November 2, 2010

In this issue…

People on the Move

Hospitality Management Systems

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing





  • Vendors on different migration paths to the cloud

It was an interesting time on the development front last week as I visited two vendors and heard updates from two
others, all working on new cloud-based hospitality systems. One is extending an existing remotely-hosted product to
offer a more complete system, another is launching a complete SOA-based suite by combining offerings from other vendors
with its own network, and two others are migrating existing product ranges to new, cloud-based platforms. There’s
absolutely no doubt that the ease of implementation, support and integration of cloud-based SOA systems is the way
It’s not easy, though. Apart from the technical complexities of adopting a new architecture, the most difficult
challenge for existing vendors with established, complex systems is to introduce a new product without losing any of
the functionality their customers have become used to. It can’t be done overnight, especially when the current systems
have taken many years of steady development to reach their current state.
The two vendors on the migration path are taking different approaches, each very valid for its product and market. The
one with offerings aimed at the more straightforward limited/select service market has a new cloud application already
under way, and has a solid plan to focus development there while continuing to release minor enhancements to its
existing two lines. This way they’ll be able to switch customers over to the new product as it catches up with and
overtakes the current systems, and can offer a pretty seamless, staged transition to a more secure and affordable
The other is Micros. How do you migrate the world’s most widely-used system to a new platform without major
disruption? Very carefully, and one step at a time. The approach Micros unveiled at its User Group conference last
week for moving from the current Opera v5 to its next-generation Opera 9 (skipping over 6, 7 and 8 to avoid confusion
with Fidelio’s release numbers) is incremental. They’re not building a new system from scratch on a parallel
development path but taking individual components up onto the new platform one at a time in such a way that they
continue to work with the existing database and application while forming the basis of the new one. It’s undoubtedly
going to take a long time – after all, how long did it take Opera to become a viable alternative to Fidelio? – but this
componentization approach is the essence of Service-Oriented Architecture. I believe it’s the right, and possibly the
only feasible, approach for them, and I look forward to seeing the results.

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  • Darrin Pinkham named VP Information Technology at Benchmark
  • Andrew Sanders joins OpenWays as VP Business Development
  • Michael Miller named Chief Technology Officer at

Darrin Pinkham has been named Vice President Information Technology at Benchmark Hospitality International. A 22-year
veteran of the hospitality industry, before starting his own consultancy in 2008 Mr. Pinkham was vice president,
hospitality technology for Ginn Resorts and had earlier served in senior-level information technology positions with
Loews Resorts, Boca Resorts, Hershey Resorts and Scanticon.
Andrew Sanders has joined OpenWays as Vice President, Business Development. Mr. Sanders has 20+ years of hospitality
IT experience, most recently as VP Sales at Multi-Systems Inc. (MSI) and Director of Sales at Micros. He had earlier
served in the UK as Strategic Account Manager with Innsite Hotel Services, and as manager/Hotels and Leisure with
McDonnell Information Systems (UK).
Michael Miller has been named Chief Technology Officer at A former senior engineer for the Walt Disney
World Company in the 1990’s, Mr. Miller is one of the inventors of Disney FastPass queuing technology and was on the
founding team of Leap Frog International. Prior to joining, he served as director of corporate IT for
Compass Knowledge Group and had earlier held the same position at SunGard Higher Education.
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  • Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas picks Agilysys’ software suite
  • Pearl Hotel New York implements Skyware HMS, TTI Technologies Scan2PMS

The 2,995-room Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, scheduled to open Dec. 15, has selected Agilysys’ software suite. Components
to be implemented are:
– Lodging Management System (LMS) hospitality
management system (with ResNet for online room reservations and ShowGate for attraction ticketing services),
– Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and
procurement application for food and beverage as well as general property materials,
– InfoGenesis POS,
– Visual One Condo Accounting System, and
– DataMagine Document Management, for digital signature
capture as well as indexing and archiving business-critical documents and reports.
The Pearl Hotel New York has implemented Skyware Hospitality Solutions Web-based HMS, the sixth Empire Hotel Group
property to do so. The implementation also included TTI Technologies Scan2PMS integration to capture information such
as guest photo, name and address at check-in. (,,

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  • Lodging Interactive introduces customized landing page
  • Knowland Group ranked 26th on Deloitte’s 2010 Technology Fast 500

Lodging Interactive has introduced its service to help hotels establish customized landing pages
aimed at local demand drivers such as events and conventions, local attractions, sporting tournaments and amateur
travel teams and other SMERF markets. offers Search Engine Optimized landing pages, check
availability reservations links and a Google map on every page, and Search Engine XML site map, submission, monthly
hosting and Monthly Search Engine Ranking Reports (SERP) for all pages. (
The Knowland Group has been ranked 26th on Deloitte’s 2010 Technology Fast 500, a list identifying the fastest growing
technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America based on fiscal
revenue growth from 2005-2009. Knowland ranked fifth out of 190 companies in the software industry, and first on the
regional Greater Philadelphia Fast 50 list. (

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  • Two Boyd Gaming properties, IP Biloxi casino resort upgrade to Rainmaker
    revolution v.16.3
  • adds Passkey as a distribution channel
  • Wyboston Lakes Conference and Training Centre picks EasyRMS
  • Paradores de Turismo implements RateTiger’s RTSuite – ChannelManager PRO across 90+hotels
  • eRevMax launches Rate Tiger RTSuite Review online guest review consolidator

Two Boyd Gaming properties (in Michigan City, Indiana and Shreveport, Louisiana) and the 1,088-room IP Biloxi casino
resort have upgraded their Rainmaker Group revolution systems to version 16.3. Enhancements include greater visibility
into data in the system (especially guest transaction data from the property management system), streamlined room
upgrade recommendations, enhanced report security, performance and flexible distribution, and reporting by job role.
** has signed a connectivity agreement with Passkey, allowing its hotel partners to adjust their rate and
inventory allotment to Passkey’s meetings and events websites via the same interface used for EZYield’s 500+ other
distribution channels across the Internet. (,
Wyboston Lakes Conference and Training Centre has selected Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS), and has
implemented the EzRMS Core, Ez-QUOTE & Ez-BUDGET modules, a two-way interface to its Visual One HMS and an upload
interface for for integrated channel management. Wyboston Lakes, which claims to be the largest
independently owned, single-site residential conference and training centre in Northern Europe, includes three
conference centers and 405 guestrooms. (,
Paradores de Turismo has implemented RateTiger’s RTSuite – ChannelManager PRO across its portfolio of 90+ hotels, many
of which are located in nature reserves and in historic buildings, such as castles, palaces, convents and monasteries.
eRevMax has added RTSuite Review to its Rate Tiger range, an online guest review consolidator to help hotels manage their brand reputation and interact directly with guests across multiple hotel review sites. RTSuite Review sorts
customer reviews by various parameters (e.g. hotel facilities, F&B, customer service and cleanliness); hoteliers can
choose review periods from the last seven days up to 24 months, assess people’s comments, respond where possible and
gather statistical marketing information. Hey will also be able to review competitors’ guest reviews on the same

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  • EventSphere bases housing and meetings fulfillment services on Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Dolce implementing Passkey’s GroupMAX for all group operations
  • adds Passkey as a distribution channel

Atlanta-based EventSphere, a housing and meetings fulfillment company, is using Passkey’s GroupMAX application as its
technology platform.
Dolce Hotels and Resorts is implementing Passkey’s GroupMAX online reservation technology for all its group operations. Dolce hosts over 30,000 events and 4 million clients globally each year, more than 65% of which is in the group
sector. has signed a connectivity agreement with Passkey, allowing its hotel partners to adjust their rate and
inventory allotment to Passkey’s meetings and events websites via the same interface used for EZYield’s 500+ other
distribution channels across the Internet.

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  • Cosmopolitan Las Vegas picks InfoGenesis

The 2,995-room Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, scheduled to open Dec. 15, has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS, along with
Agilysys’ Lodging Management System (LMS), Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement application, Visual
One Condo Accounting and DataMagine Document Management. (,

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  • Clarion Hotel Stockholm pilots use of NFC-enabled Samsung mobile phones as keys to Vingcard locks
  • Ariane appointed an OpenWays VAR, working on joint project with Choice Hotels Scandinavia
  • Park International Hotel is implementing Swisscom’s Connected Hotel TV
  • HotSpot International appointed a TeleAdapt distributor for Mexico/Central America and Caribbean
  • O’Rourke releases Android version of Smartstay mobile hotel app
  • von Essen hotels installs Quadriga Sensiq portal in Hotel Verta, London
  • GBCblue integrates ORION, GORION with SAI’s SynergyMMS Maintenance Management System
  • Conrad  Maldives Rangali Island implements Runtriz’ guest services application
  • Marriott Uniondale Hotel & Conference Center installs business center from TTI Technologies
  • EFI updates PrintMe for printing from any Internet-enabled device including laptops and phones

The Clarion Hotel Stockholm, Sweden is piloting the use of NFC-enabled mobile phones as room keys. Guests can check in
to the hotel and receive the hotel room key directly onto their mobile phones before arrival. Bypassing the front desk
they can then go directly to their rooms and open the door simply by holding their phone against the lock. They can
also access other services via their mobile phone, and, on departure, hold the phone against an NFC-enabled device in
the lobby to check-out. If a phone is lost, its access credentials can be revoked remotely and then reissued. The
Choice Hotels Scandinavia four-month test is being conducted in conjunction with ASSA ABLOY’s Vingcard division,
Samsung mobile phones (which will be loaned to participating guests as necessary), TeliaSonera network access and
telecommunication services and Venyon’s Trusted Service Manager (TSM) services. (,,
Ariane Systems has been appointed a Value Added Reseller of OpenWays’ cell phone-based encrypted-audio guestroom key
system, adding another approach to its web/online/kiosk check-in options to help guests by-pass the front desk. Ariane
also announced a joint project with Choice Hotels Scandinavia’s Comfort Xpress division for fully automated check-
in/out processes. (,
London’s 198-room Park International Hotel is implementing Swisscom’s ConnectedHotel TV as part of its refurbishment,
due to be complete by January 2011. ConnectedHotel TV provides Internet access, HD TV and video services and gust
service communications with the front desk. (,
HotSpot International (HSI) has been appointed as a Value Added Distributor of TeleAdapt products for Mexico/Central
America and the Caribbean, covering sales, installation and service. HSI specializes in turnkey managed high-speed
Internet access solutions for the hotel industry, currently with over 200 hotel customers. (,
O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing has released its Smartstay mobile hotel app to the Android Market. SmartStay allows
hotels to provide map-based information on the property and local attractions (with click-through for more details and
to place calls) and to offer guests special offers. (
von Essen hotels has installed Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications portal in its Hotel Verta, London, which opened
in September. Billed as the world’s first integrated heliport hotel, the 70-room Hotel Verta offers private jet and
helicopter charter service through the Sensiq portal as well as more conventional offerings such as Internet access and
information about what’s on and what to do in London. (,
GBCblue has integrated its ORION and GORION guest services applications with System Associates Inc.’s (SAI’s)
SynergyMMS Maintenance Management System to enhance the service-delivery process. The integration allows guests to
bypass the PBX and report maintenance concerns, request supplies or send a message directly to hotel staff (such as
valet, housekeeping or maintenance) using their personal laptops or mobile devices, with better hotel tracking of
delivery. (,
The Conrad  Maldives Rangali Island resort has implemented Runtriz’ guest services application. The resort, which
offers 150 villas and an all-glass undersea restaurant, purchased 200 iPod Touch devices to lend guests without their
own. (,
The 618-room Marriott Uniondale Hotel & Conference Center, Long Island, NY has installed a new Business Center from TTI
Technologies. The Center includes All-in-One Dell computers with built-in webcams, easy access USB ports, Skype
phones, a color laser printer, and a fax/copy/scan terminal. (,
EFI has announced its next generation of the PrintMe mobile printing application to allow mobile workers to print from
any Internet-enabled device, including laptops and mobile phones. The new version offers document conversion
capabilities, unique smartphone apps, a new print driver and SDKs for developers to add printing capabilities to their
applications. The iPhone version is available now, with a BlackBerry version available in December. (

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  • Elysian Hotel selects UniFocus’ Watson, R.M.
  • Oyster Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten picks UniFocus’ GUESTScope

Elysian Hotel has selected UniFocus’ Watson, R.M. Labor Management System and Budgeting Software package for its 188-
room flagship property in Chicago.
Oyster Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten has selected UniFocus’ GUESTScope system.

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  • Cosmopolitan Las Vegas picks Stratton Warren System

The 2,995-room Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, scheduled to open Dec. 15, has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System
(SWS) inventory and procurement application, along with Agilysys’ Lodging Management System (LMS), InfoGenesis POS,
Visual One Condo Accounting and DataMagine Document Management. (,

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  • Comfort Suites Gothenburg, Nebraska installs Vingcard Orion energy
  • Schneider Electric launches Cassia Energy Management System

The 74-room Comfort Suites in Gothenburg, Nebraska has installed ASSA ABLOY’s Vingcard Orion energy management system,
VISIONLINE wireless RF-online system and Signature RFID door locks. Orion’s thermostat detects guest presence to
adjust temperature settings during an absence and upon the guest’s return, and provides hoteliers with preventative
maintenance schedules and occupancy trends and reports. (,
Schneider Electric has launched its Cassia Energy Management System (EMS) for hotels and other multi-unit facilities,
using room automation and energy monitoring software to increase efficiencies in heating, cooling and lighting. The
system utilizes a customizable graphical software interface to provide real-time energy monitoring and reporting
tailored to the needs of the facility; battery- powered thermostats, lighting controls and sensors in each room are
linked via Zigbee wireless technology. In addition to occupancy-sensing adjustments, signals can be sent to all light
switches to turn off. (

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  • Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel implements KABA ILCO 790 RFID contactless hotel
  • Comfort Suites Gothenburg, Nebraska installs ASSA ABLOY’s Signature RFID door locks

The 825-room Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel in Quebec, Canada has implemented KABA’s ILCO 790 RFID contactless hotel
locks on every room door as part of its recent renovation. (,
The 74-room Comfort Suites in Gothenburg, Nebraska has installed ASSA ABLOY’s Signature RFID door locks, VISIONLINE
wireless RF-online system and Vingcard Orion energy management system. (,

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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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