November 10, 2009

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing




  • IH/M&RS Editors’ Choice Awards recognize hardware, not software; why?

Once again the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS, known to most as “the New York Show”) has announced its Editors’ Choice Awards, and once again the Technology Winner also received the overall “Best of Show” award. Congratulations to Bittel, which won for its newly-released UNO device, a combined guestroom phone, alarm clock/radio and iPod/MP3 player docking station.
The full list of both Regular and “Green” awards is given below, and in comparing this to the winners in the last three years two things struck me. One, the Best in Show winner is quite often a Technology product, and often also the winner in that category too. Two, that to the Editors’ Choice selection panel, “technology” appears to mean “guestroom device”.
For example, the 2008 Best of Show winner was LG Electronics’ ART COOL picture air conditioner, and Earlex’s Raycop Anti-bacterial Handheld Vacuum won the Technology award. In 2007 INNCOM won Best of Show, as well as the Green Technology category, for its e4 Smart Digital Thermostat with ecoMODE. In 2006, Best of Show and the Technology category award went to Minibar Systems for its Smartcube system.
This may be because hardware devices are easier to see and evaluate, but it does seem odd to me that software applications don’t seem to be award-worthy. It may be harder to see the elegance of their design, but they usually have a far greater impact on hotel operations and profitability. Maybe this is another example of the renowned reluctance of hotel owners and operators to spend money on technology that the guest (and perhaps management) can’t see or touch, but I challenge the judges to cast the net wider next year.
This year’s IH/M&RS Editors’ Choice Award winners are:
Kenneth F. Hine “Best of Show” – Bittel Electronics for its UNO single-unit guest room phone, alarm clock/radio and iPod/mp3 player.
Décor – MTS Seating for its Impilato Stacking Chair.
Essentials – Protect-A-Bed-Chicago for its Protect-A-Bed Storage or Disposal Bag, designed to minimize the spread of bed bugs during transportation and to dispose of infested mattresses.
Luxury – Bella Luna Yoga for its Onsite Resort Yoga Program.
Restaurant – Frieling USA for its Emsa FLOW Carafe, which features a cooling coaster with a freezable pad inside.
Technology – Bittel Electronics (see above).
Green Décor – JKF Contract for its Rho Series Lounge Chair collection.
Green Essentials – Pacific Coast Feather Company (Seattle, WA) for Renova Recycled Eco Fiber by Restful Nights bedding line, made from recycled plastic soda bottles.
Green Luxury – BluePoint Living for its BluePoint Towels, which include pre-consumer cotton waste.
Green Restaurant – Ciao, Inc. for its CIAO spring water in 100% biodegradable bottles.
Green Technology – Energy Eye for its EyePower Solution energy management approach, which is platinum certified by the Globally Green Energy Consortium.

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  • eRevMax announces new leadership, corporate management team
  • ASSA ABLOY Hospitality sales team adds one new director, seven regional managers

eRevMax/RateTiger announced its new corporate and management structure as follows: Reuel Ghosh and Andrew Morsi, the shareholders and founders of eRevMax, have stepped down from the day to day management of the group and will serve as Presidents on the Board of Directors. Sascha Hausmann has been promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer, will remain a member of the board.
The senior management team now consists of:
Udai Singh Solanki – Chief Technology Officer & Managing Director India
Lars Hahn – Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Keith Povah – VP Sales International, responsible for Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia
Phil Stiles – VP Sales Americas, responsible for North and South America
Ragnar Strerath – VP Product Development.
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has expanded its sales team as follows:
Dominic Locascio is the new director of key accounts and brings 15 years of experience , most recently with iBAHN.
Robert Contardi joins as the Ontario regional manager for national accounts, hospitality groups and distributors; he was most recently Canadian sales manager for Marietta Corp.
Charles Hummitsch joins the VingCard Elsafe to oversee Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico as the regional sales manager; he has more than 10 years experience, most recently with Tesa, Onity and Salto.
Lisa Cunningham is the new regional sales manager for Georgia, Atlanta and Mississippi. She joins from Micros’ HSI division, where she worked as the eastern regional director of business development for four years, and has also served as corporate sales manager at ADP Time and Labor Management Hospitality Vertical Marketplace.
Matthew Vecchio, now regional sales manager for the northwest region, joins from Best Access Systems where he served as a sales representative for four years. He also previously served as a territory manager for KeyTrak for four years.
Jennifer Humphrey is the new Midwest regional sales manager; she joins VingCard Elsafe from American of Martinsville, where she served as Vice President of Sales.
Robert Attard brings more than 13 years of experience to his new position as regional sales manager for Eastern Canada; he previously exclusively represented Sysco, Guest Supply Canada.
Greg Glessner, the new regional sales manager for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Ohio, joins after working for ten years with MICROS Systems.

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  • Hilton launches first iPhone/iTouch applications, include pre-order on-arrival services
  • China’s 7 Days Inn Group introduces self check-in system
  • MICROS incorporates OpenWays interface into OPERA MyStayManager, PMS and CRS
  • Best Western Peppertree Inns of Washington State first client of MSI’s nTouch suite
  • MSI integrates eRevMax RateTiger into WinPM and ePM PMSs
  • Lemon Tree Hotels orders Protel PMS for five Red Fox hotels
  • InnQuest’s roomMaster 2000 PMS now fully compliant with PCI PA-DSS
  • Caravanserai Beach Resort, St. Maarten, selects SPI Orange Systems

Hilton Worldwide has launched the first stages of its iPhone and iTouch lodging applications; the Hilton and Doubletree brands will be available first, the remainder during November and December 2009. in the lodging industry. In addition to the previously-announced reservations create/change/cancel and HHonors functions, the applications offer on-line check-in up to 48 hours ahead (gold and diamond members of HHonors only) and the ability to pre-order food and/or services to be available upon arrival. (
China’s 7 Days Inn Group has introduced a self check-in system for its guests. Guests can book a room and pay in advance through 7 Days Inn’s online website or by telephone, and then choose a room after swiping their second-generation ID cards through the check-in terminal in the hotel lobby. (
MICROS Systems has incorporated an interface to OpenWays’ mobile-based access-management software into its OPERA MyStayManager, PMS and CRS v5.0.2+. The interface allows guests to receive their room key codes in advance via cell phone, proceed directly to the room upon arrival and open/unlock the door. (,
Best Western Peppertree Inns of Washington State has become the first client to use MSI’s (Multi-Systems, Inc.’s) nTouch suite, using Apple iPhone and iTouch devices to access hotel data on its MSI WinPM PMS. Functions available include checking availability, VIP lookup, managing room status, and monitoring ADR and Occupancy.
MSI has contracted with eRevMax to integrate its RateTiger competitive rate shopping data into its WinPM and ePM property management systems. By year end MSI and eRevMax will introduce a standard package of information for up to 5 competitive hotels, across 5 ADS websites; other custom packages are planned based on the frequency and number of sites accessed.
Lemon Tree Hotels has ordered Protel’s Property Management System (PMS) from Xn Hotels (India) Pvt. Ltd. for five hotels in its Red Fox Hotels economy segment brand. The first property is scheduled to go live this month. Red Fox also expects to launch Xn’s central Point of Sales (PoS) system by year end and its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system by March 2010. (,,
InnQuest announced that its roomMaster 2000 PMS is now fully compliant with PCI PA-DSS. (
The 75-room Caravanserai Beach Resort, St. Maarten, has selected SPI Orange Systems software to manage timeshare sales, owner receivables servicing, reservations, and property management operations. (,

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  • RezStream releases version 2009.9.1 of RezStream Professional reservation software
  • Cornell report shows “billboard effect” increase for hotels listed on Expedia, Travelocity
  • TripAdvisor acquires, second largest travel-related web site in China
  • launches RoomRez hotel web booking engine
  • releases Hotel Negotiator App for the iPhone

RezStream has released version 2009.9.1 of its RezStream Professional reservation software. Enhancements include improved group reservations functionality and a new Hourly Reservation report showing dates and times of hourly reservations in greater detail. Improvements to the RezStream Booking Engine include Payment Processing Inc. (PPI) credit card processing, improved overall performance, and the addition of credit card security code. RezStream has also added a blog, travel blog, and video page to its website. (
A hotel internet marketing study by Cornell Assistant Professor Chris K. Anderson reports a “billboard effect” increase for hotels listed on or, whereby they receive reservations not only through that channel but it also gain reservations through other channels, such as their own website or telephone reservations. The value of this billboard effect is calculated in the report, available at no charge from
TripAdvisor has acquired, the second largest online travel-related web site in China. (,
** has launched its RoomRez hotel web booking engine, which supports best available rate (BAR) strategies andprevents competitive shopping tools from reading a property’s discounted rates. RoomRez supports 21 languages and 160 currencies, handles multiple room types, arrival dates, and departure dates in a single booking, includes automated rewards and redemption guest loyalty programs and can book different rate plans on different days during the same stay. (
** has released its Hotel Negotiator App for the iPhone to help travelers find and book last-minute hotel rooms using’s Name Your Own Price hotel service. The Hotel Negotiator App includes:
– multiple recent winning bids for hotels in a specified city made by other customers in different locations at different star levels.
– Shake-Down geo-locator-triggered hotel search.
– an option for browsing’s published-price hotels for a particular city.

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  • UniFocus partners with Circos Brand Karma and gCommerce Solutions for reputation management
  • Aqua Hotels and Resorts selects Milestone Internet Marketing’s eBuzz Connect
  • Libra OnDemand selected as finalist in Forty Innovation Showcase
  • HeBS receives three W3 Silver Awards for outstanding achievement in Web 2.0 and website development

UniFocus has partnered with Circos Brand Karma and gCommerce Solutions to offer reputation management commentary and analytics through one portal. Circos Brand Karma apply semantic analysis to social media to extract brand sentiments from the actual text in consumer-written reviews and comments; gCommerce uses its Internet marketing and distribution management services to put these into a broader marketing context to drive online revenue channels. (,,
Aqua Hotels and Resorts has selected Milestone Internet Marketing’s eBuzz Connect to provide social media and online reputation management for its 16 hotels on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Molokai. (,
Libra OnDemand has been selected as a finalist in the Forty Innovation Showcase, sponsored by to showcase applications from the partner community. Applications are evaluated on their innovative use of technologies, the ability to solve a real business challenge and address a need in the marketplace, strong visual design and execution and level of customer adoption. (
Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) has received three W3 Silver Awards for outstanding achievement in Web 2.0 and website development from the International Academy of the Visual Arts. (

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  • Amsterdam Hospitality adopting for entire portfolio
  • Thistle Hotels and Guoman Hotels pick for 39 properties
  • partners with
  • eRevMax launches direct GDS connectivity for RateTiger with ReservHOTEL
  • RateTiger announces addition of 500th fully integrated distribution channel
  • eRevMax integrates RateTiger into MSI’s WinPM and ePM PMSs
  • Nickelodeon Family Suites implements EzRMS’s full product suite

New York-based boutique management company Amsterdam Hospitality is adopting’s channel management technology for its entire portfolio of hotels, which includes the Ameritania, Amsterdam Court, the Bentley, The Marcel at Gramercy, The Moderne, and the Empire Hotel in New York City; the Berkeley Hotel In Asbury Park, N.J.; and The Blake in Charlotte, N.C.
Thistle Hotels and Guoman Hotels have selected for channel management and reservation delivery for their 37 properties throughout the UK, and for two more properties being added in Malaysia by year end. has partnered with to allow hoteliers to use to yield rates, inventory and restrictions to through’s online channel management tool.
eRevMax has launched direct GDS connectivity for RateTiger. Together with ReservHOTEL, RateTiger will allow hotels to automatically update hotel descriptions, rates and availability to increase exposure and revenue opportunities across multiple GDSs.
RateTiger also announced the addition of its 500th fully integrated distribution channel.
eRevMax has contracted with MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) to integrate its RateTiger competitive rate shopping data into MSI’s WinPM and ePM property management systems. By year end MSI and eRevMax will introduce a standard package of information for up to 5 competitive hotels, across 5 ADS websites; other custom packages are planned based on the frequency and number of sites accessed.
The 777-room Nickelodeon Family Suites, Orlando, FL has implemented EzRMS’s full product suite, including the EzRMS core, Ez-QUOTE, Ez-BUDGET & Ez-COMPETE modules and the extraction and upload interfaces to Opera V5 PMS. (,

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  • Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista install hotel SalesPro, hotel ServicePro
  • X2O Media announces Xpresenter interface with Newmarket’s Delphi
  • Dawn Beach Club, St. Maarten, selects SPI Software’s Orange Systems

The Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Lake Buena Vista, Orlando have installed hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro and hotel ServicePro systems. The new-build properties have a combined total of 260+ rooms. (
X2O Media announced an Xpresenter interface with Newmarket International’s Delphi application, Delphi event data to be exported directly to their digital signage display screens. X2O has an exclusive agreement with PSAV Presentation Services to provide content design, management, distribution, monitoring, integration and support services for PSAV customers’ digital signage. (,,
Dawn Beach Club in St. Maarten, West Indies has selected SPI Software’s Orange Systems Marketing, Sales and Finance modules. (

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  • Connaught hotel, London, implements Agilysys’ ResPAK
  • Hershey Entertainment & Resorts selects Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS and Eatec
  • Culinary Software Services releases ChefTec Reporter 2010

The Connaught hotel in London has implemented Agilysys’ ResPAK dining reservations and table management, integrated with the InfoGenesis POS the property has used for the past two years.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts in Hershey, Pa. has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS and Eatec inventory/purchasing applications for its Hersheypark, Hersheypark Stadium, Giant Center, Hershey Lodge, The Hotel Hershey, Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park and Hershey Golf Collection operations. ,br> (,,
Culinary Software Services has released a new version of restaurant reporting software, ChefTec Reporter 2010. New features include reporting enhancements such as a summary of sales and waste by category report to help businesses track shrinkage across multiple revenue centers. (

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  • Palomar Hotel, Philadelphia, opens with SuiteLinq distributed wirelessly to all rooms
  • MBOi (Interactive) and 180SQUARED unveil Cirrus IPTV Managed Cloud Service
  • Acentic partners with Philips for no-set-top-box high definition service to hotel guestrooms
  • Fairmont Pittsburgh implementing VingCard Signature RFID locks, VISIONLINE network
  • TheWit Hotel, Chicago interfaces SAFLOK Quantum locks with MTech HotSOS
  • SAFLOK launches RFID lock reader for wall mounting instead of on the door
  • SAFLOK interfaces Messenger network technology with Control4’s Suite Systems
  • OpenWays announces mobile phone-based guestroom access system
  • SAFLOK enables its locks to read an OpenWays-enabled cell phone-delivered “key”
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago first property to implement SAFLOK RF interface to INNCOM
  • INNCOM listed in Connecticut Technology Council “Tech Top 40” for second year
  • iLuv releases iMM183 Hi-Fi Dual Dock Alarm Clock with Weather Hazard Alert
  • LodgeNet licenses b-LAN technology to LG Electronics and Philips Electronics
  • LodgeNet launches Guestroom Manager 2.0
  • TeleAdapt announces new Audio/Video Pull-Through to link guests’ iPod/iPhone video/movies to guestroom TV

The Palomar Hotel, Kimpton’s first Philadelphia property, has opened with SuiteLinq’s SuiteVOD guestroom entertainment services distributed wirelessly to all 242 guestrooms, a service known as IP-VOD. SuiteVOD delivers Hollywood movies, music, concerts, and more in standard and high definition formats. (,
MBO Video’s MBOi (Interactive) and 180SQUARED unveiled Cirrus Managed Cloud Solutions, an IPTV Managed Cloud Service built with 180SQUARED’s v.Unison solution set and offering IPTV to multiple clients via shared infrastructure. The Cirrus Managed Cloud Solution is based on Microsoft’s Mediaroom and offers various applications for clients to differentiate their IPTV services, including onscreen Caller ID (VoIP and TDM compatibility), remote PVR scheduling and Whole Home PVR. (,
Acentic is partnering with Philips to offer a no-set-top-box high definition service to hotel guestrooms by integrating Philips’ Ultimate HD TV sets with Acentic’s Panorama In-room Hotel Entertainment Platform. This is claimed to be the first integrated LCD TV for the hotel market offering Full HD broadcast channels without the use of an external STB and associated cabling. The first two implementations are planned for this month at the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam and the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel. (,
The 185-room Fairmont Pittsburgh is implementing VingCard Signature RFID contactless electronic door locks and VISIONLINE wireless RF-online system. The property is scheduled to open in March 2010. (,
TheWit Hotel in Chicago has implemented a new web services interface between its SAFLOK Quantum guestroom locks and MTech HotSOS work order/guest response system, using SAFLOK’s Messenger LENS (Lock Event Notification System). The LENS module allows for any number of concurrent connections with other systems, providing real-time notifications, for example, communicating to HotSOS when a door is left ajar so that HotSOS can create and issue a service order for security staff to verify the room security.
SAFLOK has launched an RFID lock reader that can be placed on the wall instead of on the door, eliminating the need for lock trim and minimizing the impact on the hotel’s decor. SAFLOK has also enhanced its existing RFID remote control unit (RCU) reader to read RF signals from behind non-metallic surfaces, allowing the unit to be concealed behind glass, and other opaque materials.
SAFLOK has interfaced its Messenger network technology with Control4’s Suite Systems for “smart rooms” at hotel properties, allowing the SAFLOK lock to use the ZigBee mesh network to communicate with Control4 Suite Systems’ in-room controllers, thus sharing a communications backbone and maximizing the benefits of a single infrastructure. A flagship installation of this integration will be the 4,000+ room MGM CityCenter Las Vegas, set to open later this year.
OpenWays announced its mobile phone-based guestroom access system, which delivers an encrypted key to the guest’s cell phone to open a door lock or access control reader. OpenWays was founded by Pascal Metivier, Paul Zimmerman, Josh Alper and Mauri Maza, all with extensive experience in hotel locking systems; Mr. Metivier previously served as President of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality EMEA, Mr. Zimmerman as Director of Online Solutions for TimeLox North America and Mr. Alper as General Manager of Page-A-Lock Online LLC. OpenWays claims that its technology works with all new and existing electronic locks or access control systems regardless of the card technology being used (magnetic-stripe card, smart card, proximity card, RFID cards, etc), though it did not clarify how a cell-phone signal will activate a magnetic-stripe lock.
SAFLOK announced its collaboration with OpenWays, having developed an interface that enables SAFLOK locks to read a “key” delivered by an OpenWays-enabled cell phone. The OpenWays-SAFLOK integration is available to new customers and to those with existing mag-stripe and RFID installations.
The 2,019-room Hyatt Regency Chicago is the first property to implement a new RF interface between SAFLOK and INNCOM International technology. The property is updating its SAFLOK locks from MT (multi-technology) models to Quantum units and installing energy management thermostats linked to the locks with an RF interface. This integration lets the door lock communicate to the thermostat every time the door is opened, resulting in improved energy management and a reduction in operating expenses for the property.
INNCOM International has been listed in the Connecticut Technology Council UHY LLP “Tech Top 40” for the second consecutive year, a listing of the 40 fastest growing Connecticut-based companies in the categories of Software, IT Services, Life Sciences, New Media/Internet/Telecom, Advanced Manufacturing, and Energy Environmental Technologies.
iLuv has released its iMM183 Hi-Fi Dual Dock Alarm Clock with NOA/S.A.M.E Weather Hazard Alert. The digital dual alarm clock includes dual iPod dock options and a Weather Band Radio with NOAA emergency alert system. (
LodgeNet Interactive Corp. has licensed its b-LAN (broadband local area network) technology to LG Electronics and Philips Electronics for inclusion in their newest high-definition (HD) television displays for the hospitality market. The embedded b-LAN technology will enable the delivery of a wide range of interactive content and functionality on a more cost effective basis, including centralized free-to-guest (FTG) channel management, video on demand content and interactive guest services.
LodgeNet has launched Guestroom Manager 2.0, built on a new software platform with expanded capabilities and scalability. The new platform has now been deployed nationwide to all customers using LodgeNet’s Gateway Server. Enhancements include better spam management, bandwidth management, use leveling and overall stability, as well as multi-language functionalities, system recovery and system restore functions. The launch also includes implementation of an enterprise-grade Proactive Monitoring System to manage all equipment installed in the field at all properties, regardless of server platform, down to the device level LodgeNet is also developing a next generation Customer Reporting Service (CRS) software to combine reporting and system health visibility functions for properties, and plans to release it next year.
TeleAdapt has announced a new Audio/Video Pull-Through to let guests watch the downloaded video and movies on their iPods and iPhones in high quality on the flat screen TV, as well as listen to their own music through the in-room TV speakers. (

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  • Kapalua Resort installs DataWorks’ complete NeXT software suite
  • Hershey selects Agilysys’ Eatec inventory/purchasing and InfoGenesis POS
  • Omni Hotels completes implementation of BirchStreet Systems’s Web-based e-procurement

The Kapalua Resort in Maui has installed DataWorks’ complete NeXT software suite, including Retail Inventory Management, Grocery Store Inventory Management, Open-to-Buy, interfaces to Accounts Payable and General Ledger systems and an interface to MICROS® 9700. The Resort uses NeXT for central inventory management for multiple departments while providing the finance department with a global picture of the company’s inventory, sales and purchases. (,
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts in Hershey, Pa. has selected Agilysys’ Eatec inventory/ purchasing and InfoGenesis POS applications for its Hersheypark, Hersheypark Stadium, Giant Center, Hershey Lodge, The Hotel Hershey, Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park and Hershey Golf Collection operations. (,
Omni Hotels has now fully implemented BirchStreet Systems’s Web-based e-procurement system for its hotel, restaurant and spa operations, including its Bob’s Steak & Chop House restaurant locations. (,

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  • Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites in Lake Buena Vista install hotel ServicePro, hotel SalesPro

The Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista and the Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista in Orlando have installed hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro and hotel ServicePro systems. The new-build properties have a combined total of 260+ rooms and will use the Web-based hotel SalesPro system to automate group convention sales and hotel ServicePro to manage hotel maintenance. (

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  • Meru introduces E(z)RF Service Manager proactive diagnostics for wireless networks
  • Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands picks SDD’s JAZZ Fusion to manage voice, internet services

Meru has introduced E(z)RF Service Manager, a proactive diagnostics system for wireless networks that it claims is the industry’s first. Continuously running test traffic over all network components from the radio link to the backend infrastructure provides assurance that the network is available and meeting performance expectations. (
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands has selected SDD’s JAZZ Fusion software to manage its voice and broadband internet services to guests. The Sands will use JAZZ-driven portals and service packages to present personalized content and pricing of voice and broadband internet to its guests and visiting groups. (,

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