May 27, 2015

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure


MAY 7 – 27, 2015


  • HITEC: preparation is critical
  • HTNG releases two new spec

Need I remind anyone that HITEC is only two weeks away? This year in HFTP’s home city of Austin, it promises to be bigger than ever, with all the usual impossible challenge of trying to cover everything in only three days. Whether you’re looking for new systems and vendors to see where the industry might be going or checking in with established contacts to see what new enhancements they have, the two critical parts of pre-event planning haven’t changed at all. They are:
1. Go through the HITEC Web site and floor plan now ( to identify which vendors are highest on your priority list, where to find them and how to get from one to the next. Despite our annually unrealistic hopes and efforts we can never see all the booths with anything like enough time to understand what the vendors are offering. After you’ve checked off your top priority list, then you can wander the aisles looking for the new and unexpected. There’s always something fascinating and thought-provoking, but look for it only after you’ve covered your main reasons for going.
2. Make appointments with every vendor contact you want to talk to. Their time is in incredibly high demand every year, and without an appointment you have zero chance of finding the person you really want to see. They may not even be on the floor; several vendors have conference rooms in the Convention Center to offer a quieter, more focused environment than the zoo of the booths. Make sure that the vendor’s conference room is actually in the Center, though; while a hotel suite is always a nicer environment, the time you’ll spend getting to and from the hotel will take an extra 30 minutes out of your schedule, and when things are this tight very few can afford that.
What to look for this year? Mobility will probably still be the fastest-developing area, for both guest-facing and staff-oriented apps, and it’ll be fascinating to see who’s come up with innovative combinations of data and services in the most appealing way to become a new standard. Every vendor will certainly be offering a remotely-hosted configuration for its products, even those which aren’t natively designed for a cloud architecture, and of course data and personal information security is a never-ending field of change as black hats and vendors try to outwit each other. And even with only two weeks to go, we can never rule out some last-minute announcements of takeovers or vendor consolidation.
See you in Austin!
HTNG has released two Web Services specification as its 2015A cycle, one new and one enhanced:
– Virtual Payment Cards Version 1.0, a unified approach to handling Virtual (single-use) Payment Card information, procedures for issuing, modifying and canceling them, identifying reservations that contain them, streamlining their processing and providing a standard set of roles/participants for the exchange of data
– Event Notification Version 3.0 enhancements include a way for subscribers to determine the status of a subscription using a subscription ID, and improved implementation Notes to ease implementation and to improve consistency.

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  • Scot Campbell, Michael Schubach to be inducted to HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
  • Ken Barnes joining GuestTek as SVP Client Relations
  • Joseph Flynn hired by Rainmaker as VP Sales, Gaming and Hospitality
  • Stephanie Hall, Ben Parks join Duetto as Sales Directors for Global Casino Accounts
  • Rory Fagan  promoted to Duetto’s VP Casino Accounts
  • Laurent Cardot, CEO of Ariane Systems, relocates to Washington D.C. area
  • Frank Pitsikalis selected as a Canadian Ambassadors for Global Wellness Day 2015
  • Jeff Kays promoted to SVP of Strategic Initiatives and Transformation at Sabre
  • Raman P. “R.P.” Rama, Jason Shane, Martin Stanton join HTNG Board of Governors

Scot Campbell, CHTP and Michael Schubach, CHAE, CHTP are this year’s inductees to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame.
– Mr. Campbell is currently Vice President of IT Connectivity & Communications for Caesars Entertainment. An early career in radio broadcasting took him to Las Vegas, Nev., where he became an IT employee at Mirage Resorts, working on centralization of the resorts’ IT operations. He helped create their first centralized help desk and remote command center, and set up a discipline-based departmental structure that’s still in use. Most notably, Mr. Campbell was responsible for opening MGM’s CityCenter in Las Vegas, an $8.5 billion dollar multi-brand resort. The in-room automation deployed at CityCenter remains one of the most technologically advanced resorts in the United States. Outside of work, Mr. Campbell is very active in his community as a Christian youth minister and serves on the international board of directors for LifeTeen International. Currently a director on HFTP’s Global Board, Mr. Campbell is slated to become HFTP’s Global Secretary this fall.
– Michael Schubach is currently a hotel technology consultant after a long career in both hospitality accounting and technology. While with L’Ermitage Hotels of Beverly Hills in 1983, he founded the Educational Services Group (ESG), which went on to become the exclusive installation team for Computerized Lodging Systems (CLS). During a decade with CLS, Mr. Schubach supervised more than 2,500 PMS installations worldwide, participating in more than 200 of them personally. He later served for more than a decade as vice president of resort technology for ClubCorp, overseeing the IT efforts for five major destination resorts, as well as the technology requirements for the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Open golf championships at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C. In 2008, Mr. Schubach joined the Trump Hotel Collection as their Chief Information Officer; he has also had highly productive careers with vendors Micros and Visual One/Agilysys. He speaks regularly at HFTP events and has been published in every issue of Hospitality Upgrade magazine for the past 15 years.
Ken Barnes is joining GuestTek as Senior VP of Client Relations. Mr. Barnes most recently served over 20 years with White Lodging Services in various accounting and IT roles culminating in VP of Information Technology.
Joseph Flynn has been hired by Rainmaker as Vice President of Sales, Gaming and Hospitality.  Mr. Flynn has over 20 years of hospitality technology experience, gained with vendors that include Newmarket International and Hotel Information Systems (Softbrands, now part of Infor).
Stephanie Hall has joined Duetto as Sales Director for Global Casino Accounts. Ms. Hall comes to Duetto after more than a decade of management experience at SAS focusing on revenue management and customer intelligence for hospitality and gaming customers. She had earlier held managerial positions at Nortel Networks and Cintech Solutions.
Ben Parks has also joined Duetto as Sales Director for Global Casino Accounts. With close to 20 years in the gaming industry as a creator of national sales and marketing programs, Mr. Parks served most recently with Teradata. He previously held property and corporate positions at Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars), management positions at TableMAX Gaming, Progressive Gaming International and American Casino & Entertainment Properties, among others.
Rory Fagan has been promoted to Duetto’s Vice President of Casino Accounts. Prior to joining Duetto in April last year, he led SAS’ sales efforts in the hospitality and gaming market, and had earlier held sales management positions at PROS, Hertz, United Airlines and Sabre.
Laurent Cardot, CEO of Ariane Systems, has relocated to the Washington D.C. as a way to increase the company’s focus on the North American market. Co-founder Michel Lavandier will remain President and will oversee all EMEA operations, while Miles Gaudoin, currently Managing Director of Northern Europe, will step up as Head of Sales for EMEA.
Frank Pitsikalis, Founder and CEO of ResortSuite, has been selected as one of two Canadian Ambassadors for Global Wellness Day 2015, a volunteer social project and campaign that aspires to spread awareness and education on the importance of good nutrition, exercise and living well.
Jeff Kays has been promoted to SVP of Strategic Initiatives and Transformation at Sabre Corp to lead account management for Hospitality Solutions enterprise customers. Mr. Kays joined Sabre in 2014, overseeing strategic initiatives in the technology group. He had earlier spent 24 years at Accenture in its Outsourcing and Global Business Shared Services organizations, most recently as Managing Director – Outsourcing Account Delivery, leading Accenture’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services across the Products industry for North America.
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has added three new members to its Board of Governors.
– Raman P. “R.P.” Rama, co-owner, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Officer of JHM Hotels.
– Jason Shane, Senior Director of IT at Hersha Hospitality.
– Martin F. Stanton, Chief Information Officer for Lowe Enterprises / Destination Hotels.

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  • Halcyon House implements protel’s SPE, Xn POS from Xn Hotel Systems
  • RMS Hospitality Solutions enhances “Hospitality Cloud” (RMS 9+)
  • Ariane Systems pursuing increased integration with North American vendors
  • My Place Hotel in Aberdeen, South Dakota becomes 100th installation of MSI CloudPM
  • Martin Resorts selects RoomKeyPMS for five properties in California

The 21-room Halcyon House at Cabarita Beach, New South Wales Australia, has implemented protel’s Single Property Edition and Xn Point-Of-Sale system, from Xn Hotel Systems. (,
Australia’s RMS Hospitality Solutions is launching an enhanced version of its HTML5-based “Hospitality Cloud” (also known as RMS 9+). The suite includes PMS, channel management, guest marketing, business intelligence, tour desk and more. Enhancements include the ability to schedule reports via e-mail, a digital dashboard, electronic registration cards and guest surveys. (
Ariane Systems is increasing its focus on the North American market by actively pursuing integration with North American vendors. Already integrated with keycard vendors VingCard Elsafe, Kaba Ilco/Saflok, Onity and SALTO, payment service providers including Merchant Link, Shift4, SIX Payment Services, Ingenico Group and Verifone, and PMS vendors such as Oracle Hospitality, PAR Springer Miller, Cenium and Infor, Ariane is also developing partnerships with brands such as Guestdriven, iRis Software Solutions, Nor1, Runtriz and StaynTouch. (
My Place Hotel in Aberdeen, South Dakota has become the 100th installation of Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) CloudPM. (,
Martin Resorts has selected RoomKeyPMS for its five properties on the California coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. (,

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  • Sabre acquiring Asia-Pacific GDS Abacus International
  • Sabre integrates Triptease’s Price Check widget with SynXis Booking Engine
  • Sabre launches SynXis Booking Engine in-context suite
  • Sorell Hotels Switzerland transferring 17 hotels to Trust International

Sabre Corp is acquiring Asia-Pacific GDS Abacus International. Sabre currently owns a 35% stake in the company, the balance held by a consortium of 11 Asian airlines.
Sabre has integrated Triptease’s Price Check widget with its SynXis Booking Engine, allowing hotels using SynXis to display the Price Check smart widget on their websites to display prices from across the web in real-time. It goal is to reduce uncertainty surrounding a hotel’s direct price, saving consumers research time and giving them the confidence to book direct.
Sabre has launched its SynXis Booking Engine in-context suite, which integrates intelligent booking capabilities throughout the hotel’s website to offer travelers more booking options. Online shoppers will have direct access to live rates, availability and booking from multiple areas of the site, such as the special offers section or photo gallery, allowing them to book a seaside view or a particular suite from the hotel’s web site photo gallery.
Sorell Hotels Switzerland is transferring its 17 hotels to Trust International’s hotel distribution services by August 2015. Sorell will use Trust’s GuestBooker Internet Booking Engine on its website, and will implement Trust interfaces with its Opera Property Management System and IDeaS Revenue Management System. (,

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  • WebHotelier integrates Revinate suite into its dashboard
  • Hospitality Associates picks Leonardo Worldwide’s Vizlly digital marketing for 22 properties
  • Tourism & Hospitality Association of Guyana selects Regatta Travel Solutions for its booking engine
  • LeisureLink partners with Regatta Travel Solutions
  • Milestone Internet Marketing releases NAPtune local listings management tool
  • Lotte Hotels & Resorts offers TrustYou reputation management tools to 21 properties
  • integrates TrustYou Meta-Reviews into its booking engine
  • HeBS Digital’s smartCMS again a finalist in 2015 American Business Awards
  • CIO Review recognizes Cendyn/ONE

WebHotelier, a booking engine and channel manager for over 3,000 properties in Greece, Turkey, and Italy, has integrated Revinate’s hotel Reputation Management Suite into the WebHotelier dashboard. (,
Hospitality Associates has selected Leonardo Worldwide’s Vizlly multi-channel digital marketing system for its 22 properties. Hospitality Associates will use Vizlly to manage all of its digital marketing, including creating and managing property websites, mobile sites, multi-media Facebook apps and digital brochures for third-party travel channels. (,
The Tourism & Hospitality Association of Guyana has selected Regatta Travel Solutions to power the booking engine on its destination website, allowing visitors to search for and book accommodations in Guyana.
LeisureLink has partnered with Regatta Travel Solutions to present a more complete solution to those Destination Marketing Organizations that represent both hotels and vacation rentals. The first joint project will be in Barbados, where LeisureLink will upgrade the villa and vacation rental component of the project, allowing visitors to book, hotels, villas, vacation rentals, attractions and bundled packages online.
Milestone Internet Marketing has released NAPtune, a SaaS-based local listings management tool for the hospitality industry. NAPtune allows hotels and restaurants to keep consistent business information (including URL, Name, Address, and Phone Number – NAP) across their local eco-system of directories, data-aggregators and Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), resulting in better visibility on search engines. (
Lotte Hotels & Resorts now offers TrustYou reputation management tools to its 21 properties. has integrated TrustYou Meta-Reviews into its booking engine.
HeBS Digital’s announced that its proprietary smartCMS has again been named a finalist in the Best Software Programming/Design category in the 2015 American Business Awards. (
CIO Review’s Travel and Hospitality special edition has recognized Cendyn/ONE as one of the ’20 Most Promising Travel and Hospitality Solutions Providers’ for 2015. (

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  • Duetto’s GameChanger recognized by Casino Journal and Casino Enterprise Management magazines
  • Your Hotels Worldwide adds eRevMax  connectivity module for 65 hotels
  • Priceline acquires PriceMatch

Duetto’s GameChanger revenue strategy application has won a Top 20 Most Innovative Technology award from Casino Journal magazine and a Hospitality Operations Technology (HOT) award in Revenue Generation from Casino Enterprise Management magazine. (
Sweden-based Your Hotels Worldwide has extended its relationship with eRevMax by implementing its connectivity module for data transfer between its property management system and online sales channels.  All 65 properties currently use eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager; they are located in Sweden, Norway, UK, Germany and Austria. (,
The Priceline Group has acquired PriceMatch, and will incorporate the company into its BookingSuite division alongside Buuteeq and Hotel Ninjas. PriceMatch itself had recently acquired revenue manager PowerYourRoom. (,

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  • AllSeated releases free app to help event planners produce guest lists, scaled floor plans and seating arrangements
  • Newmarket awarded Achievement of Customer Excellence by Confirmit for 9th year
  • Groupize  launches Instant Bookings on and on affiliate sites
  • VirtualHotel (formerly Cardola) announces multi-property VirtualHotel for Groups
  • Ritz-Carlton launches ((Chime)) mobile app for meeting planners
  • Cvent acquires SignUp4

AllSeated has released a free app to help event planners produce guest lists, scaled floor plans and seating arrangements in an online collaboration application intended to link venues, event planners, vendors and event hosts. Functionality includes management of the floor plan, table layouts, guest list, seating arrangements and the operational setup of an event. (
Newmarket has been awarded an Achievement of Customer Excellence by Confirmit for the 9th year in a row. (
Groupize has launched Instant Bookings on and on the affiliate sites powered by its white label solution. (
VirtualHotel (formerly Cardola) has announced VirtualHotel for Groups, a mobile application for multi-property/multi-brand portfolios that helps them promote their entire portfolio in a single app. Travelers can use the app (available for iOS and Android) to select a hotel by Region, Experience or just “Near Me.” (
Ritz-Carlton has launched its typographically-challenged mobile app ((Chime)) for meeting planners, to help them communicate with their conference concierge to make service requests, food and beverage changes, audio visual requests, in-room temperature changes, room set-up and scheduling alterations and many other options. A text feature allows meeting planners to give specific and unique instructions during a meeting; the app is available in 20 languages. (
Cvent has acquired Atlanta-based meeting planning software provider SignUp4. SignUp4 will become a subsidiary of Cvent Atlanta. (,

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  • TripAdvisor acquires Australian restaurant booking platform Dimmi

TripAdvisor has acquired Australian restaurant booking platform, Dimmi, which will be incorporated into its restaurant division, TheFork. The companies have been partners since 2012, when Dimmi powered TripAdvisor’s restaurant bookings on its website and app. (,

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  • Marriott deploying streaming applications to guestrooms, including Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Crackle
  • Marriott adds “ask anything” Mobile Request two-way chat option to branded mobile app
  • Happiness Brussels sets up Shadow Wifi System – free WiFi but only in the shade on Playa Agua Dulce in Peru
  • Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport installs shade canopy with solar-powered personal- device re-charging points
  • Choice Hotels designates Cambria Hotel and Suites, Rockville, its technology test bed
  • Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel installs FlyteBoard
  • Bartech enhances eDrawer minibar series
  • Hotel Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre picks MCOM’s HOTstream in-room entertainment and TV channel service
  • The Line Hotel, Los Angeles, adopts Go Moment’s Rev1 guest engagement app, powered by IBM’s Watson

Marriott has begun deploying a suite of streaming applications to its higher-end guestroom Enseo set-top boxes and televisions, including Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus and Crackle.
Marriott Hotels has added an “ask anything” Mobile Request option to its branded mobile app, for loyalty-program members’ use before, during or after a stay. Beyond basic requests such as ordering bedding, housekeeping, valet and luggage, a direct two-way chat function called “Anything Else?” connects the guest directly with a staff member. Access to the app begins up to 72 hours before a traveler’s stay in the hotel.
First we had shadow IT, now we have shadow WiFi. Happiness Brussels, together with the Peruvian League Against Cancer, has set up its first Shadow Wifi System on Playa Agua Dulce in Peru, with the goal of educating people about the dangers of overexposure to the sun by luring them into the shade with free WiFi. The large blue structure provides free WiFI but it is only available in the shade, using a directional antenna and a sensor mounted on a rotational device: as the sun moves and the system’s shadow shifts, so does the network. Before users can access the Wifi, they are taken to a landing page with reminders about the dangers of skin cancer and over exposure to the sun, and must then register, prompting an email containing more information. It’ll be interesting to see whether people’s desire for free WiFi overcomes these minor hassles, but it’s probably also an inducement that being in the shadow may be the only place they can see their screens… (
Speaking of which, the Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport has installed a custom designed solar canopy from Sistine Solar to let guests and locals relax in the shade as they recharge their devices through the power of sunlight. The canopy also has integrated LEDs that allow for nighttime illumination. (,
Choice Hotels International has designated the new 140-room Cambria Hotel and Suites in Rockville, across the road from Choice headquarters, as its technology test bed. All guest rooms have digital locks that can work with key cards or via phone; the company expects to begin testing the keyless program with its rewards program members later this year. The rooms are also equipped with bathroom mirrors with built-in speakers and Bluetooth, allowing guests to play their own music while getting ready. Room TVs will allow guests to stream Netflix, Hulu or other video streaming services from their own devices. (
The 295-room Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard to help guests stay aware of their flights and hotel staff pick up arriving airline crews. (,
Bartech has announced an enhancement to its eDrawer minibar series, including a customizable doorplate which allows properties to tailor the unit to their own specifications and design needs with any finish and a choice of materials. The eDrawer can directly monitor and post guest charges to a property’s PMS, features automatic expiration date management and comes with remote in-room controls. (
The Hotel Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre has selected MCOM’s HOTstream in-room entertainment and TV channel service, which uses Hotel Smart LED TVs without needing set-top boxes. The hotel also upgraded signal quality by replacing its existing analog distribution with MCOM HOTstream’s IPTV technology. (,,
The Line Hotel in Los Angeles has adopted Go Moment’s Rev1 mobile guest engagement application, powered by IBM’s Watson natural-language processing and Q&A capabilities. Designed to assist front desk and concierge staff in managing guest inquiries, housekeeping requests and more, Rev1 allows guests to ask questions from finding nearby attractions to ordering in-room dining in simple language and receive a response within seconds. (,

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  • Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay installs Newmarket’s REX Room Expeditor from McLaren Technologies
  • Invotech appoints new resellers in Mid-East, South America
  • InvoTech announces four new international clients
  • HTNG releases Virtual Payment Cards Specification
  • Mobile Simple’s ABreez wins a first place prize in Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest

The Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay has installed Newmarket International’s REX (Room Expeditor) from McLaren Technologies, following grant approval from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) as part of its initiative to increase productivity across Singapore’s hotel industry via new technology applications. (,,
InvoTech has appointed InfoScape Technologies LLC in Dubai as an authorized reseller in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and India.
InvoTech also added a reseller for South America, based in Chile.
InvoTech announced four new international clients: Palace Resorts Jamaica, Four Seasons Seoul, Meraas Bollywood Dubai, and Fairmont Abu Dhabi.
HTNG has released its Virtual Payment Cards Specification, which provides a standard mechanism for hotels to distinguish virtual cards from traditional cards and handle them more efficiently. Virtual credit cards are commonly used by Online Travel Agents (OTA) to pay hotels for pre-paid or merchant bookings, and are becoming more popular with Global Distribution Systems for corporate travel and with hotel chains to pay their hotels for pre-paid bookings on the brand website. There is currently no systematic way to differentiate a virtual card from a standard card based on the reservation information, and the business rules related to each payment are currently communicated through off-line faxes and emails. The new Specification aims to eliminate the need to send faxes or emails and to make it much easier for hotels to accept this type of payment. ( Payment Cards)
Mobile Simple’s ABreez cloud-based mobile minibar management application was awarded a first place prize in the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest, an annual contest designed to mobilize the strength of educational, economic, and social networks in the 17 regions of Québec. (

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  • Fourth introducing web ordering application

Fourth is introducing its web ordering application for full- and select-service hotels, combining a consumer-style purchasing tool, a community forum for collaboration between brand operators and behavioral analytics identifying trends. (

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  • Thing5 acquires HTS
  • Cetis appoints GreenfieldTech its distributor in Israel
  • Marriott Annapolis Waterfront Hotel picks Teledex E Series micro-footprint phones for its 150 guest rooms

Thing5 has acquired HTS, a guest Internet service provider largely focused on full service properties. It recently also purchased guest Internet service provider Innflux. HTS users will be transitioned to Thing5’s in-house support platform. HTS will augment Thing5’s hospitality IP phone solution and existing HSIA footprint, predominantly in the full service hotel segment. HTS has over 100 HSIA deployments throughout the US, across all sizes and classes of hotels. (,
Cetis has appointed GreenfieldTech as its distributor in Israel. Greenfield Technologies Ltd was established in April 2007 as a consulting and development firm, focusing on high-end open source services to the hi-tech industry in Israel.
The Marriott Annapolis Waterfront Hotel in Annapolis, MD has selected Teledex E Series micro-footprint hotel phones for its 150 guest rooms. The Teledex E Series E100-4GSK single-line analog corded speakerphones feature 4 programmable guest service keys and OneTouch voicemail retrieval.

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  • ASSA ABLOY Hospitality announces Hospitality Mobile Access mobile phone-based keyless entry application

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality (VingCard Elsafe) has announced its Hospitality Mobile Access mobile phone-based keyless entry application for hotels. Already implemented in over 100 properties worldwide, Mobile Access allows hotel guests to bypass the front desk and use their own mobile phone or device to securely access their assigned guestroom. Hospitality Mobile Access is powered by Seos, a multi-platform ecosystem for issuing, delivering and revoking digital keys across a broad range of smart devices, including mobile phones, micro-processor cards and wearables such as smart watches. Mobile Access technology works with all VingCard locks. (

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