaco.Net. Existing clients including Starwood, Marriott, Loews and Jumeirah added new properties; new clients included Viceroy Snowmass, Marriott, Santiago and The Ritz Carlton, Santiago. (www.adaco.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Sheraton New York Times Square deploys Saflok Quantum RFID locks over INNCOM network

The 1,400-room Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel has deployed Kaba ILCO’s Saflok Quantum RFID electronic locks as part of the INNCOM network, providing online locking features and enhanced energy savings without the need for an additional communications backbone. (www.SheratonNewYork.com, www.inncom.com , www.kaba.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • HTNG announces new workgroup for seamless transition of mobile devices to hotel WiFi networks
  • ElevenOS now used by 7 network service providers certified for Marriott’s GPNS
  • Thunder Valley Casino Resort deploys Percipia’s Parallax Software and Precision Voice Mail

HTNG announced a new workgroup to reduce the complexity of accessing hotel wireless networks for guests and staff, leveraging new 802.11 standards to enable a known device (e.g. carried by a staff member or frequent guests) to connect to Wi-Fi networks and hotel applications without the need for login credentials or sign-in screens. It could also recognize that a VIP’s device has entered the building and trigger appropriate guest-service responses.
The following companies have already committed to support this effort:
– 5thGenWireless
– AT&T
– Cisco Systems, Inc.
– Enseo
– ExteNet Systems
– Hyatt Hotels Corporation
– Marriott International
– Meru Networks Inc.
– Mitel
– Motorola Solutions
– Ruckus Wireless Inc.
– UIEvolution, Inc.
Additional participants (who must be HTNG members) are welcome, and should visit:
http://wiki.htng.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Mobile_Device_Identification_and_Authentication&Itemid=716
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ElevenOS announced that, with the recent certification of Blueport Wireless and Broadband Hospitality, its guest Internet management platform is now relied on by 7 network service providers certified in Marriott’s Global Property Network Standards (GPNS). (www.elevenwireless.com)
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Thunder Valley Casino Resort has deployed Percipia Networks’ Parallax Software and Precision Voice Mail. The 300-room property, owned by the United Auburn Indian Community, features a 250,000 square foot casino, 14 restaurants and bars, a 297-room hotel and a spa. (www.Thundervalleyresort.com, www.percipianetworks.com)
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SECURITY

  • Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel deploys Saflok Quantum RFID electronic locks

The 1,400-room Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel has deployed Kaba ILCO’s Saflok Quantum RFID electronic locks as part of the INNCOM network, providing online locking features and enhanced energy savings without the need for an additional communications backbone. (www.SheratonNewYork.com, www.inncom.com , www.kaba.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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