November 29, 2011

In this issue…

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Security

NOVEMBER 17 – 29, 2011

TOP O’ THE NEWS

    • Can truly personal offers exist when CRM must be automated to cope with the huge volume of personal data?

With the ever-growing emphasis on gathering information about us from as many sources as possible, I’m curious as to whether we’ll ever get a good handle on CRM. By this I mean a way to gather complete (or at least pretty full) and accurate information about our clients, analyze it properly to understand what’s really significant to them and then provide truly meaningful personalized service to them based on that information.
We can now pull in data from a guest’s social network to gather information on their travels, preferences, regular Twitter posting topics, past employers, etc. but how many hoteliers have the time to analyze all this on an individual basis to make truly personal special offers to them? It has to be automated, but automation based on incomplete or inaccurate data can lead you to the wrong conclusions. Tech writer Robert Scoble talked about this (http://scoble.it/vrIngR) in relation to Facebook’s latest intrusion into our private space, its ability to repost your activity on sites such as The Washington Post, Spotify and about 60 other sites (at the moment) for all to see what news articles you’re reading, what music you’re listening to, and so on. Except that it doesn’t; it reports what your device (PC, phone, tablet, etc.) is displaying whether or not you’re actively looking at/listening to it, have let it play while you’re doing something else, or have let a friend borrow it.
This necessary reliance on automation makes it especially important that the humans who write the CRM rules for action base them on a holistic view of the guest, using their general information trends rather than specific, one-time actions, and go beyond simple responses based on one or two criteria. For example, two people in the last week alone have mentioned to me that they’d cashed in frequent-stay points accumulated over many, many stays to book family vacation rooms, and had been given small rooms next to the elevator and the ice machine. Is this really the message the chain wanted to send loyal guests? To show them in front of their families how little they value past loyalty, even if they did get a “free” room on this visit?
Call me cynical, but maybe we need to accept that the vast, increasing, incomplete and inaccurate data floating around about each of us makes it virtually impossible for vendors – including hotel marketing departments – to really care about us as individual humans instead of individual sources of revenue. In a bottom line-driven world, they’ll be happy as long as they can increase revenues through getting “personalized” special offers right for enough people most of the time. Those annoyed by the inevitable blunders will be seen as just the cost of doing business, leaving it up to the hotel staff to recover from an increasing number of marketing gaffes. We the people will recognize and accept the artificial nature of these marketing offers – and will place ever more value on the level of truly personal service and care we experience once we arrive at the hotel. No amount of automated CRM personalized offers can replace a real connection with someone who cares.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Bear River Casino Hotel picks Agilysys’ Lodging Management System and DataMagine
  • Frontdesk Anywhere introduces two-way interface with InnLink
  • Infor to relocate headquarters from Alpharetta to New York City
  • Leisure Hotels & Resorts implements Resort Data Processing’s RDPWin at four resorts

The Bear River Casino Hotel in Loleta, CA has selected Agilysys’ Lodging Management System and DataMagine signature capture technology for its new hotel. The casino has used Agilysys’ point-of-sale and inventory and procurement systems for several years. The 105-room property, scheduled to open in March 2012, also includes a 10,000-square-foot casino with 349 slot machines and 15 table and poker games, fine dining restaurant, deli, lounge and sports bar. (www.bearrivercasino.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Frontdesk Anywhere has introduced a two-way interface with InnLink for GDS/OTS connectivity and reservation delivery to the GMS. (www.frontdeskanywhere.com, www.innlink.com)
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Infor announced that it will relocate its headquarters to 641 Avenue of the Americas, New York City in the summer of 2012. The new headquarters will feature an Innovation Center housing newly-hired software engineers and graphic designers. Infor’s current headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. will continue as its main shared services center, housing functions such as finance, human resources and tax. (www.infor.com)
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Leisure Hotels & Resorts has implemented Resort Data Processing’s RDPWin at four independent resorts: Cove Point Lodge in Beaver Bay, MN, Camden on the Lake in Lake of the Ozark, MO,  Chase on the Lake Resort & Spa in Walker, MN and Hotel Grand Victorian in Branson, MO.   (www.leisurehotel.com , www.resortdata.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • FastBooking appoints Keychain Hospitality its partner in Southern Africa

FastBooking has appointed Keychain Hospitality as its partner in Southern Africa. (www.fastbooking.net)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • ReviewPro receives Best Emerging Technology Innovation Award at the 2011 PhoCusWright Conference

ReviewPro received the Best Emerging Technology Innovation Award at the 2011 PhoCusWright Conference. (www.reviewpro.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Best Western endorses RateTiger  in Ireland, Denmark, Turkey and South America
  • Park Hotels implements RateTiger’s RTSuite Shopperat five properties
  • Claridges Hotel New Delhi picks IDeaS
  • Peninsula.Excelsior Hotel, Singapore implements EzRMS
  • Millennium & Copthorne/Europe implements EZYield’s Fuzionsync

Best Western International has endorsed RateTiger as a preferred channel management vendor in Ireland, Denmark, Turkey and South America.
India’s Park Hotels has implemented RateTiger’s RTSuite Shopper online rate shopping tool in five of its nine properties, in Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
(www.bestwestern.com, www.theparkhotels.com, www.ratetiger.com)
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The 140-room Claridges Hotel New Delhi is implementing IDeaS Revenue Solutions Hospitality Consulting services and deploying its IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS). (www.claridges.com, www.ideas.com)
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YTC Hotels’ 600-room Peninsula.Excelsior Hotel in Singapore has implemented Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions’ EzRMS as part of an extensive renovation. (www.peninsulaexcelsiorhotelsingapore.com, www.EasyRMS.com)
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Millennium & Copthorne Hotels – Europe has implemented EZYield’s Fuzionsync Reservations Delivery software to automate third-party reservation processes, providing two-way connectivity between the hotel chain’s reservation system, revenue management system and its online distribution channels. The chain already uses EZYield’s Fuzionlink channel management application. (www.millenniumhotels.com, www.ezyield.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Hyatt’s 48 Lex, New York City, installs Crestron controls in four meeting rooms

Hyatt’s new boutique 48 Lex property in New York City has implemented Crestron integrated audio/video, lighting and shading controls in its four meeting rooms. (www.48lex.hyatt.com, www.crestron.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Springer-Miller appoints InfoScape Technologies its SpaSoft distributor in mid-East

PAR Springer-Miller Systems has appointed Dubai-based InfoScape Technologies as its exclusive SpaSoft distributor in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Egypt and India. (www.InfoScapeme.com, www.springermiller.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Fairmont Raffles names Cables To Go its approved provider of connectivity panels
  • FCS launches i-Guest Hotels Finder smartphone app to play recording of directions to hotel in local language
  • Novotel opens hotel room of the future in Paris using Microsoft Kinect interactive interface

Fairmont Raffles Hotels International has named Cables To Go as its approved provider of connectivity panels. CTGs TruLink Media Gateway will be deployed at new builds and hotels undertaking renovation programs; the panel
automatically detects the port being used, selects the HDMI input on the in-room TV and transmits the content. Smartphones and MP3 players can also be charged through the unit’s USB port. Connection ports include HDMI, VGA, composite video, 3.5mm audio, USB, Ethernet, Apple® devices, MP3 players and power receptacles. (www.cablestogo.com, www.frhi.com)
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FCS Computer Systems has launched FCS i-Guest Hotels Finder, a smartphone application that lets users search for hotels and play an audio recording of directions to the hotel and the nearest airport in the local language, for the benefit of taxi drivers and other native speakers. The application is available for iPhones, iPads and Samsung Android-powered devices. The app also uses Google Maps to show a local map in multiple languages. (www.fcscs.com)
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Novotel has partnered with Microsoft to launch a hotel room of the future, Room 3120 at the Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse.  The room includes a Kinect interface, a Sensorit mirror based on Kinect technology, a fitness interface and a Surface multimedia table. The guest can control the room environment by body gestures and voice recognition. The room was designed by the Naço architecture firm. Room 3120 is divided into two main spaces, each with its own Xbox 360 console with Kinect. One area, decorated in white and intended for the adults, has a fold-up bed; the other, more colorful and designed as a children’s playroom, has a tatami mat that rises up on one side to form a bench containing a Surface table with games and various multimedia applications.
Guests wave their hands at the Kinect console and then navigate through the menus with simple gestures; the console also works with voice control. The Xbox LIVE service offers guests a wide range of digital entertainment including games, music and HD movies. The Surface table offers applications from web browsing and board games to interactive maps.
The Kinect-driven Sensorit interactive mirror displays a variety of information in graphic and text form. Guests can choose information tags with a wave of the hand, accessing news, local weather or multimedia content. A fitness application offers a game in which an avatar reproduces the body movements of the guest, who has to touch a series of falling objects. Room 3120 is available for general reservations until February 14, 2012. (www.novotel.com/room3120)
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SECURITY

  • Mexico’s ExtendedSuites selects VingCard Elsafe’s VISIONLINE, Signature RFID locks brand-wide

Mexico’s first extended-stay brand ExtendedSuites has selected VingCard Elsafe’s VISIONLINE wireless locking system and Signature RFID locks for brand-wide implementation. (www.extendedsuites.com.mx, www.vingcard.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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