June 20, 2012

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Spa / Golf / Leisure Activities

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

MAY 30 – JUNE 20, 2012

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Vendors’ challenge in getting noticed in the run-up to HITEC
  • The social scene is just as challenging

This traditionally lengthy pre-HITEC newsletter once more highlights the vendors’ big challenge; everyone wants to make a big announcement to attract attention and ensure visitors come to their booths, yet by the same token there are so many announcements that it’s really hard to stand out from the crowd.
The other challenge is timing; do you make the announcement in the couple of weeks just before HITEC or save it for the show itself, when it might feel more dramatic but it’s arguably harder to get attendees’ attention? Very few visitors make the time to go to the press release announcements during the day, relying instead on checking their e-mail in the evenings when they’re frequently more than a little distracted by extra-curricular activities… Maybe this year vendors will carpet-bomb attendees’ phones with tweets instead – not a prospect I look forward to, but probably inevitable with this world’s massive emphasis on real-time communications.
Either way, I do encourage you to work your way through the news, as this is shaping up to be quite an eventful HITEC. Apart from the expected heavy emphasis on mobile and cloud-based software, there’s been an unusually high level of mergers and takeovers in the run-up to the show – just in the last two weeks Infor acquired Easy RMS, Newmarket picked up Meeting Matrix and Honeywell took over Inncom – and I expect there to be a few more significant changes before it’s over. It’s going to be an active week.
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Speaking of extra-curricular activities, the generosity of vendors wanting to entertain attendees seems to have hit new heights this year, judging from the flood of invitations still filling my Inbox. Two thoughts, though; it would make life a whole lot easier if vendors could join forces to combine their efforts in fewer venues, as it’s become physically impossible to catch all the vendors I’d really like to chat with in the evenings. And secondly – a minor beef – as the invitations to receptions roll in via e-mail and ask you to RSVP, why do so many immediately ask for your name and e-mail address? Didn’t they have to know that to send it to you? Seems like technology companies could be more clued in. Kudos to Newmarket for being the sole exception so far.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Warren Markwart and Kemmons Wilson receive HFTP’s 2012 Hospitality Technology Award of Merit
  • Pegasus shuffles top leadership: David Millili promoted to CEO, Steve Lapekas to CIO, Chris Wichers to Chief Sales Officer 
  • Christopher Snyder hired by Flip.to as Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific
  • Kenneth McGovern joins FCS Computer Systems as National Sales Director
  • Debi Moses is new Director of Sales for North America at ReviewPro
  • Ben Guanzon hired by Coast Hotels & Resorts as Executive Director, Information Technology
  • Phillip Spencer appointed interim president and CEO of LodgeNet
  • Oswald Lares joins InvoTech Systems as director of sales
  • Pierre Richer promoted to CEO at NEC Display Solutions of America
  • Geoffrey Krieg named Vice President of Product Management at Merchant Link

The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Warren Markwart and Kemmons Wilson are HFTP’s 2012 Hospitality Technology Award of Merit recipients. The award, presented every five years, recognizes individuals who have made a significant innovation or breakthrough that established a path for others in hospitality technology.
– The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie is chairman of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd (HSH); he was appointed as director of HSH in 1964 and was elected Chairman in 1985. He was recognized for his dedication to improving hotel design and services through the use of technology, taking great personal interest in the integration of technology within guest rooms and the hotel as a whole.
– Warren Markwart was recognized for his broad range of hotel management expertise in integrating revenue management, guest service and business objectives with hospitality technology. During an extensive career with Delta Hotels in Canada, he pioneered the installation in 1977 of one of Canada’s first and largest hotel computer systems at the 1,000 room Delta Chelsea, led the installation of a property management system (PMS) in all 25 hotels, developed Deltex, Delta’s first central reservation system, and integrated company-wide guest history technology into the Delta Privilege guest recognition program. In the 1990s, he moved to Canadian Pacific Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. He is currently president of MK2 Hospitality Advisors.
Kemmons Wilson, the founder of Holiday Inn, was recognized for innovating central reservations, using toll-free telephone numbers supported by the proprietary Holidex central reservation system. Introduced in 1965, Holidex became the standard for both the volume of business it produced and the important byproduct data it generated. Mr. Wilson passed away in February 2003 at the age of 90.
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David Millili has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at Pegasus Solutions, succeeding Mike Kistner. Mr. Millili previously served in dual roles as chief web officer of Pegasus Solutions and chief executive officer of Open Hospitality, which Pegasus acquired last November. Earlier in his 20-year hospitality career Mr. Millili served as general manager at two Times Square hotels, the Mayfair New York and the Belvedere Hotel.
Steve Lapekas has been named Chief Information Officer at Pegasus, promoted from Executive Vice President of Corporate Business Development; prior to that post he also held the Chief Technology Officer position. Before joining Pegasus, Mr. Lapekas served as the Vice President of Client Services and practice director of Entessa’s Automation Integration practice, and had earlier held various global, client executive and business administration roles with EDS. He also has IT experience from roles with Global One Communications and Perot Systems.
Chris Wichers has been appointed Chief Sales Officer at Pegasus, after serving as Executive Vice President of Open Hospitality. He has more than three decades of on-property and corporate level senior leadership in hotel sales, marketing, front office and technology, with both Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
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Christopher Snyder has been hired by online marketing vendor Flip.to as Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific, based in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Snyder brings more than 26 years of sales/revenue growth experience, most recently as Regional Vice President of Revenue & Strategy for Meritus Hotels & Resorts. He had earlier worked with Minor International’s Hotel Division, Hyatt and Marriott in sales, operations and revenue management roles.
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Kenneth McGovern has joined FCS Computer Systems as National Sales Director, based in New Hampshire. With nearly 20 years of sales experience, Mr. McGovern comes to FCS from Infor Hospitality, where he oversaw a multi-million dollar customer base while developing new business and managing a national sales team. He had previously worked with hospitality technology companies such as Newmarket International and Daylight Software.
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Debi Moses is the new Director of Sales for North America at ReviewPro. Ms. Moses brings more than a decade’s experience in the hotel sector, most recently as Director of Sales, Americas at EZYield.
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Ben Guanzon has been hired by Coast Hotels & Resorts as Executive Director, Information Technology. Mr. Guanzon has more than 20 years information technology experience, most recently as Director, Information Technology at Vancouver Community College (VCC).  Prior to joining VCC he served for five years as Director, Information Technology for Armstrong Hospitality Group Ltd., owners and operators of Rocky Mountaineer Vacations and Rocky Mountaineer.  He had also worked for nine years in the energy sector in IT positions at Westcoast Energy and Duke Energy.
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Phillip Spencer, a LodgeNet Interactive Corp board member since February 2012, has been appointed interim president and CEO of the company; he is currently CEO and a member of the board of directors of Windjammer Communication. Scott C. Petersen is stepping down as president and CEO of LodgeNet, but will continue as a member of its board, a position he has held since 1991.
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Oswald Lares has joined InvoTech Systems as director of sales. With 15 years experience in the hospitality industry, he was most recently EZYield’s European Representative for France, Benelux, Morocco & Tunisia. Mr. lares had earlier served as Regional Director of Sales at TravelCLICK, Chief Operating Officer at Luxury Lifestyle Hotels & Resorts for five years, Director of Business Development at SynXis, Director Central Reservations Operations at Relais & Châteaux (also for five years) and four years as Director of Operations – CRO at Disneyland Paris.
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Pierre Richer has been promoted from President to CEO at NEC Display Solutions of America. Mr. Richer has been with NEC since 2003, with responsibilities covering sales partner initiatives, marketing and service.
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Geoffrey Krieg has been named Vice President of Product Management at Merchant Link. Mr. Krieg first joined Merchant Link in 2003 as the Director of Service Delivery, and returns to the company after four years consulting with major European e-commerce merchants.  With over 20 years’ experience in the payments sector, he began his career with the Bank of Boulder, and also spent time at Visa International and CIAN Systems.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • NORTHWIND extends Analytics data analysis to multi-property implementations of Maestro
  • Prologic First introduces suite of twenty integrated hospitality applications to North American market
  • Hotelogix appoints Stark Service Solutions its primary United States channel partner
  • Delta Hotels and Resorts piloting MICROS OPERA 9 Room Reservation Services module
  • Trump Hotel Collection picks MICROS OPERA Enterprise Solution, 9700 POS for Doral Golf Resort & Spa
  • Chetan Patel deploys MSI’s NiteVision PMS at four properties in North Dakota
  • Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, Florida integrates Clubessential, Springer-Miller SMS|Host
  • Hotel Concepts – Brilliant enhances cloud-based iTesso system
  • Choice Hospitality Solutions adds package plan management to its GMS
  • Resort Data Processing releases interface with NAVIS reservation sales systems

NORTHWIND has announced its new Enterprise Analytics Business Intelligence tool, which allows operators of centrally-hosted multi-property implementations of its Maestro Guest Management System to review and analyze their centralized data dynamically. (www.maestropms.com)
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Prologic First is introducing its suite of twenty integrated hospitality applications to the North American market at HITEC. The Microsoft .NET-based applications include sales & marketing, distribution, property management, F&B, point-of-sale, back office, guest relationship management, in-room services, finance/accounting and inventory/purchasing, as well as mobile tools for guest-request tracking and on-the-go access to management information. The software currently supports over 700 independent and chain hotel operations throughout the world. (www.prologicfirst.com)
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Hotelogix has appointed Stark Service Solutions as the primary United States channel partner for its cloud based guest management system. (www.starkservicesolutions.com, www.hotelogix.com)
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Delta Hotels and Resorts is piloting the Room Reservation Services module of MICROS Systems’ OPERA 9 hotel management software; it is already using OPERA Reservation System (ORS).
The Trump Hotel Collection has selected MICROS OPERA Enterprise Solution (OES) and MICROS 9700 Hospitality Management System (HMS) POS system for the 693-room Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, which it recently acquired.

(www.deltahotels.com, www.trumphotelcollection.com, www.micros.com)
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Chetan Patel has deployed MSI’s NiteVision PMS at four properties in North Dakota: the Select Inn Minot, Trails West Devils Lake, Dakota Inn Minot and Vista Inn Fargo. (www.msisolutions.com)
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The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, Florida has implemented Clubessential’s online owner functionality and Web portal with integration to PAR Springer-Miller’s SMS|Host Hospitality Management System, allowing owners to monitor availability and book their unit as well as to access their account information and statements online. The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach represents six beachfront resorts, a golf course, shopping center and a real estate organization. (www.resortspcbeach.com, www.springermiller.com)
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Hotel Concepts – Brilliant has announced enhancements to its cloud-based iTesso system, including an integrated channel management and booking engine (including 3rd party channels), a complete switch of the user interface from Silverlight to HTML5, the introduction of an integrated eLearning Module and a staff-facing Web app, and has made it available on a monthly subscription basis. Its first client hotel is due to open July 2, live with iTesso. (www.itesso.com)
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Choice Hospitality Solutions has added flexible package plan management functionality to its GMS to reduce the time and effort required to track, balance, and account for POS transactions.  Package items are charged to the guest’s plan, with overages posted to the guest’s folio.  Plan usage can be limited outlet as well as by count quantity or dollar amount. (www.choicehospitalitysolutions.com)
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Resort Data Processing has released an interface with NAVIS, enabling users of NAVIS’ reservation sales systems to track how much online and offline (telephone) revenue is generated from their online marketing. (www.TheNavisWay.com, www.resortdata.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • TravelClick partners with Groupize for online group hotel bookings
  • Sabre  partners with China’s TravelSky 
  • Le Crystal Hotel & Spa implements B4Checkin
  • Global Hotel Exchange offers free reservation services for hotels on 45-country hotel booking website
  • Hilton signs new multi-year distribution agreement with Travelocity
  • Travel Tripper releases certified RezTrip 2.0 interface with Northwind’s Maestro
  • Travel Tripper migrates its web services to Amazon’s cloud environment

TravelClick is partnering with Groupize for online group hotel bookings.  Hoteliers using TravelClick’s GDS connectivity will be able to manage rates and inventory on Groupize.com to increase their small group business; travel planners looking to make group reservations will be able to use an online toolkit to create a group-specific page to organize information and act as a central communication hub for their group.  Guests within a group will be able to select their room preferences and submit individual credit card details. (www.groupize.com, www.TravelClick.com)
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Sabre has partnered with China’s TravelSky to provide travel agents on each system with access to the hotel content on the other. (www.travelsky.com/english/index.htm , www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Le Crystal Hotel & Spa has implemented B4Checkin’s online booking engine, the latter’s first hotel client in Montreal. Le Crystal has also implemented B4Checkin’s mobile booking engine and B4Feedback automated guest feedback management system, Email Communication package and Online Comment Card system. (www.hotellecrystal.com, www.b4checkin.com)
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Global Hotel Exchange has launched its worldwide hotel booking website in 45 countries simultaneously, offering free reservation services for hotels. (www.globalhotelexchange.com)
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Hilton Worldwide has signed a new multi-year agreement to list its 3,800+ hotels with Travelocity Global, lastminute.com and ZUJI. (www.hilton.com, www.travelocity.com)
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Travel Tripper’s RezTrip 2.0 reservations system has been certified by Northwind to interface with its Maestro Guest Management System, allowing hotels to manage the reservations process in RezTrip 2.0 through Maestro.
Travel Tripper has migrated its web services to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) environment.
(www.maestropms.com, www.traveltripper.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Aptech releases mobile version of Execuvue cloud-based business intelligence system
  • Texas Western Hospitality implements Aptech’s Execuvue for 53 properties.
  • Cendyn wins four Outstanding Achievement Awards in 2012 Interactive Media Awards 
  • Lodging Interactive updates Web site Content Management System
  • English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues implements ZDirect’s ZMail
  • Black Bear Casino Resort selects UniFocus’ GUESTScope survey tools
  • ProfitSword passes 1,000-hotel milestone for its business intelligence applications
  • Nor1 receives USA Patent for PRiME automatic merchandising methods and systems

Aptech Computer Systems has released its Execuvue cloud-based business intelligence system in all mobile and desktop formats for smart phones, tablets, and laptops.  Available for Apple and Android devices, Execuvue Version 10.1.1 gives users mobile access to data for individual properties, divisions, or corporate rollup analysis. Aptech’s Active Report capability allows users who are disconnected from the system to interact with the reports. Highpointe Hotel Corp and Texas Western Hospitality have committed to implement the new version.
Dallas-based Texas Western Hospitality has implemented Aptech’s Execuvue hospitality Business Intelligence  (BI) system to automatically upload property performance metrics from its properties’ Hilton OnQ and Marriott PMSs daily, as well as merge the data with labor numbers, Smith Travel Research output, and a variety of other information from TW’s corporate accounting system. Texas Western manages 53 Marriott and Hilton full-service and select-service properties in seven states under ten flags. Aptech hosts the system at its data center in Pittsburgh.
(www.highpointe.com, www.twhospitality.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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Cendyn has won four Outstanding Achievement Awards in the 2012 Interactive Media Awards (IMA) competition, for its work on Sirata Beach Resort, Hay Creek Hotels, The Northland Inn and Boca Bacchanal Winefest websites. (www.cendyn.com)
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Lodging Interactive has updated its Web site Content Management System (CMS) to help hoteliers manage website text content, add, delete and modify pages and images, manage header/footer navigation items and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and create updated XML site maps. (www.LodgingInteractive.com)
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English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues is implementing ZDirect’s ZMail eCRM platform (Electronic Customer Relationship Management). The family owned leisure group manages four properties in the Lake District, one (The Midland) in Morecambe and one close to the City of Lancaster.  (www.englishlakes.co.uk, www.zdirect.com )
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Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton, Minnesota, has selected UniFocus’ GUESTScope survey system to gather actionable feedback from its 250-room hotel and gaming guests, along with its loyalty club members.  (www.blackbearcasinoresort.com, www.unifocus.com)
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ProfitSword announced that it now has over 1,000 hotels using business intelligence applications for hospitality. (www.profitsword.com)
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Nor1 has received a United States Patent for its PRiME computer-implemented automatic merchandising methods and systems, which predict a hotel guest’s willingness to pay for upgrades and ancillary services. (www.nor1.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Swiss BelHotel International selects RateGain for 80+ properties
  • Infor acquires Easy RMS
  • Alila Jakarta implements EzRMS’ Core Module
  • The Lensbury implements EzRMS’ Core Module

Hong Kong-based Swiss BelHotel International has selected RateGain’s rate intelligence and parity audit services for its 80+ properties. (www.swiss-belhotel.com, www.rategain.com)
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Infor has acquired Easy RMS, adding revenue management functionality to its Infor10 hospitality offerings.
The 246-room Alila Jakarta in Indonesia is implementing EzRMS’ Core Module to help maximize its total revenue potential in the long term.
The 171-room Lensbury in London, UK has implemented EzRMS’ Core Module.
(www.infor.com, www.designhotels.com, www.lensbury.com, www.EasyRMS.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Station Casinos implements Passkey’s GroupMAX at two properties
  • hotel SystemsPro updates hotel SalesPro with Group Revenue Optimization tools
  • hotel SystemsPro launches hotel SalesPro Mobile handheld sales platform
  • COVA Hotel in San Francisco picks TTI Technologies to upgrade and install new business center
  • Newmarket acquires MeetingMatrix
  • Flyte Systems announces EventBoard, combines property event data with FlyteBoard airline flight data, weather, etc.
  • Crestron certifies Mitsubishi Electric’s LDT462V 46-inch display as a Crestron Connected device
  • Lanyon announces Property Kick Start service to help properties accelerate business development efforts
  • Maritz Research white papers on The Future of Meetings emphasize pervasiveness of technology

Station Casinos has implemented Passkey’s GroupMAX group booking technology at two of its properties, the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa and Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa. (www.stationcasinos.com, www.passkey.com)
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hotel SystemsPro has released a new version of its hotel SalesPro Sales and Catering system with a suite of Group Revenue Optimization tools, allowing sales executives to create revenue guidelines by day including close to arrival and minimum stay parameters, mandate minimum daily group rates, create ‘hot dates’ to inform sales managers of important events and other factors that impact availability, set Group Revenue Guidelines for mobile users and view extensive Property, Regional and Corporate reports. It is interfaced to 3rd party revenue management systems via Web Services.
hotel SystemsPro has launched its hotel SalesPro Mobile handheld sales platform, allowing sales staff to access account and property information including current groups and meeting space availability, account sales traces from the entire team, review objectives, and contractual information. Contact addresses include a link to Google maps. New traces may be created immediately after a meeting; group room details may be viewed with block, net and pick up.
(www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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The 96-room COVA Hotel in San Francisco has picked TTI Technologies to upgrade and install its new business center. (www.covahotel.com, www.ttitel.com)
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Newmarket International has acquired MeetingMatrix. Newmarket’s existing Delphi Diagrams software will be gradually transitioned out in favor of MeetingMatrix’s online application over the next few years. (www.MeetingMatrix.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Flyte Systems announced its new EventBoard digital display, which uses a single flat panel to display property event information alongside FlyteBoard’s real-time airline flight information, weather, news and other notices or promotions, with attractive property graphics.  Operators can update hotel events securely from any browser.  (www.flytesystems.com)
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Crestron has added Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America’s LDT462V 46-inch LCD flat panel display to its list of Crestron Connected devices, which form a distributed cloud-based control system that ensures consistent interoperability between devices and eliminates the need for hardwiring back to the head end. Crestron embeds its control platform intelligence in a wide selection of source and display devices such as projectors, displays and audio/video receivers. The LDT462V is the first Crestron Connected LCD flat panel, and can be connected to any enterprise network using standard Ethernet cable and Crestron software without other special drivers or modules. (www.mevsa.com, www.crestron.com)
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Lanyon has announced its Property Kick Start service to help properties accelerate their business development efforts.
Targeted primarily at newly built, re-opening and re-branding properties, Property Kick Start includes several elements of Lanyon’s Marketing suite to help hotels capture the attention of new corporate clients, submit competitive bids and ensure their visibility to traveling employees. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will use the package when taking over a new property in the Neuilly district of Paris in January 2013. (www.lanyon.com)
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Maritz Research has produced white papers on The Future of Meetings after an extensive project combining survey results, in-depth interviews and a review of industry literature, with input from meeting planners, designers, venue managers, exhibitors, suppliers and attendees. Four themes were identified – technology, social media, meeting venues and meeting design – although technology crossed all four papers. Respondents believe that the use of mobile devices and meetings-specific applications designed for them will increase and the main technology tool for presentations will no longer be PowerPoint. Web-based delivery of meeting content and cloud computing for meeting management is a relatively new option and quickly beginning to be standard fare.
Generations were split over social media. Younger respondents liked the immediacy of using Twitter to interact with speakers during live presentations, for example, while older attendees saw it as a distraction. Social media was also seen as a double-edge sword, able to spread good or bad news with equal speed, but it is seen as permanent and unavoidable, and choosing not to participate or even be aware of conversations does not diminish their impact. Meeting design is being directed by the need for a measureable return-on-investment (ROI), requiring alignment of meeting and business objectives beforehand, closely-focused meeting design and a more highly trained technical staff to support new technology and greater connectivity. (www.maritzresearch.com/white-papers)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  • TripCraft, PAR Springer-Miller release TripCraft SpaSoft Mobile spa application

TripCraft has announced TripCraft SpaSoft Mobile, a new mobile spa application in partnership with PAR Springer-Miller Systems that provides a branded and customizable user interface to the SpaSoft application. The app allows staff to perform key service and operations tasks as they move with clients throughout the spa, such as check in/check out, scheduling and changes, reservations, treatment details, update client profiles and preferences, medical information and waivers, payments and more. (www.spasoft.com, www.tripcraft.com)

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GUEST SERVICES

  • Q’d Up Systems releases Bell Desk/ Valet Automation System
  • Swisscom launches second-generation ConnectedHotel TV service
  • Swisscom to sell, support SuiteLinq platform in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific
  • Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center completes installation of Roomlinx iTV system
  • Enseo, Intelity announce ICEbox implementation of Intelity ICE directly on Enseo set-top boxes
  • Ciena Hotels to install Intelity ICE in all new Ciena Hotels and Suites
  • Hilton Garden Inn Rome Claridge upgrades Quadriga to Sensiq Edition
  • NHK introducng NHK WORLD TV to North American market
  • Crestron joins LINQ360 Innovation Center, Powered by Microsoft
  • DigiValet launches new guest service integration application
  • Honeywell acquires INNCOM
  • TP Vision releases augmented-reality app, superimposes Philips TV images on hotel’s guestrooms

Q’d Up Systems has released its Bell Desk/ Valet Automation System, a geolocation-based task management queuing system that tracks all guest-request tasks and employee location to create a queue of tasks and assign them to team members. Q’d Up works with Automated Valet’s AVPM system and all of its features. Guests’ service requests made via text message, email or phone call are entered into Q’d Up; each valet or bellman carries an iPhone/iPod Touch. Q’d Up has data on the location of each employee, and sends tasks to the person in the best location. If the employee cannot carry out the service, he or she can reroute the request and it will be assigned to the next best employee. Managers can track the assignment and completion of jobs, changing assignments and escalating tasks as necessary to meet service level targets. (www.qdupsystems.com)
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Swisscom Hospitality Services has launched its second-generation ConnectedHotel TV service, in cooperation with LG Electronics; it now enables secure content streaming from digital guest devices to the TV screen and the integration of HTML5-based hotel applications into the program menu, and moves from LCD to LED display technology on LG’s Pro: Centric applications platform. The new LG Pro:Centric LT760H series screens are DNLA certified (Digital Living Network Alliance) to facilitate digital content sharing with media tablets, Smartphone and other multimedia devices without the need for a separate media player.
Swisscom Hospitality has been named an integration partner and distributor of SuiteLinq’s digital guest-services platform in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The alliance also creates a framework for Swisscom Hospitality to provide service and support to SuiteLinq customers in the Americas.
(www.lg.com, www.suitelinq.com¸www.swisscom.com/hospitality)
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The 450-room Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center has completed its installation of Roomlinx’s iTV system, replacing a pay-per-view service with high speed Internet-based content through guests’ own accounts with Netflix, Hulu, DISHOnline, Xfinity, HBO GO and other popular online sites.  (techcenter.hyatt.com, www.roomlinx.com)
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Enseo and Intelity have announced ICEbox, an implementation of Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) guest services software directly on Enseo set-back/set-top boxes (SBB/STB). Any hotel with an HD3000 or newer Enseo set-back box can install ICE via a straightforward software upgrade.
Ciena Hotels will install Intelity’s ICE in all new Ciena Hotels and Suites, the first of which is scheduled to open in early 2013 in Cotulla, Texas. Ciena Hotels and Suites is the first brand from HotelWorks Development, headquartered in Austin, Texas.
(www.enseo.com, www.cienahotels.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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The Hilton Garden Inn Rome Claridge hotel has upgraded its Quadriga guest services to the Sensiq Edition, including WiFi throughout the property and tiered bandwidth services. (www.gardeninn.hilton.com/Rome, www.quadriga.com)
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NHK, Japan’s sole public broadcasting company, is introducing NHK WORLD TV to the North American market. NHK WORLD TV provides free-to-guest, English-speaking news, business and lifestyle programming to complement a hotel’s new or existing in-room entertainment package. (http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/)
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Crestron has joined the LINQ360 Innovation Center, Powered by Microsoft, in Las Vegas, a technology showroom for multiple hospitality products under one roof and a catalyst for hospitality technology collaboration. (www.crestron.com)
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India’s DigiValet has launched a new guest service integration application, based on guestroom-located Apple iPad and iPod devices. DigiValet offers the guest a unified interface to in-room amenities, back of house services and hotel management systems, consolidating the guest’s profile, preference and request data into one common CRM platform. It will interface to the guestroom technology (lights, AC, drapes, DND, MUR), TV, door camera and door strike, as well as to the PMS, POS, VoD and IPTV. (www.digivalet.com)
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Honeywell International has acquired INNCOM, which will be incorporated into its Environmental & Combustion Controls (ECC) business, a part of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions (ACS). The acquisition complements Honeywell’s integrated HVAC, lighting controls and energy management offerings, leveraging INNCOM’s global dealer network and Honeywell’s contractor-dealer and direct sales channels. (www.honeywell.com, www.inncom.com)
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Philips licensee TP Vision has launched an augmented-reality app that displays new models of Philips TVs superimposed on real-time images of a hotel’s guestrooms, along with interactive information on technology and features, to show how the new TVs would fit into the rooms. The app is available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. (www.upgradeyourhotelroom.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Kempinski chooses Optii Solutions for Hotel Adlon, Berlin to manage housekeeping
  • InvoTech announces mobile version of GIMS inventory software
  • Peabody Orlando implementing d2o’s PMI system for resource cost control
  • Shift4 Corp completes EMV smart-card certification process with Global Payments Canada
  • Best Western rolling out tech-based “I Care Clean” program to 2,100+  hotels in North America

Kempinski has chosen Optii Solutions for its Hotel Adlon property in Berlin to improve its housekeeping efficiency, using Optii’s patented Occupant-Centric Planning Model and integration with MICROS’ OPERA Guest Management System. (www.kempinski.com/en/berlin/hotel-adlon/welcome/, www.optiisolutions.com)
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InvoTech Systems has announced a mobile version of its GIMS inventory software for portable UHF-RFID handheld readers.  The new system streamlines laundry processing by providing instant scanning of bulk linens, storerooms and uniform carts. (www.invotech.com)
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The Peabody Orlando is implementing d2o’s cloud-based Performance Management Intelligence (PMI) Revenue & Productivity system for resource cost control. Working with existing hotel systems, PMI provides a collective, collaborative view of revenue, labor and F&B costs, giving each department visibility and accountability for managing costs to achieve its goals. The first phase of The Peabody Orlando’s project will implement PMI in guestroom housekeeping, public area housekeeping, and two F&B outlets, the B-Line Diner and Napa restaurants. (www.PeabodyOrlando.com, www.d2o.biz)
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Shift4 Corp announced completion of its EMV smart-card certification process with Global Payments Canada. Canadian merchants whose point-of-sale systems were certified with Shift4 after June 2009 will now able to process EMV transactions by adding a supported EMV reader; those with systems certified prior to June 2009 will need some minor modifications to their code to be EMV-compliant. Shift4’s certification currently covers chip-and-PIN transaction processing on the Ingenico iPP320 device; additional devices may be added in the future. The interface is available to all merchant types, supports all major card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Interac, and JCB), and has received approval from the respective card associations.  (www.shift4.com)
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Best Western International is rolling out its “I Care Clean” program to the 2,100+ Best Western hotels in North America, using ultra violet (UV) sterilization wands from Purelight to sterilize guestroom high touch points such as telephones, clocks, light switches, door handles, bathroom fixtures and common areas, UV inspection black lights to detect any biological matter, food particles, etc. invisible to the human eye, clean remotes or wraps for the remote control device for easy disinfecting, and pillow and blanket wraps of 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable material. Best Western is also exploring a “collaborative service” program for housekeeping to allow guests to choose the time they want their room cleaned (morning or afternoon) and the level of service they would like performed. (www.bestwestern.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Clear Sky Software releases receiving-documents interface with Sysco

Clear Sky Software has released an interface between its food inventory control system and Sysco, to streamline the receiving of Sysco products.  When a Sysco order arrives at the customer site, users can import Sysco shipped order files directly into the Clear Sky FOOD Receiving function.  Product pricing is updated to current amounts and product substitutions are added to the Clear Sky FOOD product master file, eliminating considerable data entry. (www.sysco.com, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Rosen Hotels & Resorts selects Percipia for two properties, commits to four more
  • FCS Computer Systems Unicorn interface/billing system certified compliant with Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.0

Rosen Hotels & Resorts has selected Percipia Networks’ Parallax Software with customized applications as well as its Precision Voice Mail product for the 1334-room Rosen Centre and 800-room Rosen Plaza hotels.  The 1500-room Rosen Shingle Creek property already utilizes Percipia’s software; Rosen has committed to install Percipia at four more properties. (www.rosenhotels.com, www.percipianetworks.com)
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FCS Computer Systems (FCS) has announced that its FCS Unicorn interface and billing system is compliant with Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.0 communication software. FCS Unicorn is available in onsite multi-property or cloud-based configurations. (www.avaya.com, www.fcscs.com)
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SECURITY

  • VingCard Elsafe launches new drawer safe, Zenith by Elsafe
  • Sun Suites to install Kaba ILCO 790 RFID electronic locks in all 20 properties
  • Loews Hotels & Resorts signs three-year exclusive agreement with Kaba for Saflok Quantum locking systems

VingCard Elsafe has launched a new drawer safe, Zenith by Elsafe, featuring top-opening construction, capacity for most standard-sized notebook computers and an interior power socket for charging electronics. The safe is large enough to store and charge notebook computers of up to 15 inches in diameter. (www.vingcardelsafe.com)
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Sun Suites, operated by Park Management Group, will install Kaba ILCO 790 RFID electronic locks in all of its 20 properties. The installation is expected to be completed in June 2012.
Loews Hotels & Resorts has signed a three-year exclusive preferred vendor agreement with Kaba for Saflok Quantum locking systems at both existing and new-build properties.
(www.sunsuites.com, www.loewshotels.com, www.kabalodging.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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