March 25, 2015

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

Communications / Infrastructure

MARCH 5 – 25, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Conferences and Connections

We’re right in the middle of conference season again. Every year they seem to run back-to-back for a couple of months, and it’s hard to decide which ones to attend. They do take up a lot of time, especially with travel, but the educational sessions continue to be informative and thought-provoking and the networking is invaluable, so here we are.
I was at Rich’s Executive Vendor Summit last week, and am at Oracle Hospitality’s Industry Connect event this week. Both are very worthwhile for different reasons, but they do have a common thread. As always, the Vendor Summit had an excellent variety of sessions, with the added highlight this year of the Travel ‘N Technology (TNT) conference the day before, an event that included eight new-technology vendors pitching their products to a shark tank. The round table discussion introduced at last years CIO Summit was repeated here, with very informed, free-flowing discussion among all attendees on a variety of topics they’d chosen themselves. These sessions are really helpful and open, and should be a part of any technology conference; there’s just no substitute for back-and-forth feedback between people with real-world experience and advice.
The estimable Charlotte, unflappable organizer of Rich’s conferences, once again did a sterling job, and continued to raise her own bar for the social events. I’ve no idea how she did it, but the private tour of Alcatraz she arranged for us was truly an exceptional experience. It’s a beautiful location, but its history and the atmosphere of the cell building itself are very sobering. And her arranging a fabulous sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge while we were on the island… priceless.
This week’s Oracle Conference replaces previous years’ Micros User Group events, and brought many of us up to date with Oracle’s progress in absorbing our industry’s biggest vendor. Merging cultures on this scale is never easy or quick, and despite the undeniable depth of Oracle’s resources it’s apparent that there’s still a way to go until they fully grasp the challenges of this vertical and gear up to meet them. All good luck to them; Micros – sorry, Oracle Hospitality – products continue to be key to very many hoteliers, and a great deal is riding on the success of this adventure.
The common thread between these two conferences? The need for partners and for good interfaces between systems. No system does everything a hotel needs on its own, and interfaces between systems will always be necessary. The Vendor Summit is an amazing incubator for developing relationships between vendors with complementary products, and it’s very rewarding to see the evolution of these links over the years. Oracle, too, despite the industry dominance of Opera and the Micros POS systems, appears to have recognized the vital importance of the partner vendors who round out its offerings, and is committed to improving its relationships with them as a high priority.
Partnerships are essential. No-one wants to end up isolated on Alcatraz.
**

Back to Top…

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Bryant “Trey” Robinson named SVP and General Counsel at SkyWire
  • Jay Juan Garcia joins Fuel as Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Jeff Weibel hired by Flip.to as Chief Marketing Officer

Bryant “Trey” Robinson has been named SVP and General Counsel at SkyWire. Mr. Robinson was most recently VP of Operations and General Counsel for Digital Intelligence Systems in McLean, VA, and Partner at Duane Morris LLP and McGuireWoods LLP in Washington D.C.
**
Jay Juan Garcia has joined Fuel as its new Director of Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining the Fuel team, Mr. Garcia was the Regional E-Commerce Manager and Digital Brand Marketing Analyst for Hilton Worldwide.
**
Jeff Weibel has been hired by Flip.to as Chief Marketing Officer. One of the original employees at Preview Travel, Mr. Weibel then served for 11 years at Travelocity after it acquired Preview, culminating as Director, Southeast Region. He then served five years at Travora Media as VP Tourism.
**

Back to Top…

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Prologic First releases SynXis interface for WISH
  • RoomKeyPMS releases interface with SkyWire’s Spa & Activities
  • Bond Hotel and Extended Stay, Boise, Idaho, installs Hotelogix

Prologic First has released a SynXis interface for its “WISH” guest management system.
**
RoomKeyPMS has released an interface with SkyWire’s Spa & Activities application. (www.skywire.com, www.roomkeypms.com)
**
The 57-room Bond Hotel and Extended Stay in Boise, Idaho, has installed Hotelogix’ cloud-based PMS. (www.hotelogix.com)
**

Back to Top…

RESERVATIONS

  • Kennebunkport Resort Collection  migrates eight hotels to SHR’s Windsurfer

The Kennebunkport Resort Collection has migrated its eight hotels to SHR’s WindsurferCRS distribution platform and TopSail booking engine. (www.kennebunkportresortcollection.com, shr.global)
**

Back to Top…

MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TravelClick announces “one-click” mobile web bookings using Google Wallet
  • Lodging Interactive expands CoMMingle reputation management & social media marketing to restaurants

TravelClick has announced “one-click” mobile web bookings using Google Wallet for Google Hotel Ads customers, aiming to help hotels extend their digital footprint, improve their overall search results and convert a higher volume of qualified travel consumers. This use of Google Wallet is currently available to U.S. consumers only. (www.TravelClick.com)
**
Lodging Interactive has expanded its CoMMingle reputation management & social media marketing software to restaurants.  (www.lodginginteractive.com)
**

Back to Top…

REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Rainmaker unveils GuestREV Mobile app, enhances GuestREV,  GroupREV 
  • Rainmaker acquires Revcaster
  • Mantra Group selects SiteMinder for 116 hotels
  • Choice signs with SiteMinder for international properties
  • Trust International introduces Trust|Channels channel management integrated with yourVoyager CRS

The Rainmaker Group has unveiled its GuestREV Mobile app version, as well as enhancements to its GuestREV and GroupREV systems.
– GuestREV Mobile provides full interaction with GuestREV pricing functions and reports in real-time via smartphone or tablet, and is available for iOS and Android.
– GroupREV now includes revenue streams from the number of group rooms, banquet space, timeframe, F&B and other event resources.
– GuestREV now includes Revcaster’s market analytics and competitive rate shopping into its workflow to help hoteliers improve their market channel management and competitive pricing.
The Rainmaker Group has acquired market intelligence, rate shopping and analytics vendor Revcaster. Revcaster will continue to operate from its Portland, Oregon office.
(www.Revcaster.com, www.letitrain.com)
**
The Mantra Group, an Australian hotel and resort marketer and operator, has selected SiteMinder to drive online distribution for its complete portfolio throughout the Asia Pacific region, integrated with Mantra’s SIHOT central reservation system. Mantra manages 116 properties under the Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree brands.
Choice Hotels International has signed with SiteMinder for its international properties to manage their room inventory from one central system, integrated with Choice’s proprietary CRS.
(www.mantragroup.com.au, www.choicehotels.com, www.siteminder.com)
**
Trust International has introduced Trust|Channels, an integrated channel management system in partnership with eRevMax for its yourVoyager central reservation system. Trust plans to introduce auto hotel set up to Trust|Channels and the automation of room and rate set up in the Connect module in the next few weeks. Hotel users will also benefit from seamless access via Single Sign On within the yourVoyager environment. (www.trustinternational.com)
**

Back to Top…

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Benchmark releases annual Top Ten Meeting Trends
  • Groupize launches Groupize Pages for custom landing pages and group block management
  • MeetingRooms.com expands internationally

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels has released its annual “Top Ten Meeting Trends” as observed by its 40 properties, as follows:
– #1 Integrating Adventure & Inspiration: Creative, rich experiences are much more important, making ROE (Return On Experience) as important as ROI.
– #2 Happy Days Are Here: Indicators point to 2015 being a great year for the meetings business. Group demand is strong and rates, especially during peak periods, are trending up.
– #3 Get Social: Social Media and the meetings business are now indelibly partnered, primarily through LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and smart phone apps. Facebook is still more of a personal platform.
– #4 Connectivity, CONNECTIVITY: Powerful and reliable Wi-Fi is essential to win meetings business, with optimized bandwidth for multiple devices per delegate.
– #5 The Smart Set: Smart phones drive everything, whether an advance virtual tour of hotel & meeting facilities via FaceTime, communicating agenda and destination information through specialized apps, providing transportation logistics and updates and live streaming, or communicating during meetings with fellow attendees and session presenters.
– #6 Complete customization:  The standard complete meeting package (CMP) essentially no longer exists. The end product may have many CMP components but arranged in ways meaningful to the meeting experience.
– #7 Top Meeting Producers for 2015: Segments contributing significant volume in 2015 include Education, Associations, Finance, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Energy-related, Insurance and especially Technology.
– #8 Winning The Business With Wellness: Some of today’s chief meeting influencers are a property’s Chef and F&B Director. Attendee wellness and nutrition, dietary and allergy awareness are significant parts of meeting planning.
– #9 The 21st Century Meeting Environment:  High-end boutique and personal luxury properties are now sought-after venues, offering highly personalized and intimate meeting experiences.
– #10 Space Demand: Conference facilities offering vast meeting space both inside and out-of-doors are in high demand for midlevel and traditional training meetings. Planners are looking for an ever growing number of breakout rooms and unique gathering places.
(www.benchmarkresortsandhotels.com)
**
Groupize has launched Groupize Pages, intended to help hotels create customized pages for organizers. When pages are created the organizers receive notification and can manage their blocks, invite guests and update payments without delay, from any desktop or mobile device. All updates made online are incorporated into the hotel’s system via a two way connectivity to the CRS. Group organizers can invite attendees by email or text; invited guests can register, select their room, provide payments, add additional guests, add special requests, make modifications or release their rooms online, again via desktop or mobile device. Hotels can use Groupize Pages to send communications to the group, including reminders, alerts and promotional messages. (www.groupizesolutions.com)
**
London-based MeetingRooms.com has announced its international launch as a single site for users to find, compare and book meeting space anywhere in the world. In addition to its on-demand service, MeetingRooms.com also offers a managed service for bulk meeting space booking. (www.meetingrooms.com)
**

Back to Top…

F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • SkyWire releases two-way POS integration with DataWorks
  • Prologic First interfaces Web Prol’IFIC to Simphony
  • Agilysys announces v4.4.6 of InfoGenesis POS and InfoGenesis Flex
    font>

SkyWire has released a two-way JSON-based POS integration with DataWorks inventory management. DataWorks sends POS menu items (including food prep modifiers and condiments) and prices to SkyWire, which in turns sends sales information, covers, meal period, modifiers, etc. to DataWorks. (www.dataworksinc.com, www.skywire.com)
**
Prologic First has released an interface between its Web Prol’IFIC web based multi-property purchase, inventory, costing and back office accounting software and Oracle Hospitality’s Simphony POS, allowing hotels to use Web Prol’IFIC for F&B Costing. (www.micros.com, www.prologicfirst.com)
**
Agilysys has announced the general availability of v4.4.6 of its InfoGenesis POS and InfoGenesis Flex systems. Enhancements include:
– Support of Apple Pay and NFC contactless ‘tap and go’ credit card payments.
– A new stand for InfoGenesis Flex 11″ tablets that easily converts to a portable terminal to address peak volumes and special events.
– Support for a range of new USB peripherals, such as cash drawers, scales, scanners and receipt printers
(www.agilysys.com)
**

Back to Top…

GUEST SERVICES

  • JW Marriott Macau, Ritz-Carlton Macau select Teledex guestroom phones
  • Four Sheraton hotels in Russia choose Teledex I Series guestroom phones
  • Ritz Paris selects at-visions for in-room television and information technology
  • FCS signs Netvision as Business Partner for Croatia
  • Park Hyatt New York implements INNCOM’s INNControl 3
  • Dorsett Hotels & Resorts offers guests smart phone and free calls for their stay at four hotels
  • Holiday Inn Cleveland Airport and Holiday Inn Mount Prospect install FlyteBoard
  • Maestro PMS integrates SMS text communications in partnership with Swift SMS Gateway
  • Accor to release app for Apple Watch in April
  • Marriott to launch app for Apple Watch
  • Guestware implements two-way interface with iRiS’ Mobile Valet app

The 1015-room JW Marriott Macau, expected to open May 27, 2015, and the 254-room Ritz-Carlton Macau, opening in August 2015, have both selected Teledex E203 two-line analog cordless speakerphones. The properties are part of the new Galaxy Macau Phase 2 expansion.
Four Sheraton hotels in Russia have chosen Teledex I Series cordless and corded VoIP hotel phones: the Sheraton Sheremetyevo, Sheraton Rostov-on-Don, Four Points by Sheraton Kaluga and Sheraton Ufa. Models chosen include the NDC2105S single-line VoIP cordless speakerphone and matching RediDock remote handset kit, and ND2105S single-line VoIP corded speakerphone in Black.
(www.galaxymacau.com/en/, www.starwoodhotels.com, www.cetisgroup.com )
**
The Ritz Paris has selected at-visions for in-room television and information technology as part of its renovation; the hotel is due to re-open this fall. Implementation will be in conjunction with Netlogon, at-visions’ partner for France. The Ritz will install at-visions’ ONEvision Hotel TV, ONEsignage Digital Signage and Anevias streaming head-end; guest rooms will be equipped with Samsung 890 TVs. (www.ritzparis.com/en, www.at-visions.com)
**
FCS Computer Systems has signed a Business Partnership (BP) agreement for Croatia with Netvision, a regional specialist in telecommunications, multimedia networking and IT security and management. (www.netvision.hr, www.fcscs.com)
**
The Park Hyatt New York has implemented INNCOM’s INNControl 3 Room Energy Management System, with full lighting integration with EVORA switches and electronic drape controls, plus privacy and make-up-room door indicators and a security alert if a door is left ajar for a prolonged period. (newyork.park.hyatt.com, www.inncom.com)
**
Dorsett Hotels & Resorts is offering guests an Alcatel Android phone to use for the duration of their stay in four Dorsett Hong Kong hotels, with free local calls and free international calls to the UK, USA, China, Australia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and, for guests of Dorsett Mongkok and Cosmopolitan Hotel, Japan and Canada. The phones also come with free Wi-Fi personal hotspot with multiple connectivity in Hong Kong, and are preloaded with maps and local tourist information. (www.dorsetthotels.com)
**
Nexgen’s Holiday Inn Cleveland Airport and Holiday Inn Mount Prospect at Chicago O’Hare International are installing Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information displays. (www.holidayinn.com/ClevelandAirport, www.holidayinn.com/MtProspect?, www.flytesystems.com)
**
Maestro PMS has added an integrated SMS text communication module to provide guests with timely messages for early check-in room availability, group member alerts, spa appointments, property promotions and concierge services. The text message module is offered in partnership with Swift SMS Gateway.  (www.smsgateway.ca, www.maestropms.com)
**
Accor is planning to release an app for Apple’s Watch in April. The app will be available in 10 languages and will work in connection with the smartphone app to promote hotels and destinations and allow users to manage current bookings on Accorhotels. Planned functions include:
– Alerts telling guests the online check-in service is open;
– Access information about their bookings for confirmation (arrival date, number of nights, number of guests);
– Receive information about the hotel’s services (free Wi-Fi, car park, spa, swimming pool, etc.);
– Access the interactive map, directions to the hotel and the local weather forecast
– Access their Le Club Accorhotels loyalty card details, with their status and loyalty points.
(www.accorhotels.com)
**
Marriott plans to launch an app for the Apple Watch, upon availability. Marriott Rewards members will be able to use it to check-in in advance, receive prior notification when their room is ready, and checkout at nearly 4,000 hotels globally. (www.marriott.com)
**
Guestware has implemented a two-way interface with iRiS Software Systems’ Mobile Valet app to help streamline hotel guest requests and associate maintenance issues. Mobile Valet app lets guests purchase in-room dining, shop for products both internally and externally, book spa treatments, interact with hotel systems such as the TV or Room Controls, access local maps and attractions and airport and flight information. When requests are received from iRiS, Guestware uses auto-dispatching with Android mobile devices to deliver the job ticket to the appropriate staff member. When the work is completed, the staff member closes the ticket from their mobile device, which then updates the guest through the iRiS mobile application. Guestware escalates work requests that are completed in a timely manner. The interface leverages HTNG’s Customer Profile Specification; pilot property for this was the JW Marriott Houston Downtown. (www.iris.net, www.guestware.com)
**

Back to Top…

BACK OFFICE

  • Marriott to accept Apple Pay this summer
  • LeisureLink  launches LeisureLink FastPay single-use credit card payment option in partnership with WEX

Marriott International announced plans to accept Apple Pay in a phased roll-out this summer, starting with eleven Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels in New York, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. (www.marriott.com)
**
LeisureLink has launched its LeisureLink FastPay program in partnership with WEX Inc. LeisureLink FastPay is a single-use, “virtual” credit card number that replaces the standard payment process for bookings. At the time of booking, a virtual credit card number is emailed to the supplier. Once a guest checks in, the supplier charges the single-use credit card and receives payment as quickly as any typical credit card transaction process. (LeisureLink.com, www.wexinc.com)
**

Back to Top…

COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Cambria Suites White Plains selects Guest-tek’s OneView Voice iACT phone system

The Cambria Suites White Plains has selected Guest-tek’s cloud-based OneView Voice iACT IP telephone system for its guests and staff. (www.cambriasuites.com/WhitePlains?, www.guest-tek.com)
**

Back to Top…

  • Search all current and archived News and Articles here:

  • Jon Inge & Associates
    9301 236th Street SW
    Edmonds, WA 98020

    office: 206-546-0966
    fax: 206-337-1355
    cell: 206-355-3111

    jon@joninge.com