May 8, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Back Office

Engineering

Communications


APRIL 18 – MAY 8, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Joyce Christmas, Bill Duncan, Ed Hollinshead, Joe Marko and Bill Sullivan honored with HFTP’s Award of Merit
  • HTNG closes Gaming Special Interest Group, absorbs efforts into regular workgroups

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is honoring another five of the industry’s founders with the Hospitality Technology Award of Merit. The award, presented every five years, recognizes individuals who made significant innovations or breakthroughs that established a path for others, and who influenced many people in this industry during their careers. The five honorees are:
Joyce Christmas, for three decades of coverage and promotion of hospitality technology as an author, editor and manager of The CKC Report, the industry newsletter published by Chervenak, Keane and Co.
Bill Duncan, for his work with hotel sales automation, helping grow Newmarket Software from a seven-person operation to a global software company, then founding Daylight Software to continue developing enterprise-level sales and catering systems.
Ed Hollinshead, for his contributions to hospitality systems development in designing the first automated room status system to use a computer display, followed by the Micor II and Micor III PMSs which were adopted by Marriott and Hyatt in the early 1970s, and for his technical leadership and guidance at Galler Hospitality Systems, CompuSolv, HIS, Fidelio USA and RezSolutions, and as an independent consultant.
Joe Marko, for his work throughout the industry, developing (at Sheraton) one of the industry’s first Sales Office Automation Projects, introducing formal systems support positions at all Sheraton-owned North American properties, for his influence as product manager/sales manager for Micor and sales director for Philips Hotel Systems, and for introducing Fidelio to the Americas as founder, chairman and president of Fidelio USA.
Bill Sullivan, for his expertise in hospitality systems design and operations (especially in club software) over his 31 years at the DuPont Co., including duties as GM of the Hotel duPont, the DuPont County Club and the Playhouse Theater, and now as an instructor at the University of Delaware.
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Demonstrating that its workgroups are addressing fundamental integration challenges applicable across many different systems, HTNG is closing its Gaming Special Interest Group (SIG). The Gaming SIG’s participants will join the workgroups most relevant to their needs, setting up gaming-specific sub-committees within them if and as needed.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Todd Davis honored as one of CIO magazines “Ones To Watch”
  • Bob Post receives Illinois ITA’s CityLIGHTS CEO of the Year Award
  • Michael Scott named Director of Network Solutions, North America for ASSA ABLOY
  • Art Staple to lead sales initiatives at Open Hospitality
  • Brendon Weir joins IDeaS as Director of Sales, EAME
  • Stephen Burke hired as Vice President, Product Management at Knowcross

Todd Davis, VP, Property Systems at Choice Hotels International, has been honored as one of CIO magazines “Ones To Watch”, which recognizes outstanding IT leadership. Mr. Davis oversaw the development and implementation of the Web-based choiceAdvantage (CA) property management system.
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TravelCLICK’s Bob Post has received Illinois Information Technology Association’s (ITA’s) CityLIGHTS CEO of the Year Award, in acknowledgement of TravelCLICK’s growth and impact in the travel marketplace.
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Michael Scott has been named Director of Network Solutions, North America for ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. Mr. Scott has more than 15 years of experience in the hotel security industry.
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Art Staple will lead sales initiatives at representation service and technology vendor Open Hospitality. Mr. Staple was most recently Vice President of Eastern Regional Sales at Expedia Corporate Travel; he has also held sales management posts at Captura Software and MAI Systems.
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Brendon Weir has joined IDeaS as Director of Sales, EAME. Mr. Weir brings over fifteen years of hospitality industry experience, most recently as Director of Sales in Europe for SynXis. He had earlier spent 12 years as co-founder and Director of Hot Key International, a hotel representation company based in the United Kingdom, and held travel distribution roles with Galileo, Unisys and British Airways.
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Stephen Burke has been hired as Vice President, Product Management at guest-request rapid-response system vendor Knowcross. Mr. Burke was previously Director of Systems Integration for HBSi in Atlanta, GA; he was earlier VP of Business Development at Hotel Booking Solutions in New Orleans, and held technology management roles for Diamond Data Systems, Sprint E-Solutions and Tulane University.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Northwind begins installing Phase One of Maestro Web Connection
  • World Web Technologies releases version 10.2 of WebRezPro PMS
  • Wyndham rolling out KnightLite PMS to Knights Inn properties

Northwind has started installing Phase One of its Maestro Web Connection program, which lets hotels deploy Maestro PMS revenue optimization rules for one property or a hotel chain across all Internet channels via a two-way interface based on HTNG/OTA XML specifications. Web Connection is currently supported by iHotelier and SynXis, with other channel management companies to follow this year. Phase Two will allow meeting planners to control group blocks, rooming lists and other activities online via a hotel’s Web site. Phase Three will allow guests to build, book and modify their own package reservations over the Internet. (www.maestropms.com)
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World Web Technologies has released version 10.2 of WebRezPro, its Web-based property management system. The release includes a redesigned user interface, a new calendar feature, full search tool and several time-saving shortcuts. (www.webrezpro.com)
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Wyndham is rolling out KnightLite, a modified version of the SoftHotel PMS, to properties in its Knights Inn brand, along with remote, computer-based training for the general managers. (www.wyndhamworldwide.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • AmeriTel Inns selects SynXis’ RedX
  • Shula’s Hotel contracts with TravelCLICK for iHotelier and Hotelligence
  • On-line bookings for major brands still rising, per TravelCLICK’s eTRAK 2006 report
  • Pegasus Solutions acquires Travelport’s Wizcom
  • Pegasus acquires GuestClick
  • Lodging Interactive announces LodgiRez Internet Booking Engine
  • Farecast and ITA Software win Innovator Awards at TravelCom Res-Expo

Idaho-based AmeriTel Inns has selected SynXis’ RedX Distribution Management System to link its eight properties to distribution channels including the GDSs and third party travel sites, and to provide a Website booking engine. AmeriTel will also use RedX Property Connect to transfer data between RedX and its PMSs. (www.ameritelinns.com, www.synxis.com)
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The 205-room Shula’s Hotel, Miami Lakes, FL has contracted with TravelCLICK for its iHotelier CRS, GDS connectivity and Web booking engine, Hotelligence market intelligence reports and Travel Agent Media Preferred Placement marketing services.
On-line bookings for the major brands continued to rise last year, according to TravelCLICK’s 2006 consolidated full-year eTRAK report. Total Central Reservation System (CRS) reservations increased overall by 8.4% in 2006, split between the Internet (38.3%, a 20.2% growth compared to 2005), the Global Distribution Systems (35.6%, a growth of 5.1%) and voice callers (26.1%, down 1.5% from a year earlier).
(www.donshulahotel.com, www.travelclick.net)
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Pegasus Solutions has acquired Travelport’s Wizcom subsidiary, its rival GDS switch vendor. Pegasus will integrate the Wizcom business and range of GDS and GDS-related products, Internet Distribution Systems Connectivity and Data Management software into its organization.
Pegasus has also acquired GuestClick, a provider of channel distribution management, content management and other Web-based services for the hospitality industry.
(www.guestclick.com, www.pegs.com)
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Lodging Interactive announced its LodgiRez Internet Booking Engine, with integrated GDS connectivity and a single point of management for single or multiple property websites. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
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Farecast and ITA Software were named the first-ever winners of Innovator Awards at the TravelCom Res-Expo conference and trade show in Las Vegas. Farecast received the New Innovator Award for a company less than five years old, ITA Software the Established Innovator Award for a company at least five years old. Other finalists for the New Innovator Award included DoHop Virtual Online, Altius Par, Open Travel Software RFP Marketplace and EZ Yield. Finalists for the Established Innovator Award included TravelClick, Amadeus Flex Pricer, Omniture, and GetThere.
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • The Kessler Collection implements Intercrew Systems (ICS) revenue forecasting tools

Orlando-based The Kessler Collection has implemented Intercrew Systems (ICS) revenue forecasting tools, RFT, for the nine independent hotels it manages in North America. (www.kesslercollection.com, www.intercrewsystems.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Hilton announces formal rollout of E-Events online small meeting booking service

Hilton Hotels Corp. announced the formal rollout of its E-Events online small meeting booking service, one year after the tool’s soft launch. The system allows groups of up to 25 people to reserve a block of hotel rooms, meeting space, audiovisual equipment and food and beverages in one non-negotiable package. (www.hilton.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • InfoGenesis launches Secure POS Security Awareness Program with AmbironTrustwave

InfoGenesis has launched its InfoGenesis Secure POS Security Awareness Program in conjunction with AmbironTrustwave. The program will educate participants in the basics of Payment Card Interface (PCI) and Payment Card Best Practices (PABP) compliance, evaluate participants’ compliance preparedness through self-assessment and access to AmbironTrustWave’s compliance solutions, and enable compliance through their PABP-certified POS product. (www.atwcorp.com, www.infogenesis.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • SpaSoft 3.0.5 certified to link to Merchant Link’s siteNET Gateway

PAR Springer-Miller Systems announced that its SpaSoft 3.0.5 spa management software now has a certified interface to Merchant Link’s siteNET Gateway for RetailXml transactions, which allows merchants to send credit card transactions over a secure high-speed Internet network. The SpaSoft POS transmits RetailXml messages to Merchant Link, which translates them into the various host’s message formats and forwards them directly to those hosts for processing. (www.springermiller.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Knowcross releases version 2.4 of TRITON guest request rapid-response system
  • Hilton pilot testing Sight+Sound Rooms at Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco
  • Vantage names iBAHN as a preferred HSIA provider for its 750 hotels
  • HotelChatter releases list of the Best WiFi Hotels for 2007

Knowcross has released version 2.4 of its TRITON guest request rapid-response system. Enhancements include multiple language capability based on the user’s profile (including double byte languages such as Chinese), a single Call Registration screen, multiple call consolidation for a single room, user-specific data filtering for the management console and a multi-lingual IVR request entry system. (www.knowcross.com)
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Hilton Hotels is pilot testing its new Sight+Sound Rooms at two hotels: 25 rooms at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare International Airport and 30 at the Hilton San Francisco. The rooms include an LG 42” flat-screen plasma televisions, a Yamaha YSP-800 digital sound projector, a connectivity panel for music, videos, games and laptops, high-definition TV programming from DirecTV, and a LodgeNet electronic programming guide and high definition menu system. A Monster Cable pack is provided for guests’ use. Video programming will include recently aired primetime TV series and catch-up specials, all-day sports packages on demand (including football, basketball, baseball, hockey and college sports), 14 high-definition channels among 40 total network and cable channels, and five or more XM Satellite Radio stations. (www.hilton.com)
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Vantage Hospitality Group has named iBAHN’s Speed Solution as a preferred provider for its 750 Americas Best Value Inns and Lexington Collection hotels. Speed Solution provides the option of free basic high-speed Internet access or premium access for a daily or weekly charge. (www.vantagehospitality.com, www.ibahn.com)
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HotelChatter’s annual look at hotel brands with the Best and Worst WiFi experiences found that more restrictions are being added to free hotel WiFi. It reports that many properties and chains have inconsistent policies between guestroom and lobby access (sometimes charging separately for each) and across different properties in the same chain.
Who’s doing hotel wireless right? HotelChatter’s Best WiFi Hotels for 2007 are:
– Residence Inn, Courtyard, Springhill Suites by Marriott, all with strong, free, fast, working wireless in the rooms and the lobbies, and free wired access in the rooms if you need it.
– boutique hoteliers André Balazs Properties (Los Angeles, New York, Miami) and Jeff Klein Hotels (LA, New York).
– Joie de Vivre Hospitality, 25 Californian hotels with free, fast, reliable “click and go” WiFi.
– Omni Hotels, for free lobby WiFi and free guestroom access for its Select Guest Program members.
– Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, Wingate Inn, Days Inn and Hampton Inn, all budget brands with good, free WiFi, with Holiday Inn Express preferred for reliability.
For the list of the Worst WiFi hotels you’ll have to visit HotelChatter’s Web site, but “sins” that qualify a property for inclusion on that list include:
– multiple log-in screens to access hotel wireless
– weak, spotty service
– high access fees
– separate networks and even separate payments for accessing the web in-room as opposed to in the lobby
– blocking access to certain sites while you are surfing on paid access
– inconsistent access policies across a single brand
– having guests spend more time and more money figuring out a hotels’ confusing wireless network policy than actually using the network.
Amen to that.
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BACK OFFICE

  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess picks UniFocus’ Watson, R.M. labor management suite

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ has chosen UniFocus’ Watson, R.M. labor management suite for forecasting, scheduling and reporting. (www.fairmont.com/scottsdale, www.unifocus.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Mintek Mobile Data Solutions celebrates 20th year in business

Mintek Mobile Data Solutions is celebrating its 20th year in business. Founded as a reseller of barcode labels, scanners, printers and other devices, its first lodging WinTrack PM sale and installation was in 1999 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater, Fla. (www.mintek.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS

  • NEC Unified Solutions releases UA5200 UNIVERGE Attendant call management application
  • Hampton Inn in Belle Vernon, PA installs HSIA and a Mitel SX200 PBX from ITG Networks
  • Mitel names ITG Networks as a North American Channel Partner

NEC Unified Solutions released its UA5200 UNIVERGE Attendant call management application for VoIP environments, giving attendants the flexibility to work from any location and be globally distributed. The UA5200 provides callers with a predetermined menu of options using advanced directory filtering and search features, linked to directory information from multiple sources to get a variety of listings, including employees, physicians, patients, students, vendors and suppliers. It can be programmed with staff schedules and contact information to help locate available personnel based on priority, specialty or group. The attendant can also create group views showing station activity for a business group such as sales representatives, to help them direct a call to an available group member. (www.necunified.com)
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The Hampton Inn in Belle Vernon, PA has installed high-speed Internet access (HSIA) and a Mitel SX200 ICP PBX from ITG Networks.
Mitel has named ITG Networks as a North American Channel Partner.
(www.itgnetworks.com, www.mitel.com)
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