March 13, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office


FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 13, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Major Milestone for HTNG: First Certified Interface Products Released

A significant milestone was reached at Hotel Technology Next Generation’s (HTNG’s) annual Members’ Meeting and Conference last week with the announcement of the first five HTNG-Certified interface products. Several more are in the pipeline and are expected to be announced shortly. Given the amount of detailed, cooperative work required by hoteliers and normally-competing vendors to produce detailed interface specifications, this is a major achievement for the initiative less than five years after it was launched.
HTNG interface products differ from the traditional specific “product-A-to-product-B” interface links in that each is certified to perform, flexibly, in the role appropriate to one end of the link. For example, an HTNG-certified POS system is intended to link to any HTNG-certified PMS system for credit checking and charge posting without any custom development, allowing hotels to assemble their own combination of systems – and to change that combination – as desired.
Three products were certified under the Single Guest Itinerary section of the HTNG Property Web Services Workgroup 2007a specification, namely:
* OpenCourse Solutions “OpenCourse Activity Suite 3.0”
* PAR Springer-Miller Systems “SpaSoft 3.0 with SMS|Diplomat 2.3”
* TAC GmbH’s “Reservation Assistant 3.9”
This allows these systems to share spa, golf and other guest activity booking data and to post charges amongst themselves and with any PMS certified to the same specification.
Two other products were certified under the HTNG Property/Distribution Solution Workgroup 2007a specification, which covers the exchange of reservations, rates, availability, and yield controls:
* Easy (EZ) Revenue Management Solutions Ltd.’s “EasyRMS Internet Product Suite ASP Version”
* PAR Springer-Miller’s “SMS|Host V16.0 with SMS|Diplomat v2.3 and DipHost v2.3”
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Kim Stephenson joins EZ Yield.com as Corporate Director of Operations
  • Michael Hannan appointed to VRX Worldwide’s Board of Directors

Kim Stephenson has joined EZ Yield.com as Corporate Director of Operations. Ms. Stephenson brings 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry with her, most recently serving as Director of Internet Sales and Central Reservations for Rosen Hotels and Resorts.
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Michael Hannan has been appointed to VRX Worldwide’s Board of Directors. Mr. Hannan has recently served as Executive Vice President of Intrawest Corp and President of Abercrombie & Kent, Intrawest’s former travel subsidiary. Mr. Hannan joined Intrawest as Executive Vice President, Strategic and Corporate Development in 2002. He had earlier held positions as CFO of the Canadian and Latin America division of UUNET, and as CEO of Amsterdam-based Versatel Internet Group. Mr. Hannan began his career with Ernst and Young in 1988.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Best Western endorses MICROS OPERA Enterprise Solution, certifies two-way CRS interface
  • PAR Springer-Miller partners with Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated

Best Western International has endorsed MICROS Systems’ OPERA Enterprise Solution, including OPERA Xpress, and has certified OPERA’s two-way interface with Best Western’s Central Reservation System. (www.bestwestern.com, www.micros.com)
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PAR Springer-Miller Systems and Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSi) have partnered to link SMS|Host Hospitality Management System room inventory and reservations data with multiple distribution channels using HBSI’s Demand Gateway. (www.springermiller.com, www.hotelbookingsolutions.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Austria Hotels International selects TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS
  • Yeeld Solutions launches private label booking engine and CRS service
  • Coastal Hotel Group adds Call Center Services to existing contract with SynXis
  • Omni Hotels has expands and extends multi-year partnership with Expedia

Austria Hotels International has selected TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for GDS reservations at several of its 13 properties in Austria and the Czech Republic. Austria Hotels is also using TravelCLICK’s RateVIEW to evaluate key competitors’ rates and occupancy levels. (www.austria-hotels.at, www.travelclick.net)
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European revenue management training & consultancy provider Yeeld Solutions has launched a private label booking engine and CRS service, to help hotel groups customize their brand website booking process to increase customer segmentation, provide more flexible payment options and increase customer loyalty and repeat bookings. The CRS service is powered by SynXis’ RedX distribution management system. (www.yeeld.com)
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Coastal Hotel Group has added SynXis’ Call Center Services to its existing contract for GDS, IDS and Website bookings. Coastal recently implemented SynXis’ RedX Property Connect 2-way interface with the HIS epitome PMSs used at the four Inns of Monterey. (www.coastalhotel.com, www.synxis.com)
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Omni Hotels has expanded and extended its multi-year partnership with Expedia, to use Expedia Connect technology for improved links to Expedia Web sites and lower reservation costs. (www.omnihotels.com, www.expedia.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TravelCLICK launches PromoSpots graphical advertising
  • HSMAI honors Blue Square Studios and Pegasus Solutions with Adrian Awards

TravelCLICK has launched its PromoSpots graphical advertising for greater property visibility with Sabre Connected travel agents, via the MySabre agent booking portal from Sabre Travel Network. PromoSpots delivers graphical badge ads on the shopping and booking confirmation screens in response to travel agents’ specific search criteria. (www.travelclick.net)
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The Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International honored Blue Square Studios with two Adrian Awards for Web site development, a Silver award for the Kahala Hotel and Resort website and a Bronze for the Portola Plaza Hotel website and use of its Hospitality Toolkit T web presence management system.
HSMAI also honored Pegasus Solutions with a Silver Award for Web Marketing Excellence, for its Hotelbook.com 2006 integrated Web marketing campaign involving podcasts, blogs, e-newsletters and special promotions.
(www.kahalaresort.com, www.portolaplazahotel.com, www.bluesqstudios.com, www.hotelbook.com, www.pegs.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSi) partners with PAR Springer-Miller Systems
  • Rainmaker Group relocates to new headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia

Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSi) and PAR Springer-Miller Systems have partnered to use HBSI’s Demand Gateway to link SMS|Host Hospitality Management System room inventory and reservations data with multiple distribution channels. (www.springermiller.com, www.hotelbookingsolutions.com)
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The Rainmaker Group has relocated to newly built headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, a move necessitated by a 30 percent staff increase. (www.letitrain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • ReServe Interactive launches Web-based ReServe Anywhere
  • Chicago Yacht Club selects ReServe Interactive’s Event Management software
  • De Vere Collection to install full Newmarket applications suite for 58 properties
  • Ritz-Carlton selects MeetingMatrix International as preferred room diagram software
  • Survey reports lack of online meetings technology hampering cost control

ReServe Interactive has launched ReServe Anywhere, a centrally-hosted version of its catering/event management and dining reservations/table management software remotely accessible by end-users via an Internet connection.
The Chicago Yacht Club has selected ReServe Interactive’s Event Management software to manage its races, regattas and public and private club events at its two clubhouse locations, Monroe Station and Belmont Station.
(www.chicagoyachtclub.org, www.reserveinteractive.com)
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The De Vere Collection, operated by AHG Hotel Group, will install Newmarket International’s full applications suite throughout its 58 properties following the recent consolidation of AHG’s Verve Venues and De Vere Hotels & Leisure. Both groups had been using Newmarket’s Delphi Multi Property Edition (MPE); the new contract covers the merger of both into one operational database under the latest version of Delphi MPE, plus the implementation of Delphi BI, MeetingBroker, DirectBook and eProposal. (www.deveregroupplc.co.uk, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Ritz-Carlton has selected MeetingMatrix International as its preferred room diagram software solutions partner. (www.ritzcarlton.com, www.meetingmatrix.com)
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Companies looking to control costs by consolidating meetings, conference and events bookings with transient travel management still have a long way to go, according to the UK’s Institute of Travel Management. A recent survey showed that it’s harder to commoditize meetings, and specialist venue-find and event-management agencies are maintaining popularity amongst buyers despite the trend towards consolidating expenditure. Although 60% of respondents use a combination of the two, 41% rated their specialist meetings agency as “excellent” or “good” compared to 25% for the equivalent service provided by a transient travel management company (TMC).
The report claims that this is driven, at least in part, by the lack of online meetings technology, especially amongst TMCs. Better cost control could be achieved through policy, authorization processes and compliance measurements. (www.itm.org.uk)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center orders InfoGenesis’ POS
  • Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront implements Capton’s Beverage Tracker
  • ReServe Interactive launches Web-based ReServe Anywhere
  • Boyd Gaming selects MICROS’ 9700 HMS for 4 Coast Casinos locations in Las Vegas
  • InterDyn Prodata and Decision Logic partner to link multi-unit restaurants with Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains

The 247-room Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center in Auburn, Alabama has ordered InfoGenesis’ POS system 4.0 for its Hotel & Restaurant Management Training (HRMT) Program, which uses current technology to educate future hoteliers. The POS will be integrated with the Hotel’s existing PAR Springer-Miller SMS|Host PMS. (www.auhcc.com, www.infogenesis.com)
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The Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront has implemented Capton’s RFID-based Beverage Tracker system. (www.portlandmarriott.com, www.captoninc.com)
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ReServe Interactive has launched ReServe Anywhere, a centrally-hosted version of its dining reservations/table management and catering/event management software remotely accessible by end-users via an Internet connection. (www.reserveinteractive.com)
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Boyd Gaming has selected MICROS Systems’ 9700 Hospitality and Retail Management System (HMS) for its Coast Casinos division, implementing nearly 300 MICROS Workstation 4 terminals across 4 locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, by the end of April 2007. The locations – Orleans Arena, The Orleans, Gold Coast, and Suncoast – will be installed on a single MICROS 9700 HMS Enterprise System. (www.boydgaming.com, www.micros.com)
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InterDyn Prodata and Decision Logic have partnered to provide two-way data synchronization between Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains accounting system and Decision Logic’s middleware for connecting restaurant operations with their headquarters. InterDyn Prodata specializes in the sales, consulting, service and support of Microsoft Dynamics. (www.mydlweb.com, www.interdyn-prodata.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • VSi announces iPOP kiosk/workstation with both fee-based and free-to-guest services
  • Westin Hotels to offer free digital music downloads from eMusic.com

Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) announced its iPOP (Internet Point of Presence) free-standing kiosk/workstation that hosts both fee-based and free-to-guest services in the same unit. Hotels can change the guest-service payment structure as required to match the season or the group business currently booked at the hotel. iPOP also supports transactional advertising, and is offered at a no-cost revenue-sharing basis. (www.ver-sys.com)
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Westin Hotels will offer free digital music from eMusic.com for guests to download to portable music players at no charge for six months. The download library includes music composed specially for Westin, covering classical, jazz and other genres. Westin Hotels will play these soundtracks in hotel lobbies and other areas, in addition to making them available for free downloads through online gift codes. (www.westin.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Wesley Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South and Danfords on the Sound all install Aptech’s Profitvue
  • Hotel del Coronado installs UniFocus’ Watson, R.M.
  • Coastal Hotel Group picks Unifocus’ Watson, R.M. suite for nine hotels and resorts

Wesley Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South and Danfords on the Sound have all installed Aptech’s Profitvue ASP Back Office Accounting hospitality software. Wesley Hotels and Resorts has integrated its first hotel – Hotel Indigo Sarasota — into the new web-based system and is continuing with additional properties. Danfords on the Sound, a full-service property on Long Island Sound, uses the Profitvue ASP system for back office accounting and budgets. Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South, a high-volume corporate property, installed Profitvue ASP a month ago. (www.aptech-inc.com)
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The Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, has installed UniFocus’ Watson, R.M. labor and budget management software to help both long and short term labor and supply cost management. The programs also automate weekly employee scheduling and provides labor analysis tools.
Coastal Hotel Group has selected Unifocus’ Watson, R.M. suite for its nine hotels and resorts. The suite will provide customized, consolidated corporate real-time comparative reporting for all key performance measures, revenue evaluation for multiple property management systems, automated standards based scheduling, customized multi-property budgeting capabilities, and more.
(www.hoteldel.com, www.coastalhotels.com, www.unifocus.com)
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SECURITY

  • Best Western International designates Onity as an Endorsed Direct Order Supplier

Best Western International has designated Onity as an Endorsed Direct Order Supplier under a four-year contract, which covers Onity’s electronic locking, in-room safes and energy management systems. (www.bestwestern.com, www.onity.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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