June 29, 2010

In this issue…

People on the Move

Hospitality Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Communications


TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • HITEC back on track, showcases clouds, mobility and the importance of a good user interface

By now you’ll have read elsewhere that HITEC this year was quite the success. Attendance was thankfully (but not surprisingly) up over last year, and felt much more purposeful and focused. Reducing the size of the exhibit floor helped increase the sense of activity and the changes to the education sessions worked out well, with a number of extended “supersessions” allowing for more in-depth exploration of key topics. And I don’t think anyone who heard Frank “Catch Me If You Can” Abagnale’s heartfelt keynote speech will soon forget its emotional impact.
Technologically, the two key themes were clearly the shift to cloud computing and the strength of the mobile platform. The proliferation of iPads on vendor booths everywhere showed the convergence of both themes, with demonstrations or pilots of freshly-ported applications pulling in data from both cloud-based and on-property systems. The appeal of the iPad is obvious (though communication challenges among too many competing WiFi networks on the exhibit floor showed that work still remains to be done), and the form factor seems just right to be taken as a serious, professional tool; iPhones are great, but there’s always the nagging suspicion that staff and managers using them may be checking Facebook instead of hotel data…
iPads are also a good illustration of two over-arching trends spreading through the industry. One is that the ability to combine data from multiple systems via Web services has become an assumed function for any application. “Augmented reality” may be the most sci-fi example (projecting data about an object we’re looking at directly on to it, or onto its image on a smart phone’s camera screen), but in general combining data from multiple sources into a single screen provides a quantum leap in the usefulness of the base application, and is now a given. Narrowly-focused applications without Web services integration abilities need not apply.
The other is the importance of the user experience. After all, touch-screen wireless tablet PCs have been around for years but it took Apple’s intuitive user interface, combined with the above ability to pull in data from multiple sources, to transform the platform into something immediately and obviously useful.
And therein lies another challenge for software developers; when data is shared freely between systems, the one that presents it to the users in the most appealing and useful way will be the one they gravitate to, and it may not be the one that originated and stores the data. Good user interface design has never been more important.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • David Goldstone named Vice President, Sales and Hotel Relations at LodgeNet

David Goldstone has been named to the newly-created position of Vice President, Sales and Hotel Relations at LodgeNet; he was formerly Group Vice President of Sales for On Command Corp., which was acquired by LodgeNet in 2007. Mr. Goldstone had earlier held the position of national sales manager with Panasonic’s hospitality group.
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HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Agilysys announces availability of Guest 360 hospitality management system
  • Infor launches SoftBrands HMS
  • Infor standardizes on Microsoft technology for next-generation applications
  • TTI enhances Scan2PMS to capture traveler’s visa and business card data, cross-check with international law enforcement databases
  • Mandarin Oriental works with PAR Springer-Miller to deploy next generation platform in Windows Azure cloud
  • Mandarin Oriental implements Springer-Miller’s SMS|GlobalGuest module to synchronize guest preferences, profiles
  • Springer-Miller partners with Datavision
  • MSI integrates eRevMax’s RTShopper rate data into WinPM
  • MSI acquires REMco Software

Agilysys announced the availability of its Guest 360 next-generation hospitality management system. Based on Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA), the system takes an attributes-based approach to room availability (i.e. recording bookings by only the parameters requested by the guest – view, room class, bed type, etc. – rather than by a specific room type), makes good use of visuals in its user interface and has Active Directory-based user access security down to the field level. A centralized repository for guest profiles, Guest Hub, contains guest history, itineraries, interests and preferences. Guest 360 is currently in beta test at four properties. (www.agilysys.com/hospitality)
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Infor’s SoftBrands division announced the launch of SoftBrands HMS, its new hospitality management system (HMS) that combines traditional CRS and PMS functions and is targeted for global, regional and independent hotels and chains. Built on Infor’s ION platform, which provides services for application integration, business process/workflow management and shared data reporting, SoftBrands HMS places its focus on role-specific user interfaces to provide custom displays for each major function. The Infor ION architecture allows for the core HMS to be integrated easily with third-party systems such as Sales & Catering, POS, activities management, etc. SoftBrands HMS is scheduled to enter beta tests later this summer.
Infor also announced that it is standardizing on Microsoft tools and technologies for its next-generation software applications, including a unified graphical interface running on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 across all applications, Silverlight for dynamic graphical interface elements, SQL Server as its preferred database, Microsoft Reporting Services as part of the foundation for its Business Intelligence strategy, Microsoft Single Sign-On across applicable Infor applications, and Microsoft Windows Server as the preferred on-premise operating system.
(www.infor.com/softbrands/)
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TTI Technologies has enhanced its Scan2PMS device to include the ability to capture traveler’s visa and business card information, and to cross-check a guest’s identity against international law enforcement databases. (www.ttitel.com)
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Mandarin Oriental is working with PAR Springer-Miller Systems to deploy its next generation hospitality platform in the Windows Azure cloud, as part of Mandarin Oriental’s announced plans to standardize its IT architecture exclusively on the Microsoft platform. Mandarin Oriental is virtualizing its hotel systems as a key step toward Windows Azure and the public cloud, and plans to implement its first fully virtualized hotel later this year.
Mandarin Oriental has implemented PAR Springer-Miller’s new SMS|GlobalGuest module to synchronize guest preference data across all its properties; any additions or changes to a guest’s profile at a property are uploaded to the central guest database and made available to other MOHG properties in near real time. Built on Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM, SMS|GlobalGuest includes a customizable guest profile de-duplication tool, allows chains to define specific guest preferences to be shared across hotels and manages merged data communications to all subscribing hotels. A planned enhancement will allow hotels to track the Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value of a guest across the enterprise.
PAR Springer-Miller also announced a partnership with Datavision Technologies to provide business intelligence reporting for its SMS|Host Hospitality Management System. A new interface connects SMS|Host to Datavision’s remotely-hosted iDatavision application, which integrates Host data with that from other connected systems such as sales & catering, general ledger, ski, club membership or payroll into a hosted data warehouse and delivers actionable operational information to the user via a web browser.
(www.mandarinoriental.com, www.datavisiontech.com, www.springermiller.com)
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MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc) has integrated eRevMax’s RTShopper competitive rate data into its WinPM hospitality management system’s rate management module.
MSI has acquired Dickinson, North Dakota-based REMco Software. REMco’s customer base exceeds 3,000 hotels, including Best Western, La Quinta, Value Place, Extended Stay Hotels, InTown Suites and 600 independent properties. Both MSI’s and REMco’s systems will continue to be sold and supported.
(www.ratetiger.com, www.remcosoftware.com, www.msisolutions.com)

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RESERVATIONS

  • Utell expands Utell Mobile site coverage, functionality
  • Trust International adds “BAR by Day” to Trust|Connect Revenue Management System, in conjunction with IDeaS
  • InnLink introduces Tralix eMarketing and TUBE, The Ultimate Booking Engine
  • Pegasus adds descriptive content push to GDSs to existing ADS content push
  • Pegasus enhances Internet Booking Engine (IBE) of Rezview NG
  • Cendyn appointed TripCraft’s first authorized reseller
  • InterContinental to use HBSi for reservations processing and distribution of availability, rates and inventory

Utell Hotels & Resorts has expanded Utell Mobile’s offering from 150 to 2,000 hotels and has improved the user interface for smartphones including iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. The site was developed in conjunction with Dublin’s Mobile Travel Technologies (www.mttnow.com, www.utell.com)
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Trust International has enhanced its Trust|Connect Revenue Management System (RMS), in conjunction with its partner IDeaS, to include a “Best Available Rate (BAR) by Day” message type to complement the existing BAR by Length of Stay (LOS) functionality. Thon Hotels Benelux has become the first user of the enhancement. (www.ideas.com, www.trustinternational.com )
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InnLink has introduced Tralix, an integrated intelligence-based eMarketing platform, and TUBE, The Ultimate Booking Engine, as enhancements integrated with its Windsurfer CRS platform. (www.innlink.com )
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Pegasus Solutions has added descriptive content pushes to the global distributions systems (GDSs) to its existing alternative distribution system (ADS) content push, through a single point of entry and management for both.
Pegasus has released enhancements to the Internet Booking Engine (IBE) of its Rezview NG system, including:
– an option to hide the Flexible Calendar in the IBE.
– streamlined shopping process for reservation agents using the Call Center Module, including partial name searches in the City field and City and Country fields added to the search criteria for Landmarks.
– improved controls and reporting when overriding guarantee policies.
– consortia reporting that compares current report results to prior periods
– more detail in the Country of Origin Sales report
(www.pegs.com)
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Cendyn has been appointed TripCraft’s first authorized reseller for its mobile hotel reservations and technology platform, which delivers rich hotel content, real-time reservations, on-property services and local destination information to smart phones. TripCraft’s mobile enterprise portal will leverage Cendyn’s clients’ guest CRM data to provide a branded mobile commerce experience to guests. TripCraft’s proprietary content-servers can integrate directly with a hotel’s CRM, central reservations system, hospitality management system and other internal systems. (www.tripcraft.com, www.cendyn.com)
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IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) will use HBSi to automate reservations processing and distribution of availability, rates and inventory to members of HBSi’s network of demand partners. (www.ihg.com, www.hbsconnect.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Cymphonix, D-Link partner for targeted advertising on hotel HSIA sign-on screens
  • The Grove, Hertfordshire, England installs Datavision
  • Datavision releases mobile BI, interactive dashboards for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
  • Datavision partners with Springer-Miller for business intelligence reporting on SMS|Host
  • ProfitSword developing ProfitWizard ad-hoc business intelligence reporting tool
  • Project Interactive releases TweetAgent, Fanbooker services to manage interactions on Twitter and Facebook
  • Breakers Palm Beach implements Cendyn’s CRM Suite
  • Ukraine-based Premier Hotels activates Libra OnDemand for seven properties

Web Gateway vendor Cymphonix is combining its Cymphonix XLi technology with D-Link’s Wishfi products for targeted advertising displayed on hospitality and visitor-based networks as users log into the Internet. Information displayed ranges from sponsored advertisements to targeted internal messaging; Cymphonix XLi is in-line with the browser traffic and is “content-aware,” enabling a precise match of sponsored information to the interest of the user. (www.dlink.com/serviceprovider/partnerships_wishfi.aspx, www.cymphonix.com/d-link-wishfi.html.)
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The Grove in Hertfordshire, England has installed Datavision Technologies’ Business Intelligence suite to consolidate information from HMS, POS, Spa, Sales & Catering, Golf and Dining applications.
Datavision has released mobile Business Intelligence functionality, featuring dashboards, charts and reports delivered directly to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The dashboards allow the user to drill down on areas of interest by tapping on the screen.
Datavision Technologies announced a partnership with PAR Springer-Miller to provide business intelligence reporting for its SMS|Host Hospitality Management System. A new interface connects SMS|Host to Datavision’s remotely-hosted iDatavision application, which integrates its data with that from other connected systems such as sales & catering, general ledger, ski, club membership or payroll into a hosted data warehouse and delivers actionable operational information directly to the user via web browser.
(www.thegrove.co.uk, www.springermiller.com, www.datavisiontech.com)
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ProfitSword is developing ProfitWizard, an ad-hoc business intelligence reporting tool, which will pull data from its ProfitSage Business Intelligence database and parse it into multi-dimensional cubes using standard Microsoft technology with OLAP capabilities. The new module is scheduled to be available by fourth quarter this year. Users will use an Excel add-in to select data from the OLAP cubes to create ad-hoc reports. (www.profitsword.com)
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E-commerce provider Project Interactive has released its proprietary TweetAgent and Fanbooker services to assist independent and boutique hotels manage their social media interactions on Twitter and Facebook. Project Interactive’s team of former hotel executives, travel professionals and brand marketers design and develop tweets, schedule and launch posts and track the effectiveness of brand messaging through customized reports to learn what influential “Fans” and “Followers” are saying about each property and the overall brand experience. (www.projectinteractive.com)
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The Breakers Palm Beach has implemented Cendyn’s CRM Suite to automate its “guest experience cycle,” which includes pre-stay customized itineraries, personalized check-in, check-out, guest feedback and follow-up. After guests reserve a room, they log in to the Cendyn-powered MyBreakersStay.com web page to check their reservations, book activities, dining, special events and create their own itinerary prior to their arrival. Cendyn’s eInsight system pulls relevant guest data from the HMS and other systems to market to guests’ preferences. The Breakers recently moved its online marketing to Cendyn’s 360º Marketing platform. (www.thebreakers.com, www.cendyn.com)
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Ukraine-based Premier Hotels has activated Libra OnDemand with its Premier Club loyalty program for its seven properties, which use a variety of different hospitality management systems. (www.premier-hotels.com.ua/en.html, www.libraondemand.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Pegasus incorporates Rubicon supplier direct data into MarketVision competitive intelligence platform
  • Choice Hotels Scandinavia rolls out EzRMS to 26 of its 170 properties, with 25 more committed
  • NH Hoteles implements EzRMS in 75 additional properties
  • MSI integrates eRevMax’s RTShopper competitive rate data into WinPM
  • Trust adds “BAR-by-day” to Trust|Connect revenue management system in conjunction with IDeaS

Pegasus Solutions is incorporating supplier direct data from partner Rubicon to enhance its MarketVision Agency Position competitive intelligence platform, to allow corporate users to evaluate and address the performance needs of multiple properties and locations on a daily basis. (www.rubicongroup.com, www.pegs.com)
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Choice Hotels Scandinavia has rolled out Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions SaaS application to 26 of its 170 properties in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, with 25 more implementations committed in Q1 2011. The first wave of implementations includes 7 properties in Copenhagen, 11 in Oslo and 8 in Stockholm, all EzRMS Core Module, Ez-BUDGET, Ez-COMPETE, Ez-CONTRACT, Ez-REGION and Ez-QUOTE, with a full two-way interface to the hotels’ Cenium HMS and data feeds from TravelCLICK’s RateVIEW competitive analysis tool.
NH Hoteles has completed implementation of EasyRMS in 75 additional properties, bringing its total to 87 properties globally. The new properties are in Spain, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK and North America; NH Hoteles currently has 399 hotels in 24 countries and has 45 new hotels under construction.
(www.choicehotels.no, www.nh-hotels.com, www.easyrms.com)
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MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc) has integrated eRevMax’s RTShopper competitive rate data into its WinPM hospitality management system’s rate management module. (www.ratetiger.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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Trust International has enhanced its Trust|Connect Revenue Management System (RMS), in conjunction with its partner IDeaS, to include a “Best Available Rate (BAR) by Day” message type to complement the existing BAR by Length of Stay (LOS) functionality. Thon Hotels Benelux has become the first user of the enhancement. (www.ideas.com, www.trustinternational.com )
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • hotel SystemsPro releases hotelSalesPro interface to Four Winds Interactive digital signboards
  • PSAV adds High Speed Internet Access, Digital Signage and DIRECTV distribution, including interactive Touch Concierge navigational system
  • PSAV unveils “All Access Pass” for meeting attendees to access HSIA property-wide without multiple log-in IDs
  • Cendyn to use Vipe video services to enhance eProposal online bid responses
  • GetThere offers corporate clients access to Tata Communications’ Telepresence rooms

hotel SystemsPro has released an interface between its hotelSalesPro system and Four Winds Interactive (FWi) digital signboards, to let hotel sales teams update guest and group information. ( www.fourwindsinteractive.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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PSAV Presentation Services has added three services – High Speed Internet Access, Digital Signage and a distribution partnership with DIRECTV – to its traditional Event Technology audiovisual support. As part of its digital signage line, PSAV unveiled an interactive Touch Concierge navigational system that gives guests access to restaurants, nightlife, shopping, local events and services in the surrounding area, with the option to upload the desired data, along with directions, to their mobile devices.
PSAV Presentation Services has unveiled its “All Access Pass”, integrated HSIA services which let meeting attendees receive access in their guestrooms, public spaces and meeting room without multiple log-in IDs. Using its Meeting Room Manager product, the All Access Pass ensures that there is sufficient bandwidth allocated to meeting rooms for events that require it while not drawing bandwidth away from other areas of the hotel for non-event guests. PSAV can provide access codes to the group that recognizes their participants throughout the property, or can offer a more traditional separation of group access and room access.
(www.psav.com)
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Cendyn announced a partnership with Vipe to develop a video service for hotels and other venues using its eProposal online bid response delivery system. Vipe provides cloud-based video sales tools to personalize eProposal responses; Cendyn’s video services will include handheld video cameras (if needed by the property) training, support, and video hosting to simplify the video creation and delivery process. The video services will be available later this year. (www.vipepower.com, www.cendyn.com)
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GetThere is offering its corporate clients access to Tata Communications’ public and private Telepresence rooms to conduct virtual meetings. (www.tatacommunications.com, www.getthere.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • MICROS, iBAHN partner to provide in-room ordering of room service directly into POS
  • MSI ports Place Point self-service POS to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
  • Pebble Beach Resorts upgrades retail operations with DataWorks’ NeXT

MICROS has partnered with iBAHN to provide in-room ordering of room service directly into its POS systems. A full menu including photos and descriptions is available on the guest room TV and Web portal, and includes suggestions for upsell “combos” and other items that complement an order. (www.ibahn.com, www.micros.com)
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MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) has ported its Place Point self-service POS functionality to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Place Point offers guests multiple services on a single device, such as using the self-service POS to order breakfast and then to check-in to their flight. (www.msisolutions.com)
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Pebble Beach Resorts has upgraded its retail operations to include DataWorks’ NeXT inventory software, integrated with its PAR Springer-Miller POS system. Pebble Beach Resorts includes over 20 retail outlets, supplied from a central receiving warehouse. (www.dataworksinc.com, www.pebblebeach.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Langham Place, Hong Kong offers free roaming iPad service for guests
  • Base2stay, London offers guests free hire of electric cars
  • MICROS partners with iBAHN for in-room ordering of room service directly into POS
  • MSI ports Place Point self-service POS functionality to iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
  • Avaya introduces Hospitality Enablement Suite, Guest Media Hub
  • Fairmont adds guestLINK connectivity/charging consoles to guestrooms at four properties
  • Wyndham designates OTRUM as a preferred supplier of infotainment systems and services
  • MTech releases H2GO, mobile version of HotSOS for the iPhone, iPod Touch
  • runtriz releases Version 2.0, now for desktops, laptops, IP televisions, PS3 and any other Internet capable device
  • Eleven launches new version of ElevenOS platform for cross-property portal consistency
  • The Plaza, New York to offer iPads in all guest rooms, loaded with Intelity’s ICE
  • Guest Tek incorporating Intelity ICE into televisions using OneView IPTV and HDTV Media services
  • Wyndham Worldwide deploying Intelity ICE-based Wyndham Connect interactive guest services
  • LodgeNet offering Green Vision Media James Lifestyle Concierge application on Envision IPTV platform
  • LodgeNet licenses b-LAN technology to Panasonic for integration into HD television displays
  • LodgeNet Interactive unveils Envision IPTV platform
  • Roomlinx acquiring Canadian Communications and Cardinal Hospitality PPV subsidiary
  • PrinterOn PrintSpots locations now viewable on Google Maps
  • Choice uses Movitas during annual convention to integrate mobile content, messaging, advertising and social media
  • O’Rourke’s Smartstay iPhone application now operational in four different countries
  • Uniguest unveils MyMessenger cloud-computing application for digital signage management
  • Uniguest acquires most of Showcase Technology’s kiosk business
  • Grand Beach Hotel implements NCR self-service kiosks
  • NCR to incorporate Intelity ICE into self-service hotel systems and services
  • Swisscom, LG Electronics launch ConnectedHotel TV HD television, VOD and HSIA over coax, Ethernet or phone cable
  • TTI Technologies to offer Windows 7 on all Business Center computers
  • GoConcierge adds text messaging, multi-language capability
  • GoConcierge celebrates ten years in lodging industry
  • MobileAdPower announces mobile device recharging station activated by acceptance of ads

The Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong is offering free roaming iPad service for its guests. The devices are loaded with Langham’s own Hong Kong city guide, a Cantonese-English translator of common phrases, maps of Hong Kong, a guide to using the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), a restaurant locator and information on matching Hong Kong food with wine. Guests can also browse the web, check emails, read e-magazines or pre-loaded e-books. (hongkong.langhamplacehotels.com)
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Base2stay, a Kensington, central London hotel, is offering its guests up to four hours’ free hire of an electric Citroen EV’ie car throughout the summer. From October 1 guests will be asked to pay for the rental, but at fees which the hotel claims will be cheaper than bike hire for a family in the capital. There are no congestion charges for electric cars in London and they also qualify for discounted or free parking. (www.base2stay.com)
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MICROS has partnered with iBAHN to provide in-room ordering of room service directly into its POS systems. A full menu including photos and descriptions is available on the guest room TV and Web portal, and includes suggestions for upsell “combos” and other items that complement an order. (www.ibahn.com, www.micros.com)
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MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) has ported its Place Point self-service POS functionality to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Place Point offers guests multiple services on a single device, such as using the self-service POS to order breakfast and then to check-in to their flight. (www.msisolutions.com)
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Avaya has introduced its Hospitality Enablement Suite, server-based software that integrates with many hospitality management systems to bring interactive applications such as room service, housecleaning and restaurant reservations to the guestroom. Avaya also released its Guest Media Hub, a next-generation SIP-enabled guest room phone that acts as an in-room media system, which features a large, color touch-screen that allows guests to make phone calls, set alarms, get stock quotes, check the weather, make restaurant reservations, peruse wine lists, explore area attractions, make a tee time, etc. It can also be personalized to the needs of each guest, for example by using historical data to feature a specific brand of wine, restaurant dish, or other customized services. The platform also supports and tracks staff functions such as the posting of mini-bar charges and updates on room status directly from the room. (www.avaya.com)
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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has added guestLINK’s connectivity console to guestrooms at its properties in Pittsburgh, Vancouver Airport and Shanghai (the Fairmont Pacific Rim and Fairmont Peace Hotel). guestLINK allows travelers to plug in multiple personal devices such as laptops, DVD or mp3 players, iPods, personal gaming stations, camcorders, or digital cameras. (www.fairmont.com, www.guestlink-cii.com)
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Wyndham Hotel Group has designated OTRUM as one of three preferred suppliers of infotainment systems and services to its franchised hotels and resorts. (www.wyndhamworldwide.com, www.otrum.com)
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MTech has released H2GO, a mobile version of its HotSOS application that lets hotel staff create, respond to and maintain work orders via the iPhone or iPod Touch. (www.m-tech.com)
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runtriz has released Version 2.0 of its Hotel Evolution application that allows hotel guests to access services and amenities from their mobile device, including ordering room service, checking local attractions, ordering food and drinks poolside, setting wake-up calls, requesting luggage pick-up, checking the weather, viewing spa services, finding out where to eat, viewing local golf courses, requesting towels and toiletries, and requesting transportation. runtriz 2.0 now offers the same functionality on desktops, laptops, netbooks, Internet televisions, PS3 and any other Internet capable device, and provides data on all property touches to help departments achieve their search-to-order conversion goals. White Lodging’s 340-room Westin Austin (Texas), which opened in March, is the first hotel to go live this month with runtriz 2.0. (www.whitelodging.com, www.runtriz.com)
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Eleven has launched a new version of its ElevenOS platform, a cloud-based tool that is accessed through hotels’ existing service providers such as PSAV, Lorica, AVT Event Technologies and LodgeNet Interactive to implement a single platform across all properties regardless of service provider. Integrated with hotel systems such as HMSs and web-based applications such as Shift4, iPass and GuestWare, ElevenOS offers hoteliers and their service providers a way to deliver a consistent experience to their guests via the guests’ own laptops or smart phones and hotel-provided systems like business centers, lobby kiosks and in-room computers. (www.elevenwireless.com)
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The Plaza, New York plans to offer iPads in all guest rooms and suites, loaded with Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Solution) software to provide guests with touch screen access to room service, restaurant reservations, concierge communications, wake-up calls, NYC destination guides, checking airline schedules and printing boarding passes. The devices will be pre-loaded with leisure and business applications such as newspapers, and guests will also be able to browse the Web.
Guest Tek Interactive Entertainment is incorporating Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) guest service functionality on guest room televisions using Guest Tek’s OneView IPTV and HDTV Media services. This will let hotel guests order room service, make restaurant and spa reservations, request wake-up calls, request housekeeping or maintenance services, check airline schedules and check in for flights using the guestroom television remote control. ICE also lets the hotel yield-manage pricing and provides direct messaging to guests and employees in real time. White Lodging’s 1,005-room JW Marriott Indianapolis will open in February 2011 with this Guest-Tek/Intelity-ICE combination.
Wyndham Worldwide is deploying Wyndham Connect interactive guest services, based on Intelity’s Interactive Customer Experience (ICE), an Orlando based hospitality technology firm, will deploy an innovative and web experience, across all Wyndham Hotel Group brands in North America.
(www.theplaza.com, www.jwindy.com, www.guest-tek.com, www.wyndhamworldwide.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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LodgeNet Interactive is offering Green Vision Media’s (GVM’s) James Lifestyle Concierge application on its Apple Mac Mini-based Envision IPTV platform, to provide guests with information and communication functions. Using James, guests will be able to find information on the hotel and local area while also accessing interactive concierge services.
LodgeNet Interactive has licensed its b-LAN (broadband local area network) technology to Panasonic for integration into the LRU20 series high-definition (HD) television displays it is designing for the hospitality market, enabling the delivery of interactive content and functionality such as centralized channel management, video on demand content and interactive guest services. LodgeNet’s b-LAN allows hotels and providers to manage TV configurations without a visit to each room and can enable a variety of other applications requiring communication with the TV set.
LodgeNet Interactive unveiled Envision, its Apple Mac Mini-based IPTV platform that delivers cloud-connected high-definition interactive television (iTV). Key capabilities of Envision include:
– Revenue Generating applications such as LodgeNet’s eTickets and ePurchases, as well as entertainment options including exclusive programming from The Hotel Networks.
– Advanced Interactive applications such as LodgeNet’s eCompendium and eConcierge services, which include the ability to sell, manage and post local advertising, communicate hotel and meeting group events, and provide wakeup service, all on the TV.
– Branding applications, including connections to loyalty programs and company Websites.
Partner companies with Envision IP include:
– Secure Media, providing software-based Digital Rights Management for FTG and on demand content.
– Elgatois, providing EyeTV software based video player technology for stable playback and fast tuning times.
– JAMF Software, for monitoring and management capabilities for the Mac mini computers
– Technicolor, for transcoding capabilities to support delivery of the FTG service via the Secure Media and Elgato capabilities.
(www.gvmcorp.co , www.lodgenet.com)
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Roomlinx is acquiring Canadian Communications of Broomfield, CO, which provides new release pay-per-view movies to over 20,000 hotel rooms in North America and the Caribbean through its Cardinal Hospitality subsidiary. Canadian Communications also offers free-to-guest TV programming, voice and broadband services to hotels, small businesses, and MDU (Multiple Dwelling Unit) communities. (www.cardinalhospitalityltd.com, www.roomlinx.com)
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PrinterOn users can now view PrintSpots locations on Google Maps, marked with “map pin” icons that can be clicked to display the actual location. The initial release will retrieve GPS coordinates for existing PrintSpot locations and enable PrintSpot administrators to specify specific coordinates for their own PrintSpot. (www.printeron.com)
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Choice Hotels International used Movitas’ mobile conference system for its annual franchisee convention, to integrate mobile content, messaging, advertising and social media. All participants received alerts, promotions and social updates throughout the conference on all mobile devices, with links to rich mobile web content for the convention and updated in real time. (www.choicehotels.com, www.movitas.com)
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O’Rourke Hospitality announced that its Smartstay iPhone app for hotels, launched in March, has already been branded for hotels in four different countries: Seaport Hotel, Boston, MA, USA, the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, Japan, the Phoenix House in London, England, and the Fota Island Resort in Cork, Ireland. The system is also being branded for the Sebel Pier One in Sydney, Australia, and for Zleep hotels in Denmark. (www.orourkehospitality.com)
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Uniguest has unveiled its MyMessenger cloud-computing application for the creation, development, management and playing of content to digital signage, kiosks and in-room hardware via the web. Signage can be programmed to display spot-on messages and multiple screen displays with bulletins, tickers, audio, video and more, scheduled down to the hour and minute.
Uniguest has expanded its kiosk division through the purchase of Showcase Technology’s U.S. hotel business center customers, with the exception of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Resorts and Fairmont Hotel properties which Showcase will continue to maintain. The acquisition will add close to 350 USA locations and 600 computer workstations. As part of the acquisition, Uniguest will become a reseller of Showcase’s NetStop kiosk software as well as license Showcase’s proprietary database management software for kiosks.
(showcasetech.com, www.uniguest.com)
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The 430-room Grand Beach Hotel has implemented NCR Corp. check in and out self-service kiosks, which allow guests to locate and modify reservations, obtain room keys, print their reservation cards with room assignments, print final folios, check in for flights and print boarding passes. The kiosks are integrated with Micros’ hospitality management system.
NCR Corp. has signed a letter of intent to partner with Intelity to combine NCR self-service hotel systems and services with Intelity’s Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) application on in-room and lobby touchscreens, television, mobile device or the property’s web portal.
(www.miamihotelgrandbeach.com, www.intelitycorp.com, www.ncr.com)
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Swisscom Hospitality Services and LG Electronics have launched ConnectedHotel TV, an integrated hospitality system that delivers interactive High Definition television, Video-on-Demand and wired and wireless Internet connectivity through one converged network and one TV without a set-top box, regardless of whether the network infrastructure uses coax, Ethernet or telephone cable. The LG ConnectedHotel TV supports hardware-processed Flash technology and streams high-resolution content from a variety of sources including DTT, IPTV channels and the Web, all without set-top boxes. It also includes an embedded IP switch enabling Wired and Wireless Internet connectivity directly through the TV set, and allows hoteliers to feature web based guest services on the TV screen such as weather forecasts, news portals, stock exchange data, social networking, video sharing and other popular sites. (www.swisscom.com/Hospitality/)
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TTI Technologies will begin offering the Windows 7 operating system in July on all Business Center computers to new customers. (www.ttitel.com)
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GoConcierge has added text messaging capability to enable concierges to stay in touch with guests while on the go, unveiled new language functionality that gives users the option of having all features and fields in their native language.
GoConcierge.net is celebrating its first ten years in the lodging industry, and now has more than 500 installations in over 35 countries.
(www.goconcierge.net)
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MobileAdPower has announced a mobile device recharging station that requires users to download either MAP’s interactive mobile application for Apple, Blackberry or Android devices or the establishment’s already-active mobile campaign to activate the charger. An interactive multi-media ad is then displayed and a digital code unlocks the power of the charging station. (www.mobileadpower.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • MTech releases version of REX for Google’s Android
  • Aptech developing web-based Next Generation Accounting system

MTech has released a version of its Room Expeditor (REX) SaaS-based housekeeping application to run on Google’s Android mobile operating system. (www.m-tech.com)
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Aptech Computer Systems announced the development of its Next Generation Accounting system, a web-based application developed in Microsoft’s VB.NET technology and using a SQL database. (www.aptech-inc.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Starwood selects Adaco.NET

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has selected Adaco.NET to optimize its procurement, recipe management and inventory operations. Starwood’s requirements included a hosted enterprise architecture, seamless conversion of metric measurements to U.S. measurements and vice versa, and the ability to deal with corporately-controlled vendors, products and pricing while retaining the flexibility to add local vendors and pricing where appropriate. (www.starwoodhotels.com, www.adaco.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • VingCard Elsafe announces Orion energy management system linked to hotel’s wireless online locking system

VingCard Elsafe has announced Orion, a remotely-managed, occupancy-sensing energy management system that can integrate into a hotel’s Zigbee wireless online locking system. In standalone mode the system detects a guest’s presence through as occupancy motion sensor and uses RF capabilities to communicate with the room’s thermostat. When operating wireless online, the system accesses the same technology to provide remote status to hoteliers for A/C runtime room occupancy and thermostat devices, and provides other event notifications such as maintenance alarms, low battery warnings to staff and the option to remotely change and set the room temperature prior to guest arrival. The system also provides preventative maintenance schedules and occupancy trends and reports. (www.orionbyvingcardelsafe.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS

  • AEI Communications introduces line of analog and IP hospitality phones
  • Motorola announces AP 6511 WallPlate access point for rapid WiFi implementation
  • Ruckus Wireless introduces ZoneFlex 7025 Wi-Fi Wall Switch
  • Ruckus announces new ZoneSwitch line of power over Ethernet (POE) switches

AEI Communications has introduced a line of analog and IP hospitality phones, with initial orders for 8,000 IP phones at the Marina Sands Hotel in Singapore and 800 IP phones throughout the Banyan Tree Resort in Dubai. AEI Communications was established in May 2010 in Silicon Valley, California by Taiwan-based G-Tek Electronics, a manufacturer of hospitality phones since 1992, with UltraTek Communications, a developer of communications products. (www.aeicommunications.com)
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Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Solutions division has announced its AP 6511 802.11n WallPlate access point (AP), which can be quickly installed onto in-wall Cat 5/6 cabling to provide WiFi service in multi-room facilities such as hotels or hospitals. A field-installable Ethernet module adds three switched fast Ethernet ports for converged guestroom IP services, such as IPTV or secure wired access; each AP can service up to 10 rooms, using Motorola’s Smart RF technology to tune power and channels automatically to provide maximum performance and high quality of service (QoS). (www.motorola.com)
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Ruckus Wireless has introduced its ZoneFlex 7025 Wi-Fi Wall Switch, which integrates high speed 802.11n Wi-Fi technology with wired Ethernet ports into a low-profile wall jack that fits into any standard United States or European electrical junction box. Connected to in-wall Cat 5/6 wiring, the Ruckus Wi-Fi Wall Switch is driven by a single POE (Power Over Ethernet) connection and provides four 10/100 Mbps Ethernet jacks and two uplink Ethernet wiring options. It also uses POE to power a device such as an IP phone and provides native connectivity to digital phones through a single digital PBX pass through port.
Ruckus also announced its new ZoneSwitch line of affordable 802.3at/af power over Ethernet (POE) switches, which offer full security, QoS and management features and provide four dual-personality ports to support pluggable fiber transceivers for easy and flexible network uplink.
(www.ruckuswireless.com)
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