March 23, 2010

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Security

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TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • HITEC Advisory Council lists its technology wish list

Given the number of surveys asking travelers what they want in the way of technology, it was an interesting exercise for HFTP to ask that very question of the HITEC Advisory Council, which sets the agenda for the annual HITEC educational sessions. This panel of industry experts is comprised of both hoteliers and consultants, folks who travel a lot in the course of their businesses, can see where technology is developing and who know where it can be used to make a real difference.
The top five items on their wish list were:
– HDTV content in every room: flat screen TVs are the new standard, yet only 10% of hotel rooms offer High Definition TV content. Cost is a factor, certainly, but it’s still surprising that most hotels still haven’t moved even to flat screens.
– Clearer direction on in-room entertainment systems: rapid changes in consumer technology place great pressure on hotels to keep up, but the pace is fast and the options many. A clear, endorsed directive on the options, their impact, and the pros and cons for each, would go a long way toward helping hoteliers make a smart choice.
– Enough bandwidth for all guests: Is there any such thing? “WiFi available” means nothing if it’s too slow to be usable, but providing enough to keep up with demands for streaming video takes investment.
– Smart management: integrating intelligent mobile devices with hotel management systems can really improve efficiency in locating staff members and allowing efficient dispatches to meet guest requests.
– More virtualization: Running multiple applications and desktops on far fewer central servers brings major, proven benefits – lower capital, support and energy costs, reduced space requirements – but not all vendors permit it yet, chiefly due to licensing issues.
Other ideas that came up frequently:
• Free, ubiquitous Internet access.
• Multiple profiles per guest to support that person’s diverse travel purposes (ex. business vs. leisure travel).
• Internationally-available entertainment options that allow foreign travelers to see their native-language show .
• One-click mobile reservations.
And above all, larger technology budgets. The above trends are inescapable, but all require investment. In this economy more than ever hotels must choose their priorities wisely, focusing on the areas that bring the best return in their own market segment.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • George Strauss appointed VP Casino Sales at UniFocus
  • John Poon joins EasyRMS as Regional Director, Asia Pacific

George Strauss has been appointed VP Casino Sales at UniFocus. He brings over 27 years of experience in time and labor management in the casino sector, as well as in Payroll and Human Resources applications. Prior to UniFocus, Mr. Strauss served as National Accounts and Major Accounts District Manager for ADP’s Payroll/Human Resources and Time and Labor Management Division, and previously served as VP of Sales and CEO for Comp-u-Cash Systems.
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John Poon has joined the Singapore office of EasyRMS as Regional Director for the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Poon brings twenty years hospitality industry experience, gained in executive and regional management roles for vendors such as IDeaS, MICROS Systems, NEC Asia, MagiNet, Inter-touch and others.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Skyware Hospitality Solutions appoints Sensible-Rez as UK-based support agent
  • Preferred names MICROS Systems exclusive recommended PMS partner
  • OSA Resort Club picks Orange Enterprise Vacation Ownership Suite

Skyware Hospitality Solutions has appointed Sensible-Rez, Ltd. as its UK-based support agent. Founded In 2005, Sensible-Rez provides yield management and distribution tools for the independent hotel sector and will deliver and support Skyware’s applications. (www.sensiblerez.com, www.skywaresystems.com)
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The Preferred Hotel Group has selected MICROS Systems as the exclusive recommended PMS partner for its 750+ properties in over 65 countries, operating under the flags of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Boutique, Summit Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels and Historic Hotels of America. (www.preferredhotelgroup.com, www.micros.com)
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Costa Rica-based OSA Resort Club has contracted with SPI Software for its SPI Orange Enterprise Vacation Ownership Suite, including integrated modules for marketing, sales, mortgage and maintenance fee servicing, central reservations, property management and operations. (www.osaresortclub.com, www.spiinc.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • GuestCentric makes booking engine available in Joomla! content management system
  • InnLink announces BridgeLink marketing, technology and reservation services for properties in transition
  • InnPoints releases direct connection with Expedia
  • Trust launches Trust|Mobile booking application
  • Park Plaza Hotels signs two-year commission processing renewal with Pegasus
  • Mövenpick implements new internet booking engine based on Sabre’s Guest Connect

GuestCentric has made its portable booking engine available in open source content management system Joomla!, allowing hotels with a Joomla! website to include hotel booking and distribute online promotions to Twitter and Facebook. (www.guestcentric.com)
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InnLink has announced its BridgeLink marketing, technology and reservation services for properties in transition when changing franchise flags, whether voluntarily or not. (www.innlink.com )
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InnPoints Worldwide has released a direct connection with Expedia’s QuickConnect to automate the exchange of hotel reservation room and rate information between Expedia’s online travel sites and MyCRS, InnPoints central reservation system. The interface also ensures rate parity across all channels and simplifies distribution management. The Heathman Hotel Portland is an early adopter of the interface. (www.innpointsworldwide.com)
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Trust International has launched Trust|Mobile, a version of its yourVoyager CRS technology that provides hotel booking and modification services, directions and maps on mobile devices. (www.TrustInternational.com)
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Amsterdam-based Park Plaza Hotels has signed a two-year renewal of its commission processing agreement with Pegasus Solutions for its 35 hotels, which operate under the Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts and art’otel brands. (www.parkplazahotels.net, www.pegs.com)
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Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has implemented a new internet booking engine based on Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ Guest Connect and integrated with its SynXis CRS platform. Travelers can check and book room availability as well as sightseeing tours, special meals and extra services, and can save their profile and preferences. (www.moevenpick-hotels.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TripAdvisor launches mobile website
  • Leonardo Hotels orders TRAVELCLICK’s Hotelligence360 BI application for 60 hotels

TripAdvisor has launched its mobile website, providing access to over 30 million reviews and opinions on hotels, restaurants, attractions and more, and allowing travelers to post reviews and opinions while traveling. The site is already available in 17 countries and 11 languages. (www.tripadvisor.com)
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Leonardo Hotels has ordered TRAVELCLICK’s new Hotelligence360 business intelligence application for its 60 hotels in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Israel, the first major European chain customer for the new application. (www.leonardo-hotels.com, www.travelclick.net)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Rembrandt Hotel & Towers, Bangkok, implements EZYield.com
  • Revpar Guru launches iPhone app

The 407-room Rembrandt Hotel & Towers in Bangkok, Thailand, has implemented EZYield.com following an extensive renovation last year. (www.rembrandtbkk.com, www.ezyield.com)
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Revpar Guru has launched an iPhone application allowing hoteliers and revenue managers to calculate their property’s vital stats (revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR), occupancy percentage, daily and annual revenue) from their phones. (www.revparguru.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • StarCite partners with EveryScape

StarCite has partnered with EveryScape to allow hotels to add WebScapes — fully navigable and interactive 3D replicas of their destinations — to their listings in StarCite’s Global Online Marketplace. (www.everyscape.com, www.starcite.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Priverus announces cloud-based spa booking and management system

Priverus has announced a new spa booking and management system, using cloud computing architecture to offer internet-based access to appointment scheduling, reporting, training and updates. The multi-property system includes spa scheduling system, consolidated financial reporting, sales activity tracking, guest itinerary & portfolio management, revenue management, automated up-selling & cross-selling, group and package booking, and multi-currency POS. Priverus’ executives include Joel Friedman, one of the founders of the SpaSoft application. (www.priverus.com) **

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GUEST SERVICES

  • TAC announces version 4.0 of Reservation Assistant
  • InterContinental Times Square to open this summer with SuiteLinq video services in all 607 guestrooms
  • O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing launches Smartstay customizable iPhone app

TAC has announced version 4.0 of its Reservation Assistant spa & activity application. Enhancements include a fresh design and simplified administration tasks to help make it more intuitive and minimize training expenditures. (www.reservationassistant.com)
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The InterContinental Hotel Group’s Times Square property in New York is due to open this summer with SuiteLinq desktop video services in all 607 guestrooms. The desktop provides an interactive portal offering high-speed Internet access, interactive hotel information, amenities promotions, local guides, business services, etc. The guestroom TVs will deploy SuiteLinq’s SuiteVOD service for IP-TV distribution of on-demand movies, music and more in standard and high definition formats. (www.suitelinq.com)
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O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing has launched its Smartstay iPhone app for hotels looking to promote their own brand via customized interactive guest phone services. Hotels can send exclusive offers directly through the Smartstay app, prompting the user to make a reservation via single touch or dialing options. The hotel can cross-sell and up-sell guests on amenities, spa services, dining and events through a news feature, and can post to their Twitter stream. An interactive city guide including the location of shops, bars, restaurants, cultural venues, transportation services and more is also provided. (www.smartstayapp.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Hospitality Softnet selects SyberWorks to design its e-Learning Campus
  • UniFocus announces worldwide availability of Training Management System

Hospitality Softnet has selected learning management system vendor SyberWorks to design its e-Learning Campus, targeted for release later this year and initially focusing on Hotel Sales training topics. (www.syberworks.com, www.hospitalitysoftnet.com)
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UniFocus has announced worldwide availability of its Training Management System (TMS) which includes portal-based online training delivery, certification and management, as well as supervisors’ dashboards. TMS may also be customized to deliver content in multiple languages. UniFocus offers online training courses for Watson, R.M. Labor Management and Time & Attendance systems, as well as its GUESTScope survey tools. (www.unifocus.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Windsor Property Management Company, Vietnam, implements Procure.NET

The Windsor Property Management Company in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is implementing Procure.NET, supplied by Xn Hotel Systems Pte Ltd, to manage its group procurement and stock control operations on a centralized basis. Windsor manages several hotels, including The Windsor Plaza and Sherwood Residence, as well as several restaurants in the District 1 area. Part of the implementation involved translating the application into the Vietnamese language. (www.wmcvietnam.com, www.xnhotels.com)
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SECURITY

  • Best Western Hôtel de la Paix, Reims, implements VingCard’s Classic RFID upgrade kit
  • Hilton Americas-Houston implements 3VR Security’s surveillance systems

The 169-room Best Western Hôtel de la Paix in Reims, France, has implemented VingCard’s Classic RFID contactless electronic upgrade kit on their existing Classic locks, replacing the bezel card reader to accept RFID keycards. (www.hotel-lapaix.fr, www.vingcard.com)
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The Hilton Americas-Houston has implemented 3VR Security’s surveillance systems, helping it find relevant surveillance footage very quickly. The technology can be used for multiple purposes including repeat-guest facial recognition, license plate recognition and advanced motion analytics; the hotel is also using it to help guests locate lost possessions using its color, directional and object search capabilities.
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