May 5, 2009

In this issue…

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Being “green” is a mindset, not just a technology approach
  • Why don’t more software vendors support energy-saving virtualization?

It’s encouraging to see that “green” thinking continues to gain traction in hotels. Being green isn’t only about the technology, of course, it’s also a mindset. For example, Marriott has been ranked #11 on Computerworld magazine’s “Top 12 Green IT Companies” list, the second time it’s made this list. While some significant energy savings were achieved through technology (see full story under “Engineering”, below) Marriott also made noticeable improvements through some simple, manual steps.
Not everyone has a need to reduce cooling costs by building a data center 220 feet underground, but everyone can have their security guards check thermostats on their daily rounds and make sure they’re set a few degrees higher.
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One of the bigger gains Marriott found was through implementing virtual servers, which cut down the number of physical servers it needed by 53%, saving $3.7 million in 2008 alone. OK, that’s still a lot of servers, but most hotels can achieve noticeable energy savings by running several software applications on fewer, virtualized servers. Disappointingly, though, many major hospitality system vendors still don’t approve their software running this way.
Why not, folks? It’s a proven technique, nothing bleeding edge about it, saves hardware, energy costs and computer room space, and seems to cut down support effort too. At a time when every hotel out there is trying to save costs everywhere, it would really help to make this a more commonplace configuration.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • CMS Computers appointed sole reseller of TTI’s Scan2PMS in India

CMS Computers has been appointed the sole reseller of TTI Technologies International’s Scan2PMS technology in India. Scan2PMS captures guest information from a driver’s license or passport at check-in and downloads the data into the hotel’s property-management system. CMS will manage sales, installation and support of the TTI business. (www.cms.com, www.ttitel.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Best Western makes all North American, Caribbean locations downloadable to GPS devices
  • Genares signs with EZYield for PMS connectivity and reservation delivery
  • Sol Meliá Vacation Club signs with LeisureLink for rental inventory distribution
  • Accor implements OTA-compliant direct connection to both Galileo and Worldspan
  • Accor upgrades connectivity on both Galileo and Worldspan to “Seamless Next Generation
  • boo.com links with Eventful.com’s database of 5 million+ events worldwide

Best Western has made all of its North American and Caribbean hotel locations available for download to GPS devices from the Internet, courtesy of GPS and online mapping site POIfriend.com. (www.bestwestern.com)
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Genares has contracted with EZYield for property management system (PMS) connectivity and reservation delivery connections to its GDS and CRS clients. (www.ezyield.com, www.genares.com)
Orlando-based Sol Meliá Vacation Club has signed a new agreement with LeisureLink to use its Demand Management System to distribute rental inventory to consumers and travel agents through web partners, travel agents, and its’ own consumer channel, ABetterStay.com (www.smvc.com, www.leisurelink.com)
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Accor has implemented an OTA-compliant direct connection to both of Travelport’s GDS platforms, Galileo and Worldspan. This will let Accor reduce its distribution costs by removing intermediary switch company fees and supporting a single connection to both platforms. Travelport GDS-connected travel agents are also expected to see significant improvements in response times and to have more efficient purchasing functionality.
Accor Hotels has also upgraded its connectivity on both Galileo and Worldspan to “Seamless Next Generation”, letting agents see real-time rates and availability for all hotels coming from Accor’s own central reservation system. (www.accor.com, www.travelport.com)
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European travel review site www.boo.com has established links with Eventful.com’s database of over 5 million events, worldwide. Events are grouped in categories including music, concerts, sporting events, theatre, festivals, parades and others, with data on venue, event descriptions, dates and times, information about the performers and photos. (www.eventful.com, www.boo.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Real Hotels & Resorts to use UniFocus’ SERVICEScope for 17 properties
  • Marriott extends TravelCLICK Hotelligence reports to 150 select service, extended stay properties
  • Travelport GDS launches Featured Property priority placement for Worldspan GDS
  • ZDirect releases ZMail Mobile Pages to format emails for mobile devices
  • Genares offers VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure Online Merchandising System to client properties

El Salvador-based Real Hotels & Resorts will use UniFocus’ SERVICEScope evaluations for its 17 properties in Central and North America, which carry flags from hotel companies such as InterContinental, Choice and Marriott. (www.realhotelsandresorts.com, www.unifocus.com)
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Marriott International has extended its agreement with TravelCLICK to include TravelCLICK Hotelligence reports for 150 of its select service and extended stay properties, which include Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites. The contract now gives Marriott the option to expand its implementation to other select service and extended stay hotels; it already supports the use of Hotelligence at its full service and independently owned and/or operated properties worldwide. (www.marriott.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Travelport GDS has launched Featured Property priority placement for its Worldspan GDS, letting hotels and resorts improve their placement in search results and promote their property during the travel agent booking process. (www.travelport.com)
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ZDirect has released its ZMail Mobile Pages functionality, which formats scheduled or event-driven emails such as hotel confirmations, pre-arrivals, thank you and other auto-responders for proper display on mobile devices such as a Blackberry or iPhone. (www.zdirect.com)
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Genares has added VFM Leonardo’s new VBrochure Online Merchandising System to the VScape Digital Asset Management System it already offers its client properties for photo distribution. VBrochure can enhance online hotel listings with rich media such as videos and virtual tours. (www.genares.com, www.vfmleonardo.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Rainmaker released revolution v1.6, integrates marketing promotions, events into demand forecasting and pricing optimization
  • Rainmaker now a Microsoft Certified Partner for hotel gaming industry solutions
  • SAS integrating IDeaS revenue management with its customer analytics, campaign management
  • SynXis in joint development with EZYield for 2-way integration with EZYield’s channel management

The Rainmaker Group has released Version 1.6 of its revolution Product Suite, which now integrates marketing promotions, events and other factors into its demand forecasting and pricing optimization.
The Rainmaker Group has been approved by Microsoft as a Certified Partner for hotel gaming industry solutions.
(www.letitrain.com)
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SAS announced that it is developing closer integration of the revenue management capabilities of its IDeaS subsidiary with its own customer analytics and campaign management capabilities. (www.ideas.com)
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SynXis announced a Technology Partnership Program with EZYield to produce seamless 2-way integration with EZYield’s channel management application with joint development, service, and support. (www.synxis.com, www.ezyield.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Millennium partners with Cvent
  • LodgeNet releases Conference Manager for control of meeting room network resources
  • Sol Meliá implements Delphi at Meliá Milano

Millennium Hotels and Resorts has announced that it has partnered with Cvent to showcase exclusive planner promotions targeted at meeting planners who use the Cvent Supplier Network to send electronic RFPs. (www.millenniumhotels.com, www.cvent.com)
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LodgeNet Interactive has released its LodgeNet Conference Manager for control of the network resources for hotel meeting rooms and stand-alone convention center facilities. A Web-based interface lets staff schedule conferences, dedicate and manage port-level bandwidth for specific groups, personalize network naming conventions, create custom passwords, assign public or private IP addresses and more. Pricing is on a monthly support fee model based on the facility’s square footage. (www.lodgenet.com)
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Sol Meliá has implemented Newmarket International’s Delphi sales and catering system at Meliá Milano, its 5-star hotel in Milan, which has over 288 rooms and 13 meeting rooms. (www.solmelia.com , www.newmarketinc.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Great Wolf Resorts orders Capton’s Beverage Tracker for selected locations
  • Panasonic approves new Stingray POS workstation for seven more POS systems

Great Wolf Resorts has ordered Capton’s Beverage Tracker for implementation in selected Great Wolf Lodge locations. Great Wolf owns and/or manages 12 locations under the Great Wolf Lodge and Blue Harbor Resort brands. (www.captoninc.com)
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Panasonic System Solutions has approved its new Stingray POS workstation for use with an additional seven POS / management software systems, including Aldelo, Documentor Pro, Infospec Systems, Intura Solutions, Micro$ale POS, SoftTouch POS and XProtean. (www.panasonic.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • MTech integrates HotSOS with Ascom’s UNITE Messaging
  • Guest-Tek providing Internet service and support to 68 hotels previously using Sprint Nextel
  • The Hotel Networks announces new promotional marketing platform
  • Empire Hotel Group deploys BNS RoomWise HD-IPTV at new hotel in Causeway Bay district
  • Otrum releases new Otrum Cinema in-room video option

MTech has integrated its HotSOS service order capability with Ascom’s UNITE Messaging Suite for sending messages and alerts to mobile employees throughout the hotel. The two-way link sends HotSOS service orders directly to an Ascom wireless handset, letting users respond with the service order status via programmed soft keys on the handset. (www.ascomwireless.com, www.m-tech.com)
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Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment is now providing Internet service and support services to 68 hotel properties which previously used Sprint Nextel, which has discontinued its services. Guest-Tek has now picked up 80 percent of the former Sprint Nextel properties. (www.guest-tek.com)
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LodgeNet subsidiary The Hotel Networks (THN) has announced a new promotional marketing platform which includes working with advertisers and brands to create custom 360-degree coverage with the attributes of cable television, out-of-home, interactive and promotional marketing. These programs utilize THN’s SuperBlock (commercial ad inventory on 10 top cable channels provided in the hotel room) and FreeViews platforms (innovative on demand content/advertising through the hotel’s video on demand [VOD] system), combined with promotional marketing opportunities. (www.thehotelnetworks.com)
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Hong Kong’s Empire Hotel Group has deployed BNS RoomWise HD-IPTV in-room entertainment at its new 284-room hotel in the Causeway Bay district. The system provides 26 local and international HD and SD channels and VoD services, using next generation user interactivity features based on HD IP-STB technology. Services offered include real time flight information, weather, room service, HD TV games, local map and points of interest, housekeeping mode, express check out, folio review, world time and TV alarm, TV messaging and others, and integrates with the hotel’s Property Management Systems (PMS). (www.empirehotelsandresorts.com)
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Otrum has released its new Otrum Cinema in-room video option, which allows the hotel to offer existing premium TV channels to guests on a pay-per-day basis while also providing movies as a pay-per-view option. (www.otrum.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Mintek announces Trancendent Web-based system to help asset management, CAPEX planning, etc.
  • Green Island Country Club orders ClubPay’s payroll and HR management services

Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has announced its new Trancendent Web-based system that helps hotel owners and operators manage asset management, capital expenditure (CAPEX) planning, document/contract management, work orders and preventive maintenance for one or multiple properties. An Asset Tree within Transcendent allows assets to be organized by property, region or company. Transcendent’s Inspection Master manages and monitors scheduled inspections via Motorola’s MC Series of color-screen handheld devices and bar codes placed on every item needing a PM. Scanning a bar code displays that items service instructions and records completion of the work. (www.mintek.com)
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Green Island Country Club of Columbus, GA has ordered ClubPay’s payroll and HR management services, which are provided on a “software as a service” platform. (www.clubpayroll.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh picks Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System for inventory and procurement operations. The property, which is scheduled to open in August 2009, will use SWS’ inventory, purchasing, recipe/menu analysis and barcode modules and will include 3,000 slot machines, four restaurants, live entertainment and a 1,000-seat amphitheatre. Future plans include additional entertainment and dining venues, a 300-room hotel and a multi-purpose event room to accommodate 2,500 guests. (thepittsburghcasino.com, www.agilysys.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Marriott among Computerworld’s “Top 12 Green IT Companies” for second year
  • Mintek announces new Trancendent Web-based PM, work order system
  • Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch installs INNCOM in all rooms

Marriott International has been ranked #11 on Computerworld magazine’s “Top 12 Green IT Companies” list, the second year it has been recognized. Major factors include:
– a new data center 220 feet underground that takes advantage of the naturally cool environment to reduce power consumption by half
– raising its air-conditioning temperatures 10% to 15% by having the security guards monitor the thermostats as part of their daily rounds.
– server virtualization, which has reduced the number of its servers by 53% and provided savings of $3.7 million in 2008.
– maintaining constant power consumption despite a 27% increase in processing power and 32% growth in DASD volume, thanks to server virtualization, hot/cold aisle isolation, high-efficiency cooling technology upgrades, insulation work and regular hardware refreshes.
– built-in desktop power management capabilities, reducing energy consumption by 60% for laptops, 59% for desktops, 93% for CRT monitors and 86% for LCD monitors.
– replacing desktop PCs with thin clients which use 50% less power per device.
(www.marriott.com)
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Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has announced its new Trancendent Web-based system that helps hotel owners and operators manage preventive maintenance, work orders, asset management, capital expenditure (CAPEX) planning and document/contract management, for one or multiple properties. Transcendent’s Inspection Master manages and monitors scheduled inspections via Motorola’s MC Series of color-screen handheld devices and bar codes placed on every item needing a PM. Scanning a bar code displays that items service instructions and records completion of the work. (www.mintek.com)
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The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., has installed INNCOM e4 Smart Digital Thermostats in all 492 guestrooms, interfaced with networked INNcontrol II energy management software as part of an extensive renovation project. The INNCOM installation is currently being tested and commissioned. (www.scottsdale.hyatt.com, www.inncom.com)
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SECURITY

  • Kaba Lodging Systems (KLS) introduces two types of environmentally friendly keycard

To celebrate Earth Day, Kaba Lodging Systems (KLS) introduced two types of environmentally friendly keycard as a “green” option for hotels. The “green keys” are made either from 100-percent recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic or from polylactide acid (PLA) plastic, a corn byproduct which is recyclable and biodegradable. Both key types function like traditional magnetic stripe keycards. (www.ilcolodging.com)
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  • 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