November 18, 2014

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Engineering

Security

NOVEMBER 5 – 18, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Tech vs. Touch re-visited

Another aspect of the tech vs. touch debate on guest service comes via a new study from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR), “Cyborg Service: The Unexpected Effect of Technology in the Employee-Guest Exchange.” Narrowly focused on the use of check-in kiosks, the study determined that guests were more willing to use kiosks when they were placed a short distance away from the bell stand.
Satisfaction with the kiosks decreased when they were closer to the stand. When they were within what was perceived as a normal distance for interaction guests were apparently more apt to feel awkward about not responding to an agent’s greeting, or felt that the technology was making them appear rude to the agent. When there’s sufficient social space between the two, the bell person is still nearby but the guest doesn’t feel so awkward about not interacting.
I guess the message here is that guests choosing to use self-service technology, whether on hotel-provided kiosks or on their mobile devices, should be left alone to do so. Staff members should be close enough to be able to offer help if desired or if they see the guest is struggling, but not to intrude otherwise. The overall lesson, the report concludes, is to make sure the guest, the employee and the technology work together appropriately. Can’t argue with that.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Monika Nerger is new President of HTNG’s Board
  • Jeremy Ward hired by iRiS as COO
  • Mansoor Khan appointed Regional Sales Manager at INFOR in Dubai
  • Michael Cohen hired by INTEREL as SVP Key Accounts
  • Scott Gibson joins Pegasus Solutions as Interim CEO
  • Jules Sieburgh, Seth Christian join Puzzle Partner
  • Patricia Brusha is new Director of Channel Sales at CheckMate
  • Gayle Edwards hired by PAS as Director of Hotel Accounting

Monika Nerger is the new President of HTNG’s Board, replacing Jeremy Ward who has moved to a vendor company. The CIO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Ms. Nerger has served on the Board of Governors since 2012 and as Vice President since 2013. She has been active in HTNG for more than ten years, having previously served as a forum and workgroup chair.
In other changes to the Board:
Richard Tudgay, VP of Technology at Omni Hotels and Resorts, was elected as Vice President.
Laurent Idrac, CIO of Accor, was elected as a Director (a voting Governor)
Emmanuel Clavé, Group Director of IT for Rocco Forte Hotels, was elected to the Board of Governors
Edward Malinowski, CIO of Shangri-La, was elected to the Board of Governors
Bryan Steele, Head of IT for the Royal Automobile Club, was elected to the Board of Governors
David Velasquez, VP of IT for Best Western International, was elected to the Board of Governors.
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Jeremy Ward has been hired by iRiS Software Systems as Chief Operations Officer. Former SVP of IT of the Kempinski Hotel Group for six years and President of HTNG, Mr. Ward was earlier Group CIO at JJW Hotels & Resorts and MBI & Partners UK Ltd., and Group IT Manager at Spescom.
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Mansoor Khan has been appointed Regional Sales Manager at INFOR in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mr. Mansoor has held various Sales roles over the last 14 years, the last five at Al Futtaim Technologies. He had previously served five years at Oasys Infotech as Sales & Marketing Manager for Europe, ME and Africa.
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Michael Cohen has been hired by INTEREL as Senior Vice President – Key Accounts. Mr. Cohen, based in Toronto, has over 15 years of international experience in technology business development and marketing, eight of which were in the hospitality industry.
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Scott Gibson has joined Pegasus Solutions as Interim CEO. Bringing over 20 years of experience, Mr. Gibson most recently served nine years as CIO and SVP, Distribution and Strategic Planning at Best Western International. He had previously been Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Kerzner International, SVP and CIO at Cendant, Manager, Reservation System Development with Red Lion Hotels, Director, Account Management at and Project Manager with Ramada.
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Jules Sieburgh has joined Puzzle Partner to advise start-ups on strategies, VC funding and advancing angel investments. Mr. Sieburgh has more than three decades of notable accomplishments in the hospitality and travel industry, most recently as Senior Vice President for Kerzner International Bahamas. He was earlier Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Host Marriott Corporation, Director of Industry Relations at priceline.com, Vice President of Hotel Systems at InterContinental Hotels and Vice President Information Technology at Sonesta Hotels and Resorts.
Seth Christian has joined Puzzle Partner to provide client consulting support and strategic counsel, as well as lead company initiatives on the west coast. Mr. Christian brings over 25 years hospitality industry experience, most recently as President – Americas for Knowcross and Principal of Surf and Country. He was earlier Chief Marketing Officer at HIS, head of Lodging at Radiant Systems and CEO of start-up HotelTools. He started his career in operations, serving 12 years as VP Operations with Suburban Lodges of America and six years as President of Suburban Management.
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Patricia Brusha is the new Director of Channel Sales at CheckMate, focused on driving its Canadian expansion. With over three decades of hospitality experience, Ms. Brusha was previously co-founder and principal of A Couple of Chicks digital marketing and co-founder and producer of Online Revealed Canada, a digital marketing conference.
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Gayle Edwards has been hired by PAS as Director of Hotel Accounting.  Bringing over 25 years of experience in hotel operations, Ms. Edwards started as a night auditor and advanced to VP of Finance. She was most recently VP Corporate Controller at Alena, and Controller, The Florida Hotel and Conference Center. Earlier, she served eleven years at the Pyramid Hotel Group, culminating in Regional Controller; her career started at Hilton, where she served nine years culminating as Controller of the Hilton Times Square, NY.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Proxce announces mobile check-in and guestroom key app
  • SkyTouch announces two-way interface with Sabre’s SynXis
  • Sabre announces SynXis Enterprise Platform, starting with SynXis Property Manager guest management system
  • CheckMate announces travel partners for Guest Engagement Platform
  • Airline Hotels  implements CheckMate at nine hotels
  • Agilysys offering B4Checkin’s booking engine to Visual One customers
  • Great Wolf Lodge New England deploys StayNTouch’s Rover FrontOffice and Housekeeping
  • broughtonHOTELS picks PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO as brand standard for 14 properties
  • The Ascott Limited orders additional protel MPE licenses for a further 5,000 apartment units

Proxce has announced a mobile check-in and guestroom key app. Proxce’s Proximity Identity Management (PIM) system can integrate with hotels’ existing mobile apps or provide a branded mobile interface app that guests can download to their registered phone and use to auto check-in. (www.proxce.com)
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SkyTouch Technology announced a two-way interface between its SkyTouch Hotel OS platform and Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ SynXis Central Reservation System. The interface permits the exchange of key information between the CRS and PMS, automatic availability and rates synchronization, dynamic room pricing management and the seamless distribution of inventory to online travel sites and traditional travel agencies. (www.sabrehospitality.com, www.skytouchtechnology.com)
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Sabre has announced its SynXis Enterprise Platform, an integrated hospitality technology platform to help hoteliers personalize the guest experience and improve hotel operations, distribution and marketing. As part of this platform, Sabre launched its SynXis Property Manager, a hotel guest management system that integrates with Sabre’s central reservation system. Property Manager has been piloted with several hospitality brands. Sabre plans to add dynamic retailing and predictive analytics to the Enterprise Platform next year, and to include mobile check-in, payment alternatives and customized packages and services. (www.sabrehospitality.com)
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CheckMate has announced several travel partners for its Guest Engagement Platform, including Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, Orbitz, TripCase and Concur. Platform partners receive a commission on transactions completed through CheckMate, which can be white-labeled and integrated within a hotel or distributor’s native apps.
Airline Hotels has implemented CheckMate at its nine hotels in four Canadian provinces.
(www.airlinehotels.ca, www.checkmate.io)
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Agilysys is now offering B4Checkin’s booking engine to its Visual One customers. B4Checkin’s certified two-way interface with Visual One exchanges room rate, inventory availability and guest profile data between the two systems. The booking engine is customizable to match the look and feel of a property’s website, can upsell users to better room types and value-added items and manages personalized email communications with guests, both pre- and post-stay. (www.agilysys.com.)
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The 406-room Great Wolf Lodge New England has deployed StayNTouch’s Rover FrontOffice for tablet mobile check-in, including the issue of RFID wristbands which serve as the guestroom key and a wallet-less payment system for purchases made in the resort. The wristband links are created straight from the iPad. The property also deployed StayNTouch’s Rover Housekeeping, providing touch-screen access on mobile devices to rooms-to-clean lists, room status, guest information and room status updating. (www.greatwolf.com, www.stayntouch.com)
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broughtonHOTELS has selected PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO PMS as the brand standard for its 14 properties in California and the mid-west. Some properties will also install ATRIO POS for their food and beverage operations. (www.broughtonHOTELS.com, www.partech.com)
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Singapore-based The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has ordered additional protel Multi-Property Edition licenses from Xn Hotel Systems for a further 5,000 apartment units. Ascott uses protel MPE at over 140 serviced residences with 20,000 apartment units under its Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands. (www.the-ascott.com, www.xnhotels.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Pegasus Electronic Distribution Services purchased by H.I.G. Capital

Pegasus Electronic Distribution Services, the connectivity switch part of Pegasus’ operations, has been purchased by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. The current senior leadership team will be supplemented by Toni Portmann, who will act as the full-time Executive Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim CEO until the remainder of the go-forward senior management team is put in place. H.I.G. also acquired Onyx Payment Solutions (formerly known as Pegasus Financial Services) in April 2013. (www.higcapital.com, www.pegs.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Sandals Resorts upgrades to latest version of Aptech’s Execuvue
  • TravelClick expands partnership with Travelport
  • REBEL adds hotel data from Hotel Compete to its PropertyVIEW Content Verification Service
  • know’N’act announces general availability of its customer engagement platform
  • ADARA unveils ADARA Magellan travel intelligence platform
  • VisitEngland contracts for nSight
  • Cendyn/ONE receives three WebAwards and two W3 Awards

Sandals Resorts International has upgraded to the latest version of Aptech Computer Systems’ Execuvue Business Intelligence for its 21 resorts throughout the Caribbean. Sandals first implemented Execuvue in 2003; based on the Cognos 10 platform, the newest version simplifies interactive and ad hoc report creation and adds dashboard capability with property performance updates throughout the day. (www.sandals.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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TravelClick has expanded its partnership with Travelport to sell advertising products to hotels for display to Travelport’s 67,000 travel agency clients. (www.travelport.com, www.TravelClick.com)
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REBEL Travel Corp has added hotel data intelligence from Hotel Compete to its PropertyVIEW Content Verification Service, providing hoteliers with a view of their descriptive information, amenities, guest services, policies and photos across third party channels and showing how their content measures up against their peers. New services being developed include a monthly Comp Set Analyzer based on a number of indices from a booker’s viewpoint, a daily Rate Trends Tracker updated multiple times per day, and a weekly Rate Parity Tracker. (www.hotelcompete.com, www.rebel-travel.com)
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know’N’act announced the general availability of its cloud-based customer engagement platform based on real-time, location-based feedback that allows immediate response to customer feedback, down to the specific individual and location.  Features include:
– Real-time alerts via text, email and push notifications, individualized for each location or department, when customers submit feedback. Businesses decide what constitutes “good” and “bad” feedback in their environment and what triggers alerts to staff and automated responses to the customer.
– Broad deployment with activity managed by location.
– Analytics and a dashboard to help manage campaigns, track feedback and take appropriate action based on real-time data.
– Customizable sweepstakes and couponing features.
– Customizable signage for physical locations to encourage consumers to submit feedback.
(www.knownact.com)
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ADARA has unveiled its ADARA Magellan travel intelligence platform, which leverages more than 300 million monthly active uniques, five billion annual travel searches and 250 million annual travel bookings to provide a full view of travelers’ purchase behavior. The new platform allows marketers to target customers while delivering actionable data to drive programmatic media buying across multiple devices, and helps marketing managers create an advertising campaign quickly from audience targeting to creative design and deployment. (www.ADARA.com)
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VisitEngland, the national tourist board for England, has contracted for nSight’s Business Intelligence Dashboard and nCompass Reporting. (www.visitengland.com, www.nsightfortravel.com)
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Cendyn/ONE has received three WebAwards from the Web Marketing Association:
Standard of Excellence:
Lost Valley Ranch
OPAL Collection
Outstanding Website:
Ames Boston Hotel
Cendyn/ONE also received two Silver W3 Awards from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for its Ames Boston Web site, one each for Banner Campaign and for General Website.
(www.cendyn.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino implementing Duetto’s GameChanger
  • Vincci Hotels picks eRevMax’s RateTiger Shopper for 22 properties
  • Transamerica Hospitality Group selects eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager for all 21 properties

The 2,973-room Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is implementing Duetto’s GameChanger system. Recently purchased by Westgate Resorts, the property (formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton) is undergoing a major overhaul. (westgateresorts.com/las-vegas-resort-and-casino/, www.duetto.com)
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Spanish hospitality chain Vincci Hotels has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger Shopper for real-time rate intelligence at 22 of the 35 properties it manages across Spain, Tunisia and Portugal.
Brazil’s Transamerica Hospitality Group has contracted for eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager at all 21 properties.
(www.vinccihoteles.com, www.transamericagroup.com.br, www.erevmax.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • MICEHotelFinder releases online hotel directory for event professionals
  • Vantage Hospitality Group encourages 1,000+ properties to deploy Groupize Solutions’ GBE
  • Groupize announces Instant Book version of GBE, introduces Groupize Hub mobile platform

MICEHotelFinder has released its new online hotel directory for event professionals worldwide.  The site allows hotels to
share their facilities’ details (including capacity charts, floor plans, images, USPs, brochures, etc.) at no cost, and uses a highly customized hotel search engine with specific M.I.C.E. criteria. (www.MICEHotelFinder.com)
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Vantage Hospitality Group is encouraging its 1,000+ properties to deploy Groupize Solutions GBE for online group bookings. Vantage brands include Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn and Lexington by Vantage, America’s Best Inns & Suites, Country Hearth Inns & Suites, Jameson Inn and 3 Palms Hotels and Resorts.
Groupize has announced an Instant Book version of its Group Booking Engine and the introduction of its Groupize Hub mobile platform. The Lenox Hotel and Denihan Hospitality are the pilot customers for the new features.
(www.vantagehospitality.com, www.groupize.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Partender receives Editors’ Choice Award for Technology at IHM&RS
  • Gaylord Opryland installs Clear Sky Software’s Beverage software
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Partender received the Editors’ Choice Award for Technology at the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York. Partender’s patent-pending Bar Inventory & Ordering system runs on Apple iOS mobile devices and streamlines full bar inventory & ordering. Users can view accounting and order reporting on the web or Excel. (www.partender.com)
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The Banquet Department of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center has installed Clear Sky Software’s Beverage inventory management software.  (www.marriott.com/Gaylord-Opryland, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Guest-Tek partners with DIRECTV
  • Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport North adds Flyte Systems’  Event Module to FlyteBoard display
  • Eleven integrates Mobile Print Zone with Dropbox

Guest-Tek has partnered with DIRECTV to offer hotels advantages such as savings through DIRECTV’s channel rate card and upgrades to the smaller size Com2000 head-end unit. The relationship offers a range of in-room technology devices from Smart TVs to set top boxes. (www.directv.com, www.guest-tek.com)
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The 174-room Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport North has added Flyte Systems’  Event Module to its FlyteBoard real-time airline schedule display.  (www.hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Eleven has announced integration with Dropbox for its Mobile Print Zone, allowing hotel guests and visitors to print personal documents stored on Dropbox to secure lobby or business center computers. Mobile Print Zone is also compatible with EFI PrintMe software; Eleven will continue to add integrations with other cloud storage apps, such as Google Drive. (www.elevenwireless.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • The Edgewater selects Infor’s SunSystems 
  • Sertifi completes integration with Shift4 to capture customer signatures and secure payments online

The Edgewater, a historic hotel in Madison, Wis., has selected Infor’s SunSystems financial systems. (www.theedgewater.com, www.infor.com)
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Sertifi has completed integration with Shift4 to capture customer signatures and secure payments online, streamlining the contract and payment processes while addressing PCI compliance. (www.sertifi.com, www.shift4.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • INTEREL releases series of online room management products

INTEREL has released a series of online room management products as well as the establishment of a local presence in Asia and the Americas. The company offers a series of Room Control Units with expanded and flexible configuration options that allow hotel operators to optimize their energy monitoring and consumption and to deliver a wider array of guest room environment features, interactions and experiences. One example is a smart lamp that provides full bedside lamp functionality even when the master light switch is off.

INTEREL also introduced a new series of customizable wall and tabletop room control panels, which now incorporate a range of 3rd party power and connectivity options.
(www.interelme.com)
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SECURITY

  • HoistLocatel offers Zaplox’s mobile key service

Turnkey systems provider HoistLocatel is now offering Zaplox’s mobile key service and system, integrated into its lock system offerings. The smartphone app also includes check in, check out and other services. Based in Stockholm, HoistLocatel Group operates in 13 countries in Europe and the Middle East. (www.hoistgroup.com, www.zaplox.com)
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