March 4, 2015

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Communications / Infrastructure

FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 4, 2015

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • HTNG’s annual conference gets even better
  • HTNG TechOvation awards won by Interel, Revinate and IDeaS 

Last weeks’ annual Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) North American conference raised the bar again on what makes for a successful gathering. Already one of the more appealing conferences in a crowded season, a couple of format changes this year increased its attraction and drew record attendance.
Formally making the interface workgroup sessions part of the conference and adding technical discussion forums during the two days before the more traditional education sessions allowed for much closer interaction between the techies and the more strategically-minded attendees, to everyone’s benefit. This conference has long been known for the quality and wide range of its education sessions, and this year led off with Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity, Kayak and now WayBlazer, discussing how the semantic analysis and sheer power of IBM’s Watson engine has the potential to transform travel search.
Other sessions ranged from building up service levels, through discussing whether CRSs have a future, the impact of mobile payment, the challenges of a chain-wide WiFi upgrade and cogent advice on open-source technologies that allow hotels to compete affordably with the OTAs by offering fast, scalable systems, to a CIO discussion panel and a presentation on robotics in hospitality, including a demonstration of the room service robot currently in beta test at two of Starwood’s Aloft hotels.
The winners of HTNG’s new TechOvation awards were Interel, Revinate and IDeaS. The awards, replacing the previous years’ Innovation awards, recognize both the products’ fresh thinking and their likely impact on the industry. The prior years’ approach of static displays of product information was replaced with a “shark tank”-like scenario where each vendor had five minutes to pitch its product. An initial slate of 18 candidates was narrowed to three finalists by a panel of ten judges (eight of whom were hotel company CIOs), and the winners were selected by a vote of the conference attendees.
Overall winner was Interel for its connectBsmart technology, an intriguing online, beacon-as-infrastructure approach to two-way communications with guests. The First Runner-Up was Revinate’s inGuest, a comprehensive approach to communicating with guests pre-, during and post stay designed to extend hotel services to guests 24/7, drive more touch points with staff and increase revenue.  The Second Runner-Up was IDeaS’ Function Space Revenue Management software.
HTNG’s conference has established itself as one of the must-attend events for anyone involved in hotel technology. Kudos to Doug Rice and his team for continuing to improve it and keep it fresh!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Paul Margaillan joins board of McLaren Technologies 

Paul Margaillan has joined the board of McLaren Technologies as non-executive Chairman, strategic advisor and business change mentor. Currently the founder and CEO of Space Management Services (which he will continue to operate), Mr. Margaillan was previously CEO and co-founder of EasyRMS, which he sold to Infor in 2012.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Fontainebleau Miami Beach deploys StayNTouch
  • AutoClerk releases two-way interface with Travel Tripper’s RezTrip
  • Hotel Ciputra Jakarta selects Protel’s SPE from Xn Hotel Systems
  • Edinburgh Collection switches back to protel from Xn Hotel Systems for its 4 properties
  • Cenium  launches Cenium 8
  • Pacifica Hotels signs with RoomKeyPMS for 27 properties
  • Oracle re-brands Micros as Oracle Hospitality 

The 1,504-room Fontainebleau Miami Beach has deployed StayNTouch’s Zest Web with two-way integration with its Micros OPERA PMS, for pre-arrival check-in phone-enabled check-out. Later phases are planned to deploy StayNTouch’s Rover FrontOffice mobile check-in with remote key encoding & secure credit card swipe, Rover Housekeeping module and Zest App for guests’ smartphones. (www.fontainebleau.com, www.stayntouch.com)
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AutoClerk has released a certified two-way interface with Travel Tripper’s RezTrip central reservation system. (www.autoclerk.com, www.traveltripper.comn)
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The 336-room Hotel Ciputra Jakarta, managed by Swiss-Belhotel International, has selected Protel’s SPE guest management system from Xn Hotel Systems, as well as Xn’s point-of-sale system.
The Edinburgh Collection has switched back to protel from Xn Hotel Systems for its 4 properties after a three-year absence.
(www.swiss-belhotel.com, www.theedinburghcollection.com, www.protel.net, www.xnhotels.com)
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Cenium has launched Cenium 8. Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics NAV2015, Microsoft Dynamics AX and the full Microsoft Technology Stack, Cenium 8 offers enhanced integration with Office 365, Microsoft Social Listening, Power BI and enhanced tablet apps offered through App Store, Google Play and Windows Stores. Cenium’s ERP Suite, Mobile Front Office, Housekeeping and Service Management Apps are now supported on Windows8 and iOS devices. (www.cenium.com)
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Pacifica Hotels has signed with RoomKeyPMS for its 27 properties in California, Hawaii and Florida. (www.pacificahotels.com, www.roomkeypms.com)
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Oracle has re-branded Micros, which it acquired last June, under the name Oracle Hospitality. The unit is headed by Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail and Hospitality.
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Hilton Worldwide deploys MicroStrategy’s Analytics Platform
  • ZDirect announces new Loyalty Management System
  • SUNRISE Hotels & Cruises rolling out TrustYou across 11 resorts
  • TrustYou’s Meta-Review API now implemented on more than 150 websites
  • Vizergyhas received three Adrian awards from HSMAI
  • Cendyn/ONE receives two awards in Info-Tech Research evaluation of CRM suites
  • Find My Carrots adds Canadian hotels and points of interest to its semantic search engine 

Hilton Worldwide has deployed MicroStrategy’s Analytics Platform to targeted business areas in support of its enterprise data platform. Hilton is focused on tracking KPIs from across the organization to support its strategic decision-making, and offering users in targeted functional areas of its business dedicated dashboards, reports and analytics to let them act on data-driven trends and outliers. (www.hiltonworldwide.com, www.microstrategy.com)
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ZDirect has announced its new Loyalty Management System. Features include:
– Guest portal access from mobile devices
– Points promotions and exclusions
– Redemption catalog with full customization
– Mobile notifications
– Apple Passbook® integration for digital reward cards
– Social media account login and creation with Facebook and Twitter
– Reports dashboard showing loyalty growth and redemption status
– Ability for members to achieve status faster with stays at multiple properties within the group/chain
– Multiple language support
– Integration with third party reward platforms including Alaska Airlines and Aeroplan.
A patented Dynamic Content Engine automates individualized confirmations, pre-arrival emails, customer satisfaction surveys and more. (www.zdirect.com)
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SUNRISE Hotels & Cruises is rolling out TrustYou’s reputation management tool across its 11 resorts in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.
TrustYou announced that its Meta-Review API has now been implemented on more than 150 websites.
(www.sunrisehotels-egypt.com, www.trustyou.com)
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Vizergy has received three Adrian awards from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International:
– Gold for website design and search engine optimization for the former Aloft Washington National Harbor and Woodcliff Hotel and Spa
– Bronze for reinventing the online presence for the Hard Rock Hotels and Resorts.
(www.vizergy.com)
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Cendyn/ONE has received two of three overall awards In a recent evaluation of CRM suites by Info-Tech Research Group, Trend Setter for the most original and inventive solution, and Best Overall Value for the most affordable, robust CRM solution. Cendyn/ONE was also the only vendor to achieve an overall exemplary rating in the CRM Product Category based on features, usability, affordability, and architecture. (www.cendynone.com)
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Bangalore-based Find My Carrots has developed a next-generation semantic search engine for the travel industry using big data and machine learning, reviewing close to a million web pages to create a catalog of more than 15,000 places of interest in India as well 30,000 places of interest in the U.S. The site is intended to deliver local insights for a specific location, such as “What is there for mom and two kids (boys 5 and 2) to do during the day in Austin, Texas?” The site has now added Canadian hotels and places of interest to its database. (www.findmycarrots.com)
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Infor’s Dynamic Enterprise Performance Management (d/EPM) for Hospitality has been selected as a Champion in this year’s Info-Tech Research Group Business Intelligence (BI) for Gaming, Hospitality and Leisure Vendor Landscape. (www.infor.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Busy Rooms adds revenue optimization tool to its CRS
  • eRevMax integrates BookingForce’s booking engine into eRevMax LIVE Network 
  • Oracle MICROS releases two-way SiteMinder interface for MICROS-Fidelio Suite8 

Busy Rooms has released its revenue optimization tool, integrated into its central reservation system. Drawing information from past bookings, local competitor rates and guest review scores the tool’s algorithm calculates where rates, availability and restrictions can be altered to optimize revenue. All information is delivered on a dashboard. (www.busy-rooms.com)
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eRevMax has integrated BookingForce’s booking engine into its eRevMax LIVE Network (ELN), allowing hotels subscribed to LIVE to add direct booking engine capability to their brand.com site and to manage rates and availability from the LIVE dashboard.  (www.erevmax.com)
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Oracle MICROS has released a two-way interface with SiteMinder for its MICROS-Fidelio Suite8 application. (www.siteminder.com, www.oraclehospitality.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • GCommerce to recommend Groupize to all 1,400 hotel clients
  • Starwood launches ProMeetings special-request management app for meeting planners
  • Cendyn Arcaneo releases Getregistered event registration software 

GCommerce will recommend Groupize Solutions’ group booking platform as part of its digital marketing strategy for all 1,400 hotel clients. (www.gcommercesolutions.com, www.groupizesolutions.com)
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has launched its ProMeetings app, enabling meeting planners who are SPG or SPG Pro members to submit on-property requests for any item (extension cord, coffee service, lighting changes, etc.) directly to associates. ProMeetings is in pilot at several properties, including W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, The Westin Singapore, Sheraton Atlanta Airport, W Atlanta Midtown and The Westin Charlotte. A full global rollout is expected in 2016. (www.starwoodhotels.com)
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Cendyn Arcaneo has released its getregistered event registration software. Attendees can login on any platform from any device to manage a registration or get real-time updates on the event; Getregistered’s dashboard lets event planners manage all data and attendee information. Getregistered will be integrated with Cendyn Arcaneo’s Metron meetings management system as well as its getplanning collaborative event planning tool. (www.cendynarcaneo.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Boston University releases free RevPASH app
  • Compass Group North America implements InfoGenesis Flexmobile mobile POS, plus Agilysys rGuest Pay platform
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The Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) has released its free RevPASH app to help calculate a restaurant´s revenue per available seat hour. The app, in the form of a calculator, compares RevPASH over the course of hours, days, weeks, and months. (www.bu.edu/revpash/)
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Compass Group North America has become Agilysys’ first foodservice management customer to implement its InfoGenesis Flexmobile point-of-sale system combined with the rGuest Pay payment gateway. The systems were introduced in the Café 2400 dining facility at the company’s corporate headquarters in January and will be rolled out to other locations nationwide later this year. InfoGenesis Flex runs on Dell Venue Pro tablets, and gives managers complete mobile access to all InfoGenesis tools. rGuest Pay includes Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE), a Payment Information Proxy (PIP) that secures data arriving via e-commerce interfaces, tokenization and a range of fixed and mobile EMV-ready payment devices. (www.compass-usa.com, www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Hilton Kansas City Airport installs FlyteBoard
  • Hotel Internet Services introduces BeyondTV integrated hospitality streaming-content service 

The 347-room Hilton Kansas City Airport hotel has installed a Flyte Systems FlyteBoard real-time airline information display in its lobby, as part of a recent renovation. (www.hilton.com/AirportMCI?, www.flytesystems.com)
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Hotel Internet Services (HIS) has introduced its BeyondTV integrated hospitality streaming-content service. Features include:
– electronic programming guide
– wireless streaming of content from personal devices to the room’s television
– access to hotel amenities including housekeeping, in-room dining, spa, valet, transportation, express check-out and other concierge services
– access to apps like Netflix, Pandora, TuneIn, Hulu Plus, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
– full Internet browser.
The system runs on hotels’ existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, requiring no configuration on guest mobile devices and providing each guest with a secure private room network. (www.hotelwifi.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Guest-tek partners with VT Group 

Guest-tek has partnered with VT Group, a systems integrator and provider of customized Gigabyte Passive Optical LAN (GPON) networks, to offer hotels a single source for IP services and optical technologies. (www.vt-group.com, www.guest-tek.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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