October 1, 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

Communications / Infrastructure

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SEPTEMBER 10 – OCTOBER 1, 2014

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Software pricing becomes increasingly complex
  • Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne’s annual IT Benchmark Report details property level technology spend in EAME
  • Five more hospitality companies listed in the Inc. 5,000

Is it too late to hope that we can simplify the way hotel management systems are priced? It’s always been a complex subject, partly because of the increasing modularity of our systems and their interfaces. There’s logic to this, of course; if you’re not going to use a particular module, why pay for it? And being able to pick just the interfaces you need to your property’s sub-systems obviously makes sense. But the overall cost of a system has become increasingly hard to determine, at least without a fair degree of analysis up front.
For as long as I’ve been involved in this industry total system costs have come as a surprise to hoteliers, especially when they discover that the interfaces they need cost more than the base software. The individual prices are often a surprise, too. Some interfaces are indeed complex and cannot be simple to develop or support, but equally there seems no justification for continuing to charge $2,500 for a call accounting interface that was developed 30 years ago and transmits just one simple message type.
The coming of subscription-based pricing seemed to hold the promise of a much simpler approach; “all you pay is just $5/room/month!” Well, OK, but what do you get for that $5? Some vendors genuinely do try to keep it as simple as possible, including several basic interfaces and all set-up, training and support fees in the one base figure. Increasingly, though, I’m finding more vendors charging on a very fine-grained level.
This might make for a price more accurately tailored to precisely what the client wants, but it’s frequently harder to make sure you’ve covered all the bases in a total figure. For example, does that $5 include a reservations feed? If so, is it just from a chain’s CRS or does it also cover the GDSs, ADSs and the property’s Website booking engine? Transaction fees for each of these channels are cropping up more often, requiring a realistic assessment of the number of bookings expected over each channel before an owner can develop a useful annual cost comparison between systems.
It’s spreading further, too. A credit card interface that used to be a one-time fee may now also carry a per-transaction fee, and may also carry an add-on for each P2PE encrypted card reader in use. Does the base figure cover all support? How about the hosting of the system in some central server facility, or in a commercial cloud such as Azure? Just as with air fares the initial price might seem very attractive, but by the time you’ve worked out all the other factors you need to get to your destination the actual total can be very different.
Is all this justified? I know we’re still in the relatively early days of cloud systems, and pricing is still something of an experimental area. But what may seem like “trying to be accurate” to a vendor too often comes across as “nickel and diming” to a hotelier.
**
The Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne’s (EHL’s) IT Benchmark Report on hotel technology spending at the property level in EAME shows that OPEX spend per room increased to an all-time high of 516€ in 2013, with CAPEX spend at 208€ consistent with previous years 2007-2013. This is the first year that the report has included data on the largest IT investment; surprisingly, a significant 38.6% of hotels did not make any single large technology investments in 2013. This may have been due to their making major investments in the previous year, although of this 38.6% of properties 11.1% spent an average of 291,000€ in 2013 on IT, clearly spending across the board rather than on a single project.
The most popular technological investments were for Internet (18.6%), software (11.4%) and server (10.0%) upgrades. 18.6% of hotels spent an average of 101,000€ on both guest and admin upgrades to their Internet provision, in line with the increased demand for greater Internet speed and availability at hotels. Few large scale investments in hardware were reported (4.3%). Software-related spending, predominantly by hotels in North-West Europe, tended to include upgrades and installations of systems such as parking, POS and other operations-related systems. The full report can be downloaded at  http://www.ehl.edu/eng/Faculty-Research/Research/Publications/Marketing-IT-and-new-technologies/Publications-in-2014/IT-benchmarking-at-property-level-2014
**
In my recent congratulations to hospitality software and management firms appearing on the Inc. 5,000 of fastest-growing companies, I inadvertently left out a few. Congratulations are also due to:
# 4155 – Milestone Internet Marketing.
# 4523 – Benchmark Hospitality International, appearing on the list for the fifth time.
# 4735 – First Hospitality, a Mid-West developer and management company appearing for the eighth time.
# 4739 – HotelPlanner.com, providing on-line hotel sales and event planning services.
# 4870 – Towne Park, a hospitality staffing provider on the list for the seventh time.
Well done, all!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Keith Durden joins Flip.to as Chief Financial Officer
  • Raul Vega is Flip.to’s new Senior Director of Sales
  • Michael Mathews joins Flip.to Account Management team
  • Fran Forte joins SkyTouch Technology as SVP Sales & Marketing
  • Tim Hart is new CEO and board member at The Knowland Group
  • Julie Beas joins Duetto as Senior Director of Deployments
  • Araz Feyzi hired by Duetto as Director of Product and Analytics
  • Keno Helmi joins Duetto as Executive VP Worldwide Field Operations
  • Mara Campi Pincepoche promoted to Regional Director of Business Development – EMEA at TSA Solutions
  • Jasmine Koontz joins PAR Springer-Miller as Regional Sales Manager, Southwest
  • Bill Green joins PAR Springer-Miller as Regional Sales Manager, Northwest
  • Cody Martin hired by FCS as Senior Director of Sales & Operations of North America
  • Ken McGovern joins Groupize Solutions as Senior Director of Sales
  • Dennis Martin hired by Intelity as Senior Vice President of Global Sales
  • Kurt Bradshaw is new VP Strategic Partnerships at Intelity
  • Michael Dunphy named Director of Sales/APAC for ZDirect

Keith Durden has joined Flip.to as Chief Financial Officer. He most recently served with TravelClick as Director of Finance and Accounting, and previously worked with Flip.to President Edward St.Onge as Finance Leader at EZYield.
Raul Vega is Flip.to’s new Senior Director of Sales. A 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, he was formerly Head of Hotel Partnerships at Stash Hotel Rewards.
Michael Mathews, a former Flip.to customer, has joined its Account Management team to oversee campaigns for new and existing clients. He was previously Revenue & Reservations Manager at CoCo Key Orlando Hotel & Water Resort.
**
Fran Forte has joined SkyTouch Technology as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  He brings considerable experience form companies including Savana, Yammer, Cisco and Microsoft.
**
Tim Hart has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors at The Knowland Group, succeeding founder Michael K. McKean. Mr. McKean remains with the company as an investor and board member. Mr. Hart is a 20+ year technology travel and hospitality veteran, and most recently was co-founder and CEO of The Rubicon Group until its sale to TravelClick. He had earlier led the product and technology development activities of Aeronomics, which later merged with Decision Focus Incorporated to form Talus Solutions.
**
Julie Beas has joined Duetto as Senior Director of Deployments. She comes to Duetto after a 20-year career at Caesars Entertainment where she held senior positions in revenue management, hospitality operations and information technology. She most recently served as Director of Revenue Management, Enterprise Analytics.
Araz Feyzi has been hired by Duetto as Director of Product and Analytics. Also coming from at Caesars Entertainment, Mr. Feyzi held a number of positions there in data logistics, business intelligence, revenue management and gaming analytics, serving most recently as Manager of Gaming Analytics.
Keno Helmi has joined Duetto as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations, bringing more than fifteen years of experience in developing teams at companies such as Digby and Hewlett-Packard.
**
Mara Campi Pincepoche has been promoted to Regional Director of Business Development – EMEA at TSA Solutions. Ms. Pincepoche joined the company in 2007 as a Performance Consultant and has served as TSA’s Director of Business Development for Southwestern Europe since 2010. Prior to joining TSA Solutions, she served as Director of Global Sales for InterContinental Hotels Group in the Middle East region.
**
Jasmine Koontz has joined PAR Springer-Miller as Regional Sales Manager for the Southwest Territory out of Dallas, Texas. Ms. Koontz joins from Digital Alchemy where she served as the Director of Resort Spa Sales.
Bill Green has joined PAR Springer-Miller as the Regional Sales Manager for the Northwest Territory, based in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Green served as a Regional Sales Manager at Newmarket International prior to joining PSMS.
**
Cody Martin has been hired by FCS Computer Systems as Senior Director of Sales & Operations of North America . With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr. Martin has previously served with UniFocus, was one of the first employees of Worktopia, and served as Vice President of Sales and Development for a PMS company that caters to casinos and boutique hotels.
**
Ken McGovern has joined Groupize Solutions as Senior Director of Sales. Mr. McGovern brings more than two decades of hospitality industry experience, gained with companies including Infor and Newmarket. Most recently he was Vice President of Business Development for RoamingAround.
**
Dennis Martin has been hired by Intelity as Senior Vice President of Global Sales, bringing extensive management experience in executive-level sales and marketing positions from companies including Sonobi Media, Highwinds and Canon.
Kurt Bradshaw steps into the role of Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Intelity. He has an extensive background in hospitality technology digital marketing and business development, most recently serving as a Vice President for TIG Global/ MICROS eCommerce for more than a decade.
**
Michael Dunphy has been named Director of Sales for ZDirect in the APAC region, operating from the company’s regional office in Singapore. The 16-year hospitality industry veteran began his hospitality career in Dublin hotels, holding manager positions at the Stillorgan Park Hotel and Bracken Court Hotel as well as Deputy General Manager for the School House Hotel in Dublin and the Quality Hotel in Waterford. He was then Regional Sales Manager for Rafferty Hospitality Products and for Middle East Micros Fidelio distributors Key Information Technology (KIT). Most recently he served as hotel sales/account manager for MICROS Australia, and as Senior Business Development Manager for Clifton’s training/seminar facilities in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • CheckMate to let travelers check-in via cards in Google Now
  • Azalea Hotels & Residences, Philippines implements Hotelogix in less than 24 hours
  • RoomKeyPMS partners with GuestDriven to offer clients mobile app and marketing/communication dashboard.
  • Design Hotels offers members GuestDriven’s Mobile Guest Engagement platform
  • MSI certifies CloudPM interface with Booking.com
  • Sanchaya implements Protel PMS, Xn-POS and Xn Web Booking systems from Xn Hotel Systems
  • Las Vegas Downtown Project selects PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO
  • Scout Hotels orders PAR Springer-Miller’s ATRIO for seven properties
  • Clock Software released guest portal for cloud-based Clock PMS

CheckMate has announced plans to let travelers complete check-in via cards generated by and displayed in Google Now. Triggered prior to the guest’s arrival, the card ensures that guests get the right room and know in advance when their room will be ready. Initial properties developing cards include Rydges Sydney Airport, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, and Affinia Manhattan. (www.checkmate.io)
**
Azalea Hotels & Residences, Philippines has implemented Hotelogix’ cloud-based GMS  in less than 24 hours. The hotel staff had evaluated the system during a free trial period and took advice from a sister property that implemented Hotelogix two years ago. Hotelogix on-boarded the hotel and set up their rooms, packages, future reservations, guest details and other processes in less than 24 hours.  (www.azalea.com.ph, www.hotelogix.com/)
**
RoomKeyPMS has partnered with GuestDriven to offer its clients a client-facing mobile app and a hotel-facing marketing and communication dashboard.
Design Hotels is now offering its 270 independent hotel members GuestDriven’s Mobile Guest Engagement platform, allowing them to offer guests a personalized experience, pre-arrival check in and access to amenities.
(guestdriven.com, www.designhotels.com, roomkeypms.com)
**
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has announced a certified direct two-way interface between its CloudPM and Booking.com.
**
The 30-unit Sanchaya beachfront estate on Bintan, Indonesia, has implemented the Protel PMS, Xn-POS and Xn Web Booking systems from Xn Hotel Systems. (www.thesanchaya.com, www.xnhotels.com)
**
The Las Vegas Downtown Project has selected PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO Property Management System for its multiple hospitality properties. Led by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, the Downtown Project aims to build a new community through investments in real estate and development, small businesses, education, arts, culture and tech startups.
Scout Hotels has ordered PAR Springer-Miller’s ATRIO Property Management System for its seven properties across New England and Florida. Scout Hotels has already installed ATRIO at its HarborView Place and CapeWind Waterfront Resort properties; additional properties will be scheduled shortly.
(www.downtownrproject.com, www.scouthotels.com., www.partech.com)
**
Clock Software has released enhancements to its cloud-based Clock PMS, including a guest self-service portal to help guests manage their bookings before, during and after their stay. Guest can request booking changes or cancellations, fill in and sign their registration cards, and notify the hotel of their location and pending arrival. On property they can view their bill, pay it online and receive an invoice, share their experience in the hotel social network profile or leave feedback for the management. (www.clock-hotel-software.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Alibaba’s Taobao subsidiary takes stake in Beijing Shiji Information Technology
  • NAVIS named one of ‘Top Workplaces’ by The Oregonian for third consecutive year
  • Sabre acquires Genares

Alibaba Group’s Taobao (China) Software Co., Ltd. subsidiary has taken a 15% stake in Chinese hotel IT provider Beijing Shiji Information Technology Co. Ltd., and will link the systems of the Taobao Travel vertical with Shiji Information’s systems to strengthen Alibaba’s capability in the online travel market. Taobao Travel enables consumers to book air and train tickets, hotels, vacation packages, excursions, and travel visa services; consumers can also access the platform via a dedicated Taobao Travel mobile application. Shiji Information develops hotel information management system software, system integration and technical services; its products and services are used by almost 6,000 hotels in China, both domestic and foreign. Taobao and Shiji are expected to focus their collaboration on direct connections with hotel information systems, booking-related product development, integration with member services platforms and payment settlement through scannable technology. (www.shijinet.com.cn/en/, www.taobao.com)
**
NAVIS has been named one of the ‘Top Workplaces’ by The Oregonian newspaper for the third consecutive year. Of the 1,000+ Oregon companies surveyed The Oregonian ranked NAVIS #11 in the ‘Top 30′ Midsize Company’ category, and #1 in Central Oregon. (www.thenavisway.com )
**
Sabre Corporation has acquired CRS provider Genares, adding its more than 2,300 independent and chain hotel clients to Sabre’s existing base of nearly 18,000 hotels. (www.genares.com, www.sabre.com)
**

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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Red Lion to use Serenata as CRM engine for its RevPak integrated marketing and distribution services
  • Chase Hotels implements Flip.to at eight properties
  • HeBS Digital receives five WebAwards from WMA
  • HeBS Digital receives seven Travel Weekly Magellan Awards
  • HeBS Digital’s CMS Premium content management system receives Gold Stevie Award
  • HeBS Digital receives six Interactive Media Awards
  • RoamingAround releases Geo-Location marketing message services
  • Coast Hotels deploying new CRM initiative based on ZDirect
  • Busy Rooms releases Content Hub content management and distribution tool
  • Syniverse launches Mobile Engagement Suite
  • Dorsett Hospitality International picks ReviewPro
  • Lodging Interactive receives Travel Weekly Silver Magellan Award
  • Lodging Interactive receives two WMA WebAwards
  • Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle launches Facebook Review Services
  • Danat Hotels & Resorts deploys Nor1’s eStandby upselling service
  • Revinate introduces inGuest business intelligence and communications application
  • nSight releases nCompass BI Reporting 
  • Pelican Bay Resort at Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island implements HotelIQ Business Intelligence

TravelClick has received 44 awards for website design from three organizations:
– Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards: two Gold and three Silver
– W³: three Gold and twelve Silver
– Web Marketing Association’s WebAwards: ten Outstanding Web Site awards, 14 standard of Excellence.
TravelClick also received a WMA “Outstanding Website Developer Award.” (www.travelclick.com)
**
Red Lion Hotels will use Serenata IntraWare’s NetHotel as the CRM engine for its RevPak integrated marketing and distribution services, which will include CRS, CRO, PMS, CRM, content management, web operations, internet marketing services, field marketing and new business intelligence. (www.redlion.com, www.serenata.com)
**
Chase Hotels has implemented Flip.to at its eight limited-service properties across the U.S. (www.chasesuitehotels.com, www.flip.to)
**
HeBS Digital has received 18 awards for Web site design from three organizations:
– Web Marketing Association’s WebAwards: three Outstanding Website awards, two Standard of Excellence awards
– Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards: two Gold and five Silver.
– Interactive Media Awards (IMA): three Best in Class, three Outstanding Achievement
HeBS Digital’s CMS Premium content management system has received the American Business Awards Gold Stevie Award in the Best Software Programming/Design category. The CMS Premium was cited for its ability to help hoteliers maximize presence and revenue from desktop, mobile and tablet screens.
(www.HeBSDigital.com)
**
RoamingAround has released Geo-Location marketing message services, allowing targeted hotel-to-guest messaging based on location (indoor or outdoor) as well as guest preferences. The GEO-Location component can be added to any existing app by use of a software development kit, or it can be included in a full Mobile Engagement Solution by RoamingAround. Properties and brands decide the areas and rules of when and who receives which messages; different content is shown to different users based on proximity and preferences, including language. For indoor geo-fencing RoamingAround works with each hotel to identify the best indoor access points (iBeacon, Bluetooth BLE 4.0 and WiFi), including being able to detect a guest’s movement vertically between floors or levels of a space. Outdoor geo-fencing tracks customers through “fenced” locations such as hotel outlets, partnering businesses, transportation hubs and even competitor locations. The technology combines individual customer profile data, business intelligence rules and uses latitude and longitude coordinates, GPS or Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities as needed. (www.RoamingAround.com)
**
Coast Hotels is deploying a new CRM initiative based on ZDirect software to its hotels in Western Canada and the Western U.S., bringing all digital marketing, surveys and loyalty onto one platform. ZDirect will enhance its loyalty management platform with a more powerful guest portal for guests to manage their preferences, with simple account creation and social media login integration. The loyalty program will be enhanced further to include full customization and program design by Coast Hotels, with a report dashboard. (www.coasthotels.com, www.zdirect.com)
**
Busy Rooms has released its Content Hub, a new content management and distribution tool to help hospitality providers and online sales channels exchange content for online sales. (www.busy-rooms.com/en)
**
Syniverse has launched its Mobile Engagement Suite to help companies communicate with both customers and employees anywhere, anytime and on any mobile device. Syniverse Mobile Engagement for Customers lets companies use subscriber data to enrich the experience for their opted-in customers through secure real-time mobile campaigns and notifications such as loyalty programs, coupons, surveys, contests and trivia via multiple channels, including SMS, MMS, web, social networks, mobile app push notifications and email. Syniverse Mobile Engagement for Employees lets companies broadcast critical information to employees through mobile channels including email, SMS and voice calls. Companies can preconfigure request and response behavior for any scenario via threaded, multi-channel communications covering updates such as weather-related closures, disasters or other time-sensitive situations. Automated messages can be quickly delivered to individuals or groups based on keyword responses (e.g. yes, no, maybe) and pre-determined escalation behavior while tracking communications with real-time monitoring and post-incident reporting. (www.syniverse.com)
**
Hong Kong-headquartered Dorsett Hospitality International has selected ReviewPro for its properties in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as a recently added property in the United Kingdom. ReviewPro’s Global Review Index (GRI) online reputation score will help benchmark any given hotel, group of hotels or chain, facilitate comparisons between properties and competitors, and track the evolution of a hotel’s performance over time. (www.dorsett.com, www.reviewpro.com)
**
Lodging Interactive has received a Travel Weekly Silver Magellan Award for The Manhattan Club’s website.
Lodging Interactive also received WMA WebAwards for its Website designs for the Manhattan Club and the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group.
Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle Social Media division has launched Facebook Review Services, to help hoteliers respond to guests who have stayed at the property and offered feedback, pre-empt negative reviews on TripAdvisor, and identify and nurture relationships with social media champions/page contributors.
(www.lodginginteractive.com)
**
Danat Hotels & Resorts is deploying Nor1’s eStandby upselling service, interfaced with its SynXis booking engine and Micros Opera GMS. (www.danathotels.com, www.nor1.com)
**
Revinate has introduced inGuest business intelligence and communications application, which connects reservation data with both social data and guest feedback to build rich social guest profiles and deliver precisely targeted engagement campaigns. The inGuest platform incorporates a customized mobile app for each hotel (available for iOS, Android & Mobile Web), including advanced check-in, room service/other service requests (with escalation), booking requests for dining/spa/activities and a Concierge Connect link. Following a successful pilot test inGuest is currently being deployed at Hotel Durant, Jefferson Street Inn, Hotel Jerome, Sentinel and other properties.  (www.revinate.com/inGuest)
**
nSight has released BI enhancements to its market intelligence product. nCompass BI Reporting  provides a color-coded calendar view of demand and bookings for the next 30 days and 60 days. It also tells a hotel where to go to fill demand gaps by identifying geographic markets and personas likely to book within specific 30- and 60-day need periods. (www.nsightfortravel.com)
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Swedish ownership group Pandox’s Pelican Bay Resort at Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island has implemented Intelligent Hospitality HotelIQ Business Intelligence for sales, marketing and revenue reporting, analytics and decision support. (www.pandox.se/en/, www.intelligent-hospitality.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • SnapShot launches cloud-based system focusing on Hotel Demand Management
  • SiteMinder adds China’s Ctrip to distribution network
  • Heathman Hotel implementing IDeaS
  • Park & Suites and Appart’City choose FASTBOOKING
  • eRevMax adds connectivity interfaces with leading channels in South America
  • Hoffmeister Hotel & Spa selects eRevMax’s RateTiger
  • LaTour Hotels and Resorts adopts eRevMax’s RateTiger
  • Roomlia partners with TravelClick for channel management

SnapShot has launched a cloud-based system focusing on ‘Hotel Demand Management’, which it defines as “the merger of Revenue Management, Distribution, Marketing & Finance organizational structures, standards and processes to drive optimal profit & performance”. The platform aggregates PMS, RMS, ORM, Price and Benchmark & Analytics data in one cloud-based grid, and is intended to support the budgeting, forecasting and strategy planning of hotel demand. SnapShot also unveiled SnapShot GO!, a version tailored to the specific needs of independent hotels. (www.snapshot.travel)
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SiteMinder has added China’s Ctrip to its distribution network, providing two-way XML integration between the 14,000+ hotels using its Room Distribution Exchange (RDX) platform and China’s largest online travel booking channel. (english.ctrip.com, www.siteminder.com)
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Portland’s 150-room Heathman Hotel is implementing IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ Revenue Management System (RMS). (www.heathmanportland.com , www.ideas.com)
**
Park & Suites and Appart’City have chosen FASTBOOKING for online distribution services, including a booking engine, Channel Manager, Direct Link, Global Distribution System (GDS) and PMS 2-way connectivity. Park & Suites acquired Appart’City in April; the combined group has 116 establishments ranging from 2 to 4 stars. Appart’City has been a FASTBOOKING client since 2005. (www.parkandsuites.com / www.appartcity.com, www.fastbooking.com)
**
eRevMax is now offering connectivity interfaces with leading channels in South America including CVC, MalaPronta.com and several others.
The Czech Republic’s 45-room Hoffmeister Hotel & Spa has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager.
LaTour Hotels and Resorts has adopted eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager for managing availability, rates and inventory (ARI) across online sales channels for its personalized vacation experiences at properties in the United States, Mexico and Venezuela.
(www.hoffmeister.cz/en/, www.latourhotelsandresorts.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Roomlia has partnered with TravelClick for channel management for bookings over its mobile app. Roomlia initially covers hotels in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, New Orleans, Orange County, Honolulu, San Diego, Seattle and Orlando, and plans to be in all major United States markets by the end of 2014. (www.roomlia.com, www.TravelClick.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Four Winds Interactive issues v5.0 software release
  • Elite Meetings International announces eRFP dashboard for SpeedRFP
  • Royal Cliff Hotels Group selects Newmarket’s cloud-based Delphi.fdc
  • Landmark Bangkok chooses Newmarket’s Delphi.fdc and MeetingMatrix
  • The Lenox Hotel Boston deploys Groupize’s Group Booking Engine

Four Winds Interactive (FWI) has issued a new software release, 5.0, along with an “app store” of images, videos, apps, templates and more that can be used to design and populate visual displays, one screen at a time or enterprise-wide.
Main features of v5 include:
– The FWI Store with pre-built templates, applications, content and plug-ins on a subscription basis.
– Sharable Applications, enabling users to create, publish and share custom applications, or leverage store content.
– Remote Web Management from any web-enabled device.
– Content Approval Workflow: automated email notifications are sent when new content is added for managers’ review and approval.
– Network Monitoring integrated into Content Manager Desktop.
(www.fourwindsinteractive.com)
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Elite Meetings International (EMI) has announced a new eRFP dashboard for its SpeedRFP product, offering a high-level snapshot of hotel proposals, plus features that recommend, offer real-time status, compare proposals, track impressions and sources, compile competitive-set analyses, and more. (www.SpeedRFP.com, www.EliteMeetings.com)
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The Royal Cliff Hotels Group has selected Newmarket International’s cloud-based Delphi.fdc for its group sales and catering management at its four hotels in Asia.
The Landmark Bangkok has chosen Newmarket’s Delphi.fdc and MeetingMatrix.
(www.royalcliff.com, www.landmarkbangkok.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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The Lenox Hotel Boston has deployed Groupize Solutions’ Group Booking Engine (GBE).  (www.lenoxhotel.com, www.groupize.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Agilysys announces v 4.4.5 of InfoGenesis POS and InfoGenesis Flex
  • Agilysys expandes rGuest range to include rGuest Seat

Agilysys has announced version 4.4.5 of its InfoGenesis POS and InfoGenesis Flex platforms. Flex is now available on 8” and dockable 11” Dell Venue tablets and can be fitted with Ingenico’ iSMP Companion, a P2PE-capable Bluetooth MSR. Two additional P2PE-capable Ingenico MSRs are available for USB connection to a docked InfoGenesis Flex 11”. The 4.4.5 versions include integration with Agilysys’ rGuest Pay Gateway and other security device options.
Agilysys has expanded its rGuest range to include rGuest Seat, a table, reservation and wait list management application that can be bundled with other Agilysys offerings, including POS, analytics, inventory and procurement, and workforce management. rGuest Seat is a web-based and iOS app-based table management system that offers customized table layouts and the ability to block tables from reservations and service. An online reservation widget enables diners to book reservations from the restaurant website with options such as special menus and seating areas. Other features include:
– Ability to control reservation slots manually or operate in automatic mode
– Wait list functionality to provide more accurate wait time estimates
– Customizable guest confirmation via email and text messaging
– Dashboard for managers to track shift statistics, assign servers, add notes and access reports
– Ability to toggle between multiple outlets.
(www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Beverly Hilton deploys guestroom tablets with Intelity’s ICE
  • Hilton Arlington installs two FlyteBoard displays
  • Satisfi has launches customer service mobile platform
  • Gleneagles Hotel completes guestroom technology upgrade with Quadriga’s Sensiq
  • Nairobi Serena Hotel picks HOTstream Interactive TV, IPTV, Video on Demand and Mobile application
  • Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel adds audio induction T-Loop technology from Ampetronic for hearing-impaired guests
  • FCS Computer Systems appoints Global Gossip Group as a distributor for the Pacific Rim
  • Palmer House Hilton deploys HCN tablet Navigator to its guestrooms

The 569-room Beverly Hilton has deployed guestroom tablets with Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) guest service app. Guests can use ICE to make direct requests to the hotel staff for specific services, such as in-room dining, housekeeping needs and more. The tablets can also be used as alarm clock-radios, and replace traditional print information materials. ICE is also loaded onto a lobby tablet kiosk, and is available as a mobile app for iOS and Android. (www.beverlyhilton.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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The Hilton Arlington in Texas has placed two Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard displays in its lobby, showing real-time arrivals and departures for nearby Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (www.ArlingtonTX.Hilton.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Satisfi has launched a customer service mobile platform. Businesses create a checklist of common concerns and requests, as well as appropriate signage to deploy at the point of service – whether it’s a hotel guest room or lobby entrance, restaurant or check-out line. Customers access the Satisfi platform via the free Android or iOS app, via a QR code on the signage, by geo-location on the Web app, i-beacon, or a text-back feature; they can pick an issue from the supplied checklist or type a request of their own, and submit their feedback with their email address. One or more designated team members within the organization are immediately alerted to an incoming request via email or text. Satisfi includes back-end analytics on an Enterprise Dashboard to review requests and identify trends. Satisfi was formerly known as SuperSolver.com. (www.satis.fi )
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Gleneagles Hotel has completed a guestroom technology upgrade from Quadriga Worldwide, covering television, wireless and technology. Quadriga’s Sensiq platform was deployed over the existing cabling and infrastructure to deliver extended WiFi coverage, better in-room entertainment with content streaming, mobile control of TV through a guest device, and support for guests’ devices and content. Quadriga also migrated a range of Gleneagles legacy services and applications including security onto the new IP based backbone. (www.gleneagles.com, www.quadriga.com)
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The Nairobi Serena Hotel has selected MCOM’s HOTstream Interactive TV, IPTV, Video on Demand and Mobile application for guest devices. Guest can download the Serena Care application from Apple store or Google Play to their own mobile devices to access all the services that are also available on the in-room TVs, including view bill, reservations, hotel directory and more. (www.serenahotels.com, www.hotstream.eu)
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The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel has added audio induction T-Loop technology from Ampetronic for hearing-impaired guests. Signs direct such guests to a specially designated area of the reception desk where they can indicate a preference to use the T-Loop technology. The hotel associate then furnishes the guest with a special headset, before s/he speaks into a connected microphone to communicate clearly and effectively. (www.marriott.com/Arlington?, www.ampetronic.com)
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FCS Computer Systems (FCS) has added Global Gossip Group to its Valued Business Partnership program, as a distributor for the Pacific Rim. Founded in 1997, Global Gossip is a managed service provider maintaining networks for partners in eleven countries and providing high-speed Internet access (HSIA) throughout the Pacific Rim. (globalgossip.com, www.fcscs.com)
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Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton has deployed HCN tablet Navigator to its guestrooms to provide guests with information about the hotel’s amenities, services & facilities, restaurants, room service, hotel history, safety & security and more. The HCN TabNavs will also give guests access to city directories, high-speed internet, directions and maps of the Chicago area, and will allow corporate groups and convention organizers to broadcast event information to their attendees. Future services planned to be added include flight online check-in and boarding pass printing, as well as in-room dining ordering. (www.palmerhousehiltonhotel.com, www.hcn-inc.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Fairway GPO offering Service Management Systems’ maintenance and housekeeping services
  • InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, Park Hyatt Chicago upgrade InvoTech Systems to UHF-RFID
  • Boyne Resorts implementing Cenium in multi-phased project
  • Onyx Payments acquires Net Trans Services
  • SAP acquires Concur
  • M3 Accounting + Analytics announces M3 Professional Services
  • Farmers Restaurant Group picks Agilysys’ Workforce Management Solution for four restaurant locations
  • Agilysys releases WMx v6.0

Fairway GPO, a group purchasing organization (GPO) specializing in hospitality and property management, is offering Service Management Systems’ (SMS’) nationwide maintenance and housekeeping services to a wide range of properties through its national GPO network, which includes more than 60 hospitality customers. The service offering begins this fall. (www.fairwaygpo.com, www.sms-hospitality.com)
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The InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta and the Park Hyatt Chicago have upgraded their InvoTech Systems to the UHF-RFID standard; both have been using the previous version of InvoTech for more than ten years. (www.intercontinentalatlanta.com, parkchicago.hyatt.com, www.invotech.com)
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Boyne Resorts is implementing Cenium in a multi-phased project across its resort network. The first phase will combine HR, Payroll, Staff Management and Time operations onto a single platform in order to position group for greater efficiency and the deployment of future technological capabilities. Boyne Resorts operates twelve resort, day ski area and attraction locations in North America: Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and The Inn at Bay Harbor in Michigan, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Brighton Ski Resort near Salt Lake City, Utah, Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington, Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, Sugarloaf and Sunday River resorts in Maine, Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, and Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee. (www.boyneresorts.com, www.cenium.com)
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Onyx Payments has acquired Norway-based commission reconciliation service provider Net Trans Services. The two companies have been strategic partners, serving joint customers since 2006; Net Trans has the major market share in Europe and Asia Pacific. The combination of companies will now serve well over 200,000 hotels and 200,000 travel distributors in nearly 200 countries. (www.ntrans.com, www.onyxpayments.com)
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SAP has acquired travel and expense management software firm Concur. Based in Bellevue, Washington, Concur currently serves around 23,000 customers and has 25 million active users globally; it also owns travel management tool TripIt. (www.concur.com, www.sap.com)
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M3 Accounting + Analytics has announced M3 Professional Services (M3PS), a new division structured to offer customized services on an a la carte basis, from basic accounting functions (such as bank reconciliation and accounts payable) to comprehensive management of the full accounting cycle. (www.m3as.com)
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Farmers Restaurant Group of Washington, D.C., has selected Agilysys’ Workforce Management Solution (WMx) for its four restaurant locations.
Agilysys has released v6.0 of its WMx application. Enhancements include a new human resources function that enables users to customize fields and employee record configuration, and functionality to help employers comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines through planning, monitoring and reporting on employee work hours and real-time ACA status. In addition, the WMx v6.0 mobile app lets managers see posted schedules and approve employee requests. The MyWMx Manager app is now available for Android platforms as well as iOS.
(www.farmersrestaurantgroup.com, www.agilysys.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square installs WiSuite energy management

The Hilton San Francisco Union Square has installed the WiSuite energy management system into 1,915 guestrooms in three weeks, interfaced to its guest management system (GMS). (www.hiltonsanfranciscohotel.com, wisuite.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Vodia Networks adds Hotel PMS module Vodia PBX software
  • Enseo contracts for more than 25 hotels with over 5,000 rooms
  • Enseo’s announces E3 Platform for IP Over Coax
  • Al-Hokair picks Swisscom Hospitality to equip all properties with Broadband Internet

Vodia Networks has added a Hotel PMS module for its Vodia PBX software to enable integration with over 70 hospitality Guest Management Systems (GMSs). (www.vodia.com)
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Enseo announced that it recently completed contract agreements for more than 25 hotels totaling more than 5,000 rooms. Installation is in progress in more than 60% of the properties with completion of 100% of the rooms expected by end of the year.
Enseo’s announced its E3 Platform, an IP Over Coax solution that includes an interactive program guide, Dish Network HD free-to-guest television programming package, mini-guide, Welcome channels, compendium services, and streaming video and audio services from industry-leading Over-The-Top Internet channels.
(www.enseo.com)
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Al-Hokair has commissioned Swisscom Hospitality to equip all its properties with advanced Broadband Internet services. Al-Hokair’s portfolio currently consists of 31 hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Dubai (UAE), operating under brands that include Hilton, Radisson Blu, Park Inn, MENA, Holiday Inn and Golden Tulip, in addition to several independent hotels. The agreement follows successful pilots at the Holiday Inn Al Qasr and Holiday Inn Corniche. Swisscom will conduct site surveys at all remaining Al-Hokair properties and issue recommendations to the Group’s managing board. For new hotel projects such as Red Sea Palace Jeddah, MENA Riyadh and Holiday Inn Jeddah, Swisscom acts as an active technology advisor during the hotel design process. (www.fawazalhokair.com, www.swisscom.com/hospitality)
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