May 21, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing

MAY 8 – 21, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • When buying or selling hotel systems, doing your homework really pays dividends

My last column (on the perceived lack of enthusiasm among many hospitality systems sales people) provoked a fair amount of response, as might have been expected. Comments ranged from a few “I hope you don’t mean me” messages to several that confirmed that what I was asking for is just plain, basic Sales 101. My favorite was the bring-it-on attitude of “Send me your next RFP and let me show what I can do!” Perfect.
Ongoing conversations with a couple of the responders did highlight some other challenges, however. One was the claim that many sales managers believe their system isn’t really that different from its competitors, and it’s hard to be enthused when “they all do basically the same things”. I see enough different system presentations to reject that argument categorically. Sure, they all handle reservations, check-in and check-out, but every single one has a different take on how to approach that and how to present its information to the users, and every one includes some other feature set beyond these absolute basics that sets it apart.
Keeping up with how your system compares to its peers is never easy, but there’s always something unique to each, something that makes a specific case for superiority in one aspect or another. It’s every vendor’s responsibility to ensure that its sales managers know how to position its system against the others. The sales manager still has to bring the energy and make the case – if you can’t be enthusiastic about the product you’re selling, perhaps a career change may be in order – but the market research behind it is a company duty.
The other challenge to sales enthusiasm lies in the way that hotels often approach the sales process themselves. While any one of several GMSs can functionally satisfy the needs of a limited service property, for example, they’re not commodities to be acquired at the lowest possible price with little thought and with little input from the staff who will use them. Each system brings its own approach and some features beyond the basics, and not thinking about how these might be used to improve operations does the whole investment a major disservice.
It’s like trying to buy a car for someone else. Any mid-size four door sedan may do to get them around with decent reliability, but everyone has different preferences in how a car looks, handles, performs and generally fits their specific needs. Forcing someone to accept something that frustrates them every time they use it is a sure-fire way to reduce their effectiveness significantly. Buying the lowest-cost also sedan limits their capability; spending a little more on a small SUV might give them much more flexibility in getting their duties done. Involve the users in the process; there’ll be a hundred things that are important to them that they’ll find hard to specify up front but will recognize when they see them.
For both sales managers and hotels, doing your homework will always pay off in spades.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Bernard Ellis joins Infor as VP of Industry Strategy for Hospitality
  • James Fothergill hired by Intelity as EMEA Sales Director
  • Cyndi Shepley is new SVP of Sales at Eleven Wireless
  • John Kiszla named VP Demand Account Management at Pegasus Solutions
  • Temple Weiss is Pegasus Solutions’ new CFO
  • Eben Hewitt re-joins Choice Hotels as CTO
  • HTNG’s new officers are President:  Jeremy Ward (Kempinski Hotels), Vice President:  Monika Nerger (Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group), Secretary:  Mark Rupert Read (Firmdale Hotels) and Treasurer:  Mike Blake (Commune Hotels & Resorts)

Bernard Ellis has joined Infor as Vice President of Industry Strategy for Hospitality. Prior to Infor, Mr. Ellis served as Managing Director – The Americas for IDeaS, as SVP Strategic Accounts and Channels at SynXis and as a Senior Major Accounts Executive at Micros-Fidelio.
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James Fothergill has been hired by Intelity as EMEA Sales Director.  Mr. Fothergill brings more than a decade of experience in technology sales, most recently as head of Voice Services at Black Box Network Services. He had earlier served as head of New Business at G3 Telecommunications, Account Director at Locatel and NextiraOne, and, for over four years, as Country Manager for FCS Computer Systems in the UK.
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Cyndi Shepley is the new Senior Vice President of Sales at Eleven Wireless. Ms. Shepley has over three decades of hospitality sales and marketing experience, most recently as Vice President and General Manager at Micros’ Hospitality Solutions International (HSI) division, and earlier as Director of Business Development at InfoGenesis.
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John Kiszla has been named Vice President, Demand Account Management at Pegasus Solutions. In a career spanning nearly 20 years, Mr. Kiszla most recently served as Western Regional Director of Sales for Open Hospitality. He has also worked in senior sales and marketing positions with the Los Angeles InterContinental in Century City, Los Angeles, with Bristol Hotels’ four San Francisco properties, two of Hilton’s Hawaii properties and four of its Los Angeles properties, as well as for the Pan Pacific San Francisco, Starwood Hotels and Resorts San Francisco Airport, and Hotel Nikko San Francisco.
Temple Weiss is Pegasus Solutions’ new Chief Financial Officer. Most recently, Mr. Weiss served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ACE Cash Express. Prior to that he was with LQ Management and La Quinta Corporation for more than 10 years, where he held various finance positions including Vice President – Development, Executive Vice President, Development and Acquisitions, and later, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He began his career with Bristol Hotels & Resorts in Dallas.
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Eben Hewitt has re-joined Choice Hotels International as Chief Technology Officer; he was formerly its Senior Director of System Architecture before a brief departure in 2012 to serve as Chief Information Officer for O’Reilly Media.
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Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) announced changes to its Board of Governors.  Its new officers are:
– President:  Jeremy Ward, SVP of IT, Kempinski Hotels.
– Vice President:  Monika Nerger, CIO, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
– Secretary:  Mark Rupert Read, Group IT Manager, Firmdale Hotels.
– Treasurer:  Mike Blake, CIO, Commune Hotels & Resorts.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Cenium releases integration with Intelity’s ICE
  • MSI releases interface between WinPM and Aptech’s Execuvue BI system
  • Solaire Manila Resort and Casino picks MICROS’ OPERA Property Management, Materials Control and Point-of-Sale
  • NORTHWIND significantly updates ResWave online booking engine

Cenium has released its integration with Intelity’s ICE guest service software. Guest check-in data will be sent directly from Cenium to ICE to enable more custom interaction with individual guests; POS integration will allow guests using ICE to place in-room dining orders from in-room or personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Integration with other Cenium modules is planned. (www.intelitycorp.com, www.cenium.com)
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Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has completed an interface between its WinPM guest management system and Aptech Computer Systems’ Execuvue Business Intelligence system, enabling properties to transfer daily performance files automatically to hotel ownership or management without rekeying. (www.aptech-inc.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels’ Solaire Manila Resort and Casino has selected MICROS Systems’ OPERA Property Management, Materials Control and Point-of-Sale. The 500-room Resort opened in March 2013, and features 18,500 square meters of gaming space, seven restaurants and other Food and Beverage outlets. (www.solaireresort.com, www.micros.com)
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NORTHWIND has significantly updated its ResWave online booking engine.  Enhancements include:
– Meeting planner access to group rosters for accurate rooming lists
– Enhanced mobile optimization for any device
– Real-time online activity booking for theatre tickets, tee-time, dining, etc.
– Gateway to reservation upgrades from all channels
– Online Sales & Catering meeting space inquiry
– Enhanced online table reservation bookings
– Online Loyalty registration, account access, guest preferences
– Facebook Booking App
(www.maestropms.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • InnLink CRS enhances interface with Five Star PMS

InnLink CRS has announced an enhanced availability upgrade for its interface with Five Star Hotel System’s PMS. The two-way interface maintains real-time rates, availability, inventory and packages to allow properties to open their entire inventory on the GDS and OTAs. (www.innlink.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Global Exchange Development Corp picks SPI Orange for sales and marketing
  • Loews selects TravelClick’s digital marketing and search
  • Lodging Interactive receives two Interactive Media Awards for Outstanding Achievement in website design
  • Aptech completes interface between Execuvue BI system and MSI’s WinPM
  • Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas implements VOC Systems’ Voice of the Customer
  • HeBS Digital’s CMS Premium named a finalist in 2013 American Business Stevie Awards
  • Gloria Hotel Dubai implements Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ WebExpress

Global Exchange Development Corporation has selected SPI Orange software to manage its sales and marketing operations. GEDC has developed Global Exchange Vacation Club (GEVC), which is powered by RCI points and offers a variety of flexible getaway opportunities for timeshare club members. (www.spiinc.com)
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Loews Hotels & Resorts has selected TravelClick to manage and execute Loews’ digital marketing and search engine strategy, including media buying and planning. TravelClick will develop new websites for Loews’ corporate presence as well as its 19 properties and restaurants, and will provide a new content management system and booking engine.  (www.loewshotels.com, www.TravelClick.com)
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Lodging Interactive has received two Interactive Media Awards for Outstanding Achievement in website design in the Hotel/Resort category, for its Green Mountain Inn and Lakeway Resort and Spa projects. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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Aptech Computer Systems has completed an interface between its Execuvue Business Intelligence system and Multi-Systems, Inc.’s (MSI’s) WinPM guest management system, enabling properties to transfer daily performance files automatically to hotel ownership or management without rekeying. (www.aptech-inc.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas has implemented VOC Systems’ Voice of the Customer system to monitor and manage guests’ comments left in a property voice mailbox. Messages are converted to text, coded and sent by email with audio links to the senior level management for review and forwarding to the appropriate department or employee. Senior managers can view a searchable online database of coded guest comments with summary-to-detail graphs and text reports.  (www.westinkaanapali.com, www.vocsys.com)
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HeBS Digital’s CMS Premium has been named a finalist in the Best Software Programming/Design category in The 2013 American Business Stevie Awards.  (www.HeBSDigital.com)
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The 1,010-room Gloria Hotel Dubai is the first hotel in the United Arab Emirates to implement Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ WebExpress e-commerce application, which bundles a website, booking engine and search engine optimization (SEO) functions. (www.sabrehospitality.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Duetto announces Insight revenue management tool for small-scale properties
  • Shaftesbury Hotels Collection selects RateTiger for ten properties
  • Solaire Resort & Casino picks Rainmaker’s GuestREV

Duetto has announced Insight, a version of its revenue management tool targeted at small-scale hotel properties.  Using the same algorithms and forecasting engine as Duetto Edge, Duetto’s Web-based Insight includes:
– Demand optimization and forecasting
– Alerts allowing hoteliers to act quickly and easily
– Customizable pricing rules that meet the specific needs of a given market or property
– All-inclusive subscription pricing
(www.deuttoresearch.com)
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The Shaftesbury Hotels Collection has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger channel manager for ten of its properties, linked to its MICROS Opera system for direct import of guest-reservation data.  (www.shaftesburyhotels.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Solaire Resort & Casino, in Manila, Philippines has selected The Rainmaker Group’s GuestREV.  Solaire Resort & Casino is the first of four gaming establishments to open at the Entertainment City in Parañaque City, a multi-billion dollar mega-project built on reclaimed land.  Phase one includes 500 guest rooms, plus an additional 350 all-suite tower scheduled to open next year.  (www.LetItRain.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • MICROS releases mTablet mobile workstation and mStation stand
  • Technology Training Associates picks Clear Sky as preferred partner for F&B inventory control
  • Capton releases updated pour-control spout
  • Agilysys releases InfoGenesis POS v4.4
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MICROS Systems has released its new mTablet mobile device and mStation stand. The mTablet screen is designed for easier viewing in direct sunlight, and the unit as a whole has been designed to withstand damage from common falls better than consumer tablets. The device also includes fully integrated secure payment processing, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The mStation stand is offered with various customer facing displays, cash drawers and printers, and can be deployed in fixed or mobile modes (with a high capacity battery); it can also be used with an Apple iPad tablet. (www.micros.com )
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Technology Training Associates has selected Clear Sky Software as its preferred partner for food & beverage inventory control.  TTA has been providing hospitality clients with technology products and training services for over 15 years.  (www.ttanet.com, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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Capton has released an updated pour-control spout, combining an all-digital beverage data collector housed within a classic looking package. It features 73% smaller electronics compared to the previous model, has no activation switch and uses easy-swap corks. A digital tilt sensor provides accurate measurement regardless of pour angle. (www.captoninc.com)
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Agilysys has released InfoGenesis POS v4.4, built on a simplified architecture for easier installation and maintenance. It is certified for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 for greater scalability, and includes SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) for reporting flexibility. Software enhancements include:
– Increased single check tender support (from eight to 32 tenders on a check)
– Coupon support for International Game Technology (IGT) systems
– Expanded support for revenue categories
– Enhanced kitchen video interface for fine dining environments
– MasterCard mandate support
– Inclusive gratuity configuration
– Package ordering user interface enhancements
– Scheduled kitchen printer routing
– Tokenization certification
(www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Hyatt Place Pensacola Airport installs Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard
  • Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna is first property to install Quadriga’s Personal Media Network
  • Radisson Edmonton South is first hotel in Canada to install Quadriga’s LobbyFriend
  • Bittel Americas announces UNO Media 4 unit
  • Intelity integrates ICE with Cenium

The 123-room Hyatt Place Pensacola Airport has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information display. (PNS). (www.flytesystems.com    )
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The recently opened Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna has installed Quadriga’s Personal Media Network in all 152 guest rooms, the first property to install this application. All guest rooms are equipped with iPads with the PMN application and iRiS’ Guest Valet interactive guest services software installed. The PMN software lets guests control the in-room TV from the iPad, unifies and synchronizes the in-room TV and iPad.
The Radisson Edmonton South has become the first hotel in Canada to install Quadriga’s LobbyFriend temporary social network platform. Guests are provided with a PIN at check-in and can download the free LobbyFriend app to their mobile device for access to information such as local events, restaurant recommendations and hotel special offers. SilverBirch plans to make the app available at other properties across Canada.
(www.kempinski.com, www.silverbirchhotels.com, www.quadriga.com)
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Bittel Americas announced that it will unveil its UNO Media 4 unit at HITEC in June. An enhancement of the UNO Media 3 product (which features a charging station, multi-source audio player, alarm/clock/radio, and guestroom phone), the new unit adds an EasyCharge MFC (multi- function cable) with four connectors: Apple Lightning, Apple legacy (30 PIN), Micro USB and 3.5mm Audio. It also has two USB and audio ports, and senses the guest’s presence to automatically adjust its backlighting. Guests can also activate the snooze function or turn on the clock’s backlight with a wave of the hand, without having to touch any buttons. (www.bittelamericas.com)
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Intelity has integrated its ICE guest service software with Cenium. Guest check-in data will be sent directly from Cenium to ICE to enable more custom interaction with individual guests; POS integration will allow guests using ICE to place in-room dining orders from in-room or personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Integration with other Cenium modules is planned. (www.cenium.comwww.intelitycorp.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Adaco to unveil Analytics functionality at HITEC

Adaco will unveil its Analytics functionality for the Adaco.NET integrated purchasing and operational control system at HITEC. The SaaS Analytics module will give customers a three-dimensional view of their data, with preconfigured key performance indicator reports and dashboards. Hoteliers can customize views and distribute information upon request; data views include compliance, inventory metrics, product comparisons and full-spend analysis by vendor. Acquired in 2012 by Fourth, a London-based provider of labor, payroll, inventory and procurement systems, Adaco now serves as the operating base for Fourth USA. (www.adaco.com)
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