May 4, 2010
|In this issue…
People on the Move
Property Management Systems
Marketing / Management
Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning
F&B / POS
TOP O’ THE NEWS
- Hospitality Technology’s Hotel Visionary Awards reflect current trends
Reflecting the current industry focus in customer service, social connections, audit challenges and environmental practices, Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine presented its annual Hotel Visionary Awards to Courtyard by Marriott, JHM Hotels, and CityCenter.
Courtyard was chosen for the GoBoard interactive digital signage it has installed in its lobbies (with partners Microsoft and Four Winds Interactive), featuring live news feeds from USA TODAY, airport and area information, way-finding, maps via Microsoft Virtual Earth, the opportunity for guests to leave their own local restaurant and other reviews, and more. The combination of well-chosen information feeds and the involvement of guests in helping each other with personal recommendations has made the lobby far more of a social center.
JHM Hotels, owner-operator of 40 hotels under brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood, was selected for its implementation of an intelligent document management system that has enabled complete paperless invoicing and document storage. This has allowed it to eliminate storage costs and manage labor more efficiently, while providing full visibility into its financials for compliance and audits. With storage requirements rising exponentially, along with the need to keep massive amounts of data readily available to support financial and security audits and possible legal searches, the need for this approach is becoming as apparent to smaller operators such as JHM just as much as to major chains.
CityCenter was honored not only for its LEED certification and the extensive technological innovation throughout the complex, but for emphasizing the key role that partnerships played in the success of the project. These partnerships covered multiple hotel brands (most notably owners MGM MIRAGE and luxury hotel brand Mandarin Oriental) as well as technology vendors such as Control 4. Personally, given the number of architects, designers, construction companies, vendors and operators involved, as well as the unprecedented scale of the project and the impact of the unexpected financial crisis, I think the whole project management team deserves a standing ovation for bringing it to market at all.
- Ursula Rhode promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Genares
- Natasha Le Roux named Director of Sales, Americas /ASPAC for ZDirect
- Arne Riemers, Erik Dorr join iBAHN as Regional Directors of Sales
- PJ Calihan hired by TTI Technologies as VP of National Sales
- Jacob Buckstead joins Intelity as Vice President of Hospitality Sales
Ursula Rhode has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Genares. Previously Executive Vice President of Global Services, Ms. Rhode has over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry and previously worked at Lexington Services.
Natasha Le Roux has been named Director of Sales, Americas /ASPAC for ZDirect. Formerly with TravelCLICK, Ms. Le Roux brings 20 years of hospitality industry experience to her new position.
Arne Riemers and Erik Dorr have joined iBAHN as Regional Directors of Sales.
Mr. Riemers will cover the Mid-Atlantic Region. He comes to iBAHN with nearly ten years of experience in international hospitality technology sales with DOCOMO interTouch, INTER-TOUCH and VTECHdotCOM across the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Mr. Dorr will serve as Regional Director of Sales in the West. He brings more than a decade of experience in selling technology solutions to meetings and convention hotels with vendors such as SoftBrands, Newmarket International, Kronos, and Daylight Software, as well as experience in interactive site development and expertise in the casino and gaming industry. Mr. Dorr was most recently owner and founder of Open Dorr Strategies, a sales opportunity development organization for the hospitality technology industry.
PJ Calihan has been hired by TTI Technologies as VP of National Sales. In her extensive career in the hospitality industry, Ms. Calihan has been associated with several franchise chains and opened three hotels in a sales and marketing capacity.
Jacob Buckstead has joined Intelity as Vice President of Hospitality Sales. Mr. Buckstead most recently served as director of sales for Hotel Solutions USA, and was earlier director of business development and partner marketing for LodgeNet Interactive.
- Rodd Hotels & Resorts orders Northwind’s Maestro for nine resorts
- YMCA of The Rockies picks Northwind Maestro for two locations
- Skyware Hospitality releases interface with TTI Technologies’ Scan2PMS data capture system
- Delta Hotels and Resorts selects MICROS’ centrally-hosted OPERA Enterprise Solution for 45 properties
Rodd Hotels & Resorts has ordered Northwind’s Maestro Multi-Property Enterprise system for its nine resorts in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Implementation will include Front Office, Sales and Catering, GEM (Guest Experience Measurement), Analytics, and the ResWave online booking engine, and is scheduled to be completed in June 2010.
The YMCA of The Rockies has contracted with Northwind for implementation of its Maestro Multi-Property Enterprise system at its two locations, Snow Mountain Ranch and Estes Park Center. The two centers have capacity for over 4,500 guests in more than 10 lodges and 257 cabins, and provide professional conference facilities, family vacations, reunions and many recreational activities. Modules to be implemented by October 2010 include Maestro Multi-Property Management, Point of Sale, Sales & Catering, Membership Management, CRO and an interface to the properties’ activity scheduling system.
(www.roddhotelsandresorts.com, www.ymcarockies.org, www.maestropms.com)
Skyware Hospitality Solutions has released an interface with TTI Technologies’ Scan2PMS system, which allows hotels to capture information such as guest photo, name and address at check-in from drivers’ licenses, passports, etc. and incorporate it directly into Skyware’s PMS. (www.ttitel.com, www.skywaresystems.com)
Delta Hotels and Resorts has selected MICROS Systems’ centrally-hosted OPERA Enterprise Solution for its 45 properties across Canada. MICROS will host the entire central systems suite at its data center in McLean, Virginia, and will provide maintenance, processing, and data storage services. The project will be completed in two phases, starting with the move of Delta’s current OPERA Central Solution (which includes OPERA Reservation System, Customer Information System, Web Suite and Sales Force Automation) to the data center and followed by the implementation of OPERA Business Intelligence and Revenue Management System. (www.deltahotels.com, www.micros.com)
- Marriott signs distribution agreement with GTA by Travelport
- Open Hospitality releases interface with SoftBrands Epitome PMS
- Global Crew Logistics (GCL) launches new HotelTrak web-based hotel reservations tool
- Tripware releases MoBook mobile travel booking app for business travelers
- InterContinental launches Priority Club Rewards iPhone app
Marriott has signed a distribution agreement with GTA by Travelport to list property and room category content with GTA’s thousands of tour operator and travel agency customers. (www.marriott.com, www.gta-travel.com)
Open Hospitality has released an interface with SoftBrands Epitome Property Management System to allow website direct bookings to flow directly into Epitome. (www.infor.com/hospitality/, www.openhospitality.com)
Aviation industry corporate travel management company Global Crew Logistics (GCL) has launched its new web-based hotel reservations tool HotelTrak. Rollout to its 58 U.S.-based fixed-base operations (FBOs) for business and general aviation was completed in March; implementation throughout its network of international FBOs is under way. HotelTrak, a web-based application with a graphical-user interface to the Sabre reservation system, incorporates a customized hotel rate negotiation service and a dynamic reporting platform to let users analyze travel spend and recognize trends. (www.globalcrewlogistics.com)
Tripware has released MoBook, a mobile travel app for business travelers to book flights, hotels, and cars on an iPhone or iPad. MoBook complements Tripware’s OutBook, a plugin for Microsoft Outlook users, and DeskBook, a desktop app for travel arrangers. (www.tripware.com)
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has launched its Priority Club Rewards iPhone app, which allows members to find and book hotel rooms, check rates and view or cancel reservations for all seven of its brands. The app is now available in English at the iPhone app store; BlackBerry and Android versions will be released later this year. (www.ichotelsgroup.com)
- WatchMouse announces GeoBrand automated tool to detect brand name misuse in PPC advertising
- Denihan Hospitality Group’s The Surrey contracts with Libra OnDemand
- Carton House in Ireland selects ZDirect
- Trust International integrates TrustYou-Analytics into yourVoyager CRS
WatchMouse has announced GeoBrand, an automated tool to detect brand name misuse in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Yahoo!, Bing and Google in over 30 countries. GeoBrand checks search engine advertising programs offered by Yahoo!’s Sponsored Search, Google’s AdWords and Microsoft Bing’s Search Advertising services to identify brand keywords purchased by competitive companies with the goal of encouraging consumers to visit their website rather than the brand owner’s website. Reports by country and search engine provide brand managers with documentation to manage usage and search engine complaint procedures. (www.geo-brand.com)
Denihan Hospitality Group’s The Surrey hotel has contracted with Libra OnDemand for its on-line CRM system to provide a consolidated view of guest profile information, keep track of guest preferences, amenities, flags and specials, manage pre-arrival and during-stay guest services and track guest comment card responses (www.denihan.com, www.libraondemand.com)
The 165-room Carton House in Ireland has selected ZDirect’s electronic customer relationship platform to centralize its guest data and build loyalty with its customers. (www.cartonhouse.com, www.zdirect.com)
Trust International has integrated TrustYou-Analytics into its yourVoyager CRS, to provide hotel chains and single hotels with a complete, summarized overview of their online reputation (from statements made about them on message boards, blogs or other online sites such as tripadvisor.com) and actively manage social media and guest reviews. (http://analytics.trustyou.com, www.trustinternational.com)
- Marcus Hotels and Resorts orders EasyRMS for two properties
- Best Western France picks Interface Technologies’ ReservIT to optimize online distribution
- ChannelRUSH has added ReserveDirect to available distribution channels
- RateTiger launches Partner Program
- Marco Polo’s three hotel properties in Canton Road Hong Kong adopt IDeaS’ V5i
Marcus Hotels and Resorts has ordered Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Systems (EasyRMS) for two of its properties, the 307-room Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and the 355-room Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (formerly the original Playboy club just west of Chicago). Both properties are implementing the EzRMS Core Module, Ez-REGION and Ez-QUOTE, as well as extraction and upload interfaces to SMS Host V17 and upload interfaces for Newmarket Delphi. The Pfister Hotel also has the Pegasus NetRez upload. (www.marcuscorp.com, www.EasyRMS.com)
Best Western France has chosen Interface Technologies’ (IT’s) ReservIT system to optimize its members online distribution. The ReservIT Power Strip will let hotels manage their own websites, distributors and the Best Western International Central Reservation System through a single platform. (www.bestwestern.com, www.interface-tech.com)
ChannelRUSH has added ReserveDirect to its available channels for distribution management. (www.reservedirect.com, www.channelrush.com)
eRevMax’s RateTiger has launched a Partner Programme that allows online travel websites to become a more integral part of a hotel’s channel management decision process. Participating travel websites and OTAs will be able to utilise RateTiger’s Support Services for contract management, marketing activities and educational programmes. (www.ratetiger.com)
Marco Polo’s three hotel properties in Canton Road Hong Kong have adopted IDeaS’ V5i revenue management system for their combined 1,500-room operation. (www.marcopolohotels.com, www.ideas.com)
- Elite Meetings International rolls out SpeedRFP APEX-compliant online RFP system
- UniFocus announces version 3.0 of MEETINGScope
- PSAV Presentation Services and X2O Media awarded “Excellence in Content Design Award” at Digital Signage Expo
Elite Meetings International has rolled out SpeedRFP, a free-to-planners, APEX-compliant online RFP system which allows hotels to create a single RFP document and send it to multiple hotels, regardless of location or brand affiliation. Destination Hotels is one of the first launch customers. (www.destinationhotels.com, www.elitemeetings.com)
UniFocus has announced version 3.0 of its MEETINGScope Meeting Planner Feedback system. Enhancements include a Revenue at Risk analysis associated with a property’s performance for meetings and events, based on the event planner’s intent to return and recommend your facilities. Features include a dashboard display of the dollar amount of the revenue at risk, analysis of results by property, region, or market segment, a color-coded Event Timeline to determine what caused an event planner’s business to be at risk for future meetings/events, a list of reported Critical Issues, a Service Recovery Index showing how well the staff is solving issues by problem type, and Issue Analysis Reporting by property, region, or market segment. (www.unifocus.com)
PSAV Presentation Services and X2O Media were awarded the “Excellence in Content Design Award” at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, the second time they have been were recognized by DSE with a joint award; the companies received a similar honor in 2008. The 2010 award cites the collaboration of X2O Media’s data-driven content with PSAV’s interactive displays. (www.psav.com, www.x2omedia.com)
- MICROS receives 2010 Harrah’s Excellence in Innovation Award from UNLV
MICROS Systems has received the 2010 Harrah’s Excellence in Innovation Award by the Harrah Hospitality Research Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for its MICROS Simphony point-of-service enterprise system. The Award is given annually for an innovative breakthrough in the hospitality industry or for a continued commitment to pursuing innovative approaches to solving hospitality-related issues and problems. (http://hotel.unlv.edu, www.micros.com)
- HotelChatter releases annual Best Hotel WiFi and Worst Hotel WiFi lists
- Hilton San Diego Bayfront adopts GBCblue’s ORION and mobile GOrion
- Over 10,600 guest rooms in Las Vegas now access real-time flight information on Flyte Systems TV channel
- Holiday Inn Gaithersburg, Towneplace Suites in Fort Lauderdale pick EscapeWire for HDTV free-to-guest programming
- Uniguest named “Best in Business” by Nashville Business Journal
- Hilton announces wireless printing from guests’ BlackBerries at 1,300 hotels via PrinterOn, HP ePrint
- Marina Bay Sands, Singapore orders Harris Corp’s Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) system
- Red Roof completing national rollout of free Wi-Fi to all 350 locations
The HotelChatter Web site has released its annual Best Hotel WiFi and Worst Hotel WiFi lists for 2010. The top five Best companies were listed as:
1. Andaz Hotels, Hyatt Hotels’ boutique brand, for its free and reliable access despite having only a few hotels to date.
2. Standard Hotels from hotelier Andre Balazs, again for a free-access standard with simple connection.
3. Peninsula Hotels, cited as “a blissful exception” to the usual rule that high-end properties always charge for WiFi.
4. Holiday Inn Hotels, for nationwide presence with free, no-hassle access.
5. The Little Guys, the many smaller hotel collections that consistently offer free access. Examples cited include Ace Hotels (New York, Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs), Gansevoort Hotels (New York, Turks and Caicos), AKA Hotels (New York and Philadelphia), Desires Hotels (New York, Miami, San Juan, St. Louis and Milwaukee), Luxe Hotels (Beverly Hills and Los Angeles), Personality Hotels (San Francisco) and BD Hotels in New York which include The Bowery, The Maritime, The Jane and The Greenwich Hotel.
Also acknowledged for offering WiFi that “Always Free, All The Time” were
· Hotel Indigo Hotels
· Courtyard by Marriott Hotels
· Residence Inn Hotels
· Best Western Hotels
· Four Points by Sheraton
· Hyatt Place Hotels
· Element Hotels
· Aloft Hotels
· Red Roof Inns
· Hampton Inn Hotels
While chains that at least offer it free for frequent-guest club members included:
· Kimpton Hotels
· Joie de Vivre
· Omni Hotels
· Hyatt Hotels
· Fairmont Hotels
· Loews Hotels
So which hotels and chains made the Worst Hotel WiFi 2010 list? Well, you can find this at the Web site below. HotelChatter reports that there are still very many hotels and chains with confusing, inconsistent policies and unreliable access, which is even less forgivable when they charge for access.
The 1,190-room Hilton San Diego Bayfront has adopted GBCblue’s ORION and mobile GOrion guest-service platforms to let guests use their own web-enabled devices to order room service, bottle service, everyday amenities and chat online with staff, even when off property at the nearby San Diego Convention Center, PETCO Park or elsewhere. The property also launched its online guest-services portal and Odysea Lounge iPad app, both based on GBCblue’s ORION e-commerce platform. Guests can use any web-enabled device to order — or pre-order — room service, request room amenities, address maintenance concerns and request services such as valet and book local tours; they can use either a table-mounted Odysea iPad or download the Odysea Lounge app to their own iPhones/iPads. The ORION guest-services portal is also fully integrated with the hotel’s SynergyMMS maintenance management system, which allows guests to bypass the PBX and report maintenance concerns, request supplies or send a message directly to staff members such as a valet, as well as manage their stay by choosing green tasks like deferring linen changes. (www.HiltonBayfrontServices.com, www.GBCblue.com)
Guests at more than 10,600 guest rooms in Las Vegas, including the newly-unveiled CityCenter and several other hotels, can now access real-time flight departure information for McCarran International Airport on Flyte Systems’ FlyteChannel HD digital guestroom television channel. (www.citycenter.com, www.flytesystems.com)
The 300-room Holiday Inn Gaithersburg and 95-suite Towneplace Suites in Fort Lauderdale have selected EscapeWire Solutions as their preferred provider for HDTV free-to-guest programming. The hotels, owned and managed by the B. F. Saul Company, will install 32” HDTV’s in every guestroom along with EscapeWire’s DirecTV free-to-guest satellite service, with a minimum of 14 full HD channels within its 76 total channel lineup. Pay-per-view video services are no longer offered by either hotel. (www.higaithersburg.com, www.towneplacefortlauderdale.com, www.escapewire.com)
Uniguest has been named “Best in Business” by the Nashville Business Journal in the 26-100 employee category. (www.uniguest.com)
Hilton Worldwide announced the availability of wireless printing from guests’ BlackBerry smartphones at 1,300 hotels, using the HP ePrint mobile printing application and PrinterOn’s PrintSpots network. The document is printed after the guest releases it, using a secure release code. Thirty percent of the PrintSpots are located at hotels within Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio. (www.hiltonworldwide.com, www.printeron.com)
The Marina Bay Sands resort complex in Singapore has ordered Harris Corp’s Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) system, including several hundred InfoCaster Player content playout devices to provide resort information and advertising to customers. InfoCaster Creator software will handle content creation, and the InfoCaster Manager network management system will drive broadcast-quality video to screens and video walls in various parts of the resort. (www.marinabaysands.com , www.harris.com)
Red Roof is completing a national rollout of free Wi-Fi to all 350 of its locations this spring. (www.redroof.com)
- Telkonet unveils upgraded version of SS5200 SmartEnergy thermostat
Telkonet has unveiled an upgraded version of its SS5200 Telkonet SmartEnergy (TSE) energy management thermostat. Enhancements include:
• Increased options involving deep setback modes
• Freeze and overheat protection trip point that overrides set point/mode
• Increased Building Management System (BMS) integration
• Field selectable wireless transmitting power levels
• Modular radio board for easy upgrades
In addition to an expanded wireless communication range, the SS5200 also includes the option for a wired Ethernet port.