June 28, 2011

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

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • HITEC thoughts
  • Microsoft opens LINQ360 Hospitality Tech Center in Las Vegas
  •  

Another HITEC, another head full of information, another pair of aching feet… but as usual another great collection of memories. There simply isn’t a better place to get a feel for the industry, to touch base with a wide variety of vendors and see what’s new, and to make excellent contacts both on the show floor and at the numerous receptions afterwards. Or at least at those where you can hear yourself think.
I came away with three main impressions:
1. Tablets are now a de facto standard tool for both management and guest applications: I lost count of the number of new apps being shown on them. Some were of debatable value, apparently written because they could be rather than because they tied into other software to make them worthwhile, but the many concierge-style packages on offer to help guests order services within the hotel, find local attractions and navigate their way to them are certainly useful. They offer great branding to the hotels if guests download them to their tablets and smart phones, but I wonder how any guests realize that the systems also record their movements and the items they click on to help the hotels market to them later.
2. More GMS vendors than I’d expected have used the economic downturn to invest in developing new systems. I’ve already written about PAR Springer Miller, Agilysys, Infor-SoftBrands and Hotel Concepts/Brilliant, but I also saw new applications from Auto-Clerk/Bay Lakes and Choice (previously CSS). These are all works in progress, some much more than others, but the range of options is definitely changing.
3. In general I felt a note of seriousness in the air. Last year there was a great deal of buzz and excitement around cloud computing and mobile technology; this year it seemed that these platforms were accepted as a given, and while many vendors had made a good start at developing systems on both they’d found it wasn’t as easy or quick as expected. Definite progress has been made but complications and challenges have arisen that need to be addressed before fully-functional applications are ready for implementation. These are indeed being resolved, but it all takes time. Meanwhile, the recovery hasn’t been as strong as we’d all hoped for and hotels still aren’t buying as much as the vendors may have been counting on; with any luck they’re just biding their time until the new applications are ready.
In many ways this year felt like a series of pre-view trailers for next year’s attractions; by next HITEC things should be back on track for everyone.
**
Microsoft has opened an interesting hospitality technology development center in Las Vegas, called the LINQ360 Hospitality Tech Center. Intended as a simulated hotel environment showcase as well as a place for vendors to work together, the Center launched with 16 providers: Microsoft, SuiteLinq, Cenium, Symon, Red Rock Software, Alcatel-Lucent, HP, Nevada Development Authority, Crestron, Hardly Square, MiCamp, Shift4, IBoxfilms, Video River Networks, and RiteWire. More are expected to join in the coming months. The center will also work with The University of Las Vegas for educational access.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Kris Singleton is new CIO at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
  • Stewart Applbaum joins Infor-Softbrands as GM, Softbrands Hospitality Group
  • Brian Ross hired by guestLINK as Business Development Manager
  • Bob Lowe promoted to VP Business Development at Shift4
  • Neil Williams named head of iBAHN’s global operations team
  • Jeffrey Lapin and Art Levitt join runtriz’ Advisory Board
  • Andy Wing joins runtriz as Chairman of the Board
  • Flinn Flexer named runtriz’ Chief Operating Officer

Kris Singleton has joined The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas as CIO. Ms. Singleton is returning to Las Vegas after serving the last 3 1/2 years as CIO with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in San Francisco. She was earlier I.T. vice president of business solutions at MGM Mirage from 2006 to 2008.
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Stewart Applbaum has joined Infor-Softbrands as GM, Softbrands Hospitality Group. He was most recently VP Product Management at Agilysys.
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Brian Ross has been hired by guestLINK as Business Development Manager. Mr. Ross was previously with a company that focused on guestroom automation; his career has focused on business development in smaller businesses.
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Bob Lowe has been promoted to Vice President of Business Development at Shift4; he was previously Director of Strategic Relationships. Before joining Shift4, Mr. Lowe spent nearly 25 years with hotel software vendors managing point of sale, guest management and central reservation systems.
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Neil Williams has been named as head of iBAHN’s global operations team, based in Reading, England and supervising regional teams in the United States, Australia and China; he has been with iBAHN for nearly seven years.
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Jeffrey Lapin and Art Levitt have joined runtriz’ Advisory Board.
Mr. Lapin is a former President and COO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and most recently he served as CEO of Atari and President and CEO of RazorGator Interactive Group. He has also served as President of House of Blues Hospitality, CEO of Take Two Interactive and Vice Chairman of THQ.
Mr. Levitt brings more than 20 years of experience in the media, hospitality and entertainment industries.  He was Founder and CEO of Fandango, President of Disney Regional Entertainment and President and CEO of Hard Rock Café International.
Andy Wing joins runtriz as Chairman of the Board. With 25 years of senior leadership and management experience, he has served in multiple senior executive roles at American Express in addition to periods as CEO, Nielsen Entertainment and CEO, Cantor Entertainment.
Flinn Flexer has been named as runtriz’ Chief Operating Officer. Most recently Mr. Flexer has led, advised and invested in several small to medium-sized businesses focused on marketing, e-commerce, social media and technology.  He had previously worked as an investment banker with Chase Securities and Raymond James Financial, and had earlier served as Assistant Attorney General in Arizona and chief counsel to the Departments of Gaming, Racing and Liquor.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Sabre acquires SoftHotel
  • Larkspur Landing Hotel, Hillsboro, OR implements SoftBrands HMS V1.0
  • da Vinci Villa Hotel, San Francisco, CA, to deploy SoftBrands’ epitome
  • PAR Springer-Miller Systems names TripCraft preferred mobile development partner for all systems
  • Newmarket joins PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO Platform Partner Exchange (APPX)

Sabre Holdings has acquired SoftHotel, which will become part of Sabre Hospitality Solutions as another component of its move to a complete, Web-based Hotel Enterprise Solution. SoftHotel currently has over 4,500 implementations of its Web-based guest management system, the majority of them with Wyndham’s various brands; it will remain in its current Phoenix headquarters. (www.softhotelpmx.com, www.sabre.com)
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The Larkspur Landing Hotel in Hillsboro, Oregon has completed its implementation of SoftBrands HMS V1.0, the first operational site for the new system. Larkspur Hotel & Restaurants owns and/or manages 23 hotels globally and is a long-time user of Softbrands’ epitome system.
The 135-room da Vinci Villa Hotel in San Francisco, CA, will deploy SoftBrands’ epitome guest management system as part of its renovation.
(www.larkspurhotels.com, www.villadavinci.com, www.infor.com/hospitality)
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PAR Springer-Miller Systems has named TripCraft as its preferred mobile development partner for all hospitality management systems, including ATRIO, Host and SpaSoft. TripCraft has also joined the ATRIO Platform Partner Exchange (APPX) program.
Newmarket International has joined PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO Platform Partner Exchange (APPX) to couple its Delphi Sales and Catering application tightly with the new GMS.
(www.tripcraft.com, www.newmarketinc.com, www.atrio.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • InterContinental releases iPhone booking apps for all seven brands
  • Pegasus introduces Enhanced Shopping Transaction (EST) to reduce look-to-book impact
  • Pegasus releases RezView Internet Booking Engine
  • InnLink chosen as official CRS partner of Microsoft’s LINQ360 Innovation Center
  • Greenbrier selects MICROS Systems’ myfidelio.net

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has released iPhone booking apps for each of its seven brands to help guests to find and book hotel rooms , check rates and view or cancel reservations. (www.ihg.com)
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Pegasus Solutions has introduced Enhanced Shopping Transaction (EST) as part of its ongoing ShoppingNG initiative for more efficient hotel selling, intended to reduce excessive look-to-book ratios arising from aggressive online shopping. The EST enhances availability inquiries so that responses include full room, rate and policy details, effectively appearing the same as a set of single property availability responses.
Pegasus has released its RezView Internet Booking Engine, leveraging its RezView NG central reservation system to provide booking and distribution management across all channels.
(www.pegs.com )
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InnLink has been chosen as the official CRS partner of Microsoft’s new LINQ360 Innovation Center. (www.linq360.com, www.innlink.com)
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The Greenbrier has selected MICROS Systems’ myfidelio.net and its OTA and GDS booking features for reservation services and GDS/ADS connectivity. (www.greenbrier.com, www.micros.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Pegasus launches ContentHub to simplify hotel content management
  • Libra OnDemand launches New Media Hospitality Solutions full-service marketing agency
  • Sino Group of Hotels, Hong Kong selects MICROS’ OPERA Customer Information System
  • Whiteboard Labs using FeedMagnet to power Telltales social content integration
  • RateGain launches BrandGain guest satisfaction and online reputation management system
  • Lodging Interactive receives multiple awards in Website Development from Interactive Media Awards
  • PSAV receives four Telly Awards

Pegasus Solutions has launched its ContentHub application to simplify content management for hotels, allowing them to combine image and text updates to alternative (online) and global distribution systems (GDSs) and ensure content is kept current and accurate across all channels. Pegasus’ existing Hotel Content Database (HCD) houses images, property and room descriptions for approximately 90,000 hotels. The HCD has pushed descriptive content to online travel agencies (OTA); with ContentHub, it will also provide the same descriptive content to the four GDSs. The application integrates with VFM Leonardo’s VScape and with HCD tools such as Content Manager, Translation Services and MapViewer. (www.pegs.com)
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Libra OnDemand has launched its New Media Hospitality Solutions full-service marketing agency to provide interactive media and tactical tools for hospitality organizations including creative content design, campaign management and database services. (www.libraondemand.com)
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Sino Group of Hotels in Hong Kong has selected MICROS Systems’ OPERA Customer Information System (OCIS) to centralize guest profiles and strengthen customer relationship management.  Sino Land’s hotels include The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore; the Sino Group of Hotels comprises six hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore. The system will be centrally hosted in MICROS’ Singapore Data Center. (www.sino-hotels.com, www.micros.com)
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Whiteboard Labs is using FeedMagnet’s social curation technology to power Telltales, its new offering to allow hotels to integrate social content from several social channels (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Flickr, Instagram, etc) into their websites and marketing programs.  Whiteboard Labs will also integrate FeedMagnet’s technology into its Internet Booking Engine to improve conversion rates by presenting social network feedback to potential guests. (www.feedmagnet.com, www.whiteboardlabs.com)
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RateGain is launching its BrandGain guest satisfaction and online reputation management system, which extracts, analyzes and scores comments & reviews on social networks, consumer review sites, blogs etc. BrandGain provides analytics to highlight key customer satisfaction issues and enable hoteliers to make meaningful responses. (www.rategain.com)
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Lodging Interactive has been awarded multiple awards of Outstanding Achievement in Website Development by the Interactive Media Awards, for its work on the Crowne Plaza Lake Oswego and Wyndham Garden New York City websites. Both websites were honored for excellence in the Hotel/Resort category. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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PSAV received awards in four categories at the Telly Awards, which honor television, video, Web and film production, two Silver awards (the highest honor) for cinematography to My Name is Joe (an exhibition film about ALS) and for the cultural category to A Different Vision (a documentary piece for a medical association) and two Bronze Awards for additional media produced on behalf of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 2010 and 2011. (www.psav.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • RateTiger releases v.3.5 of RTConnect XML gateway
  • Toga Hospitality installing EzRMS in fifty properties
  • Guoman Hotel Management implementing EzRMS in 37 hotels
  • EasyRMS releases Ez-CONTRACT module to evaluate contracted business
  • LeisureLink introduces Marketspan cloud-based platform
  • Stoney Creek Inns is launch customer for MICROS’ OPERA 9 Channel Management

RateTiger has released v.3.5 of its RTConnect XML gateway, increases its connectivity to more than 750 sales channels worldwide and now allowing the exchange of content, shopping, strategy, availability, rates, restrictions, guest reviews and bookings data. (www.ratetiger.com)
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Toga Hospitality is installing Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions’ EzRMS in fifty Toga Hospitality properties in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The Toga Hospitality brands comprise Medina Apartment Hotels in Australia, Adina Apartment Hotels in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Budapest, Copenhagen and Sydney, Vibe Hotels in Australia and Travelodge Hotels  across Australia and New Zealand. All 50 properties will include an extraction interface to their protel GMS.
Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited is implementing EzRMS in the 37 hotels it owns, leases or manages across the UK, four as Guoman Hotels and 33 under the Thistle flag.
EasyRMS has released its Ez-CONTRACT module to help hoteliers evaluate contracted business, measuring the total revenue gained versus the revenue displaced from each contract both for past bookings and future business. The web-based module calculates contract value of a contract based on its production as well as additional occupancy and revenue generated, compares contracts by Average Rate, Average Spend and Occupancy levels generated with and without contracts, all the way down to Day of Week analysis, and evaluate traditional contracts for both corporate and leisure accounts as well as promotions, channels & allotments and rate codes
(www.togahotels.com.au, www.guoman.com, www.easyrms.com)
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LeisureLink has introduced Marketspan, unifying its products into a cloud-based platform, including Revenue Management to monitor competitors, manage inventory and adjust prices automatically, Distribution Network to manage thousands of channels from one location, Booking Engine connected with a property’s reservation system and Competitive Analytics. (www.leisurelink.com)
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Stoney Creek Inns is the launch customer for MICROS Systems’ OPERA 9 Channel Management module, the first part of OPERA 9 to be released. The new module includes Channel Rate Mapping and Channel Room Type Mapping, Restrictions Management and a Rate Simulator Tool that allows a Revenue Manager to check published room availability details without having to log onto the GDS sites. (www.stoneycreekinn.com, www.micros.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Knowland launches SmartPhone Leads location-aware augmented reality app for mobile platforms
  • JANUS releases three new digital signage products
  • Passkey launches mobile hotel booking engine
  • Passkey widget allows embedded availability on event websites and social networks
  • Sheraton Waikiki provides event delegates with personalized iPod meeting app from PSAV and QuickMobile
  • Newmarket joins PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO Platform Partner Exchange

The Knowland Group has launched SmartPhone Leads, a location-aware augmented reality app for mobile platforms. Hotel sales teams can focus their smartphone cameras on a hotel and see on-screen pop-up bubbles showing groups that have held meetings or stayed there. Tapping on each bubble provides access to the group’s phone number, address, the event planner’s contact information and past events, all ofwhich can be shared with co-workers. (www.knowlandgroup.com)
**
JANUS Displays has released three new digital signage products:
– Motion-triggered signage, which uses a Kinect motion camera to recognize movement, enabling the content to react.
– The Portable Concierge Board for meeting planners, incorporating a QR code on the Concierge Board for hotel guests to scan and access the content of the JANUS Concierge Board from their mobile device.
– Ambient frame lighting that recognizes the color displayed on screen and uses LED lighting to cast a matching glow. (www.janusdisplays.com)
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Passkey has launched its mobile hotel booking engine for meetings and events, allowing guests to make and manage reservations via any Apple, Android or Blackberry mobile device on an app personalized with the event’s specific branding, images, messaging and colors and linked to that event’s specific hotel inventory, offers and amenities.
Passkey has also launched an embedded availability widget for placement of live hotel information on event websites and social networks, wherever attendees are most likely to seek this information.  Each widget is customized with the event’s fonts, colors and logos. Group attendees visiting a page with the embedded widget can see live hotel rates and availability and with a single click book a room via that event’s GroupMAX booking website. The widget also allows users to explore room type options, hotel profiles, photos, maps and amenities and can display hotel availability for specific attendee types.
(www.passkey.com)
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The Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu recently gave all 900 attendees registered for an onsite event an Apple iPod Touch preloaded with a new meeting app developed by PSAV Presentation Services and QuickMobile. The app allowed attendees to view their personalized schedules, see maps of and directions to hotel and venue locations, upload photos and videos taken on each iPod to a central server, receive messages from event planners, send messages between attendees and participate in event-driven surveys. The property installed an additional 20 wireless access points to boost its wireless network for the event. (www.sheraton-waikiki.com, www.psav.com)
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Newmarket International has joined PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO Platform Partner Exchange (APPX) to couple its Delphi Sales and Catering application tightly with the new GMS.
(www.tripcraft.com, www.newmarketinc.com, www.atrio.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Agilysys releases InfoGenesis Roam mobile software for the iPod

Agilysys has announced the general availability of its InfoGenesis Roam mobile software, designed for Apple’s iPod touch. The Roam module allows employees to offer food and beverage service throughout a property, and features a multi-touch interface for servers to tap, drag or swipe to select table number, cover count and check type. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is the pilot customer. (www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Intelity releases ICE Mobile for Android
  • Square [ i ] International adds Intelity ICE to IPTV offering
  • iBAHN launches dynamic Bandwidth Management
  • runtriz’ Hotel Evolution now available in 57 languages
  • MConcierge rolls out Guest Relationship Management (GRM) system
  • Uniguest unveils four new products
  • XETA partners with Eleven Wireless for new Business Center
  • FRHI picks Ruckus Wireless’ ZoneFlex as a preferred worldwide system
  • Omni Berkshire Place completes wireless integration project from AFL
  • ARINC announces microFIDS flight information display system for hospitality
  • LG Electronics USA adds IP video decoding to next generation Pro:Centric TVs
  • Nomadix releases version 7.3 of NSE software
  • ResortSuite releases MOBILE app for guests to view/manage hotel, personal itinerary and group event data
  • Planet One partners with Swisscom on voice, video and data services, support in Asia-Pacific
  • John Q. Hammons picks XETA for HSIA and management services at 26 locations
  • Trump Hotel Collection selects MICROS’ OPERA2Go mobile application
  • HCN introduces patented in-room technology for guest services

Intelity has released a version of its ICE Mobile system for the Android platform.
Square [ i ] International is adding Intelity ICE to its IPTV offering, which uses Apple computers connected to hotel HD LCD TVs to let guests watch HD TV, record live TV, access Netflix or other on demand services, play music from their own Apple devices, upload and share photos via social media sites, surf the internet, play games, Skype their friends and family, make last minute changes to business documents, plus use Apple’s award winning iLife suite of software.
(www.square-i.tv, www.intelitycorp.com)
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iBAHN has launched its Bandwidth Management functionality, which offers dynamic and intelligent bandwidth management and enables properties to offer tiered Internet service levels. (www.ibahn.com)
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runtriz’ Hotel Evolution platform is now available to hotel properties and their guests in 57 languages via its dynamic communication platform and content-management system. The platform offers hotel guests access to all property services via any device – smartphone, tablet or laptop. (www.runtriz.com)
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MConcierge Systems has rolled out its Guest Relationship Management (GRM) system, a turnkey CRM-focused web and mobile app that leverages social media engagement, connects hotel profiles with guest social media profiles and builds loyalty through a social rewards program. When a guest books with the hotel MConcierge’s software collects data from social media websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Tripit, and clusters and populates the data directly into the guest’s profile. Guests downloading the hotel’s free mobile application onto a smartphone are rewarded for every activity performed using it with loyalty points for immediate on-premise redemption. GRM also sends the guest personalized pre-stay, on-premise and post-stay special offers. (www.mconciergesystems.com)
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Uniguest has unveiled four new products:
– Concierge Station 2, touchscreen kiosks for guests to view weather and headlines and find local events, attractions, restaurants and shopping. Information (including directions) can be easily printed, emailed or texted to a mobile phone.
– Secured Advantage Duo, a business center/lobby iMac computer offering both Windows 7 and Apple’s OS X environments with Microsoft Office (Windows and OS X) and iWorks (OS X only) applications.
– iPad Boarding Pass Printing Station, a space-saving kiosk with two physically secured Apple iPads and an HP laser printer. Hotels can customize logos, colors and even control the featured airlines.
– Flight Board 2, which displays accurate flight data both on digital signs and guestroom televisions.
(www.uniguest.com)
**
XETA Hospitality Solutions has expanded its relationship with Eleven Wireless to offer the XETA Business Center Powered by Eleven, a centrally managed, all-in-one guest computer and printer unit integrated with ElevenOS, Eleven’s cloud-based system that allows hoteliers to manage the guests’ online experience through a web interface. The unit includes including High Speed Internet Access (HSIA), email, Microsoft’s Office Suite, printers, fax machines and copiers and a choice of Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating systems. It also enables tiered bandwidth as well as easy separation of conference spaces to provide revenue options even when free Internet is provided to guests. (www.elevenwireless.com, www.xeta.com)
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FRHI Holdings, which operates the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands, has selected Ruckus Wireless’ ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi products and technologies as one of its preferred worldwide wireless suppliers. FRHI is deploying Ruckus single or dual-band 802.11n indoor and outdoor products throughout the 650-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the 770-room Fairmont Banff Springs and the 338-room Swissôtel Nai Lert Park hotel in Bangkok, and will add several further properties throughout 2011. (www.frhi.com, www.ruckuswireless.com)
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The Omni Berkshire Place in midtown Manhattan recently completed its wireless integration project from AFL, which installed 71 access points using BelAir Networks’  802.11N indoor wireless mesh product (BelAir20) to provide uniform coverage across all 396 rooms. (www.omnihotels.com, www.AFLglobal.com)
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ARINC has announced its microFIDS flight information display system for the hospitality industry, a compact, wireless version of airport display technology used around the world which delivers up-to-the-minute flight arrival and departure information in an economical format that is easily deployed in hotel lobbies, business centers, reception areas and other common spaces. Already in operation at the Helmsley Park Lane, Marriott and other New York hotels, microFIDS and its control panel can both run on an iPad; a bar-code scanning option allows guests to retrieve flight information by scanning their tickets. (www.arinc.com)
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LG Electronics USA has added IP video decoding to the next generation of its Pro:Centric TVs, which can support direct IPTV, RF-only and mixed RF and IP connections and enable migration from RF to IP as network topology evolves. (www.LGsolutions.com)
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Nomadix has released version 7.3 of its NSE software, which features five major enhancements:
– Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), a secure method of resolving website addresses that helps prevent phishing techniques.
– Destination HTTP Redirect, providing DNS-triggered redirection of HTTP requests to one or more portal page URLs configured on the NSE gateway.
– Real Time Processes (RTP) which execute applications outside the kernel and result in fewer system reboots and flexible application maintenance.
– Home Page Redirect for HTTPS websites, enabling subscribers using an HTTPS website as a home page to be redirected to a landing page provided by the network operator.
– Volume-based RADIUS Re-Authentication, enabling providers to offer metered billing and to charge different rates for progressive volume tiers and time.
(www.nomadix.com)
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ResortSuite has released ResortSuite MOBILE, which enables guests to view all details about the hotel, their own itineraries and their groups’ events on the iOS platform (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch); Android, Blackberry and mobile Web HTML5 devices will follow shortly.  Highly integrated to the ResortSuite system, MOBILE allows users to see dynamic content such as dining and spa service menus as well as access data on their reservations and group events.  (www.resortsuite.com)
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Singapore-based Planet One group, with its subsidiaries 3D Networks and FCS Computer Systems, has partnered with Swisscom Hospitality to offer its voice, video and data services across the Asia-Pacific region, while enabling Swisscom to offer Planet One’s IT managed services to its hotel partners. (www.planetone-asia.com, www.swisscom.com/hospitality)
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John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts has selected XETA Hospitality for High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) and management services at 26 locations nationwide, which include limited and full-service hotels under multiple flags. XETA will provide network assessments, equipment upgrades and future upgrade planning as well as guest HSIA provisioning, 24×7 network monitoring, help desk support and network cabling services. (www.jqhhotels.com, www.xeta.com)
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The Trump Hotel Collection has selected MICROS Systems’ OPERA2Go mobile application, allowing employees to use smart phones and tablets for functions such as check-in, check-out, reservation look-ups, room moves, updating traveler profile and preferences, housekeeping room status task sheets, and several key reports. The Soho and Chicago properties will pilot the system. (www.trumphotelcollection.com, www.micros.com)
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Ottawa-based Hotel Communication Network (HCN) has introduced patented in-room technology, accessible four ways (via HCN’s Navigator, in-room television, guest’s laptop or mobile device) and providing guests with direct interactive access to hotel services. Guests can order room service, browse in-hotel restaurant menus and make reservations, talk with hotel staff and request other hotel services and book citywide dining, nightlife, shopping, cultural events and attractions. HCN’s pilot installations are at the 1,550-room Hilton Chicago (August 2010) and the 880-room InterContinental Hotel Chicago. (www.hcn-inc.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • InvoTech announces four new customers in Macau for RFID-based GIMS

InvoTech Systems announced four new customers in Macau for its RFID-based GIMS Uniform, Linen, and Laundry System: the new Sheraton, Shangri-La, St. Regis and Traders branded properties.  InvoTech translated GIMS into Mandarin for easier use in Chinese markets.

The GIMS system is also used by Clean Living Laundry and Tim Fung Laundry in Macau, which interface with the GIMS systems at the hotels and casinos for complete inventory tracking.
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Adaco integrates WineQuest’s database into Adaco .NET
  • Adaco extending procurement system to iPads and touch-screens

Adaco and WineQuest have formalized a partnership that integrates WineQuest’s database of more than 140,000 wines into the Adaco .NET hospitality procurement system.
Adaco is extending its procurement system to iPads and touch-screen devices, starting with recipe management and eventually including all functions of Adaco .NET.
(www.winequest.com, www.adaco.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Ovation announces EcoManaged patent-pending energy management using carbon dioxide sensing thermostat
  • Verve introduces new line of self-powered energy-saving automation products

Ovation Networks has announced its EcoManaged patent-pending energy management service, claimed to be the first energy management approach in the hospitality industry using a ComfortStat Wi-Fi enabled, carbon dioxide occupancy and comfort sensing thermostat to control guestroom HVAC units via a centralized control unit. A Dedicated EcoManaged Energy Specialist is responsible for finding energy rebates and programs to increase the customer’s savings. (www.ecomanaged.com)
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Verve Living Systems has introduced a new line of energy-saving automation products for the hospitality channel, a highly-efficient assortment of wireless sensors and control devices that can determine the occupancy state of the room, set back temperature and turn off lights and miscellaneous electrical loads. As many of the units are self-powered, either through efficient solar technology or kinetic energy harvesting (e.g. using the motion of a door opening, or a keycard being inserted in a slot, to generate their own electricity), installation and ongoing support are very straightforward. (vervelivingsystems.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Metropolis launches ProfitWatch ULTRA cloud-based hotel call accounting
  • LodgeNet Broadband’s MobileAccessVE uses existing Cat5e/6 LAN cabling for cellular signal distribution
  • Palms Hotel & Spa upgrades to IP telephony using Phybridge’s UniPhyer

Metropolis Technologies has launched ProfitWatch ULTRA hotel call accounting, available in cloud-based (metropolis-managed) or self-managed formats.  Both are web hosted and offer multi-property functionality and real-time data management. (www.metropolis.com)
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LodgeNet Broadband has added MobileAccessVE to its product portfolio following the completion of the Corning MobileAccess certification program. MobileAccessVE uses existing Cat5e/6 LAN cabling for cellular signal distribution while maintaining full Ethernet and wireless LAN capabilities, minimizing disruption and deployment costs. (www.lodgenet.com )
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The 251-room Palms Hotel & Spa, South Beach, Miami has upgraded to IP telephony using Phybridge’s UniPhyer over existing cabling. (www.thepalmshotel.com, ww.phybridge.com)
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SECURITY

  • Yikes unveils yLINK wireless proximity-based guestroom access control system
  • Onity announces HT RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) lock
  • Onity announces OnPoint modular keycard encoder
  • Opal One Exeter student housing completes installation of Vingcard VISIONLINE wireless RF-online locking
  • VingCard celebrates 30-year anniversary

Yikes has unveiled yLINK, its wireless proximity-based guestroom access control system, which uses a guest’s smart-phone Bluetooth capabilities to bypass the front desk and securely access his/her guestroom without the need of a key and without taking the phone out from a pocket or purse. This approach will also serve as a platform for delivering future applications such as proximity-based advertising and energy management features. (yikesteam.com)
**
Onity has announced its HT RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) lock, which allows current HT customers to upgrade from magnetic stripe technology to RFID.
Onity has announced its OnPoint keycard encoder for the hospitality industry, a modular design with optional wireless connectivity and a touch screen interface. The OnPoint encoder offers TCP/IP connectivity and includes ‘hot-swappable’ encoding decks, allowing hotels to upgrade card technologies without replacing the complete front desk system. The new encoder includes full Guest Management System (GMS) support and is compatible with existing Onity locking solutions. Availability timing was not announced.
(www.onity.com)
**
The new Opal One Exeter student housing building has completed installation of its Vingcard VISIONLINE wireless RF-online locking system. Accommodations range from individual studios to apartments for up to five people, with a total 219 units.
VingCard Elsafe is celebrating its 30-year anniversary.
(www.opalstudents.com, www.vingcardelsafe.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
    9301 236th Street SW
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